Do we have free-will or are our choices made for us?

Q. Anthony: Isn’t always having a choice a contradiction to having a religion? At least one with a God? As I’ve always heard it from so many people, you’re life is decided for you in the end and there’s only one way to heaven. Where’s the choice in that?

A. Andrew: Great question. In the Northern Way of Odinism we believe there is both “choice and no choice” aspects to life. It involves “time.” Some “times” you have a choice, other “times” you don’t. I will explain.

Think of the paths of your life interwoven like a spider web. We call it, “The Web of Wyrd.” There are the threads that intersect at nexus points. The threads of the web we call, “wyrd.” These are the paths that once you are on them you do not have a choice. If you try to deviate from it you will feel “weird” or the wyrd pulling you back. You think you have a choice along these paths, but the powers of feeling “wyrd” will keep you on it as you move toward your destiny, the destination, which is the next nexus point where wyrds intersect. It is at those nexus points where you have a “choice” of which path of the wyrd to take on the Web. Those points are called “orlogs” a word from which we get the English word “ordeal.” So it is often when everything is in upheaval and changing around you, that you not only “can” choose, but you “must” choose. The choice you make at that point sends you down another path or thread of the Web of Wyrd until you come to the next “ordeal” or orlog, and so on. People often describe these moments in life by saying, “My life is at a crossroad.” The “roads” are the paths of wyrd. The “crossroads” are the orlogs or ordeals.

Some examples of “orlogs” are like, a teenager leaving home for the first time, or getting married, or choosing a new job, or getting evicted, getting a divorce, or getting fired. Take a marriage for instance, once you have “chosen” the wyrd of a marriage in the orlog of a wedding, you will “feel” weird or wyrd if you try and get out of it before it is “time” or before you reach the next crossroad “ordeal” or orlog. However, if you reach that orlog, then you have the choice to stay or go. We’ve all felt it, many of us choose to stay, but when we do so, we lose the “choice” to opt out again until the next orlog. We even feel “movement” along the Web of Wyrd. It is expressed when people say things like, “This relationship is going nowhere.” Or vice versa, “Now we are getting somewhere!”

You can also travel in circles in the Web of Wyrd and end up in the same situation but different circumstances. This is sometimes called “going around the mountain” where you refused to climb it, so whether you choose left or choose to go right to avoid the destiny at the top because it was “hard” to climb and therefore a “hard” choice, or whether you were “afraid,” or “desired” something else, etc. you will simply circle around the mountain and end up at the same spot, same kind of relationship let’s say, different guy. Same event “getting fired,” but different company, “getting evicted” but different house, and so on. So, in that explanation we have an idea of both “no choice” regarding the path we are on, “You are married now whether you want to be or not” kind of thing, until you reach the next orlog or ordeal, which means we also believe in “choice” but only at the “time” of those ordeals.

You can feel them…if you pay attention…you can see them…if you watch the circumstances of your life. People even say, “I didn’t see That coming.” or vice versa “I saw That one coming a long way off…” They mean they saw it on the landscape of the soul, not the landscape of the body. “Truth is to the soul, what reality is to the body.” Become aware of both…and you will get “more” choices than you have without them.

Sincerely, Gothi Andrew Webb

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