Wyrd is the etymological equivalent in Old English of Old Norse Urth. The only modern definition of Wyrd is that it roughly translates to “fate”. That is not entirely accurate as Wyrd is centered around the significant deed, where one of the fundamental perceptions we have of Wyrd is the tendency of acts to ripple out in all directions from the point at which they take place, crating consequences far beyond what was intended at the time, perceived, or can be comprehended. Wyrd could be defined as fate if and only if we stopped acting indefinitely after an act or deed. Wyrd is much more than just fate. Wyrd is what we make our lives to be, moment by moment, deeds good and poor, woven together and built on the Orlog we inherited at birth.
Wyrd governs the working out of the past into the present and is nearly synonymous with the Norn Urth (that which is) as the activity of the Norns is also referred to as Wyrd as well. Wyrd is the interaction of the past and present as we look at it here—action and reaction—and is the weaving together of the sum total of past and present acts and their consequences. It is necessary to become a strong, self-reliant, and wise person with megin and luck through acting well and building off of right action to create a dominant and prosperous web of Wyrd woven in our lives that inevitably cross an indefinite number of other’s paths and have effect on them and their Wyrd. The web we weave by our deeds extends well beyond the comprehension of our existence in the cosmos. Wyrd permeates throughout time and space and is stored in the well of Urth layer by layer becoming Orlog. When I refer to deeds, I am not simply talking about mundane, monotonous daily activities. It is the times that activities acquire a special significance that go beyond our limited perceptions. We must prepare and place our lives in accordance with prescribed codes of conduct received from the past and by doing so, creating positive Wyrd, we protect our reputation and insure good fame for ourselves and those close to us. Our actions will be governed by what we know, therefore the wise man seeks to discover all that he can and attempt to associate himself directly with all he knows to be good and wise. By doing so, he will put himself in the best position to die well. It is then that we will fully understand the nature of Wyrd itself.
Wyrd is a continual presence and influence in the rituals, the artifacts, and everyday activities we find ourselves engaging in. It is how actions are related to actions and how significance is to be discovered in the ordinary sequence of events in our lives. If we are to find evidence of the operation of Wyrd, its sustained power and its past, we will have to examine the literary remains of the Germanic peoples themselves; only they will be able to place events in what will be their proper order and to give them their proper significance.
In the coming year be of positive substance and lay down right action. When choosing a course, ask yourself; does this better my church, and am I building, or am I causing chaos. Think of your words to others and ask yourself how you want to be known, or remembered.
Goði Nathan Erlandson