By Thorbera OR
I found the path to Odinism in the late ‘90’s. My then middle school aged child, Arinbjor OR, discovered it first and through his learning was able to help me through some rough times. He convinced me I needed to find that ‘higher power’. I am descended from and so very proud of my Scottish heritage that I first explored Celtic beliefs. After a few books, I still had nothing inside or ‘higher’. At the time I was into the history of Egypt, they were at one time such an advanced culture yet still very spiritual. Again I delved into their beliefs. Nothing. My son knew I had to find this spirituality on my own and was just learning his way into Odinism so he never pushed his new found beliefs onto me yet he would not let me just give up. Always pushing me to read one more book or web site. He also made a wooden bind-rune and asked if I would just keep it with me for him. He said it might possibly help me find some emotional balance and some guidance. I thought that at this time in my life nothing could hurt but nothing would change either. Maybe it was just the placebo effect or the knowledge that my son had the love and concern for my well-being but I started feeling more focused. In small ways I acted instead of waiting for things to happen and then re-acting. Hmmm, maybe he is onto something? Not long after this, on another bad day, he asked if I knew who Thor was. Yep, I knew Thor from the Adventures in Babysitting movie! Never read a comic book with him in it, took a class in Asian Studies in high school, he wasn’t included there! My son had been sharing his new found path studies but had talked of Odin the most throughout this time but he sat down and simply explained a bit about who/what Thor was. He suggested I go sit outside and just try and talk to him, that it couldn’t hurt and even if I walked away with nothing from it at least I would be clearing some of the negative out of my system.
Okay, sure why not, nothing else is working and I really do need to be alone for a good cry, and outside I went. Let loose I did, directing it towards this entity I did not know. A beautiful sunny afternoon, sitting on our upper deck in Colorado I ranted and raved, cried and begged asking for the answers. Of course, I didn’t get any but by the end I had a sense of comfort I had not felt in some time. I know a lot of people reading this wont believe what happened next but…as I stood up to go back inside there was a flash of lightening that appeared to streak right through the back yard followed by a clap of thunder. It was bright enough that my son saw it through the window although he was sitting on the main floor, opposite the backyard. I came in and told him the weirdest thing just happened and he at the same time said what was that flash. For the next hour or so he shared what he knew of Thor and some of the other deities. He encouraged me to read up on them. I don’t know about what others have experienced but I heard and felt the “Click”, I had found what I was after. Not THE answers, but the guidance and direction to get those answers through myself.
Time passes and I am reading and learning. Again, I need to have that one on one with that higher-power. Even though I am learning of Odinism I am not ‘feeling’ it as I witness my son is. Thor is once again my sounding board to my emotional release. Again, I have the lightning flash out of the blue, again with my son as witness who is shocked. It was then that I began living Odinism on a daily bases. Who couldn’t with this happening! It was around this time that my son found the Odinic-Rite from a Thorsson rune book. He and I started delving into their web site. We both felt that this was the group that shared in what we believed and thought and wanted to live. We applied at the same time for membership and were accepted.
Life went on, huge changes were made by myself for myself. I was talking to a few different deities and felt the different energies of each separately and together. We had ordered the Book of Blotar and were doing our own daily rituals and coming together for our monthly blot. I had no idea if we were doing it right but it felt right!
In 2004 we were able to travel to the Great Moot in London. It was such a remarkable event and what a group of people! We no sooner walked in when Asrad walked up with his hand out and greeted us by name as if he had known us for some time and was glad to see us again! I felt the same comfortable feeling with those in attendance as I did when talking with the Gods. I learned we were doing some things right back home and some things not wrong but not the OR way. I still laugh today at the pronunciations we had back then of some of the runes! I also still laugh today because when my son galders the runes it is like having Asrad there, rolling his r’s and hearing his accent! He all of a sudden is not American anymore! It was one of the greatest experiences I have had, spending time with this group of people, meeting not only Asrad but Heimgest and too many to mention here that I have such deep respect for. We laughed and joked, talked seriously, the full spectrum. We returned again the following year. It is something that every member of the OR needs to experience even if only once. You feel the closeness of the Gods even more through the shared energy of their people.
