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Archetype Creation

It’s not often that with content I’ve contributed to Halithaz, the imagery comes before the written word. Most times the natural process of writing plants an idea in my head which I later embody visually. However, after the first snowfall a couple weeks back, I took the opportunity to shoot some photos. 

I set up my tripod outside, took my shirt off in the frigid wind, and got to business. I was satisfied with the results. In addition to a damn fine shoot with my recently purchased replica of Geralt of Rivia’s sword, it planted an idea in my head. 

I had created major Witcher energy. I certainly looked the part I must say. But alas, while I adore the Witcher universe, it exists in its own world. Geralt of Rivia is a fantastic character. The way he’s developed across books and other media alike is masterful. 

But I am not him, he is not me. 

I had just achieved something within my own world.

I just achieved a form of creation within myself.

Forging ourselves into something worthy of legend and song has been a core principle of Halithaz since day one; development of our bodies and minds for the sake of upwards momentum. 

Such is similar in the world of Role Playing Games, whether that’s of the tabletop, digital or even live action variety. Upon starting, you create your character that you will be using throughout the game. You assign attributes such as strength or intellect. You can pick and choose proficiency in certain abilities. You can decide your character’s backstory and origins.

Throughout the course of the game, these attributes and skills applied to your character can be molded: increased, developed into new sub-abilities within that specific skill. Your strength may increase, or your magical ability can grow more adept. 

You can learn new attack patterns, new spells, or new skills entirely to bolster the abilities of this fantasy avatar you have aided in creating. 

This is not so dissimilar from our own personal journey, and the main reason I find these types of games to be so engaging. Sure, being born under the sign of the warrior to automatically guarantee you a three plate bench press would be nice — but it isn’t realistic in our world. 

However through work, determination, and patience, through practicing and developing the attributes we do have, that three plate bench press is very much attainable. 

The moment we are born, we become the protagonist of our own universe, the writers of our own story, and the ones who direct our own fate. We are the clay ready to be molded into the statue. 

We can absolutely take inspiration from other characters. Aragorn son of Arathorn, through trial and tribulation, becoming the king of Gondor. How about a trigger-happy space marine tearing through hordes of demons on Mars? A man that embodies such raw power that hell itself fears him. 

Great characters. But, we are not them. And that is a good thing. 

Many view the world through an extremely mundane lens. Many idolize these characters and like to imagine themselves to be like them, however what are they doing to make that happen?

You may not be a super powered demon slayer, or a white-haired, sword-wielding mutant, but that doesn’t make your story any less exciting. Think of the roads you’ve travelled, of the adventures you have undertaken with fellow men, of the successes you’ve had, of the love you have both felt and lost. You grow and develop with each step along the way. 

But words must be written for a story to take place. Actions must be initiated and effort put in. Archetypes must be forged, carefully molded. You become the archetype of your own doings. 

Your archetype becomes your crown. It’s your responsibility to make sure you deserve to wear that crown. 

I enjoy reading about heroes of old, or of tragic figures in history. I also enjoy well crafted characters in our modern forms of media. There’s something about it that sets off an immediate spark in our heads. 

Why not be the one to initiate the spark? You can, through dedication and through willingness to stoke the flames. If there’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, or a new hobby you’ve wanted to undertake…

Why would you not try it?

Our time here is not infinite, but the mark we leave can be. 

Develop yourself. 

Grow your character.

Write your own story, make your own legends, and become the archetype of the grandest version of you. Do that, and you’ve earned the right to sit in the same echelon as the great characters that inspired your action to begin with.

No time like the present, lads. You better get started.

Red Wolf, Out.

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When to Gang Up

How to start powerful allegiances that last and permeate.

It is often the case that man gets high off his own ideas. 

When we are enchanted by break-through thoughts and life-changing ideas it is only human to seek immediate gratification, or share your excitement with those you deem worthy of its knowledge. 

But of course if you were interested in being simply human, you wouldn’t be reading articles seeded to you through an exclusive cyber channel. 

