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True Ritual

Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author Zack Janson

Today, the term “ritual” seems to be in vogue to describe pretty much any habitual or ceremonial act. We have weekly “self-care” rituals. Every underground metal band, regardless of motivation or presentation, wants to call their show a ritual. The term has really become the same as “routine” or “intentional act”. There’s even a takeout app called Ritual.

When terms become more general, they start to lose some of their nuance. Nuance, of course, is an important part of discussing complex topics, especially when we speak of philosophy and spirituality. Therefore, it’s important to use our words carefully, and to carefully distinguish the terms we use so as not to conflate things that are superficially similar, but different in what they represent. Sorry guys, hanging out with your friends is not a ritual. Poker, spa visits, bar nights – even if they happen often, are very important, and make you feel good – none of these are rituals. Takeout is most certainly not a ritual.

That being said, there is a shred of authenticity left behind in these practices; It’s easy to point out what many modern “rituals” have in common. They are united by intentionality, repetitiousness, structure, by separation from normal behaviour and normal circumstances. Even a weekly movie watcher or smoker prepares for and experiences their “rituals” according to a strict set of intentional parameters. The movie snacks, the favourite smoke spot. The appointed hour. In the crucible of life’s chaos, it’s really not tough to get what makes these invigorating, significant experiences. Intentionality is grounding, and while these modern rituals have lost the transcendental overtone that actually defines true ritual, the martial aspect with which they are approached remains as a relic of what they used to represent.

Despite the difference in practice, little has changed in terms of why “rituals” are carried out. Man’s need for structure outside of what is immediate to him still exists. An essential aspect has been lost, however, in ritual performance: connection with the esoteric. When we think of a “ritual” in its classic sense, we are taken by images of “primitive” painted people, their heads spinning from entheogens, or of High Church liturgy, purple drapings and the pall of incense. This is the unspoken element that has been replaced by cigarettes and video games in the lives of many modern men. The exertion of the spirit is no more, the connection with a current that is unavailable during ordinary experiences with reality has somehow dried up, at least in the mainstream.

Herein lies the crisis of the modern world, the struggle with meaning and the vacuum that both Evola and Nietzsche spoke on from different perspectives – the crisis of a world without meaning does not begin or end with electric lights or iPhones, the sickness that so many feel in response to the present order of things is not a material issue. On the contrary, the material is a consequence of the esoteric; the lack of genuine transcendence is written all over the world that has left so many people with the feeling of alienation that characterises what many Perennialist philosophers call the Kali Yuga, or age of material, profane decadence. “God is dead”, as Nietzsche so famously stated, but what if there was a way to still maintain a rapport with the unseen that didn’t involve televangelism, vernacular language mass or made up Gardnerian Wicca-types?

We have an intrinsic affinity for the substance and function of true ritual performed separately from normal reality. We require, as human beings, the counterpoint of the sacred in order to balance out, make sense of, and ultimately to provide meaning to the profane. The need for this structure is inherent cross-culturally; the sooner we reintegrate the spiritual element of true ritual, the better for it we will be. The cast-off frame of a once valuable tradition across centuries and peoples can be taken up again as a living element, one that can be repurposed and weaponised for your own life. This is the crux: ritual can be re-integrated. It hasn’t disappeared, only become an atrophied part of the human experience in much of the world, almost endemically so in the West.

More esoteric currents can be explored, either in a solitary sense or through the framework of a religious tradition. Groups can be established with like-minded individuals. Practices which directly seek to engender transcendence, such as the more mystic currents of Buddhism, are applicable to even those who are largely unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the pomp of what we in the west would consider to be “spirituality” or “religion”. There is a way out of the iron cage – through the bars, through the alchemy of the spirit, through the pausing of the connection with the subwoofer and the bottle, not because of their inherent evil, but because connection with something far loftier than them is necessary

Check out and reconnect. For your own goddamn good.

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Directing Fear

Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author John Rauðúlfr

Few things test the mettle of a person like fear. Fear is one of the most primal things all of us feel. It’s an emotion which can govern our lives far more than we may like to think about. It is a stumbling block of sorts; something which blocks a path we may find ourselves at. 

