mercredi 8 juillet 2015

VALHALLA

VALHALLA ))))))))) by Ron McVan
It was Wotan who ordained the laws which ruled the ancient
Teutonic tribes, and it was upon his command that dead warriors were burned with all that belonged to them on funeral pyres. For thus, by taking with him all his worldly possessions, the dead warrior would find them again when he reached Valhalla. Through this process Wotan was preparing the soul and spirit of the warrior to shed all his shackles of the gross material world of matter in Midgard (Earth) and enter into the non-corporal realms of the eternal spirit. Once the spirit was free from its material confines of human flesh it was then ready to reunite with Wotan and all the gods of Asgard and the many ancestral spirits that are assembled in the great and mighty golden hall of Valhalla.
Our brief fleeting time here in Midgard is essentially an experience in the lower conscious land of the dead (matter). Midgard is a testing ground of sorts for a spirit entity to express and demonstrate itself within a living body of human flesh. The bodies that we attach ourselves to are already beginning the process of dying at the moment of birth. In our fleeting blink of life we have only just enough time to display what we are made of as an animated soul and spirit. The more one understands the profound importance of their own singular purpose, deeds, time and destiny the more prepared they will be to return the non-corporal spirit realm of Asgard and if their deeds be noble they will enter the great hall of Valhalla with honor! The word 'Val' means dead or slain so that in essence the name Valhalla means "Hall of the Slain".
Unfortunately the ancient Romans, pitted their heroism and resolve against that of the Northern Teutonic tribes who cherished their freedom and were not ones to be pushed around by an aggressive superpower. However in the year 70 C.E. the soon-to-be Emperor Titus, leading a Roman army against a force of Jewish fanatics which had seized Jerusalem, exhorted these words to his troops in no different expression than the Northern pagan tribes would have put it : " ...What man of virtue is there who does not know, that those souls which are severed from their fleshy bodies in battle by the sword are received by the ether, that purest of elements, and joined to that company which are spirits, and propitious heroes, and show themselves as such to their posterity afterwards? While upon those souls that wear away in and with their un-tempered bodies comes a subterranean night to dissolve them to nothing, and a deep oblivion to take away all the remembrance of them, and this not withstanding they be clean from all spots and defilements of this world; so that, in this case, the soul at the same time comes to the utmost bounds of its life, and of its body, and of its memorial also. But since fate hath determined that death is to come of necessity upon all men, a sword is a better instrument for that purpose than any disease whatsoever. Why is it not then a very mean thing for us to yield up that to the public benefit which we must yield up to fate?"
Those fierce warrior woman of Asgard known as the "Valkyries", acted as both spirit guardians and helpful handmaidens to the warriors of Valhalla. When there are battles in Midgard, Wotan sends them to mingle with the combatants; it is their task to determine which warriors should fall, and they award victory to the side of the chieftains who gain their favor. The Valkyries, bedecked in shining armor, sail through the ether on their fiery chargers down to Midgard into the thick of the battling Aryan mortals. They are known to be invisible except to those heroes who were fated to die. To those whom they had chosen to become a companion of Wotan they would appear suddenly and make that warriors imminent fate known. The Valkyrie would then bestow a gentle kiss of death upon the chosen warrior. Then the Valkyries would return to Valhalla and announce to Wotan the impending arrival of those warriors who were about to join the countless ranks of his followers. The Valkyries are known to lift the souls of fallen warriors up from the battlefield to Valhalla placing the heroes body across the backs of their horse. These maidens were pictured as young and beautiful, with dazzling white arms and flowing golden hair. The name 'Valkyrie' translates to (Chooser of the Slain). Brynhild has distinguished herself as one of the more familiar of names among the Valkyries and the goddess Freyja still reigns as "Queen of the Valkyries".
"There through some battlefield, where men fall fast, Their horses fetlocked-deep in blood, they ride, And pick the bravest warriors out for death, Whom they bring back with them at night to Valhalla, To glad the gods and feast in Wotan's hall."
Among Wotan's warriors in Valhalla is his specially chosen elite cadre known as the "Einherjar". The great warrior Hermod ( a son of Wotan) is known as one of the high chiefs among the elite Einherjar. When the legendary "Hakon the Good" was transported to Valhalla after his death it was Hermod and Brage who were sent to meet and receive him. Hermod, distinguished in former battles acquired the title, "The One Endowed With The Martial Spirit". The hope of going to Valhalla for those that were not fortunate enough to die as a warrior in battle gave rise to a ritual to give even the most sedentary man a chance to make the grade. In order to go to Wotan's Hall it was considered sufficient enough to receive a cut from the point of a spear. Equally efficient but considered even more worthy was to hang one's self. Among others, the hero Hadingus did this however it is a most extreme last resort.
The symbol of the Wotan's Einherjar which consists of three interlocking triangles to form the appearance of one triangle is called the "Valknut", (Knot of the Slain). The Valknut by its own binding and loosening is especially demonstrated in the field of battle. It also contains and incorporates the powers of the numbers 3 and 9. The three sided triangle combined three times to make nine. The Valknut as a talisman is worn only by those warriors who choose to give themselves of Wotan. The Valknut serves as a sign of commitment to Wotan that one is ready to be taken into the ranks of his chosen warriors at any given time that he chooses. The Valknut also as a symbol of trinity represents the three-fold nature of reality: past, present and future. It is as all triune symbols representative of cosmic creativity.
