There are two things I believe the conscious, effective warrior of today needs to be clear on:
- the vision you are committed to, and
- the energy you choose to come from in working towards that vision.
Where we differ from our ancestors is that our actions (as a species) impact globally rather than locally. Our ancestors had to be willing to sacrifice both themselves and individuals outside their ‘tribe’ to ensure the survival of their own people. This is simply no longer the case. We no longer live in a world where ‘kill or be killed’ is required. Our biggest problems are shared across nations. There would be sufficient wealth and food to go round if we chose to share it equally. We have technology that enables us to collaborate on a global scale. We have developed structures intended to protect the weak and the suffering. We have aspirations to educate, to be equal and to live sustainably.
To my mind the modern warrior does not tolerate suffering either in their vision for the world or in the means they choose to achieve that vision. Imagine what would happen if we all sacrificed our anger, frustration, despair, fear and guilt to a vision of loving and harmonious collaboration.
In finishing our exploration of the warrior self I offer you two more warrior archetypes from the northern tradition.
Frigg: the Frith-Weaver
Frith-weaving was traditionally seen a the provenance of the Queen or female head of household and comes under the auspices of Frigg. It is the art of diplomacy, tact, hospitality and political acumen. Frigg is a seeress who knows all but speaks little. She works quietly behind the scenes. She is also a spinner – she draws the fibres of Wyrd onto her spindle to create the threads used by the Nornir to weave reality. Her people do not seek battle or glory. They maintain that gentleness, kindness and a good dose of cunning are the best ways to achieve solutions that work for everyone. They work with their hands, the heads and their hearts. Their weapons are pen, paper, conversation, spindles, needles, fibres and crafting tools. You might question whether they are warriors but to my mind they are exactly what we need right now. For a wonderful example of how to apply this archetype in the modern world I would highly recommend the 20 minute BBC sounds piece by Sarah Corbett: Four Thought, Craftivism: Gentle Protest.
Freyja: the shape-shifter
Freyja is a fascinating goddess. Unlike Frigg she is definitely not a behind-the-scenes player. She is a sorceress, a seeress, a warrioress, a lover and a leader. She may seem changeable with her many facets but this is because she is capable of embodying the right energy in the right moment. I see in her an ancient embodiment of the leadership philosophy and practices taught by the (incredibly contemporary and cutting-edge) women’s leadership training company One of many (TM). She follows her own path seeking wisdom and power through her practice – she is utterly authentic to herself. Yet, in planning her path and her actions she brings forward the facet of herself needed in that moment. Crucially, her Lover aspect reminds us of the importance of self-care. What good are you exhausted, frustrated and crushed through battling so long and so hard. Freyja’s energy is shining, radiant and vibrant. She connects us to our future selves and reminds us that the only way to achieve a vision of a better future is to live in that vision every day. If you want a world where everyone is provided for, empowered and fulfilled then part of your job is ensuring you are provided for, empowered and fulfilled. In that place you connect to your authentic core.