In Return of the King (Book V Chapter 1: Minas Tirth), author J.R.R. Tolkien gives us a conversation between Pippin and Beregond, who is a man at arms of the Third Company of the Citadel. The conversation takes place in Minas Tirth in Gondor on the eve of the battle on the Fields of Pelennor. “When?” said Pippin. “Have you a guess? For I saw the beacons last night and the errand-riders; and Gandalf said it was a sign that war had begun. He seemed in a desperate hurry, But now everything seems to have slowed down again.” “Only because everything is now ready,” said Beregond. “It is the deep breath before the plunge.”
I suppose that many of us who aware of what is going on in the current wolf age have had this very same conversation quietly in hushed tones with our friends. It is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ In Casablanca- “The Usual Suspects” the writer gave a very brief explanation of the ‘who’ and the ‘why.’ To paraphrase Tolkien, this Shadow of Doom steals away the warmth of our blood. But we should not be disheartened. As this writer said previously, this wolf age provides us with an opportunity to prove ourselves worthy to be remembered.
After a spate of terrorist actions and social upheavals, things are somewhat quiet as the dark riders of the Shadow of Doom regroup before the next round. We must take a deep breath and prepare, before we are thrust into the next series of events. We must prepare mentally, spiritually and physically. Many, if not most of us, will not survive the shadow that has come upon us. That does not matter for death comes to us all. What matters is that the best of our folk and culture survives, so it can thrive again. We must help ourselves, because there is no one else to do it for us. Besides, the gods will not do for us what we can do for ourselves.
In the last post, “Thurisaz- Rune for the Wolf Age”, this writer had briefly discussed runic energy in the wolf age. Continuing with the same line of thinking this writer wants to revisit our heroine in a bit of fiction. In this story our heroine, Sigdrifa/Brynhild/Europa, was pricked with a Sevefnthorn by the agents of Mordor and she has fallen into sleep. Our heroine is guarded by those who falsely swore to protect her, and then betrayed her at the direction of Saruuman. As our heroine Europa is the folk soul, her survival is everything. To ensure her survival, rangers from the north have at great risk and loss, entered Arnor where Europa was held, and rescued Europa.
Hotly pursued by Orcs, the rangers eventually make their way to Minas Tirth, where our heroine is placed in repose in the high keep. The keep is surrounded on all sides by enchanted thorns, which will repel all but our prophesied hero, who will marry Europa and restore the Folk. But before determining who the true hero is, the shadow of the Dark Lord is upon Pellenor Field. Lord Denethor has succumb to the influence of the Dark Lord and calls for the surrender of the Folk sealing his own doom. Confusion and fear are rampant. The Folk despair. Pipin asks Beregond the situation and Beregond replies, “It is the deep breath before the plunge.”
But all is not lost. The children of the north, the sons and daughters of Odin have gathered on the wall to hear the prophecy of Malbeth the Seer (Chapter 2: The Passing of the Gray Company):
Over the land there lies a long shadow,
westward reaching wings of darkness.
The tower trembles; to the tombs of kings
doom approaches. The Dead awaken;
for the hour is come for the oath breakers
at the stone of Erech they shall stand again
and hear there a horn in the hills ringing.
Whose shall the horn be? who shall call them
From the prey twilight, the forgotten people?
Their heir of hem to who the oath they swore.
From the North shall he come, need shall drive him:
he shall pass the Door to the Paths of the Dead.
Hearing that a hero will come, the Folk gain heart and begin working to repel the usurpers, in contradiction to the orders of Denethor. The Soldiers of Odin eagerly stand to. Their spears clang mightily against their shields, their voices rise up in a crescendo, eager for battle and hope. The ravens circle in the sky. There is thunder as lightning races across the sky. The Aesir and Vanir have gathered on the wall ready to enjoin the fray against the invader. The daughters of Odin have taken the heart of Freya within themselves and now desire to be Europa waiting for the arrival of her hero. Without fear they eagerly await their Orlog.