Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Sermon to Freyr

To be read in the fervent, Pentecostal lilt and rhythm, remembering that Pentecostal sermon-speak is but the distillation and co-optation of a thousand generations of heathen witch and voodoo ways turned to Southern preaching. Let us move into a strange dimension, where this witch spell-talk is turned back into the filled hofs of Frodi.

God wants us to be free! Praise the Lord! The Lord wants to help us loosen all weights and chains, all manacles and bonds, all debts and worries! The Lord wants us to love freely, to feel pleasure freely, to enjoy strength and mirth and good times! Lord knows that life holds enough struggle and pain as it is that we ought share as much pleasure as we possibly can! And so when the times were dark and the monstrous were amongst us, the Lord called us into small brotherhoods to share our joy and give to each other that our needs might be met. The Lord called us together into tight bonds of frith, ousting all killers of joy, so that we might trust and love and enjoy with full impunity, and no fear of those who might attack our joy. The Lord asked us to meet in thronged frith-guilds, singing, dancing, letting hair down, letting gentle wildness loosen all bonds, 'till we were frothing, whirling, dervishing, rapturing through the streets and down the village lanes! Praise Freyr! For when we were down and out of luck, when it seemed the gods in heaven and the gods of earth had split themselves apart, when the very ogres children cringe from at night seemed to creep in from the four corners and aid the very worst of men, when the most wolfish of kings ruled us with an iron fist and a gendarme of giants, then, he, praise be to Freyr, came out from Alfheim to bring us joy. And we needed joy, yes we did, hail Atriði, for we were living in despair, and living in squalor, and the whips on our backs and the bullies amongst us had made us forget the Laws of Heimdall. Wo, alas, for those who should have been thralls were earls, and those who should have been earls were thralls, and not a freeman amongst us! Alerted by his elven vassals, he came amongst us, dressed as one of us, living in the woods, and he helped our hearts to become strong again. For many things were wrong, and we could not right them until our wrecked joy itself was righted. Hail Atriði! My brothers, my sisters, many times it seems we are back again in those faulty and dark times. Many times it seems that the chains are upon our wrists and the whips upon our backs. Many times it seems that thralls think themselves earls, and will not foster a freeman! But the worst of all, my brothers and sisters, is when we forget that we are free. When we forget that joy is our birthright. When we forget that full enjoyment of the heavens and earth, the birds and the bees, the mead and the milk, the bread and the butter, the love and the lore are ours ; and though we may live in a hovel, if we are free, we are greater than the highest of false kings! Though we may ride a shoddy horse, and carry a simple carriage, if we are free, we stand taller than the tallest giant! Though we have never received praise in the courts of the haughty earls, if we are free, our minds stretch farther than all the sages! Hail Atriði! But those who are not free, though they enjoy wealth and privilege, teach us to be ashamed of our bodies! Shame upon them! But those who are not free, though they enjoy prestige and honor, teach us to be ashamed of our celebratin' and dancin' and dervishin'! Shame upon them! But those who are not free, though they enjoy rank and collar, dare to teach us to be ashamed of our loves, however we may love? Shame upon them! A thousand shames upon such nidings! For the Lord himself once loved a love that no one dared, and lo, though she lived amongst the very outcast themselves, he sent his friend to fetch her and take her hand in marriage! For all love is holy, and only those who choose each other can judge whether the choice is right! When the miserly came into our lands and saw the freedom of our folk, wo, there was an ill envy upon them, and they would seek to snuff it out! When the miserly came upon our kings, and saw them giving away gold, wo, there was foreboding amongst them, and they would seek to separate the king from his folk! When the miserly came into our temples, and saw the glory of our Lord lusty and proud and shining for all to see with no shame but pleasure, wo, there was shame in their hearts, and they threw down our holy relics, and called them the homes of demons! But we knew what demons were like! Demons were those who invaded the land and lorded it over us! Demons were those who threw their might about and robbed us of our simple joys! Demons were those who taught us to be afraid and ashamed of our pleasures, our bodies, our very freedom. And though you may knock temples over, and knock the Lord upon the ground, praise Freyr you cannot keep him down! For Frodi rises from the tomb, a trick, you thought him dead, again and again, he rises up, and will not cease to grow! Hail Atriði! Glory be to Ingvi! For that Green Man, though he be a corpse with his tongue wagging from his mouth, yea, the very vines and branches swirl and stretch out from his maw and grow! And through the long years those carvings stood within their churches, those aisles where they taught us shame, reminding, reminding, some day, some day he would rise again! For Freedom cannot be put down forever! Hail Atriði! Glory be to Ingvi! A thousand blessings on King Frodi! Praise Freyr and his holy wand of pleasure! Brothers and sisters, it does not matter if you are few, for the few are always more than they imagine, and better to be a few who sing and hear each other's tune than to be amongst the mass who drown out your voice and throw spears through your smiles. It was in guilds of these kinds that our numbers once grew, across the many lands, proclaiming peace on earth, goodwill towards men, and freedom for all! And with this mighty message we once, yes, we once together swarmed and overwhelmed the giants! And then we put them to work spinning that mill to mill us gold and peace! Those were the Golden Ages. Now you may say that time never happened, that it is but a story. But I say unto you, when you find your guild, and you sing your song, there the seed of those times is once again planted! And I say unto you when giants rise but the swell of liberation rises higher, yea, even unto insurrection and revolution, the joy of Freyr will not be kept down! For these tales repeat themselves a thousand times. These tales are always true, even if they never happened, for some say it was Urd herself who whispered them into Bragi's ear, when he whispered them into the ears of our ancient poets, for all these stories were the shape of how she wove the web, and with these tales, we have a key, a precious key to wyrd itself, that if we realize, if we recognize, we can unlock the locks that bind us. No, these tales are true, my friends! Look in your hearts and you will find them, pulsing! You need no blind faith for that! You need no doctrine for that! You need no shame-ridden mumbling for that! All you need do is close your eyes, and feel what it is like in your bones, your sinews, your muscles, and your blood when you feel most free, and swell that up against all that holds you back, that makes you cower, that drives you like a slave, and you will see, these words, these tales, are healing tales, tales of freedom. Praise be to Freyr! Glory be to Ingvi! And live your life with joy and freedom! Hail Atriði!
[Images selected from Google Images. If anyone knows their source, I'd be glad to give credit.]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Worship as Welcome

