The pre-xtian Teutonic peoples believed in Rebirth and their concept of the 'soul' was a complex one. As Dr Stephen Edred Flowers makes clear in his remakably informative books Sigurd: Rebirth and the Rites of Transformation (Runa Raven 2011, Lodestar 2015) and Runelore (Samuel Weiser, 1987) our ancestors believed that body-soul complex consisted of many parts: the lik (the body itself), the Hugr (the mind), Hamr (shape-substance), Odhr (faculty of ecstasy), Ond (vital breath), Minni (memory), Sal (the soul), Fylgja (the Fetch-following spirit of the opposite gender) and Hamingja (luck).
I do not intend to go into any detail about the individual parts of the Germanic body-soul complex but the reader will notice that I have referred to 9 parts. This is significant and is related to the 9 worlds of Norse cosmology. Interestingly Anglo-Saxon cosmology knows of 7 rather than 9 worlds. Again this is not something I am going to elaborate on right now but these 7 worlds are divided between 3 realms. Ocultists relate the 9 and 7 worlds to a 9 or 7 chakra or wheel system.
Returning to the issue of rebirth it is clear that if the body-soul complex is divided into 9 parts, on their dissolution after death they will not all go or return to the same place and may not even survive at all. Germanic mythology curiously knows of many dwelling places of the dead and this subject is elaborated on in detail in Hilda Roderick Ellis's The Road to Hel (1943, republished by Cambridge University Press in 2013). Hilda Ellis (Davidson) examines the evidence for the Germanic afterlife from archaeology and literature and finds from their burial customs that in addition to Walhall and Folkfang the dead also resided in burial mounds, the halls of the sea Goddess Ran and the underworld of Hel. The dead as draugr (a form of vampire or zombie) also visited the living. Encountering the dead could have either beneficial or malignant results. This is why it is imperative that when undergoing any esoteric work the magician carry out the necessary protective rite which for us in the Northern Tradition is the Hammer Rite.
Dr Flowers makes it clear in his works that the different aspects of the body-soul complex depart on death to different regions. The Hamingja for instances continues by being transferred to the new born of the family, clan, tribe or race. It does not die and the naming of a child after a recently departed ancestor helps to assure the transference of the Hamingja from one generation to another. Families often used the same prefix in given names. He gives an example from the Sigurd book in the early genealogy of the Cheruscans: Segimer, Segestes, Segithank, Segimund etc. The luck of the individual was really the luck of the family, clan, tribe or race.
In terms of individual consciousness, for the greater mass of mankind death produces forgetfullness and loss of memory of previous lives in the Eternal Return, for the personality, that which makes them individual gradually fades away and dies. As Viktor Rydberg states in Teutonic Mythology Volume 1:
"In Saxo we find an idea related to the antique Lethe myth, according to which the liquids and plants which belong to the lower world produce forgetfulness of the past. Therefore, Thorkil (Thorkillus) warns his companions not to eat or drink any of that which Gudmund offers them. In the Gudrun song (ii, 21, 22), and elsewhere, we meet with the same idea." (Chapter 49)Miguel Serrano in his Resurrection of the Hero states:
"Only in the Eternal Return of the demiurgic cycles, as we have herein seen, can one return without a soul."The beast-man has no soul, no sense of who or what he or she is. They are mere cardboard cut-outs, robotmen with no destiny to fulfill and thus they are nothing but slaves of the demiurge but we as servants and children of the Aesir must waken those who are meant to be awoken for the number of the Einherjar is already known and foretold in the Eddas:
"Five hundred doors and yet forty more, that is what I think are in Val-hall. Eight hundred Einheriar will go at once through one doorway when they and the wolf go to fight." (Gylfaginning, Prose Edda)In other words the figure is 432,000. I believe this is certainly a symbolic figure for reasons I have stated in earlier articles for this figure is the number of years in the Hindu Kali Yuga but it could represent an actual known number of Woden Initiates. Certainly the idea of there being a large but limited host chosen by All-Father Woden is clear from our sacred writings.
It is the task of the incarnated hero, the Vira to REMEMBER who he or she is, to AWAKEN and thus awakened, to ACT. On remembering who he or she is the Vira KNOWS what his or her life's work is and devotes himself or herself to it which in essence is the winning of personal immortality, a God-like existence and to break free from the necessity, the Not of Eternal Recurrence, which is the lot of the beast-man. In returning to the celestal realm of Asgard the Vira has a face.