HONOR, SACRIFICE, REPUTATION, AND BEING A HEATHEN WARRIOR
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Odin’s Warrior Tribe is made up of heathen warriors and our families who follow what we like to call the Norse/Germanic heathen faith. Outside of the Tribe, our Northern European faith is part of the larger neo-Pagan revival movement whose followers use many names and countless variations. Whether it is Norse heathenry, Asatru, Odinism, Old Ways, Forn Sidr, Norse Paganism, Theodish, Irminism, or names like Sedian, or Alt Sidu – the list is long. These names and variations within them are different and can be confusing. Some people spend their days arguing about these various names and what they mean - who is right and who is wrong? There are also practices that blend things like Wicca and Asatru and there are groups that are mostly just a name - who seem to resemble other faiths and their real motives are not faith, but social justice and/or political agendas and issues. That said, what the Gods and your ancestors call you to, should be authentic for you. If someone tells you though that their path is the only “true” path and that you are damned or some $*!^ for not doing it their way - well that’s another religion talking – and it is time for you to run. Make sure they are honorable people - if not again run.
When joining any type of faith group, first clear you mind and try to get in touch with your inner self, your ancestors, and the Gods. I would suggest going on a “Utiseta” vision quest. At a minimum, study the faith and visit the graves of your ancestors. This is probably the most important decision you will ever make. What feels right and what is calling to you? Do not be too quick though. In our Tribe we require all prospects to have read both Eddas and at a minimum two other related works. We discuss these works with them. Do not be the person that all mock because they were a born-again Christian two months ago, a Buddist one month ago, then a Satanist for a few weeks, then a Muslim, or whatever before they watched “Vikings” on TV and thought that was cool…
Becoming a heathen usually starts out as an individual choice, but an increasing number are being born and raised heathen. If you take the crucial step of joining a faith organization, community, or kindred you make a choice and you agree to use a name or label – their name – and follow the way they define the faith and its variations. A Tribe is different though and it should be different. Some just use and like the name “Tribe” because it sounds cool. Sure, it is cool, but in our view, a Tribe is much more than that. You do not “join” a Tribe in the truest sense. You are chosen and when you become a Tribesman, or Tribeswoman, you are swearing an oath that along with your family should take precedence in your life. Being in a warrior Tribe increases your resilience and resistance to the BS and the victim mentality of the modern world. We incorporate these concepts in our events and activities for all veterans – the concept of “Once a Warrior always a Warrior.”
In our Tribe, we are constantly researching and studying to make the practice of our faith as authentic and traditional as possible for our modern world. We see it as the Northern European faith of our ancestors and now ours. We have seen other groups that also search for, and practice, traditional heathenry and we applaud their efforts and feel genuine kinship with them – indeed we share frith with many of them. Some neo-Pagan groups just make stuff up or adopt practices from other groups that made them up. We do not, and never will, seek to unite all Norse heathens, Asatruars, Norse Pagans, Odinists, or whatever under some common banner. That is not our goal. Sharing frith with many of them sure. Our mission is to create a heathen warrior Tribe and we are principally composed of active duty, retired, and veteran military, as well as law enforcement, firefighters, and EMT’s. We are the best of Norse/Germanic heathen warriors and we do not tolerate fake or pseudo warriors.
Are we the only heathen warriors in this revival movement of pagan beliefs? Of course not. There are many real warriors, combat veterans among them, who believe the same things we do, but they may still go to church or wherever out of habit and family tradition. They are not whole though – their warrior philosophy, experiences, and their faith do not fit together at all. There are many heathen warriors outside of our Tribe – we know many of them and some are friends. There are also large numbers of lone wolf heathen warriors who practice their own version of Norse/Germanic spirituality on their own. Many of them are afraid of a real commitment. That is fine and they are not the ones we would choose anyway – because when the rubber meets the road they will not be there. Unfortunately, they have not recognized the power of belonging to a pack or experienced the power of a Blot or Sumbl. It is easy to go to the altar in the corner of your house and do some idiosyncratic thing that you made up or saw on some You Tube guru’s video. Other heathen warriors are spread throughout various pagan, heathen, Asatru, etc. groups and they generally strengthen these groups unless these groups are so far off the rails that a heathen warrior cannot exist within their ranks. Some of these groups actively mock, or show disdain for, real warriors and say that being a warrior has nothing to do with “their faith.” That is not our view – read the lore, read the Sagas, read history, study archaeology… The burial mounds of our warrior ancestors were filled with swords, spears, shields, and axes not video games and protest signs. We once had a talk with a fellow veteran prospect who became interested in our Tribe after the local “kindred” they belonged to made them attend three hours of toxic masculinity training - mandatory for all their members??
If you define yourself as a heathen warrior, or want to be one, what is your mission? Now is the time to for you to define that – if you have not done so already. Just surviving is not a mission. We believe that one of our missions as heathen warriors is to establish a reputation built on honor. For some they will even become a legend in the process. For that you must fully devote your time, energy, and resources to the task. This means living a bold life full of honor and courage and achieving real mastery and success in your chosen field – one that will make you a legend. This quest will entail supreme sacrifice and it is a never ending one – that is until you die and then only your reputation or lack thereof will be remembered. Pursuing the path of a heathen warrior could consume you physically and mentally and it entails risk. Whether parachuting out of an aircraft at 24,000 feet or at 300 feet (I got chewed out for that one – I did it in a foreign country – with their military – their aircraft, their parachutes, their rules, but such a low level is against US military regulations, but it built a reputation).
