Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Heathen Community"? Posh! C'mon ...

I have a hard time believing that the heathen community wants to grow. Heck, I have a hard time believing that there even is such a thing as a heathen "community". Is there? It seems to me that there are just a bunch of hobbyists at best.

One thing of which I am certain : if there were a heathen community, and particularly one that wanted to grow, this blog would not be on the boondocks of the web, and would receive not only a lot more attention, but a lot more participation, because good things are being said and explored on this blog. And yet I feel most of the time as if I am shouting into the emptiness.

And if I write poetry, forget it ... no one will pay attention. This despite the fact that poetry was incredibly important to our ancestors. A good poem could land one an estate.

I have consistently worked to enrich our understanding of the Gods, and I have done it through inspiration grounded in rigorous research and close attention to the original sources and wellsprings of folklore.

This isn't a point of ego, although I well should have earned much more honor for my efforts than I have, but a much more important point ... when treasures are generally neglected, there is something wrong with a "movement". Or even more to the point, when a "movement" shows no movement at all, it is ... stagnating, which pretty much guarantees that the Master of Wod, that quality of dynamis that is cracklingly intelligent turbulence, is going to leave it in the wayside of evolution's riptides, where it probably belongs.

This to me is such a shame it is hard to overlabor the point. There is an opportunity being missed here. Does anyone get that this is an incredibly powerful theology and beautiful inview on the cosmos? The way has might and grace and grandeur. And yet all I hear about in "the community" is either petty, petty politics, or silence, and I think ... the Gods don't seem to be lending much luck, and I wonder why.

Is this how you want it to go? The way of a fad, something not worth developing? Do you really want to get everything you can out of this, or is it just an excuse to be mentally and socially lazy?

There are literally hundreds of pages archived on this blog, full of rich and deep material, material that could become a springing board for further evolutions and discussions that might lead in a progressive direction.

Are you interested in those discussions? Are you interested in evolution?

I'm not by any means saying I am the only one pushing the envelope, but I am certainly one of them, and I often wonder why I am even bothering. The feedback is so seldom and sparse I question why I am pouring so much talent into all this. Of course I am doing so to honor the Gods. But there is the missing element of the Folk ... Where are the Folk?

Is there any reason for this blog to continue? Do you want it to continue? Is vivid imagery, careful argument, developed devotion, and exploration of difficult existential and social issues important to you? There are many fascinating topics and issues I would be inspired to tackle if I felt there was any interest at all to raise my level of inspiration.

Is there anyone out there at all?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Give You the Gift of Dawn

"I give you the gift of dawn,"
exclaimed the sun in brilli'ed clamor.
"Unpack what plexed within the day shall offer."
She spoke before the rust-enflamed wings
horizon-wide of Delling,
dawn the citadel of Eastern elf
whose upward rose-enpetall'd feathers
call the Day out from the Night.
"I give you all and awe-ly chance
to dance beneath the light,
for Day is paged book of life's each golden chapter,
pages turned by Night's jet fingers.
For I do burden-draw across the heavens
but a ringed mirror polish'd
within whose gaze each creature sees
her own reflected brightness.
What all the green unknowing give
I looking glass a'back return
with gain of subtle warmth a'gathered
from my ample heart ablaze,
with bright thanksgiving for the pageant
greening 'neath my white-hooved pave.
I see your every all in glory,
humble giving without ask.
Without the asking, I give back,
for praise is lover's gaze
reflected free in sweet duet,
and I from lovers' isle emerge,
and each Day dip down into Western
lands where lovers' Gods do find.
Think not I receive not
your spirit's freely given light :
for all do each Day see it shining
as I bridge above your blessed plains.
Good Day. Good Day to you, my creatures! Praise
the opportunity of Day to truly shine. Good Day!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Upon that loom the Tree’s wet-whiteners moisten,

Woven in the linen-webbèd skein

Of gossamerèd undergarments first

The fresh and fallen fruit, a shooting star

A’landed in the marshes of the crane

And white stork’d fields of Fensalir, is cloth’d,

Which all its scintillating fate enclothes,

(---They say those strangely sweet and shrouded maids

who crone enclothe the soul with fate are fierce

and monster-borne, from out of time’s imagine :

cruel, some say, to steal a star, and lock

it fast within the binds of matter’s fetters,

when it once within the sway of upper

boughs did leaf-enfolded lightly dance,

but such indeed is growth from humble seed --)

And cradled in this swaddl’d matrix, lies

Within the arms of fairy-follow, wing’d

And swan-and-stork encloakèd maiden, who,

When shrouded triune loom-enchanters’ dance

Decides in secret congress whom the soul

Shall mother meet in womb’d embrace, and then,

Deliver’d to the dwarves the lunar-linen-

Clad and stellar-blossom’d soul, to forge

And form an embryonic mold, shall then

With swift and upward wings deliver fresh

Into the waiting mother’s womb, where she,

Who carried soul from depths, enchants a song

The step of which the wyrded sisters danc’d,

Within whose lilt the embryo now dreams.

