Life is a fluid thing, rather like time. Some moments seem to last forever and others are gone in a blink of an eye… even though they may be the exact same number of minutes on a watch. At times, things of great import can be nearly forgotten, while others that seem everyday by comparison are remembered in the smallest detail. At other times, our perception of time itself is altered. Once, when I was very young, I was hiking in the far north of Norway and found that my friends and I had walked from 3 pm to 3 am, with no idea we had walked more than a couple of hours, because of the Midnight Sun.
We had been walking through a glowing darkness, neither night nor day. It is about just this sort of netherworld of light and darkness I wish to speak of today… this time outside of time, that one can sometimes find in a vision, or in a dream, or in meditation, or when heading towards death. On this Sommersohnenwende, or “Summer Sun turning”, Sunna will halt her apparent journey in the heavens, then head North again.
Our people, from times so ancient as to be nearly unimaginable, have recorded and noted these celestial events, for to our Heathen ancestors, nature, religion, and science were not separate and antagonistic as they are for those who are still enslaved by the Abrahamic “god”, but were and are one. There are no artificial constraints and Semitic slave chains on our minds for us, so we are free to explore them.. and now, for the first time in a couple thousand years, like the Sun, we too are turning around and heading in another direction. We need to find our way back to our Ancestors and their way of life before we go so far into the darkness that we can never return to the light.
Recently, my uncle, Craig Fenner, a navy veteran, died, and I am still grieving about it and trying to have a small wooden Viking vessel made so as to have a true Odinist funeral for him. Like me, he took after the Viking side of our family, his mother’s family, the Collisters, from the Isle of Man, who were ship builders. Not only did he look exactly like a Viking, and in fact he was one of the most handsome men I have ever seen, but he acted like one. He was incredibly brave and never backed down from a fight, and he never lost one either, even when he was older and had cancer.
For many years he owned and ran a company which employed more than 50 people and did this so well that he was loved by all of them. He dearly loved his dog, whose name is Raven. Uncle Craig had been reading all about Odinism before he died and asked me to send him many links, and I did, and he read them and asked for more. He had always known Christianity was not real and was very interested in his own religion once he knew he could be. This comforts me a little, because I know that before he died, he knew the truth… about history, about our people, and our Gods.
On the night my uncle died, I dreamt of a blonde woman in a White dress in the twilight on the shore of a lake. At first she looked a little like me, but as I walked closer to her, along the edge of the shore, with the water lapping, I saw that she had worlds in her eyes. They were fathomless, like the darkness, and beautiful and terrible all at once. She was not human, but much more, yet she appeared to be human for my sake.
My uncle was cremated on Beltaine, our fire festival, the same day I was interviewed for a radio show. There was interference with the sound due to a sudden storm on my end in Hawai`i, leading to some cuts, and it was not possible to air the question I was most interested in, and so in honor of Sunna and Balder, and of my uncle, I am going to answer it here now. It is, “What can you tell us about the Odinist view on the afterlife?
This is a fascinating topic and there is a rich European tradition associated with the afterlife and many different ideas about it. For instance, there is Valhalla, the hall of Odin, Fólkvangr, the heavenly fields of Freyja, the holy mountain or Helgafjell, and the realm of the Goddess Hel herself. There is the concept of death as the embrace of the Sea Goddess Rán and her daughters, who during storms sometimes catch men in their nets and take them to their watery realm. In the oldest skaldic poems, Rán’s embrace is seen as erotic, and this view of death might have been a very popular one for our most ancient Pagan ancestors, who did not fear or demonize death, but embraced it with courage and humor, as they did everything else.
The rebirth of the Sun has great symbolic meaning because it is part of a frequent ancient European linking of beloved and honored Ancestral spirits, and their blessings and visits, to the renewal and vitality of the lifeforce. This is a natural association for Odinists, because the essence of the spirit is not just thought to be immortal, but capable of being reborn again.
