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Sisyphus, the Stone, and the Solar Man

Benjamin Howes, Oaks & Oaths

“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
-William Goldman

Most people are familiar with the ancient Hellenic myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus, deceitful and a trickster by nature, twice cheated death and, in doing so, incurred the wrath of Zeus. The Father of the Greek gods, Himself a Hellenisation of Dyḗus ph₂tḗr (whom we shall discuss later) cursed Sisyphus with an eternal Herculean version of Chinese water torture.

Then I witnessed the torture of Sisyphus, as he wrestled with a huge rock with both hands. Bracing himself and thrusting with hands and feet he pushed the boulder uphill to the top. But every time, as he was about to send it toppling over the crest, its sheer weight turned it back, and once again towards the plain the pitiless rock rolled down. So once more he had to wrestle with the thing and push it up, while the sweat poured from his limbs and the dust rose high above his head.”

(Odyssey, Book 11:593)

At first glance this torture seems incredibly terrible, and no doubt it was. To be inches away from freedom time after time, only to be crushed under the weight of not only the stone but also the realization that this would be his eternal fate, could make a nihilist of any man. However, I have come around to take a different reading from Sisyphus’ curse.

Sisyphus is all of us.

We all try to cheat death in our deceitful and trickster ways. Some barricade themselves behind liquor cabinets, some build high walls of great fortune and fame, others lean on the everlasting arms of their understanding of the divine, still others seek younger women in full bloom of beauty in an attempt to discover what Ponce De Leon never could. Regardless of our tactics, regardless of how often we cast the thought aside, we all will die.

We all must die.

And hence the necessity of the stone.

Every man, sooner or later, has to come to a sense of understanding about his mortality. In youth, a man feels invincible. Death is an abstract concept that spares most (if not all) of his peers. It seems to him to be almost an impossibility, the domain of the weak and the sick and the old. As he grows older, the thought of death germinates like a weed in his consciousness. As his body aches and no longer works in the way it once did, that death-weed creeps its tendrils through more and more of his thinking life until it pops up all throughout the once-unbreakable concrete of his confidence.

This realization arrives to different men at different times. Some men face death in the fog of war or a traumatic accident, only to be spared by the fates to meet it at a later date. Others voluntarily face death through plant-assisted shamanic spirit work, as has been the case for me, as well as by becoming students of philosophy and/or meditation. The final category, the saddest of all, avoids all thought of it until it arrives at their door to find them unprepared for their final visitor.

Regardless of when the realization dawns across a man’s mind, this dawning awakens the judgement of Zeus: the punishment of pushing the awareness of one’s mortality up the hill of each new day for the rest of his days. The understanding of death, different from an abstract awareness of it, is in itself an act of initiation into death.

The wise man accepts and is humbled by this existential burden. The foolish man fights it to no avail.

The wise man accepts that this is indeed the judgement of his metaphysical Father. In that acceptance, he resigns himself to the task ever before him and determines to learn from the stone. As he pushes it, wrestles against it, does it not make him a little stronger with each attempt? Does he not learn the weight of the stone and how better to push it? Does he not learn the limitations of his own body and how by moving it more efficiently his task is made easier? Does he not build within his mind an ever-increasing fortitude to complete this endless task to his best ability?

Life is a road in a desert of suffering, with the occasional oasis of joy and fortune, that terminates at the river Styx and crosses over into the shadowy domain of Hel.

Each man, once initiated into death, is charged with pushing the stone. The stone itself is neither good or bad, vindictive or benevolent. It is a stone. Perhaps even a stone-cold fact. Its meaning is given only by the man charged with pushing it. His happiness, anger, defeatedness, or triumph is his choice alone. The stone, and how he chooses to view it, is in his hands alone.

In your hands alone.

Dyḗus ph₂tḗr, from whom Zeus is derived, is the name of the Proto-Indo-European Sky Father, represented by the Sun. The same Sun that marks one day from another. One pushing of the stone to the top of the hill to the next. Like any good father, He gives us this burden not to crush us, but to build us.

Imagine how weak and alienated the Boy Named Sue would have been if his Father had given him another name. It was his Father who cursed him with “that awful name” that was responsible for “the gravel in his gut and the spit in his eye.” This “curse” made Sue a man, despite his name. His name was something he couldn’t change. What he made of it was.

In a similar manner, our Skyfather has given us a similar curse and we must rise to the same challenge. A life of comfort and leisure never made a hero. A hero is a man who wrestles, time and time again, and remains undefeated until his Spirit is finally spilled from out of his mortal vessel.

If we aspire to the Solar ideal, we must accept the stone’s ordeal. We must remember our death with neither fear nor anticipation but with acceptance. We must then make useful the days between now and then. We must rise, like our Heavenly Father, above the dark clouds of this chaotic and terrified age. We must radiate wisdom, justice, temperance, and bravery. We must shine forth with strength, courage, mastery, and honor. We must fix our gaze on that most holy Sol Invictus, our Unconquered Sun, and become blinded to the material concerns of a material world.

Our quest is a spiritual one. Our cause is a righteous one. Our aims are not cultural or political, they are eternal. A legion of men collectively pushing the stone, learning from and supporting one another while doing so, can effectively change their world.

Maybe even the world.

My brothers embrace your struggle, for from it you are made into a man. Accept and love your fate. Remember your death. Use each day wisely, for if you will learn to love pushing your stone, you will do anything.

You will rise each day with the Sun and rewrite the stars.

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Order of the New Way

By Ioan Eofor

“Comeback to me now my forebears

rush through the briar and brambles

dash through the thickets of merrywood

stay there with me for a while”

🜨

“Show me the signs and the secrets

sing me the songs of our people

humble me through your bright majesty

bless me from treetop and steeple”


We were born into this world like seeds tossed into a roaring fire. 

In every sense, we can see the waking world for the chaotic amalgamation it truly is. Like a lump of clay, we bend and shape all things as we can. Yet all manner of intelligence has been gifted this power to shape. Big or small, smart or dim; all can move this cosmic giant anyway they please before they are sent elsewhere. 

