Three Norns by Palentino at the entrance of the Ribe Viking Center in Denmark.

Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld. I've written of them on various pages but its time I mention them here. They are generally ascribed as weavers of fate- the sacred tales they spring from describe the creation of individual and community wyrd as a woven strand(s). 

Most of the time, these ladies are ascribed to concepts such as the past, present, and the future. It's a pretty simplistic approach but I find some errors in that particular line of thought. 

Urðr, and it's Germanic cognate wyrd, essentially means that which has come to passVerðandi is simply the present tense of the Old Norse Verða, 'to become'. It typically is interpreted as that which is in the making or becoming. Skuld is the trickier concept, this  word has a Germanic root of skul meaning 'to owe.' It can point to debt or guilt.

What we have here are some pretty deep concepts far beyond past, present, and future. Often we look at the concept of wyrd as what is to happen but wyrd itself requires all three Norns to fully activate as a theological premise.

I prefer a different approach to wyrd and the three Norns. We have 
Urðr, the past, the foundation, that which sets the stage for Verðandi. This Norn isn't the present, she isn't the now. You've already read those words, they are now the past. Verðandi is the becoming which is continually evolving and never remains still.

Here, as I noted, is the trickier aspect. Skuld. If you saw these three as a branch, it is at Skuld the branch would fork. We have two options, the will and the should be. We can ask ourselves at any given time in the becoming, 'What 'will be' in opposed to what 'should be'?' The 'will be' is the direction one is heading, it is where your feet and head are taking you. Are they aligned with the 'should be?' The goal of any human truly needs to be to align the will be with the should be.

How does this correlate with the meaning of the word Skuld 'to owe?' Simply put, we all have a path, a destiny, a fate. We chose it ourselves, it was placed upon us, it was in the cards, use whatever method of description works for you. We owe ourselves and others to align with the should be. The concept of debt or owing is often glossed over, individualistic and 
independent people don't feel comfortable with the idea of being born into this life with pre-destined duties or obligations. It messes with their concept of free will and choice which is a topic I'll discuss on a later date. For now, let's just focus on getting to the should be.

How do we get there? Sometimes it is common sense. Drink heavily? Doesn't matter the Urðr of the situation, right now there is too much alcohol happening. The will be is obvious to most; relational problems, employment issues, DUIs, liver cirrhosis, even alcoholic dementia if bad enough. Change the becoming and that will alter the will be to a should be of a healthier life.

Sometimes discerning the should be is more difficult. Should you marry this individual, should you take this job offer, should you buy this house, you get the point. What looks good in the becoming may not be the best ultimate course. Meditate, do the research, seek advice or counsel, divine; whatever works with your own construct. 

Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld, are far more than past, present, and future. Take the time to explore them and change your forked branch to a smooth, tightly wound strand.

Three Norns by Timothy Schmalz. Click the picture to go to his site.

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