Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Singers of Soma!
Throw Your Weight In -- Where It Matters
Be Choosy : Attune to Your Good Arrangement
Consolidate Your Joy
Monday, May 06, 2013
 Grimnismal 5 : Álfheim Frey / gáfu í árdaga / tívar at tannféi, "The Gods gave Frey, in days of yore, Alfheim as a tooth-gift."
 Note that already, even prior to the Mill, Frey is linked with a kind of communism, making his treasury open to all.
 Volundarkvida, prose introduction : Völundr ... var hagastr maðr, svá at menn viti, í fornum sögum, "Volund was the most artistic/skillful of men that men knew in the old sagas."
 Volund is called vísi alfa, a "leader of the elves", as well as alfa ljóði, "prince of the elvish people".
 This folk theme of bad weather and loss of fertility due to strife amongst the fairy-folk appears again and again in European literature, and is accurately reflected in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream : "But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. / Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, / As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea / Contagious fogs; which falling in the land / Have every pelting river made so proud / That they have overborne their continents: / The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, / The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn / Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard; / The fold stands empty in the drowned field, / And crows are fatted with the murrion flock; / The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud, / And the quaint mazes in the wanton green / For lack of tread are undistinguishable: / The human mortals want their winter here; / No night is now with hymn or carol blest: / Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, / Pale in her anger, washes all the air, / That rheumatic diseases do abound: / And thorough this distemperature we see / The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts / Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose, / And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown / An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds / Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer, / The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world, / By their increase, now knows not which is which: / And this same progeny of evils comes / From our debate, from our dissension...".
 The power of this woman in the law-assembly is noteworthy ; Paulus Diaconus says of Gambara that she was a mulier quantum inter suos et ingenio acris et consiliis provida; de cuius in rebus dubiis prudentia non minimum confidebant, "woman of such sagacious nature that her counsel was prophetic ; of whom in critical matters, her wisdom was relied on in a way anything but minor." In Germania 8, Tacitus says of women, inesse quin etiam sanctum aliquid et providum putant: nec aut consilia earum aspernantur, aut responsa negligunt. Vidimus sub divo Vespasiano Veledam diu apud plerosque numinis loco habitam. "They believe them to have a divine and prophetic nature : nor do they decline their counsel, nor disregard their replies. We saw in the open air, in the days of Vespasian, Veleda, regarded by most as of divine rank." Tacitus also speaks of a people far to the East of Sweden who are femina dominatur, "ruled by a woman", and who share with some of the Swedes the custom of Matrem deum venerantur, "worshipping the Mother of the Gods". Indeed, both Paulus Diaconus as well as the Origo Gentis Langobardorum invoke a tradition whereby Gambara appealed to Frigg, Odin's wife, the Mother of the Gods. Adam of Bremen independently avers in his Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum that Postea longis terrarum spatiis regnant Sueones, "Beyond the boundless regions of land over which the Swedes rule," lies a terram feminarum, "land of women". One of the scholia states that Anundum ...navigio in terram pervenit feminarum, "Anund arrived by ship in the land of women" ; Anund or Onund, as evidenced in Volundarkvida, is another name for Volund.
 This is a giant name, demonstrating that Westmar and Kolo were giants.
 Note the dark carnivalesque misrule with which the giants here overturn everything Frey is known for : Freyr ... mey hann ne gretir / ne mannz kono, / oc leysir or haptom hvern (Lokasenna 37), "Frey ... maidens/virgins nor men's wives causes he to weep, and loosens every bond."
 The coincidence between the waning of love and the waning of the land's fertility is noteworthy. The forcing of love -- which is not love at all -- will not force the land to be fertile, another lesson.