 In truth we carve god out of the world. But too often do we forget -with our simian brains and eager spirits- that this place, and that god are more than capable of bending us in turn. For as we create, so also are we bent. We are this world, and the world is also us. But what this world is, and what we are… is a similar question to what is the exact shape of a river. 

We only make sense in movement. 

Anything else is a romantic picture of what was.

And so, we were seeds. 

That was our last static. We were nothing and then we were planted. I refer you to this simple runic formula. I describe this to you now as ‘The Cracking of :ING:’ 

ᛜ ᛃ

Look! Do you see it? Where once there was stagnation there is now flow. This is the magic of all things. This runic formula is the tale of life. What is next you might ask? But who is to know, and who should care. 

:FLOW:

 Rush towards that answer if you wish, but do so beautifully and foaming with passion. We were encased, and now we are not. Who is to tell in what manner we might grow; in what manner we might flow? 

A tree that grows by a house is shaped by the house, a river that flows through a city, is shaped by brick and mortar. But I tell you now that we have more ability than the river, and we have more decisions to make than the tree. We were born into this world, as part of this god, but you choose your place of growth, and you alone command your manner of flow. 

The average person’s current flow is frozen within an ice age of discourse. The lack of physical connections, and the acceleration of technology has left us all far too susceptible to the frozen winds and blinding storms of our individual natures. And so we no longer move, but rather comment and gaze at this chaos realm and blame those who describe its features we cannot see from our frozen perspective. 

The anger we feel for our fellow ape and how they might perceive this chaos in regards to our own description of that very same beast is the curse of stagnation. How dutifully we stand by our personal descriptions, and by those similar descriptions for those around our vicinity. Scattered we are frozen, but together we scream. Endlessly clamoring about what it is we must change before we have carved out that utopian apollo; our rebirthed savior. 

This is folly. 

The god grows and is shaped by all things. In this way it is more powerful than you; you cannot chop down centuries of growth. You cannot carve the face of true light from one of true chaos-immortal’ built through the power of endless human fraternization. Go to a preschool and tell all the children to draw the face of ‘mommy’ on the same canvas. 

But the power you possess to change all things is -in turn- the same power possessed by the acorn to sprout a new forest; far far away from the woods you have deemed sick. The woods you so wrongfully believe to be the gods face/power. Those woods you hate are not that gods only face, nor is it truly a power of anysort that you need worry about. That river of poisonous thought will not poison all, simply don’t drink from it yourself. It’s not the only artery of this Ymir. 

It was the folly of the first men to believe Odin and his brothers truly killed the giant. For he lives cosmically through all, and this has always been. When the mystics of the blackforests came back from their fungus trips amidst the stars, they wished to tell us of the three brother’s victory not as a static point, but as a power gifted to all of the father’s sons. Do not forget this. It is power, it is magic, it is might, it is triumph.   

Apollo does not attack Dionysus head on, he chases him endlessly round and round the pole, as does Dionysus in turn. They understand that this is the formula of movement and flow. 

I tell you now that the modern world is sick, and destined to be trampled and stuck in mental-traffic. Your fellow apes do not understand the flow of all things, and instead try to combat all things that they hate through brute force alone. This is not the way. On all sides of the fight, we are not understanding. 

The Day exists through the night, and the night exists through the day, and we must understand that this is also an endless flow, and an endless chase towards the unknown. 

Up up up! 

The Ningshizidian Staff demands our ascent; if we are to go beyond. 

We must ascend the axis mundi through this formula, or see ourselves trampled by the ugly god of the static present, for that god is one of the abyssal void, and he was birthed by us all. He lurks down below our climb, he wants you to look down. Do not be so foolish. 

The magic, and the deep capabilities that will come back to us in the form of song and secrets, after we have become in tune with this formula will teach us that this new way has always been there. Like the secret path Tolkien spoke of that he never went down. Like that one path through the woods you might see, and appreciate more for being a mystery.

The new way exists within our minds, and I bring you now to the grove in which the path sprouted from. Clear away the wreckage and understand that you will take those first steps, and see that this has always been. This is the path of the Halithaz, and it demands that you try your very best to become lost. Only then will you find the way. This path will take you away from all things, and bring you to a place where you might see potential. Where you will feel overwhelmed by the thoughts of what could one day grow strong in this new piece of land. 


It is in that area of our minds that we should sprout three seeds of ancient trees. At the dawn of all things they should come to watch the golden age ascend upon the horizon. The birds shall sing and the morning air shall charge across the realm, 

when those trees will grow strong. 

They will dance with pride in the realm, and bask in the golden light of the new dawn. 

Each of them, sacred to the blood in our veins. 

Each of them powerful.

Powerful, not only within their own right, but triumphant in their unity together.

They will stand proud on that land. And you will go forth  knowing that their roots were sprouted and anchored in the old world. Through chaos and the highest madness did they ascend and break through to the golden dawn. 

This is the new way. 

And it is ancient. 

🜨

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Mentors & Students

By Bronson Lee Norton

Image result for bronson lee norton

Many people are discontented with their lives, desperate for guidance and mentorship.

They wish that someone would just show them “the way”, or “a way” that might supersede their current condition. Truth be told, successful people are busy; this is why they are successful. It would take a generous teacher and an extraordinarily promising student to justify gambling on another person’s earnestness. If you are holding out for that archetypical messiah, you’re probably not that student. This type of exchange would have to show significant promise that investing in you would benefit them and/or the rest of the world by building you up in such a way.

In other words, this is the spiritual equivalent of banking on winning the lottery as a sufficient retirement plan, only you are gambling with your most vital years. Not to rule out the possibility, but I believe teachers find their students – not the other way around. This should be motivation for you to make yourself more valuable. Read many books, learn new skills, listen to different podcasts, study people who are doing things you would also like to be able to experience. If you are reading this, you have access to every bit of wisdom you could hope for that would enable you to create more opportunities for yourself. Most of my biggest mentors may never know my name, or how much of an impact they’ve had on my life.

