Monday, August 13, 2007

The Heathen's Daily Oath

"I am not troubled by death and I wish to meet it. The Disir whom Odin has sent to me from Herjar's Hall invite me home. Gladly will I drink ale with the Aesir on the high seat. Ended are the hours of life. Laughing will I die."

-Ragnar Lothbrok's Death Song

* * *

I address all of the Holy Kindreds, and the wights that dwell in this place, and I sing a song about myself and the world in which I dwell:

I am of the race of Ask and Embla, the offspring of Rig, and I speak in this sacred dwelling, in a distant time, from a darkening world.

Now, Garm bays loudly

And many have met their doom,

Now sleeping in the halls of Hel, her hue dark red.

This is the axe-age and the sword age, and sundered are many shields; this is the wind-age, the wolf-age, and the world-doom is not far off.

In these trying times, many have forgotten the ancestral Gods and few still give worth to the land-wights and the holy mound-dead.

Oaths are forgotten with ease,

Hearts are shaken like leaves in wind,

And few are Wyrd-wise enough to say what shall be from day to day and night to night.

This life is a field of struggle; I have faced adversity many times, and many times won good victories, though my luck did not always remain steady, and not always did I win through effort or act with honor.

* * *

I address all of the Holy Kindreds, and the wights that dwell in this place, and I make this prayer to mighty Urd, spinner and weaver of the destinies of men:

Every man and woman's final day is fixed by the Fates; if today is my last, and this evening I walk down the Hel-way, do not look upon my failings, but upon the honor and worth I gave to you, and the faith I kept with those bound to me- let that be honor enough to give me shoes for the Hel-track and the guidance of my Fylgja.

Every man and woman's final day is fixed in the weave of the Norns; if today is my last, and this evening I walk down the Hel-way, do not look upon my misdeeds, but upon the love and deeds that bonded me to my family and kin, and the loyalty I feel for them- let that be enough to give me a coat for the Hel-winds and the blessings of my Disir.

Guiding and protecting spirit that walks side-by-side with me through this life, Dis sent from the side of the Allfather, Swan-cloaked maiden, do not abandon me to the forgetfulness of death nor to the fearful mouth of Helgrind, but be with me in my time of greatest need, for we are all Kin of Herjan. Speak well of me in the Halls of the Gods.

* * *

If it is Fate that I should die through violence, let me bravely face it. Let the violence that shatters this body be the force that makes me worthy to be lifted to the Hall of the Slain and to sit with the heroes in Allfather's company; let the weapon that kills me bring me to life.

If it is Fate that I should linger and die of old age or sickness, let the Disir and my Fylgja stand over me, ready to guide me to rest across the waters, and let me be with those I love until I am no more.

I believe in mighty Asa-Tyr's Justice, the Justice that rules over all the worlds. I believe in the power of right action, and I pledge now, as I pledge everyday, to honor the Gods, reverence the Land and the holy powers within it, protect my family and friends always, and the wide family of life alongside them, and to uphold the Truth even if the cost to myself is high.

All my days, I have done what I thought was right, and I can offer no better account of my life.

* * *

Gods of Allfather's family, Gods of the Vanir, powers of the deep world of Hel, let me share in your great wisdom. Let me gain the golden mead of poetic inspiration, and let me experience what I must to be full of might and health. Let me meet the powers I must meet to know frith and peace, in the home of my body and the home of my soul.

Every man and woman's final day is fixed; if today is my last, help me to be brave and give me the strength to endure what I must. Ancestors and Holy Kindreds who forever watch unseen, count me worthy to feast in your company, and extend your power to protect those that I love and leave behind.

* * *

No comments: