Fehu – The Mobile wealth and the first initiation.
Fé vældr frænda róge;
føðesk ulfr í skóge.
Wealth is a source of discord amongst kin;
the wolf lives in the forest.
Money and wealth is a riddle in itself.
We all want it; most for no discernable actions.
Our ancestors believed wealth to be synonymous with cattle, and this is not an analogy that should be lost on us presently.
Wealth is the fuel, and the force.
It is the blood that thumps and throbs through our titanic higher selves.
It courses through the veins of that demigod who forges our passions and plans.
If it does not then that demigod simply dreams beautifully.
In less romantic words, there is no possible way for us to move effectively through this life without the use of wealth.
The beautiful part about money is that it doesn’t exist. It’s all a hypothetical idol that we have agreed to represent worth.
Like the body and blood of Christ is imbued into ourselves at mass, this new idol is distributed and grafted into every aspect of our modern lives.
As a living power or as a form of God we experience it in various quantities at different times of our lives.
This token therefore can be sacrificed or accumulated. You are giving some of your worth for an action, or benefit that heightens your life in some way when you decide to part with some of this power.
Fehu is the first of the first, and the concept of a new beginning. For when you have wealth you might truly start to live. When you have nothing you might truly start to live.
All things start with what you can and cannot do.
You weigh your options and pass through the fire inorder to reach the next trial.
Many today love to claim no desire for wealth, as if they see what others cannot.
As if they are holy, and the rest of us are blind.
I have nothing to say to those people. Make sure you don’t either.
To say such things is folly, and only demonstrates that those people do not understand the strength and grip that logic holds over the material.
But to those who have seen their future children playing happily, and their parents cared for, and looked after, I say to you;
Search for the blood; like ravenous, and vampiric forces of nature. For we will need much of it in our pursuit of the good work.
The lesson and answer to this riddle of Fehu is truly unfolded when we understand that once we have an idea -or a spark to begin the bang- we must have a way for it to flow properly. The heart pumps and the blood flows.
The perfect example of this is business men that understand that moving their money around from stock to stock, or from project to project is the ultimate way of creating more money.
Our ancestors did not horde cows because there is no gain to be had from such things. We use the wealth, and if we use it properly we see a benefit from it.
If you carefully breed your lot then that wealth is immortal is it not?
How might we generate the same flow with our money today?
How might we protect our estate with the coins we possess?
From Ideas to cash, these things are all valuable and see growth and heightened life if they flow properly to the right avenues and people.
Disregard the idea of completing every aspect of the journey alone.
The blacksmith must make the sword better, as the barbarian wields it better than he who made it. As the magician might heal where the barbarian cannot, the elf might creep where the old wizard might stumble.
We must flow like a well-oiled machine, and we must conquer with the understanding that we get out what we put in.
A withered relationship where two people once drawn together by love have grown to resent one another. To live in quiet “comfortable” discontentment out of some fear of being alone, or perhaps something more nefarious.
That paycheck you slave away at your shit job for, week after week. You hang on to it and wake up miserable every morning, day after day, so much so that the days simply become a grey blur of dissatisfaction.
Connections and working with others, in all facets of life is unavoidable for all of us. We all know this. We are born into this world by parents. We are brought up by some kind of parental figure, biological or not. We meet friends and acquaintances as we grow up.
Friends, romantic partners, co-workers, and the like all enter and leave our personal saga throughout our life’s journey. Some of those who enter into our sphere never leave. Lifelong friends, for example. People who’s connection to you uplift you and awaken the best within yourself.
Not everybody is going to click with you. We’ve all had that shitty co-worker or classmate we don’t get on with at all. It happens.
Now for the crux of what I have to say here today:
Know when to tie the rope tighter, and know when to sever it from the dock.
Know when to cut the cable. A simple concept but over-complicated by many. I look around me in my day to day life quite often and I see the results of this often crucial move never being executed.
I see couples fighting with each other in a public restaurant.
I see public family gatherings where one or more members of the clan is at the throat of another.
I see people slogging away at their jobs in silent suffering. All the while, their limp dick boss with the greasy pole of middle management stuffed up their ass barking orders at them.
All because apparently they didn’t make my coffee right.
Yet often many of these people just go along with all of it, because they have this idea that it’s just “Part of it”. That it’s just something we’re supposed to do.
I say no. This is bullshit. Certain people’s characters line up with ours. Others don’t, and others are downright damaging to ourselves. We need to cut certain people out of our lives, and it’s important to know when.
Should you break up with your girlfriend because you had an argument over who pays the bill at the end of the night? No. Should you dump her because you had a bit of a tiff over something so small you barely remember the next day? Probably not.
But if that girlfriend is constantly being a leech on your mental well being. When you find yourself disgusted to be with her rather than elated, then it’s time to kick that out of your life.
You’re worth more than that, man.
Many families are rife with dysfunction and it’s sad to see. But it’s the same Idea. If someone in your bloodline is creating a constant negativity stream in your life, then connections often need to be severed.
You can try to fix things in situations like this, and many time’s people succeed. If both parties are willing to bend and listen then oftentimes the fraying threads can be sutured back together.
But if it’s cut or be dragged down into the deep, get the knife ready.
We are social creatures, and we often forget how much this social interaction has on our own psyche. How we interact with others directly impacts the way we form our thoughts and ideas when we’re alone. If those interactions are wholly negative then, take a wild guess what you’ll be feeling when you are alone.
On the other side of the coin, I see many people who take this idea too far, and cut all ties over more insignificant reasons. This is often down to that person’s judgement based on experience, and ultimately is up to that person to fix.
Throwing everyone who mildly inconvenienced you on the chopping block is rather overzealous behavior. Some people really can change, and it’s up to you to find out who those people are. Who is willing to make that effort to stay in your life and who is already halfway out the door?
To go back to the start for a second however, you also have people too afraid to cut people out. Maybe you’ve convinced yourself so desperately you love your toxic partner so much you can’t bear the thought of life without them. That you need them, when all they do is make your life miserable.
Cutting people out isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Everyone’s circumstance will be different, and so fear is understandable. But you’d be amazed how on point your inner voice is when you actually listen to it.
Life is momentum. Life is moving forward and overcoming obstacles along the way. Know when to cut things out of your life that are destroying that momentum. People are no different.
If people are making excuses, giving you reasons why you shouldn’t, that’s not their decision to make. Listen to your voice. Think if that paycheck or the mediocre sex with someone you can’t stand is really worth it.
You’re worth a lot. If anyone else is trying to convince you that you’re not, Cut that shit out, man. You’ll thank yourself.
But not all men seek rest and peace; some were born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.
-Robert E. Howard-
There once was a land that lay to the east of the golden isle; that abode of Godkings. This was a time when none might have dared crossed that ocean which now has no name. Where serpents and the battered divine drank the black waters that echoed the cold of the cosmos, and shone its ugly reflection back at itself, deep from within a night that never ended.
This place was known as Old Harrow and its King was Kol. The land was stoney and stark. Its air moaned forever as if the traveling wind coaxed its people away from the land’s emptiness. Sharp mountains of jagged grey stone slashed across the desolation in a manner which would have seemed unnatural to any who might have dared visit the pergatorious realm; yet none ever did. The mountains jutted out of the ground like the razor-sharp teeth of a beast from primordial waters now forgotten, and the sky was forever grey. Clouds full of tears that never fell, and only ever caused a grand pressure-spell which could only be described as a heavy weight upon the head of all who dwelled there under that rule of an immortal mountain king.
This Chieftain had made a deal with ‘The Darkest God Forgotten’. As is the case with many deals made with forces beyond our mortal comprehension, he had felt confident in the bargain’s boons. He should not have.
When Kol was young, restless, and lost he had traveled far away from his Father’s disheveled and gale-torn hut upon the south side of the mountain known as Old Rook. He traveled into the deep north, and starved himself in solitude as a means to grant himself audience with that horrid god his people had tried to forget. Every night he slept thinking about how cold, and agonizing this journey to a banished god truly was. Night after night he slowly began to realize that this sense of pain was not unlike the same pain he felt back home. For Kol was a man who had no love for the path, but would go anywhere for the treasures he imagined were his birthright. He thought about how much they pay off would be worth in the long run of things though, and that fact smote all other rationale he had learned from the elders, and all intuition his soul tried to shoot at him.
But Kol was certain that he and this poor God could come to some sort of deal, seeing as they were both down on their luck in this world which seemed to reject them both. As he dragged himself through the sharp spines of rock, and across the peaks that cut his flesh and soul he eventually came to his journey’s end. He found the blackest of caves, and struck the starkest of fires, and spoke the most ancient words. There he struck a deal with that dark God of the deepest caves. He appeared to him in the form of shadow, and not once did he show his true self to the boy.
The deal was that if he could guess the God’s ancient name he would be granted immortality for a small price in the face of his long and powerful rule; or so said the lurker of shadows. As is the case with all young and brave men, he could tell there was something amiss. For this entity which would scarcely even show its shadowy form to him from behind the crags and cracks of the dripping cave did not speak in a manner which calmed, and only spoke of a relief that rank of death and dimming. Nonetheless, Kol took his deal. He grew ancient, and over the long centuries he ruled and prospered his skin began to dry and crack. He saw himself slowly becoming not unlike those very mountains that took his soul long ago.
His eyes whitened, and his heart pumped blood no more. His soul yearned for nothing, and his mind was as a boulder upon the shore. Ever still and watchful over a vast sea of nothing. In order for this King to remain perpetual, and in order for him to cling to his life of purgatory – wherein his soul would wander instead of his physical- he was tasked by that God of the caves to devour his own daughters. His sons would perpetually wait for a throne he would never give up, and yet it was the will of this dark God to keep this power solely within the patriarchal lineage of Kol. And so for centuries did the old King eat his daughters and oppress his sons who were destined to become as cold, and hollow as he. For they too were tasked with the devouring of the feminine blood of Kol.
This story is of an unknown origin. It comes from a time that is no longer spoken of outside of dream. Yet we understand it, we see the same bones that move it. They pushforth our own spiritual understanding of the world around us, and navigate how we choose to conduct our own selves throughout the storms of this reality.
This is a tale of desperation that we might all sympathize with. Through disparity comes a bargain, and through bargains we meet the devil. When we become so weathered by the storm in our great and divine masculine search for something more, we will be greeted by the shadow many times before we find the true boons. But if we take his deal, that banished one that men have long discussed as they cling to the walls of caves, castles, halls, and houses throughout time-immemorial we only trade one agony for the next.
When we choose to throw in that towel, and seek the answer that has found itself in our minds through weakness, it was never the answer.
When we seek only to eliminate hardship from our lives, we swallow it like Cronus devoured his offspring (i.e his future). That is to internalize a problem, and bring it into our deepest and most spiritual chambers of the mind for the sole reason that it was too heavy a burden to bear in the waking world/ physical realm.
This was the answer for many individuals of many different time periods. And depending on how you view your quality of life, or the manner in which you might receive elevation within the social hierarchies, this path might be seen as an advantage, or even quite manageable. This is the power of this path, and it is the elixir of escape that many find to be more comforting as an answer. It is easier to be a king in a land of nothing, than a wanderer amidst the endless storms.
I speak to you now of a second path told within this tale.
Þracu Seventhson, was his name. He was known as a mighty and fearless leader of his father’s people. Out of all the sons of Kol, Þracu persevered with the flow of human blood far beyond all others. His might was unmatched, and his imagination beyond even the elves. He was able to take broken spirited men and rear them into a frenzy that no God had witnessed for thousands of years.
His father hated him for this. Kol watched as Þracu was thrown into any terrible fate that his father or his closest sons could think of from the darkest and coldest spots of their stoney hearts. Time after time would Þracu emerge victorious and brighter than ever. Red in the face, and fiery in the eyes. “Father, I have returned victorious” became words he spat at his father in a manner that could only be witnessed as primal youth triumphant over the bitter and old.