We rise up, then, from lowest low, below

The earth’s foundations, then upon the lap

Of Mother Earth we mother-birth-bestowèd

Find ourselves from first and never-knowing

Twinkle, upper-foilage fallen, here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Thirst of God

And in that moment last, between the jaws
within which saw he stars, and something more,
he leapt, for maw was portal then, without
the Wolf a'knowing all ; and spied the Mighty
Sage a thousand branches more extending
out from o'er the other side of tree,
the limbs a feast of fruited worlds a'hung
with swirling sway of other starry seas,
and mind agape with holy hunger then
for myst'ries more which beckon'd to him there,
he smil'd, trusting Baldur ward the world,
and gave his final leap, and robbed the Wolf
of any gain or sating ; Vidar came
and holding ope the rav'nous jaws, he slic'd,
and reached within as had been planned fore'er
to pull his Father out, but to his shock,
the gut was empty! No one there at all!
And plunging sword into the wolfen heart,
he backed away, his mind a'daze, and met
on Idavoll the other Gods who there
were gathered. There they ponder'd all the ancient
myst'ries of their Father of the All,
and Baldur, twinkling eyes alive, remarked,
"Out there," and they all nodded, knowing well
the thirst of God to know more wondrous worlds.

And when his journeys long were last complete,
the all of stars and time wrapped up within
his knowing, joyous, world-tree jolly heart,
as last without the ward of world he plighted
duty first against the awful foes and trolls,
now all cleared out, and back on track the world,
could now his fullest heart's delight go out
a'wand'ring far and wide, as he had once,
and wisdom now in fullness ripen'd, share
the all of laws that o'er great times he'd gathered.
Came he then the All of God to share
what All of Tree he'd slowly captur'd on
his missing, wonder'd journeys out afar,
and all the Gods were learned a'new, to guide
what journeys now in peace the kin of men
might slowly make o'er endless stretch of time.
He settled all the judgements, laid to rest
the ancient charges, shaped the holy settlements
where new Gods rule in light of all His glory.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To Lift the Layman to Enpraised Words

There, where auburn-gold glows from foiled leaves
whose crinkling adds windchime to sun rising and setting ;
There, atop that crystalline crown, in the canopies
wherein lay all the sparks of Muspell ;
There, such meadows of heaven as ne'er the mortal eye
who wouldst return to Midgard hath seen ;
There, where such beasts of marvel glow silver or golden,
as per the light resplendant and ambient :
That oak-branched argentine-tined white & ghostly roebuck,
who e'er his own velvetine, fur-trimmed skin bathes
in that highest of overflowing waterfalls,
the rushing raindrop torrent pours
night-light scattering spray o'er his magnificent antlers ;
That shaggy white-furred, full udder'd goat
capering o'er the aurelian-shield thatched glory
of Hall's Fallen Might, whose ample flows of milk
fall flavored as honey-spiced mead ;
That full-wisened eagle who rests in the high-foilaged perch,
its wings the hue of noon's sun
blotted by sunset's blood, watching, o'erwatching ;
and there, between his very aquiline eyes
the full-weathered kestrel curious falcon-fallow broods ;
with that whisking, ashen-haired bushy-tailed rascal
a-scurrying up-a-down the many-branched
quartz-translucent trunk whose bulk
beyond eyes holds the whole star-lined living frame together ;
There, beneath the highest high mountain crags,
where cliff-ensconced the silver-seat of prophecy
sits bulwarked in the argent-lined granite walls
of All-Father's far-seeing hall,
beneath whose stony foundations
dark runs its star-infloresced glow below
to all the leaf-sheltered halls dotted
meadow & thick-thicketed field,
on that grandest of gold-fortressed plains,
high, high above the whole circle of worlds ;
There, where Thor once warded
the sun-englared shining blade ;
There, upon those ample plains lay
Our Lady's lavender and wort-orcharded estate, replete
with long labyrinthed rows of burgundy vines,
ripe and potent, wild and serpentine,
where all th'veneriline flock
full-gasp rapture in engypsied, turkishine
all-arms-up mad mania of Volta's blossom,
to swoon at mere river's flection
of Her High Bride's night's unveiling
upon the throne atop that lovely,
once-elf-crafted Mons of Venus.
They say the undulate inflorescence
of undine anenome
starlight spackled ring-and-circle
rapture dances in the air above
that grassy knoll
where Night's spangled twinkling quasars
wink as elfine maids and rising knaves, a'bow
in the high-hilled ballroom's courteous prelude, elegant ;
and those who besom-and-beast ride
high feather fly ascent
that Brocken peak may lay
their prayer-tapestried linens there,
that She may, sauntering in the weeks that follow
that furious dance, bend, and thumb-fingered lift
those runed, soft doilies and read,
and Her mind pleased by the voluptuous feast
of full-ecstate, open-heart elation,
grant us such love as full-season bounty
for our worthy deeds She deems fit ;
and for this I brew that sap
of the buzzing swarm's hive
that She might be described
in such psalm as stupor-lifts
the layman to enpraised words.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Is It Making A Man Out Of You?