Self-mastery is self-subsistent. Remember that.

Bronson Lee Norton is an athlete, archer, musician, and the host of the Barbaric Wisdom podcast.

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Germanic deities and their Celtic equivalents

By Gaisowiros

The word “German” has an elusive etymology, but it is possibly related to a Celtic root that means “neighbor”[1]. As such, we can verily examine the Celts and Germans as having been long-time neighbors. While it would be easy to identify the Rhine as the main border between those two, the Celts were in fact living in what is today Germany for most of the Bronze Age, Hallstatt Iron Age and La Tène Iron Age. It is only when Germanic migrations from the Jutland peninsula in approximately the middle of La Tène era that we start to see Germanic populations migrate deeper in today’s Germany.

Maximum expansion of the La Tène culture. Please note artifacts can be found farther away from these zones because of trade.

These migrating populations would not have been strangers to Celtic culture; La Tène artifacts are found across Germanic land, and even in Poland and Ukraine. It was a highly prized material culture that radiated in Northern and Central Europe. One good example of this is the Gundestrup cauldron. Made by Thracian artisans, the silver cauldron depicts scenes that are unequivocally Celtic[2], and was ultimately found buried in Denmark. These Iron age Danes probably would not have understood all the scenes on the cauldron but kept the cauldron because of its high value.

Taranis on the Gundestrup cauldron with typical Gaulish iconography of the cart wheel, ram-headed serpent and torc.

As neighbors, and long-time interacting trading partners, we would not be surprised to see many parallels between Germanic and Celtic cultures. I will attempt here to draw parallels between their deities. Many scholars have been studying this subject in the domain we call comparative mythology. Apart from comparative mythology, we can also find evidence in what I find to be more of a “jungian”, collective unconscious process in which the different cultures have assimilated deities together. We can see this in how the Gauls added Roman deity names to their native gods, creating deities like Belenus Apollo and Mars Camulos. Another kind of evidence is seen for example, in the names of the days of the week: Tuesday comes from Tiw’s day, or Tyr’s day, and that god was thought to be like Mars so that Tuesday is the same as the French Mar(s)di. That is not the work of specific scholars in an academic setting, but that of a more unconscious process that comes from society itself.

Before stepping into this project, I must specify a more precise culture than just “Celtic” and “Germanic”. I will use the Norse deities in the Germanic side, because they are those that we know most about. As for the Celtic side, I will use mainly Gaulish deities. But please know that Gaul was not a unified entity, and we see as many names for their deities as there are Gaulish tribes. It is possible that these multiple names are all unique gods and goddesses, but there is another distinct possibility Gaulish deities had different names depending on their role or where they were worshipped. They were possibly nicknames in a way. The complicated art in studying the Gaulish pantheon is to know when to see different deities or multiple names for the same god.

Since the introduction to the project I will have on the website has already taken some space on this article, I will start with a fairly simple deity with a clear iconography and evident parallels: Thorr

Thorr

There is no doubt here that Thorr’s Celtic equivalent is Taranis. Both names mean “The Thunderer”, and Taranis is found across Gaul, albeit with some differences in his name, with the most common being Taranus, but I will use Taranis in this article for it is the most known form nowadays.[3] The Thunderer divine archetype is also seen in the Slavic Perun and Baltic Perkunas. The difference between this Indo-European archetype and that of Zeus and Jupiter is that Zeus and Jupiter are both descended from the Proto-Indo-European root “*Dyeus” meaning day sky, while the Thunderer’s name either comes from a root simply meaning “thunder” or a root meaning “oak tree”.  The Thunderer deities are also deities of fighting; they are courageous, they protect the common folk and slay monsters. They are also great drinkers, and red-haired. This is not something we see with Zeus and Jupiter, who are though instead to be arbitrary father gods of ruling[4].

The biggest difference between Thorr and Taranis is that Taranis does not have a hammer or another percussive instrument. In his representations, we see him holding a lightning bolt like Zeus’[5] in one hand, and a chariot’s wheel in his other hand. The wheel can have a varied number of spokes, and we see their miniature bronze versions deposited as votive offerings or worn as pendants. It is, for what I understand, a great misconception to think Taranis’ wheel is the wheel of the year, as the wheel of the year has 4 or 8 spokes, representing seasons, while Taranis’ wheel can have 5, 6, 9 or any number of spokes.  But this does not mean that the wheel cannot represent order and the passing of time. His wheel is the iconographical remnants of his chariot. The Thunderer, whether it is Perun or Thorr, rides a chariot across the sky. The chariot’s wheels are noisy, and that sound is the thunder we hear. The reason for the Celtic god’s disappearance of the chariot is due to the great popularity of cavalry amongst the Gauls, to the point that they thought it would be better to have Taranis ride a horse. Thus, we see Taranis riding a horse, holding the lightning bolt in his hand and the wheel in his other, on top of the so called “Jupiter columns”, monuments erected in the Rhineland, when its native population was Celts that were recently romanized.

A late representation of Taranis, with the Roman influences showing in the toga and possibly the lightning bolt as well.

Example of a Jupiter column from Köngen. The trend of representing Jupiter riding a horse, defeating a giant, wielding a thunderbolt and occasionally a cart wheel in his other hand is thought to come from Celtic tradition and syncretism with the god Taranis. We never see the Roman Jupiter riding a horse, nor the Germanic Thorr.


[1] Irish gair, Proto-Celtic root unknown https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gair#Etymology_2

[2] The cauldron depicts many Celtic gods that I will describe. There is no way the depictions are of Germanic or Thracian deities, for the iconography is quite clear. A whole article could be written on the cauldron.

[3] Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, Xavier Delamarre, p.290

[4] The three classes of Indo-European are: deities of ruling, deities of fighting and deities of producing. Zeus/Jupiter/Dyeus rules, while Thorr, Taranis and Indra fight, though they can also be kings in their own ways, they do not decide on the rules of the universe.

