Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Transparadigmal Multiplicity

    Odin encompasses transparadigmal multiplicity, which is not a unity, at least not in any sense that we understand it, but an actual nexus of incompatible, simultaneous hinges between various either-or worldviews. The wizard is as close to a con-man as you can get, except one with integrity, dedicated to vagabondage, the passionate abandon into multiple-level, progressive brainwashings. The wizard knows that only with enough brainwashings can the mind get clean, being wrung out through one paradigm after another. The wizard is an enormous practitioner of "as if', gaining depth through exploration and commitment -- 100% commitment, yet at the same time, commitment with an ironic detachment. The wizard knows that the best way to know something is to throw yourself into it 100%, in order to know everything you can about it, and then, almost abruptly, to throw the whole thing out, to kill it, discard it, and forget about the whole thing. Only when it has died will anything good begin to grow from it. Only when you gain the ability to call "bullshit" on that which you most believe will you finally earn believing it, as it sneaks up from you and welcomes you arisen from the grave. Each new perspective, each new worldview, each new paradigm is taken up, eventually cast down, and then weighed against and woven into the others, so that there is a rich, resilient, polyfibred weave. No one knows precisely what the wizard believes, as the wizard is in the process of knowing, which requires not knowing. The wizard as a matter of course goes into beliefs and perspectives which seem beyond the pale -- dangerous, forbidden, absurd, taboo, outrageous, beneath notice, beyond possibility -- and often with greater furvency and earnestness than a true believer, having suspended for that time all other background paradigms, however they may conflict, until it has been so imbibed and assimilated that it may be killed and allow digestion and fermentation to do their job, pulping and yeasting it into useful, delirious mead. This immersion, requiring suspension of loyalties while at the same time maintaining essential integrity, is not easy, and involves tremendous amounts of struggle, for unlike the con-man, for the wizard, there are things that really matter, and they have to do with life, and so holding together all the conflicting strands in creative, perilous abeyance is a tormenting work for such a reflective being, who must learn also to forget, knowing when to forget and when to remember, having set up, however haphazardly, various cues in diverse nested ways, to trigger recollections that reset from present brainwashing parameters, all while learning all one can from each, towards some great work that is not yet fathomed but greatly intuited deep within. The wizard is a viking surfing out on the greatest sea of all, the great tempest of chaos, willing to risk those waves in order to assimilate to them, and enrich one's being with the infusion of vibrant untamedness, whereby one can create a far more dynamic order. One elevates structure and plan -- but then lets them go to seed, and there, in that jungle reclaiming the urban project, there one sets to work, sets to art, loyal to neither chaos nor order but only their intertwined, bastard synthesis, never perfect, letting chaos nourish rationality, and giving the hillbilly, or the wild man, the keys to the city. The wizard learns the weird lesson that only by being willing to risk betraying everything you love can you learn a loyalty beyond loyalty that can sustain you, and nurture that which you love the most. This, again, is not some easy formula ; it must be achieved, throughout, with some code of honor, however askance or mercurial, maintaining basic integrity throughout the full course of shapeshifting. Yet shapeshifting is impossible while maintaining rigid notions of integrity, at least those that keep one locked in limited self-definitions. The ability to play the fool -- to be the fool -- to even be the outcast  -- is important, because only within that which is considered absurdity from  a rigid point of reference promises any escape-velocity from that fixed perspective. (And obviously the point is not to do any absurdity or to compulsively, unintelligently lust after every transgression as many anticonformists do, losing both sense and heart.  Linearity in either direction -- for or against -- lacks the squirming quality that is yet the integrity of weird. One must have the puckish love of an itinerant scholar for Stanislavskian truth that seeks, however unlikely the direction, value, and value to benefit, ultimately, the commonwealth. The Wiccan Rede here is a tremendously wise guideline, however one may wager the perilous. Many things lie close to weird, or seem to -- some are scary, some are creepy, some are wacky, but only weird is weird, and there, in that weird place, that weirdness only s/he can be, full of the virtues of both mystery and plethoric laughter, will the wizard discover what it means to trust. And from trust -- a deeper trust than betrayal and loyalty -- the love for life that animates the wizard at every turn can manifest throughout and despite all the conflicting panoramas.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I just drove past an old delapitated mall in my neighborhood where for decades they had a beautiful open grove with grass surrounded by tall Eucalyptus trees that I always loved going to. It was, you might say, one of my "special places", a nice retreat right in the middle of the urban environment where you could commune with nature. I loved that place.

