Beneath a wind-kissed willow tree a shining god sits. Silver-bright, moon-fair, youth-strong. His soft gaze takes in the fullness of his own reflection and the contradictions he finds within. A quiver of needle-sharp arrows at his side; a bow carved with runes of death laid gently on the smooth stones by the clear waters of Valaskjalf. Shelf of the Slain. Hall of Odin, gifted to his son, Vali.
 
Innocence so pure it hurts the eyes of the wise to look upon him. Vulnerability flowering within and without, a purity so true it cannot help but attract the hungry bite of cruel life. So quickly stained red, so quickly tainted, so quickly broken.
 
Only this God defies the moment of madness when the innocent first find their hands stained with blood. Standing on the precipice he looks into his own depths and refuses to condemn what he finds there. Resisting the urge to turn against his own soul or to renounce those who taught him to become what he now condemns. We root where we are sown, and still we can rise.
 
Vali: God of vengeance, retribution and justice. Conceived only as an instrument of death. Desired only because his innocent, untried hand was unbound and could therefore strike down one protected by love but marked by guilt. Vali slew his own brother at one day old, tasting death before he had even been suckled by life.
 
In the Halls of Asgard it is said noble warriors who died sword in hand are the chosen; assembling in the sky-realm to prepare for the last battle. Vali whispers to me that his Hall holds a different kind of soul; that under his roof dwell those who had a part of life ripped from them before they even got to experience it. Those denied innocence, love, safety, comfort, a full belly, clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe, safety from war, violence, poverty and disease. Those who were dealt the worst of hands and still chose to rise, chose to be more, chose to heal, chose to be a light they had never seen themselves.
 
Vali is a God of a new age. His ancient story is one of violence. Brought into being to fulfill a single purpose. He grew to full size in a single night and slew his brother before he was even washed clean of his birth blood. In a sense, he does not join the land of the living until his brother Hod dies; the blessing of water is a rite of passage into life through which a child is accepted into their tribe. This tiny detail whispers at a much deeper mystery. The possibility of cleansing and rebirth from what we are powerless to change in our own histories, our own ancestries, our own stories.
 
Work with Vali to:
 
  • gain new perspectives related to guilt, regret and forgiveness
  • find self-acceptance
  • pursue self-direction, unconventional paths, new beginnings and your most impossible, incredible dreams.
 Did you know some people associate Vali with Valentine’s Day? He was said to possess incredible skill with a bow and arrow and 14th February falls within the time-frame of his astrological Hall (equivalent of Aquarius). There is no evidence to back up this assertion but I believe he likes the association – he was born into a destiny twisted and warped by the shadow sides of love and yet he found within himself its true flame.

2 Replies to “Gods for a new age: Vali”

  1. This perspective is so needed. Today’s soldiers are verbally taught a moral code and then are trained to shoot on instinct, causing them to violate their own morality. They come home with severe moral injury. Too many people grow up in or move into a societal system that gives lip service to a chance for prosperity but crushes that hope and leaves them disillusioned, destitute, despairing, and eventually jaded & callous, having to cross all lines just to survive, living in a state of constant trauma, unable to access any guiding principles or ashamed to face themselves. People need to know there is a way up, and it starts with accepting who we are and have been, all of it, and finding a way to overcome shame. These words about Vali speak to that.

    1. Thank you Sara. I have been walking with Vali for a long time and it felt like the right time to share some of what he has offered. In the northern tradition I find Gods actively pursuing their own evolution, role modelling the exact qualities we need so much at this time.

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