Happy Sol’s Day
We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.
We also don’t take an offering here. We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it. Let’s be honest, offerings are not given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it. Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.
Theme Song: “Idunn” – Trobar de Morte
You either understand or you don’t.
If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.
Sermon: “Idunn – The Renewer”
I know people might have been expecting Frigg, but Idunn is the goddess of spring, renewal, and youth. She is the wife of Bragi – the poet of the gods. I place her prominently because, to the followers of Asatru, she has become the patron goddess in many ways of the renewal aspects of Asatru. She is the one who is the most instrumental in the rediscovery and renewal of the old ways and making them new again.
In mythology, she figures prominently as the keeper of the golden apples of youth. When a god or goddess began to fade and begin to look old, they would come to her and take an apple and eat it. Their youth would then be restored. In the one-story where she figures prominently, she is the object of the giant’s desire, and she is captured by them thanks to Loki. Loki then is charged with rescuing her and he does. She is the wife of Bragi – the poet of the gods.
I like this version of not only renewal but the view of the gods. Even their immortality has a requirement from the universe for it to exist. It is not simply just there but requires renewal and that is the job of Idunn to grow the apples of youth and provide them when needed.
Rebirth and renewal and pretty universal pagan concepts. They appear in almost every mythology and are always considered in some ways vulnerable. That said, they are vulnerable not because they can be destroyed, but because they have requirements or locations which can be controlled by multiple people or things.
As spiritual concepts, renewal and rebirth are good ones. I know of no practitioner of paganism that at one point or another didn’t realize their need for a renewal of spirit or a rebirth moment from time to time. Stagnation and death are forces in this world and to avoid them requires renewal and rebirth.
To the Asatru movement, Idunn is a patron goddess who is thanked for her efforts in helping the Asatru being reborn and being given new life. To many, she symbolizes the rebirth of Neo-Paganism. In a sense, Asatru has been allowed to take a bite of the golden apples and be renewed after a long absence.
For me personally, the image and story remind me of several lessons:
1) I am engaged in a bit of a rebirth process for myself right now and as a 50-year-old man, it is a hard process. But rebirth and renewal are absolutely necessary if life is to continue. Change is a necessary part of life.
2) That what is precious should not only be honored but guarded. I look at the Asatru Movement and think also that while renewing and growing, it needs some sort of way to preserve it. The old ways were lost once before and perhaps finding a way to preserve this way of life against that possibility again is a good idea.
3) It also has to be concluded that in renewal, new things will be needed. There is simply too much lost, so the gaps will have to be filled with new ideas and concepts. New ways of doing things coupled with what we know of the old. Rebirth and renewal have that aspect as well.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.