A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Guillaume at a Pagan Moot in Kingston and hoped to have the opportunity to photograph him and share some of the experience on here. Guillaume is a Norse Pagan who practices sverd og skjold (Norse sword and shield – combat technique). He also teaches these skills in Kingston, Ontario. He is a rich story teller with a deep, full laugh.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet him again and take a few photographs. I wish that I had the skill of a photographic memory so that I could recall verbatim his telling of the sacrifice of Týr. While Wikipedia gives one the basics of the story, it lacks the passion to which it was shared with myself and the others who were present.
I knew nothing of the Germanic/Norse religion before this meeting and found the story so fascinating that I got a book on the subject which is actually a little more about the Runes then the actual mythology. Later I got some hematite runes too because I found I needed to have something more tangible in my hand while trying to grasp these totally foreign concepts.
There are many interesting aspects of these stories, but what I took away are that of sacrifice for the good of others is key to these beliefs. Like the tales themselves, Guillaume, is a man with a huge presence. His huge laugh brings in those around him and his ability to get to the point of the matter is not only with the tip of a sword. It was not lost on me that he wanted to be sure that I was safe getting to my vehicle after the moot and that he was the last to leave checking that we were all safe. The need to protect those around him is deep and ingrained.
Guillaume’s gear is a combination of hand made items, to which only in retrospect now again do I realize that I should have photographed more closely, made by his own and other’s hands. The man exudes a beautiful hand made quality not just in his clothing but in his very self. His willingness to allow me to take photos and run a story on him was something I also found quite fascinating. I suspect that this security comes from the mans ability to assess the intent of those around him as well as his ability to protect himself and the others who are in his presence from any ill intent whatsoever. Honestly, there are few men who I have ever felt quite as safe with and this is despite the fact that I know him only in passing and very little.
No matter, it was a pleasure to meet him and to talk. Hopefully this world has many men as great.
Bide the ancient law Ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust.
Heed these words the Rune’s rede fore-fill:
An ye harm none, do what ye will.
What ye send forth comes back to thee,
So ever mind the law of three.
Follow this with open mind and heart,
Merry we meet – Merry we part.