Until one day Kol looked over to the West from the top of his crumbling and cold keep. He saw the mists of the nameless ocean twinkle and hide the forbidden land of Godkings. For all knew the tales. Even he, as a poor farmer’s son, thought of traversing that endless ocean in hopes of finding the forbidden realm of goldenlight. But he did not. Yet he heard of these meddling tribes from the south. Two sons of the Boar King of Merunord had traveled the endless oceans, and none knew if they had made it or drowned. And so he had made up his mind. He would send this fiery son of his across the endless ocean.
“ÞRACU, MY SON” he bellowed like the wind down his stoney tunneled hall of black rock. All the elders and other-sons gazed at Þracu as he knelt upon the midnight blue carpet that draped down from his fathers jagged throne. He told his son of his newest quest. And all knew it was a sentence to death. For no good could come from traversing the endless ocean.
“A monotonous hell of cold, and damp. An immortal lulling of waves and foam which took every man eventually.” So said the elders who recorded their times at sea attempting to cross. It was suicide.
Yet Þracu was full of excitement. His father had sent him the grandest task of all, to find the land of Godkings. He was to be the first of his kind to find this land, and beat even those Sons of the Boar he so often dreamt of meeting.
He left as soon as he could, with a ship of his toughest and most loyal men. The son of the first stoneblood was to traverse the untraversable, and was laughing into the storm that sat dormant on the horizon like a reaper waiting for your arrival at the end of all things.
For days his ship tossed and turned, ripped, and swayed, and they found no land to the west. Þracu Seventhson of the Stoneblood Royal house was drowned that day. And he met that final wave with laughter and screams of pride.
But he did not find death like his companions, who had all but died days before they drowned. He sank deep below the bryne. Blue waters turned to green, and then to black.
And then there was light.
In the distance behind a shroud of his last breath’s bubbles, he saw a lantern swaying. All around it was hair that danced like seaweed. Eyes opened and they were the size of his ship. The face was fair and her skin was a seafoam green.
He had found a most ancient Goddess of the deep, and she had felt his heartbeat pummeling towards her for miles.
“You will not die this day, son of the storm. You have much left to accomplish upon your journey.”
This part of the tale should highlight to you the importance of the journey, and of the trials. For what is it about organic food we find more delicious?
What is it about the Chef who goes to the farmers market that outshines the chef who goes to the Superstore?
The musician that uses a variety of tools and pedals compared to that of the digital amp user?
It is a journey, of course. It is the story that the individual has created that matters much before the final outcome is to be appreciated at its finest. It is always the journey.
If you love the process, then your end result will be more powerful and resonant with others. Even if others don’t notice the difference consciously, you will at least take pride in knowing that you created something that told a story, that you found a pathway which gave you lessons, hardships, trials, and results. This is the difference between the Stonebloods and the Stormbloods.
With scars and shudders we Storm through it all and witness our ancestral spear become sharper and more accurate with every stride through this life. There is nothing to be disappointed in, even in the face of death and failure, when you know yourself to be a pathforger, and a firebringer.
You will march with pride through all storms once you realize that the mightiest skill a Halithazian might possess is the love the journey and not the destination.
Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author Zack Janson
There is a prevailing belief today that, for some reason, competence comes exclusively through devoting oneself to one particular thing – whether it be an area of study, a sport, a style of art, a language, or what have you.
Obviously, it can’t be discounted that hours spent are proportional to experience earned – if you want to become an incredible baseball player, the more hours you spend playing the game and practicing its fundamentals, the better you will end up. But a sinister trend that seems to have snuck up on people within the last couple of generations is the propensity for people to avoid branching out into other disciplines, either because of a lack of interest, or because of a belief that being well-rounded is unnecessary.
Family trees are rife with stories from even 60 years ago of men who were farmers, carpenters, local government officials, who might have spoken three languages to some degree aside from their mother tongue to ease communication barriers in the border regions they inhabited. I personally have met old timers who were professional musicians while maintaining highly involved day jobs, I’ve met amateur boxers and tradesmen, men who – despite being white collar estimators or highway cops by day, built their own homes. I have shaken the hands of rotary mill operators with middle school educations who know more about the equipment they run than many mechanics.
