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Thread: Suicide and the afterlife

  1. #1

    Suicide and the afterlife

    Where do you think someone that committed suicide would go after they died? Obviously not Valhalla or Folkvangr, but suicide is definitely spilling blood in a sense, and not a peaceful death, so I feel like it'd be out of place in Hel? I know there are stories of warriors pretty much committing suicide in hopes of getting into Valhalla, but? Dunno. That isn't exactly a combatant death unless maybe you willingly get yourself killed to save another comrade? But I'm referring to your regular non-combat suicide here anyway. Thoughts?

    (apologies if this is insensitive to anyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts before or has family members/friends that have committed suicide)

  2. #2
    Copper Member Norse_Angel's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    There are stories of dying men cutting their wrists to trick the Valkyries into carrying them up to Valhalla. But no, in my own expert opinion, if you commit Suicide, you will go to Nifelheim. Nifelheim is the cold torturous tundra for those who live their lives cheating off others, stealing, lying, betraying their brethren, and dying causeless deaths. I do believe suicide falls into a couple of these categories, such as the betrayal of loved ones. You have also died, giving your life for no cause other than selfishness. Some may disagree.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As an after thought, I'm not sure how the context of sacrificing your own life to the Gods would bode, but all the same, I do not think they would be pleased.

    - - - Updated - - -

    But I must say, if you are contemplating suicide, there are many sources to help you. Even myself, for I went through terrible bouts of manic depression. There are many differing solutions, many people to help you, for There is always light in the darkest places, but only if you have the eyes to see it.
    "In the shade now tall forms are advancing,
    And their wan hands like snowflakes in the moonlight are gleaming;
    They beckon, they whisper, 'Oh! strong armed in valor,
    The pale guests await thee - mead foams in Valhalla.'"
    - Finn's Saga

    http://hoodednorseman.tumblr.com/

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    Jr. Member eightofcups's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    First off I am mentally ill and I have attempted suicide in past so I am coming from a very biased perspective.

    That being said, imo, condemning a mentally ill person for committing suicide is like blaming somebody for choosing euthanasia when they are dying a slow, painful death. Which makes me wonder, how do Heathens feel about euthanasia?

    As for non-mentally ill people, most of the suicides I have seen have been of incredibly marginalized people (First Nations people and transgender people commit suicide at an astonishingly high rate for example). The shit that these people go through; many of them are rejected by their families, they are alone in world (so they're not really betraying anyone), they've been abused and bullied their wholes lives, to the point they can't take it anyone. If anyone deserves Nifelheim, it's the awful abusers and hateful people who drove them to take their own lives. Calling suicide selfish reeks of victim-blaming to me; if society didn't treat marginalized people like such garbage they wouldn't feel the need to kill themselves at such high rates. Whenever I see another transgender person kill themselves on the news because of hate I feel like it should almost be considered a kind of murder at this point.

    Also, many people definitely do commit suicide for a greater cause than "selfishness". Last year there was a transgender girl who killed herself, leaving a suicide note on tumblr, in it she explained that she hoped her death would help spurn people to take action against the discrimination, abuse and lack of support for transgender people. Right now there's a movement trying to create a law known as "Leelah's Law" (after the girl in question) which would ban 'conversion therapy' in the United States.

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    Cat Freak Gleb's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    I thought we had such a thread somewhere... MO? Any thoughts?
    "Fair means that everybody gets what they need. And the only way to get that is to make it happen yourself."



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    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    It's been about ten years ago now, but the best friend who I ever had ended his own life after a battle with PTSD and all that goes along with it, acquired after serving in the armed forces for many years and fighting in Afghanistan. In life, he was a warrior, fighting not for the purpose of forwarding some sort of government propaganda (as many people feel these modern wars are about), but for that he truly believed that he was performing a service in the aide of others. He was brave, fierce, and dedicated, traits that not only defined his role in combat but also in how he approached every aspect. From our friendship, to his (and my) family, to his (at the time) new son.

    There was no note left, just a series of experiences that his widow related that led up to his death. In his mind, he suffered from what he had done and seen, flashbacks, and the fear that in the increasingly frequent fugue states he would cause harm to those he most held dear. Despite all this taking place, he had been determined to be "healthy" and was no longer being provided the treatment that he should have gotten. In the end, it was not an act of selfishness, but one made for the mental and physical safety for those he held most dear to him in life.

    I cannot think that he has gone anywhere but Valhalla or Folkvangr, as he was a warrior throughout life, both in and out of combat, and feel that he had given (taken) his life as one final sacrifice to protect others.

