By Arinbjorn OR
First published in ORB 212, Summer 2259
The destruction wrought in the Ragnarok is a reflection of daily events that occur across the cosmos. Though the mythic Ragnarok is seen by the layman as an end of a story, in truth it merely details a period of cleansing and transition. This transition is visible to us on a daily basis as Sunna passes over the western horizon and the new day begins.
As the sun sets, it casts fiery colours across the sky as Gambantein will when wielded by Surt. This final surge of heat and light fades and the earth is left in the cold and dark, rejuvenating, rebuilding and resting, until it rises again anew and green with the newly risen sun.
This is also reflected in the yearly cycle. Crisp fall follows the warm summer as the forces of chaos gain strength before the “fimble” winter sets in. As the snow and cold engulfs us, we give one last celebration and fight against the frost at Yule, awaiting Baldur’s rebirth. But it would seem that our efforts, as those of the Einherjar, are in vain as the cold grows and darkness stays as the Yule Fires die out. But then Spring comes, Baldur and the Vanir return and the earth grows green again.
Thus goes nature, a constant passing between Golden Age and Ragnarok. Someday our sun will burn out, but before this happens, science says it will swell and our planet will be enveloped by fire and chaos. What matter that survives will then be plunged into darkness and the cold, endless sea of space. It is then that the rebirth will occur. On some cosmic wind the seeds of life shall carry the future. Then the Golden age shall come again.
And this is a reflection still of the ultimate course of our universe. Life-Death-Rebirth, Expansion-Contraction. Chaos-Order. Matter-Energy. Dawn Time-Golden Age-Iron Age-Ragnarok.
On a personal level, we face Ragnarok events regularly. Whether they simply mark out the transitional period of normal cycles, or milestones on our personal evolution towards attaining Odin Consciousness.
On the base personal levels, our Ragnarok events closely mirror nature. We go through periods of gain and decline. The “ups and downs” of human existence, where at the lowest point we turn the corner at a Ragnarok event.
For some people these events can be quite severe. For an addict, “hitting rock bottom” is a Ragnarok event, when we are surrounded by our demons and the forces of chaos hold sway over our lives. Our ability to think clearly has been swallowed by our desire to feed our ego and the over-powering id, as Odin was swallowed by Fenris Wolf. Our strength and courage taken by our ever-growing addiction as Thor falls to the Midgard Serpent. Our vitality falling still to the hand of destruction and corrupted nature like Frey falling under the path of Gambantein and Surt’s hand.
The forces of Illusion, the Lokian Energy, flood our mind and inner battlefields. These come from within ourselves, as represented by the ship of nails, Naglfar, or our disrespect for ourselves, others, our ancestors and the folk soul. The “sons of Muspell”, the corrupted souls from within Niflehel who crew the ship, who represent our own failures and shortcomings, actual, perceived, or otherwise.
And as the battle wages on, all seems lost as we burn ourselves out, blackened like the scorched earth of Midgard. But only then can a new self emerge, new and cleansed, with a new mindset, Baldur and Hod, renewed strength, Magni and Modi, and retuned vitality, the Vanir.
It then falls on the individual whether they allow Loki to return to their lives and relapse, or stay the course and continue to build and rebuild their strengths and defenses against the Lokian energies.
This can be seen as a step towards the Odin Consciousness, though not the only one. As an evolutionary step, the Ragnarok represents the cleansing and regeneration that is required before one can evolve, it mythically illustrated events being experienced whole or in part and in varying degrees, based on the individual. The examples shown below represent quite drastic scenarios.
If we follow the myth we know that before the Ragnarok begins the Earth is wrapped in a winter lasting three years. Winter often represents a time of slowing down, of age, and of death. This is the time of Isa, matter increases and energy slows, we turn away from our selves and our higher senses. We give way to our baser desires for material things and physical contact, both pleasurable and painful. Some may simply wallow in the cold, others may seek a way to end their winter. Others may seek to move forward past their current level of development.
Through the cold and the wind of the Fimble Winter, Heimdall receives the Gjallar horn and sounds the war call as the forces of chaos gather for battle. Finally, something “clicks” with us, we realize that we are not supposed to live in the state of winter and Isa. We begin to see, or are shown by others, the “inner demons” or Thurses that hold sway over our life and make the decision to rid our selves of them just as it seems that they will overcome us.
The Einharjar prepare themselves for war, the Vanir take their leave, Loki and Fenrir break free, and Sittung retrieves Gambantein for his father Surt. The Einharjar represent our ancestral strength and power, our best and strongest powers that flow through our blood and the folk soul. Powers that have been saved since impurity and corruption first crept into our world. The Vanir leaving is not abandonment, but proof that growth, nature and its laws will continue, no matter the outcome. The world out side ourselves will continue, we must take time to focus on ourselves for the time being, correcting and evolving ourselves takes the priority. Loki escaping with the “Sons of Muspell” shows how illusion and doubt, no matter how well we contain it, can free itself. The Sons of Muspell are the antithesis of the Einharjar, they are all of our doubt, bad characteristics, thoughts and feelings, fed and made stronger with the shroud of illusion. Again Naglfar, their transportation, is our disrespect of ourselves and our ancestral powers and responsibilities. Fenrir represents the last surge of the Id-controlled ego trying to maintain its false sense of control, fearing change, fearing advancement. By obtaining Gambantein, Surt, the ancient source of creation turned against the Gods, creates the fiery forge that will soon be our means of reforming and recreation through destruction. Surt represents our ancient oaths and powers that have been forsaken by our immersion in illusion.
