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Dagna
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009, 12:09 PM
Tyr and The People

The later myths depict Tyr sacrificing his hand so that the Fenris wolf can be bound. I believe the origins of this particular tale are much more ancient. They depict as aspect of Tyr that reflects on the greater good of the community. In the myth, Tyr “takes one for the team.” It uses drastic images to portray responsibility to the people. Tyr is the God of the good of the many.

We say that Tyr is a “war God.” Another way of saying it is “God of soldiers.” The soldier puts is safety on the line for the good of the people. War is not the only pursuit that involves the good of the people. We can easily call to mind the firemen, ambulance workers, police officers and others who take risks for the good of all. Indeed, Tyr is the God of all who serve. While he obviously connects to those whose work involves danger and courage, Tyr is also the tutelary deity for those whose service is unlikely to cause trepidation. He includes people who serve the community in other capacities. Health workers, social workers, Hazmat teams, and many municipal occupations fit the bill. Street sweepers and trash haulers also do work that serves the community. There are many more examples. When you serve the people in any capacity, you are also doing service to Tyr.

Granted that Tyr is a warrior deity. He is concerned with all aspects of the military. Tyr’s work is not limited to martial things. It extends to all endeavors whence individuals work for the good of the people. Tyr sees to the well-being of the community.

http://thortrains.net/blog/2009/02/19/tyr-and-the-people/

rainman
Friday, March 13th, 2009, 10:28 PM
All Germanic deities exhibit sacrifice and work for the good of the community. This is simply part of Germanic heroic culture. Odin plucked his own eye out for knowledge. I think Thor sacrificed as well I can't remember exactly. I don't know my mythology inside and out but I'm pretty sure you can find some association of sacrifice in all of them.

Sigurd
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 09:40 PM
All Germanic deities exhibit sacrifice and work for the good of the community. This is simply part of Germanic heroic culture. Odin plucked his own eye out for knowledge. I think Thor sacrificed as well I can't remember exactly. I don't know my mythology inside and out but I'm pretty sure you can find some association of sacrifice in all of them.

It is true that a measure of sacrifice can be seen in the deeds of each respective deity. Odin's sacrifice of an eye is definitely such a sacrifice, and highlights once more that the attainment of any higher ideal has to come with sacrifices.

As you know, much of myth is to be seen as metaphorical as well - and as such, perhaps Odin's sacrifice of an eye in order to be able clearer is one of those. The scholar who devotes much time to the study of his respective subject will momentarily "see less of the world", be it in social or worldly respect --- he will have less time to devote to social gatherings, he will have less time to follow the world news, he will have less time to actively make himself useful for any cause.

However, the sacrifice of all this at an earlier stage, will for the scholar at a later stage meen more "oversight" and "foresight". In social situations, the wisdom he has gained will come important as he can guide the discussions or choices involved with what he has learned. In terms of wordly events, he will have his knowledge to interpret them more faithfully and thoroughly. As such, Odin's sacrifice is that of empirical sight in favour of philosophical sight, the latter of which we must take out of this myth to be superior, as it will allow a more thorough analysis.

Tyr's sacrifice however is particularly special. It is a story of self-sacrifice for the greater good of one's surroundings, one's society, one's folk. It is like the story of the leader who allows himself to be taken and killed so his people can be free. It perhaps shows more than any other sacrifice encountered in the myth the sacrifices we make for the collective welfare, rather than our own welfare. It is that of a selfless sacrifice.

Needless to say, in an age where individualism runs rampant and many things are done solely for self-gain, such a selfless sacrifice is not encountered as often, and yet where it is, it should be seen as all the more courageous.

Hauke Haien
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 10:27 PM
However, the sacrifice of all this at an earlier stage, will for the scholar at a later stage mean more "oversight" and "foresight". In social situations, the wisdom he has gained will come important as he can guide the discussions or choices involved with what he has learned. In terms of wordly events, he will have his knowledge to interpret them more faithfully and thoroughly. As such, Odin's sacrifice is that of empirical sight in favour of philosophical sight, the latter of which we must take out of this myth to be superior, as it will allow a more thorough analysis.
If we keep trying to assign the gods to social roles they are supposed to mentor, would it be accurate to consider Odin a god of leadership, perhaps in mild contrast with a Thorian warrior-peasant? Or is that a concept you reject? Empirical vs. philosophical sight mirrors the difference between soldier and battle leader quite nicely.


Tyr's sacrifice however is particularly special. It is a story of self-sacrifice for the greater good of one's surroundings, one's society, one's folk. It is like the story of the leader who allows himself to be taken and killed so his people can be free.
Also keeping in mind that he is the god of single (= ritualised) combat, it is tempting to interpret him as the guiding spirit for champions who fight as a way of settling disputes for their community against the champions of rival communities. The decline in his popularity would then seem linked to a shift away from continuous low-intensity warfare to spasmodic high-intensity warfare, an area of operations for Odin and Thor.