Worship as Welcome. Welcoming the Gods into your life. Doing the work-ship to activate their forces in your life, your everyday life. Not presuming that simply bowing one's head to them and uttering something nice, or begging, will bring favor, but rather that one must do something that activates their power in your life. You honor the gods not just with your words, but more importantly with your deeds. Say to the gods "You are welcome to come into my life and do your wondrous work. I remove the obstacles I have placed before you. I pull down the barriers I have erected against you. I will let you come in, be an honored guest in my life, give me good rede, for I will let your energy permeate me and my actions."

Worship is a time to reflect on which of the gods have been missing from our lives, and correcting the imbalance. The gods as a community represent the wholeness of energies, and as their students, we are to learn their cycle, and how they circulate energies. When we fall out of line with the wholeness of this circuit, and the elegance of these circulations, things tend to go poorly for us in our lives. Fixation in a world of cycles can only spell trouble.

The ultimate goal is to reach a point of flow where you are living the gods and they are living you, such that formal worship as such becomes almost superfluous, for their energies are so much a part of who you are that living itself becomes worship, and the full activation of one's capacities, powers, and gifts becomes one's sacrifice.

Of Freyr and Freya

Of Freyr it may be said if you were to take all the life within you and concentrate it, it would be as one cell in his pinky finger. And were you to behold all the cornfields of Nebraska, as an ocean of grain undulating in a vast prairie, that would merely be as a hair upon his head. And were you to take the lust of all animals in heat, that would be as one seed in his great, potent sac, or one sparkle in his scintillating eyes.

Clothed in foliage, sprouting from the green swathes, when cut down rising again like vines from his very corpse, resurrecting again and again, green and lusty, full of life and splendor, never brooking a being to be bound, his legs plaited with blue iris hose growing petal by petal up his thighs, and red vermilion as the velvet of a freshly-antlered buck across his shoulders, wrapped in mantles of ivy, he walks sowing seeds, whistling a tune, a great flute in the pockets against his loins whose call none may resist, and which turns all into dancing children. He makes all the women happy, dancing with the cows as he passes by, and brings men together in joy to feast, laugh, and be merry. Lord of Festivals, surrounded forever by the theatre of mummers, he loves always to play.

And if you could take the love you have felt for your greatest beloved, it would be as one pistil or petal on the great rose of Freyr’s heart. The devotion and joy you have felt, intoxicated in the beloved’s embrace, dancing in the writhing undulation of flesh’s waves, is nothing to the undying love Freyr has for the freedom of all beings, and it is said that he has given his life many times that we might be free, and might love, for when we love, it is as a gift to him that warms his heart.

