Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Will to Surpass Existence's Monstrosity

Why would I say that existence has a quality of monstrosity? Well, according to lore, it was created out of the remains of a monster. The Gods worked hard to whole-make this, setting up their assistants, the elves and dwarves, to complete the whole-making process, but this was interrupted, and sabotaged, so that existence has come to take on that quality which Loki revels in in Harbardsljod : Þat hafr eik, er af annarri skefr, of sik er hverr í slíku, "One tree has that which is shaved off another ; in such cases, it's everyone for themself." Every man for himself, for in order for me to prosper, you must suffer, and vice-versa. In order for the eagle to thrive, the fish must die. In order for the cougar to thrive, the deer must die, and vice-versa. Thus existence maintains a tragic, nightmarish quality that becomes a zero-sum game. The Gods have tried to tame this quality through the primal law of Wyrd, a gift calls for a gift, thus turning a monstrosity into a gift economy, yet it still maintains something savage about it. There is something horrific about the way things work, which our souls cannot help but protest and repulse, and yet in this way, visions of something better grow within us, and the will, from within existence itself, to overcome and surpass existence, finds its own.

Root and Rede

Since reality itself has a surreal quality, it remains to be interpreted as one might read a dream. Rede is the name our ancestors gave to this ability to grasp and read a mystery, through deep, interpretative contemplation. Rede involves stepping outside of a literal connection to events and seeking their background roots. One finds these background roots by dreaming where they are weird, and through this, one finds their wyrd. From roots to rede, roots must be read, traced down from bud and leaf and branch back to their beginnings. The origin-point where their orlog is written pulsates within the heart of every thing, and must be felt out by an imagination capable of penetrative empathy.

Rede can also mean a design, a plan, management, and even business, because reading things involves discernment of their order. Rede grasps gestalts, living, squirming, pulsating patterns, and therefore involves the ability to perceive and understand order even where it is not apparent. Those capable of deep rede can even grasp the tendencies of those gestalts, and thus gain a kind of foresight well-known amongst the prophets of the North.

When people come together to rede, they come to mutually consult and deliberate upon a riddle or problem in order to reach some resolution, in order to discover the intelligence trapped in the enigma, so that their actions may flow out of that explanation.

It is of considerable importance that the word often translated as "rule" (as in, "Freyr "rules" over the rain and the sunshine") is actually rede, meaning that the Gods, or a good leader, rule(s) through grasping the essence of a situation, and sharing that out to folks. When that grasp is good and thorough, it is to be trusted and therefore tends to be followed. Rede is not just the grasping of the mystery, but the sharing out of its secrets through counsel and advice. Therefore, in the North, it is true to say that leaders, and the Gods behind them, do not so much "rule" as they advise, and the advice so matches what the heart knows of life, and the reality that unfolds around us, that people naturally flock to that source of rede as they would a well of wisdom. Ráðumk þér, Loddfáfnir, en þú ráð nemir, - njóta mundu ef þú nemr, þér munu góð ef þú getr, "I advise thee, Loddfafnir, and take thou the rede : it will prove of benefit if thou takest it, and will be good for thee if thou graspeth it." That is how the wise Gods speak, for rede is allþörf ýta sonum, óþörf jötna sonum. Heill sá, er kvað, heill sá, er kann, njóti sá, er nam, heilir, þeirs hlýddu, "all-needed amongst the sons of men, but useless amongst the sons of jotnar. He who chants it is whole, he who knows it has luck, he who learns it gains benefit, those who listen are blessed."

all translations copyright 2009 by Siegfried Goodfellow

Gather Up Thy Wyrd

Wyrd is everything that is and has been, everything that is becoming, and everything that might be, the living, perilous potentiality in that becoming. My wyrd, therefore, includes not only what I will become, but all the could-be me's, all the alternative reality me's that will be chosen or selected out not only by my deeds, but by the collective operation of chance and how I play it ; chance being the unpredictable consequence and ramification of the collective deeds of us all. But because all of this grows out of what has been, there is no present and no future without a past, and therefore building our sense of continuity with the past, a real living feeling for the past, is what allows us to truly be in touch with our wyrd. Everything grows out of its roots.

