by Sir Toby Chappell, Grandmaster
Walhalla is both the motto of the Order of the Trapezoid, and the name of the chamber at the Wewelsburg Castle wherein the current manifestation of the Order was cast into the world by the second Grandmaster, Sir Michael.
The word Walhalla (ON: Valhöll ) is the German form of the name of the Hall of the Slain, where Wotan’s faithful who have fallen in battle await the chance to fight in Ragnarok. Within the Order however, we tend to think of Walhalla more in terms of a ‘state’, and strive toward the properties associated with this state. Thus, we take a less literal reading of the myth, looking deeper into what the myth is really trying to convey as a usable model for behavior and reflection.
Walhalla as the motto of the Order implies a number of values that are adhered to by the Knighthood, and function as a model for shaping our individual Quests.
Walhalla stresses the importance of readiness. The battle can come at any time, and those who stand ever ready can confront anything which may hinder the Quest (and take advantage of anything unexpected which may be used to enhance the Quest).
As part of maintaining readiness, the danger in being too static or rigid must be avoided. The Left Hand Path, especially when guided by receptiveness to the guiding hand of Rûna toward unknown destinations, demands that one both be flexible as well as remain free to make choices and pursue their results.
Walhalla is a place of camaraderie. All those present have shown their faithfulness to Wotan, have the shared exprience of having perished in battle, and are preparing for the same goal. To that end, they maintain a highly dynamic state of existence, including sharing in the daily (and perpetually Remanifesting) feast that nourishes their psyches. This camaraderie is a model worthy of emulation as we support each other in our Quests, especially via such magical tools as the Sumbel.
Walhalla is the dynamic, evolving state of being that follows death (in contrast to Hel, the destination for those not on the path of Becoming, wherein the static psyches of the inhabitants are gradually reabsorbed into the Object Universe). The notion of Ragnarok, like death, as merely a transformation or state change (instead of a final state), is embodied by Walhalla: only those who themselves are dynamic and evolving are allowed to join Wotan at Ragnarok, and benefit from the profund transformation of that experience.
The final attribute of Walhalla that is especially apt to us as Knights of the Trapezoid is that of pleasure. Those in this dynamic state are treated to neverending feasting and entertainment, interspersed with daily sparring so that the warriors can keep their skills sharp. (This calls to mind a bit of dialog from The Big Sleep, where Humphrey Bogart’s Phillip Marlow tells of his relationship with a worthy antagonist in his former role as a “G Man”: “We used to swap drinks between shots, or shots between drinks; however you like.”).
Pleasure is an important component of the Left Hand Path (just ask the Magus of Indulgence); these moments of respite are both what provide the resting places along the Quest so that we may rejuvenate ourselves for the perpetual journey, as well as to allow our Being to absorb and Remanifest what has been acquired along the path of mindful evolution.
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