Friday, April 22, 2011

Letting Fricco Move Through Me

Naked. Standing, eyes closed, breathing. Feeling myself in connection with the web of wyrd, at a nodal point where various strands cross. Allowing those strands to pull me, as if I am in a tide. My body begins to sway. Arms move where they will as called by the forces of wyrd. I begin following the inner impulses of my body as I respond to the larger nexus of wyrd. Soon I am dancing, not as a performance, not as any set movement patterns, but in a flux that is a kind of spontaneous Tai Chi, moving wherever the weird directs I move, in dynamic response.

The lamp in the room casts a shadow on the white walls. I see my long hair, Dionysian, flow onto my manly body. I feel the Dionysian manliness of Freyr. I call upon him as Fricco, the Dancer. I am in a body. It feels good. It feels good to let the body follow its own impulses. This is a mystery of Fricco. It is free-flowing and it does not follow any set, traditional pattern. I dance to pray, to make myself vulnerable, to open myself up to the Gods. My arms open out in an Algiz pattern, and then down level as if I am on a cross, and back again. I call out to Heimdall, to connect me to the Gods. I imagine my arms as the bridge he wards, that connects both sides of the universe, fire and ice, and leads up to the headsprings, where wisdom and vision and love reside.

I begin feeling things, inchoate feelings within my body. Images soar by, float through me, permeate. They come and go as if upon the waves of an ocean. Feelings from childhood, feelings of loss from past relationships, come up, well as tears in my eyes, gasps, sighs. I let go and let the love of the Gods flow through me. I let go and ask the spirit of Fricco to fill me with joy, that joy which heals, which heals through spontaneity. Eir is a Goddess whose name means "ease", and she is a healer. Fricco is a dancer whose name Frey means "free", and he undoes the cuffs which imprison us.

This kind of spontaneous, free-form work with the Gods is as important as the small remnants of the traditional we have in texts. It is a wonderful way to work outside wordlock, and step into weird. Spirituality in part is about surrender and abandon to something larger, and the willingness to step out of the foolishness of our ordinary wisdom, and into the extraordinary wisdom of the Gods, which sometimes seems like foolishness to men.

Call it hippie if you like. Frey is a hippie. A hippie-farmer. Yep. I asked him. He's dancing and skipping through the fields, his arms imitating the vines, the branches, moving and stretching out to commune with them, to identify with them, to call them out with gentle encouragement to grow. I think he's doing it to Jethro Tull. Or their equivalent amongst the Gods. (YMMV)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nonsense as Nonsense

To survive this world in its cycles of decay and too-long-waited-for regeneration, you have to develop a shrewdness towards ordinary evil, and have the ability to look it in the eye and call “nonsense”. Goblins always pretend they are demons. In their nasty crabbiness, in their gnarled characters that stubbornly love to spoil, they gain glee in pretending they are more powerful than they are. A spook loves nothing more than to spook. Tell the spook, fool me once ... then get out your hoe and let it know even a spade may be used as a sword. In time, one simply yawns. A furrowed brow is sufficient to dispel in a shrewd enough heart, that is wise to the spoils and tricks of the world. A good day must not be ruined even for its spooks and spoils. To become seasoned is to know no-nonsense in the face of shallow, barren cackling, and trust the more in deep guffaws o’er ale.

The raging etin rampaging through the shire must be ousted, and it hurts, but such things in truth are so seldom (even in this twilight age of encroaching ruin), while it is the petty goblins who taunt and tempt us, loving to spoil us, to ruin our fun, nag our pursuit of renaissance, who really get us down in life. A thousand bee stings rival a larger sword. Get wise to the goblins. Learn to look those taunters in the face with wilting power of squints. Thou Shalt Not Mess With Me.

It is torment which erodes. Occasional enemy to be routed, while tough, may even raise the blood, but the taunt of the everyday kills in time. One must learn to honor one’s goblins by making them honor one’s strength of endurance. Bullies and spoil-sports abound. The petty games of men, entrapped in their bogs and downward spirals of evolution, endure. The slander of cowards casts its coin on Loki’s altar. Graft exchanges gold behind cloaked hand, and smiles at the public. These things are not new. Let them be no cause for shock. Thorns and thistles ever sprinkle green fields. Weed ‘em and let them feed the compost piles.