By affirming your incarnation, you are choosing to wrap yourself around and through everything that happens, and therefore, which will be. Your deeds intricate you into existence itself. Your wyrd embodies Bell's Theorem, and embraces all the multiple universe you's that branch out from every bifurcation or polyfurcation point, amongst which are selected by chance and the strong force of one's deeds.

My wyrd includes everything I could be gathered by me into this moment, from everything I have been, and all the tendencies inherent and alive in that. I am therefore a living, pulsing chaos capable of much, capable of far more than we realize, and wyrd is the process of blossoming that potential, and as the greatest tangle of Celtic knots in that well-known La Tene style, I grow myself in and around and amidst and through everything else. We all hang together in the weave, all of us : not just the deeds of human beings, but the deeds of every plant, every tree, every creature ; the deeds of the rivers, and of the land, and of the sky, and of the spinning planet through space, and the stars. All of it interflows through each other, so that we are involved with each other whether we like it or no, whether we know it or no.

When we call someone weird, we are saying that they have an unpredictability, and a flow pattern which is unusual and enables a kind of a freedom that allows them to transcend the ordinary rut, and steps outside of expectation patterns with a kind of surreal intensity that has the potentiality and texture of dreams, so when I gather up my wyrd, I am summoning into myself all of this surreal power of becoming, so that I am not limited by expectation and static pattern, but rather conditioned by the living, crackling potentiality still alive in everything that has become and which continues to grow into that which may be.

True wyrd requires a philosophical commitment to penetrating beyond the lazy glosses on reality and history that many are content with to simply get along in life, and a will to discover the living weave of potentiality throughout time that retains its wildness, and therefore its capacity to surprise, simultaneously, in not only the future and the present, but the past as well, for even our pasts contain more mystery than we fathom, and we must will to spy upon what is concealed in order to grasp a glimpse of what is going on. This spying upon the concealed is how our ancestors envisioned visionary voyages, using our surreal capacities to penetrate the veil that covers over and clouds much of reality.

There is an important question here of where you find yourself reflected, and in what mirrors do you choose to peer? The weird are those who choose the mirror of dreams, and like the wilderness of dreams, every wild phenomenon that retains its surreal quality. Thus, while many choose a Bible as a mirror, our ancestors listened to river eddies and the howling of the wind to find their own reflection. The poetry of existence more accurately reflects our wyrd, and, when successfully articulated by a skilled poet, may be found as well in that dreamlike prophecy which poets utter. To the extent that bibles capture this, they may serve as useful mirrors as well, but we should never sever our ties to forests, winds, herbs, and water, for their movements speak volumes to which a book can only allude. The more surreal and knotted the book, therefore, the more its allusions open out onto the surreal process of life, adn may be gathered as a rough guide. Let us not forget that the most important things still lie outside books : the biochemistry and phytospirituality of the herbs of the fields, the poetry of the landscape and the seasons, and other mysteries which often have hardly found their way into writing.

We are therefore not just our deeds, but the dreams inherent in those deeds, the dreams made possible by those deeds, as well as the dreams denied by those deeds. Deeds are an opportunity, although not a guarantee, to incarnate dreams, and thus we admire the bold, who attune their aspirations and efforts towards the marvelous and all it promises.

There is an important connection between weird and wyrd, because wyrd truly retains wildness, while those who choose to maintain themselves in predictable ruts attempt to domesticate wyrd, which cannot be domesticated, for change will come despite our insulations and avoidances. The weird retain the behavioral flexibility and mental unpredictability that matches wyrd's wildness. They allow wyrd to flow up and through them, for they trust its nonlinear flows, without needing in advance explanations or excuses : wyrd itself is their charter. They tend, therefore, to be excellent improvisers who are not afraid to trust their own genius, that uncanny follower whose swan-wings shield us and allow us flight into realms of marvel, who whispers those words of wyrd uttered at our conception and then again at our birth.

Your fylgia is your little connection to God, as it were, and union with her can therefore feel like attainment of Godhead, yet ever heathen earthiness tames this potential megalomania back to its humble and ample worth : union with the genius, full and worthy, but still the experience of a small and growing creature. The genius has access to the Gods, and to Wyrd herself, and yet the genius in all its wonder and wisdom does not know all. Existence itself is a process shrouded in surprise.