[5] Though this could be from Roman influence.

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Heeding the Call

I live in a fantasy world, tucked away on the East Coast of Canada, somewhere between Hyperborea and the entrance to Agartha. This week I built a house for the Forest Fairies, providing them a safe place to stop in on their journey to the Antarctic Entrance as they bring gifts for the children in the community. It wasn’t always this way.

Approximately a year and a half ago, I lived in a city. I was working in a factory while doing an electrician program in college. I had plans of becoming self-employed afterwards. Working for someone else isn’t my thing; I don’t like being told what to do for the most part, because that’s for low-test dorks.

During the summer of 2019, a good friend of mine who lived in Nova Scotia invited me out to visit. Through him I met a fellow homeschooled wizard. He ran a construction company and offered to teach me heritage carpentry if I moved there. I packed what I could fit in a two-door 90’s Civic, and moved immediately. I had goals of learning how to work for myself, living a rural lifestyle, and to one day fulfill my dreams of living in the woods with no neighbours in sight, tanning my balls, and smoking a pipe on the porch blasting power metal. 

I’m now in the process of timber framing a Gothic Wizard’s keep in the woods for myself while living in an off-grid bus with my dog. It’s been a daunting task to live in a bus with no insulation or utilities while conjuring a house late into the year. I have no running water. It is very cold. My genitals are heavy. This has been as uncomfortable as the time I branded my arm with a hot knife, only this has lasted for months instead of seconds. I know that in a year, this is just another story to tell people so they can look at me like I’m crazy.

Initially, I was going to write about how to start building a home, but I think that’s better suited for a later article. For now, there’s a bigger problem to tackle before the building process begins. The issue I’m seeing with like-minded folks these days is that they all want to move to a rural setting, rejecting the modern world and returning to tradition. There’s a lot of talk about it and not a lot of action. It doesn’t take much effort to find countless pages on Instagram and Facebook of faceless men sharing memes about living in the woods as barbarians and eventually revealing they live in a city with a cozy job. Most people that I’ve spoken with are unsure of where to start, they don’t know how to take the step out of safety into the unknown. What needs to be understood is that it is not something that can be taught. You must learn by doing. Having the courage to venture into the unknown with no safety net is the only requirement. Adopt a mindset that it’s your choice whether things work out or not — because it is. The world consistently proves that if you show up to the work with the right intentions and an open heart, that it’ll result in progress. I’m pretty certain this is magic.

As all adventures go, if you align yourself properly with the world and you are on the path that you know you should be, supernatural aid will come in some form — if you believe. In my case, it’s in the form of mentors, friends, wise wizards and black sorceresses. All of my successes in anything I’ve pursued have not fully been my own. I choose to only surround myself with people of positive influence, who I can learn from and who hold me accountable to who I say I am. This, combined with my testicular fortitude to take risks and willingness to show up for the work is the reason for my successes. I am eternally grateful for the knowledge that is continuously being passed down to me. One day I hope to have the capacity to be in a similar position of mentorship.

We become who we surround ourselves with. This is the most important aspect of community based, based living. Everyone needs a self-improvement mindset, an indomitable work ethic, and to actually be fun to work with. If this is who you are, you will naturally attract people like you if you put in the effort. You must wake up with a toxically positive attitude of Asgardick kápros might thrusting into a day of maximum productivity. If you want to begin this journey, then it’s imperative to set aside the dweeby outlooks permeating this internet sphere. Nihilistic, misanthropic nonsense must be set aside to bring this ancient future back. From Odin to Christ, our ancestors recognized the importance of self sacrifice for something greater than themselves. The inevitable hedonism brought on by destroying all positive higher aims with weak worldviews will not be an asset to tending the garden, feeding the animals and breeding an army. Uplifting chaos as something worthy shows a lack of taking responsibility and an inability to establish order. 

I had zero practical lifestyle experience for living a life like this till I moved into it. I’ve learned a lot, but I’m still a budding wizard’s apprentice in all aspects of living a rural lifestyle. But if I can do it, anyone can if they choose to put themselves in a position to learn. It’s simple but the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.

If this is the lifestyle you want, if you want to be a man and not a meme, to rebuild a culture and community worthy of respect, take the first step. Things will fall into place if you believe in yourself and your quest. Everything will be more challenging than anything you’ve experienced so far but the rewards will be more than the Dragon’s hoard you imagined. So go forthrightly into the world. Stop stalling, time is limited; there is no ideal moment except now. Our ancestors are watching.


My name is Winston. You can follow my journey to Agartha on Instagram @boar_94. Message me if you want to work.

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Osi And The Jupiter interview

Ioan:

Halithaz welcomes you, Sean. I’d like to start by asking you a little

bit about the bind rune that you have chosen for the project, and

perhaps giving an explanation as to how the project came about.

Sean:

Hello,

OATJ was formed in 2015, by myself as a spiritual folk project.

Song context is about nature, forging your own spiritual path, and

what dwells beyond. I named the project after my two German

Shepherds, Osiris and Jupiter. We have a full-length that will be released this year,

as well as a cover EP that is full of cover songs from artists we enjoy.

I actually just started writing for what comes after.

The bindrune consists of Algiz, Othala, Tiwaz, Ansuz, Gebo, Raido, and

Fehu. Bind is supposed to represent my spiritual path with this

project, life and death mysteries among nature, and the growth of

knowledge among the presence of ancestors and gods.

Creation of the bind was a month long meditation process.

I meditated on all the runes, wrote down what stood out, and what

meaning I intended for use. Something that stood for my spiritual

growth.

Ioan:

You have mentioned in previous interviews that you have always

seen your musical path as being synonymous with your spiritual

path. In what ways have such mediums as runeworking or

meditation helped with the creation of melodies, songs, albums or

even concepts?

