Friday, October 10, 2014


Appeal: Justice, Court, Mediation, Law, Peace


Forseti-norse-mythology-24768872-775-1031.jpgForseti ('presiding one') is an Aesir God of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology.  According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, Forseti is the son of Baldr and Nanna.  His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning 'shining,' referring to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance.  His is the best of courts; all those who come before him leave reconciled.  This suggests skill in mediation and is in contrast to his fellow God Tyr.

Forseti is one of the 'younger' Gods of the Nordic pantheon, and it is telling that he is the son of one of the most famous murder victims in its history.  Unlike other sons of Odin, or the older Gods, who embraced vengeance, Forseti turned to fair mediation in spite of his history of early pain.  As a lawmaker and a law speaker, he embodies approaching wrongdoing as a complex, multilayered problem that requires humane solutions based on established laws rather than lashing out emotionally.  Today, we need him more than ever in the battle against injustice.

Supposedly, there was once a shrine to Forseti at a spring on an island between Denmark and Frisia, identified in one old source as Heligoland.  In one legend, the Frankish king Charles Martel told the twelve Frisian law-speakers that they must conform to his laws or face death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat on the ocean.  They chose the latter, and prayed for help as they drifted.  According to the story, a thirteenth man suddenly appeared on their boat with a golden axe over his shoulder.  He steered the boat using his axe as a rudder and brought them to land, then split the land with his axe and a spring came forth.  He identified himself as Fosite, taught them all new laws, and then vanished.  The shrine was later defiled by St. Willebrord.

Forseti is a good patron for anyone who is a public prosecutor or public defender or judge.  He favors of those who work in the law for free, because of their desire to make the world a better place.  He is also a patron of mediators and professional advocates, and anyone who is doing mediation work even amongst their friends.  He has an interest in governmental agencies who make and interpret law.  His axe symbol reminds us of the finality of justice, and is an excellent talisman for people in these professions or those who are navigating situations that require fair judgment.

7438223.jpgHe brought about reconciliation between enemies, Gods and mortals.  Forseti delivered and set forth judgment and verdicts.  He did not have a significant role in the last battle of Ragnarok.


It is interesting to note that in even today's Iceland, the president is still called a "Forseti".  Forseti also appears in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game's pantheon, and is often chosen as a patron God by paladins.


O Lord who bears upon his back
The double cut of Law,
Who listens every day to what
This one said, this one saw,
O Lord of judgment shining clean
Whose words are fair and just,
I ask you for your greatest gift,
I place in you my trust.
Tangled I am in a terrible web
Of others’ wrath and lies,
Cut those threads with double blade
And free me from those ties.
Show me what I can do to make
Amends to those I’ve wronged,
Lead them toward a kinder place,
The peace for which we’ve longed.
Let both sides stand with sheepish glance
And say, “I see, you’re right,
If only in this one fine thing,
There is no need to fight.”
Forseti, shine the light that you
Inherited from your sire,
But chose to filter through the lens
Of clarity rather than fire.
Shine Glitnir’s hope upon this mess
And make us own our part,
And make us all see justice done,
And patch the wounded heart.

by Ari





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