By trusting our genius, however, and listening to its guidance, however weird, we can come more into the flow of existence's unfolding. We must remember however much we know, ever are there surprises and treasures brokered and bartered by disir who make bargains behind the scenes as their charges and descendants prove worthy through their deeds (and worthy not just through righteousness, but also boldness in pursuing potentiality), and according to what the Gods have won and allotted to the realm of dises. Beyond even that ample kingdom lie treasures not allotted, and beyond that, treasures undreamed of and in the dark, some still in the abscondance of giants, ready to be rescued and retrieved by God or Hero.

Our personal genius, being our guide and broker, is privy to these behind the scene deals and bargains on our behalf, as we show promsie through our devotion. Some misfortune is merely the price paid in the bargain for some boon, or to avoid greater misfortune. Still, the genius weeps iwth us when we despair, although it retains a centered quality that connects it to wisdom deeper than outcomes and disappointments. Where all this brokerage takes place is in our dreams (and any conscious visionary voyages we choose to take). There our personal genius barters with spirits to find a mutual bargain in the ample distribution of luck's flows. Gathering up your wyrd connects you to your genius, and your genius connects you to flows of luck that try your potential and enrich your life.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Frith is the security that comes with trust. It is the security that not only will those you trust not harm you, but they will have your back as well, and therefore, you can relax in that security, and be free from anxiety. These are the conditions under which people work the best.

Support Our Troops?

A phrase one hears quite frequently is, "Support Our Troops", and we seldom take the time to examine this statement to see what a strange statement it in fact is. It's a statement made in support of a particular profession, and yet how often do we hear cries of, for example, "Support Our Teachers"? "Support Our Bakers"? "Support Our Plumbers"? And so forth. One seldom hears that. Now the response may be, "The troops are brave. The troops have a dangerous job." Ok, so dangerous professions requiring courage should be supported, right? But you never hear about rallies to "Support Our Miners", and yet when it comes right down to it, in terms of supporting the lifestyle that we actually live, people who are in the mines have a far closer connection to our everyday lives than troops have, at least for the last one hundred years. Mining is dangerous, dangerous work, but it is vital to continuing the kinds of lifestyles that most of us have chosen to live. It's dangerous, it's grueling, and it does take bravery, but I never hear anything about "Support Our Miners". (Perhaps we should have more such rallies!)

We can admire anyone who does a good job, who is working hard, and who works hard with courage doing something difficult or dangerous, and whose heart and dedication is in the right place, but let us not forget that those qualities can apply to one's enemies as well! One's enemies may very well be dedicated, be willing to take on danger, be hard-working. Now, to be explicit, I'm not positioning people in the military as our enemies. That's not my point. The point is that those qualities, in and of themselves, are not enough for us to give support.

The thing about support is, when you say "support", you're uttering an expression of solidarity. It's an expression of "I am behind you." In order to experience solidarity with someone else, you have to, to some degree, be agreeing with the values behind what they're doing. But if someone is engaged in something, however brave, however hard working, however willing they are to endure difficulty and danger, which you fundamentally disagree with, what is the level of support that one is supposed to give such people?

Is everything the military does laudable simply because the military is doing it? Any action, no matter how legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, advisable or foolish, automatically ought to win approval simply because people in uniform are doing it? That's obviously completely illogical on its face.

Of course, in any organization in a hierarchical society such as our own, you have the people on top who make the decisions, and you have the rank-and-file. It is possible to be in support of rank-and-file without necessarily supporting the decisions of management, as it were, and we know that politicians in our country, who are the ones sending the soldiers to fight, are often less than honorable (and that may be a generous way of putting it). So it would seem to me that I would support our troops by supporting the rank-and-file's ability to make their own decisions about who they will fight and who they will not fight!

But that liberty is not recognized by the United States military. It's not set up to function in that way. The United States military is not a traditional Germanic militia, which would consist of interconnected, autonomous units that on their own would able to vote on whether they found a particular campaign worthwhile. I mean, what kind of job is it where you're not allowed to go on strike?

Thus, it seems to me that supporting our troops, in the sense of supporting the rank-and-file, would mean critiquing management policies that deprive them of the traditional liberties of a militia-system, penalize and criminalize them for autonomous decision-making, and a direct critique of management policies which place them in harm's way for absolutely good of any value to us as citizens. In fact, isn't it dishonoring the troops to send troops somewhere in harm's way for no reason at all?

