The value of family has weakened throughout the generations, leaving a large gap in our modern-day understanding of what it means to be a family, or our ancestors may have referred to it as a clan. This idea stems from different people being joined, either: by blood, or by purpose, to create a better immediate community. Throughout the Norse legends, there are many clans that rally to the cause to support our ancestors in their quest for their future. Our ancestors, who lived those generations ago were not much different than we are today, as far as their need for family bonds.
As you might not be aware, originally humans coagulated together for safety reasons, resource sharing, and personal security. These early humans found comfort among each other. They learned to trust, and they learned to love. These ancestors found safety in numbers against all odds of those times. They conquered the land, the diseases, and in some cases others who attempted to take what was theirs. Throughout the millennia of this coexistence, and the introduction of language, humans discovered a need for socialization. This discovery led to changes within the genetic construct of the human brain, effectively wiring humans for the need for social connections. The adoption of language allowed for the transfer of ideas, desires, and the needs of each member of the clan.
Throughout the historical evolution of our ancestors, we find records of the impact of disease and those environmental elements, for this reason, families typically generated a multitude of offspring in hopes of passing on their genes to future generations. The records show that a limited few offspring made it through their youth to adulthood. Therefore, one finds a multitude of children being conceived to assist with household chores and to ensure the propagation of the genetic construct. However, the by-product of many hearts beating within the small homes of Northern Denmark was that they created an unbreakable bond that would form those early “clans”.
In the truth of this matter, the first love a child has is for their mother. They are introduced to the unwavering love given by their mother in the days before they draw their first breath. The silky skin of their mother’s hands and body provide a wonderful cradle of love and care for the child to embrace the life around them. Over time, these infants would be introduced to other members of their clan, and come to know the care and concern that the clan had for them. Like the raccoon of the butterfly, this care encircles the young child, ensuring they know they are loved. In the ways of my ancestors, children knew the love their father had for them as well. While most of the times his hands of calloused steel were used for disciplinary reasons, those same calloused hands could turn to silk to wipe the tears from his little child’s eye. These two individuals would have a powerful impact on their offspring throughout their young lives. Before long the child is introduced additional family members, and the community in which they live. Within time, they will discover the love of another person with whom the generations will continue the heritage.
If there is one thing I can say about being an 18th generation Germanic-Dane is that I am committed to whatever I set in my heart. In my other life, some referred to me as a “1%er”. While typically this is reserved to an individual who has committed the ultimate task, it also refers to someone who commits themselves mentally to the task at hand, like a berserker’s rage. This level of commitment happens in every aspect of my life, whether its the love of my shield-maiden, the love and support of my children, the love and care of my canine partner, or the care of my property, committing oneself to the accomplishment of the objective is what it means.
Understanding the commitment that the clan invests in each beautiful gift from Frigg is what family is all about. Understanding that the greatest display of strength a man can offer is that of carrying his clan. That is true power. Like the power of Ymir, real men can carry the load of their clan while maintaining the other real source of power, love.
Ultimately, your family, and your clan are the last bastion in a world set at breaking us down, and attempting to bring failure and disgrace upon us. It is our clan that pulls us to our feet, and puts our sword back into our hand. Today I want to teach about the importance of our family, and our clan.
Like our many ancestors before us, one of our greatest triumphs as men and women of age is that of our heritage. As we were gifted by our parents, so too must we continue to extend the ancestry. By not only having children but really teaching them the value of family. Teaching them about their ancestry, and their cultures allows them to pass it to their children.
Which brings us to the real power bestowed by Freyr, love. As love is the one true source of power. There is no more formidable a force to wrecking with than a man defending his home, or a mother defending her children. It is this “love” that is able to provide the wielder with superhuman strength and dexterity. It is this same “love” that should give a man the power to carry the clan, as it is given by the clan for his efforts. Both Pòrr (Thor), and Heimdallr demonstrate the love they have for Valhöll which provides them the power to defend it against all enemies. Many bards have sung songs, and poets penned their works to praise the “power of love”, however, I am here because of my love for my family and my life.
Sometimes when others come and speak with me, they ask what is the difference between the times of our ancestors, and today? They are struggling with understanding the “value of the clan”. I am always quick to bring up the word honor, as honor is the highest order of love. To love unconditionally those people within our lives, it stems from our inner most spirit, and connects to our mind, but it lives in our hearts.
Honor should dictate every facet of our lives. It should guide us in protecting the weak, and it should force us to demonstrate how adults should act. Our clan should know of our battles, we should speak to them in plain terms, that they may understand the battles we have fought, so as they will not have to fight the same battles. Our clan should know of how we acted, and what we thought while on the battlefield that they may know what to do if the battle should occur in their lifetimes. We must provide our children the time to reflect on these battles, for it is through reflection that we are able to gain wisdom.
Several moons ago I spoke of the balance of the blade. During that talk, I spoke of how the blade of a sword can be compared against the feeling of love. This can also be said of the honor. Too far from the heart, and our honor may be lost. Too close to the heart and we will never experience life, as our children must see and feel what honor looks and feels like so they can understand when they have accomplished it.
Nattleysi (Summer Months)
Skammdegi (Winter Months)
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Celebrating throughout the Generations
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