Fear exists in many forms, from the most simple to the most primal. We may feel a light form of this in activities we all have to perform. 

I’ve found myself many times sitting in a job interview with that familiar feeling in my chest. Tapping my foot lightly in anticipation for what will be asked of me.

Most of us have felt something like this working up the courage to talk to a woman that has our interest, getting over that mental barrier to initiate a conversation.

It also exists in our most primal of situations. The very definition of primal fear. Random and unpredictable moments throughout life. Moments where we feel ourselves or are loved ones are in immediate danger. 

Freak accidents, which happen in an instant, but where time slows to a crawl. I recall the time circa 2015 on icy highways in mid February. Driving from the city back to my parents’ house for University break. One split second of lost control later and I found myself off the road, airborne, hurtling towards the ditch. 

That whole ordeal took probably 5-10 seconds. But that tiny sliver of time felt like an eternity. I was scared. In that moment, every possible scenario flew through my head, my grip on the steering wheel could’ve bent metal. 

Therein to me lies the power that fear can present. In those moments of unbridled, primitive terror, we enter an almost heightened state of consciousness. Our mind, our senses are shot into overdrive, our bodies filled with adrenaline. When the human self is in danger, we become more than human. 

Of course this is the fight or flight response. This is our immediate, instinctual response to a perceived threat. One in our immediate presence, or a sudden jolt of the fates which throws us into it. 

We use this fear in that moment to react in such a way to insure we simply survive. To avoid injury or damage. To keep our loved ones or others safe. 

What about more abstract or lingering fears? Ones which may not be an immediate threat but instead wear on the mind. They linger in the back of one’s head as we overanalyze them. Fear of an upcoming event perhaps, something you know you must confront. 

It could be a lingering fear of making a move in your life, in a literal or metaphorical sense. You may be frightened to take the next step. 

This feeling however, I can see as useful. I’m just as guilty as everyone else of giving into fear on occasions. Sometimes major moves are frightening. Our conscience tells us that maybe it’s too foolhardy. There’s always a chance we could fail after all, even if in our hearts we know it must be done. 

Fear should not be confused with cowardice, however. Fear is a cause for movement, cowardice is the fear of movement. Cowardice is fear, misguided into a self destructive state. One where you let your fears restrain you, only to feed themselves further. Cowardice tends to feed cowardice as well, and so the cycle repeats. A cycle which many find hard to break. 

That is where the idea of directing fear comes into form. In life threatening situations it’s completely instinctually directed. We don’t even think about it. Our animal brains immediately respond to the stimuli, and we react. We do what we must do to survive.

However in the fear that wears upon you. The kind that influences your decisions, the moves on your life’s chess board. To me, if you’re feeling fear about a decision, then that feeling is telling you that you’re going to have to make a choice. You will have to make a move. 

That move may likely be extremely frightening. Rather than let it conquer you, redirect that into motion. Into action. Give it thought, respect the feeling. Realize that if your boat is sinking, you might have to swim. 

I believe some of the biggest, most important decisions we make in our lives stem from fear of the unknown. In many ways from fear of the uncertain, and our reverence for the comfort of familiarity. We march through the dark woods of life and the fright of certain paths, may fall in front of us. 

Understand your fear my friends. Acknowledge it’s a very real part of life, and a very real part of yourself. Know when it’s time to bear down or when it’s time to jump ship. Use the powerful tool that is human fear along our journey through this present age. 

The modern age is a threatening place. But I won’t be afraid. What about you?

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Holy Movement

Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author Eofor Isenforged

I’ve been active for most of my life. 

There were very few sports or activities that I felt the need to abstain from as a kid. I was encouraged to try most activities by my family and friends, and feel much stronger for it.

Even if you don’t perceive an interest in a particular activity, there is nearly always a good reason to pursue it. 

Whether that be to conquer a fear of its physical nature, its ability to make your faults glaringly obvious, or for the simple act of making you more of a team player compared to the activities you normally partake and excel within. 

I was raised on the principle that strong and healthy competition is something that brings two entities closer through a mutual struggle for victory. 

