Weltanschauung is the German word to which there is no translation. Literally it means "world view" or "looking at the world", but it covers far more than that. Webster explains it as " one's philosophy or conception of the universe and of life".
Odinism as a Weltanschauung, a life-philosophy, has three main interpretations or divisions: a personal, a tribal and what we may call a warrior aspect. Let us look a little closer at each of these basic facets of our religious-philosophical deliberations, keeping in mind that they all overlap.
The first aspect, the personal, deals mainly with our vital ideas about life and death, our concepts of the divine powers, our gods, mythology and legends and the symbolism contained in them, handed down for generations as part of our spiritual inheritance. It thus also covers our attitudes towards thew dynamic principles keeping our solar system in balance and the realization that these powers are intimately interconnected in a web that is alive and in constant flux. Taken together, these codes of holistic naturalism are simply expressions of basic spiritual truths that have been common within the Indo-European tribes for untold centuries.
These ideas from our foundation for concepts of right and wrong, our sense of justice and fair play, and they show us our station in the society in which we live. Each single notion has a flock of built-in issues that demands separate discussions, serious deliberations and rational deductions; but they also must be considered from point of view of emotional needs, personal preferences and genetic propensities.
This brings us straight into the second aspects, the tribal. As part of a recognizable group of people, which we term the Folk, we have at birth acquired certain characteristics from our forefathers; they include eye and hair color, body build, mannerisms and often a number of little paccadillos that "run in the family"; we know well how appearance and temperment are inherited.
Those qualities are imprinted upon our genes, commonly known as our DNA pattern (the letters stand for deoxyribonuclete acid which directs the mechanism of heredity). This important part of our personality consists of inborn traits that may be enhanced or hindered through environmental factors but which cannot be erased. They are both our birth right and our birth responsibilities. They show that each individual is a link in a chain of generations whose inherited characteristics have been carried to the present through our DNA pattern. They are a gift from our ancestors but they also place on us the obligation of handing down to future generations in undiluted form our special combination of chromosomes that form our folkish genotype.
Within the tribal aspect there are many pleasures finding true friends, people who understand our worries and wishes, is one such enjoyment. We should therefore strive to keep our friendships in good repair, for "brambles grow and waving grass, on the rarely trodden road" says the Havamal. We need to stay in contact with each other; sometimes distance, job and other duties make this a bramble in the mind but we should not let them take over our roads.
This takes us into the third aspect of our Weltanachauung, the warrior angle, and here the emphasis is on action. However, let us state up front that just as knowledge without action is sterile and unproductive, so action without knowledge is counterproductive and may even be deadly.
There are many ways to fight a war, and we are at war with the debilitating and discriminating practices of our present society; yet much can be done by using brain more than brawn. The most important is perhaps to realize and accept the fact that although we are not personally responsible for the present situation, we are the ones who have to deal with it. A realistic and practical approach to the problems is imperative.
Spreading knowledge and understanding about our heritage is a big and many-faceted job; the warrior-Odinist can have a great impact here. Keeping the communications open between all parts of the realm is also an important piece of work. Setting up meetings and doing some legwork is always needed, just to mention a couple of practical things that have to be taken care of.
Physically the warrior-Odinist must keep himself in shape so that he can handle situations that call for firm actions; and we're not thinking only of the young male; we are, or should be, action-minded and aware that as our society becomes more violent, we may all have to deal with such problems.
We don't believe Ragnarok will happen in the same way every time; the historic period which began around the start of the 20th century is "our" Ragnarok.When one culture period is collapsing, when the spirit of the nations is getting ready for a new culture period, tremendous spirited and emotional upheavals take place. Historically, the christian era is ending; the dynamic, creative forces that gave rise to the Gothic cathedrals, the Renaissance paintings, the inspired composers, the inventions and discoveries, the great philosophical thinkers have dried up. The evil results of the culture, its character, are what we see now; but let us spare ourselves another repetition of all the ills of our time! These anti-life forces must still be fought; no doubt our gods will inspire us to choose the right methods to slay the dragons, so to speak.
At the time this process is taking place, we must nurture the creative forces of the new age and prepare the soil for the culture and secure our position as part of it.
In reality this means that every Odinist must be familiar with all three aspects of our Weltanschauung, of our life-philosophy; together they form a whole that cannot be divided. Without all three components our direction would be too narrow, and our efforts would lose all useful impact on the future of our Folk.
To sum up, all three aspects of Odinism are equally important; they are part of a totality that begins with the individual, then widening to include the tribes, and on the basis of these two aspects goes on to direct the tribes, and on the basis of these two aspects goes on to direct our actions toward fulfilling the destiny spun for us by the Norns.
.............From "The Odinist" newsletter 1990 issue #127 published by Elsie Christensen