The love, life, and lust of Freyr are so magical, that were you to take all the wizards in the world and put them together in one room, they would be just one sparkle in his eye, or one peal of laughter on his ever-laughing lips, so that all he has to do is touch one, and all mirth and growth are restored as instantly, magic returns to flush and bloom the being. So when he touches corn or cabbage, the whole field writhes in rapture, as his green thumb coaxes to climax.

Thus it is said to behold Freyr is to behold a being more magical than all the lust, life, and love within you has ever imagined, and even looking upon you with his elvish smile it is as if all chains and weights are loosened, and one desires to rise erect to one’s full height and stature, unbounded by giants or fears, and share in his great laughter.

And Lady Freya, her bursting bosom barely draped over with the furs of wild cats, her hair braided as corn dollies or wild as the night – when she looks upon any, she transfixes with beauty, beauty emerging from within to without as a great unfolding, and all are under her spell. For her magic speaks love and hormones and blood rushing in the heat of eternal estrus. Even the elf-maidens beautiful beyond compare cannot hold a candle to this feral maiden, free, beholden to none, Lady of the Forests and Animals. It is said she taught the world first to kiss, and lips are her domain. The Arts of Love are her great Mysteries, so if you were to take the art of all the greatest lovers in the world, she would laugh, and that would be as the first letter of the first word of the prologue of her great lessons of love. Were she to smile upon you, a kiss would last a thousand years, and an orgasm an ocean one could sail for centuries, gliding above the undulating waves as a swan on a lake. Of wooings and rhythms she knows beyond all, and it is said none, even Gullveig, can resist her enticements.

Over her great cauldron in the midst of the woods, upon a platform built as a throne for her to drum upon, she and her wild women dance beyond the bounds of this world, and bring the Land of Summer’s great gifts of love to all beings. Indeed, she teaches the arts of coming to revel, to dance the dance of creation and love, and all who come to her sabbats move in the skins of sundry beasts and butterflies. Ah, when she bats her lashes it is as if a thousand many-coloured butterflies flapped their wings in the wind, and ever are her lips full and wet, as dew upon lush rose petals. Take Helen, take Kriemhild, take all the beauties of the world, and they inspire the lust and awe of one of her gold-ringed toes. She has but to breathe upon lovers and all that has waned returns to enchantment, like soft sea-creatures wrapped in multi-tentacled bliss.

Proud and free, she gives as she wills, and strong is her countenance upon women inspired to be equally free. She touches a womb and it heals, the belly growing big, or if she wills, it empties and gives forth husks, all to honor the freedom of life’s joy and dance. For her the animals run through the forest, and in Vanaheim ever she tended the boars and the horses.

Nay, one can never exhaust her praise, for it is said leods of love devoted to her endless maiden escapades will never end so long as the world fruits and lusts with longing for love.

But we have said nothing of either of them if we fail to call them Lord and Lady of Harvests, for truly the Fruit of Harvest is theirs. All that fruits and gives forth seed are as a gift from their bosom and loins, and the Fullness of the Gathering is theirs. She, lusty with her wicker cornucopia giving forth all breastlike and vulvic fruits, he showering grain from all phallic stalks, the joy and merriment of the feasts brought in from the fields are theirs, and in their presence, one is immersed in the rich abundance of endless fields of wild grain, the sun full upon the ripened stalks, and one knows the sun as one of their kin. For truly they are the blessed Children of the Lands of Summer and Desire, birthed when the lapping waves of Njord’s great seas caressed and seduced the soft folds of Nerthus’ shores.

Vanaheim is as a vast land of Satyrs and Fauns, Maenads and Maidens, great mischief-makers, smilers, and lovers in all animal forms. Ever are they playing in great kiss-in-the-rings, and one says it is as ever the first of May there. Indeed it is said by some when lovers go naked into the forests on the first of May to retrieve the green bowers and bring back the Maypole, one has passed into the Lands of Summer and Desire, and one may meet in this meeting of worlds many a lusty satyr and many a wild maenad. And on earth, one green man of the woods of Vanaheim would seem as the greatest god of growth and greenery, and yet such a servant would pale before the might of Freyr. On earth, one lady of the woods, plush and naked and full of wild sirenings that urge the loins forward would seem as a great goddess of love, and yet such a servant would dwindle before the beauty and voluptuousness of Freya. In Freyr’s presence all become lusty bucks, horny and ripe with hormones’ scents, and in Freya’s presence all become nymphomaenads whose curves and soft places make men’s lips and loins rise as flowers sprout from their naked feet with the sounds of rushing moans of rapture.