I look back to tales of the soldiers of the great war who found it in themselves to go over the top and play a game of football with those they were being paid to dispatch. 

I look to the ancient Olympic Athletes that traveled from their various city states to find common ground with other like minded people from far over the horizon of the city they called home. 

These examples have something in common, and that is the spiritual aspects that lead to their happenings. 

The Christmas truce -much like the Olympic games- was rooted in a spiritual comradery that is not as bright in the world today. 

The entire event of the Olympics was reignited by the auspicious nature of 17th century males who willed the reignition of that ancient and esoteric event of holy movement. 

This is not something unfamiliar to most cultures around the world. 

From Island nations to German Empires, we find an unspoken connection between the physical and spiritual within sports. 

Not washing your jersey before a game is overt sympathetic magic. 

Yet for all the little rituals we might perform before we watch a game on the telly, and for all the little things athletes might do in their preparation for a big game, there is something amiss.

Our world is very much centered around the ‘North American Way’, and this is to be expected as America is the closest thing we have to an Empire in the modern world. 

Yet with it comes their peoples mentality, and their fixation on victory. 

Victory is sweet, and should be desired by all Men. But for it to be the only goal is an obsession, and demonstrates the lack of spirit within sports today. 

The strive of men long gone wasn’t to be better than other men, but to be fantastic in their field; godlike.

Do you understand the difference?

Their goals were higher. 

Once stood men whose aim was to become God-like among fellow Athletes. Not the only God, but a pantheon of demi-gods in the centre of the highest human stadium. 

Hercules was said to have coined this term in honor of participants who showed true power in those ancient games.

Though respect remains in modern sports, it doesn’t take a keen eye to see that media and man alike push for victory without its spirit.


Now I’m not here to say that I’m advocating for ‘participation medals’, in fact quite the opposite.

There is a distinct polarization of people who participate in the realm of physical activity within our contemporary world. This is further pushed by the media engines that drive all narrative across the most popular of communication systems.

There are those who gun for nothing but victory, and forget the true essence of growing and struggling together (perhaps even the true essence of victory). And they are in total opposition to a group that wants no winners, and for everyone to feel good about themselves.

If an athlete is neck and neck with an adversary, this is truy growth and power. I look to ufc fighters who might hug after they have made each other bleed minute after minute. Or soccer players that speak well of one another after a game is finished.

To say it is gone is to ignore good sportsmanship, which I am not here to do. But it is very clear that this nature has taken a back seat, and is more of a tradition than an actual aspect of these holy movements.

Yet as is the nature of the Halithaz, we are not here to point at faults and doom it to the abyss. We are here to acknowledge, understand, and reapply a new method (:THE NEW WAY:).

If we all agree that this is not the true nature of sports, and that victory is hollow without the love for our fellow participants then we must simply reform new circles of individuals who long for this flame to become bright once more.

The black pill is foul and useless.

I suggest you and your closest to connect through events, and games of your own planning.

Box powerful men, and learn your trophy to be your bruises.

Race powerful lungs of flame, and see your own turn hotter by the minute.

:JUPITER PRIMUS: is the code of these men. We recognize great souls, great spirit, and great games under this label.

Do not fear the doom, but embrace the change.

You were born for this. 

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The Opium of Comfort – (why you should do more of what you hate)

If you genuinely enjoy planking, there’s probably something wrong with you.

Perhaps you enjoy the result of planking: the abdominal muscle definition, the increase in core strength, the sense of satisfaction that comes from outlasting the ticking of the clock and the feeling of somatic discomfort… but if you genuinely enjoy the process of laying face down while you squeeze yourself red like a tube of toothpaste, you’re an absolute fucking weirdo. And maybe a masochist. I’m not sure what else to tell you. The important thing here is separating the process from the result: regardless of whether you enjoy planking, you probably should be doing something like it anyway. You should have the ability to force yourself into situations that are physically and mentally uncomfortable for the sake of their intrinsic utility, for the sake of the result. If you don’t have that ability, and are unable to make peace with the process, there will never be a better time than today to learn how.

