Orlog and wyrd are keystone concepts within the northern tradition, fundamental pieces of belief and mindset. They operate on multiple layers of mythical, collective and individual consciousness. They are both essential and elusive. The types of concepts you grasp in your peripheral vision. An imprint in the snow, an echo, a bone.
You will find plenty of articles that chase them through their evolving linguistic story. We seek them when we are asking questions like: Who am I meant to be? Why did this happen?
Orlog word origins: now, law, doom, war, layers, out of
Wyrd word origins: fate, turn spin, rotate, become, due, worth
Who am I meant to be? Why did this happen?
Nauthiz often shows up in readings when the threads of orlog are tugging at us and calling us to pay attention.
Orlog fragments: carved, inevitable, unbreakable, binding, uttered, written
Wyrd fragments: flowing, fated, becoming, spinning
The two terms are permeable, enmeshed and interwoven. When does an idea become an intention? When does an intention become a promise? When does a promise become a destiny? The eternal question of whether we master fate or it master us rests on the relationship between orlog and wyrd. What shapes the riverbed? The river. What shapes the river? The riverbed.
When will luck shine on my endeavours? What opportunities have I not yet seen?
Perthro signifies the hand of the unexpected. Opportunity is the flip sides of uncertainty – it’s all in the way we handle it.
In a very practical sense orlog is found in our values, our commitments and the integrity with which we hold to them. Very recently the Gods pointed out to be that my ‘to-do’ list is one of the most sacred texts in my possession. ‘Is this not where you write your destiny?’ they ask me. I cannot deny this truth. Review your to-do list – what does it tell you about the person you want to be tomorrow?
Which promises bind me? What vision shall I pursue?
Gebo often shows up when a new contract, partnership or undertaking is beckoning. The hand of orlog or wyrd? You won’t know until later…
Down at the base of the World Tree we find the Well of Wyrd, Urðarbrunnr (Urd’s Well). Urd is one of the 3 sisters gathered around its banks. She is the Norn of the past, that which was. Hers is the river bed, the carved rune, the law, the spun fibre. The second Norn is Verdhandi, the present, that which is. Hers is the loom, the song, the thread. The third is Skuld. The Norn of that which is to come. Hers is the should, the must, the knot in the thread and the cut of the knife. Theirs is a counsel of wisdom, but not always of answers.
Orlog: when a beat becomes a rhythm
Wyrd: when a sound becomes a song
Wyrd is found in our vision and our ability to adapt our course. It is ever changing, every nuancing. What is the future you are striving for? Hold it in your heart, cleave to it, tend it, sing it for the Gods to hear it. Be open to the forks in the road that might offer a better, quicker, more fulfilling way to find it – sometimes they have been put there by the Gods in response to our song.
We can choose to view orlog and wyrd as the inevitable doom of fate unfolding, or as visible, tangible currents that we can shape, ride and gather wisdom from. I know which I prefer.
Orlog: the warp thread of our collective consciousness
Wyrd: the pattern that emerges from the weaving