But it is also seen as the Isle of Riches, whose beaches are shored with sands of gold, its rivers flush to the brim with fish and salmon, its shores full of the gifts travelers from the waves of Njord have brought back a’viking, full of exotic women, golden-skinned boys, spices, scents, like an eternal Orient in the far West, giving salt and spice to the world, perfumes and mascaras, rich draperies, flowerings, and endless surprises. But beyond all these riches is simply the wealth of feeling in love forever, which the Vanir share in endless permutations and combinations, and one has never known a land so tantric and wanton, so full of games and perilous adventures. It is said swans surround the great port of Noatun, whose peace, wealth, and grace know no bounds. These swans were gifts from Haenir, who fostered Njord and Heimdall when Lodur fell into shadow. From him these lords of wild love learned great arts of peace and holiness to keep their lusts lawful and fruitful for the world, for it is said the conflict wrought by the Vanir in time’s beginning was so great that were they to return to warring, the world would be rended by their unfrith. And so Hoenir taught Njord the wondrous arts of calming the seas he so easily stirred with waves and frothings, and Njord and his land became known as great masters of peace.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Logos, Wod, and Woden

The Greeks called the sense-making capacity, the ability to sort, sift, think-and-feel things through, in order to reach understanding, "Logos" (or "The Word", articulation-ability, or, in heathen terms, the rune Ansuz). Logos approaches chaos, feels through chaos, and finds the order within. It allows the chaos to be spoken. Such speech is a kind of Spell. Logos makes the difference between senselessness and sense, being able to confront the abyss and speak it. It is like a word in a time of turmoil that speaks to the heart and brings comfort through understanding, empathy, and really speaking to one's condition.

Logos properly speaking is a cognitive, emotional, somatic, and existential process at its core involving one's whole being in an encounter with experience, sifting it through, weighing, arguing, listening, considering from multiple vantage-and-view-points, so that the sense entangled and enmeshed in the phenomenon itself -- so intricated, so prevalent, and so "obvious" that it resists attention and articulation -- may emerge. The more we are willing to bring of ourselves to the encounter, the richer the results will be. Logos may thus be called a kind of intersubjective encounter with phenomena.

Odin is Wodenaz, literally "Master of Wod". He thus represents the meeting of Vata / Wod and Logos (Wit / Wisdom / Ansuz). He is able to find the sense in the rush and flow of life's turbulence, not by straightening them out, but through direct experience and encounter. He is the sense in the wind, the intelligence of the riot, the order in the chaos, that which coheres in let-go, wandering mind in the throng. This is not cold, rigid, rule-bound logic, but dynamic exploration of the adventure the world's wyrd offers through chance and chaos. This is a daring, exhilarating kind of investigation, always half on the edge of accident, teetering on a balance beam, and yet with the agility and grace of a trained Olympic gymnast. Carlos Castaneda alled this "controlled folly" (rather than foolish control), an ability to improvise with the world's wyrd, roll with the punches, play things by ear, able to turn "on the jazz" of the world's squawking cacophany. This is Odin as Coltraine, Odin as beat poet in the thump of bohemian den, and yet a beat poet who can hear the speech of birds, and the whisperings of rivers, counting the stars and knowing the usefulness of soil just by sifting it in the hands. All of this through the "magic" of what we might call, as many of the ancients did, "Logos". But this magic of articulating and speaking the sense of things our heathen ancestors called "ansuz", a very important rune.
In summary, Odin is He Who Speaks the Windstorm.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Explorations in Urd, Verdandi, Skuld

Let's explore another model of Wyrd, in order to draw out important nuances left out in the present dominant models. In some ways, we are still locked into Urd = Past, Verdandi= Present, and Skuld = Future. Brian Bates, on the other hand, has explored a concept of Wyrd as the Web of interconnections and simultaneity that makes up the fabric of the cosmos.

From this standpoint, Wyrd is Existence, existence as all that has been and has become. It is all the connections that have been made. Verdandi represents the present becoming of all of those interconnections, how they are morphing and changing. Skuld is a weight, a debt, that pulls all of those connections towards where they may be.