It takes practice. You have to practice saying “nonsense” to fools and pricking snools before your heart in time believes it. You have to learn to invest your hopes and energies in harvests to come, not taunts and pricks. There’s rough, pricking things in the dirt that make you cry out, f..k! Pull out the thistle from your foot, brew up a good curse, and move on, soldier.

In time, one grows bored with idiocy. It covers over the annoyance, which in its time grew over the initial rage. Boredom and shrewd eyes are greater weapons than most think. Learn to treat nonsense as nonsense.

Cheer Past Hail

Every farmer from here back to the first digging stick has had to see some hail. No man wields the weather that spoils the crops. Thorns of icy rime from gusts of giants throw without reason from time to time. Frey and Freya say, plant, plant again. Take up seed again and renew life. Don’t allow a single spoiled harvest to wilt your stalk. Find resilience in the soil and rise again!

These are the times that faith in growing things is tested. The blights do not come from the Gods, but the endurance to see through them is. The ruining storms do not come from the Gods, but the strange, stirring hope that defies all-swallowing despair is. The venom that sometimes floats on the wind does not come from the Gods, but the good clay that surrounds and spits out venom is. These are the days one chooses to believe in clouds or sunshine. How the clouds oft roll! But the Gods say, O small things, such small and precious things, here are beams, a bridge may be built across a chasm. It is but a footstep for them. Let them lend eyes, and what abyss was shall become a footstep for you as well.

To have faith in the harvest does not simply mean to rejoice when the feast comes. It means standing on the freshly sown soil, which to the eyes looks barren out to the hedge, and before the first green sprouts appear, smelling the aroma of the cooked grain wafting up there from the soil itself. It’s taking a vow to see the season through, and beyond that season, to see the next season through.

Winters could be harsh. One had to know how to eke bitter flour from the bark of trees in time of famine, what weeds in bad years might do for potherbs, learn the taste of squirrel and mushrooms in a stew. Sometimes the frost broke early, sometimes it broke late. One never knew, and sometimes against one’s hopes. Who knew just when this year Freya might be rescued from the hands of giants by Odr? Who knew precisely when Idunn would shine her sun again from Eastern skies? What one knew is that the days when sun never came, the days when ill wights held back the spring forever, were vanquished, if one had faith in and strengthened the Gods with cheer. For strengthening them with ours when it comes to us, they strengthen us in turn with theirs when we are bereft.

When spring came, you looked at a bad winter, and you said, I made it through. And it was callous, and it was gloom, and it was hard, cold blunt on the bone, with meager on the platter and drops alone of ale, but one felt proud, for one endured to spring. One got props for standing firm in one’s woolen hose and overalls, with scrivening eyes that looked over the frost, and skeptical throughout, kept eye on spring. The All-Holy One Above, Wise Be His Name, difficult, erudite, inscrutable, far penetrating, with stamina of mind bred by many eons of dark clouds and the light that ever broke through (with brave and with battle), kept one eye on unfolding wyrd in the world, however weary or woeful, and one eye in the deep, where deeper dreams brew wisdom beneath all frost.

The tales of capture, of Freya in the tower, Frey beneath the bite of Beli, Idunn in the talons of Thiazi, said, you are not alone. Even the Gods have known their sorrow. Even harvests and life-bestunning beauty and youth that ever springs wild have felt the longing for home in the cold that you have. What faith they held in their hearts even in despair to ever believe in the sun! So might you, so might you.

Why was a feast a feast? Not for its mirth alone, grown in the sun of hearths and giddy hearts, but for its cheer carved hard by the encroaching ice, now slowly dripping in the thaw. For cheer was chiseled out in dark days, cold days, days of gloom and even ruin. It kept the head high as the breath sighed, and took another breath in again. It frowned at hail to smile at hale in spring. Oh, then, how one whipped Lenten Winter in her thin, meager rags out the village, to welcome in Summer! For cheer and mirth are mirror sides of the same coin of feast ; the warmer one, the more the other waxes. That froth in mug was frothy more for having conquered dearth ; every harvest was a victory celebration as well. How did Thor get associated to harvests? Live in a wintery clime and see how you will toast He who vanquishes the wielders of frost! Harvest was victory, as much as it was feast!