Guys like these are disappearing quickly, they are absolutely an endangered species, because for the first time in recorded human history, we just don’t need them. We have a man for every job, and becoming competent in multiple disciplines often seems to be discouraged. “Don’t pour that concrete footing – we have a concrete crew coming to take care of it”.
When we look back on the way people have lived cross-culturally, effectively since the dawn of anatomically modern humans, the sequestering of people into neat boxes of exclusive competence has been relatively unusual. Of course, individual interest, aptitude, etc has always and will always influence success in a given field – the proverbial village will always have a “real” blacksmith whose careful competence with iron exceeds the dinky forges that shod horses on remote farms.
But for some reason, it’s suddenly become acceptable – even preferential – to stop trying new things, to stay in our lane. We outsource things like basic car repair, like woodworking, or like gardening, to professionals, and certain “recreational” things like sports or art, many of us don’t bother to attempt at all. With professional mechanics, why enrich our understanding of the world around us and the things we use everyday, why invest in our own self-sufficiency? With sports on TV, or the knowledge that surely we’ll never be as fantastic as our favourite athletes or the artists whose speed paintings we follow on TikTok, why even take a kick at the can?
We all need to get over this sort of bullshit.
It’s an unfortunate paradigm for a number of reasons, and it’s downright damaging both to individuals and to society at large, which is quickly melting into a slurry of bug people who know what they’re taught, what they’re good at, and not much else. Human beings, aside from our genetic predisposition as a species to be good distance runners, are ridiculously versatile. It’s how we’ve managed to completely dominate the planet: we can work with just about any set of circumstances in order to meet the world and its many challenges.
I, for one, found my own early life was marked by the pressure to commit to a skillset. I found my original interest in visual art wane as I began to take music more seriously, never found the time or energy to take sport seriously until my late teens when I began to lift weights, always feeling that my potential was channeled by the expectation that I find a thing or set of things and stick to them. Ironically, while I always felt my energy or focus would be sapped if I strayed too far away from what I felt was my “calling”, the opposite has rung true: the more that I do my best to stay diverse in the commitments I make to my creative, athletic, and professional lives, the more I succeed, and the better I feel, generally speaking.
Elias Lönnrot, the man who compiled the Finnish epic poem Kalevala (a significant influence on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings), was actually a physician by trade in the remote Finnish region of Kainuu. His interest in philology, legend, and myth, led him on a lengthy leave of absence that saw him walking across the Finnish-Russian border region jotting down oral history and folklore. Do you think at any point it occurred to him to stay in his lane? Do you think anybody said “Elias, sit down, you’re a doctor”. Doubtful – but perhaps. Clearly, in the end, Elias said “fuck it” and did what he wanted to do, poured himself into his passion and ran with the burning desire to be more than what he was meant to be. Perhaps his aptitude as a physician, his ability to deal with people candidly as a doctor assisted and informed his interviews with rural people as he collected the stories that went on to inform the Kalevala – often the things you already know can assist your approach to new disciplines.
Go outside, try something new – your own toolkit of diverse experiences and competences will help you approach things from a different perspective. The bottom line is that man has the capacity to become highly skilled at a wide variety of things, and being able to harness multiple abilities enriches not only the individual, but also the people around him. If you’d prefer to sit indoors doing the two things you were always told you were good at, while you squander your aptitude and your potential standing in the shadow of men who were never told they couldn’t do something (or didn’t care), that’s on you.
Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author John Rauðúlfr
Right now I wouldn’t blame you for calling me insane. As I type this I’m sitting in a small city in the south of Brazil. The other side of the equator, thousands of miles from my home country. In the midst of the Covidian age, nonetheless. I suppose the first question you’re asking is simply:
You mad bastard.
