Happy Tyr’s Day
After my departure from Christianity, I began to study mythology. Not so oddly, I landed on the Norse/Germanic Myths being my heritage in large part is from northern Europe. From a faith stand point I don’t believe Odin is a true representation of the god that may actually exist anymore than I think the god of the Bible is a true representation of the god that actually exists. I just like the imagery of the Norse myths. They’re cool.
In this study of Norse mythology I came across the Wolves and Ravens of Odin. The Wolves are named Geri and Freki and the Ravens are Huginn and Muninn. Hunger, Fury, Thought and Memory respectfully. Or one could put it Need, Want, Mind and Wisdom. There is actually a pretty heavy debate on the meaning of these names but I liked the idea of them representing different philosophical ideas. Out of this I began to think more about what my philosophy of life should be and an expression came to mind. Mind you I don’t remember reading this anywhere, but I wrote it one day and it stuck in my head. “It’s OK to feed the Wolves but listen to the Ravens first.”
For me, the wolves have come to symbolize the driving motivations of life. We need to have certain things – food. clothing and shelter as a base level of existence. But we also want certain things. These forces are largely matters of desire and they cause us to be motivated. The real problem is that if you feed the wolves without thought or wisdom to how you are feeding them and why, you can end up in a worse state than you were before. We need to be motivated by what we need and want, but we need to pursue those things thoughtfully and wisely.
That where the Ravens come in. Thought and Memory. Reason/Knowledge on one hand and Experience/Wisdom. on the other. The imagery is the ravens perched on each shoulder telling us what we need to know and what wise course of action could be taken. Using this we guide our wolves productively.
“Of Wolves and Ravens” is about engaging this philosophy on various issues. I am thinking I will present a political issue, societal issue and a personal issue each week and examine them in the eyes of what we need, want, think and understand about them and hopefully draw some conclusions that will be both practical and sound in their philosophy.
Until next week, I remain,
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.