I mean, I hate to burst people's bubble, but the military is not a sacred institution. It's not a priesthood. You don't get an automatic stamp of approval simply because you were willing to join an imperial army! People need to ask, are the soldiers defending the homeland from invasions? Are they defending the homeland from elements that would try to overthrow our freedoms within the country? Are they defending family and home and sacred groves? Are they lined up outside the national parks and national forests to keep corporations from coming and looting our national forests and resources? If they're doing any of these things, then, yes, they are engaged in honorable tasks absolutely compatible with ancient Germanic values, and therefore earn our support and solidarity. But if they're engaged in imperialist adventures, invading other people's countries with the purpose of subjugating them, interfering in their internal, sovereign affairs, killing people who have never done them any harm, then I'm sorry, I am not required in any way, shape, or manner to support those actions. I will support our troops by supporting their intelligence, their autonomy, and their critical thinking, and support institutional measures that would make it so they can act on that critical thinking without landing in the brig.

We can all admire a sense of discipline. We can all admire a sense of honor. We can all admire a sense of courage, a willingness to brave danger and difficulty. We can all admire endurance that gets through difficult times. We can also all admire and appreciate the fact that however just or unjust the engagement, that the war-zone is a completely different reality than the reality that the rest of us civilians have to live, and recognize the difficulty and even the trauma that the soldiers have to go through, and to extend compassion and our humanity towards them.

What I am objecting to is people who are trying to wrap a cult of militarist supremacy in the traditional religious symbols of the Germanic tribal peoples. There is a place for the honorable warrior in the old traditions. A place, not the supreme place, not the only place, and when anyone tries to assert such a supremacy, I am going to put them in their place, because they do not get to displace the other important values and important places and important archetypal energies that need to be there. And I am not going to stand in solidarity with people who are trying to turn killing and slaughter into some kind of sacred act, which it is not.

If you're fighting for something worthwhile, something that actually has heart, then, yes, the mythology of our ancestors lends you support in that regard. It's good to feel that God's valkyries are on your side, supporting you in battle, that you have Tyr's battle-wisdom at your fingertips, but people who mistake Loki for Odin, and think that Odin is going to support any strife anywhere in the world for whatever reason, whether or not it has honor or heart, whether it supports real values or whether it supports Gullveig and her greed, whether it supports the devouring monster of the Wolf, I'm sorry, there's a word for that. It's called "delusional". I am not going to stand in solidarity with people who are delusional, and call it a religion we have in common. You're free to do whatever you want with religious symbols, even to take them to a delusional place, but I am free to differentiate myself from that, and to make it clear that I do not stand in solidarity with those usages.

Now I also want to clarify that when one finds a battle with heart, about something that really matters --- when one is defending one's liberties, and I mean that in a real sense, not the prostitution of those values hyperextended into areas where they don't apply at all but they sound good and so we fight for those whored-out principles when really we are fighting for something else -- when you find a battle that has heart, then what you are doing is you are facing the harshness of the world, and you're making a difference for something that matters. For something that matters! Honorable warriors should be the ones confronting the people for whom their only spiritual principle is life is harshness, who are going out and spreading mayhem and strife, and who wish to consume the world with that mayhem and strife. And some of the warriors are doing that, and those warriors who are doing that have my support. I recognize honorable men and women when I see them, but I also recognize that an imperial military, which is what a standing army is, does not have the traditional characteristics of federated comitati, of autonomous militias associated together, who have taken a vow to come together regardless when the homeland itself is in danger, but when it comes to other ventures, each comitatus has autonomy to decide whether it will join. In other words, an imperial military is not binding the Wolf --- it's binding the honor of the soldier! If I honor the honor of that soldier, I cannot sit back and say nothing about a structure that is completely untraditional and that is binding the up the honor of good men, and not allowing them to show forth their honor.

We can have respectable debates about which engagements are honorable and worthwhile, and which are not, but even doing so, we have already switched the terrain from automatic support of military ventures to a selective support. I don't want my brothers and sisters in arms being sent off to worthless battles, and I would hope that everyone would feel that way! If you honor the heart of the warrior, you don't want your warriors being sent off to worthless battles where they are going to be sacrificed to values that have no meaning to us! (Not to mention those whom they in turn are going to be sacrificing, and for what?) And you're going to warp the heart of the warriors if you do that, because every warrior has to believe, unless they are a heartless mercenary, that they are doing something worthwhile, so if there isn't something worthwhile, they're going to find a way to invent it. They're going to warp reality around it. It's called "cognitive dissonance". It's been well-studied. But then the warrior is going to be out of attunement with reality. That's a horrible rift to put into anyone.