As I have stated before, the essential function of tradition is to stimulate the development of maturity. Its job is to work and wring out and knead and beat and draw forth and weave in in multiple layers your juvenility until it grows, and grows thick into maturity. In other words, a tradition's purpose is "to make a man (or woman) out of you", and if it's not doing that, then there is either something wrong with the tradition as it has been handed to you or as you are practicing it, or you aren't doing the work with that tradition that you should.

Tradition is thus a way for the elder and particularly once-alpha leaders to tell the juvenile up-and-comer's, "Knock it off", and "get your act together". It can do so gently and poetically for those youngsters who are eager to learn, sensitive, and willing to listen ; and it can do so rather bluntly and in a real no-nonsense, even "drill sergeant" way for those youngsters who have no intention of listening to anyone, and are eager to promote their own semi-ignorance rather than to learn.

If the majority of people practicing your tradition around you seem like they have never graduated from junior high or high school in terms of their behaviors and attitudes, then someone is playing dress-up and not actually doing the work of the tradition. And if doing the work of the tradition would drive them off, don't accomodate them to keep them : let them drift whereever their workless drift would take them anyway. They are dead weight and need not be kept around. When and if they're serious, they can come back and do the work.

"Making a man out of you" doesn't mean turning you into a grizzled, disappointed, bitter, cynical, and broken man who acquiesces to the reality you're handed. It does mean being able to weather disappointment, and trusting in the seasons to fund and source resilience, as winter inevitably (with help and will of Gods and Alfar) returns to spring. It is that resilience which comes out of long and hard experience which is the key here to maturity, because maturity ought be the flowering of idealism, and not its extended funeral. In order for a seed to flower, it may first need to toughen up its stem, strive with all might and crazed yearning for the sun, and grow thorns, but it must not forget its flowering, for if it forgets that, it forgets its glory, and its purpose, and the new seeds fail to fall upon the soil.

Maturity comes through encouragement and inspiration, and it also comes through scolding. Much of maturity is working through our scolding. The community speaks through its scolds, and we must determine what is of value and what is not in the scoldings. There inevitably will be much of value in the scolding. There will also be a great deal that is utter crap. But good scolds return us to our shoulds, and in fact have the same root. Scolds sting, and ought to. They are reminders, they force us to do introspection, and question where we are not standing as upright in the mirror as our dignity demands. Here the mirror is the world itself. For this, we ought not hold back our scolds, but our scolds should be as should be, not according to our own ignorance, parochialism, or narcissism, but as another whom we would respect falls short of that calling to progressive nobility with which the Gods beckon.

In deeply stewed and fermented disappointment lies the rich soil out of which new harvests may come. Sometimes we receive the disappointments we need, difficult as they are. They are not sent, Gods forbid, to crush our idealisms, but rather to show where our idealisms were imperfect in their conceptions, that we might make them lither, more flexible, and more congruent with the evolving wyrd we wish to shape. Disappointments force us to face up to realities we had rather avoid. In defeats lie seeds of greater victories if we will listen to what the faults tell us, and bring the full weight of our mind and our inspirations to bear upon the problems that we might learn what we need to learn to move on.

