The Metaphysics of Symbel


According to scholar Paul Bauschatz the idea behind symbel (sumble) is to place one's self in the flow of Wyrd (Bauschatz, The Well and the Tree, pp. 109-110). Even the Gods perform symbel for this reason. This idea of placing one's self in the flow of Wyrd encompasses nearly every action in According to scholar Paul Bauschatz the idea behind symbel (sumble) is to place one's self in the flow of Wyrd (Bauschatz, The Well and the Tree, pp. 109-110). Even the Gods perform symbel for this reason. This idea of placing one's self in the flow of Wyrd encompasses nearly every action in symbel. It is not a passive activity. One does not seek to place one's self in the flow of Wyrd and just flow with it. No, they are actively seeking to change it. From the beginning one sets forth what they want to be the basis for their wyrd. The opening fulls of the basic symbel are to the Gods. The purpose for this is to bring the Gods into one's wyrd, to get them to help change it. The next full is the bragafull, which is the boast of the leader of the group. Its purpose is to set a precedent in Wyrd, to state something that the group will do as a whole. It is a statement of intention, a vow or oath to accomplish something. At first all of this may not seem apparent. However, when one gets to the gielpas and béotas in the following fulls, this becomes apparent. A gielp is the recitation of one's ancestry, and a boast of a past deed one has done. The purpose of a gielp is to establish a past precedent; to lay in the Well of Wyrd the actions one has done that have been successful. In Beowulf, this was the boast of his swimming contest, and the statement of who his father was. Without the gielp, one's béot would be ineffective. The béot is a vow, an oath to do something. In Beowulf, it was Beowulf's declaration to slay the monster plaguing Heorot. Using a gielp and a béot , one first establishes the precedent upon which the vowed to action is to be based. That is one tries to determine the result of the of the vowed to action by showing such actions have been successful in the past. A gielp is not just a resume, it is a layer in the Well of Wyrd after all. It is the pecedent of successful action in the past, the results of which one hopes for with the oathed to do deed.

Other actions also help place one in the flow of Wyrd. The recitation of ealdgesagen or the "ancient tales" establishes what is the gielp for the tribe. This recitation of ancient deeds of the tribe serves as the gielp for the béot of the bragafull. The horn its self, serves as a symbol of the Well of Wyrd, while the lady of the hall pouring the first fulls of the symbel represents the Norns watering the tree each day, bringing deeds of the past back to the present to flow back to the past.

Symbel is not a passive activity. One does not seek to place one's self in the flow of Wyrd and just flow with it. No, they are actively seeking to change it. From the beginning one sets forth what they want to be the basis for their wyrd. The opening fulls of the basic symbel are to the Gods. The purpose for this is to bring the Gods into one's wyrd, to get them to help change it. The next full is the bragafull, which is the boast of the leader of the group. Its purpose is to set a precedent in Wyrd, to state something that the group will do as a whole. It is a statement of intention, a vow or oath to accomplish something. At first all of this may not seem apparent. However, when one gets to the gielpas and béotas in the following fulls, this becomes apparent. A gielp is the recitation of one's ancestry, and a boast of a past deed one has done. The purpose of a gielp is to establish a past precedent; to lay in the Well of Wyrd the actions one has done that have been successful. In Beowulf, this was the boast of his swimming contest, and the statement of who his father was. Without the gielp, one's béot would be ineffective. The béot is a vow, an oath to do something. In Beowulf, it was Beowulf's declaration to slay the monster plaguing Heorot. Using a gielp and a béot , one first establishes the precedent upon which the vowed to action is to be based. That is one tries to determine the result of the of the vowed to action by showing such actions have been successful in the past. A gielp is not just a resume, it is a layer in the Well of Wyrd after all. It is the pecedent of successful action in the past, the results of which one hopes for with the oathed to do deed.

Other actions also help place one in the flow of Wyrd. The recitation of ealdgesagen or the "ancient tales" establishes what is the gielp for the tribe. This recitation of ancient deeds of the tribe serves as the gielp for the béot of the bragafull. The horn its self, serves as a symbol of the Well of Wyrd, while the lady of the hall pouring the first fulls of the symbel represents the Norns watering the tree each day, bringing deeds of the past back to the present to flow back to the past.

Those that are Asatru, Theodish, or Germanic Heathen of another sort should always be aware of all of these ritual actions, and how they may impact one's own life, and the life of the tribe. One is after all attempting to manipulate Wyrd, a tricky thing at best. One should be careful of what they boast. One should not speak of failed actions, even if vowing to do better. One should only speak of what they have been successful at. The same is true of tales of the tribe. These should only be the successes of the tribe. While modern symbel often contains jokes, none of these should be at the expense of those present or the tribe. They can change the wyrd of those there for the worse. The primary ritual action of boasting the Gods should always be present, as should the others such as the lady of the hall pouring and serving the first horn (even if as in high symbel it is only to the lord of the hall). This is especially true of high symbel where everything is more serious. If well thought out, symbel can be used to change one's life for the better by altering one's wyrd in a positive way.

http://www.heathenplaces.com/article...el--2009-01-15