Plants have a way of encouraging other organisms into carrying out behaviour that assists them by making those activities pleasurable – berries, laden with seeds, are temptingly sweet, and full of easy, quick energy: consequently animals are attracted to them and, in passing them through their digestive system, beget more berry bushes. The animals’ appetites are satiated, the plants propagate, everybody is happy. Paradoxically, when the human mind engages with itself, what initially seems attractive is often a choice that leads ultimately to comfort rather than growth. The most attractive things to the human mind, the things that release the most endorphins, tend by and large to be low risk and, by consequence low reward – the things that bring man the rarest spoils tend to be far higher risk, whatever they might be. The things worth having tend to cost more, sometimes in the sense of potentiality than of actual price paid. Picture, for example, a party of hunter gatherers stalking an aurochs: there is the very real possibility that one or more individuals will be gored to death, or stalked by some scavenger after the deed due to the attractive quality of thousands of pounds of meat. Rabbits are certainly easier prey. But rabbits don’t feed tribes, and rabbit hunters don’t win honour, glory, or respect; rabbit hunting doesn’t beget camaraderie or sharpen skills for war.

19th century inport fisherman in Newfoundland, pulling cod traps – they definitely would have done their planks.

I’m not a puritan: I am not advocating for abstinence or self-denial. The “berries” of life can, and should, be tasted. I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, any sort of ascetic. I have fully explored the grimiest depths of my own Dionysian potential, and continue to do so in regular indulgences in order to live what I believe to be a full, well-rounded life informed by multiple perspectives and experiences both orderly and chaotic. What I will advocate for, however, is that we learn to take our lumps: we throw ourselves, wholeheartedly and with stiff upper lips, into our planks, that we set off in the wet morning with spears slung over our shoulders to hunt aurochs with our boys. This behaviour, this championing of result over the necessary-but-enervating process is the key to living a fulfilling, healthy life – one that begets not only the material prize of the aurochs’ meat, but also the more mysterious properties that come with self-actualisation through discipline, and the honour and respect of self-overcoming, both within and from those around oneself. 

Have you ever partied every single day? I have. It’s unbelievably uninteresting and, without sufficient meaning, even in a self-referential sense (revelry-for-the-sake-of-revelry), it quickly becomes boring, tedious, and part of the same meaningless ennuie of flickering fluorescent lights and AM radio that probably lead you to read my article on this website. People speak of the Kali Yuga but forget that, as in most arenas of life, there is a great challenge and a little challenge, a microcosm within the macrocosm. Without the drudgery and the grueling self-denial of hard work, of sacrifice, the Apollonian plank state, there can truly be no restful, respiteful, Dionysian nonplank state

Without the aurochs hunt, there can be no feast – without the grueling process there can be no result – there is no shame in chasing the spoils of war, there is no need to martyr oneself by pretending that you are immune to sex or weed or good food or collapsing on the floor after a sweaty HIIT session, there is no reason to pretend that you’ve not gone back to school because you’re enamoured with the idea of making more money, but most importantly, even more important than understanding process and result in a vacuum, is understanding their intrinsic relationship with one another, understanding that they are at parity, understanding that they need one another to exist, and finally learning to love the process regardless of its inherent drudgery. 

When the process is respected for its own sake, when the max effort squat is respected just for the opportunity to reap the beneficial qualities of self-discipline, when the aurochs hunt is appreciated for the opportunity to be daring, anything earned beyond this paradigm, any future PR or celebratory feast, comes as gratuity, is really no more than a bonus.

Do your planks. Eat right. Get that six pack that we all know you want and you don’t have to pretend not to. But learn to love plankhood intrinsically. The respite of collapse after the fact and the eventual physical changes will be, in the end, as berries off a bush.

Now go plank.

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Arrows and Thunder

Arrows of love and light pierce the obsidian Black. The Arrow of Eros soars into the hearts of men. The cracking of thunder gives them life.

The year continues to chug along. Now we find ourselves in hot, humid Canadian July. The solstice now past, we find ourselves in the embrace of sun and green. 

Are you ready for it? 

