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Wyrd: The Threads of Fate

Updated: May 6, 2021

Image Wudgla

Wyrd brought you to this page did it not?

If you can accept this, you have gone a long way in understanding the concept of active Fate known to the Anglo-Saxons as Wyrd.


The Norns:

"While there may be things that are fated, still, our will and energy can alter them. We all receive gifts from the divine at birth, which we can develop or ignore. Focus and energy must be put towards a task if it is to be successful.”

“The thread of of life shimmers i the dawn. It is woven by what was; It is entwined with what is: And plaited with what will be. Each has their destiny, But each too, their will and magic. Nothing is certain. All is in flow.”

By Stacey Demarco


Yggdrasil, the tree of life that holds the nine worlds within it’s limbs and roots, grows from the Well of Wyrd. Wyrd is the flow and living force of destiny, which nourishes the world tree and all life. Seated under the tree, ensuring the flow of Wyrd, are the three maiden Norns -Urdr (What was)Verdandi (What is), and Skuld (What will be).

These deities weave the destiny of each new baby born. They visit each child and bestow upon them their fate, which they carve in the form of runes into Yggdrasil. While it is tempting to look at the Norns as similar to the Fates in the Greek Pantheon, the Norse did not see fate as unalterable, as the Greeks did. Instead, they saw fate as malleable, subject to the will and energy of the individual and the forces of their environment. So while someone could have a destiny carved for them by the Norns, by channelling their own desires and personal energy, they could change it.

Wyrd is an Old English noun, a feminine one, from the verb weorthan “to become”. It is related to the Old Saxon wurd, Old High German wurt, Old Norse urür. Wyrd is the ancestor of the more modern weird, which before it meant odd or unusual in the pejorative sense carried connotations of the supernatural, as in Shakespeare’s weird sisters, the trio of witches in MacBeth. The original Wyrd Sisters were of course, the three Norns, the Norse Goddesses of destiny.

Wyrd is Fate or Destiny, but not the “inexorable fate” of the ancient Greeks. “A happening, event, or occurrence”, found deeper in the Oxford English Dictionary listing is closer to the way our Anglo-Saxon and Norse forbears considered this term. In other words, Wyrd is not an end-point, but something continually happening around us at all times. One of the phrases used to describe this difficult term is “that which happens”.

We are our deeds" At the core of it What actions you have taken in the past determine what fate awaits you in the future. Yet as we have said many times, it boils back down to Intent.. The intent that drives the action.. For The 3 Norns see what is in our hearts, what drives our actions... What are choices and actions based on... A deeper layer of cause and effect determined by actions here on Midgard, the world we inhabit.

As we move through time, our thread is woven together with those of many others to form the tapestry of wyrd. The actions of our parents shaped our wyrd long before we were born, as the actions of your parents’ parents shaped theirs. As we live our lives we make constant large and small decisions about what actions to take, those actions slip into the past and affect our present. The thread of our wyrd does not snap and separate from what has been spun in the past, but – with enough effort.. it can take twists and turns that change its orientation in the tapestry.

As we have said and shared many times our lives create ripples.. what ripples are we making that touch and stretch the world of our children's children ... In our thoughts actions and Deeds.. we are all connected. Together, our individual threads make up one great human tapestry, and each of us has a responsibility to always strive for right action. Wyrd will weave us together and always does..

If time is not considered or experienced in a linear fashion but instead regarded as an interconnected series of events, each affecting the other, ‘that which happens’ or wyrd becomes not a destination but a sign post, or even a crossroads. Just as the traveller affects the outcome of his journey by the path he chooses, so do we play an active role in facing what wyrd metes out to us. Wyrd can be “worked”. What you do as an individual can bend or change wyrd.

Consider Time not as a swiftly flowing river, constantly rus