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Today is another one of those Heathen Holidays I like to post about. However, this day is not like the others, given to martyrs and remembering the vile deeds done to the followers of our Heathen ways. No, this day is different.
This day honors when it was Us who did the doing. Namely, the Sacking of Paris by Ragnar Lodbrok, after he lay siege to it 120 longships filled with mighty Vikings! It was only through the giving of Danegeld by Charles the Bald that Ragnar was convinced not to burn the city, but leave it be.
Because any good Viking knows, why kill the cow for beef when you can get milk for years!
For this deed alone, it would be enough to remember mighty Ragnar. But there is more to this mighty man. Held to be a King of Denmark and Sweden, he is likely one of the most well known of the Vikings, and certainly one of the most successful, who battled all over the place. Indeed, he is likely to be even more manly than Thorkell the Tall.
To give a short list culled from the Wiki, Ragnar was connected to: Lathgertha (wife), Aslaug (also wife), Hvitserk (Whiteshirt) (son), Björn Ironside (son), Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye (son), Ivar Ragnarsson aka Ivar the Boneless (son), Ubbe, Ubba or Hubba Ragnarsson (son), and Halfdan (son). The last three sons were leaders of the Great Heathen Army that rose up in revenge for Ragnar’s death at the hands of Aella of Northumbria, a King in England. He is also connected to the Volsungs of the Volsung Saga via his wive Aslaug.
From the Wiki as well, there is a copy of his death song, said as he was thrown into a pit of vipers to be slain.
It gladdens me to know that Baldr’s father [Odin] makes ready the benches for a banquet. Soon we shall be drinking ale from the curved horns. The champion who comes into Odin’s dwelling [Valhalla] does not lament his death. I shall not enter his hall with words of fear upon my lips. The Æsir will welcome me. Death comes without lamenting… Eager am I to depart. The Dísir summon me home, those whom Odin sends for me [Valkyries] from the halls of the Lord of Hosts. Gladly shall I drink ale in the high-seat with the Æsir. The days of my life are ended. I laugh as I die.
So let us remember Ragnar Lodbrok, not as a martyr, but as a hero and an example of what we can become if we will it! Live life and seek deeds as if you would be his equal, so that you may stand in the halls of Odin, Freyja, and Hel without shame! Hail, Ragnar!
Yes! Ragnar is my favorite Viking of all time!
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Einar Valur Bjarnason Maack said:
Historically. Nobody would’ve celebrated that day anyway except maybe someone that would’ve gotten rich back then and retired. And that would’ve been a personal celebration for that individual and his kith and kin.
It’s not really much cause for celebration some 40 generations later.
This is one of those days that constitute as ‘M.U.S.’ which is an abbrevation of Made-Up-Shit.
And frankly, in connection to furpants, there is a lot of that around. Just because someone decided to make a tv show about the guy apparently the’s the most important thing ever.
Well. He wasn’t and shouldn’t be central to heathenry in any way more than any other ancestor. Especially those that are closer to us in lineage (your parents, grandparents and great grandparents are far more important, and should be, to you than a possible distant ancestor.)
Whilst I share approximately 1/4th of my genetic material with each of my grandparents (aside from what is really important which is communication, friendship and love) I could (if it were only through one branch) calculate approximately 1/137,438,953,472th of my genetic material from the proposed Ragnar, it being 37 generations back, never shared food or drink with him or had any communication and to my life he’s completely irrelevant except as Hollywood entertainment that seems to be taking over my faith like a fungal infection.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
On the one hand, everything you say is true.
But there is some value in “Made Up Shit.” As you put it.
Look at the cultural value of Columbus day, Thanksgiving, the various independence days of different nations, presidents day, etc, etc, etc. All of these things are made up days, celebrating things that probably don’t matter, and honestly aren’t individually connected to us as individuals.
So, culturally, even as mos, Ragnar Lothbrok day has serious cultural value. Sure, he got famous from a few sagas, and his got his own tv show, and sure most of us do not have much of a “genetic” connection to him. But he is a hero of our peoples. And to say he is irrelevant is to ignore the massive historical effects he had, not just on our people, but on the larger European theater. So honestly, which is worse? A “made up day” which celebrates the ideals we try to embody, a day which brings others to our faith because they want to learn more about Ragnar, his people, and our ways…or being “historically” accurate, and not celebrating anything to do with him and leaving who knows how many people without a gateway to rediscovering which is lost?