Plant, plant again. Take up seed and renew life. Every farmer has had to compost precious crops wilted from hail. It’s a hazing rite into the endurance the Gods rear up. It gives you your sinew and grit to get through to the next harvest. Throw the bitter bones as you must, and kick the unyielding dust, but then roll in the arms of Mother Earth, and pray your gnashing tears that throws mighty execrations upon the etins, and get up. Get up and take stock of what remains, eke cheer from every drop of cheer that stands, and go to tool-shed and take out your sack of seed, and ready the oxen to draw the plough again. It will be bitter, but it shall become sweet again in time. Weeds that never fail to break through soil, and Gods whose bible lives in the land and its seasons, promise sure.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This Is Bullshit

I'm fucking pissed. I want to go out into the Night. I want to go beneath the skies and experience the great outdoors. I don't want to have to worry about Cesium, with a half-life of thirty years, dusting down upon me in the wind. I don't want to have to worry about Plutonium or any other particles from the fuel rods which were blown up to a mile away during the hydrogen explosion. I don't want to have to be concerned about Iodine and Cesium and who the hell knows what else in the drinking water, in the ground water, in the vegetables. But I do.

I do because an industry that would never exist were it not for government subsidies and statutory limited liability insists on wielding some of the most dangerous physical processes in the world for profit, without any conception of safety protocols. (Not that such safety protocols are even reasonable when you're dealing with matter straight out of Muspelheim.) Now these deadly materials have gotten loose into the world, and are upon the winds.

I'm infuriated by the lies, the way the public relations firms hired by the nuclear industry have turned truth upside-down, and are telling people "everything's ok" when everything is not ok. And they've got idiots thinking they're hard-headed and scientific when they are nothing better than dupes and shills for the nuclear power industry. They're upping the "safe" doses of radioactivity(when there are no "safe" doses of radioactivity), they're telling people "radiation is good for you", and they're completely mixing apples and oranges by comparing radiation levels to radioactivity, and telling people it's less than an X-Ray. Well, I've got news for you : breathing in or swallowing a radioactive particle is not like getting an X-Ray. It's like swallowing an X-Ray Machine, and letting it fire off for up to five months or more if it's something as "innocuous" as Iodine, and for far more than sixty years if it's Cesium. And if it's Plutonium, forget it : got a couple ten thousand years? Moreover, the closer the particle is to you, the greater the impact of the radiation being irradiated by the radioactive particle. So no, all the stuff you're hearing on the news is PR bullshit designed to save the ass of the nuclear industry. Loki is spinning Orwell in his grave like a top.

And right now, I don't very much feel like couching this in mythological terms. This is bullshit. This is massive contamination and poisoning of the planet I love. This is serious, serious shit. And these fucking stations are all over the planet. I hope people will wake up and smell the shit in the coffee. This station is thousands of miles away from where I live, and yet there is something called "wind" which travels all around the planet and carries, for example, coal emissions from China to the West Coast of America, all the time. We are interconnected. Ecology has been trying to drive this point home for fifty years. Indigenous people have been emphasizing it for even longer.

Everywhere I look, there's more poison and toxicity being dumped everywhere. It kills the children of Mother Earth, including ourselves. It cripples and wounds others. It is massive, massive desecration of everything any pagan or heathen claims to love. And it is ongoing, and it has got to stop.

Any doubt about the prophetic powers of our myths ought to be dispelled by this. The toxic combination of Loki (Fraudulent Propaganda) and Gullveig (Greed) is breeding wolves in the Ironwoods, a barren landscape filled with toxic sludge and rusty poles of radiation-destroyed cities. It probably looks like Chernobyl.

I want to go out into the night. It is where I get my inspiration. I want raccoons, coyotes, crows, possums to be able to go out at night without entering toxic fallout. I want a free and green earth. I want a tribe that is not so brainwashed they don't nod their head at every public relations industry spin.

