Skáldskapr: Does skin color really make a difference?

This episode looks at the attempt by a select uneducated few to capture the rich cultural heritage created by the early Scandinavian peoples to represent a different narrative than that which was truly lived. They have attempted to use the runes in much the same way as the early monotheistic church mangled the legends of the Old Norse to exploit the general population’s misunderstanding of the mystical powers within the natural world. We know from historical facts that although the Scandinavian’s were predominantly lighter-skinned, it was only due to the circumstances. Our ancestry never identified a group of persons by their skin color, and although I did say predominantly white, it wasn’t always the case. There were other skin colors involved, and our ancestry would have treated them no different. My ancestors, the original Úlfhe∂nar would have colored their skin black with soot before battles, therefore, it is safe to assume that they accepted the differences as part of the natural world, and would have accepted the differences as part of life. To tout that it was something other than what it really was is to be ignorant of the facts of history. Let us open our minds and our hearts and seek the truth and understanding.

Hail Ó∂inn, Lord of Asgard, Warrior and wanderer, valiant and wise, You to whom all the gods of Asgard look, Sky Father on the eight-legged steed, You who traded an eye for wisdom and ruled a turbulent realm, Give us the wisdom to accept the twists and turns of Fate even as you surrendered yourself to the mercies of the Norns. Protect us, All-Father, from what harm may come to us. Lead us through the wilderness and bring us safely to that great hall that you reserve only for the brave of spirit. Ó∂inn, we come to you today to seek your wisdom and guidance. We ask that you bestow upon those here the wisdom about the subject in which we speak. Be with them as they go forth and live their lives. Let us sip the cup of Ó∂rerir to bestow the wisdom of Kvasir. We ask for guidance, that you be with us and guide us through the challenges that Hel lay before us. Help us to recognize Loki as he attempts to deceives us our true path. Hail Ó∂inn!!

I took some time during the last rising of the moon to walk and talk with Ódinn about this subject. With the guide of my spirit animal, we all transcended the BiFrost. We spoke of differences between peoples and beliefs. We spoke of the ignorance of those who would see a superiority or inferiority of anyone with any type of difference. Regardless of sex, color, body type, or disability, and how each would provide a benefit to the community, and to the clan as-a-whole. Each individual provides a certain level of balance to the clan’s strength.

In the midst of seeing many of the ancient runes being desecrated and being associated with a message of hate, I felt that it might be a good idea to help people know the truth about where our ancestors stood on this topic. As I mentioned, after speaking with Ódinn at-length, I fully understand the ridiculousness of any claim to skin color having any meaning to our ancestors. Completely preposterous! However, that definition comes from a world where men sought to live by the nine Nobel virtues, and were not weak with greed of power, with no real means to obtain it without completing it underhandedly.

As I further studied the ways of our ancestors, I realized how accurate Doctor Martin Luther King Jr’s statement, and beliefs were. His idea of not judging someone by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, was indeed, perfect in every way. Men are equal (as long as they had not become níðingar, where their manhood was surrendered because of their lack of honor). My ancestors would have viewed a person with darker skin the same way I do, no differently, unless they acted without honor. They would have given the individual time to display the content of their character, or whether they possessed honor or not. The pigment within their flesh wouldn’t have mattered at all.

Today let’s talk about hate and the spread of lies. These types of ignorant foolishness would have been propagated by the níðingar, or those without honor. In many cases today I find that those who are involved in the propagation of hate are typically cowards, and bullies, who choose to remain ignorant as a signature of the laziness, more often than not, never having the courage to stand alone. For it is far easier to remain ignorant and avoid the truth, than to face the truth of their own weaknesses and insignificance. Those individuals who have chosen to exploit these ancient ways are without honor, and a disgrace to the humans of Midgard.

Those who are attempting to usurp an ancient culture are ignorant of what the reality of those peoples were. They seek only to elevate themselves at the detriment of others, attempting to make others seem of lesser value. They are wrong. When attempting to seek understanding as to the appropriate value of all the parts, we need to consider the clan. The clan always came first. Maybe those ignorant people don’t understand living in the Arctic, especially before the invention of some modern technology. Being able to manage a growing clan with many different peoples, however, would have been manageable because each member of the clan (regardless of skin color, sex, or another disability) would have had a common goal of the clan in their hearts and minds at all times. If we think about the reality of our ancestor’s predicament, they would have enjoyed having others joining the clan, if they had honorable intentions. Additional clan members would have benefited the whole clan with:

  • Additional hands to help the spring planting, and fall harvest.
  • Additional hands to help with the raids perpetuated against England, France, and others.
  • Additional clan alignment options (marriages, breeding, etc).

