Arch-Heathen Concepts

Heathen Luck

Luck, known as hamingja, is the external manifestation of frith and honor. Heathen luck has nothing to do with chance. The arch-Heathen believed that, for the inner-yard, luck is a force that ensures success because it is a direct reflection of your fate, and the fate of your tribe. Luck is also direct reflection of the strength of your tribe. It was believed that luck could literally be contained in physical objects and be sent forth to do your will. Family heirlooms were highly cherished as they would act as a container for the family’s luck. This luck could be willfully given to another. For example, when a king (rich with luck) wished you good luck in your travels, he was sending a portion of his own luck with you to assist during your journey. The concept of luck is a foundation for other concepts as well. Namely, orlog and worth. However, those topics deserve their own essays.

Luck is carried with the family line, which is yet another reason why the bonds of kinship are so important in Heathenry. Your natural talents are inherited and these talents, when applied in a selfless manner, can contribute to the protecting and enhancing the luck of the tribe. Some are born as natural leaders, others are natural athletes. Some people are born with brains like computers, others can capture our world accurately with nothing more than paper and charcoal. Beyond this, the power of luck determined by the actions of our ancestors flow through our life as well. This is your birthright. It is our responsibility to protect and enhance this familial luck for the benefit of our descendants.

Strong luck can manifest itself in a great variety of ways. We all know someone who seems to always be in the right place at the right time. This person just seems to have everything ‘go their way.’ This isn’t chance, this is how luck affects their life. As stated before, luck is the external manifestation of frith and honor. Therefore, grow and strengthen your frith through the gifting cycle and acts of kindness and generosity toward your inner-yard. Other honorable acts, which are determined by your inner-yard, will also act to strengthen frith. Conducting ritual to the numinous (ancestors, wights, deity, etc…) can work to enhance your tribe’s luck as well. After all, luck can literally be given as a gift to assist the recipient.

Weak luck has the opposite effect. This person is constantly misplacing important documents. He forgets appointments and loses his car keys. He may even get flat tires when it is raining. While these things can happen to anyone, they will tend to happen to the luckless far more frequently. Acting in a selfish manner will work against frith, and will do damage to luck. Likewise, acting dishonorably will do varying degrees of damage to frith. Passive-aggression and backbiting are commonly thought of as dishonorable. Speaking poorly of someone while not in their presence will generate feelings of ill-will. These emotions cause people to act with reservation, decreasing the chances for selfless behavior and degrading frith, honor, and luck.

As you can see, arch-Heathens placed great emphasis on luck, and that luck has been passed down along the family lines since the beginning. You need not be Heathen to have luck, it is part of a natural law. The concepts of frith, honor, and luck are at the epicenter of the arch-Heathen worldview. They are directly proportional to each other. If you strengthen one, the others will also strengthen. All other concepts are founded by or related to frith, honor, and/or luck. With this understanding of luck, it should be evident that it is within your influence to make positive and negative changes to your tribe’s luck. Our fate is in our hands.


Further Reading:
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=1 linktext=’ The Culture Of The Teutons, Vol 1 by V. Gronbech’ /]
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=2 linktext=’ The Culture Of The Teutons, Vol 2 by V. Gronbech’ /]
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=12 linktext=’The Norse Concept of Luck by Bettina S. Sommer’ /]


Eric is a Disabled American Veteran, having served with honor in the USMC. He lives on ancestral land at the edge of the Great Plains in a rural community near central Missouri. Eric has two children, wife, parents, and little brother with whom he remains very close. His extended family (tribe) calls themselves the Ida Plainsmen. He is an IT Manager by trade, but enjoys writing, reading, gardening, forestry, bush-craft, leather-craft, visiting [IRL] with other tribes, and is an avid outdoorsman. Eric very much likes to enjoy his world while perched atop his steel horse.

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