Nostalgic Stupidity

      When certain moods set in, the mind has a tendency to wander, and one finds oneself recalling “the good old days,” with nostalgia. One may recall a certain point in time, certain individuals, or certain behaviors for that matter that seem “better,” “brighter” or “filled with promise.” The problem with such nostalgia is that it does not really promote an accurate evaluation of matters, with one of the side-effects being a downplaying of negative circumstances, behaviors, or people. This can lead to at least two potential problems.

      An idealized past. In adopting the attitude of an idealized past, one puts on the proverbial blinders, only looking behind rather than forward. As part of this process, shortcomings of the past are often conveniently overlooked in order to maintain the “feel good” perspective, in essence creating a fictitious past from pieces of fact in order to avoid threatening the nostalgic “ideal.” Reminiscing about the “good old days” constantly becomes preferable to actually putting any time into one’s present circumstances, and slowly but surely, one begins to atrophy, just as a still pool of water becomes a center of pestilence and disease. I’ve heard it said that those who forget the past rob the future, and while I agree with this, I’ll go further in saying that those who live in the past rob the future as well. Regardless of how much joy the past may have held, it cannot be relived or recaptured, no matter how hard one may try, nor will any amount of dwelling on the “good times” (at the cost of experiences in the present) grant us any new sources of vitality or preserve us from the grave. While there is a degree of “safety” in the past (that is, in what is known), there is great potential waiting out there beyond one’s present experience (that is, the unknown.) Cultivate an adventurous heart, arm yourself with all that you’ve become, step forth into the unknown, and reap the vitality that comes as a fruit of the quest.

      Reintegration of adverse people or behaviors. When nostalagia creeps in, the potential for allowing detrimental influences back into one’s life is high. During these moments of nostalgia, one needs to examine the reasons that one parted ways with people and behaviors in the first place in order to maintain perspective. While I still can, with a certain degree of amusement, recall reading Crowley’s Gems From the Equinox in its entirety while high on Methamphetamine, I also bear in mind what using that substance did to my body & mind, and remember the kind of people (now excluded from my life) that I found myself in the company of when using it. While I may fondly recall good times shared with someone who was once a good friend, I also need to bear in mind the shortcomings in their character and their behavior that ultimately prompted me to exclude them from my life. There are reasons why it becomes necessary to make changes in one’s life in the form of removing people and eliminating behaviors; forgetting these reasons or minimizing the reality of them them will likely result in those reasons taking root on one’s life once more. When forging a good sword, the steel to be used must first be purged of impurities, then protected from contaminants within the environment throughout the shaping process. If this is not done, then the work is ruined, and must be started again (and again), wasting time, energy and resources in the process. Life is too short, time is too valuable to spend it repeating the same thing over and over again when the end result is already known to be failure at best, or potentially fatal at worst.
      Nostalgia itself is neither good nor bad; in fact, it’s probably one of the factors about us that makes us human beings: the ability to reflect upon people & events, and the emotions associated with them. What counts is the way that one approaches nostalgia: with a whole mind and honesty or with half a brain and the need to prop oneself up with pieces of the past. One can glean wisdom from one’s past or allow a skewed version of it to hypnotize one into stasis. One can remember the reality of one’s sometimes deficient actions or companions when one pleasantly reflects on the past, or one can forget the deficiencies and potentially repeat them again and again. It’s all in the attitude and the honesty that one approaches this whole matter with.

 

Frigga

         While the myths and sagas clearly indicate that Frigga rarely if ever ventures far from home in her capacity as the patroness of the hearth, she still demonstrates that she is indeed a potent goddess to be contended with, and one not above to resorting to some of her husband’s sneakiness on occasion.

