“Being mind-sick and anxious, self-counseled thrall, Völva’s good words,
slain newly fallen, their brother’s killer – although met upon the road,
a house half-burnt, a horse too swift – that stallion un-usable if one foot broken.
Watchful men are safe, before believing in all these.
-Havamal 87, Wright translation
völu vilmæli / Volva, and, kind words, good will
Why would one need-be watchful of a Volva’s kind words?
What might does a Volva’s word – even kind or fortunate – have on an individual? Perhaps, the unwise man would be easily swayed, and so manipulated to carry-out the Volva’s words; perhaps a man middle-wise would change his decision and so find himself off course.
None are more taken in by flattery than the proud,
who wish to be the first and are not.
-Benedict de Spinoza, 1600s
Tis an old maxim in the schools, that flattery’s the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit will condescend to take a bit.
-Jonathan Swift, 1700s
A fool flatters himself, a wise man flatters the fool.
-Edward Bulwer Lytton, 1800s
From the beginning of this book, my stance has been that Har took the Hero’s Journey, and in so doing, became Wodan. Namely, not one easily effected by the words of another (or daily life circumstance). Having grown through experience – enough to be unfettered by flattery, and so stand as a free man – unswayed by the thoughts of others, Wodan became a god among men. Rising above all others, via example, as Hero’s do, he become the Ubermensch. (Reference verses: 6, 8, 9, 18, 20, 22, 73, and all the ‘unwise’ verses.)
In that many Americans are raised with a Judao-Christian environment (familiar or societal), their subtle programming is brought into question when they begin to identify as Germanic Pagans. Moreso when they delve deep into the Lore; for throughout the Eddas and Sagas, Immrama and Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Book of Veles and Kalevala – one encounters the perennial question: ‘Is freedom compatible with the intervention and foreknowledge of the gods?’ Or, ‘Do the Norns shape the life of all men from birth, or does one have a choice in weaving their own thread?’ Or, ‘What demarcates the herd from the herder?’”
-exerpt, Havamal: The Language of Being (forthcoming)
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Bottom photo: Spells of Infinity