It appears that I was fated to be a follower of Asatru all a long. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself when I saw it. I mean, a lot of things had to come together over many many years for this to happen.
My father’s name was/is Robert Norman (deceased) and everyone called him “Bobby”. He had three children; me and two younger brothers by his wife Elizabeth Juanita (yes, I’m leaving off our last name) and was called Juanita. They named me Bobby Glen, next brother Robert Wayne, and youngest Rodney Neal. So, I got his nickname “Bobby”, Brother got his first name “Robert”. (“Hi, I’m Bob and this my other brother Bob”.) and youngest got his initials, R.N. We were called by our middle names (until I joined the Army and they refused to call me by anything except my first name) after Mama. That all happened back in the sixties.
Many many years later, here I am following the Asatru way. It has been called by some as the religion with homework. I found my way back to the ancestral way in 2018 and indeed there has been endless study. Forward to today, I was watching a video by Jackson Crawford on one of my favorite topics the Moon. Mundilfori had a son He named Mani (moon) and a daughter Sol (Sun). He married his daughter to a fellow named…wait for it….Glen! Yep, there was my name smack dab in the Prose Edda. I never would have even thought that that name would be in a Medieval Scandinavian text but there it was spelled Glenr; Glen plus the “r” is masculine.
Well, well, well…it appears I am right were the Norns have fated me to be. I’m not sure how I will tell my wife that I’m already married to someone else and I hope I don’t get sued for bigotry. But, being married to Sunna (Sol) is pretty darn cool. Don’t you think?
What started me on the path to polytheism? What made me turn my back on monotheism? Well, to tell you the truth, it was the Bible.
I have been a Protestant Christian my entire life. I have been a music “minister”. I have been a youth “pastor”. I even preached on occasion. My last position was Sunday School teacher at my Presbyterian (PCA) Church. I was the youngest in the class in my fifties. Most in the class were in their sixties and seventies. About five of them would take turns teaching with my Mother-in-law being one of them and she was one of the oldest. Of course over time, she got to where, because of declining health, she just couldn’t make it to Church. One day she asked if I would substitute for her. I said I would and a whole lot of Bible study began.
I had read and studied the Bible my entire life. I wasn’t that worried about it. However, if I was going to teach a bunch of SS teachers, I had better know what I was talking about. It went pretty well. I would study in the evenings after work starting about Thursday and would have to come up with something to sing because I was already the soloist (“special music” as the Baptist would call it). One of the ways I studied was to compare other religions (false ones, right?) until one day I had a revelation. Wait! All these different religions were telling basically the same stories! All had giants, floods, a Creation story, etc., and I just sat there dumbfounded. More intense studies began. Then I bought a book by Dr Michael Heiser entitled, “The Unseen Realm”. The book claimed it could get you into the ancient Hebrew mindset. Then he talked about Psalm 82: 1 God (Elohim) presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”(Elohim). Elohim in the Hebrew is the word for “God/s”. Wait! What? He explains that the Bible has never denied the existence of other Gods and the ancient Hebrews knew there were other Gods but their god was the greatest or as Abraham called him, “God Most High”. Surely though, The New Testament set this straight? Nope. I Corinthians 8:5 (this will take a little unpacking) “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),” 1. The phrase “so called” is not in the original Greek. They stuck it in there to make a Theological point. 2. Paul is acknowledging the existence of other Gods.
Needless to say, I was shell shocked. Then I thought, wait, “If there are other Gods, why am I worshiping one from the Middle East”? I’m from Europe. What Gods did they worship? More intense study began! I found what I was looking for in the Germanic/Norse pantheon. There were my Gods. There was the religion of MY ancestors in the frosty North; not the dry desert. There I found the mighty Gods patiently waiting for me to come home.
Anyway, I have had to start over in study and learn a whole new way to approach the Gods but I’m home. I’m right where I belong. These days if someone ask me why I’m a polytheist, I just look them in the eye and say, “The Bible tells me so”.
Another day; another explosion in Afghanistan. Sometimes, it seems never ending.
I joined the Army in February of 1994 as a 13B (artillery). I went to Ft Sill, Oklahoma for Basic and AIT back to back for eight weeks. My first duty station was Camp Casey, Tong du Chong, South Korea. After a year, I went to Ft Stewart, GA. I loved Savanna! I joined the Mississippi Army National Guard while at Ft Stewart and moved back home. That was in 1996. I got out of the guard a couple of times. The last time was when my friend called me up and said, “Doc, we are headed to Afghanistan”. I told him I would see the recruiter the next day. They weren’t about to go without me.
We touched down in Baghran in April of 2005 after train up at Ft Dix, NJ. That was the worst experience of my life! Drop me buck naked in the Amazon but never ever in Ft Dix. We met our counterparts and loaded up on trucks and headed about an hour away to Camp Eggar’s, Kabul, Afghanistan. This would be our station for the next year. In June (I believe) we heard a report of some Navy Seals getting killed on the side of a mountain not too far from us. This incident would later become the movie “Lone Survivor”.
I was a Team Leader. We guarded gates, manned towers, and patrolled the city. Our mission was to guard the General of Theater Operations, Gen Ikenberry who later joined the Obama administration. I got to go on a mission to Nurastan(sic) as a shooter for the RAT team (recruiting folks for the Afghan Army). It was beautiful. A crystal clear river ran through the middle of it. It had trees and green grass, a magical place. We were only supposed to be there for a couple of hours meeting with the tribal elders but it started snowing and the Chinooks were not coming back for us so we had to spend the night. The people there were so excited that we stayed. They were so proud to tell us, “We killed two goats for you!” I said, “Thank you.” Hospitality to them (and to our Norse ancestors) was/is a virtue. The boiled goat was good. The homemade bread was better. We had tea (chia) to wash it down.
I loved the Afghan people. They were so genuine. I didn’t care for their pedophilia. “Women are for children. Boys are for love” as they would say. And, “Man Love Thursday’s” was a hoot. They would parade down the streets with their boyfriends. I was watching two of them from a tower and one of them noticed me looking and grab his boyfriend and pulled him closer. I fell out laughing. Speaking of laughing: I was in the Alamo tower. It is/was ( I don’t know if Camp Eggars is still there) outside the compound. It was about 0430 in the morning when a huge explosion happened up the street right in front of the Canadian Embassy. After I called it up on the radio to HQ, I went into hysterical laughter. I have no idea why. I guess we all react to fear in different ways. One of our mobile patrol units had just passed by there twenty seconds earlier. The rocket cut an Afghan guard in half.
I have tons of other stories, but, I won’t bore you with those. My main point is that I hate to see such a wonderful beautiful place (except for all the land mines) be constantly in turmoil. Constant rockets and IEDs from this and that faction. It is destined to be a land of perpetual war, I guess. The Afghan people will keep smiling and carry on but I hate it for them.
The goal of life is to prepare for a good death. To reach for the immortal, to the Gods, is the goal of all spiritual and physical exertions. To BE all one can be…to be like the gods, to be worthy of their company.