 There is a fascinating connection here between healthy sexuality and working the land, as if they mutually reinforced each other. Indeed, working the land is literally a labour of love, and thus reinforces love. But love is also needed for the land to blossom. Failing to be in rhythm and tending with the earth produces unnatural lusts -- which let us note are solely defined as those which are coercive. Working the land has a regulative effect on people, putting them in touch with the seasons, which lend a sense of proportion through their rhythms. In this one passage, we get a furtive inview into an often hidden Indo-European philosophy connecting love and the land. (Indeed, such a sense goes well beyond the Indo-European peoples and is inclusive of many archaic peoples.) The torpor is also due to the fact that this terrible weather and loss of crops happens, according to Saxo, during a time when Snow was considered king -- in other words, when Winter ruled over all, and the seasons ceased to turn and change. Shivering and shuddering in the freezing weather, the lack of the active life, and particularly of tending the land, stirs up cold, sadistic impulses. Consent and celebration, on the other hand, are natural attributes of love.
 As the giants move in and impose their cruel, cold behavior on the landscape, the fruiting fields of the elves begin to resemble more and more the barren Iron Woods -- picture here the horrific, dark trees of the maleficent forest in Disney's Snow White. This is not to say that Alfheim did not have its share of lush, alpine woodlands, but the picture painted here is of bent, dead trees spreading pallor and darkness ; there is as much resemblance between these deformed remnants of trees and the former groves and orchards as there is between the giants' mass rapes and genuine, heartfelt love.
 Saxo is obviously educing a second source here, a variation on the house-of-horrors theme above. Notice the cognate similarity on some levels with the riotous behavior of Penelope's suitors in the Odyssey.
 According to Tacitus, to refuse hospitality was a nefas, a violation of divine law. Indeed, Havamal, Odin's words to men, begins with the codes of hospitality. We are getting a very clear picture of the brute behavior of the giants, who lack all virtues and manners of civilized beinsg living in organized communities : they fail to respect matrimony, virginity or hospitality, and they take joy in the sufferings and torture of others.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Odin encompasses transparadigmal multiplicity, which is not a unity, at least not in any sense that we understand it, but an actual nexus of incompatible, simultaneous hinges between various either-or worldviews. The wizard is as close to a con-man as you can get, except one with integrity, dedicated to vagabondage, the passionate abandon into multiple-level, progressive brainwashings. The wizard knows that only with enough brainwashings can the mind get clean, being wrung out through one paradigm after another. The wizard is an enormous practitioner of "as if', gaining depth through exploration and commitment -- 100% commitment, yet at the same time, commitment with an ironic detachment. The wizard knows that the best way to know something is to throw yourself into it 100%, in order to know everything you can about it, and then, almost abruptly, to throw the whole thing out, to kill it, discard it, and forget about the whole thing. Only when it has died will anything good begin to grow from it. Only when you gain the ability to call "bullshit" on that which you most believe will you finally earn believing it, as it sneaks up from you and welcomes you arisen from the grave. Each new perspective, each new worldview, each new paradigm is taken up, eventually cast down, and then weighed against and woven into the others, so that there is a rich, resilient, polyfibred weave. No one knows precisely what the wizard believes, as the wizard is in the process of knowing, which requires not knowing. The wizard as a matter of course goes into beliefs and perspectives which seem beyond the pale -- dangerous, forbidden, absurd, taboo, outrageous, beneath notice, beyond possibility -- and often with greater furvency and earnestness than a true believer, having suspended for that time all other background paradigms, however they may conflict, until it has been so imbibed and assimilated that it may be killed and allow digestion and fermentation to do their job, pulping and yeasting it into useful, delirious mead. This immersion, requiring suspension of loyalties while at the same time maintaining essential integrity, is not easy, and involves tremendous amounts of struggle, for unlike the con-man, for the wizard, there are things that really matter, and they have to do with life, and so holding together all the conflicting strands in creative, perilous abeyance is a tormenting work for such a reflective being, who must learn also to forget, knowing when to forget and when to remember, having set up, however haphazardly, various cues in diverse nested ways, to trigger recollections that reset from present brainwashing parameters, all while learning all one can from each, towards some great work that is not yet fathomed but greatly