The Sun is therefore connected to our belief in the immortality of the soul. Despite all the terroristic efforts of Judeo-Christianity, this essential truth still is felt so strongly, that 23,000 people attended the solstical summer Sun’s rising at Stonehenge today. Even in the United States, one of the last Northern European heritage countries which still embraces Christianity to some extent, the numbers of those who blindly believe in organized religion, which is to say, Jewish supremacist Abrahamic religions, dropped to their lowest point ever, at just 42%. Our people celebrate because we know instinctively that this day has always had great significance, and not even the extreme hatred of our enemies have been able to diminish its magnificence. This is the height of the solar cycle of the year, the longest day, a time to feel the sheer energy and abundance of life.
In ancient Pagan Egyptian religion, which once in long ages past may have borne a relation to our religion, there are remnants of the idea of a soul making a celestial journey in a ship. Interestingly, there may even have been a tribal link, long since mixed out, since traces of Western European DNA has been found in Egyptian mummies. The solar ship of the ancient Egyptians presumably is conceived of as travelling across a great river, or as I think possible, a river in space. For example, the Step Pyramid of Zosher’s associated tombs have bright dark blue ceilings covered with hundreds of stars. This may be the view of the place where the soul must have been thought to travel to, painted as a sort of map for the spirit.
At Giza’s pyramid complex, solar barges were buried with the dead to enable souls to make their journey. The Greeks, the Egyptians, and Germanic folk, all believed in a heavenly journey taken by the immortal soul in a celestial ship through dark waters.. We see evidence of this in Viking ship funerals in which the soul of the loved one is released with his ship already in the water at sea, his spirit freed from his body by fire.. The smoke of the funeral pyre was sometimes fanned upwards by relatives who sought to help their loved one on his journey.
European peoples, such as the ancient Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, and the Tocharians, whose presence in Northern China predated that of the ethnic “Chinese” by at least a thousand years, are the true authors of the Festival of Light rituals now practiced from South East Asia to India. In the picture below we see our festival being carried out in Eastern Europe, but a similar custom, of placing floating lights on a river, pertains as far away in our European world as Germany. I believe the lights are meant to be symbolic of souls travelling on the dark waters to be reborn by virtue of the Sun’s light and energy at the very height of her power.
It seems to me that the cosmic sea the souls travelled upon was conceived of as a sea of stars, the Milky Way, and that perhaps the souls of the dead were thought to take this path to return to the Sun, a source of great energy, again, in order to renew themselves. However one envisions it in Odinist tradition, the sacred journey of the soul is both mysterious and beautiful, and could never, ever, be reduced to the bland Christian view of being rewarded or punished like a cur, based on one’s level of obedience to a Jewish devil god who expects us to betray our own people and families, by putting him first. Our native religion is not a form of mind control or oppression. It is instead, a real striving towards the unknown and the immortal.
If we try diligently to make it come about, and our efforts are crowned with success, there soon will be a great reversal in our fortunes and a rebirth of our tribe, not just of the dead, but of the living. If we have not already, we must throw out our programming and free ourselves from the darkness of it, in order to see the light clearly and be reborn. I hope to see our people free themselves from the invaders who prey upon us, in body, mind and spirit so that we can fully revive our culture. Soon, may we see our Odinist temples rise again, and our folk living in harmony with each other and nature.
Like the Sea Rán is the embodiment of, she is tempestuous.. and is said to gather men who go seafaring to her bosom with a net, sometimes without their consent…and to accept the bright gold they have won in far flung places as her due offering or reward..
“Rán’s Road” is a kenning for the Sea… In closing, in honor of my uncle, some lines by the skald, Njáll Þorgeirsson are below…
May our Gods be with all of us, and our loved ones, on this shimmering path, that at the end, we may find what we seek, renewing our lifeforce and our will to battle…
To the sky shot up the Deep’s Gledes,
With fearful might the sea surged:
Methinks our stems the clouds cut,-
Rán’s Road to the moon soared upward.
by Seana Fenner
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