They've just bulldozed the whole thing and replaced it with parking lot.

It's not as if there weren't parking lot all around it before hand. It's not as if people used the existing parking lot much anyway.


It's because this town -- like most towns and cities in America -- is a heartless place run by business people, developers, and their lawyers, and the feelings of people for place, for memory, for the natural life around them means nothing next to their almighty dollar. Gullveig, as always, rules everywhere.

And because "private property" -- that very unsacred sacred can't-touch-this in our society that was originally an usurpation from the common clan and tribal land -- rules everywhere. And where something is planted on "private property", it is under the dictatorship of that supposed owner. It doesn't matter how public that property is in actuality, in real life, as a part of the community. It doesn't matter how anyone feels about it. It doesn't matter if it is alive. It only gets to exist at the whim of the tyrant who holds the title. And if said feudal lord weren't bad enough, of course, in our society, even the lord is required by tax structures to make sure that property is generating cash, cash, cash. Because that's all that matters : cash, cash, cash.

I believe laws should be passed declaring old trees past a certain age -- regardless of whose goddamned "property" they're on -- to be public treasures beyond the pale in most instances, and only appealable on the basis of very specific due process involving public hearings which would include -- and even be strongly organized by -- local historical societies, as keepers of community memory, and ecologists and natural historians.

I guess I "have" to accept that living in an urban society, sometimes some things are going to have to be torn down to make way for something else, although I don't like that all. But Gods damn it, not for profit, not to worship Gullveig, and entirely to serve the public needs!

And I get my Gods-damned hearing. The trees get their hearing. The wildlife gets its hearing. The community gets its hearing.

And they have to advertise and summon the people well in advance. And workplaces have to give time off for these meetings, or they have to be held at times people aren't working. And there would be a quorum, a minimum number of people in the community below which the hearing isn't valid and therefore no contractors can proceed any further.

And at that hearing we can assess, as a community, jury-style, the competing claims of public interest  : public interest for something new? public interest to preserve memories? public need of new facilities? public need for open, natural space? And we can weigh these weighty issues on our scales, and Gullveig be damned!

That is never going to happen in a society ruled entirely and through and through by money, which ours is. So we have to do something about that, to concretely change that, and not just in rhetoric, but in actuality, which means taking on all the money interests who will fight like wild jotnar to preserve their privileges against our Thing-systems whereby we will retake sovereignty over our collective lives.

The only way this kind of heartbreak -- which just happens again and again, callously, without notification, often in flagrant violation of loud, vocally expressed community opposition -- is going to stop is through the power of law.

As a new heathen, I used to imagine great scenarios where I would show up at a disputed site, where construction was about to commence, in traditional costume, as a godhi or in druid robes, with a staff and other accoutrements, and declare my religion of nature, declare for the indigeneity of the land, and how their activity was violating my first amendment rights of religion ...

Yah right. Beautiful fantasy. I still love it. I wish it could be -- and indeed, one day in the tribal past, it was. But it ain't anymore. Where did I think that my declaring indigeneity in traditional costume would do any more good than it has done for Native Americans?