People fighting the Revolutionary War or people fighting Hitler didn't need to have that kind of ambivalence or conflict. They knew they were fighting for some real values. They knew they weren't just cleaning up the mess of some espionage blowback, or defending heroin rings, or consolidating geopolitical strategy for multinational corporations.

War is always a grave decision. It involves life and death. It therefore automatically involves the Gods, and one had better make sure that one is fighting for the values that the Gods stand for. But this is quite a different matter than saying that war itself is sacred. A more perverted statement could not be made. Warfare involves the Gods the same way that the Law Assembly involves the Gods. In both, grave decisions, matters of life and matters of death, are made ; matters in which people need to be reminded of the Holy Gods so that the gravity of the situation, and their responsibility to something higher than themselves is underlined, so they know they are answering to higher powers. While Wyrd may primarily control the outcome of a battle, the Gods will lend their morale to those who are certain inside that they are fighting a good fight.

If you want to have great Tyr blots, where you summon all the spirit of the military, and celebrate all of its long history, and engage even in an orgy of battle evocation, you have your God. You have your place for that. Don't overstep that. That cult is warded by one who is a son of Odin, and therefore subordinate to Odin : Odin, poetry-seeker, rune-master, wisdom-fetcher. You have your place, a good, full, and ample place. Just don't be imperialistic and try to invade all of the other valid spheres of divinity and value. That's all I ask.

Reconstructionists or Reactionaries?

The reconstructionist project of trying to painstakingly determine in detail how the ancestors lived is not only an important anthropological project, but an important religious one as well, by allowing us to connect more closely to our ancestors by knowing their ways. Now, in most traditional religions, one can connect to the ancestors quite fine without much knowledge by simply attuning to them. However, the reconstructionist project allows us to tune in to the exact frequency of their old lifeways with much greater accuracy, and many of the writings that have come out of the reconstructionist movement have been both edifying and educational. I have every respect for the project as such.

But there's a difference between wanting to know how the ancestors lived in all of their function and dysfunction, and turning them into some sort of paragon which ought uncritically imitate. The response of some to critique of ancestral ways is, "Well, it may not work for you, but it worked for them, in their society and their time." But that is to beg the question. That is the very question to be determined : what worked for them, and what didn't? We cannot assume complete functionality. We all know that all social systems, from the smallest unit of couples to the family to clans to tribes to nations to international organizations all have a differential mixture of function and dysfunction, so an analysis of function and dysfunction is of the very greatest relevance, especially to determining what would be of value to us in the present, and what would be of no value to us, and what, if it were to be of value, would need to be healed.

If we take a functionalist perspective, we don't need to be lost in the cultural relativist position that whatever a group of people did at one point in time was ok because they did it. No, we can ask, what worked, and what didn't work? And then, we need to ask, what do we mean by "working"? Does something "work" merely because one got away with it? Does something "work" because it was able to last and stand for a time? But corruption is able to last and stand for a time. Injustice is able to last and stand for a time. Various niding acts are perennial in the history of humankind.

Heathenism is a tradition which strongly emphasizes the pragmatic. That's one of its virtues. But we must remember that a monolithic emphasis upon pragmatism approaches cynicism, because principles and pragmatism must work hand in hand. It is an inherently conformist, uncritical stance to say, "This is what the ancestors did ; therefore, we should be doing it. This is what the ancestors did ; therefore, it is of value." For one thing, this freezes the customs of one time and one place, and turns them into a museum-piece. Real life is always evolving. Now it may be evolving gradually and in tune with its own values, or it may not, but it is still evolving. Each people take the heirlooms that are handed down to them, and they develop them in new ways appropriate and relevant to their time. We aren't living in the early Iron Age.

There's also a second fallacy here, which comes up frequently, and that's the confusion of the spiritual realm of the ancestors, and the archaeological examination of how the ancestors lived when they were alive. You see, in an ancestral tradition, the ancestors that one is communing with are not the people living in the past. It's the living ancestors now, the ones who have had time to figure out what numbskulls they were, and we're all numbskulls, each us of in our own way, and each of us as groups in our own time. Being ancestral gives the ancestors a different perspective on life. The ancestors love the traditional ways. They want to see their creation that they got from their own ancestors continue to be passed down as an act of love, as an act of caressing their own creativity, and acknowledgement of the richness of those heirloom ways, and as long as the essence and the heart of that which is best and that which is most meaningful continues to be passed down, they are happy.

