“The height of Odinic spirituality has always been the use and study of symbols and metaphors, which shall be explored throughout this book.”
The symbol, whether it be an actual pictograph such as a rune, or poetic phrasing in the lore, manifests itself on so many levels for the observer that they very inspiration it brings is considered a gift from the divine.
The very name Odin means “inspiration or ecstasy,” both of which denote the “eureka” moments one may enjoy while exploring the symbols. It is also found in the name of the well that Odin drew his powerful runes from which is called Odroerir “The Stirrer of Odr,” which as we have seen the odr is the inspiring force we receive from the Gods.
We gain this from reading the lore, performing our sacred ceremonies, and contemplating the wisdom of the runes. Each time we engage in these activities various levels of truth and enlightenment may be revealed by the various symbols employed. Books and essays from other followers may help you in cracking the codes of symbology found within the Heathen belief, but ultimately this exploration is your own, and nothing can beat the feeling you get from figuring it out for yourself.
My hope in breaking down some of the symbols is to help get you started on this road to discovery, but in the end what you gain from the symbols is entirely up to you.
One thing that must always be kept in mind is that Odinic spirituality is nothing more than the search for a happy, fulfilled life.
Our Gods want us to enjoy the existence they have bestowed upon us as our most precious gift, which we must never take for granted. Odin tells us that “everyone should be joyous and generous until his hour of death,” and we typically view the Gods and Goddesses as being filled with laughter and joy.
Our morality does not consist of vague taboos or an endless list of Commandments — it is direct and to the point, so we know that when we have done wrong we must make amends.
Thus there is no place for guilt or fear of ineptitude, for we can judge our own actions as much as the Gods can.
Have honor, celebrate the blóts (ceremonial offerings), protect your family, and live your life to the fullest; then you will always measure up in the eyes of the Gods of your blood.
You may stumble, you may fall, you may make the worst mistakes imaginable, but as long as you work to make things right in the end, you are always welcome home. And the Gods are our home, for they are the lifeblood of our folk.
Imagine the most perfect ideal of a loving parent to a child, with all the compassion, love, forgiveness, and patience that one would have, and then expand it to a level of divinity and there you have our relationship with our Gods. So, there is no place in Odinism / Ásatrú for dour, angry deities; no hate – filled decrees to kill those who do not think like us, and no concept that we of the North are some superior chosen people.”
Our path is forever one of improvement, of enlightenment, and of struggle. Our reaching for divinity consists of our own spiritual practice towards bettering ourselves and our folk through upward evolution. Even in the midst of the fiercest conflict we will take the time to remember the miracle and joy that is life, for it is life that we hold highest in our hearts“.