If we survey the whole field of Indo-European, Teutonic and Celtic religiosity, it is unmistakably clear that “The Havamal” (The words of the High One, Wotan) best expresses the deepest essence and character of the Aryan.
In the Havamal Wotan teaches the fallibility of man, the necessity for courage, temperance, independence and truthfulness, respect for old age, hospitality, charity and contentment and instructions for the burial of the dead. The Havamal essentially includes the entire code of conduct for our Folk.
From early youth Viking boys were expected and encouraged to show the bold spirit demanded by the Havamal. There are two outstanding characteristics of those who hold to the teachings of the Havamal. Both became widely self-evident during the Viking era and are just as relevant today. First is a man’s concern for honor, his family’s and his own. And second is his belief in luck and fate of the Norns. The Vikings took nothing more seriously than their families. It is a continuing institution, even though the individuals within it perish. The family is the man’s master, it can do without him, but not he without it.
Our ancient European ancestors believed that expulsion from one’s family or folk was to be the worst of fates. No man, they believed, should be an entity to himself, he is a part of the fabric of a family. To belong to a family or clan of high esteem is a rare blessing, and to belong to one’s immediate family is a human necessity. To not belong is to be the lowest of the species, the thrall, the man who can scarcely be said to have a soul.
It is indisputably evident through the teachings of the Havamal and the practice of Wotanism that it is not rooted in any kind of fear, neither fear of deity nor fear of death. To the Viking who followed Wotan’s path, honor and acclaim was like rain upon a parched meadow. It was a strong belief at that time that through a life of unflinching courage and achievement and a glorious death that a man will be remembered for many generations.
Cattle die, Kinsmen die,
A man himself Must likewise die;
But the fair fame never dies For him who has earned it well.
The Aryan from earliest times has always intrinsically followed a basic code of ethics. It was in the ninth century that the Havamal, as we know it today, was compiled as one of the poems in the Codex Regius of the Elder Edda.
The poetry of our ancient Teutonic ancestors was of two kinds, Eddaic and Scaldic. Eddaic poetry was older and more forthright in style. To a great extent it dealt with heroes and gods of the Folk. It was from the Eddas, for example, that Richard Wagner got the story of the Nibelungs, the theme for so many operas. The Eddas preserved the wisdom of the Havamal. Through the verses of the Havamal one will find a collection of proverbs and aphoristic advice on right living and social conduct.
To the Wotanist, family, nation, worship and law, the seasons of the year and festivals, the customs and spiritual life, house and farm, all are related in a world order. In this world order man lives as a member of his race, which was perpetuated permanently in ordered procreation.
To the enlightened Aryan the whole universe breathes the Spirit of Wotan. As Allfather of the Folk, Wotan reaches deep into our collective conscience and unites us as a people in a unique emotional way, something no alien religion has achieved in two thousand years.
In the Havamal, through the wisdom of Wotan, we find the innermost character of our racial soul and a balanced self-assertion in the universal order of life.