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Cosmic Principles

Frumawitoþ (“First-Law”)

*Frumawitoþ is a reconstructed word derived from fruma (“first”) + witoþ (“law”). It is a calque of the Old English word orlæg.

Orlæg is a complicated concept to explain, especially since there is no modern, Western equivalent. It translates as “the first law” or, more accurately, “that which was laid down first.” It is the defining template of a person that sets them on their course of life.

Dedinati (“Deed-Web”)

*Dedinati is a reconstructed word derived from gadeþs (“a deed, a [completed] act of making/rendering”) + nati (“net”). It is a possible Gothic interpretation of the Old English concept of wyrd.

If orlæg is how one begins, it is easy to see why people misunderstand wyrd as how one ends — one’s fate or destiny. However, this is not accurate. Wyrd is better described as the threads that connect us to every other person, creature, and entity around us. Wyrd is also the tapestry we weave with those threads when we interact with our world. Any action that an individual takes not only changes their own wyrd, but also the wyrd of others. It leaves an imprint on those whom their action affects, whether the individual realizes it or not.

Click here to read more about orlæg and wyrd on The Longship.


Bauschatz, Paul C. The Well and the Tree: World and Time in Early Germanic Culture. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982.