This might be a case where lack of detailled knowledge allows for sweeping theories, so feel free to correct :)

exit
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 11:51 PM
If we keep trying to assign the gods to social roles

But why do that? IMHO this only takes away from its metaphysical aspects, which I am sure you would agree are under-represented so to speak. The emphasis on social aspects reminds one of religous forms not the least of which is Christianity. This holds almost no interest for metaphysicians.

Hauke Haien
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 11:57 PM
But why do that?
Because the thread is titled "Tyr and The People". Unless it is your contention that social aspects play no role at all.

exit
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 12:00 AM
Because the thread is titled "Tyr and The People". Unless it is your contention that social aspects play no role at all.

But this topic goes beyond a mere thread on an internet forum. I was hoping you could address my question intelligently not formally as a master/slave--mod/member--thnx.


Unless it is your contention that social aspects play no role at all.

As I said, metaphysics are grossly under-represented, and social aspects, moreover, are an extension of metaphysics many times which go way beyond the law and intention whereupon the source is not even considered anymore as is the case here. It is much to be regretted that modern heathens if I may use the term only care about social aspects knowing not where they should be based. What I am saying is that it is a dire mistake to ignore the metaphysical aspects which religions like Christianity have often done.

If I can have your thoughts please...

Hauke Haien
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 12:58 AM
It is much to be regretted that modern heathens if I may use the term only care about social aspects knowing not where they should be based.
Oh, I see. I am not a Heathen and I was merely theorising on the implications of Heathen beliefs for the social fabric of the Germanic tribes and later tribal confederations.

It was not my aim to take the thread off-topic in a direction of interest to metaphysicians in my initial comment on the subject matter and this remains true even now.

I am, however, curious to know how you think a consideration of metaphysics effects a functional modification of the social aspects discussed here, since you seem to detect a disconnect between ritual and purpose.

exit
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Symbols have meaning in the context of a larger tale. Outside of this it is just a man and a wolf about which anyone can read any psychological meaning into no matter how irrational.

Sacrifice is a sacerdotal art which was necessarily given to the royalty for enlightenment is the goal of all people not just for a certain "specialist". However, a warrior would not put his hand in the wolf's jaws, he would simply strike it down. It thus has a higher meaning which connects the government and the holy law with the meaning and enlightened goal of sacrifice. Also, it has a spiritual meaning relating to both the cosmos and to man...

The wolf was bound with things that don't exist. Is this not unlike the formless principles which form the basis of all things? And does it not show that chaos/evil is accidental and has no cause of its own?

Hrodnand
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 12:38 PM
I think that it shouldn't be interpreted to either sides exclusively, the story of Tyr and Fenrir and the actions that take part in the saga have a deeper spiritual meaning indeed, but it is the "practical" action itself which further unfolds the spiritual.
So you can't say either that it's merely a metaphysical phenomena, symbolized through the action and reaction of Tyr and Fenrir nor that it's merely the model action that includes one's deeds for the greater good of the community.
In my opinion both observations have their own place on different levels and neither the practical nor the spiritual aspects of the saga should be ignored because both serve well for individual improvement.

Sigurd
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 02:09 PM
If we keep trying to assign the gods to social roles they are supposed to mentor, would it be accurate to consider Odin a god of leadership, perhaps in mild contrast with a Thorian warrior-peasant? Or is that a concept you reject? Empirical vs. philosophical sight mirrors the difference between soldier and battle leader quite nicely.

I actually agree in a way. Thor is the common man's patron god, and Odin is referenced in the Lore as appearing as a leader on the battlefield to guide the general when he lacks that guidance.

Thor is not a god of thought, but a god of action. I consider one of his central aspects that he often "acts before he thinks", this need not be considered in a negative light, as it can be a sign of youthful vigour and instinctive protectiveness. He shines less through tactics and more through barbaric strength.

I doubt for not a second that the word Tor which we use in German to describe such a person is indeed derived from this god. (Hier stehe ich und bin ein Tor, bin genauso blöde wie zuvor) Even though it's a negative connotation, this is perhaps what makes him more attractive to your peasant warrior of 1525-26 with his pitchfork against the aristocratic, metaphorical giants.

Odin, on the other hand is the battle-god of the experienced leader, who reads the enemy and then attacks the weak flank through trickery, subtlety and finery. This has left some to assume that he is a god of deceit, however I would rather call him a god of immeasurable wit, who always outskills their opponents at their own game, due to his experience, knowledge and wisdom.


Also keeping in mind that he is the god of single (= ritualised) combat, it is tempting to interpret him as the guiding spirit for champions who fight as a way of settling disputes for their community against the champions of rival communities.

This is, of course, perhaps also true. This is perhaps interlinked with his selfless sacrifice: When two family feuds, you usually had that lad who puts himself on the line to duel for the honour of his family. That typical role for the "second son" of a family. ;)

His relation to championed combat is perhaps also heralded in his position as a god of justice, the leader of the Thing. As such, he can be seen as a "settler of disputes", which is of course that binding link between most myths that surround him.


The decline in his popularity would then seem linked to a shift away from continuous low-intensity warfare to spasmodic high-intensity warfare, an area of operations for Odin and Thor.


