Our cycle ( of Ages ) concludes with the return to Chaos, with the breaking down of the Order so that all must either defend the light of the Gods or succumb to the darkness within and join the forces of corruption. Our lore is quite explicit in its telling of the end of this cycle, of the last age on our wheel of existence, The Varg Age (vargr meaning 'wolf' or 'outlaw'), or Ragnarok.
It is the time when Gods and heroes stand together for a final stand, when the worlds have fallen apart and they are the only hope for salvation. Men no longer obey the divine decrees and care nothing for their social bonds. Monsters ravage the worlds, the World-Tree quakes and groans, and all prepare for the ominous Twilight of the Gods.
The fact is, we know almost for a certainty that this world will end, for at some point our sun must burn out. However, there are many other ways our planet may meet its demise before this happens. A meteor may crash into the earth and destroy it, nuclear holocaust could lead to our own destruction, the next Ice Age may wipe us all out, or it may be something that we could never foresee. Most religions agree on the likelihood of a great conflagration of some sort, and given the many ways the end could come, which typically involve fire or explosions of some sort, it is very possible that this is correct. Because we Odinists believe in cyclical existence, we know that even if our world is annihilated tomorrow life will continue, new worlds will arise.
As we have stated previously, everything at some point dies. This includes our planet and even the ordered universe. But death is never non-existence, for this is an impossibility; so death must simply be a transformation of some sort. If the Earth were to be destroyed, a part of it would live on in the surrounding cosmos, feeding the energies and life of new worlds and solar systems. The cycle will continue, no matter what, so all we can do is continue moving forward. Perhaps our progression will lead us to a point where, if such a cataclysm were to take place some of us could either escape or at least leave something significant behind so that our species will be remembered. Or perhaps humanity itself will reach a state of collective ascension, as all move forward in one state or another into the afterlife. Our lore certainly speaks of such things happening in its prophecy of Ragnarok and the subsequent renewal, while in our modern world projects have developed to preserve who we are as a species, socially and biologically, in case of such an event.
As we explore the symbolism of Ragnarok, we are going to see that we have come full circle, that the elements that led to creation in Ginnungagap here turn against us and lead to our destruction. The powers of entropy will end it, as is the natural way of things. It is possible that what is coming will be a return to Ginnungagap, which was formed from the Chaos of the previous life-cycle. In any case, we will witness the return to the base elements, which, in their entropic state will tear everything apart as they return to their most primal forms. As this begins, humans will resort to their most base natures and indulge in the most cruel forms of savagery. The seeds Loki and Gullveig planted long ago will finally germinate, and no one will be safe. Such is the terror of what is to come. But it will be followed with renewal or rebirth, and from this comes hope. Hope for the future, hope for humanity, and hope for all living things.