W is for Wyrd

I’ve always been something of a free agent. My deity work has been largely by contract or bog-simple talking. I used to refer to myself as a gofer of the gods. It’s not a glamorous description but it’s an unusual one, and I let my carefully-crafted intimacy be mistaken for casualness or even blasphemy. I guess you could say that I prided myself on it. I fall outside the lines, and felt as if I fell outside of fate.

So maybe that sheds some light on why I find the idea of accepting fate so hard to swallow. It means accepting that it applies to me. (Yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds if you do believe in wyrd. Bear with me, okay?)

Fate scares me. Like, panic attack trigger levels of anxiety. Always has. It feels trapping, suffocating, like I can’t breathe. Things being out of my control scares the shit out of me.

So being told that it’s okay to be tamed – in this case, not literal taming or anything to do with that wild/tamed dichotomy, but telling me that it’s okay to submit to wyrd – is a big fucking deal.

But if wyrd exists, then it exists. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. And even if I were a free agent completely outside of the tapestry… choosing to enter that would not be an easy choice, but it would be a beautiful one. Outside, regardless of what kind of thread I am, I’m just one thread.

So maybe it’s a metaphorical choice, but I think it was nonetheless important for me to understand the reason to make it. I cast on my stitches, to switch fiber metaphors, a long time ago. I may not be able to see the whole pattern from within it, but knowing where I’m going is more likely to let me enjoy the trip than flailing against the path.

0 thoughts on “W is for Wyrd

  1. I don’t believe in fate in the sense most people use it. I don’t buy into the idea of determinism, I think we make our fate by our choices—I am an existentialist pagan. The wyrd, for me, really IS a web and like an actual web, had dozens of lines and rays of possibility to choose from.

    I am also, as you put it, rather a go-fer of many deities; my work maintaining a labyrinth for the dead draws the attention of many who want to be sure I am managing “theirs” properly. Being also a skeptic and analytic argumentative sort, you can imagine how troubled this all makes me at times! (BTW, I calved off that bit of my life from my regular blog to Experimental Pagan) Occasionally I still flail.

    Sometimes I view that as a metaphysical exercise program!

    1. I like your description of how it’s like a web, that makes a lot of sense. I think of wyrd as a lot like health – there are some things that you control, there are some things that you might be predisposed toward but you can avoid, and there are some things that you’re just going to have to deal with no matter what. Some people have a lot of the last category and some people have very little. Does that make sense?

      1. Yes, it does. I think everyone has a lot of choice of how to deal with what they need to deal with, some folks, alas, don’t recognize this and capitulate to everything.

  2. Ah, but Wyrd is not nearly as hard-and-fast as Fate. The North Folk were much more pragmatic than their southern neighbors. Wyrd is a conglomeration of that which has come before (both our past, Wyrd, and our ancestral past, Oorlog) and how one reacts to the now. Heathens are a very self-defining folk that believe in personal responsibility. The only time “Predetermined Destiny” comes into the picture is in earth-shattering moments and for exceptional people (think Beowulf). The Web of Wyrd–which I’d like tattooed somewhere sometime–is about interconnectivity, yes. But it’s also about making the cognitive connections between cause and effect–past+present=future. Great post!

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