Some Pagan-ish Advice, Offered as “Brutal Truths”

You know the most-quoted verse from Hávamál:

Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well

. . . there is a lot more, of course.

After you read #7 in this list, you will think of it — as someone in the comments did. But were the Norse poet writing today, he might add a line:

Bandy no speech with a bad man:
Often the better is beaten
In a word fight by the worse.
Don’t read the comments.


5 thoughts on “Some Pagan-ish Advice, Offered as “Brutal Truths”

  1. Right you are, Chas. I read the comments about my latest interview, asking my opinion of “The Shape of Water.” Learned that I was “pure evil” for making love with a dolphin, which surprised me, because I never thought of myself as highly refined. So I took a week off Facebook, and now I’m back with a renewed commitment that I don’t have to reply to every inaccurate comment, or every one that offends me. Boy, those old Norse poets sure knew what they were talking about, eh?

  2. Robert Mathiesen

    Have you seen the “Cowboy Havamal” yet, Chas? It’s the work of Jackson Crawford, who translated the Poetic Edda, and added it at the end of his book. It’s meant to be in the voice of his own grandfather, “sad with wisdom and cynical with experience.” Here’s how it begins:

    Use yer eyes
    and never walk blind.
    There ain’t no tellin’
    where there’s someone waitin’
    to put one over on you

    Don’t be unkind to a wanderer.
    You know the type: Waitin’,
    proud, outside your doorstep.
    Give ‘im a break
    and let ‘im in.

    Let ‘im get close to the fire,
    and have a chance
    to dry his clothes,
    He’s been walkin’ in the mountains
    and that wears a man down.

    You know what he’s lookin’ for:
    Some clothes to change into,
    a few kind words, not too many,
    a chance to tell his story,
    a chance to hear what you’ll say.


    Cows die, friends and family die,
    you will die just the same way.
    The only thing that won’t die
    is what folks say about you
    when you’re dead.


    You can find a video on-line of Crawford reading hte whole thing.

  3. Kalinysta

    Sorry that this is off-topic, but I have no other way to contact you. I wanted to share this article I found on Aeon magazine about Tarot: https : // aeon . co / essays / tarot-cards-a-tool-of-cold-tricksters-or-wise-therapists

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