intuited deep within. The wizard is a viking surfing out on the greatest sea of all, the great tempest of chaos, willing to risk those waves in order to assimilate to them, and enrich one's being with the infusion of vibrant untamedness, whereby one can create a far more dynamic order. One elevates structure and plan -- but then lets them go to seed, and there, in that jungle reclaiming the urban project, there one sets to work, sets to art, loyal to neither chaos nor order but only their intertwined, bastard synthesis, never perfect, letting chaos nourish rationality, and giving the hillbilly, or the wild man, the keys to the city. The wizard learns the weird lesson that only by being willing to risk betraying everything you love can you learn a loyalty beyond loyalty that can sustain you, and nurture that which you love the most. This, again, is not some easy formula ; it must be achieved, throughout, with some code of honor, however askance or mercurial, maintaining basic integrity throughout the full course of shapeshifting. Yet shapeshifting is impossible while maintaining rigid notions of integrity, at least those that keep one locked in limited self-definitions. The ability to play the fool -- to be the fool -- to even be the outcast -- is important, because only within that which is considered absurdity from a rigid point of reference promises any escape-velocity from that fixed perspective. (And obviously the point is not to do any absurdity or to compulsively, unintelligently lust after every transgression as many anticonformists do, losing both sense and heart. Linearity in either direction -- for or against -- lacks the squirming quality that is yet the integrity of weird. One must have the puckish love of an itinerant scholar for Stanislavskian truth that seeks, however unlikely the direction, value, and value to benefit, ultimately, the commonwealth. The Wiccan Rede here is a tremendously wise guideline, however one may wager the perilous. Many things lie close to weird, or seem to -- some are scary, some are creepy, some are wacky, but only weird is weird, and there, in that weird place, that weirdness only s/he can be, full of the virtues of both mystery and plethoric laughter, will the wizard discover what it means to trust. And from trust -- a deeper trust than betrayal and loyalty -- the love for life that animates the wizard at every turn can manifest throughout and despite all the conflicting panoramas.)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
They've just bulldozed the whole thing and replaced it with parking lot.
It's not as if there weren't parking lot all around it before hand. It's not as if people used the existing parking lot much anyway.
It's because this town -- like most towns and cities in America -- is a heartless place run by business people, developers, and their lawyers, and the feelings of people for place, for memory, for the natural life around them means nothing next to their almighty dollar. Gullveig, as always, rules everywhere.
And because "private property" -- that very unsacred sacred can't-touch-this in our society that was originally an usurpation from the common clan and tribal land -- rules everywhere. And where something is planted on "private property", it is under the dictatorship of that supposed owner. It doesn't matter how public that property is in actuality, in real life, as a part of the community. It doesn't matter how anyone feels about it. It doesn't matter if it is alive. It only gets to exist at the whim of the tyrant who holds the title. And if said feudal lord weren't bad enough, of course, in our society, even the lord is required by tax structures to make sure that property is generating cash, cash, cash. Because that's all that matters : cash, cash, cash.
I believe laws should be passed declaring old trees past a certain age -- regardless of whose goddamned "property" they're on -- to be public treasures beyond the pale in most instances, and only appealable on the basis of very specific due process involving public hearings which would include -- and even be strongly organized by -- local historical societies, as keepers of community memory, and ecologists and natural historians.
I guess I "have" to accept that living in an urban society, sometimes some things are going to have to be torn down to make way for something else, although I don't like that all. But Gods damn it, not for profit, not to worship Gullveig, and entirely to serve the public needs!
And I get my Gods-damned hearing. The trees get their hearing. The wildlife gets its hearing. The community gets its hearing.
And they have to advertise and summon the people well in advance. And workplaces have to give time off for these meetings, or they have to be held at times people aren't working. And there would be a quorum, a minimum number of people in the community below which the hearing isn't valid and therefore no contractors can proceed any further.
And at that hearing we can assess, as a community, jury-style, the competing claims of public interest : public interest for something new? public interest to preserve memories? public need of new facilities? public need for open, natural space? And we can weigh these weighty issues on our scales, and Gullveig be damned!