It’s not unheard of in history and myth for men to come up against precarious odds for the purpose or pursuit of love. Right now, I’m one of those men. My loved one is a local; while she is out at school, I’m drinking some of the best coffee I’ve ever drank as I give all of you some insight as to how I got where I am. More importantly, what it means in the grander scheme.
They say fortune favors the bold. Men and women throughout history who have decided to take risks rather than retreat into the comfort of certainty. This brings to mind the seafarers of the distant past. Those who set out across vast, unforgiving oceans in order to seek new lands or plunder on the other side.
Many choose to play it safe, and there is something to be said for that. I myself am guilty of this as well. Considering current world events, this course of action is understandable. However, for crazy bastards like myself, and many other foolhardy men, that often just doesn’t cut it.
Movement is growth. The lack of movement is stagnation. Several of my compatriots have touched on this key idea. We can apply this to any aspect of our lives. Movement through self development, or movement in the literal sense of traversing the mortal plane in search of our own way.
Certain movements in our own Wyrd can drive us towards places in the corporeal or incorporeal realms which we never thought we’d find ourselves in. I can tell you I never thought for one minute I’d ever end up in Brazil, but here I am.
The way certain events manifest act as the metaphorical meat grinder. A cacophonous event which blows our cards around on the table. This is necessary. It’s an event which can push us out of our comfort zone. In uncomfortable situations like this, the difficulty itself is what makes us take that next step.
It is a beautiful insanity.
A spark of Madness.
As the web of wyrd that winds and turns with every move we make, sometimes a bold move is needed. Certain things that despite everything and everybody telling us we shouldn’t, we know it must be done. It’s a feeling that you get when you know something seems completely bat shit crazy.
But yet you do it anyway. The voice in your gut tells you must. The thread grows restless in your hands. Turn it.
I see fate as presenting itself in branching segments. Junctions where the threads of our lives branch into different sections of the web. Opportunities, or chances to make a move will likely present themselves. These may be split second instinctual movements, or a major deviation.
“Midway, upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.
I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.
But after I had reached a mountain’s foot,
At that point where the valley terminated,
Which had with consternation pierced my heart,
Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders”
-Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I.
It is when our lives seem to have wandered from the straight and narrow that we may find ourselves in need of such a movement. I can speak purely for myself here. In many ways where I find myself right now spawned from this feeling. The feeling of my life in a state of non-motion, and in need of a swift push.
If you found yourself in a period of life where your day to day is ridden with monotony. Where that magic that makes life worth living has disappeared. If you were approached by a notion to take a foolhardy leap to the unknown. To laugh in the face of whatever danger you might face, puff up your chest and try…
Wouldn’t you be ready to do it?
Is it possible that you may fail? Absolutely it is. Risk is risk and always carries the chance that the move you made may not be for your best. However, choosing to remain motionless and you’ll never know what could have been, and that to me is tragic.
I’ve talked about fear before, and one of the most prevalent in our human condition is fear of the unknown. I won’t lie, my nerves were firing as I prepared my things to make the journey to South America last week. But, that little spark of madness won over. That necessary unravelling of logic into a bold leap into the arms of fate.
Rather than play it safe next time, think about it. Is that really what you want to do?
Are you okay with knowing you may have missed out on a key branch in your path?
Alas, that’s entirely your choice. Meanwhile, I need to go hit up a local gym now, then spend the evening with my woman, and let me tell you what…
Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author Ioan Eofor
A burning heart beats big brains.
I remember a couple years back, in a forgotten time where we were able to freely travel, and you know… do shit? Me and my friends had found ourselves fresh off a boat from Estonia covered in sea salt and stale liquor. We joined several hundred blue color Baltic bastards on a quest over from Finland for the cheaper beer.
This was becoming an annual quest for us three at this point. We had a good thing going with our pals in Finland, and our bandmate up there was always kind enough to provide shelter with a nice cabin located between here and Elfland. Every year we would venture up there to make a new black metal album, and shelter ourselves and our ideas away from the modern world for about 2-3 weeks at a time.
