The Soul Complex, a summary
It's an age-old question. It's taken up many pages in many books, it's been pondered by philosophers, social commentators, and religious leaders for centuries. "What is the soul?" Many cultures across this planet have differing viewpoints on this topic. Recently we had a Gothar meeting on the subject. By the time you read this, Alsherjargothi Flavel and Witan Herul will have had a discussion on Victory Never Sleeps about the Soul and its many parts. Webster's Dictionary defines it as such, : the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life : the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe : a person's total self : an active or essential part : a moving spirit : the moral and emotional nature of human beings : the quality that arouses emotion and sentiment. : spiritual or moral force : FERVOR That's the definition, but what do we, as Asatruar define as the soul? Simply, it's what animates you, makes you unique, it's what makes you...you. It's what makes you human, it's what separates us from animals. We, in the Asatru Folk Assembly believe that the soul, is broken down into parts. Here in this edition of The Runestone, we will explore the different parts of the Soul Complex, and how each part of the Soul makes us who we are. This will not be exhaustive, but a summary, pulling from Asatru, A Native Spirituality, by Founder Stephen McNallen, and Runelore, by Edred Thorsson. Over the coming months, we will break down each component of the soul, pulling from different sources. If we were to try to compile all we know here, this will turn into a book. Rather than do that, we’ll spread it out over the coming months. Now that we have defined what the soul is, let's break down the soul, as it is seen in Asatru, in a summarized list.
Lík, The physical body.
Ek, the ego.
Hugr, the logical mind.
Önd, Vital Breath.
Hamr, The Projected Self.
Sál, The Shade Self, that which is hidden.
Hamingja, The Luck or Personal Spiritual Might.
Fylgja, or the Fetch, The Primal Essence
Óðr, or Wode, the Ecstatic State, the combination of Hamr and Sál.
In the coming months, we will do a deeper dive into each component, beginning with the Lik. We will explore exercises for each component, and how to use each for your spiritual journey. Each component makes up the whole, and we will also explore how each part interplays with some or all of the others. Hail the Gods. Hail the Folk. Hail the Asatru Folk Assembly.
Gothi Daniel Young