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    Copper Member Norse_Angel's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    I agree whole heartedly that your friend has ended up dining in the halls of Valhalla, his demons mended by the Valkyries touch, and Odins knowledgable eye. I'm sorry for your loss. I think it really matters on situation. If a warrior is haunted by his past vs the man who doesn't see a point in living anymore. Thank you for sharing that my friend.
    "In the shade now tall forms are advancing,
    And their wan hands like snowflakes in the moonlight are gleaming;
    They beckon, they whisper, 'Oh! strong armed in valor,
    The pale guests await thee - mead foams in Valhalla.'"
    - Finn's Saga

    http://hoodednorseman.tumblr.com/

  7. #7

    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    If you are lucky enough to be carried to the halls of Valhalla by the Valkyries, Munin-Hugin, I am sure your friend will be there waiting, ready to dine and fight side by side with you.

    Norse_Angel: how exactly is someone committing suicide to mental illness selfish? Mental illness is a physical chemical imbalance in ones brain that can be triggered by various things and when it is triggered, it starts an uphill battle (slaughter, more like, with you never seeming to move one god-damn inch) that many people just aren't able to survive. Your entire life is defined by combating it; attempting to push it back; it's a fight to stop the hallucinations, the flashblacks, the depersonalization, the incessant feeling of emptiness, the disassociation from reality, the gut-wrenching guilt, the thoughts that fill your head and never go away no matter what you try and how many meds you take. Falling to this particular form of combat often ends in suicide; if these peoples lives are defined by battling something stronger than them, larger than them, that is impossible to cure (beat), that tries to take over every part of their soul and being inch by inch, and they lose to it, they die to it, how is that not dying in some form of "combat"? Even if it's not your conventional combat.

    I can see, for instance, a man who is perfectly healthy and suffers from no mental illness offing himself because he lost his business and all his money, leaving his children behind, is selfish and not worthy of anything less than Nifelheim. However, one who dies from mental illness, from one who dies a battle that doesn't really ever stop the entire time you are alive -- I'd actually be fucking surprised if they didn't get into Folkvangr or Valhalla.

    At first I didn't think this way -- as evidenced by my OP --- but as someone who comes from a family of individuals who suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, etc, the more I think about it the more it comes clear.

    I'd be interested in hearing how those individuals haven't died fighting?

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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    Quote Originally Posted by Gleb View Post
    I thought we had such a thread somewhere... MO? Any thoughts?
    There have been a few suicide threads. I don't think any of them were focused suicide and a heathen afterlife though. I would prefer to let this develop free of the history of its forebears since once of its predecessors managed to infuriate pretty much the entire staff before I shipped it to hell and imposed a temporary ban on the topic anywhere within my reach.

    Now since I have foul experience with this topic, A pre-emptive warning to all. This topic is insanely contentious. Be cautious, be polite and understand that if I think you are

    1) incapable of caution and courtesy to my standard

    Or

    2) attempting to provoke someone into failing the prior condition

    You will be evicted from this thread without warning or mercy.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
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    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

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    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  9. #9
    Copper Member Norse_Angel's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    I didn't mean anything offensive by what I said H-M, but like I said in previous posts. It does matter on situation. If a solider takes his life because of his PTSD, after fighting physically for his life, I don't see any reasons the gods wouldn't welcome him into Valhalla with welcoming arms.
    Transgender is a sticky subject. I'll say this now, I have three friends who classify themselves as gender fluid, as well as two others who have come out as transgender, one actually taking the operation. Now this is where it does get grey, and MO, if I step over line please delete this post, for I am only expressing my opinions, and in no way am I trying to offend anyone. My two friends who are transgender are some of the most optimistic, happy people I have ever met. They do not listen to the hate. Neither of them have ever been brought down by some other persons problemed opinions, and neither have ever had suicidal thoughts for who they are. This being said, I do feel in that case scenario, they will die and enter Valhalla for fighting for themselves.
    But for those who have lost the battle? This is where it gets grey. And I shall say no more on transgender, but for everyone as a hole.
    I've gone through manic depression. I used to be addicted to heroin, and I literally watched my friend die on the stuff. He was almost a father figure to me, he took care of me for well over 4-5 months after I got kicked out of my parents house. And I watched helplessly as he OD'd. His best friend pulled me away from him, and drove me to the town my parents lived, and dropped me off.
    I wouldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I wanted to die. The nightmares that came in the following week were some of the worst I've experienced. Night terrors made me keep myself awake at any cost. I wanted to join him, and when I was rummaging through my drawers to find my knife, I came across the Runes my Godfather gave me, and the book and notes he had taken for me. I browsed through it, gave myself a reading, and had a revelation.
    It took half a year after this revelation to come out of my depression, but that rune reading gave me hope, gave me a reason. And if something so small as a simple tug in the right direction could keep a person who went through what I did away from the 2 minutes it would have taken to find my knife, and kill myself, then I feel anyone can save themselves.
    Yes, after I watched several of my friends commit suicide how selfish it is. You end your life only to bring suffering and despair on those who care about you, those who love you. There are so many people who would give an arm and a leg for half as decent of a life as they lived, and that person threw it away because they've had a bad couple of months, or half a year, or a full year. It doesn't matter the length, because as I've found, time heals everything. I've stopped having nightmares, I turned my life around, and today, I am the happiest I've ever been.
    "In the shade now tall forms are advancing,
    And their wan hands like snowflakes in the moonlight are gleaming;
    They beckon, they whisper, 'Oh! strong armed in valor,
    The pale guests await thee - mead foams in Valhalla.'"
    - Finn's Saga