In sociological terms, it is hard to place Tyr. His early worship as the highest God would place him as a chieftain - perhaps also heralded in his form as a Lawspeaker - which would mean that his latter relegation from highest deity in favour of Odin, was that perhaps at a later stage, the King's advisor was seen as more noteworthy and worth of worship, as he had more insight, and not just courage and impartiality.

However, his latter worship, with Odin as that type of philosopher-king would place him as that "King's Right Hand" who settles all the little disputes and feuds for his King, faithfully, never shy to "put his own hand into the wolf's fangs".

The shift between Tyr and Odin to be the highest God could perhaps thus also be perceived as a mirror, or even an inspiration to exchange the old roles of Chieftains for that of an experienced, "Philosopher" King.

As such, his decline in direct importance might not at all be linked to differing styles of warfare, or perhaps only marginally, and instead could be conditioned by the changes in society-structure which we observe in comparison between the early chieftains of martial law around Tacitus' times and the latter early dynasties we see in Viking-Age Scandinavia.


This might be a case where lack of detailled knowledge allows for sweeping theories, so feel free to correct :)

Just like the young leader can be a natural-born at it, without the experience, your "sweeping theory" IMO isn't too far off. I actually consider it a thought provoking insight, which I had to ponder about over night. :thumbup

velvet
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 03:04 PM
As I said, metaphysics are grossly under-represented, and social aspects, moreover, are an extension of metaphysics many times which go way beyond the law and intention whereupon the source is not even considered anymore as is the case here. It is much to be regretted that modern heathens if I may use the term only care about social aspects knowing not where they should be based. What I am saying is that it is a dire mistake to ignore the metaphysical aspects which religions like Christianity have often done.

The meta-physical aspect is one of christian source. It doesnt play any role in a people like ours that are inventors, thinkers and abstractors. WE are the source of any abstraction (=gods), the gods are considered our ancestors, images/mirrors of our struggle for the truth - of our very existence, not of anything abstract. WE are the gods, or like gods, and they are many, and only because they are many they/we can form this society, that secures our freedom, of our individuality as well as our people as a whole. WE are the magic device of the universe, WE create ourself, WE invent, abstract, think, not only to solve concrete problems but also for the sake of thinking itself.

Tyr is a wonderful example for the struggle of LIFE (not the afterlife!), when he, as a god of war, sacrifices his hand to bind Fenrir. War is not an end or a goal in itself. War may be necessary in times, but Tyr also guides freedom and peace. Maybe more than the warfare itself. He sacrifices his hand to bind Fenrir, and thus the gods are free, and we with them, because an eternal war against Fenrir would mean eternal war amongst us. Why does Tyr not simply kill Fenrir? Is he not strong enough? Is Fenrir immortal? No. But Tyr values the life itself more than a simple killing, Fenrir plays a role, he is needed.

The same could be said about Loke, he is an evil little hatemonger if you want, he is the cause that the blind can shoot Baldr dead, because he gives him the only thing that could hurt Baldr. Loke often causes disharmony, yet he does not get killed. And Loke wasnt only evil, he gave birth to Sleipnir, he helped Thor to get his Hammer back, actually Loke and Thor are good friends. Loke and Fenrir are the mirrors of the eternal struggle to become better, to learn to value times of peace; if there are no opponents to this peace, warfare would become the end in itself, and this cant be allowed. They balance.

Metaphysics, the abstraction of life, is a result of social interacting, of thinking and not vice- versa. The worlds of the gods are a direct reflection of our own world and how it changed and developed over the times, from the quite 'primitive' giants to the wisdom bearing gods.
If you put the meta-physical aspect as the source of intellectual thinking it is like putting the cart before the horse. WE are the life, WE are the societies, WE are the development, WE are the gods. We are the product of our OWN struggle to develop our selves, and meta-physics would not exist without OUR ability for abstract thinking. Metaphysics is only the expression of this abstract thinking, taken wrong and put before the cart by people who dont have that ability to think, the jews and christians and muslims with their singular god, which is the end of life as WE know it. With this metaphysic entity life becomes meaningless, the flesh (life) has to be overcome, christianity created out of this the most pervert dispise for life with self-flagellation and celibatism. By putting the metaphysic entity as the end in itself, with the preaching of the overcoming of the evil flesh and the denying and rejection of any fleshly pleasure, be it eating or sex, they deny life itself.

This is not our way of living. We live for the pleasure of life, for the sake of our children and for their wealth, for our society and the freedom of our people, we support the struggle to become better, and we want our children to have even more freedom to become better. We value life, we even value the opportunity to have something to struggle against, because only by this we can become better.

There is no end to it, the metaphysic, singular entity but is an end. There is no need for life, no need for any sort of attempt to develop with a metaphysic end in itself, because then only the imaginary afterlife matters :thumbdown

exit
Monday, May 4th, 2009, 10:37 PM
“Týr: he is most daring, and best in stoutness of heart, and he has much authority over victory in battle; it is good for men of valor to invoke him. It is a proverb, that he is Týr-valiant, who surpasses other men and does not waver. He is wise, so that it is also said, that he that is wisest is Týr-prudent.” (Gylfaginning)