Archive | July 2013

Hail Thor!

Hail Thor, Thunderer and Bearer of Mjolnir!

For more than a decade I have worn your symbol in honor of our faith, and yet only have honored you in the obvious ways and at the obvious times.  Only recently have I seen the quiet and common wisdom beneath the direct strength.  Only now do I see that you are not so simple.  I open myself to your inspiration. Please kindly teach me what you think I might know.  Teach me of community, frith, quiet wisdom and other things.

Hail Asa-Thor!

Hail Bjorn!

Hail Vingthor!

Hail the Bearer of Common Wisdom!

Hail the God of Direct Action, Strength and Community!

Hail the Protector of Community!

Hail He Who Outwitted All Wise!  He Who Lets The Proud Foe Defeat Themselves and Maintains Hospitality!

Hail the Protector of Daughters!

Hail the Protector of Frith!

Kipling on UPG and Religious Dogma

A friend sent me the following from here:

http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_neolithic.htm

In the Neolithic Age
IN THE Neolithic Age savage warfare did I wage
For food and fame and woolly horses’ pelt.
I was singer to my clan in that dim, red Dawn of Man,
And I sang of all we fought and feared and felt.

Yea, I sang as now I sing, when the Prehistoric spring
Made the piled Biscayan ice-pack split and shove;
And the troll and gnome and dwerg, and the Gods of Cliff and Berg
Were about me and beneath me and above.

But a rival, of Solutré, told the tribe my style was outré
‘Neath a tomahawk, of diorite, he fell
And I left my views on Art, barbed and tanged, below the heart
Of a mammothistic etcher at Grenelle.

Then I stripped them, scalp from skull, and my hunting-dogs fed full,
And their teeth I threaded neatly on a thong;
And I wiped my mouth and said, “It is well that they are dead,
For I know my work is right and theirs was wrong.”

But my Totem saw the shame; from his ridgepole-shrine he came,
And he told me in a vision of the night: —
“There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
“And every single one of them is right!”

* * * *

Then the silence closed upon me till They put new clothing on me
Of whiter, weaker flesh and bone more frail;
. And I stepped beneath Time’s finger, once again a tribal singer,
And a minor poet certified by Traill!

Still they skirmish to and fro, men my messmates on the snow
When we headed off the aurochs turn for turn;
When the rich Allobrogenses never kept amanuenses,
And our only plots were piled in lakes at Berne.

Still a cultured Christian age sees us scuffle, squeak, and rage,
Still we pinch and slap and jabber, scratch and dirk;
Still we let our business slide—as we dropped the half-dressed hide—
To show a fellow-savage how to work.

Still the world is wondrous large,—seven seas from marge to marge—
And it holds a vast of various kinds of man;
And the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Khatmandhu
And the crimes of Clapham chaste in Martaban.

Here’s my wisdom for your use, as I learned it when the moose
And the reindeer roamed where Paris roars to-night:—
“There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
“And—every—single—one—of—them—is—right!”

So, perhaps a bit fewer stone age axes and a bit more getting on with life?  Quit looking for a single Truth.  You are not likely to find it.  Kipling wrote this long before I was born.  These issues are hardly new.  So, poet and recon, look to that past and maybe realize that some things will always vary?

Shadow work – A different view

A good post on shadow work from a different perspective than mine.  I certainly agree that you need to pursue this with careful preparation and recognize that you cannot predict the results.  I hope to write more on this in the future.  I just have to balance a lot of personal details against the public nature of the internet.

http://grumpylokeanelder.tumblr.com/post/56745980082/on-shadow-work

On Bullying Newbies, Lore Thumping, and Viking Warriors

An excellent set of points on how the heathen community could improve, even if I am not a hippie. There is a balance akin to what I have been speaking to in this.

Flame in Bloom

When we, as modern Americans, think of the ancient Norse, we think of Viking warriors with fur outfits and a horned helmet and bulging muscles with a battle axe, terrorizing Europe, raping and pillaging.