    http://hoodednorseman.tumblr.com/

  10. #10
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Suicide and the afterlife

    Firstly, can I ask everyone to please drop the discussion about whether suicide is a cowardly or brave act? It's largely irrelavant to the OP's question, but most importantly, I can almost guarantee it'll end with MO flexing his shiny new red text muscles and shutting this thread down. Now matter how tactful you think you are, or how legitimate you think your opinion is, that discussion DOES NOT END WELL.

    I have my own opinion about that discussion, but I'm not going to give it... see above.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMadCrow View Post
    Where do you think someone that committed suicide would go after they died? Obviously not Valhalla or Folkvangr, but suicide is definitely spilling blood in a sense, and not a peaceful death, so I feel like it'd be out of place in Hel? I know there are stories of warriors pretty much committing suicide in hopes of getting into Valhalla, but? Dunno. That isn't exactly a combatant death unless maybe you willingly get yourself killed to save another comrade? But I'm referring to your regular non-combat suicide here anyway. Thoughts?

    (apologies if this is insensitive to anyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts before or has family members/friends that have committed suicide)
    I'm somewhat of a literalist when it comes to afterlife options in my faith...

    - Valholl is for those slain in battle. It's the place the Einherjar are kept, fed, trained and tested until Ragnarok. Consider it a training camp... for soldiers who will fight for Othinn at Ragnarok. The Lore is very clear about this, and the idea that 'warrior slain in battle' means anything other than an actual person with an actual weapon in their hand being killed by another person with a waepon in their hand is a completely modern one.

    Could suicide get you there? Now I do consider PTSD to be a war wound, so it's conceivable that a soldier who dies of PTSD (ie suicide) would have the same chance of being chosen for Valholl as one who dies of their physical wounds after the battle is done. So my answer to that is 'yes'. But as far I'm concerned, the entry requirements for Valholl are very specific and not at all what popular modern interpretations would have us believe. And it's the last place I'd want to be spending eternity.

    - Folkvangr we know far less about, so it's harder to say whether you'd get there via suicide or not. I'm inclined to say the same for Folkvangr as for Valholl, but we have to remember that unlike Valholl, we have no supporting Lore and must therefore rely completely on UPG.

    - The entry requirements for Helheim are non-specific, so I'm certain most suicide cases would end up there along with the majority of us.

    -Niflhel... I don't believe for one second that suicide automatically gets you into Niflhel or onto Nastrond. Suicide is not that simple, and as far as I'm aware there's no historical evidence to suggest that suicide had a social stigma attached which would send you straight to eternal tortment. Now notice I said 'automatically'... suicide might get you to Niflhel, but that would be down to the individual and the circumstances that led to the suicide.

    - Aegir's Hall... drowning is drowning, and my UPG tells me that Ran would probably find a suicide-by-drowning somewhat amusing. I think suicide by drowning for someone of a Northern faith would amount to purposefully putting yourself in Ran's net. Whether or not she accepts you probably has more to do with who you are than why you killed yourself.

    - becoming landvaettir, disir or some other sort of vaettr after death... this I think could be purposefully facilitated by suicide. If you had the skill and dedication, and the Nornir were amenable, I think you could actually kill yourself specically with the intent to stay on as a disir or as part of the landvaettr complex of your home. I'm not sure what the historical precedent for this is, but I think it would be possible.

    In general I think that suicide would possibly shut the door on Valholl or Folkvangr (if it negated the other entry requirements), but otherwise wouldn't necessarily be the deciding factor on where you go. I'd like to bring up at this point human sacrifices... if these were indeed voluntary as some sources suggest then you could consider them a form of suicide. I think each suicide case would be individually considered, because each case is individual and cannot be painted with the same brush as any other.

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