Recently there was an eight year old girl that discovered a Viking sword in a lake in southern Sweden. Honestly I can’t make these things up, according to the BBC she was just swimming felt something, grabbed it, and in true Viking style said something along the lines of “Dad I found a sword.” Seriously, who gets swords from lakes anymore? That’s so Arthurian of her, and to top it all off her first name is Saga.
So why am I talking about this? It’s about power and mythology. I am a 21st Century Viking and I have spent a lot of time reading the stories of my Gods, Odin the Wise Wanderer, Thor the Thunder God, Freya the Warrior Queen, and Loki the Trickster. A lot of people have heard about who they are and what they do. Odin needs to know everything and is willing to sacrifice every part of him to learn it. Thor is unendingly loyal to his own destruction sometimes, his heart just cannot get over the fact that people aren’t trustworthy. Although I hope you’re prepared to die if you break that trust, because you’re going to die.
Freya is conceited, vapid, and could care less about the strong handsome man that is courting her because he will just be another pretty thing to add to her list of pretty things, but seriously that kid being hurt over there for no reason. That’s a one way ticket to Hel for you because she doesn’t forget or forgive things that aren’t pretty. And Loki, what can one say about Loki that hasn’t already been said before. Loki can be summed up in a simple sentence of “I was drunk and it sounded like a good idea at the time.”
There is power in a simple act in this day and age. One simple act can blow up social media websites for good or ill. Most of the time it’s for the negative side of things, but then every once in a while you see the positive side of things. Like how the world reacts to the simple act of an eight year old girl pulling a sword from a lake. Saying things like I guess Sweden has a new Queen now. It can create or destroy a person’s life. It is that simple. With the platforms we have today, mistakes become permanent, and scandals become cannon fodder for the 24/7 media stream. We destroy each other with our own personal mythologies.As a 21st Century Viking I constantly look to the Gods and their stories, I read their mistakes that are written in poems and prose for the world to see. From that I try to learn. When I let myself get baited into a fight, let my temper get the better of me, or even try to just try and let loose and do something impulsive and crazy that might have repercussions down the line. I read the Stories and I learn from them, I read the Sagas and the tales of those that lived before me, because their mistakes have become permanent records. I read tales and legends from all over the world because I can learn from other’s mistakes. I read history books because in those books are the mistakes of the past.
The phrase the past is doomed to repeat itself if we don’t learn from its mistakes has rung true throughout the course of history. And what just happened, an Eight Year Old Girl Pulled a 1500 year old sword from a lake during one of the more unstable times in world history. I think it is time we as a generation wake up, step away from the 24/7 news streams, and talk to one another again. We need to realize there is another human there on the other side of the text message.
I think it is time to fight to build my community again as we had it in the past, to realize that we as Vikings were nothing without each other because one man cannot sail the Viking Long Ship alone. A one man raid is not very effective, nor is a one man shield wall. While one person can do a lot of damage, it takes a Viking to Raise a Village. I think it’s time I find people to make this world better starting with one, “Hello, how are you today?” a day. How about you?