Sean:

Like the above creation of our bindrune, I do meditate on runes

depending on my intuition at the time. Also, everyone has their own

ways of doing some things, I do what works for me, others can do

what works for them. Meditation definitely helps with my day to

day life, especially when I’m having a tough time.

So, my second and third full length albums “Uthuling Hyl “ and

“Nordlige Rúnaskog “ are meditative concept albums that I did very

in depth inner workings on. Most of the song titles are in mixed

Icelandic/Norwegian/Gaelic/Slavic/Indian/and Germanic. I dwelled

on the feeling of the songs and their intention. Like Uthuling Hyl

means “Hollowed Howl” to me, as well as Nordlige Rúnaskog

means “Northern Rune Forest “. Both albums are supposed to be

cryptic like a goetia and have more deep cosmic meaning of my

ongoing spiritual path and inner workings.

Ioan:

One rune I have always found to be truly important to the work of

artists is Ansuz. Could you perhaps give us a little interpretation of

this rune from your own understanding of it, and how it fits into

your life?

Sean:

Communication with ancestors/ other planes of existence, and

nature in its most primeval state. Inner void workings.

Ansuz is a very important rune for communication, inner self

workings, and tapping into the vast cosmic planes.

Ioan:

Exciting news has reached us that you will be heard on this next

series of the popular TV show Vikings! How did that come about?

Sean:

Eisenwald and I have been working on getting my music in TV and

movies, and companies took interest, so there are even more

appearances in the near future. So keep you eye out.

Ioan:

Oftentimes it becomes apparent to many songwriters, or artists of

any medium, that they might take for granted the power of

inspiration, or the feeling of deep and overwhelming awe. Do you

believe yourself to be the true creator of these songs, or do you

perhaps see yourself more as a translator for something that our

human senses cannot fully comprehend?

Sean:

Depends on the state I was in when in when writing the song(s).

Sometimes something sparks awe, the goosebumps quiver down

your body and gives you that sense of enlightenment during writing,

sometimes it’s a process of a feeling of that song.

Ioan:

History, and Germanic tradition, is no doubt deeply important to

the roots of this new wave of music. Yet I get the feeling that you

take history with a grain of salt, and try to better understand the

riddles and mysteries of comparative mythology within your music.

Would you say this is correct?

Sean:

Mostly correct.

It is an ongoing learning process within and among. I interpret what

certain mysteries mean to me and carve out my own path.

Ioan:

How has the thematic trajectory of your music changed, if at all,

since Uthuling Hyl? Has your focus shifted in the specific aspects of

Germanic spirituality you explore through Osi and the Jupiter’s music?

Sean:

The two albums were more cryptic and deep inner workings. All my

albums have a spiritual presence with me. OATJ is a folk / neofolk

act. I am a singer-songwriter that builds my own myth and folklore

through song influenced by nature.

Ioan:

Your sound, while comparable to some of your contemporaries

making similar neofolk music, is quite unique. What are some of the

influences that have helped to shape the sound of Osi and the Juipter over the years?

Sean:

So being a person born in 82’, I grew up on new wave, old country.

In the 90’ I got into a lot of metal. I’d say OATJ’s musical

influences are mainly Einar Selvik, Townes van Zandt, Ulver, and Goblin,

but there are a lot more that help inspire as well.

Ioan:

In the description of your 2020 release ‘Appalachia’ on Bandcamp,

you state that the release was “dedicated to my homeland and the

spiritual connection to the dense forested mountains.”

In what ways do you see Appalachia as resonating with your already established sound?

Sean:

First album “Halls of the Wolf “ is a straight acoustic folk album with

a few weird songs thrown in. Then “UH” and “NR” were concept

spiritual albums. What is after will be a collaboration of all.

I play folk music, and sing/play/write about my spiritual path.

Appalachia, these hills, have a mythical and old calling to them.

I have family in PA, as well as Tennessee, and I’ve grown up about an hour from

the WV border.

Ioan:

With music so heavily embedded in folk and myth, it seems natural

that you record using mainly traditional instruments, if we were to

exclude more commonly used instruments, what would you say is

your favoured instrument of choice?  

Sean:

Acoustic guitar, my Taylor 324.

I’d love to get a Martin D-35.

Ioan:

What first piqued your interest in Germanic spirituality? Is there a

particular god or particular gods that you find yourself coming back

to channel through Osi and the Jupiter?

Sean:

My grandfather would read me old Scandinavian and German stories

when I was a child, I believe that’s what first sparked my interest.

There are not one particular god I find myself coming back to all the

time, the embodiment of cosmic void I guess I’d say. Different times

I feel connection to different deities. Right now Frey has been on

my mind.

Ioan:

Thank you Sean, the final words are yours.

Sean:

Best of health, and may nature guide you.

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Through Chaos

My name is Stroke of Moonlight. I am a self taught artist from Canada. My artwork focuses on the idea that we can only find transcendence through Chaos. This is not a Nihilistic idea as I do not believe that there is any transcendence IN Chaos. To dwell in the darkness is to succumb to it. What I suggest is using Chaos as a tool to become stronger. For example weightlifters use the chaos of the iron to damage their bodies in a controlled way. When the body heals the muscles grow back stronger than before the chaos was introduced. Art, weight training, discipline, occult magic they are all branches of the same tree. To seek chaos in this way is akin to those who once searched for the Philosopher’s Stone. Lead to gold, pain to fire, emptiness to creation. It’s all the same.  

My work is also heavily influenced by Northern Mythology. This is my way of honoring my ancestors, and like Odin, Vili, and Ve I find an ecstatic rush of lust, quickly followed by a sense of dread at the chance of creating a new order everytime I put paint to brush.

Chaos is the most potent form of ultimate creative potential and like Ymir (The Roarer) I bellow into the void and create a new world on paper, computer, 3d space ect…

The Magician is the artist. He who can create, manipulate, or distort realities of not only their own realities but also the realities of those around them and those who view their work. The magician can lead the world into insanity or he can shift the realities of those around him, including his own, into enlightenment. The Shamans and the Warriors have the highest burden. This burden being of leading their chosen tribe to either grandeur or destruction.