OWT Chieftain in Military Freefall operations
In pursuing honor and a reputation, you could be wounded, lose your friends, and/or lose your family from the emotional cost or you could die. We remember and honor William Travis, Jim Bowie, and the legendary Davy Crockett – they all died at the Alamo. We remember Norwegian King Harald Hardrada who died at Stamford Bridge in 1066, the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok – whom we know as a combination of a few facts and legendary myths, Beowulf, who died as a valiant King slaying a dragon, and Sigurd, who was murdered. The list of real and semi-mythical heroes goes on. Death is not the goal - that will come to us all in the end. Honor and reputation are.
Honor and Reputation are, and should be, important concepts and goals for both heathen men and women but let us be honest we know they are essential for a real heathen warrior – especially men. Honor is the overarching principle that binds all the other virtues of our noble ancestors and it must guide you on your quest for legendary reputation. We have 13 virtues in our Tribal Code, some neo-Pagan groups use nine, some call them different things, they are often similar, but not always the same and when they start to read like some new age thing – again, run.
As a heathen warrior, you must attempt great deeds – not simply speak words. Talk is cheap whiskey - deeds are the $200 a bottle Scotch. Even if you attempt and fail in trying to accomplish a great deed the attempt itself could make you legendary. You must also tell others of your great deeds. There is a time to be a quiet professional to avoid giving away information to our enemies, but if you do not tell your fellow heathens about your achievements or they do not see them - how will they know? Pretending you are building a reputation while trolling FB pages and commenting on and mocking the posts of others, and at the same time avoiding real adventures and taking real risks, is a farse. Your reputation is not built online, but it can be destroyed online. The loud-mouths of social media exaggerate their importance and pretend to be something they are not – they will never be anything real and worthy.
In our ancestors' world, to become a drengr meant to be emulated and praised. It was the highest compliment. If you accept the mission of living as a heathen warrior, you must completely reprogram yourself to strive for the status of a drengr. You must give up mediocrity and the mundane. You must constantly train, study, and live a life of heathen virtues and spirituality. You must give up the false idols, causes, and false heroes that are fed to you by a biased media that sees you as a consumer. You must identify, and emulate, real and legendary heroes in history, or in our times. They may be warriors, or artists, or builders, or philosophers, or writers or martial artists, or musicians, but they should be masters of their field and exceptional people for you to want to emulate them. Many of them died in their quests. Their goal was honor and reputation not a life of tranquility playing scrabble.
Seek your reputation. “F” the modern world – revolt against it. Stay aware of what is happening around you and to the threats to you and your family, but do not lose yourself in the day to day garbage of what is playing out. Read books, study languages, train, travel, go sit on a grave mound for “Utiseta” instead. The world is spinning out of control with a virus and violence and many are facing economic hardships and obstacles. It is time to analyze your situation, identify your goals, your resources to accomplish them, and to borrow the cliché improvise, adapt, and overcome – do not adopt the victim mentality.
Do not be weak, submissive, or allow yourself to be defeated, and do not take a knee unless it is to be knighted by your sovereign - if you have one. I recently saw a video of a group of California National Guard Soldiers taking a knee before protestors. It does not matter what cause they knelt for – it is not about the cause - they as American soldiers showed themselves as defeated, weak, and submissive. They dishonored their ancestors and the uniform they wear. They went home that night and maybe had some feel-good moment when their partners told them they were proud they had subjugated themselves, but in truth they are dishonored. That is what a decadent and decaying system wants to do to you - bring you down to that level of dishonor. Stop wasting your time and being afraid to change and stand against the storm – live a life of honor and courage, reject mediocrity, and build your reputation. Identify all the obstacles that stand in your way and waste your life and eliminate them, whether that is too much booze, smoking, too many video, or football, games, or porn. That includes those people that stand in your way – the cynics the naysayers – those that just want to pull you down into their gutter with alcohol and drugs – dump them or if they are family tune them out. There is a time for feasting and drinking with your fellow heathens and friends, but alcoholism is a disease and one that must be treated, or it will destroy you and all those around you.
You are more like your friends than you realize. If your friends are losers – you will be a loser. If they try to talk you out of your dreams, they are worse than a loser they are a saboteur. Many heathens have parents or grandparents who tell them they are going to Hell. Laugh it off or Just say, yes, I am probably going to Hel, but maybe it will be Valhalla, or one of the other halls, and I love you Nana.
If you chose to follow the path of the heathen warrior, call on the Gods to inspire you, especially Odin and Tyr who we admire because of their honor and sacrifice. Emulate the Gods and live a life of heathen virtue. Look at our Tribal code and our 13 virtues - Honor, Courage, Truth, Fitness, Loyalty, Brotherhood, Discipline, Hospitality, Integrity, Industriousness, Self-Reliance, Perseverance, and Simplicity. We wish you luck and let us know if we can help.
“Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But I know one thing that never dies,
The reputation of the great dead.”
By Hrolfr - Chieftain OWT