Guided by True North by Witan Brandy Callahan
I have been asked what the meaning of “Guided by True North”, the motto displayed on the Baldrshof flag, means or represents.
For many who have followed their path to Asatru, it often feels like a "calling" or a "coming home". The new follower of Asatru is welcomed with open arms into whichever organization, social media group, or church they have chosen, but then what? What happens when the "newness" and the excitement of finally finding that beacon you have been searching for fades away? What happens when you have had your fill of Viking memes and Havamal quotes, and you need something more?
When the "shine" starts to wane from your newfound spiritual path and the confusion sets in from constantly being told "You're doing it wrong", it is time to start finding your True North.
True North is the geographical location of the Northern Pole. It is a constant that will not move, will not change, and can always be found. It will differ from magnetic North shown on a compass due to magnetic declination which varies depending on your location on Earth.
Asatru also has a "true" and a "magnetic" North.
The "magnetic North" of Asatru depends on many things. The social climate of the time, the newest archaeological find, the best and brightest of the new YouTubers, the next best-selling book, or recently published academic paper. The "true north" of Asatru never wavers faith in yourself, faith in your family, faith in the Gods, faith in your Folk. When these four foundations are solid, you will always have something to hold onto when the world shakes around you.
Find Yourself: Uncover your strengths and identify your own weakness. With honest intention, evaluate your beliefs and values and incorporate them into your spirituality. Bring only the best and brightest of yourselves to your Gods and to those you call family and kin.
Find Your Ancestors: You would not exist without the love, trials, tribulations, strengths, and sometimes failures of thousands before you. Learn about them and learn from them. Strengthen your ties to your history, honor the lives before yours, and take pride in the name you were given. Live in such a way that your children and their children will walk the paths on Midgard with heads held high and with pride, in the foundation you have laid at their feet.
Find Your Gods: Seek the wisdom of Odin, the strength of Thor, the foresight of Frigga, the love of Freya, the goodness of Baldur, the courage of Skadi, the beauty of Sif, the creativity of Bragi, the skill of Ullr, the dedication of Idunna, the selflessness of Tyr, the decisiveness of Forseti, the talent of Eir, the knowledge of Saga... Learn from your Gods and from your lore. Preserve the culture that they represented. Keep the knowledge and the worship of our Gods alive and known. Be worthy to gain their attention and strive to take their notice.
Find your Folk: Asatru is not, nor has it ever been (despite current popular opinion) a solitary practice of faith. During the times of our ancestors, only the outlaws were left to live life outside of the community gates. It is through our Folk, our churches, kindreds, and families that we find strength and understanding. Nearly all tenants of honor and worth in Asatru are based on the needs and success of families and communities. Join a community. Do your best to serve it and protect it. It is your tribe or clan that determines your worth, not the outside world or those outside the community gates.
Witan Brandy Callahan