The magician who wishes to channel this Chaotic energy can do so with the use of three runes. Thurisaz, Kenaz, and Isa.

:Thurisaz: Allows the Magician to invoke Chaos. (The most potent form of ultimate creative potential)

:Kenaz: Allows the Magician to manifest the Sacred Flame of Creation to illuminate the vast darkness of Chaos (The Flame of  Loki / Prometheus)

:Isa: Allows the Magician to manifest the freezing mists of Niflheim to slow their thoughts and allows them to travel to other worlds through the thick mists. (The Ultimate Unknown parallels with the Daring Explorer)

Together they form Ginnungagap, Loki, and Gullveig / Hel.

“Art is the cure to the sickness of the modern world. The Creators / Artists must take up the role of the Prometheus archetype. They must bring the Flame to man. Both nurturing and destructive. The weak will not be able to stand the light as it will bring to light everything they hate or are running from.”

I am happy to announce that my youtube channel The Black Flame Society is now live. In these videos I will show some of the behind the scenes of my creation process along with lore and explanations on the stories that have been passed verbally for centuries. Most of these stories have almost passed into the void and are diluted in some aspects. It is important to make sure these stories remain for generations to come. It would be an insult for those who are now gone to not keep their legacy intact. Death will only truly come when no one remains to remember your name.

“Step into Stroke of Moonlights realm and see past the illusion of the personal superficial mundane world and enter into the supernatural mystical realm of art.”

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The Temple

By Ioan Eofor

Give me a few seconds of your time here. 

Every single soul worth their salt on this earth today has got at least some sort of skill, or passion in a field that they understand to be their home territory. An environment they understand, and have spent much time within. A knowledge that is unknown to many, at least in the depth that they have delved into it. 

Picture a vast and endless plain of nothing.

There are no trees, there is no water, shade or any other form of comfort. But there are grand structures far off in the distance; miles apart from one another. You know them to be temples of agelong dedication and worship to their respected cosm. Each of them is guarded, and built with the utmost attention to its imposing nature. A frame and spell that alerts any unskilled wanderer that this is no place to enter without true dedication to the spells and knowledge required to traverse its interior. 

Everything worth doing is regarded with such approbation by reckoning of its difficulty and mysticism by virgin eyes. To realize that you have -at least in some way- learned how to navigate the madness of that specific temple, demonstrates to you and all others that you have found boons within the desert of nothing. For the desert will only yield nothing if you believe it so. What we speak of now is the riddle of water-to-wine, and the tricks of the magician. What is magic to all others is a simple and second nature action to that of the sorcerer. 

This has always been, and will never cease. We look to the dark and sheltered hovel of the early iron age blacksmith. It was said that he possessed magic powers. For he could turn the elements of the bog into shining blades of steel. None were permitted to enter his spellroom, and he has remained the essential :magician-engineer: to this very day. But this did not come to any who picked up a hammer, it required many scars, and a lifetime of darkness, and failed projects. 

To all other wanderers of the desert, the temple that was traversed appeared absolutely impenetrable, or at the very least daunting enough to successfully ward off all who entertained the thought of passage. This is the threshold, and the internal prison man keeps himself within, where his only boons are nothing, and where he helps strengthen the threshold through fear and bitterness for those that have yet to pass over its ancient and furious nihilism.

The desert of nothing is a temple in-itself, and claims countless souls. But there are those who find their way out of even its ancient magic, and realize that they might populate it with something.

The temples house boons, plunder, ancient tools and powers. These schools of collective human success and failure are the fire and ice for the now that you live within. They are the wombs of history and myth, and the great providers of something more.

The temple is the gauntlet; the rocks that crush and the reeds that cut. They are equally the great libraries of thought, and experience, and they require more than one lifetime to fully understand. They are more than human, and they are more real than anything else; perhaps even the desert itself.  

Is it no wonder why contemporary humans are drawn to adventure games? Adventures which require your avatar to enter temples of particular themes, and that require a culmination of skills and understanding of the geographical areas which surround them. We have seen this before.

Most puzzles and enemies within are impossible to defeat without certain fragments of knowledge and ancient tools suggested to have been used long before you discovered their existence. 

This is all subconscious human metaphor, and the contemporary extension of human collective-myth. We constantly strive for avatars, and seek answers through worlds which are believed to be less real than our own. Yet in reality they have always been more real than anything we have been told by those who sing the collective hymn of emptiness as they travel the endless nothing and preach the gospel of their god, whose name is also nothing.  


This magic is careful. This magic is calculated, and it is amassed by centuries of failure, and mystery generated by those who failed and returned with mouths full of bitter tails of loss. And thus the temples I speak of are propelled by the vast internal feeling of inferiority when the humble wanderer finds himself at their ancient gates.

But enter, and scars you will find. At the cost of blood and time, you will understand more than any who did not dare to enter the secrets of that particular temple of human experience.

The temples are wombs. They transform wanderers into Halithazi, and heroes alone sing the song of rebirth to worlds of nothing. 

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WarYoga

A hashtag you see when browsing through Instagram posts of people swinging maces is #waryoga – but what does it actually mean? Tom Billinge of WarYoga North tells the story.

The term WarYoga was coined by William Calvani several years ago, originally referring to Jiu Jitsu, as an in joke. Very quickly, William, who had been practicing some of the traditional elements of Indian wrestling conditioning, began to use the phrase to refer to these exercises. While William has since withdrawn from the world of social media, I and a small group of devotees have been keeping the flame burning. From 2018, William and I worked on the WarYoga project together, originally intending for there to be several affiliated akharas (strength temples) around the USA and beyond. I took the designation WarYoga North. In the absence of William, the first Guru of the WarYoga Akhara, I have continued the work and have maintained our networks and media platforms. 