By now I knew about and what it meant to become a professed member. Yes, this was the organization I held up and wanted to be a part of. Yes, I needed this organization in my life full time. Was I ready to profess though? I wasn’t. As the years speedily passed and I read of others who did profess I was uplifted to see the New Awakening grow but I was holding myself back. I needed the OR but they did not NEED me. I was doing nothing to advance the movement. What was I contributing to this elite group of people. I helped establish a hearth in Colorado but I did not help it grow, that was all Jonathan. I was an active member on the forum, but that was nothing. I was sending some crafts to be auctioned off at the Great Moots we did not attend, but what was I doing to advance our Holy Religion? I so wanted to do that but I did not know the way to do it so I would not profess. Until I felt I was worthy and had even a small amount of the respect that some of our members have I would not profess. It was a hard decision to take but for me it was the right decision.
My son, who took his time in professing for his own reasons was professed a few years ago. A proud moment not only for him but for me. Still I would not follow in his footsteps just to keep up. A few asked when I was going to do it but I had no answer. It had to be for me at the right time for me.
Just over 2 years ago my son and I started volunteering in the Idaho prison system. He taught, I was the gopher/secretary. Then Hengest decides to start in on me to write an article for the ORB entailing our experience. What?? I don’t write articles! I have suggested articles for The Odinist Press Service to copy and run but I can’t write personally!! I realized Loki was the only one stopping me from even trying and I was not going to let him win once again. I sat down and after a few attempts came out with the article/report. I contributed!! I still did not feel it was enough to base my profession on, of course. Time passes, rituals are performed at home and inside prisons. I am talking to the Gods and committing to those relationships I have forged with them. I was still not ready to profess but I was getting there. I was harboring the thought more and more.
My son committed a few years to take the Gothi course and completed it. Proud mom moment again! Wouldn’t it be cool to have him perform my profession? No, that is not reason enough. I had to sit myself down and really think about this. What was I contributing? Did the OR need me? At first I still did not feel I was up to par but then things came back to me..
I may not have been ‘recruiting’ members for our hearth down in Colorado but I was a steadfast member. I supported those members as if they were my own children. I helped them to learn and grow and evolve to be better. I was there for them when they needed me, if I did not know the answer I guided them to where to find them. I contributed!
At the prisons I realized there had been more than once that I apologized to my son for hijacking his teaching. He always said that was fine because part of learning is the ability to teach what you know! I, who have read maybe ¼ of what he has was able to bring that knowledge/experience/real world touch inside the gate. I support those men again like more sons from different mothers (with boundaries, of course!). I contributed!
I realized I was advancing the New Awakening. I was a NEEDED member of the OR. I was worthy to profess to this elite group of people! After all of these years I was ready!
I had planned on having my profession this summer while attending the OR Vinland Mid-Summer Camp but due to some happenings there the energy just was not right. Disappointed, yes, but I have learned that “Wyrd goes ever as it must.” After some thought I realized this year I would be celebrating my 50th birthday in September. What a fantastic way to memorialize this ‘change in season’ then to be professed into the OR. With age comes knowledge and evolution. With this knowledge and evolution would come my profession.
So on September 16, 2012, my son, Arinbjorn OR, performed his first profession as a nearly certified OR Gothi for me. We had Noel and Kellie Smith in attendance and it was a beautiful day.
I am proud to be a professed member of the Odinic-Rite. I am proud to be the mother of an Odinic-Rite Gothi. I am proud to have Noel and Kellie to call true friends. I will uphold the standards of the OR proudly and fiercely against the enemies of our Faith, Folk and Family. You are all my family and I am proud to be ‘Ma’ to you all!!
Hail the OR
Hail the New Awakening
Thorbera OR (Lani)