The heathen "community" is disappointing, very disappointing. It does not, on the whole, foster maturity, but is run for the most part by the most juvenile, who are pulled by whims of pettiness, of shallowness, and of simple thrill-seeking expressing itself in sophomoric behaviors and stereotyped slogans. A kindred, while it ought have mirth and the main of festivity, is not a frat party. A sumble and a tavern ought have a completely different feel. Blots are not excuses to get together, drink beer, and brag (in the vulgar sense). Again, it would be much better if heathen religious practice were far more intimidating, not in any macho sense, but in the sense of expected prerequisites, level of rigor, and strictly enforced behavior codes. ("Strictly enforced behavior codes" need not imply any level of puritanism, as behavior codes can incorporate mirth, festivity, and frith, but they can certainly distinguish these in very explicit ways from their counterfeits and those who would call upon their counterfeits in the name of these very real heathen values.) That might not win any converts too easily, and might very well alienate those who think they are already heathen, but so what? Quantity or quality? I believe that out of the disappointment and failure of the heathen "community" may come a greater maturity, if processed and worked through, that may lead to something more authentic and sustainable.

We might begin by emphasing sculd over bragi. Don't brag and get all mighty on yourself if you haven't first acknowledged your debts and begun to pay them off. Your first boasts ought be to work hard to pay off whatever debts you might have. Your debts accrue according to your flaws and injuries, as well as the debt of potential with which you are born and which you must pay back by developing who you are, individuating, and therefore giving back the fruit of your own flowering. Someone ought come to a blot fully conscious of one's debts. Kindreds ought encourage their members to do inventories of where they are in debt, both materially, on an economic level, and spiritually, where they have assaulted the rights of others and done injury. And just as a little hint : if you're still a jackass, maybe you ought to be working on yourself. Chances are you're probably in a fair amount of debt. Sure, you may not be a killer, nor even an out and out criminal, but you know, all those little snubs, all that petty bullying, be it physical or emotional, all that strife-sewing, however small, adds up over time : penny by penny the bank fills up. Don't strut your stuff until you've done your time.

"Do Your Time" really ought to be a heathen slogan of first priority. It's definitely not sexy, which commends it from the get-go. Do the inventory. Where have you hurt others? Where are you still a nasty bastard? How do you exploit others? Where are you failing to live up to your potential? How are you redeeming all the time and energy and money that has been invested by others in your life? Where are the weaknesses that are not only keeping your best sides from flowering, but actually draining off any luck or heil you might receive from the Gods or ancestors?

"But wait ... that doesn't sound like a warrior ..."

Shut up. You don't get to be a soldier in our army until we've put you through boot camp, and you've proven to our satisfaction that you're ready to fight for the values we stand for. We don't just want random mayhem-seekers. This is not a religion that is about carnage and sociopathy. Prove to us first that you know what you're fighting for.

And put a muffle on the glory-talk, braggart. It's empty talk, and you know it. Don't talk to us about the glory of battle and other such platitudes when you haven't even done your homework. Get down to business. Roll up those sleeves and do the work.

"Do The Work". Another great heathen slogan. Figure out where you're deficient, and begin working on it. Unless you're dealing with an enemy --- and I don't mean a rival, I don't mean someone with whom you got into a spat, I don't mean some petty internet feud, I mean a real enemy who acts on the will to undo your existence --- a real heathen is decent towards others. Honor demands it. You don't need to be warm and fuzzy towards everyone. That's reserved for proven friends and family. But unless someone is a literal enemy, you ought be decent, even if you don't like them. It's courteous, and in the long run, it preserves frith.

Before you come before the Gods, take a little note of what an ass you've been throughout your life. Get a little embarassed. Figure out where you need to shore up. You're facing some mighty impressive presences here, beings who didn't just talk about doing something great, who didn't glory in someone else's greatness, but who actually did great things, and moreover, deeds of great foresight and benevolence. Look at your life, your petty little life. Look, I don't mean to demean you, but you know far better than I do where you've been a little shit, and you damn well know there have been plenty of times, far more often than your pride would want to admit. Well, you can try to hide it from yourself, and you can try to hide it from others, but you cannot hide it from the Gods. They see that and smell its reek from miles off. Consider how far your prayers extend when you so willfully remain in such debt and unwholeness.

"Well, all this scolding and focus on debts and faults doesn't seem very heathen to me. Heathenism is about Pride."

No. You're wrong. Heathenism is about Pride From Merit. Merit through maturity. Grow up. A big man, a bold man, knows his faults, and does the work, however humble, every day. It's not easy. But it means when you have done your work and earned your merit, then you get to have genuine pride, and not just empty, bombastic boasting with no real weight of authentic brag behind it.

You don't have to be perfect ; you are expected to mature. If even those who ought to be elders are juvenile geeks, then you have a tradition of fools, no tradition at all. Good luck getting audience from the Gods.

Tough words, tough life. Face facts and do your growing ; find the secret resilience. Are you digging your well? Have you found the hidden springs? Are you so puffed up on yourself you're neglecting to tend your own garden?

Is it making a man (or woman) out of you?