This year I had found myself a killer earache on this fuckin’ boat courtesy of the sleeping conditions of some of Tallinn’s finest hostel beds. On top of that we were up all night with the local scene drinking, and admiring the Medieval/Soviet rot of Tallinn from atop a large hill… Despite knowing our boat trip was going to be an extremely stormy one, and first thing in the morning.
I remember the people, the sounds, the lights, the magic, and thinking ‘wow imagine if I was rational and decided to stay in tonight and not get absolutely bollocksed with a load of Estonian broads on a hill.’
As my two other good buds rested a bit on the front deck of the ship and the polka band played down below for the increasingly intoxicated Finns. I remember the deep and raw emotions I felt on that boat as I looked over the sea. I remember thinking to myself that I once dreamed of sailing to Finland in some sort of grade 10 folk metal wet dream I had conjured in my youth. It was simply powerful.
I’m not ashamed to say I teared up at that moment. Here I was sailing the Baltic to get to my Finnish black metal band deep in the wilderness of the far north, on a fucking huge boat with my friends and the most local of locals. It was everything I set out to do and be in my youth. It was the application of dreams to reality like a wand conjures lightening from some ethereal wizard’s big fuck-off tower.
But as I stared off at those ancient waters, and searched for the coastline of Finland, I couldn’t shake a collection of words that had struck me years before by a close friend.
It was around 2009-2010 and I was struggling for my life to start a folk metal band in Ontario Canada. Miles away from the main sources of inspiration of all kinds and levels. I was not very good at any instruments, I was just learning how to scream, and getting worse and worse at all the sports I was still involved in through a lack of interest in the game and the personalities I was meeting, the older I got.
Every time I found a dude who could play a decent riff he was vacant for practice, disinterested in my vision, or had some sort of other ideas for how fast we should be getting picked up by a label.
It was right after school one day that I remember my good friend, the guy who was struggling with me to form a band came up to me, and heard the latest news in our long line of disappointments. Whatever it was, I was always willing to bounce back. Perhaps not even willing but rather forced to by something beyond myself deep within my subconscious, or from within the primordial waters of my personality.
Although I suggested we might just go at it alone with a drum machine, or suggested we do what we can, instead of focusing on what we can’t so-to-speak he looked me dead in the eyes and said,
‘Maybe being in a band isn’t for us.’
What I found funny, is that’s the sentence that stuck with me years later. As I traveled across the sea towards my next album which was set to be released on one of my favorite labels as a kid.
I wasn’t angry, I didn’t hold it close to gloat. But I do hold it close.
And I woke up this morning thinking about why that might be. Why do I remember these sorts of comments? Why do any of us?
And I think It’s because a lot of the time, the people who say these things are right. It’s a safe bet to say that most shit you shoot for in life won’t work out.
But as corny as it is, you have to fucking try. Because if you don’t then yeah, you are absolutely correct it wasn’t for you, and not even for me if I listened to that lad then and there.
He’s a good friend, we still talk, but one of us is in bands and one of us isn’t. Thankfully he has found his passion also, and does what he does, yadda yadda, but the point I’m trying to make here is that:
People who give you logic like that arent wrong…they just aren’t right either.
Especially when it comes to that certain personality type that I seem to be a prime example of.
It’s that type of person who revels in being told you can’t. I see it as a challenge, and have dedicated my whole life to saying ‘fuck you, watch me’
I have many friends that think cautiously, but guess what? They hang around, they stick around, and they seem to like the warmth that mad fuckers like me and my other bright hearted friends bring to the table in terms of friendship and team dynamics.
Now again, this isn’t to shit on any type of person, it’s fantastic to be cautious and you will probably have more security and stability than someone like me will ever get to enjoy, but you really can’t let that sort of negativity kill your ideas and passions.
If someone tells you that you both can’t do something, it’s literally no skin off their ass if they submit to the logic they find comforting. But if you are someone like me, you have to one day realize that there is something deeply uncomfortable about regrets and not trying something simply because a bunch of people you like to spend time with told you can’t.
Logically oriented personality types are really good at keeping others in check, if the others let them. But at some point you have to ask yourself ‘to what end’ you know?