But they are not such fools as to think that it's going to be passed down precisely, exactly, and with no modifications or betterings, as if we were robots whose only purpose was to pass on some code foreign to our own lives! They've gotten some perspective on their narrowness. So the archaeologist may very well say, ah, this is how the ancestors lived, and that voice, accurate, may differ entirely from what the ancestors in communion now are advising.

Let us not turn the ancestors into some sort of paragon of perfection. We're all numbskulls and misers, each in our own way. Every one of our lives is textured with the times that we listened to the voice of Loki and to the voice of Gullveig, versus the times when we actually listened to the call of Odin, or the call of Njord or Freyr or Freya, and so forth. Many of the ancestors will say, "Be human. Enjoy yourself. Make your mistakes, yes, but please don't be as much of a numbskull as I was." They've had their evaluation at the holy doomsteads. They saw the times that they were fools and pawns for unwhole forces.

And if we're going to listen to Iron Age peoples, then perhaps we ought to listen to their poets, who were speaking their heart, and the poets of every Iron Age people knew that that was not their Golden Age! They declared it loudly and strongly! So it's not only foolish, it's somewhat insulting to turn what for them was an Axe Age into a Golden Age. They remembered the Golden Age. They passed that on. That's what they wanted to pass on! Those of us who blow and brush aside the Niflhellish smoke that has shrouded the times of Baldur for so long are the ones who are fulfilling the deepest desires and longings of the ancestors.

Remember our Gods are not static Gods. They are Gods of Becoming. We are still in the process of developing the gifts the Gods gave us. We are in our process of fruition. We have not yet come to fruit. There are many secrets the ancestors have to give us about how to nurture that fruit, and stand ready to share their spiritual fertilizers to help it grow. They willingly share if we listen and prove our worth. And the reconstructionist path, by rigorously calling our attention to the actual lifeways of those ancestors in the Iron Age, allows us to be in the flow of that Becoming, of which we are a further development. There is no Becoming without a Precedent, without a Past that is flowing into our Present and onwards into the Future. And so the reconstructionist path is important, because it connects us more thickly to that past.

To be a reactionary, on the other hand, is to wish to live a frozen moment in time that has had its day and is gone. We honor the ancestral tradition by dreaming it forward, so the heirloom ways may flourish on into the future.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Fall of the West

Heimskringla might be subtitled, in Tolkienesque fashion, The Fall of the West. We come in in medias res, corruption and tyranny spread far and wide amongst leaders. Heimskringla is in many ways a catalogue of niding acts, of cowardly, cruel acts, with documentation upon documentation upon documentation of people burning down farms, burning down people's crops, and what was considered a most niding act, burning down people when they were in holy feast. We find a culture where the forbidden and the unthinkable is more and more enacted, and becomes less and less a terrible exception, and begins to approach a terrible, cynical rule.

This whole period might thus be called The Cynicization of the West, which is not to allege that in the cold North everything was smiles and laughter all the time, but cynicization might be defined as that threshold when a culture begins regularly violating its own values, where the base and the cultured and enlightened get turned upside-down. Indeed, the Viking Age might be seen as the last fluorescence of a decadent age, as if they knew times were changing, and gathering to themselves as much of the Old Ways as possible to be able to hand them down, and thank the Gods they did!

But greed, already long-identified by the poets in ages past as a potent and corrupting force, had made new inroads in the lives of men. Viking raids themselves are evidence of a new lust for material goods, and so Gullveig and her children insinuated themselves once more, and more deeply, into the children of men.

And with the evocation of gold, we may assess Heimskringla as a gold mine, full of lots of rocks and slag, but with just enough gold nuggets to make the mining worthwhile. We would not honor the ancestors by valorizing conditions that themselves represented decay of their most important values, but we do honor them if we take those few gold nuggets, and seeing them as seeds, plant them, so they may grow anew and flourish again.