We need to grant trees, and particularly stands, groves, and forests of trees, legal standing, whereby it would involve a colossal public process to overturn their rights -- and in turn, our rights to them. Grimm pulls up an old Teutonic law that mandated intestinal evisceration for anyone who cut down the old, sacred trees, and there's a strong part of me that can identify with the meat and bones and muscle put behind that law. But of course, such a law is already a sign of degradation, of greed having been bled in -- the fact that such a penalty would have to be stipulated is a sign that there were already forces in society tearing apart from a recognition of the sacredness of those trees. Those forces, nascent then, are now so wildly out of control -- watch the inchoate jaws of Fenris on the near-horizon -- that they have overturned our old laws and outlawed our sensibilities of the sacred. The law was the tool Tyr gave to us to bind the Wolf. But it has now been used by the Wolf to bind us.

Many years back, they cut down the oldest Eucalyptus trees in California, the trees from which all other Eucalypti in the state were taken. They were huge trees, old grandfather trees, wrap your arms around and it would take three people so doing to embrace them trees. They radiated wisdom and presence in unrelenting ripples.  And some bioautistic asshole didn't like them, and so they got rid of them with a dismissive sweep of the hand as quick as you can say "bulldozer". I want these fuckers to have to justify themselves before neighborhood councils. Without ability to bribe. If their project is truly in the public interest -- I'm not against the public interest, when it's real -- I'm community-minded -- then let them convince me. And not only me. But the rest of the community. And moreover, let them convince the elders -- yah, the ones with memories. The ones whose memories stretch back and have some interest in there being intergenerational continuity and valuing memory. Remember? That was the origin of the word "senate" -- the council of the senex -- the old people, the elders? Let them convince us. And let them see our tears, hear our emotions, listen to our poems about things we love, places we cherish, memories we treasure.

Because one of the worst things about these experiences is that they remain undocumented so that the real anguish -- these things always feel like I'm being stabbed -- and I know I'm not alone in that -- is never fully heard, acknowledged, registered, or recorded, so it doesn't even weigh into the public record. It simply vanishes. As if it never mattered. What could be more sacrilegious than for something that matters tremendously to vanish as if it never mattered?

For our ancestors, religion was law -- in other words, law was the concrete expression and mandate of that which was most valued and of most worth.

Where is your law? Only with law can we prevent this tremendous heartbreak. I am crying. I feared this might happen someday, and I prayed it wouldn't. My prayers did not have power of law behind them, and those who worship the saboteurs won this battle.

Jord forgive us, if you can ; chide us as you must ; goad us as we need.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Weal through Wyrd-Working

It is difficult to have faith in holy powers seeing as we are separated from them as by a veil (for it would seem maya is but another name for wyrd), the veil of what turns out out of the churning of possibility and potential, which is just brimming, but then we, the collective actors (all of us, not just humans, although the animals and plants and rocks tend to have more set routines, while we are more wild cards), select out of those our choices, and from what has been selected churns out as well as restricts the potential range of what may then turn out. In this churning lottery of fortune, things do not always turn out as foreseen or desired, and often terrible things happen. This makes it difficult to trust.

Yet even within this lottery there is a thread or central, helicized grip of strands through which the Gods wield and yield their weal, and Wyrd herself, mysterious and uncanny, also, throughout all the chaos, still weaves a kind of benevolence, if we can show faith towards that inner pulse of our wyrd, and look for the twist even in bad things that may yield another chance at wonder and opportunity -- difficult because we are primates with sensitive, even high-strung nervous systems (without which perception and wonder we would never have become the stars we are), highly subject to trauma and burnout. Yet even there, if we can trust healing and breathe through the traumas and our inevitable reactions and fits, moderating them as much as we may, we may, perhaps in a moment of relaxation sink down into an intuitive moment of clarity where we regain our sense of connection and possibility.

Of course, as long as we are divided against ourselves as a species, limited by nationality and competition and irrational warfare, our collective choices are overall impoverishing, even if some make it wealthy. There is now in modern times a great deal of intelligence released, but it is still attenuated, and has yet to reach the levels of cooperation that will render fortune more friendly. Then there will be a stronger matrix of choices out of which the Gods may infuse the churning and turning out of fortune with much greater weal.