WarYoga as Vyayam

Vyayam is the name given to the various strength and conditioning exercises performed in the akharas of India by Kushti wrestlers. There are several elements: Bethak (Hindu Squat), Dand (Hindu Push Up), Sapate (Hindu Burpee), Gada (Mace), Gar Nal (Stone Neck Ring), Sumtola (Log Bell), Jori (Heavy Clubs), Rope Climb and Mallakhamb (Wrestler’s Pole). Not all of the exercises are performed by everybody, as some have become specialised disciplines in themselves. William and I went on a pilgrimage to India in 2019 to train at the akharas of Varanasi, where we were able to hone our techniques further with gurus from an unbroken lineage stretching back hundreds of years. For a deep dive into the akhara system in India, Joseph Alter’s “The Wrestler’s Body” is one of the finest works written on the subject.

Siddhi Alchemy

WarYoga also incorporates concepts from traditional Indian alchemy. The body is a furnace, which  is heated through tapas (austerity). Tapas literally means heat and fire. The exercises generate heat, making the body move as a yantra (magical machine). This heat begins the inner transformation of the tapasvin (person undertaking the austerities), bringing the disparate of parts of the self to the centre. Like an alchemical furnace, the essence of the self is distilled and collected in the cranium, the condensation chamber of the body. William would often use the phrase “churning butter, making ghee.” The ultimate end is to create an adamantine vessel of moksha (liberation).

Agnihotra

Agni, or fire, is central to the WarYoga Akhara system. The main ritual element is the Agnihotra ceremony. This ancient rite has been performed twice a day, every day, since the Vedic era, some 3500 years ago. It is an ancient Indo-European ritual, where cow dung is burned in a special bronze vessel at sunrise and again at sunset. Ghee and whole rice grains are cast into the fire while chanting the appropriate mantra. Like the recitation of the Vedas themselves, this ritual sustains the universe. When the Vedas and the rituals cease, so does existence.

Churning the Earth

The mitti (sacred earth) of the wrestling pit is also a key part of the WarYoga Akhara. While we were in India, William and I brought back some of the earth from several ancient akharas. This mitti has been turned daily for centuries. It has been purified countless times with ghee, turmeric, sandalwood, rose petals and neem leaves. It has had the sweat and blood of wrestlers poured into it, as they fought in it, since the akharas were founded hundreds of years ago. We added our sweat and blood to the wrestling pits while we were in Varanasi, but we also brought back mitti that is charged with “phoorti” – the electric energy that courses through the wrestler’s body. The Indian mitti has been added to our own earth, creating wrestling pits that are connected to each other and to those that are in India. 

The Future of WarYoga

We continue the daily work. We refine our techniques and philosophy. We cultivate ourselves and connect with those who are on the same journey. WarYoga is not just a catchy hashtag, it is a system of purification that involves specific exercises, internal alchemy, ancient Indo-European ritual and the practice of true magic. One of the last things I worked on while William was still a public presence, was the WarYoga North Manual. William proofread the first version for me. In 2021, I will publish the manual, which will include the exercises, how to make the equipment, a detailed look at the philosophy behind the system and a deep dive into the ritual aspects. The WarYoga North Manual aims to continue the work begun by William, as well as ensuring WarYoga is not corrupted into a soundbite that sounds cool on social media. 

Follow @waryoga on Instagram to learn more about the system 

Follow @tombillinge for more WarYoga information and his other projects, including his upcoming book: Undying Glory, The Solar Path of Greek Heroes

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S.C.M.M. I

To Become S.C.M.M. 

 I 

:THE VAGABOND CASTE:

By Ioan Eofor

Arrows thrashing down as if from the wrath of God. There is little room for cover, and they pierce through your shield, hairs away from your face. They thud with an ear-splitting clap endlessly. Men that sang only the night before, drinking and sharpening their swords over idle chatter by a dim fire, now slump as corpses that pave the bloody mud like cobbled flesh, scattered about the cold stone walls. Sons, brothers, fathers: converted into hunks of meat, symbols of fear and defeat for the soldier that still clings to the walls of the keep that will not yield. Picked off one by one. None remain beyond those who flee. With tail between legs do they march off like the great beast sewn onto every banner carried with them on this failed campaign. Rarely more than a minor inconvenience to the highborn, a scar on the ego of he who drove them there like shepherd and flock. Yet not so for the common soldier. Not so. 

For if they return home, are they better off? No plunder, no new land belonging to their lord, more of the same, which was nothing to begin with. And if they do not have the luxury of returning to their misery, how then does the wife go on? Their family? It is all dire for those who let it be dire. For this is the world of men. 


Yet whistles could be heard from the woods over yonder, to any careful ear willing to hear more than just the screams of comrade and command. A gleeful song spittled out of tune by more than just one man. Bloodied knuckles, broken toes, teeth, and a tankard in hand. Fled from the battle? Nay, no longer of interest; and if ever it was one to these few -these merry few- they simply did not believe the outcome to be worthy of any true influence over their lives. I look to Trower, Cutler, Jacob, and Whitehead. Those who midway through a battle in some English field decided they would simply leave. Though on opposite sides of the war, they banded together to depart the entanglement, and simply intoxicate themselves in a near-by village ale-house. 1

Brigands? Perhaps. 

Entirely good? Nay. 

Entirely bad? Nayer. 

Masters of a different realm. Their own realm. 

If it has not become clear to you yet, you are the main character of this world, and those men of the woods of which I speak understood this on a vital level of cosmic realization. Jesters who entertain their own court. Fighters who fight for their own Lord. A real time and place? More real than anything else in this bloody world. The situation, setting, and time, matter very little to this rare breed that have always been. And do you know why? Why these men are able to grin through the madness, and skip through the corpses? Because they understand that this world is nothing but a canvas of mutual projection. It is the battlefield of magicians who are able to expel and conjust thought into matter. They are those that grin when others fear. They are those that do before others have even thought. They are those that understand the only difference between themselves and the turnip farmer is this simple inner dialogue:

Question: “Does anything truly matter?” 