But Heimskringla ought also be warning of how things can go wrong, and what not to do, of wolfish kings and wolfish armies, of people set in strife upon each other with a frequency and a viciousness that could never make for a sustainable society. To admire tales of bravery and strength, and value those willing to stand up to fight for their rights is a far cry from wishing strife to take over the social fabric so that the only ruling god becomes the Monotheism of Mars. In such a situation, truly, the other Gods cry out for justice.

That is the value of Heimskringla. Not that we celebrate the Fall of the West, but that we plant the seeds of its flourescence so it may Rise again with wisdom and goodness.

Away From the Worship of the Harsh

The level of contempt I have for people who would turn Odin from a God of Enlightenment into a God of War is unsurpassed. These fools blathering about trying to turn the poetry and mind-blowing intoxication cult into a "support our troops" rally is disgusting. Perhaps it just shows that all exoteric religion tends towards corruption, and the basest and most vulgar minds will take symbols, in this case of spiritual warfare, and transform it into some kind of legitimization of vulgar, unenlightened material warfare.

Now of course they will come back with a gambit of accusing me of separating the spiritual and material worlds the way Christians do, and devaluing the material world. Not at all. The material world is very much to be valued, and that's the realm of the Vanir Gods. The material world is supposed to be filled with love, with festivity, and with productive activity that leads towards feasts. There's a reason the Aesir are in the sky, in the heavens : that's to remind you that they represent the spiritual realm, a spiritual realm of fighting against jotnar, spiritual forces of cruelty and barbarity.

You can't have enlightenment and bald barbarity at the same time! Enlightenment doesn't happen in the midst of brutality. Brutality ends up creating trauma-reactions which warp and cripple a culture, and keep people in defensive, little reptilian reactions that completely hinder free thought and the free spirit.

Odin knows that it is an ill wind that blows no minds. He represents the continual transcendance of paradigm and position, the outgrowing of outdated stances, and this is how the warfare against the jotnar advances! So the more rigid, and defensive, and entrenched you are, the further away from that transcendance you are.

Now, where piracy becomes the only way to remain free, a free man will support, conditionally, piracy, but not for the sake of piracy ; rather, for the sake of that which it is serving : freedom. On the other hand, a society which becomes a war of all against all, and whether it's an innangards or not, if your innangards is constantly attacking my innangards is constantly burning the innangards and farms and fields down the way, there's not enough stability for any kind of real enlightenment to take root. Insecurity does not foster the arts. This is why kings were often evaluated on two bases alone : did they bring peace, and good seasons? Peace and good seasons : was there enough abundance to stave off insecurity, and was there enough peace to stave off fear, so that real society, real creative, loving interaction, and real arts aimed at enlightenment and improvement of life could take place? That's the whole meaning! If you weren't fighting for those, what would you be fighting for? For the sake of fighting alone? It just amazes me the people who will try to transform this authentic spirituality into some kind of monster-cult that becomes about fighting for the sake of fighting alone! As if a pantheon headed by a God who represents radical enlightenment would want a human race engaged in so much strife that it was so shell-shocked that it was completely incapable of enlightenment! What kind of Loki-misled numbskull would it take to envision this?

Warfare as a spiritual principle, on the other hand, is another matter altogether, and one of the greatest poets of the English language, William Blake, saw that that was necessary, but that was a completely different thing than material warfare, and certainly not the war of all against all. (And what a bogus gambit to simply export this strife and warfare elsewhere! A "gift" calls for a gift, and it will all come back. You can't escape Wyrd.)

This is a spirituality of radical enlightenment, of liberation, of earthiness and standing on one's own two feet, of willingness to stand up for rights and fight for them if necessary, a readiness to take back that which has been stolen, a desire to create real value for one's community, humankind, and the earth. This is what was sometimes realized and sometimes submerged in the often-dark politics and squabbles of Iron Age tribesmen. Don't use the dark places of Iron Age tribespeople to defend and cover the darkness in your own mind. Enlighten your own mind now, in the present.

It's true we're not out of the Axe Age yet, and that one does have to be savvy and pragmatic, and ready to defend that which is of value, but such a pragmatic approach, which backs the spirituality of enlightenment, is a far cry from cheering on the Axe Age.