That is never going to happen in a society ruled entirely and through and through by money, which ours is. So we have to do something about that, to concretely change that, and not just in rhetoric, but in actuality, which means taking on all the money interests who will fight like wild jotnar to preserve their privileges against our Thing-systems whereby we will retake sovereignty over our collective lives.
The only way this kind of heartbreak -- which just happens again and again, callously, without notification, often in flagrant violation of loud, vocally expressed community opposition -- is going to stop is through the power of law.
As a new heathen, I used to imagine great scenarios where I would show up at a disputed site, where construction was about to commence, in traditional costume, as a godhi or in druid robes, with a staff and other accoutrements, and declare my religion of nature, declare for the indigeneity of the land, and how their activity was violating my first amendment rights of religion ...
Yah right. Beautiful fantasy. I still love it. I wish it could be -- and indeed, one day in the tribal past, it was. But it ain't anymore. Where did I think that my declaring indigeneity in traditional costume would do any more good than it has done for Native Americans?
We need to grant trees, and particularly stands, groves, and forests of trees, legal standing, whereby it would involve a colossal public process to overturn their rights -- and in turn, our rights to them. Grimm pulls up an old Teutonic law that mandated intestinal evisceration for anyone who cut down the old, sacred trees, and there's a strong part of me that can identify with the meat and bones and muscle put behind that law. But of course, such a law is already a sign of degradation, of greed having been bled in -- the fact that such a penalty would have to be stipulated is a sign that there were already forces in society tearing apart from a recognition of the sacredness of those trees. Those forces, nascent then, are now so wildly out of control -- watch the inchoate jaws of Fenris on the near-horizon -- that they have overturned our old laws and outlawed our sensibilities of the sacred. The law was the tool Tyr gave to us to bind the Wolf. But it has now been used by the Wolf to bind us.
Many years back, they cut down the oldest Eucalyptus trees in California, the trees from which all other Eucalypti in the state were taken. They were huge trees, old grandfather trees, wrap your arms around and it would take three people so doing to embrace them trees. They radiated wisdom and presence in unrelenting ripples. And some bioautistic asshole didn't like them, and so they got rid of them with a dismissive sweep of the hand as quick as you can say "bulldozer". I want these fuckers to have to justify themselves before neighborhood councils. Without ability to bribe. If their project is truly in the public interest -- I'm not against the public interest, when it's real -- I'm community-minded -- then let them convince me. And not only me. But the rest of the community. And moreover, let them convince the elders -- yah, the ones with memories. The ones whose memories stretch back and have some interest in there being intergenerational continuity and valuing memory. Remember? That was the origin of the word "senate" -- the council of the senex -- the old people, the elders? Let them convince us. And let them see our tears, hear our emotions, listen to our poems about things we love, places we cherish, memories we treasure.
Because one of the worst things about these experiences is that they remain undocumented so that the real anguish -- these things always feel like I'm being stabbed -- and I know I'm not alone in that -- is never fully heard, acknowledged, registered, or recorded, so it doesn't even weigh into the public record. It simply vanishes. As if it never mattered. What could be more sacrilegious than for something that matters tremendously to vanish as if it never mattered?
For our ancestors, religion was law -- in other words, law was the concrete expression and mandate of that which was most valued and of most worth.
Where is your law? Only with law can we prevent this tremendous heartbreak. I am crying. I feared this might happen someday, and I prayed it wouldn't. My prayers did not have power of law behind them, and those who worship the saboteurs won this battle.
Jord forgive us, if you can ; chide us as you must ; goad us as we need.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Weal through Wyrd-Working
The Wished-For Soul
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
A Dwarvish Day
Monday, December 17, 2012
My Book Is Out!
Go over and check them out! Buy one volume or all three volumes for family, friends, and kindred! This will make an impressive tome on a bookshelf or coffee table, and provide spiritual guidance and intellectual ferment for years to come.
Many have told me that a webpage is simply too difficult to look at to digest all this work. Now you can have it in print and digest it at your leisure! Underline, take notes, photocopy pages, use as a meditation guide.
There is literally nothing like this out there. This will become a treasured part of your library. Act now to have these presents ready for Yule, or, order for the New Year!