A very special friend asked me to perform a wedding last weekend, so Sheila and I loaded up the car and drove to a town in the Sierra foothills a couple of hours from our house. We arrived at the motel where we were staying, checked into the room, and began carrying things from the car. So far, a very ordinary trip…but that was about to change.
Walking back to the vehicle to get the last of our baggage, I saw a man approaching from my right front. Broad of shoulder and deep of chest, he called out to me, “Brother, I didn’t know there were any others of us around here!” – apparently in response to the Thor’s hammer I was wearing around my neck.
We shook hands, and his story unfolded: No, he was not part of the wedding party, nor did he even know about it. He was in town on business. Yes, he followed our Gods – as did the ten or so other men on his tree trimming crew. They were, in effect, a working “tribe” of Asatruar who bid on contracts with utility companies. We exchanged contact information, then talked for a few minutes, and again the next morning, at greater length.
I was struck at how unlikely our meeting had been, considering that he was in no way connected with the Asatru wedding that had drawn us to town.
Wedding preparation kept us busy the rest of the day, and the ceremony itself went flawlessly. A good number of AFAers were there, and even more presumably Christian attendees. I think we represented our faith well, and earned the understanding and acceptance of the many non-Asatru folks who were there.
The next morning, a second unusual thing happened – as peculiar as the parking lot encounter the previous day, but totally unrelated to it.
We had gotten up, packed our things, and prepared for the trip home. We walked down to the breakfast room in the motel, which was fairly crowded. We took the last vacant table and prepared to eat. A man and woman walked in, got coffee, and looked around for a place to sit. I asked them to please join us, and they accepted. As the man moved to sit down, he paused – and said to us, “Nice Thor’s hammers.” Taking a seat, he pulled out his own Mjollnir out from under his shirt.
No, he wasn’t connected to the wedding party. Nor was he part of the tree-trimming crew. This was an entirely new and unrelated encounter. We talked at length, and he mentioned that as a young man he had hoped someone would revive the old Nordic faith…So we told him that his wish had come true! I will be inviting him out to Odinshof for one of our upcoming events.
Musing on the peculiar coincidences, Sheila and I got into our car and headed up the highway. We weren’t immediately going home; but headed instead for a suburb of Sacramento to attend an Asatru Folk Assembly meet-up scheduled at a local restaurant.
The meet-up was a success; there were about eighteen of us in attendance, to include several new people. It was a good group and we had a great time. Shortly before adjourning, we asked our waiter to take a photo. Someone handed him a phone. He stood at the end of the tables, raised the phone – and I saw he had runes tattooed on the inside of his left arm!
Needless to say, I discreetly pulled him aside and asked him about them. He replied than it was the entire Elder Futhark. We spoke briefly, and told him the nature of the group he had been serving for the last hour or more. Later he came back on his own initiative and we exchanged information. In particular, he wanted to know what books on runes he should read.
Three startling “accidental encounters” in twenty-four hours! Not counting the wedding itself, of course, which was a planned event. What are we to make of this?
Looking at each of the coincidences – the parking lot encounter with the tree-trimming team manager, the couple in the motel breakfast room, and the Elder Futhark on the waiter’s arm – how likely was each encounter? One in ten? One in a hundred? One in a thousand?
Let’s take the middle ground, and say each one was a one-in-a-hundred chance. Personally, I think that’s too conservative, but I’m no statistician, so let’s go with that.
To find the probability that all three of these coincidences would happen we have to multiply one hundred, by one hundred, by one hundred – which gives us a million. If we had said the chance of each was one in a thousand – which personally I feel is more likely – the overall chance is one in a billion.
Mere chance, coincidence? Direct intervention of the Gods? Something else?
“Chance” is always a possibility. But as we’ve just shown, it is not a very good explanation for these three strange occurrences.
Direct intervention of the Gods? Well, I’ve witnessed what I consider to be that, but this doesn’t have the same feel to it.
Something else? Yeah, maybe so…Dr. Carl Jung (who coincidentally – there’s that word again! – wrote a very important paper on Wotan, the German name for Odin) spoke of something he called “synchronicity.” It’s defined as a “meaningful coincidence” – when events occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related. We have no idea why synchronicity happens but it seems about as close as we can get to an explanation of the one-in-a-million or one-in-a-billion series of events that defined my weekend.
Something is stirring in the soul of our Folk. We have hoped for, and worked for, an Awakening, a spiritual or cultural or political sea-change that will move our people to action, and to victory, and to the securing of our high Destiny. The signs are there, and we hope that they are the straws in the wind that portend a coming storm. Will it come in time to save the European-descended peoples from marginalization and eventual extinction?
That’s entirely up to us – to our dedication, our wit, our will…And to our personal spiritual evolution, which if we do it right, may enable us to replicate synchronicities such as the ones that clustered around Sheila and I last weekend.
More on that in the next blog.