However, any group that feels that someone who is different, either by skin color, by sex, or physical disability is foolish and destined to fail miserably. Understanding that there really is no societal benefit to separating members by any other reason except sex. While females may be of less physical strength than males, for their role in building families, and then, only for the matter of bearing children, and obviously feeding the infant. There is no reality to any other separation of the peoples. Ultimately, men are men, and women are women, and each provide a huge benefit to their clan communities.

Maybe this is where I don’t understand much of the rhetoric moving around the world today. Throughout history we have seen countless accounts where men are treated differently, yet I have always seen them as exactly the same. Nothing else about the man would have me treat him any differently, until his actions demand otherwise. However, my decision to treat him differently based on his actions was never based on any preconceived ideas based on any of the above listed characteristics. Instead, I reserve my judgment on a man until I see evidence of the nine Nobel virtues. The nine Nobel values were the foundation blocks to a Germanic Dane warrior, they are:

Honor – my ancestors based their whole lives around this one. It was everything to them. Knowing that this was the most critical of all virtues, dictates that I look to each man to uphold this core principle.

Truth – this was next up and dictated much of the (certainly) the Dane clans. Again, as a critically important principle, there isn’t a way to be honorable without being truthful in everything.

Courage – this was necessary to ensure the clan stayed together, it was very important, and therefore one looks at indicators as there just isn’t too many opportunities to go raiding anymore to demonstrate this.

Fidelity – this is very easy to spot, as a man can be both physically, or mentally unfaithful. Pride of conquest here leads to a reduction of honor, thereby undermining a Dane’s ability to remain honorable.

Discipline – this skill is a little more challenging to ascertain unless tempted with a violation. However, there are small insights we can gain while observing men today.

Hospitality – this trait demonstrates a man’s ability to offer those things he’s earned, as well as a degree of surrendering to ensure guests are made to feel welcome. Mercy if you will. This speaks to the honor of a man that can offer a servant attitude to help others. However, this is also the most exploited trait of others by many modern-day humans.

Industriousness – this trait is based on the honor a man has to providing for his family, and the clan as-a-whole. Not accepting a hand-out, earning his own way. Helping to make the world a better place, one small step at a time is what separates the failures from the successful.

Self-Reliance – in much the same way as industriousness, this is the display of being truly independent. Developing the skills and traits to provide for the self, and ones family speaks volumes about a persons honor.

Perseverance – this should go without saying, but bring a quitter has never been beneficial to a community, or a clan. Fighting through the hard times, and enjoying the good times is what people do. No excuses, get it done.

These are the characteristics that a man should be judged on, and nothing else. These are the traits that define the content of a persons character in which Doctor Martin Luther King Junior spoke eloquently of many centuries later. However, I caution each of us to ensure we have our own list cleaned up before casting stones at another. For it is easy to remain ignorant, and simply judge others. This is where I think we (as a society) have gotten off track. We have allowed our judgement to be swayed by the actions of the few. Many have lost their way in today’s world of good vs evil as defined and programmed into societies by the monotheistic churches of the modern world.

There are many reasons that men have chose to degrade and belittle other men, the primary being an attempt to satisfy their inferiority complex. Without the need for hand-to-hand combat, many men feel as if they have lost the measuring stick, while the in-breeding of men who feel that anyone physical weaker than themselves are their display tools. Many men choose to hide their weakness in a crowd, fearful of ever having to stand-alone. However the truth remains, that no man is born less than another, and it is not until his lack of these nine Nobel values is displayed that we can separate men into those of who, and who have not. In the days of our ancestors, men who disregarded their honor were considered outlaws, and a lesser man or equal to a slave. They were condemned and outcast as honor was the trademark of the early Germanic Danes. These days it may be much harder to tell, but thankfully those gutless níðingar typically are so possessed with the quest of power that it becomes evident within a short time.

Today’s Teaching:

Ódinn, wise and all seeing,

Help us to see how a man’s heart is beating,

Tell us for sure if anything else matters,

Will any other thing leave us in tatters?

Men and women are coming into our lives,

With cultures and personas of all size,

They enter our realm with questionable skill,

As a people should we love, or to kill.

Ódinn, wise and so true,

Should we bring these people to you?

Should we judge those who bring hate,

Or knowing time in Hel is coming, we wait.

Should we exercise our values upon them?

Or do we publicly condemn them as one.

Ódinn, your wisdom we seek for we know not,

We ask that Porr drop the hammer and make it stop.

For all those men who feel that skin color and hate are the answers, let me say in a loud, clear, and concise way, you are fools and have no honor. The Black River of venom awaits you after Skald reads your meaningless tapestry. I seek Ódinn and Tyr’s permission to piss on you as you drown for eternity. I welcome Ragnorök so that we may meet face-to-face that I may dismember you to feed the dogs. To utilize the symbols of our heritage to promote your message of weakness and hate demonstrates to all the realms that you are níðingar and shall be subjected to the punishment as such. Ódinn, hear my words, so be it.

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