Answer: “No. So make something.” 

Here is what I need you to do: forget about changing anything in this world. Look now to the deep chambers of your mind, where you lay shackled in a forgotten prison. This is your power, this is your reality. Now understand you have always held the key, and that there is a bright world within that needs you. If you want anything in this waking world, you must first hone your power within. 

It is not enough to be ‘woke’. You have failed this riddle of life if you let yourself answer this question with a simple ‘No’. When Nietzche said ‘God is dead’ he meant something entirely different to the common understanding of this leaden statement. You are obliged by your own buried conscience to find something more now. If you are to count yourself among the ranks of shining icons that have always been, then you must focus now. What should this focus be? To some it might be the creation of a new God or goal, yet is this not the same thing?  Or perhaps even the revival of the old; and I say again, is this not the same thing? Depending on who you are, this concept of something higher might reveal more or less to you. But in reality, it simply doesn’t matter, and I honestly don’t care what you make of any of it. I just need you to ask yourself the question, and figure out where you stand from there. 


How accurate, or how ‘blurry’ modern scholars are upon this-or-that subject of history matters very little, when we begin to see the grander tapestry of primordial, collective-myth. We should understand by now that not all history has been documented. Furthermore, we must begin to understand that all history presented to us is biased in some form or another regardless of how pious or professional the scholar may be. The absolute truth of the matter is that if there are individuals like us now, they will have certainly existed in other periods of time. For when a man is aware of his situation, he may choose misery, or laughter; and very few pick the latter. But then, it is easy to tell those few men apart from the rest.

 From the woods of Sherwood, to the trenches of the Somme; from Agincourt to Rorke’s Drift does this ring true. Situations, odds, places, and people are often dire. But the unchangeable absolute is the spirit of the fighting man, and his immortal reign over all odds and storms. Perhaps ‘tea instead of tears’ is a good mantra for one facing dire situations. This is a quality that found us exchanging gifts with the Hun at Christmas, and it is the fighting spirit of the merry few. 

The world is rotting, all sides and angles of opinion know this. In a world where the youth have been groomed into an understanding of immediate gratification, is it not obvious why so many choose the most extreme solutions (left and right), is it not so very obvious that these are the cries from a baby’s crib who knows nothing but the immediate remedial call for his mother.

 Yet if we are to change the outward, we must look deeply within. For is this not the true meaning of myth? To navigate the inner world (we are reminded of Agartha, Middle Earth, etc). For within the brain of all exists a world entirely different to all other living humans who stand at razors edge of the tip to their ancestral spear; honed over centuries. Yet as different as these worlds are, the common themes and archetypes remain true. I urge you to discover the works of Jung and Campbell for more on this.2,3

Within this world stands a kingdom. 

And within that kingdom stands a castle. 

Within that castle there is a courtroom. 

Is Denethor upon your throne? Perhaps a sickly Théoden with the whispers of a weaker man at his side; have you cast out your Éomer? I tell you now, no matter who sits there in that hallowed hall, there is a Strider in the wilderness of your mind, and you must use every godly power within yourself to find him, lest the kingdom fall to ruin. (More on this in SCMM II). For now we must remember that we do not inhabit this throneroom, but face off the terrors of the dark that aim to keep us within our own shackles.  

There are many who profit from our self-bondage. To see us move against this is a threat to everything they have imposed through careful spells and the blackest of magic, ancient in its essence but cast through modern media. 

They will move against you with force, and impose many fears. What might one do to counter these moves? Whistle and sing? That is to bury your head in the sand and meditate under an unimpressive tree. This is an Eastern tradition which has its merit. Yet ultimately did it not allow Mao to thrive? How noble be the man that lets his culture and body be devoured by the serpent. 

Does one unsheath sword? Noble surely, alas their sword is bigger and backed by the masses and arrows. You are the madman of darkest prison after all. Nothing more than a brigand not only to the highborn, but to their populace of serfs also. Do not forget this. Nor should one blame the peasantry, it is simply their way. 

My suggestion to you lies in becoming both at the same time. As the guards of your cell move towards you, and jealous fellow prisoners, and peasants alike call for your capture you must become S.C.M.M.

The Equation of such: 

BRUTAL SOLDIER –  MERRY MAN 

The Mantra of highself: 

SMILE

LAUGH 

UNSHEATH 

SWING 

This tactic translates to any situation you might find yourself amidst in the waking world. 

Let the fighter be present; let the thinker be free; let the ancestors sing; and your future be. 

I tell you now, anywhere that this Halithazian spirit is embedded into a culture, there is a roaring fire at the heart of the Kingdom’s myth, and it does not dwindle under rain of serpentine venom. 

‘Greatest roots are not touched by frost’ 4

Do you truly believe that the Teutonic knight was not imbued with a paganism he was said to have hated? Is it not possible that we as men of this new paganism have not also upheld the Christian values in our causes and morals? 

You are not a man, but a living world of interacting archetypes, struggles, gods, and beasts. 

But for now, be that free man who feels sunlight after years of darkness. Take to the woods, and be happy. You will one day find that a young lad might hear your whistle from within your chosen Grove. I promise you this. And as he hears the sound of your sword knocking against the bark of a tree, he will say 

‘For what do you swing this sword, away from all, and with no crowd?’

and you will say, 

‘I am happily preparing for a time that will need my strength and laughter’ 

The youth will remember this until a day comes when he might join you there. And you will whistle together louder than just one alone. 

Sword-dancing Chivalric Merry Men: our time is now, for this is the Age of Plunder. 

 1A Field in England, 2013, Film 4 Productions, Ben Wheatley 

2 Jung, Carl Gustav. The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Routledge, 2014.

3 Campbell, Joseph. The hero’s journey: Joseph Campbell on his life and work. Vol. 7. New World Library, 2003.

4 Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lord of the Rings: The return of the king. Vol. 3. Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001.