Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller's "Revival to New Life"

In the Odinic faith no act is more sacred than the sexual union between a man and a woman to beget a child. This is the ultimate manifestation of the creative Spirit within us, which draws us to our mates, then forms a bond between the two, which will culminate in their physical joining where the sperm will combine with the egg to create life. The desire to converge is innate within all of us, as we have seen, and here it allows us to continue our genetic line that was sanctified by the Gods of our people so long ago.

Our ancestors believed in having many offspring and spurned childlessness, and we should follow their example to further our families and folk today. We need to take this valuable lesson to heart as low birthrates continue to lead Europeans toward extinction. Just think— if you have five children and they each have five children you will have twenty-five grandchildren. If they each have five children you will have one-hundred and twenty-five great grandchildren, all or most of whom can be raised with the Odinic values you have instilled in your core family unit.

We must make the choice to live in our modern world, with its demands and costs, while at the same time proliferating by filling our homes with the laughter of as many children that we can possibly have. In embracing this as a truly spiritual principle we might be able to stem the tide of this suicidal impulse.At the same time that we desire to come together, the other side of the Spirit, which signals entropy, has led to the breakdown of the family in the West. We know from our lore that when this tendency reaches its apex and people no longer respect the ties that bind us, Ragnarok is immanent. "Brother may become brother's bane, life between siblings' sons spilled, hardship is in the world, much whoredom; axe-age, knife-age, shields are cloven, wind-age, wolf-age, before the world succumbs, no man dare spare another" (LIII. 70, LXXXI. 1).

This will be a cosmic event, where the Spirit element is no longer dominated by its aspect towards order and balance, of bringing things together, but rather it will delve towards chaos as all the other elements are pulled apart. This will also be true with the Spirit of man, for the family is the central structure that holds our society together. This is why we stand firmly against those who promote the idea that marriage (particularly heterosexual marriage) and parenthood are outdated concepts unfit for today's 'progressive' lifestyles. In the end this drives us forward to the very chaos our Gods struggle against in the sacred stories.In the lore every child begins as a fruit upon the limbs of Yggdrasill. Since the first humans were made from an ash tree that has sprouted up from Yggdrasill’s seeds, it would only make sense that all other people afterwards would originate from the great ash. The fruits symbolize the power of youth itself, but have different uses depending on how they are sanctified. When Idun has them in her power they are used to keep the Gods young, and are thus her golden apples of youth. This may relate to the health benefits our ancestors knew lay in the eating of fruits, thus keeping us ‘young’ on a lesser scale than Idun’s apples. When they are sanctified towards birthing children, they go through a three-fold process. First, they drop into Hoenir’s realm of Fensalir ‘The Marsh Halls;’ representing the most active material element in the creation (Water). Once this happens Hoenir has the fruits instilled with the gifts he and his brothers gave to the first couple. Second, Urd, the highest Norn or Goddess of Fate, decides which fruit will be delivered to which mother while determining the destiny of the child. For this reason, the fruits are called Manna Mjotud ‘Fate of Men,’ or ‘Fruits of Fate.’ Finally, Frigga and her winged handmaids see to it that each fruit is delivered “on fire” (LXIV. 34) to pregnant women. This again relates to the elements involved: Hoenir’s waters contain Yggdrasill’s (‘Earth’s’) fallen fruits, he and his brothers imbue their gifts while Urd connects them to the great Spiritual Collective, and Frigga-Jord delivers them “on fire” to whom they are intended. Although we typically see the Goddesses in swan- or falcon-guises, it may be that Frigga’s handmaids actually fly as storks, since they are ultimately in Hoenir’s service. Remember that Hoenir’s totem animal or fylgja (see below) is the stork, which has earned him the names Aurkonung ‘Marsh-King’ and Langifot ‘Long-Leg.’ That storks are connected to childbirth is a legend that persists to this day.The golden apples that are borne “on fire” to pregnant women actually represent the stars in the sky.

When we see a ‘shooting star,’ this is, according to the ancients, an omen that a child is to be born, as the fruit is carried by winged maidens swiftly delivering the divine gifts to the babe that is about to be brought into the world. It should also be noted that scientists now believe that comets contain some of the building blocks for our existence and are currently working to harvest samples to find clues as to the origin of life on earth. Although a shooting star is not a comet, to an ancient observer there may have been correlations seen between the two. All of these symbols and their relations to one another simply show the sanctity of life and how precious children are to our faith.

The apples are not said to actually make women pregnant (though they are claimed to bolster fertility for those wishing to have children see XVI. 20) for they are typically carried to those who are already expecting. The sexual act obviously creates babies, and our ancestors knew this well (cf. XX. 49-50, 61, 74-5). The gestation that creates their organic forms is the same as that which germinated the trees used to create the first couple. But the gifts of the Gods are external and were thus believed to come from an outside source, and were symbolized as being packaged in the fruits of the World-Tree.

Because we view the cosmos as being alive, and the Spirit element as existing throughout all of nature, certainly the foods (i.e. apples) eaten by the mother have some spiritual as well as physical benefit to the babe growing in her womb.The fate given to the child— borne from the stars (cp. philosopher Giodarna Bruno’s statement that ‘life is a spark from the substance of the stars.’)— is then woven into the Web of Wyrd once their thread of fate, or örlögþættir, has formed.

The stars are then considered to be the “Norns’ Nails,” as well as the fruits of Yggdrasill, since they are the points with which the web is weaved. The symbolism has thus come full circle. Yggdrasill is created from the primal elements (a ‘golden seed’) and becomesrepresentative of the living cosmos: the trees that sprout from its seeds form the first humans. Their descendants are developed from the golden fruits of the World Tree, which are the stars that make up the cosmos. Such is the complexity and wisdom of our ancestral lore.