          -In the Volsunga Saga, the wife of Rerir plead with the gods to let her conceive; Frigga overheard her request and sent the giantess Hljod to present Rerir with a golden apple, which he shared with his wife, and they conceived a child (Volsung, the father of Sigmund and grandfather of Sigurdh.) While Frigga did not deliver the golden apple herself, this tale demonstrates that she possesses influence not only among the forces of Asgard and Midgard, but also among some of the inhabitants of Jotunheim as well…this in and of itself is impressive, considering the usual disposition of the beings of that realm towards the Aesir. Beyond this, the tale carries implications that Frigga indirectly holds some influence in the realm of childbearing through her ability to convey the gift of the golden apple (the dominion of Idunn.) Clearly the keeper of the golden apples is perfectly willing to cooperate with Frigga, her sovereign, in such matters.

          -Following Baldr’s nightmares and Oðinn’s journey to Hel to determine the reason for his son’s baleful dreams, Frigga exacted oaths of non-aggression from (almost) all things, including fire, water, stones and sicknesses. What is interesting in this regard is that in her pursuit of these oaths, she demonstrates the skill of communicating with non-humanoids and non-animals in a way that isn’t seen otherwise in the myths…birds, giants, and others are shown to communicate with gods and men throughout the myths , but nowhere else is there communication with the elements (fire, water, iron, etc) and illnesses in this fashion, which suggests that Frigga is privy to a form of magic of some kind that isn’t normally used. This calls to mind the tendency of sorcerers in more primitive cultures around the world to make pacts with spirits of elements, diseases, plagues, etc. The Prose Edda tells us that following the death of Baldr, the Aesir (in accordance with the death-goddess’ ultimatum) sent messengers all over the world to ask that all things weep Baldr out of Hel and (almost) all things did so; it seems that Frigga, who is known for knowing the fates of men but never speaking of them, is willing to share some of her other secrets when it serves her ends

          -In Grimnismal, Frigga takes a bit of revenge on both her husband and his foster-son Geirroð for their designs on her foster-son Agnar, Geirroð’s older brother, in their youth. Following the death of his father, King Hrauthung, Geirroð took the throne of the Goths. Frigga takes advantage of an opportunity that presents itself during a boasting match between she and Oðinn by claiming that Geirroð treats his guests with poor hospitality, setting in motion a chain of events that ultimately leads to the death of King Geirroð and the ascension of Geirroð’s son Agnar (his uncle’s namesake) to the throne of the Goths. It’s interesting to consider that in one fell swoop, Frigga not only punishes her husband by setting him up to be tortured by his own foster-son (who ultimately pays with his life), but also avenges her foster-son in the process by placing his namesake upon the throne of the Goths. Not only does this tale demonstrate her competency in the art of revenge, but it also shows that she exercises some influence over royal lines to an extent.

          As one can see from the examples above, Frigga is by no means a wallflower when it comes to exerting her influence over the fates of gods and men alike. Beyond this, it can be clearly seen that she is not a goddess who is easily pigeon-holed into one specific area of specialization, as tends to be the popular habit in regard to divinities where many so-called “neopagans” these days are concerned.

Welcome

This is the new home for my writings both past & present.  Here you will find my perspectives on ancestral Germanic religion, magic, martial arts, society, and whatever else I deem fit to place here.

Since these subjects come up in my writing, let me clear a few things up for you:

  • I believe in the objective existence of my ancestral gods, and I don’t believe that they’re merely personifications of natural  forces or abstract ideas.
  • I believe in the existence of magic, and its power to cause change in the world. I don’t view magic as mere “positive thinking,” or mere coincidence.  I believe that magic can be used to help one’s friends, and curse one’s enemies.

I don’t  argue these points, as these perspectives are mine, and based solely upon my personal experiences. I have no interest spending my time & energy trying to convince you, and if you’re of a mind to argue these points, look elsewhere for a sparring partner.

Some of my perspectives might  anger you, but unless you’re a prick, that’s not my intention (I admit, I take pleasure in pissing off an asshole or two with some of the things I say.) I hope that you are able glean something useful from these writings & perspectives, as that’s what they’re here for.

~Hildolf Von Eisenwald