This piece was originally spoken by me to my tribe, the Wolves, celebrating our Summer Solstice ritual in 2008. I believe it is more true than ever, and that the words are equally applicable to the strong men and women of Operation Werewolf around the world. -PW
Baldr’s dreams are foreboding ones.
They see a bloody end to all things.
A destructive force leveled at the world of gods and men, an unstoppable entropic ruin.
The fiery burning of all green places and the dissolution of life everywhere.
He forsees his own death, and this feeling of doom remains with him as he wakes.
Steps are taken by his loving mother to protect him from anything and everything that might assail him.
Like any mother she wants only the safety and security of her child, but nothing can stop the cycle of renewal, and that renewal can only come through death, decay and rebirth.
This is the core truth of our tribal belief: the eternal return- that being, becoming, passing away and new birth that sustains and ultimately destroys every living thing.
Baldr’s dreams come to him not only at the end of a personal life cycle, but at the end of an age. His death is significant because it means not just his own demise, but heralds the final breath of an era.
We too, are living in a season of demise. The world around us is crumbling, not only socially, but literally. The green things on the earth are being withered by the flames of Surt’s children. Industry, greed, reckless power and excess.
The branches of the world tree tremble.
We sit at the cusp of destruction, waiting for the Fall.
Like the twilight of the gods, our time here is crucial.
We are anomaly and anathema to the dying world around us- our way is completely opposed to the rest of modern society and makes us a tribe unto ourselves.
All those who hear this ancient call are relegated by the world out there to the shadows at the edge of the firelight.
The rune poem for FEHU says “the wolf grows up in the woods.”
This is our place, then, away from the wretched entanglement of modern hatred, the great expanses of the industrial waste, the spiritual wilderness that pervades the hearts and minds of this world.
All this hopelessness finds remedy in the mysterious passage in Baldr’s Dreams describing Odin, Baldr’s father, approaching the funeral pyre and whispering unknown words in the ear of the corpse as it lays silently awaiting the flames.
The final war occurs, the gods are destroyed, the earth is burned.
The world tree crackles with fire- but it survives.
Its heart remains evergreen, and uncorrupted.
Within its sheltering boughs, a seed springs forth to renew mankind- the land rises from the sea and supports new life.
Baldr returns as the lord of the gods, coming back from the dark and dreaded Halls of Hel to once more take his place on the high seat. The man and woman Lif and Lifthrasir represent that which is best in humanity, the unkillable root of our people.
As we live our lives here, at the end of an age, and the ruinous fires sweep the face of this earth, it is more important than ever that we keep these old roots alive, the unshakeable truths and bonds of faith, friendship and family- because that is what is best of humanity.
Our tribal ways value love over all.
Savage, fierce and willful love for our brothers and sisters, our families, our own ferociously independent way of life.
These are the things that will stand forever against the onslaught of time and destruction.
Like Baldr, we must each of us live forever as symbols and touchstones for our people.
Take mastery over your life, and be that symbol, a living representation of these things we value most, what is best in us, and live it without faltering.
From the gods we worship, to our tribe, to our valued friends- though oaths bind the Wolves together, we first had to find each other in this burning world of shadow and poison.
Once found, we recognized kindred spirits and we held onto those things that brought us together like a priceless treasure.
With no irony or insincerity, we swore under black skies to be family forever.
Families quarrel, families fight, and families disagree- but they are family, and a man’s back is bare without his brother. When the fire comes, the one without a tribe will burn alone, instead of facing his death shoulder to shoulder with a worthy comrade.
May our bonds grow stronger.
May friends become family.
May we stand strong together in the face of everything this world can put against us.
We hail Baldr, and the eternal return of the sun.