When the battle starts, much happens, Gods fall, ancient creatures are destroyed, and much sorrow fills the air over Vigrið Plane. It is no coincidence that Vigrið Plane lies within the realm of Midgard, our realm, as it is essentially our war, a battle for our benefit.
As we know from the Myth, Thor falls to Jormangund’s poison as the beast lies dead. Frey, the Vanic prince, fights with his adoptive clan armed only with a stag antler and falls beneath Gambantein. Heimdall and Loki end their feud by taking each others lives. Odin Is swallowed by Fenrir and avenged by Vidar. Before the fires scorch the earth, all but a handful of the Aesir fall, and we may ask how this may be seen as a part of beneficial evolutionary step…
The Gods who fall do so because the energies that they represent have been corrupted, influenced or formed as a result of the illusion and falsehoods of Loki and his kin. As a result, their energies become unnecessary, or they evolve, to better suit the new Golden Age.
Thor’s death at the hand, or breath, of Jormangund answers the old physics question of “what happens when an unstoppable force meats an immovable object?” Both must cease to be if advancement is to take place. Thor’s immeasurable strength held the Thurs at bay and protected the worlds of Man and the Gods. He is our own strength and courage and fighting spirit. Jormangand, Loki’s Immeasurable and enveloping offspring, is our greed and desire for the material world, the embodiment of the immersion of Loki’s illusion within our own psyche. Two ultimates, which only through mutual destruction can settlement be reached.
Frey, our vitality and connection with the natural world is all but defenseless as the Ragnarok begins. Having relinquished Gambantein for the hand of Gerd, He is armed only with a stag antler, the power of Algiz, and his vibrant spirit. But quickly he falls under his relinquished blade as our vibrance wanes under the realization of the loss of our own spiritual powers and the guilt that follows.
Clarity and illusion have been at war since Farbauti first fell to Earth and corruption first crept into the world. Heimdall and Loki embody these opposing forces. But like Thor and Jormangand form a polar relationship of mutual necessity, so to do Heimdall and Loki. Neither need exist without the other with in the new world to come, the guard need not exist without the prison, nor the scrutinizing eye without the corruption needing to be controlled. This is not to say that vigilance is not required any more, but as the threat is removed our caution needs to evolve as we do. Distrust and overt concern must give way to trust and discerning openness.
Despite Odin’s great power and force of will, his death too reflects a necessary end towards our evolution. He has been tainted by Loki’s power. His actions have been a result of Loki’s illusion, requiring at times to “fight fire with fire” and using the same illusory and corrupting abilities that he was trying to conquer. His consciousness reflects ours as it is swallowed by the ravenous id and the corrupted, ever growing ego that Fenrir embodies. Gone is our ability to think for the true future and not just our next experience. To work for the folk and not just ourselves. Vidar is our moral and spiritual conscious that sees the loss of the higher consciousness and reacts to curtail the id and ego and re-establish control.
As the mythic battle field fills with the fallen, our personal battle towards evolution rages on until the end, when the fires of Surt finally consume the waste and remnants of our previous incarnation. The fires from Gambantein remove all that was corrupted by Loki and his brood, whether it be earth, man or god. Surt, one of creations first smiths becomes its first great cleanser.
On the personal level, our efforts see fruition as we see the negative, destructive, corrupted areas of ourselves and lives are finally rendered down and removed. And now that the great struggle is done we can then see that what is rebuilt is a greater, stronger, more pure self.
This is shown as the Blessed Realm rises from the waters green and vibrant. The Vanir return to their seats of power, Mimir opens his Holt, and Lif, Lifthrasir and their kin leave and populate the world. Baldur rises to a new Asgard with Hod and Nanna. Magni and Modi gain Thor’s hammer, gauntlet and belt. Vidar returns to his woods, and the Norns begin spinning new webs.
The “new” gods represent different embodiments of similar energies found before the Ragnarok. Baldur and Hod take the place of their father, ushering in an age of clear mind and thought. Where Odin embodied the fury and wind with his intelligence, Baldur and Hod, both taught by Mimir as their father was, represent the calmer, balanced and experienced wisdom, as warm and calm as the risen sun. The Vanir return to reassert their natural power and the animosity held against the Aesir is gone, no longer dividing nature and society. Lif and Lifthrasir are the continuation of the pure strain of human life unaffected but aware of corrupting illusion and prepared to counteract it. Magni and Modi, like Baldur and Hod, take the qualities of their father and transform them for the new world. Gone is the brash, quick temper, and seething anger of Thor, but bold and confident strength and courage in balance with the air of the new world. Vidar retains his role of moral and spiritual conscious, and takes Heimdall’s role of watcher and securer of peace, not through scrutiny but trust and respect.
We begin to return to our natural and true pathways. A sense of purity and closeness with the high gods and nature return. Balance, peace, and beauty fill our minds and strength returns to our body. Our spirit calms and we again find our place within the world.
But as all is cyclical, and corruption can return. Within our new self we must not forget the lessons of our past, much as the Gods tell stories of Odin and Thor.