Friday, July 22, 2011

The Bare Basics on "Luck"

Sometimes we as heathens, use terms that not everyone understands.  Or terms that don't mean today, what they used to mean to our ancestors.  I received a message the other day from a new heathen, asking me to explain what I was talking about when I referred to "Luck."  And I thought I'd share that response here for anyone else that isn't familiar with how our ancestors viewed and defined the concept of "Luck." 

Luck is something that was very important to our ancestors. Its not "dumb luck" or "random luck," like we think of luck today.

Luck was something some people had and some people didn't. Those that had Luck were almost always successful in everything they set their mind to. But Luck was earned. Luck came from right-action, experience, hard-learned lessons, knowledge, wisdom, and especially hard work. The leader (whether it was the head of a family, the Chieftain of a tribe, or the King) held and safeguarded the Luck of his people.

Luck could also be lost.  Poor decisions, inaction, or dishonorable deeds could all have a large negative impact on one's Luck, and thus affect a person's ability to succeed on future efforts.

It is said that an army without its King, when facing an army led by a King, would often flee prior to the battle...because they knew they could not stand against the Luck of the man leading the other army.

Men would go to a leader, and ask for advice on an important matter. That advice (rede) was considered to contain some of the Luck of that leader.  His advice, if followed, was likely to lead to success because of that Luck. 

Men would go to a leader, and actually ask for Luck. He would give them (advice) rede and give them his Luck. They would then go to other men to recruit them to their cause, and say, "I come with the Luck of King so-and-so." And that held weight with our ancestors.  Because they understood the importance of Luck. 

For modern heathens, you'll see the one's who have Luck. They are stable, knowledgable, strong, and willing to work their ass off to make something happen. This combination of traits results in them having success, and this is Luck.

That Luck builds on itself. Success in and of itself brings more Luck, and makes the next effort even more likely to succeed. And a string of successes, builds such Luck that failure becomes very unlikely.

A disorganized kindred, that has no leadership (official or default in nature), no direction, no work ethic, no focus, no real Frith...natually has no Luck. And will succeed at very little.

But group working together, in a committed kindred, brings together collective Luck. That Luck is held and safeguarded by their leader, but it advances the entire kindred...and advances all the individuals in that kindred. A kindred with Luck, can accomplish almost anything they set their minds to.

Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods

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