The following is excerpted from Return of a Green Philosophy.
The majority of people believe that luck is nothing more than chance. If you’re a Christian, not only do you believe in chance but also grace, which is “a Christian theological term denoting divine gifts without which human salvation would be impossible.”[i] Both of these beliefs are external to us and out of our control. They are not dependent on our hearts, our minds, or our spirits. With these beliefs, there is no need to strengthen our mind and spirit or awaken our heart.
These beliefs are not Norse-Germanic. Being lucky or unlucky is not chance but a reflection of us, a reflection of our minds. Accordingly, “the inner state of a man in luck is described in Icelandic as a whole mind, heill hugr, which of course comprises wisdom as well as goodwill and affection. The man of whole mind is true to his kin and his friends, stern to his enemies, and easy to get on with, when lesser men come seeking aid. His redes are really good gifts to the receiver—whole redes, in Icelandic heil ráð.”[ii]
The ancient word rede means “counsel, advice.” It goes hand in hand with luck. It “is a perfect illustration of Teutonic psychology. When given to others, it means counsel; when applied to the luck working within the mind, it means wisdom, or a good plan, and from an ethical point of view, just and honest thoughts. But the word naturally includes the idea of success, which accompanies wise and upright devising, and on the other hand power and authority, which are the working of a sound will.”[iii] Likewise, “a redeless man is weakened by lack of will, lack of power, and lack of self-assertion.”[iv]
Words and actions reflect a person’s luck. A person who continuously lies or tells half-truths would be known to have unluck and recognized as a niðing. This person lacks honor and courage with the connotation of being a villain.
It makes sense then that a strong and powerful mind and a strong will—in other words, luck—are under Þórr’s guidance as protector of humanity and the earth. Once again, we see how the attributes of Þórr may guide us and assist us in overcoming our struggles of life. A mind that is powerful and resolute with total focus, intent, and will, without any extraneous chattering or mind-talk is developed through the practice of becoming one with nature. This ability is cultivated through participation mystique. This is a knowing of the things of life and their inherent mysteries through the experience of the mundane as well as the spiritual. Participation mystique may be as simple as sitting alone under a tree and listening to the sounds of nature and our own hearts, or as complex as dawn bathing in a stream. Additional practices and actions may include such things as fasting and exposure to the elements. When I lived on the coast of Maine, every time there was a Nor’easter, I ran to the edge of the ocean cliffs and experienced through all my senses, absorbed through my whole body, the power of the storm—one with the essence and force of Þórr’s power. Participation mystique is essential and will result in a transformation of consciousness—and magic happens. When we are one with nature, we may elicit acts that others may view as miraculous, such as calming or calling the wind.
However, the present-day technology of smartphones and social media is a hindrance to a strong mind and these abilities. If need be, it would be best to use both sparingly. A strong mind is a mind of luck—a Norse mind, where there is no separation between the soul and the body. This is just not human bodies but all bodies—stones, trees, animals, and so forth. In other words, a strong mind is a consciousness of unity or radical nonduality.
[i] Jonathan Z. Smith, The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, 392.
[ii] Vilhelm Grönbech, The Culture of the Teutons, 90.
[iii] Ibid., 89.
[iv] Ibid., 90.