Too much emphasis upon the past takes away the sense of daring and adventure that were a part of the barbarian ethos, an ethos that on the move was not concerned with the domesticity of standing still and resting on the laurels of the past, but seeing what could be proved with deeds in the present. Ariovistus bragged to Caesar that his men had not been "beneath a roof" for fourteen years! This was part of their training --- to occupy the field, to remain in camp, and not under the comfort of a home, but to engage the ever-turbulent flows of wod.

Now, from this standpoint, Skuld represents but ever-thin whisps of threads --- but golden, gleaming threads. She offers the threads of possibility. Verdandi is a force of synergistic synthesis and creation---drawing in the existing, historical connections, and juxtaposing them in novel, fertile ways, but Skuld draws out the potential of these new Becomings. Skuld explores out at the edge of her valkyrie-sword how far the synergistic possibilities may go, and places a dual weight and enticement upon those attuned to her : the enticement of what may be, of what very well could be, if the deeds of all continue to tend in the way Verdandi is tending, and the best may be had with bold deeds, rich, and unforeseen, possibilities ; the weight of how the world may be if one does not live up to all one could be. Not just how one "could" be. Let's remember Skuld as "should". This is how things "should" be. Such thin, gossamer, but golden and strong threads are always in the making. "The future" does not exist as an in-advance predestination we like automatons automatically must fulfill. Rather, Skuld, like her sisters, is ever-active, tending on the possibilities of the present. She counts all of the Debts. These are weights put upon the process of Becoming by deeds, good and ill. Good deeds are good in part because of their fecundity, their ability to multiply good in the world, opening up novel opportunities for marvel. A good deed is like a potato : once laid down and planted, many more may sprout up with profit. A good deed breeds opportunity pregnant with litters of opportunity. Skuld is able to project the synergistic totality of these good deeds and see where they may lead. She therefore has a connection to Glory, to the full, inspired pull of the rich possibilities. On the other hand, ill goods are like a sickness that reduce opportunities and impoverish the realm of possibility. These pull down and drag the process of emergence and becoming. These are debts which may be repaid with deeds of daring that enrich what has been impoverished with a plenitude of good opportunities.

What would a Skuld-driven heathenism look like? A heathenism pulled towards what it could be, who feels the obligation and the seriousness of those possibilities, who knows that developing the full potential of each of us, beyond what we have been, beyond what we know of ourselves, in the full self-surpassing that allows us to overspill our limitations, transcend the wordloc and normality in which our full wyrd and turbulent wod have been festering, rotting, and stagnating, is a sacred duty, a debt so large that we'd better get to our work : our wyrd-weorce.

This is not a heathenism that is about "coming home". One hears a great deal of rhetoric about heathenism as "coming home". No, this is a heathenism that hears in part Ariovistus' call out into the field, to leave the comfort of roofs, to go beyond domesticity, perhaps, even, to find home in the wod-flows themselves. This is heathenism "on the jazz", in the roiling and boiling of Weorthandi, the ever-bubbling present moment of possibility, actively stretching its hands out into the Skuld, all of the possibilities that the present moment's tendencies, and the blossoming within each of our potentials, promises, and making that promise tangible. It is a heathenism that transforms the paying of Skuld's debts from an obligation into an adventure. It is bold, rigorous, more like a drill sergeant or tough coach than a host welcoming home.

There is a warrior-aspect to those who tend Skuld, who feel Skuld's connections. There's a reason Skuld is presented as a valkyrie. Skuld is, in a sense, warring against status quo tendencies of stagnation which weigh down the entire process of possibility with the "sin" of inactivity and failure-to-develop. Anyone who has ever walked the edge knows that one must battle against inertia in order to open out new ways of thinking and living. Risks must be taken. Normalizing, domesticating influences must be forcefully held back from making stillborn the process of development.

This is not militaristic war. This is guerilla, in-the-field, hyper-Taoist, nomadic, ever-shifting, small-but-tight pack, dynamic intensity engagement that knows when to throw against the wall and when to disappear completely from the clearing into forests and marshes, as if some ghostly force emerged and assaulted like a wild hunt of the winds, and then vanished into the woodworks. And it's not -- at least most of the time -- literal war. This is the struggle of creativity, the battle to keep life active and dynamic, and to ruthlessly and intelligently counter the forces of inertia keeping Skuld's full debts and promises from being paid with deeds that blossom our powers. This is "keeping ourselves in the field", tending Ariovistus' brag, keeping the "roofs" of domesticity far enough from us that our own riotous forces of becoming are not squelched.