In Valhalla heroic warriors feast, fight and die day after day in training for the greatest of all battles ever fought at the coming day of Ragnarok. Each night their wounds are healed and the three boars whose flesh they eat renew themselves as rapidly as they are consumed. The names of the boars are, Andrimner, Sarimner and Eldrimner. Respectively they represent, breath (air, spirit), Sea, (water, mind), and fire (heat, desire and will).The daily training battles of the warriors of are fought on a vast field that stretches out before Valhalla called, "Vigridsslatten", or more commonly known as "Vigrid", which measures a thousand leagues on each side. The name translates as "The Plain of Consecration".
Wotan’s warriors are sometimes referred to as the "One-Harriers". A One-Harrier is one who harries, commands, or controls, one---himself. Upon entering Valhalla a warrior has already to a greater degree overcome his lower animal and human self and united with the higher cosmic purpose of his pure spiritual existence. With each veil of death that we conquer we come that much closer to the "Hamingja" or God-self within our ongoing quest of self-transcendence. Valhalla serves as a constant exercise of will, firm control of every thought and impulse, complete selflessness at all times, in all situations. Wotan's warriors never rest upon their laurels but continue to play a vital part in the eternal struggle of life.
"The Hall Gladsheim, which is built of gold; where are in circle, ranged twelve golden chairs, and in the midst one higher, Wotan's Throne."
It has been handed down to us that Valhalla is a huge fortress in Asgard (realm of the gods) shining bright with dazzling gold. It has extremely high walls stretching far and wide in the region of Asgard called "Gladsheim". The rafters supporting the roofs are mighty spears, the tiles are colossal shields and the benches in the vast hall itself are strewn with war coats. Valhalla is protected by many barriers: it is surrounded by a river of time which serves as a moat, named Tund, wherein a werewolf, Tjodvitner, fishes for men's souls. Tjodvitner is one of the names of Fenris, the wolf sired by Loki the deceiver. Valhalla's gate is protected and secured by magic. The gate at Valhalla is known as the "Gate of Choice", or "Gate of Death", whose latch can be opened by few. Valhalla is further protected by Wotan's two giant wolfhounds Gere and Freke.
There are various barriers that surround Valhalla and each barrier is symbolic of human weaknesses that must eventually be conquered before gaining entry. First are the two rivers, Tund (time) and the river Ifing (doubt). Ifing is known as the river that separates men from the gods. If the warrior does not maintain unwavering purpose and self-direction he can easily be swept away by the turbulent currents of his former temporal human existence. All nature is said to rejoice when the aspirant attains this goal. Next, the candidate must overcome the awesome specter of Wotan's hounds Gere and Freke and what they represent, (fear) and (gluttony). Thirdly he must be able to mentally attain the secret required to pass through the magic gate of Valhalla which requires strength of aspiration, purity of motive, and inflexible resolve. Next upon encountering the wolf Tjodvitner he must overcome his own human beastial nature. The eagle at the entrance represents pride which he must also conquer. Lastly, before entering Valhalla's domain he must relinquish all his personal weapons of offence and defense and protective armor. The surrender of weapons is the hallmark of the Mystery traditions. Those brave heroes who have succeeded in making the grade into Valhalla have no further use for the schoolroom of Midgard but are free to return to Midgard on their own volition should they desire to help and teach those who lag behind them on the evolutionary ladder.
In the evening the Hall of Valhalla is lighted by the flash of swords which reflects the huge fires burning in the midst of the festive tables. There are five-hundred and forty doors that open into Valhalla, each wide enough to admit eight hundred soldiers abreast. These numbers 540 and 800 are of key significance. Multiplying 540 x 800 we get 432,000 warriors and the same number of halls. These numbers are exact code numbers for astronomical cycles. Over the western door is fixed a gigantic wolf's head and an eagle tirelessly wheels above. Perched on Valhalla's highest roof-ridge like a living weathercock stands Gullinkambi, the cock who will crow just once, to awaken Wotan's warriors on that dreadful morning at the dawn of Ragnarok (destruction of Midgard, the gods and all life). What Ragnarok in fact represents is the return of the three great comets that will bring total destruction to earth and all humankind that even God and all the gods of Asgard cannot prevent. The Christians depict these three great evils by the names Satan, Leviathan and Behemoth. Wotanists know them as Fenris Wolf, Jormungand the World Serpent and Garm the Dog.
Our pagan ancestors were yea-saying, life-affirming folk; still, they did not believe in clinging to life at all costs. This was obvious from their readiness and willingness to fight and die when necessary in battle. They were explicit in their recognition of the legitimacy of justifiable suicide, which they accepted not as a cowards way out but rather an expression of the principle of 'death before dishonor'... the supreme act of human defiance. The wise man neither seeks to escape life nor fears the cessation of life, for neither does life offend him nor does the absence of life seem to be any evil. Midgard is a schoolroom not a playground... yet we can still both learn and enjoy the sweet miracle of our life experience in Nature as we perform on this stage that our gods have provided us.
VALHALLA BOUND
To victory I am born, and not to common toil, I keep my sights on the boundless heights, to my kinsmen I am loyal. Like the Spartans at Thermopylae, that spirit is a part of me, to seek a noble destiny, with an iron will undying!
There are no foes I feign to meet, no challenge that I do not greet, and when life is at last complete, my final battle won... I'll stand with Wotan eye to eye, with Freyja ride to Asgard high, intrepid spirits never die, in that gleaming grand Valhalla!
The heroes legend travels far, like warriors of the Einherjar; so reach brave kinsman for that star, that no one can deny you! Through endless time our spirits pour, as waves against a stormy shore, and life goes on for evermore! Like the fame of a great man's deeds! Like the fame of a great man's deeds!
................Ron McVan
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