By Heimgest CG
First published in ORB No.93 – January 1990
I have heard it said that ‘Magic has nothing to do with Odinism’, which is singularly uninformed comment when it is seen that Odin, among much else, is a God of Magic. Furthermore, magical acts by Gods and men run throughout our myths and sagas. I do not, in this article, intend to define what Magic is. Suffice it to say that in its widest sense it permeates all and that certain of its aspects have been categorised as ESP, telepathy, natural science, and occultism.
So it is true to say that Magic is an essential part of our faith. The Odinic Rite as a folk religious community promotes all aspects of our faith, and Magic is one important aspect. The OR Blots are themselves magical, and can set up subtle magical vibrations if conducted properly.
Ritual ceremonies of any kind are, broadly speaking, magical in purpose, their intent being to raise the level of everyday consciousness, to make contact with ancestors, the folk soul, or God form, or to increase concentration and insight. However, it is equally obvious that not all Odinists will be particularly interested in Magic. This is natural and desirable because Odinism is an entire system which covers all aspects of life. The study and practice of Magic is not a necessity for the practice of Odinism. Some will prefer the historical aspects, others the cultural values.
The Odinic Rite does not limit itself to any one, or group, of aspects. It is concerned with all, and it is up to the individual whether he shows specific interest in one field or another. For instance, while the OR is not limited to being a mere occult teaching order, thereby neglecting all else in our faith, the OR’s Circle of Ostara is concerned wholly with the study, teaching, and practice of Magic.
While stating the importance of Magic in our faith this does not mean that we are concerned in, or promote, all systems of Magic. It seems incredible that some people will proclaim, rightly, their belief in and support for an ethnic organic religion as being best for the particular folk from whom that religion sprang, yet effect a complete U-turn in stated beliefs when they involve themselves in esoteric Magic, the occult. They suddenly proclaim exactly the same one-world, one-faith sentiments as any evangelical Christian. They will involve themselves in all manner of stranger folks’ systems – Egyptian, Hebrew, African, Oriental, and apparently not realise the glaring contradiction in doing so.
Obviously, there will be some common ground, but each folk has its own path which is best suited to them, and it is preposterous for them to proclaim a unique folk faith on the one hand, and to indulge in alien esoterica on the other. Nor can a rigid distinction be made between the esoteric and the exoteric; they are meshed. Like much else, it is interesting to find out about another folk’s system, but to indulge in it means rejecting one’s own natural way in the same fashion as Christians reject their natural faith. It can also be damaging. To spend time and energy on an alien system denies our own faith that same time and energy. Some systems are hostile to our own and can damage the folk soul or weaken our faith by diverting our folk from their true path.
Our own esoteric ways are as rich and vital as any alien way and, for we northern people, ultimately more rewarding. It may be true that an alien system is more widely known. Our way, like all else of our faith, has suffered concerted attempts to submerge or subvert it (the rash of recent books purporting to reveal Northern Magic being an example). It may also seem more exotic or more exciting to follow some of these ways, filled as some of them are with un-Germanic superstitions. It may even be financially rewarding to tap into the much larger and commercial alien occult market. But we must never allow any aspect of our faith to be neglected in a stranger faith’s favour.
Magic is a vital element of our true faith’s resurgence. Slowly, amongst all the two-a-penny ‘rune masters’ and ‘shamans’ who attempt to leap upon the Northern bandwagon true people are showing the way. We must hael these folk and wish them success in showing to our people that their heritage shines clear and bright on every level.