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The word Wyrd is Old English and means 'destiny'. From the same root comes Urd, one of the Norns, and the Germanic words Werth, Warth, and Wurth, which mean 'become'. The root word means 'to turn' or 'to become' and relates to that which has become (past and present), and that which will become (future). The term Wyrd has been translated as 'Fate' but has a different meaning to the Greco-Roman concept of fate, as will be shown.
An interesting aspect of Wyrd is that it can be pronounced as 'Weird' or 'Word' and both of these reveal meaning within the concept of Wyrd. 'Weird' can mean fate or destiny, the Fates are sometimes called the Weird Sisters. Weird also means supernatural, unearthly, uncanny. This last is derived from un-Kenny- 'beyond our ken' or 'beyond our ability to know'. So the very word defies our ability to comprehend it.
In Norse mythology, Wyrd is a primal goddess and was the mother of the Norns. Her only appearance in surviving mythology seems to be her declaration that Vidar, son of Odin, will survive Ragnarok.
ORLOG: 'Primal-layer' or Wyrd, is the cosmic web of cause and effect that is influenced by, and influences everyone. Part of our Orlog is determined by the circumstances of our birth, our past lives, surroundings and so on. Orlog is not set in stone, for our choices in the moment are constantly modifying it. In other words, what we do now and have done in the past affects what happens to us in the future.
Orlog is described in Nordic mythology as being the external law of the Universe.
It seems at times to be a kind of 'Primal Goddess', an entity without beginning or ending, older and superior even than the gods and giants. The decrees of Orlog could not be set aside, and it was the pattern set by Orlog that the Norns wove, themselves bound by powers beyond their control. "Log", derived from Old Norwegian Lagu, means 'Law', only it is a much broader, more binding, concept of 'lore', knowledge and wisdom of the past, for use in the present.
The term 'Orlog' means something along the lines of First Law, Primal Law, Ultimate Law. The Law, as in the Law or Word of God. Seen also maybe as First Principle or Primal Layer. Basically, Orlog is the ultimate purpose, or great plan, of Creation.
Orlog and Wyrd: The definitions given so far for Orlog and Wyrd indicate that they are aspects of the same thing, that thing being 'Destiny', the predetermined pathway that Creation follows. However, that can be somewhat misleading. It does not mean 'predetermined' in the sense of 'unavoidable'. Many people regard Destiny as being either an excuse for doing nothing and assuming Destiny will 'find' them or an excuse for doing anything they want and 'blaming' it on Destiny.
The twin concepts of Orlog and Wyrd have no place for either of these attitudes. Instead, they are the natural course of one's life. Everybody is born with certain abilities; strengths in some areas, weaknesses in others. One's own Wyrd is the way these abilities will lead you through life. Problems, confusion, stress, and depression arise when we try (whether through our own actions or external pressure) to work against it.
This can be regarded as the Reality of our Life. Therefore Wyrd is related to the Web of Reality. The difference between Wyrd and the Web is that we can leave the path of our Wyrd, but the Web (Reality) of our new situation will always remain with us, and will constantly be attempting to pull us back on course. One of the principles of Asatru is to seek one's own Orlog and endeavor to work with it.
This means learning to live with the Reality of yourself, using your strengths and accepting your weaknesses, while at the same time attempting to use them as strengths by working with them and not against them. This shows that, while living against your Orlog creates problems, living in accordance with your Orlog will not necessarily be easy, although it will be regarded as challenging rather than problematical.
The concepts of Orlog and Wyrd do not end here, however. All things have their own Orlog, their own Path of Reality. This includes concepts and situations. It also includes Creation itself. All individual Orlogs are facets of the Universal Orlog, and all are part of the great Web of Fate being woven by the Norns.
The NORNS: In Norse mythology, the Norns are three female divine beings who have more influence over the course of destiny than any other beings in the cosmos. They dwell within the Well of Urd beneath Yggdrasil, the great ash tree that stands at the center of the universe and holds the Nine Worlds in its branches and roots. They shape destiny by carving runes into the trunk of the tree, or, in some sagas and poems, by weaving destiny like a web or tapestry. Their names are Urd, "What Once Was", Verdandi, "What Is Coming into Being", and Skuld, "What Shall Be".
What is Asatru? Consists of two parts, Asa refers to both the Aesir and the Vanir gods and goddesses. And Tru means faith. Thus Asatru literally means faith in the gods, although it is commonly misunderstood to mean 'true to the Aesir gods'. The faith is also referred to as Odinism or Norse Heathenry. The Old Norse term for 'heathenry' is "heidni".
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