I am continually disgusted by people whose one spiritual insight in life seems to have been that "life is harsh". That becomes their mantra, their guide, their evangelism they want to carry everywhere, and even their god they bow down before. Life is harsh, and so they glee with secret wolf-teeth every time something harsh happens, and every time innocence is overpowered, and every time they can prove themselves right that harshness is the basis of reality. Well, if harshness is your god, bow down and lick the boot that would stomp you and everyone else, for you worship the jotnar. Yes, the rest of us have figured out that reality is harsh, but that's not the pinnacle of spiritual enlightenment. Knowing this, can you find love, and festivity, and peace, and wisdom, not only for yourself, but for your family, and your tribe, and possibly your world? That might be something more worthwhile than licking your wolf-fangs at the harshness of the world : getting down and doing something of real value.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gold in the Mire : The Sagas and Us

The Sagas have a grittiness which literally provide stumbling stones for those who would smooth over all contradictions in the Iron Age lifestyle. They try to tell us things as they were, blemish and all, and so we are confronted with an enormously wealthy literature full of troubling and tangled contradictions : high culture mixed with barbarisms, traumatized and refined sensibilities oddly blended. We are blessed, in other words, with never being able to turn all of this into holiness, never being able to whitewash all of this into easily-approved scripture, but rather must wrestle through and through. It must be filtered and sifted again and again. Time and again we come back to it and filter and sift some more, and it yields product, it yields fruit, but it cannot be taken wholesale as example.

Now the barbarian is a culture that has been disrupted and affected by empire and is therefore in turmoil, and is in a process of either heading towards empire, or returning back to sustainability. Here the barbarians, settled down into their beginnings of introduction to Europe's growing empire in its Roman-Christian form, hand down to us the stories of the mixed days, when the old sustainabilities and the new imperialisms fought in naked force, and we are often handed twisted shrapnel of that clash, objects that trauma-bind old crafted artifacts warped together with fragments of broken weapons, so that every time we go to them, we come face to face with a mess, a garbage heap, a slaughter pile which can never function as a perfect exemplar, and can only be admired as is by those of very low culture or who deform themselves to fit themselves into this mold. Who after all could approve of the time-after-time again in Heimskringla when we read of these ambitious kings and chieftains burning farm after farm after farm? The mindstate that would try to make that right can justify any crookedness, but such justifications are hollow and warp a person.

No, no, we take our history with the rough and tumble. It's got thistles and thorns in its fur and is matted over with mud and dried blood tangled within, interstrewn with treasures and gems, priceless beyond the imagination, as well as old seeds which have been caught like nits in the hairs : heirloom seeds for modern gardens of reindigenization. But the fossils will not live by being bowed down to as idols. They must be resurrected by calling up the spirits that once lived within them, and reforming them into bodies of new earth and worth.

Sun's Dawning Across the Skies

Day each Night bears anew to Dawn-Father Delling, and black gives way to blue. Long moments ere the long-maned golden-tressed and white horses of Sol bear forth the pageant of sun's dawning across the skies, whence the Queen of Day's riding takes her royal road in regal warmth and grandeur.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Existence is Monstrous : Resist It, O Children of Becoming!

And the Gods looked upon existence and said, "No."

"No, this is not good."


"No, this is monstrous."

And they chopped it in half. And they chopped it in quarters. And they chopped it in eighths. And they changed its shape. And they rearranged it.

And then they damned well made it good. It still needed some work, but it was a whole hell of a lot better. And they set up elves and dwarves to finish the job slowly over time. Over time, they'd iron out the kinks.

Because they didn't accept things "as they are".

Because they didn't lie down and just take what they were given.

Because they were fighters who dared.

Because they felt creative resistance to existence to be part of existence itself and therefore to be affirmed.

Gods, let me never cease fighting so long as there is blood in my veins, and let the fighting be good and rewarding.

Gods, let me never cease fighting so long as there is breath in my lungs, and let the fighting be victorious and worthwhile.

Gods, let me never cease fighting so long as evil stands arrogant upon the earth and looms over my people and my countryside, and let the fighting be advantageous and decisive.

For I am not of passive Gods who counsel acquiescence in the face of the horrific, but active, heroic Gods who fight to the last and inspire that quality in their devotees, giving counsel to listen to our deep feelings, both our longings and our revulsions, and therein to find wisdom.

O Lords, let me and my fellows be the contradictions within the monstrosity itself, working and yeasting the dough to full loaf and feast, for "existence" is "what is", while we are Children of Becoming!