That may sound like a stupid question. Winters are long and frigid in these parts. Many of us have been pining for the golden rays the solstice gifts to us. 

Yeah sure, you may be ready for the soft glow of the long nights. Cool summer breeze at midnight around the fire. Imbibing and celebrating with your clan. But are you ready for what it can teach you? By the time the Equinox rolls around, what will have changed in your microcosm?

We still have a duty to ourselves. We are men of the hero’s path. Sharp minds, able bodies, spirits ever ascending towards the greater. We soak up the warmth which the coming months bring. We bloom as saplings from the seeds the spring planted. 

But what of Dionysian revelry? What of the seed fertilized by the inebriated soul. The Flail of Chaos is fun to swing. Swing it once and a while. Controlled indulgence is a magical spark which can lead us to a door we may otherwise be too afraid to open. 

Germinating seeds, fed by the warmth of liquid fire to blossom into a flower of the self.

Eros is alive at this time. The archer whose arrow inflicts the warmth of love, the fire of lust within us of mortal blood. He takes aim whether in the haze of indulgence or in the struggle of duty. You may meet him down either alley, but his strike is true and potent nonetheless. 

As a man, the feeling of love and infatuation is a storm of the self. A force of nature, within our heart and soul. Cracks of thunder erupt within our hearts, lightning illuminates our minds. 

As Eros is the herald of love and passion, Perkwunos is the primeval thunder. 

Perkwunos, known also as “Striker”: the god associated with thunder, rain, and lightning from Proto-Indo European mythos; the very root from which gods such as Thor, Perun, and Indra all likely stemmed from. For this very reason I choose striker to represent the ancient force of thunder that intertwines with Eros’ influence. 

With the heat of summer, storms follow. The great hammer of stone the Striker himself wields cracks open the sky with every sonorous thunderclap. Lightning splits the sky and the flooding rains begin to pour. We stand amidst these natural forces gifted to us. We cry out, we roar. We swing our self made Gadas around our heads with ferocity in ritual training to the might of the skies. 

Thunder in our hearts awakens the passion within our spirit. 

:SO STRIKES THE HAMMER:

Eros sharpens his projectiles and readies his bow, as storm clouds spend all they have brought. The great stone hammer sends tremors throughout our world. A sonic wave to rattle the senses, to bolster our aura. 

:SO THE MARKSMAN TAKES AIM:

That passion we feel within ourselves. Whether walking through dusk lit woods with the one you love. Whether holding them in your embrace into the long nights. The flames of passion sparking within you both as your magick intertwines. 

The passion we feel among brethren and kin. Reveling in celebration with those close to you, singing into the hours of the night. The moment where time in your world stands still. 

Or something different entirely. Love and passion takes on many forms. Whatever the form, if you feel it, Eros hit his mark.  

Now what can any of this teach you? 

The thunder of the season exists within the hearts of men and women alike. As does the warmth of love and the comfort of comradery. I implore you, noble readers, to listen to them when they strike you. 

It may be the simple desire to reach your arms to the sky. Throwing your head back to the pouring rain, and roaring in celebration of life. 

You may meet someone who lights a spark within you. This spark may become a flame, and morph into a blaze. Someone who makes your heart pound like the drums in the sky.  

I know I have. The flames lit long ago, the storm clouds are building. The torch is lit, and I intend to stoke those flames further before this summer ends. 

You see that girl giving you that look over there, man? Go talk to her. She may be by your side by the time of the Winter solstice, and even the years beyond. 

Remind your closest of mates that you love them to death. Partake in celebration with them. Whether lakeside, fireside or somewhere in between. Enjoy inebriated meditations upon life and love within the solar embrace the solstice gave you. 

The hammer will fall, the blow string will flutter. Embrace the thunder within your hearts, my friends. Revel in love and passion that follows. Dance in the rain, love in the sun. Your love and passion are your arrow; the might of your heart’s thunder draws the bow. 

We’ve a beautiful season ahead of us folks. I stand alongside you, beer in hand, Bolts of power and passion within my chest. The season is short; there is much to do before the equinox arrives… 

…And I look forward to your tales.