This is real. This is about reality. Wind-currents from Chernobyl in '86 caused a massive die-off of birds in California. This isn't just about human death and suffering (and may all the Gods and disir help the poor Japanese), but death and suffering of our fellow life-forms, the children of Mother Earth. This is outrageous, absolutely outrageous. Thor loves his mother, Earth. How do you think he feels about this?

Speak up. Call out the lies of the public relations industry. Demand your government be transparent in reporting real dangers, and suggesting some helpful, pragmatic protections. Let those who claim to speak for us in the councils (those whom the Gods weigh most heavily upon in their judgements, although we are not exempt from holding them accountable) know how angry you are, how upset you are. And join with others who want a free and green earth, and figure out ways to break out of the saccharine prison and reinstitute some real democracy and ecology on this planet.

What Will We Do?

And the cup of gall was offered, and we drank, and called it sweet. The filth and fire fell down, and the temple-priests said, "nay", and we followed suit, and said, "nay". Our "aye" was "nay", and our "nay" was "aye". We drank the blood, we let our veins be emptied, we walked desouled across the concrete and smiled on command. We nodded as wolves became shepherds, we shook our heads at slaughter but said, "what can be done?", we came to savor the nutty flavor of poison and looked away from its bitter taste. We laughed because the laughter was gone, we partied because we lost the capacity to enjoy, we drugged and dreared and drove ourselves to weary narcosis.

And the world surpassed hyperbole, and outran awful any words which might follow and reach. The metaphors were ground to dust, the prophecies exhausted, the capacity to fully understand dwarfed and humiliated.

And no one raised a peep. Not a whine, not a whimper, not a stamping of the feet. The shields, long dusty, were kept upon their posts. The spears were snapped in two and thrown on heaps and burned. And all the while the wolves devoured. Devoured and Loki's poets sang of lustrous sheep. Wolves slaughtered, and the skalds of Lopt called it help. And the wolves tore limb from limb, and the serpent dripped deadly bile into the soil, and Laufeysson's song-smiths called it feast and broth ; and we bought it, and we bowed down, and we said, "yes", and we said it some more, for we were thralls, we were all thralls, we were all humiliated and self-humiliated, wanting to be duped and wanting to be drugged, thralls.

And we dared to call upon the Holy Names. We dared to ask why when all-surrounding suffering reared its head and bit us. We dared to think our passified, servile voices had any worth to reach celestial doers of deeds. And the one-eyed brow glowered and was stern. And the fist holding the mallet crackling with golden fire of clouds shook with rage. And the necklace-bearing beauty cried her tears for fallen Odr, as the foolish soul stayed round the hearth and would not journey out to rescue love. And all the lone warriors girded up their gear, and made ready, for the hour seemed very close indeed, and the fallen heroes had diminished to a trickle, while the fool's ship filled with wild-eyed dupes of idiocy.

And where were we? Where were our cries? Who raised the hue and cry? Who blew upon the trumpet? Who summoned all the warriors? Who said the time is now to take a stand? Who hollared raging growl into the shields? Who conjured up the wod from all the gloom and set the folk into the field to raise their shields against the monsters? Who dared to stake right and wisdom against lies bellowed loud from every post, poison cast free from every field, wolves let loose upon purported enemies who never touched our soil? Who dared to raise their voice for holy powers?

Yet they filthed upon the garments of those most-beloved spirits ; they drenched the bodies of their children in vile, insulting waste ; they stabbed and butchered and corroded, and what did we do? What did we do? What will we do?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Stepping Into the Shoes of the Peasant

Once you step into the shoes of the peasant, everything changes. Everything changes. You can no longer see the world the same way, you can no longer view the history of your country in the same way, you can no longer view the elites of the world and their militaries in the same way. Everything changes.

The Vanir Gods would have us step into the shoes of the peasant.
The rural workers of the world are the ones closest to Mother Earth, and those most following the mysteries of the Harvest God Frey.