To what end do you want to keep assuming that everything is too hard and that we should literally just do what we’re supposed to be doing.
People told me I was fucked for even trying to get a job in history, or to pursue a craft in blacksmithing.
Both of those are absolutely true statements, for anyone not willing to try.
But damn it, even during my uni years I was working full time as a blacksmith at a museum.
It doesn’t get more classic than that. If you are willing to try and be different, these crazy situations will find you. Law of attraction, baby. We’re talking Crowley, we’re talking Hermes’ Emerald Tablets. We’re talking about “if everyone else is bogged down in grey gridlock on all levels of their being, there is plenty of fuckin’ sky for you to soar in.”
Keep a bright heart, and let it burn until your last day, boys.
Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author Ioan Eofor
I’m going to go on record here and say that one of the most common questions I get on a weekly basis usually involves someone seeking advice in finding or building a tribe.
This is a question I’m never unhappy to receive. It brings me and my colleagues great joy to hear of new inspiration, burning passion, and individuals seeking a greater purpose beyond the hypnotic :I: of today.
Tribe is a powerful word, and stands for something far beyond its dictionary definition. The spectrum of this word is vast, and goes beyond many different collectives, ideas, customs, and most importantly people.
The individuals who make up that organization are the living embodiment of the word tribe. They give it power through pooling their own various skills, quirks, powers, and principles.
Tribe is one of those words like weight to me. Well, weight sounds pretty heavy, but what are we talking about? 1lb? 10lbs? 1200lbs?
Because, like weight, the power of your tribe is not up for debate. You can feel it in the collective ideas of your gang if it’s a group of posers, you’re going to be entirely devoid of energy and ability.
Alternatively if you feel like your creativity is sparking beyond what you ever thought you were capable of, then your tribe clearly has some weight to it.
A tribe should function like a beast in its prime. Not an animal of this world, but a creature of myth. Faster than all, stronger than all, imposing, mysterious, nature incarnate.
Now imagine if that beast had a bum leg.
If the heart pumps as strongly as ever.
If its roar can be heard from all corners of its realm.
Its hunger still surges through every fiber of its being.
What do you think will be blamed for it not functioning at top performance?
Those who run with the wolves should be wolves, and if they are not?
You don’t know shame like that. And you don’t want to.
There is nothing more crucial to the tribe than all of its entities resembling that of the characters from holy texts. Only then will this pantheon be remembered. Only then will that mighty tribe conquer all.
If you are the reason that the tribe cannot do so, then you will be lower than all in the eyes of your so-called brethren, your so-called creed.
Before you worry about aligning with a power such as a tribe, be sure you are capable to wield it and be of use to it.
Oftentimes you find many men seeking a tribe for its protection and (dare I say it?) – It’s a safe space.
There is no room for this type of creature.
The one who will post picture after picture of himself in the patches, in the sacred spaces, lighting up his various platforms with elusive words and pictures surrounding the organization.
As soon as shit gets hard for those people, you can bet your ass he’s out of there.
See the true test, and the true difference between friends, and brothers is the simple question of can you see this guy dying for you? Could you see him go to jail with you? Can you see him standing by you and what you said when everyone is telling him he was wrong to say something?
There is very little more daunting in our day and age than social pressure. It’s a truly Foucaultian nightmare out there, and the panopticon is stronger than ever. You need people who will stick by you no matter what.
And I don’t care how strong you are, you aren’t going to do that unless you know that no matter who said it in your group, you all know it to be true.
See, honest and noble men will stand by their beliefs – no matter what’s going on around them.
If you are making it up, and you are only pretending to get the message, then you’re not going to be of much help when shit hits the fan for that collective.
In order to find the right people, you need to be the right force.
The rest comes naturally, and shouldn’t even concern you until you understand how important you being the best possible you is for an organization that wants to take on the world, and show the youth that there is more than the horseshit you find outside or online today.
So, before you ask anyone for advice on finding a tribe, or how to join someone else’s, think about how truly ready you think you are for a commitment like that.
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.
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?
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.