Had an unexpected day off from work due to my car going kaput.
Had intended to while away a few hours watching heathen-related videos on YouTube. Never done it before, but thought it might be fun. I decided to rule out videos from the US - as the heathenry they talk about rarely has much at all in common with my path, I find. However, almost the entirety of the remainder seems to be either Wiccatru or fascist/racist?
Is that actually representative of modern heathenry, I wonder? None of the heathens I know are at all like either of those. Where are the videos from those kinds of people?
Incidentally, I watched one video and was immediately unnerved by the guy speaking. Thought he might be a racist. He was balding, with a black goatee and wearing a vest. Chided myself for being prejudiced and judging a book by its cover, but, lo and behold! 15 mins into the video he outs himself as a racist homophobe. Is that a uniform for fascists these days - dressing like General Zod on his day off?
I've decided to crosspost (read: steal) this from my post on the Kith of Yggdrasil members' forum. I've been pondering Tyr ever since I wrote this and gradually feel myself being drawn toward him (mentally, spiritually, theologically - however your worldview prefers to describe it).
Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:04 pm Post subject: Tyr I've allowed Tyr to occupy my mind somewhat, perhaps in an effort to get to grips with him and any way that he might help in my Baguazhang training.
I've read the usual factoids regarding him, available from several sources. Perhaps once the chief deity until he was usurped by Odin in some areas. Sky god. Patron of combat. Lost his hand while binding Loki's troublesome canine offspring... yada... yada... yada...
At first I found him completely inscrutible. Very little information available regarding him and there seem to be very few authors willing to pontificate too much as to his nature, either.
Then I started to really think about what we know of him. He lost his hand when binding the wolf. Offered as a pledge of faith. Tyr must have known that the hand would be lost once the binding was complete. To look that giant, ravenous animal in the eye and to offer your hand without a solitary quiver of doubt crossing your face...? Any sign of unease would surely have warned Fenrir of the gods' true intent. To keep that calm under such immense pressure in spite of what pain and loss was to come. Now that calls for ice in your veins.
Similarly, Tyr is described as the only god brave enough to feed the bound Fenrir. When you consider the nature of the other gods, that is quite a claim to fame. Perhaps the statement is not meant to be literally true - Odin and Thor, for example, do not strike me as cowards - but to be hailed as the bravest of the gods is an incredible accolade.
The feeding of Fenrir also raises another interesting point. This wolf has just bitten your hand off, what kind of fairness of judgment must you show not to bear a grudge and to feed the animal? Hel, why not just let Fenrir starve, chained up helpless as he is? Obviously, Tyr's honour precludes him from such base flaws.
Indeed, Tyr's honour would have to be renowned for his hand to make sufficient a pledge for the wolf to allow himself to be bound. Let's face it, Odin or Thor would be likely to eschew honour in order to get the job done. Only Tyr, it seems, had enough honour, bravery, determination, pragmatism and foresight to offer his hand for the greater good and to secure the future - allowing the gods a chance to secure a better post-Ragnarok world...
What will I attempt to learn from him, then? It seems he has a lot of value to teach me, even from the superficial insights I have drawn for myself so far. I am looking forward to getting to know him even better, so that I can learn some of those traits of which, I must confess, I could use more.
Obviously, at the time I didn't feel the need to reference any of my claims within the little passage - but it is through plain, simple consideration and musing like this that I have come to feel myself closer to Tyr than before. No mystical mumbo-jumbo required. No chanting bollock-naked in my garden (good job, too, I only have a small balcony that is overlooked by the apartment block across the street). Nothing but a little time and thought.
Wonder if I could get closer to other aesir and asynior in this way? Might be worth thinking about... ;)