All around the world, the independent extended-family farm has been attacked and reduced to the level of plantations, with rural workers extraordinarily exploited, forced to grow crops not of their choosing for export, at rates of pay often little higher than slavery, and in numbers that would make the most callous cry obscenity. In heathen terms, this represents the enthralling of the odaller through feudalization.

These are our fellow human beings. For those who believe in reincarnation within the human circle, this is where one would be most likely to reincarnate. For those believe in any permutation of Wyrd, the web that interconnects us all, we are all inextricably woven, and justice and its gaping absence and mockery have a way of distributing themselves turbulently all along the long and intertwined strands.

The land, and its people, the human hands who tend and work it, are in bondage, and let us remember that Frey, the Lord of Harvests, leysir ór höftum hvern,
"frees everyone from bondage", but we must believe in that freedom, and we must give that freedom our backing. And freedom, while it is a land primarily of feast and festival, is surrounded by a barbed-wire fog of disinformation, propaganda, and lies through which we must penetrate if we are to achieve its acreage. We must educate ourselves as to the conditions of the food-makers and the earth-workers, if we intend to have the wisdom to show any worth at all to Beloved Mother Earth and Frey. This is about solidarity through the earth itself.

A fairly good place to begin such a survey is in Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America : Give Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
(Monthly Review Press, New York, 1973), which will acquaint you with the basic outlines of colonialism and how it transforms free land into Roman-style plantations, feudal regimes which our own ancestors fought valiantly against as Charlemagne's religious empire entered Scandinavia, in order to hold on to their odal status. Earlier, Germanic tribesmen featured prominently in Spartacus' famous slave rebellion, and Arminius led tribes to oust Roman legions. The values of our ancestors fundamentally align with free peasants working extended-family farms that pass down intergenerationally and have extensive common areas, and against those who would enthrall the free peasants.

Beginning in Latin America is a good place to begin, because superficially, it has nothing to do with Nordic history, culture, or religion, and thus, is an excellent exercise in stepping outside of foolish ghettoization, and learning to train the eyes to see the Gods in struggle against the Giants in the world at large, where the ancient stories repeat themselves on a daily basis.

Once you begin to align your thoughts and your solidarity with those who truly own the land, demonstrated in their loving devotion and hard work, as opposed to those who claim to own the land through slips of paper illegitimately traded by absentee pseudo-kings and robber barons, you will feel yourself expanding, growing closer to the earth, feeling your feet more firmly on the ground, stepping outside your astronaut suit, and feeling a much larger connection to your fellow humanity, which gives a strength and belonging it is difficult to imagine before such alignment. Whether through agriculture or more hunter-gatherer permaculture (of fruits, or pyroculture of seeding grasses, etc.), the earth is tended and cultivated by every tribe on earth. It is a wondrous thing to step off the pedestal of empire and become a part of humanity. A wondrous thing indeed.

This is not about political correctness (although this term still might be rehabilitated ; consider : if historical wrongs have happened, their correction might be considered the direction of correctness, giving specificity to the term, and the idea of correcting wrongs, particularly through wergild, is certainly a heathen idea) or smug slumming, and certainly not holier-than-thouism. It's about mutual recognition, and the genuine empathy that flows out of opening your mind to the plight and possibility of those who mind the land.

But beware : once you take the "red pill" as Morpheus said in The Matrix, and begin to step into the shoes of the peasant, you will never be the same. You will never see the world the same again. You will have trouble believing what your newspapers and media report to you, because you will have a greater familiarity with what goes on on the ground rather than what is told in the press. You may feel betrayed by all the lies you've been taught, and the sheer scale of deceit and half-truth. When you see the way that Loki has covered Gullveig in her stripping and enslaving of the world, your blood may boil, and your warrior spirit hackle and ready itself for a fight.

But you will have joined the rushing streams of populism that are at core the heart of heathenism, a fundamental point that is often obscured through our medieval records remembering odalism through increasingly feudal eyes, and often the eyes of the new court elite. Even still, the stories of the bonders resisting and warring against encroaching kings is powerful evidence of what lies at the heart of heathenry : an earthy, stubborn, and fierce populism.