When we, as people reviving the religion of the ancient Germanic tribes picture the world that we’re taking inspiration from, we see a very different, more historically accurate version. Not all of the people are Vikings. Some of them aren’t even Nordic. Most of them are farmers. They don’t hate women, and indeed give their women some power.

Nevertheless, the Viking warrior thing infiltrates us anyway. Even in the pagan world, the stereotype of an Asatruar is big and bullying. They have to be right all the time, there is a right way to practice their religion and a wrong one, and they’ll beat you up if you tell them you’re wrong.

Okay, perhaps that’s an…

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Never have just one plan

So, a good reminder from some personal events this weekend for those following the Fire path.  Even after you have done whatever Work brings you face to face with your Rage/Anger, things can still trigger you.  It is not the things you can predict that are the problem but the ones that hit you with little time to plan.  Once you are triggered, even with very good control, you will likely find your blood coursing (I tend to say: “My blood is up”) and be very excited.  You need multiple methods to calm yourself.

Without explicit discussion, helping someone else with their work required me to raise a bit of my own Rage.  It was a specific request I felt I needed to fulfil.  It was not something I had expected that evening and several of my methods for ramping down (based on people in my life), were not feasible.  I found myself madly pacing an entire building for quite sometime without realizing why.  A friend could see what I needed and ultimately helped me but it left me, after another conversation, with the thought that we all need multiple methods for control.  Some that have worked for me:

Formulaic Prayer (Which I forgot to use after the fact) – Often works best as a regular practice.

Loved ones (Who I did not happen to have with me)

Physical activity (Which at least takes the edge off)

Meditation (Can tie to formulaic prayer) – Often works best as a regular practice.

Ritual (This can be MANY different things but something that takes you to a very different place, often with someone else involved.)

I would not recommend alcohol, even though I drink.  I also would avoid caffeine.

Also, be aware that you may have aftershocks and be ready for those.

Also, any approach to scheduled practice of all of the above can be quite helpful.

A take on UPG, Reconstructionism and what we can know

http://witchesandpagans.com/EasyBlog/upg-an-ugly-misguided-notion.html#.UeC1jsIX3mM.facebook

I certainly go to sources for what we can but the point of the article is that, in many cases, we have less than we think using written sources.  Many reconstructionists supplement with archaeology, and I feel that is still important.  However, there will always be gaps.  It is an unavoidable situation. 

However, here is an opposing point of view:

http://www.witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/upg-sucks.html

I also agree that UPG is used by some as an insult.  I would remember the following things:

1) Personal truths may not be transferrable to others.  What works for you may not work for another.

2) Even people with very similar backgrounds and points of view may differ.

3) To many, “right” is what they learned first

4) Whether you like it or not, you likely have more in common with that person at the other end of the spectrum than a random stranger.

 

May you find Luck and Insight

Owning your own darkness/anger

A friend posted this on other media and I think it ties in well with one of the themes of this blog:

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/06/21/the-bright-side-of-owning-your-darkness/

I would say that the following is a good synopsis:

“When we try to live up to impossible images of spiritually enlightened, all-knowledgable, selfless superhumans, the dark side of our nature just gains in power. Like shoving a beach ball under water, you may succeed in disavowing your unsavory bits for a while, but it is so destabilizing that, when you least expect it, that ball always bursts out from under you.

Negative emotions do not cease to exist because we are ignoring them. They just find other ways to express themselves. Sometimes we lash out inappropriately, have confusing crying fits or feel protractedly numb. Most commonly, we slip into depression and, if left to fester, become prone to accidents, physical disease and crisis.”

Anger and darkness have their place in our lives.  If you think of them as the beast in your basement, ignoring them and trying to deny them makes them strong enough to dig a tunnel out and cause great havoc.

Accept that your darkness: “wrath, rebellion, grief and destruction”, is important and best addressed actively rather than in passive ignorance.