This is that mira diversitate naturae, "extraordinary and marvelous diversity within the nature and character", of the Germanic people, that Tacitus speaks of in Germania 15, cum idem homines sic ament inertiam et oderint quietem, "such that in the same person is found a love of repose and a hatred of quiet". (My translation). Tacitus speaks of this same nature elsewhere in Germania 14, Si civitas, in qua orti sunt, longa pace et otio torpeat, plerique nobilium adulescentium petunt ultro eas nationes, quae tum bellum aliquod gerunt, quia et ingrata genti quies et facilius inter ancipitia clarescunt magnum... "If the community in which they are born stagnates for long in peace and inactivity, the young nobles desire to pass into other nations, who at that time are engaged in combat, because ease and quiet are unpleasant to these people, but by risky and great (deeds) they glorify and ennoble themselves." (My translation). The key word here is torpeat, to "stagnate". It is the Latin root of our modern word "torpor", a numbness, a sluggishness, a kind of inactivity characterized by dullness, apathy, and the active forces of potential going dormant. It is torpor that the turbulence of the heathen spirit can never brook for too long, because torpor is the very opposite of wod, the mad, rushing, circulating forces of this dynamic cosmos of Becoming.

We ought not translate Tacitus' pace as "peace", but rather "pacified, repressed, held back". The quietem and pace Tacitus is struggling to articulate in his Latin language, is not frith. Frith does not represent the repression and domestication of active forces within the soul, but their dynamic harmonization. It's a completely different concept. Tacitus is telling us that when it comes to the kind of quietem and pace the Romans like to impose, the Germani are continually "disturbing the peace", a peace in name only, a kind of peace the Germani find to be a kind of living death, because a suppression of forces seeking to blossom themselves out in engagement with the world. We may borrow a Situationist slogan to speak to this juxtaposition Tacitus tries to express : "In a society that abolishes adventure, the only adventure is to abolish that society." These are a people who love and relish challenges, the kinds of challenges in which one can "prove one's mettle" and test one's worth, "worth" in the fullest sense of becoming all that one can be. There are battles that are so tough that they wear down on a person, and squash their worthing-process ; these are not the challenges looked forward to. On the other hand, on the other side of the spectrum, there are dormancies that allow no worth to emerge. Life, as always in heathenism, is lived in that dynamic middle.

These are a people who ancipitia clarescunt magnum, come into the light through boldness and peril, through risk and daring. They distinguish themselves in the light of adventure. They find enlightenment and illumination through a gamble which allows them to clarify themselves. All of these nuances are found in those three Latin words, and they are apropo. This is "glory". Glory follows Skuld. Skuld paves the way and lights the path towards glory.

The battle Skuld calls us into is the battle against torpor and inertia, against a status-quo --- any status-quo --- that pacifies and suppresses our own potential and blossoming. This is not a war of machismo, of hardened, militarist stances and poses. Have our people forgotten completely the rigor mortis Roman-style militarism inculcates and breeds? Roman-style militaries (and we all know on what model the modern standing-armies are based) are the death of a harrier, the old-style raider and guerilla warrior, the one who literally harasses the forces of stagnation. "Torpor" comes from a PIE root meaning "to stiffen" and "rigidify" ; that this refers to rigor mortis is made certain by the Anglo-Saxon inflection, "steorfan", to die. The root also branches out into the word "sterile", barren, deprived, from stereos "firm, solid, stiff, hard" ( It is stagnation, rigidity, inflexibility, sterility, barrenness that the old harrier fights against. The host of harriers are supple, agile, limber, resilient, springy, and spry. Their strength is the turbulent suppleness of a wild and natural system, not the battering ram of the Roman Legionary machinery. It is not a standing army, but a nomadic whirlwind. The characteristic of such a guerilla warrior is mercuriality, not machismo, and let us remember that the Romans glossed Woden as Mercury, which tells us something important about his nature. (Well, further --- the days of the week as translated attest to a native assimilation of Mercury to Woden.) We approach this mercurial fury with inadequate but suggestive words like "stealth", "guerilla warrior", "ninja", and so forth. These are parodies, but they help to complement and fill in the gaps in our conceptions of the barbarian harrier.

