Greetings my kin, to the half month of Thurisaz, the third rune of the Futhark; it falls in propitious times, with Odin’s steed Sleipnir being honored on the 26th, the shamanic animal that carries visionaries from one plane to the other, Thor being honored today, and the Aesir’s trickster and doom bringer Loki and his long-suffering wide Sigyn being honored tomorrow.
Thurisaz is a male rune, a fire and lightning rune, a rune of power and action, and, I confess, has never been one I identified strongly with in that aspect; I am many things but rarely do I think of myself as “that guy”, the aggressive, proud male, who acts first and thinks later. This is the nature of Thor, who is almost always in a foul temper, always ready to hurl his hammer at any provocation, and not for nothing is Thurisaz also called “the tormenter of women”. Thurisaz also means Thorn, and as such can have a strong protective power; marking them on fences or walls, projecting outwards, makes a strong barrier to divert energy or ill. In this aspect it is also a danger to any who would take it; aggression and energy have their uses, but as a rune poem clearly states, “Thorn is very sharp; it is exceedingly cruel to every man who lies upon them.” In other words, play with fire, and you’re likely to get burned.
But as I get older, I am trying to see Thurisaz in a more positive light; yes, it has a male aspect, but that needn’t be a bad thing. It is a rune of action, of taking the initiative and getting things done, and tempered with a bit of caution can be very useful, bestowing the energy to shatter obstacles and accomplish tasks. It is simply a matter of discerning if this is the right task, the right application of our energy. I think that, as pagans, being born of a philosophy that says we shouldn’t push our beliefs, that we accept yours for what they are, we don’t engage this energy as much as we should. My kin, I say it’s time that we embrace the Thor in all of us, and we admit that there are times when the dunces of this world need, nay, DEMAND, a little of the thunder hammer smackdown.
In the ongoing discussion of religicults, one of the basic components I have outlines is the difference between surrender and challenge; all the major religicults call on you to surrender in some way. Surrender your will, your Fate, your life, to our god, surrender reason, surrender common sense, and yes, sometimes surrender your freedom and possessions. In paganism, we do not surrender, we challenge; yes, we belive the gods exist, but we do not believe they control us, or demand we bow to them, unthinkingly. We give thanks for their gifts, for the rain that falls and the wisdom that inspires, but we don’t believe we can ever truly understand them or their ways. We wish to live in harmony with the universe, acting with force when we must, and being passive when we must, but always it is our choice, good or bad. We know that humans are capable of good and evil, of woe and of weal, we know that we ourselves are both good and evil, so we never confuse one for the other; we do not blame our ills on the actions of gods, we do not surrender control of our destinies to a power greater than ourselves.
An example of this sickening attitude is the current Republican jackass in the press, a reverend Dwight Longenecker, who opined that James Holmes, the scumbag Colorado killer, was “possessed by Satan” (not even a devil, but THE Devil…what kind of arrogance does that betray?). Said the dips–t pulpit pounder, “Was he demon possessed? Maybe. It happens.” No, it actually doesn’t, you colossal ass, that is just you surrendering any conscious thought or questioning; rather than ask what is evil, and where it comes from, rather than question your all-powerful, all-beneficent god who lets six year old girls get shot, rather than wonder what we as a society can do about the sociopaths in our midst, you simply go to, “It was the devil…yup, the Devil, all part of god’s wonderful plan!” Or like, a–hole Mike Huckabee, you could use Jerry Falwell’s old libel, which is to blame things like hurricanes and terror attacks on the very people they hurt; in this case, Huckabee said god “removed his protecting hand” because we don’t have prayer in public schools. Leaving aside just what kind of spiteful, extortion racket running god he worships, this is another form of mental surrender, an “I can’t understand it so I blame the people I hate for actions which they clearly had nothing to do with.”
The great Gore Vidal once wrote that “Reason is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions” those bulls–t concepts he called “the mere abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves priests of Jesus.” Let us all embrace a bit of Thurisaz this month, and smash those weak minded ideas, and the weak mind fools who spin them, as the obstacles to truth and justice that they are.