When I studied ancient Scandinavian runelore under Prof. Dr. Else Ebel (Who would whack me with a stick should she read this blog;-)) we treated the subject of the Rök runestone. I do not quite remember how we came by it, but we also talked about the "secret" runes, presumably translating "Sibbe vaivari ól niraethr". That presumably translates: "Sibbe the sentinel of the sacred at the age of ninety breeded". I do not want to interpret this, and this is not about it being a correct translation. What it is about is, that the term "Vaivari" really touched me. It is cognate with modern English "warrior". There also is an inscription that, amongst other things, says:
"Ubar iak vari" which presumably translates: "I ward off evil". This is no runeological essay, however, but it led me to a meditation about the topic.
What is the difference between a soldier and a warrior?
That seems quite easy to say. A soldier is paid for his service, and while he might also be a warrior, he works as a soldier because he is told to. Then what is a warrior? He or she is a man of war, that much most can agree on. But in the context of that translation, might it be correct or not, another light is shed upon the term.
In this context, the varior wards of evil from the sacred place. In the context of the Rök stone, it is a legend about Theodoric. The stone itself has a place, and makes up a space of sacred ground. May it be that the varior was a warrior to guard the sacred places?
There are sacred places still, but more so there are virtual sacred areas in our modern mindset. For instance, we have a concept of "good and evil" that was not being trespassed for a long time, ethical concepts in general, the protection of children and women, respect for the elderly and fellow humans, respect for nature, respect even in battle. Even deadly foes paid a minmum of respect to each other.
All this is undermined in a modern mindset. But I do not want to rant on endlessly about that. Modern society is not evil, but thoughtless and pubescent.
I was searching for a name for the path I was walking on for a long time already. I am not a warrior, nor a soldier. But I have tried to ward off evil from the sacred places.
To me it is:
-to preserve the myths and knowledge of crafts
-to present fairy tales, sense of wonder, respect and meaning to children and give it back to the grown who have lost it
-to heal and listen to the weak and poor, to the sick and despised
-to reflect myself as much as I can
-to give love to my loved ones and those in need
-to gain knowledge and the wisdom to agnize the development of the law of the universe and those concepts we call good and evil
-to spread the dream and to fight against the loss of the spirit
-to fight to death, if necessary, against injustice and to protect the law of the sacred place that is the universe
In that, I do what I do. It can be found in my working, my love, my crafts, and my training.