Mercuriality, wits, turbulent forces of rushing, ability to ebb and flow at will according to the situation. Here we find strength in the turbulence itself, just as a river rushing in its spring floods has an unsurpassable strength. Here one needs to open one's mind to "madness", which is simply to say to the coalescing force-streams of inspiration that transcend normal, habitual, domesticated approaches; this "on the jazz", in-the-moment, in-touch reaching of the mind beyond the apparent is the strategy that gives genius to the heathen commander. This kind of strategizing, far different than the cold, Roman, machiavellian method, is actually a kind of spá, prophesying, peering into wyrd to ween the beyond-normal possibilities. Again and again, I entreat us not to banish the uncanny connotations of a word like "wyrd" which is evident in our modern inflection "weird", an inflection that brings out extremely important nuances and subtleties of meaning. As I have emphasized repeatedly, wyrd is weird ; it is appropriately named, and it means that in order to grasp the reality of a complex becoming, we must transcend normality, go beyond our habitual frameworks, find registers that surpass our superstitions and fears, peer into the un-inertia-d reality of Becoming which any one model or lens is inadequate to capture.

Bergson called the totality of becoming "duration" ; I find this too passive a concept to encompass what we're discussing. Rather, the totality of becoming is momentum. Momentum is the moment, our present, Verdandi ; it is the entire past history of the wave that has built and is falling behind the moment, with all of its force, power, and grandeur, which is the realm of Urd ; and it is simultaneously the possibilities and potencies of that force and momentum which drive it onwards beyond what it has been to what it may be. I would like to assert that Skuld's realm, the "may be", the maybe, is a sacred heathen realm. The skillful harrier or commander finds the moment of worth in Verdandi's open space of deeds, where the momentum-history of the wave may be turned with an eye towards Skuld, towards the glory of what may-be --- always, of course, with a gamble, with uncertainty, and with a sense of adventure.

So I would say, do not ask heathenism to make you comfortable with that which you have known, which that which your culture has trained you to think of as second nature and self-evident, but surpass towards the potential that transcends your own stagnation.

Next blog we will ask, how may this be done with masculinity?

For the moment, we will note that Wyrd is the uncanny, beyond-normal, dynamic momentum of Becoming, characterized by surges of wod, in which the teleological pull of the may be is an obligation every bit as powerful as the deeds of the past which comprise the history of the momentum's wave. Be attuned to what you may be ; be alert to the magic of what may happen.

Friday, September 14, 2007

And Now For A Little Heresy...

I want to throw a little heresy into the mix by suggesting that the arch-heathens (the strange word we modern heathens have for our pre-Christian ancestral heathens) did not have a perfected form of worship of the gods. I want to suggest, in fact, that in some ways, they had only developed "prototypes" of full worship of these gods, not only in their worship-forms, but even in their conception of them. That suggests that the images and descriptions we have received are incomplete, but "seed-forms" awaiting further development.

That's heresy because much of heathenism is backwards-looking. Much of this is justified by Bauschatz' admittedly brilliant The Well and the Tree, and Bauschatz should remain a potent source from which to imbibe wisdom, but he remains one and only one theological approach. I will stand my ground and assert that he is an important theological approach, but that he is the only way to approach heathenism is a falsehood. Especially suspect are his approaches to time in Germanic culture. He focuses almost exclusively on Urd, and emphasizes her as part of the past, what "has become", to the exclusion, I think, of Weorthandi (Verdandi), "worthing" or Becoming. The idea in The Well and the Tree is that that which has already been laid down in the past become layers that condition the direction of the present becoming. So far, so good, but the book implies that it is an almost deterministic kind of conditioning, and loses the teleological power of Skuld. Skuld may or may not be a definite "future", but Skuld definitely has a teleological pull, and thus, one may counterpoint Bauschatz by suggesting that it is not Urd, but Skuld, who holds the predominant position, because it is her Promise or Potential which pulls Becoming towards what it may Become. From that standpoint, what "has become" is merely a prototype-layering, the development of seed-forms. Undoubtedly, seed-forms are immensely important, but far more important is their fruition.

(Indeed, the entire creation mythology should caution us against the idea that the Origin or First Time is the best time. Perhaps in the Biblical Genesis, but in the Norse creation, the beginning times are full of raucous, imperfect Chaos that requires a great amount of Shaping and development before they find their full proportions and goodness. Thus, the first is but a vulgarity, the prima materia that is necessary but not sufficient for things to become as they must.)

I believe that the seed-forms our ancestors gave us are potent, and full of potential. That means, in a sense, they are full of sculd, of "should", of an obligation-to-develop, a necessity-to-blossom which means they are not in their full flowering. Thus, I am immensely grateful for the image and worship of Freyr that my ancestors developed, but those were only mere beginnings. The God of Freedom has yet to be fully realized, whether that is in our conception of "him", our worship of him, or our realization of him in our everyday lives and in society. We are still struggling towards that realization, and I think we must never forget that.

