For a long time I have pondered on the true meaning of Walhalla as the way the concept is presented in the Eddas makes very little sense when taken literally. This is a timely reminder that great truths are normally obfuscated in sacred literature to ensure that they are only properly understood by the Initiate. This is common to most religions which have both an exoteric and an esoteric interpretation. It is even the case in Christianity. I recall many years ago-about 32 years ago I attended a Church of England Bible study group and the Curate who led it made the ridiculous statement that "Jesus taught in parables to make it easier for the people to understand." I found his statement incredulous and told him so, pointing out the words of his master in Mark 4:11:
"And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." (KJV/AV-the underlining is mine for emphasis.)
Only the Christian fails to understand this which is probably an indication that at the time of my spiritual search in the 1970s and 80s I was never truly a Christian. Christianity was simply the starting point of my Faustian quest, having been born in a nominally Christian country. Eventually I heard and responded to the Call of the Blood which is one and the same as the Call of the Gods for our Gods in a sense reside in our blood, in our DNA (represented by the Anglo-Saxon Ing Rune) and in our Collective (racial) Unconscious: the Blood Memory.
From a magical perspective it is significant that at any one time Jesus had to have 12 disciples-or Initiates. Those who are familiar with the New Testament will recall that with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot and his suicide he was replaced by Matthias who was chosen by lot-generally regarded as a heathen practice by the Church! So there had to be 12 + 1 (The +1 is Jesus, whether on earth or ascended). In effect this was a coven of sorts. I fully appreciate that there is a zodiacal interpretation as well.
Going back to my argument regarding parables; Jesus taught in parables so that only he who had the spiritual capacity to understand would do so. The message behind the parables was never intended for mass consumption, contrary to the teaching of the Church. When challenged by me the Curate had no answer! The reason why I am recalling this episode for my readers is by way of illustration in terms of how we should approach the Eddas. The greatest danger is that we take them as a literal revealed truth in the way the Jews, Christians and Muslims regard their scriptures for this is the way of dogma and spiritual sterility. THE truth resides in our blood and although we may lament the near destruction of our lore by Christian zealots and traitors (frequently kings and tribal chieftains) the lore may be recovered from our Blood Memory so nothing is ever permanently lost! It can be recovered from our collective psychic hard drive! Furthermore we must understand that underneath many of the stories related in the Eddas there are spiritual truths that can only be understood by Initiates who figuratively have crossed the Bifrost Bridge and returned to Midgarth.
Returning to the issue of Walhalla which as an aside I have mentioned before is an anagram for Allahlaw just as Wulf Ingessunu has demonstrated that Ragnarok is an anagram for Korangar (spear of the Koran). These two revelations are an indication that we are approaching the end of this Kali Yuga and the revelation of Widar Wodenssunu, Der Starke von Oben. Let us read again what is revealed about Walhalla in the Eddas:
"Five hundred doors and forty,I think there are in Valhall;
eight hundreds of warriors will go together from one
when they go to fight the wolf.
"Five hundred daises and forty,
so I think Bilskirnir has in all;
of all those halls which I know to be roofed,
my son's I think is the greatest." (Grimnismal 23-24, Elder/Poetic Edda, Larrington translation)
"Five hundred doors, and forty eke, I think, are in Valhall. Eight hundred Einheriar will at once from each door go when they issue with the wolf to fight.
Five hundred floors, and forty eke, I think, has Bilskirnir with its windings. Of all the roofed
houses that I know, is my son's the greatest." (Grimnismal 23-24, Thorpe translation)
The 'son' who Odin refers to is of course Thor and Bilskirnir is His hall. Bilskirnir has 540 floors whilst Valhall has 540 doors. I have discussed the significance of the numbers 540 and 800 in earlier articles but I intend to revisit the issue in the future as there is more to reflect on and examine. The Einheriar are Woden's elect 'warriors' but I use the term guardedly. We need to remember that the myth of the Einheriar and Valhall was framed in the post-Viking age and accords to the cultural norms of that period. Odin had gained a warlike aspect and had developed from the earlier Woden/Wodan. Thus there is likely to be a certain amount of distortion in the Eddas, especially as they were compiled by Christian or Christianised scribes.
The Einheriar are specially selected fighters who serve Odin, having been selected by Him to reside with Him in the celestial abode of Valhall, which may be interpreted as 'hall of the slain/dead' and/or 'hall of the chosen'. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive as when He chooses us He blesses us with death which is merely a portal to a higher realm of existence. Let us see what the Eddas have to say about the activities of the Einheriar:
"Odin is called All-father, for he is father of all gods. He is also called Val-father [father of the slain], since all those who fall in battle are his adopted sons. He assigns them places in Val-hall and Vingolf, and they are then known as Einheriar." (Gylfaginning, Younger/Prose Edda, Faulkes translation).
"Odin is named Alfadir (All-father), because he is the father of all the gods, and also Valfadir (Choosing Father), because he chooses for his sons all of those who fall in combat. For their abode he has prepared Valhalla and Vingolf, where they are called Einheriar (Heroes or Champions)." (Blackwell translation)
The Blackwell translation expresses Odin's name or function quite well-'Choosing Father'. He chooses His servants but they should not be viewed as warriors in the literal sense of the term. That is the exoteric interpretation which we will leave to our brethren, the Odinists! To us, folkish esoteric Wodenists it should mean something slightly different. We are His Einheriar and have been so for countless centuries, returning to Midgarth to fulfil His will. We know that we belong to Him for we are AWARE; we have AWOKEN. An Einheriar should and must be aware of their mission and purpose in this life or they simply are not chosen by All-Father. We are not warriors as a superficial understanding of the term implies, ie fighters with sword or gun etc but esoteric fighters. As servants of Woden we use esoteric and magical means.
Let us look further at the activities of the Einheriar:
"All the Einheriar fight in Odin's courtsevery day;
they choose the slain and ride from the battle;
then they sit the more at peace together." (Vafthrudnismal 41, Elder/Poetic Edda, Larrington translation)
"All the Einheriar in Odin's halls each day together fight; the fallen they choose, and from the conflict ride; beer with the Aesir drink, of Saehrimnir eat their fill, then sit in harmony together." (Vafthrudnismal 41, Thorpe translation)
Logically, superficially verse 41 makes no sense unless and until we apply an esoteric understanding. Once dead the Einheriar cannot die and rise again each day and fulfils little purpose until we interpret the falling and arising as a metaphor for the repeated incarnation of the Initiate in Midgarth which after all as one of the 9 worlds is surely part of the 'courts' or 'halls' of Woden? We incarnate repeatedly and follow the Listian formula: Arising-Becoming-Passing Away to New Arising. A single lifetime is insufficient for us to fulfil the work and obligations granted to us by Woden. We fight but in an esoteric sense as did for instance the Master Miguel Serrano, who should be a model for us to emulate. To suggest that all those who have ever died in a physical battle will reside in Walhall is ridiculous for the following reasons:
.Millions have fallen in battle over millennia!
.Walhalla has no place for those who are not biologically children of the Gods, ie Teutons or Aryans at the very least.
.Can one imagine a Christian or a Muslim warrior being accepted into or willing to reside in the hall of a heathen deity?
No, we must apply an esoteric understanding when examining the Eddas and not take them literally as do the slaves of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions.