Perseverence in Odinism

ONCE AGAIN the wheel has turned and a new year is before us. This is the time when resolutions are made (which we really will keep this time). For Odinists perhaps this is also a good time to once again remember the Nine Charges and the Noble Virtues of our Rite and do our utmost to live by them.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked of the Noble Virtues is Perseverance. It doesn’t appear at all exciting. Rather dull in fact. Far better to be where the action is than just plodding away quietly. But without perseverance nothing comes to pass and the action, while briefly exciting, is often ultimately futile. It takes relatively little to begin something. The hard part is to continue. In some ways perseverance is the foundation of all the other virtues because you have to keep on trying to live by them.

Impatience is one of the great hindrances to perseverance and, perhaps, often it is our perception of time that breeds this. After all, for most of our span on Midgarth we must think in terms of days and weeks rather than take the longer view. It is only natural that we should want to achieve our aims as quickly as possible, in this lifetime at the very least, so we constantly rush. Of course, there are some dramatic moments, though very often their full significance is only realised afterwards. But by and large the worthwhile events are consolidated by dull, mundane effort.

On many occasions those who have been restored to the faith of their folk suddenly realise that they have really been Odinists all along without being conscious of the fact. This sudden discovery can fill them with a rush of enthusiasm. It seems obvious to them that as soon as their friends and acquaintances hear of Odinism they too will be restored. In reality this never happens and disillusionment sets in. This is where perseverance is most needed.

If this virtue is overlooked one of three things often happens:

(1) You lose patience with all the idiots who can’t see and then you indulge in more spectacular methods. These are often what might be termed anti-social and, although they may be great fun and make you feel that you are really doing something very often nothing positive is achieved at all.

(2)You could become totally fed up with it all and grudgingly succumb to the prevailing mood of society (the City institutions have many former ‘revolutionaries’ on their payrolls).

(3) You look for more exciting’ or exotic groups. We have probably all met someone who has belonged to a large number of different groups. He drifts from cause to cause and from society to society. For a spell he is totally immersed in his present interest. He racks his brains to think up campaigns and constantly suggests new ideas to make things better. He reads every available book on the subject. He is almost invariably unproductive (perhaps trying to think up a better name for the group but not actually doing anything). And when instant success or acclaim fails to appear he is off to new pastures. Paganism, like any other religion, seems to attract a lot of this type: they are the lost, the inadequate and the megalomaniac.

Odinism is a life-long commitment, not a thrill for the dabblers and the deviants, the fair weather friends or egomaniacs.

The Odinist way is to persevere and live our lives in accordance with Odinic principles. It is always tempting to rush in and try to kick the door open when our frustration boils over. In retrospect we may often see that it would have been better to try the handle first. (I must add that there are times when we do have to kick the door in but this should not be the response to every situation. We must try to take a greater view of things and remember that we work not just for ourselves but also for our children and our grandchildren and the generations that follow. The seemingly laborious groundwork that we do makes great things possible in the future.

So let all true comrades try not to give way to impatience, disillusion or the lure of the exotic but carry on steadfastly so that the torch of our holy faith can be passed on to light Midgarth for the coming kinfolk.