The Gods and Goddesses of Odinism
Copyright © 1996 The Circle of Ostara
Published with the kind permission of the Circle of Ostara.
This article must not be republished or reprinted in whole or
in part without their express written permission.


Tyr is the god to whom we turn when we wage just war and exact just vengeance. In Odinic ritual it is stated “there is a great wrong yet to right” and in the righting of that wrong, that great evil that has set out first to enslave and then to destroy our people Tyr is the generator of our righteous hatred and thirst for revenge.

The Christian dogma exhorts us to “love our enemies”, to appease aggressors and to “turn the other cheek”. This handy formula allows them and bullies like them to destroy and ravage with impunity. Within the wide movement of neopaganism there is a tendency to ape this Christian meekness and to decry the need for vengeance, to out-Christian the Christians. The persons proclaiming these ideas seem to have a quivering fear of a return of “the burning time”, they seek acceptance from the Christian establishment and hope to make themselves part of the “liberal consensus”. They seem to think that if they embrace their enemy’s opinions that the enemy will love them. They forget that if you embrace your enemy’s opinions you are becoming one with him – he has converted you.

This angelic pagan sings sweetness and love and talks of vengeance building “karmic debt” for those who exact it. In acts of mean and petty revenge and in an unforgiving attitude towards friends and kinfolk this may well be so. However, in this world of Midgarth, over the past century, there have been wrongs committed against our people that scream aloud for vengeance. A force of evil has set out to destroy us and must be opposed. The Earth reeks with the spilled blood of generations of our young men sent out to fight each other by the trickery of this evil force, the countless thousands of women and children burned to death or brutally raped and murdered in their “total war”. The spirits of unborn children – 8 million in one recent decade in Great Britain alone – cry out to us from the sleepy mists of Niflheim that they who were torn from their mothers’ bodies before that had the chance to live should not be unavenged. What “karmic debt” do we build up by neglecting our duty to avenge these wrongs?

In the Circle of Ostara we believe that to bow meekly before aggression, to allows wrongs to go unavenged, is to neglect a sacred duty. We do not believe that the meek will inherit the Earth. In the words of a nineteenth century writer, who all unknowing was a precursor of resurgent pagan thought, a child speaks, goaded into rebellion at the sight of passively accepted injustice:

“…If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should – so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.”

(Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, 1847)

We too must strike back at those who have beguiled and enslaved us, who have slaughtered us by the million and who seek to destroy us as a people.

In these dark days Tyr is close to us, he walks the Earth with Odin to rally the forces of resistance. When we fight against the powers of greed that ravish the Earth, when we fight to free our people and the folk-soul of our race from the enslavement of the machine system, when we combat their lies and malice and manipulation and struggle against the epidemic of despair that sweeps over our cities and all the evils that follow it, Tyr is with us.

For he is the god of valiant self-sacrifice, the divine inspiration that makes glorious the Will to give our lives to the gods and to the folk-soul of our threatened race. To invoke Tyr is to offer yourself to this struggle:

God of the warrior
Shake now your spear!
Giver of justice,
Maker of law,
We fight against the alien foe.
Be with us now,
As in the sky
The blood-red flames of war arise
And we go forth, singing.