In the meantime, and towards that, and all throughout it even and especially in its fulfillment, we must give what love we have to give, what love wishes to move through us, with as much fidelity as we can possibly muster. For love feeds the Gift. And we must cultivate a depth of faith in love that goes beneath apparent outcomes, failures, and refusals. For love is never wasted. It goes its way into the world when it is given, and does its work, despite us or what has turned out. Some may reject or refuse love, but love does its work regardless, even if it stays subterranean. It opens up tracks, guides ways, unveils unforeseen possibilities for good. Giving out love despite all seemings is one way we cultivate relationship to and trust in the Gift. In this process, we are called on, even as we take care of ourselves in our primate ways, with our bands and tribes and animal feelings, to stretch our sense of love beyond the narrow bandwidths of our past, towards the species as a whole, and even past that, towards the planet, and eventually, the whole cosmic tree itself, in time.

We will then feel the Gods much more directly, perhaps even without the mediation of names, in all their power and glory, having shed what alienation hindered us from the full experience of their benevolence and generosity, imminent in their goading and spurring and stirring of us! Oh yes, fortune will always be a lottery, and we, the darers, but as we evolve, and shed the husks of parochiality towards greater and stronger frith, species-wide and beyond the strife and division of classes borne in empire's wake, we will learn to tame the rough and sharp edges of fortune, rounding it out with our good will towards each other and the holy powers of this beloved cosmos, in the maturity of which our present sense of mutual aid is but a seed! Then we shall reap more the inner fruit of Wyrd, as what we give to be woven makes for better texture and sumptuous resilience on the loom. 

Yes, it is difficult, it is work, to trust what gifts the Gods amply give, through the blizzards the frost-giants blow! At times all we feel are the blizzards! It takes work to find that quiet place in the storm where we may sense something different. And then of course what gifts may come never come as expected -- the Gods do love surprise! Yule is the great sacrament we have been given, whose meditation, in time, sunk deep into our hearts, and yielding fruit in our actions, shall guide us on the paths towards our destiny and fulfillment! That is our Sabbath, our richly ceremonied symbol outfolding from which our great wealth we have yet to fully perceive! Yet that wine we shall sup! Yet that gushing mead we shall quaff!

It is good work to do the work of faith in the world of uncertain fortune, whose wheel is often fickle. We fund the universal treasury with every gift we take to fruition and release. What seems lost is only seeming. Sacrifice -- the sacred giving of the all of our being, purged of stinginess and all-too-easy cowardice -- feeds the world's weal. That does not mean that every moment calls on us to give up our lives in a final way as the final gift of that life we have been given, but rather is a call to make our whole life such rapture as we may manage, giving our full self in all the outpouring we can muster! That is the goal, the sacred telos, in the sacrament. Of course, we are mortals and fall short of goals. There is such a time as the morning, before we have had our coffee (or what have you), when grumbling seems much more certain than gift, and jolly, strong-in-matured-mirth Gods do not begrudge us our curmudgeonliness, given that we will do our work, and do it well. All will not be easy, though we aim for the ease that good honor brings, but the work shall make it worthwhile. Our falterings merely give poignance to our triumphs. O denizens of dark times, dreaming of Ragnarok, see instead coming Springtimes unforeseen! The winter storms are but flakes of frozen water blown about. Do not let inevitable gloom lower your sights. Greater sights await throughout the work.

The Wished-For Soul

Fold up these woven webs
Her womb-loom linen wove,
O Wyrd, and welcome back the wished-for soul.
Let Heron hold and hallow wet
The wetland, winged wight until
The moons have womb-rune made a newer nest
To bring that foundling feathered back.
With solemn sorrow, we await that blessed soul.

For a kinswoman who suffered a miscarriage.