Our ancestors' forms remind us that Freedom is essentially related to Enjoyment and Fulfillment, as Freyr is also the god of Pleasure and Fruition (Harvest). As I have demonstrated many times over, Freyr in his Frodi-phase also demonstrates the necessity to rise up with strong, subversive joy against tyranny which would deprive us of freedom, enjoyment, and fulfillment. All of these are excellent images. They are pointers that point towards something more essential. But I am afraid many modern heathens approach the degradation of idolatry inasmuch as they sometimes mistake the finger for what the finger is pointing at.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Frodi Rest Ye Merry

(to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen")

O Frodi rest ye merry
Let nothing you dismay
For tyrants have begun to fall
Upon this very day
Restoring all our ancient freedoms
they had seized away
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

On Yuletide Frodi came to us
Out from the Greenwood heath
Goodwill towards men and frith
were all that he would merry teach :
Loving generosity
and play would make us breathe
In the tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

On Yule eve Frodi dressed in green
and rode to every house
Dispensing gifts so plentily
and good feelings aroused.
He rode his golden boar
and gave out ham for all to eat.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

O sad and tired, overworked,
and weary with the toil
that giant men with ice-cold hearts
forced us to feed their spoils
Frodi wiped out all our fear
reminding us to play
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

The hard-heart tyrants pushed us hard
and ploughed o'er all our rights,
They terrorized our children
by towering with their heights,
But Frodi brought our hearts together
with the tools to fight :
With the tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

The giants fell down from our joy
which tied them up in knots,
We danced and sung and loved again,
together called the shots,
We helped each other when we fell down
A hand to help get up,
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

O to the greenwood we would go
to learn the lore of wild-woods
where sacred cheer, and holy awe
with sensual love were riled
Up so we could feel our hearts were melding
Into one strong pact, filled with
Tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

He reigned as king of freedom
and let loose all the chains
He untied all the manacles
locked into all our brains
And urged us, follow bliss
and find the true gold of our dreams
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

One day he left us to travel
back up into the sky.
But we know that he lives
amongst us even though he died.
For green and golden are the fields
that smile every spring, bringing
Tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace.
On Yuletide join your hearts together
with King Frodi's grace, in the
Tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy!

(adaptation copyright 2007 by Siegfried Goodfellow)


She came bearing gold
like something stolen from the sun
they called her "bright"
beauty beyond all that is good
with smiles of icycles.
proud, haughty, blue
heart thumping unburnable
like a glacier.
mother of wolves
summoner of the dark
stirrer of envy
seducer and curser
animator of the barren
soulless genius
turning souls to ill
wrapped in the barren fens
the leafless woodlands of gnarled
iron at the edge of the east.
All were her toys
pawns in a great game
with knowledge beyond compare
having seen secrets no god knew
she rose again and again
she kept coming
wreaking havoc, mayhem,
smiling, laughing, staring,
glaring, waiting, ever so
patient, waiting, planning,
monsters, unthinkable
aberrations, abominations.
The sun sheared through her
and would share nothing.
Abandoned, lost, cast aside
as a child
left to the giants, the chieftains
of frost. carrying a secret
a resentment, lost
birthright. she would have all
in her hands
or crushed
dust to bring it all down.
The twins were cast down
face down
melting the snow. And the mother
walked away
leaving only hated clans of outcasts
to raise them.
She loved her brother
and when she loved,
monsters were born.
Mastermind, plots she
revenge and end of gods
sowing seeds of discord
in hidden homes spreading
curses. Truly
her name is mighty, her empire
vast, even her daughter
rules kingdoms of decay,
disease, and wraiths, while she
prepares for the final battle.
Insinuator, insidious, behind
the scenes mistress, master
machiavellian, manipulator,
money-greed, riser, scaling
unseen, everywhere, glorious
in all evil. She would rise as a star
to the heavens, she would not
be stopped, bright, glittering
like gold with no warmth, and if only
she could gain that fire
stolen from her long ago,
she might promise
to be the greatest of them all.
She was prayed to, a goddess,
no one saw
the little girl crying
beneath the mask that showed
whatever you wanted to see
so she could have you
where she wanted you.
Hers is a love story
without love, She needs love
so much love as an endless hole
even the goddess of love
could not fill with all her might
and main and magic. But if we cry
for her, as we cry
for fallen father, perhaps
against the prophecies
she too
might rise
like the sun on the end of a blade,
casting off all sorrows,