It is your utmost duty as a man seeking a higher quality of life to restrain yourself from such base pleasures.

We all think we know this, but it is better I cover it now, rather than move straight past it hoping we’re all on the same page.

The pregenitive moments of your creation need only your thoughts, and your meditation.

The lowest version of you relishes in fooling you in these moments more than any other.

“I better get so-and-so’s input on this. I can’t do this without first asking ____ to-” you get it. 

All of the things you hear in those first few moments of inspiration will attempt to seduce and tantalize. And why shouldn’t they? Oftentimes these sorts of ideas are a fantastic means to flex and show-off your newest and brightest thoughts; a perfect vehicle for your ego to drive off into the sunset as you think ‘yep, my friends think im the shit for sure’.

But not only is it more-often-than-not going to seem quite dim to all of those you share it with, it’s only half baked, yes even when you think it’s done. 

So i’ll tell you now the one friend you can tell this idea too, and his name is silence. 

For all of those under the spell, I recommend you find a nice quiet spot after your daily tasks and light a candle there. Now sit, plan, think, and then think some more.

Only then might you choose properly to act further. 

Doing is the next step. That STILL doesn’t mean you spill the beans. 

Buckle down and make a plan.

This means a better picture, it means a strategy, it means making it digestible for everyone who may become involved at a future date (as a client or as a partner). 

But this is a crucial step to take before letting others know about your idea.

This is for numerous reasons. My top three are as followed:

1. Your idea might still not have enough traction in the real world. 

2. Through the process of applying meat, muscles, etc this idea looked better as a skeleton. 

3. The balance of proper application for its actualization requires a different time, place, strength, intelligence or skill level. 

It is in that gauntlet of meditation where you will find the weaknesses that would have made you look weak.  

If you pass through those three unscathed then that’s a great start.

If you didn’t, don’t sweat it.

That doesn’t always mean trash the idea, but if you have the proper mettle and that fire of passion still burns then you may rejoice yet. You have truly found something good there; something worth fighting for. It simply needs more meditation.

…Aren’t you glad you didnt take that idea to someone you admire before realizing it wasn’t built properly? 

You should be, because as someone who hears lots of ideas from lots of people. It’s pretty clear who’s done this and who hasn’t. And it’s embarrassing to put up with 100% of the time for anyone on the receiving end.

Yet I am not exempt. For I’m sure many have been on the receiving end of many of my half baked plans before.

Yet the first step in addiction is acknowledging it, no? 

Great ideas form lasting allegiances. 

I like to think of good, well thought out ideas as a commodity just as powerful as gold, or silver. It’s never not an asset in any avenue of society. 

You wanna change the world? You need people.

You want people? They need paying.

It is folly to believe people don’t believe in individuals or ideas the same way we all “believe” in money and its inherent value. 

It’s all just as real and not real as you want it to be. And it’s backed up by others invested in it. 

So if your ideas have been honed well enough, that shit will grow inside others the same way it did in you. And if it doesn’t? Well you know damn well yourself that its gold, and anyone who doesnt must be blind.

See again we understand now the importance of the meditation phase of these things. Without confidence in our new faith/currency/idea then those negative ears that digest it would be right to see it worth nothing. 

It needs to be real through your own conjurings and skill in the realm of voces magicae.  Be a wizard or a peasant when you bring this new chapter of human history to those trusted ears you deem worthy of its power.

Great ideas don’t even need the promise of anything else. The right listener will understand the same way they understand snorting a line of coke. Its fuckin right there in their head right away. 

And guess what? They fucking love it. 

We construct these allegiances to pledge our fealty and oath to the idea we all collectively believe in. 

This idea should become your God. At the very least it should be clear to you that it is a divine will manifest, and you are PLAYER-1 in its level completion. 

These concepts and ideas form more concepts and ideas. This is the formation of lasting works, empires, realms, worlds, etc. 


From a word to a word I was led to a word,

From a work to a work I was led to a work. 

:141: 

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Christ and Prometheus

I have been spending time lately with a congregation of Pentecostal Christians. The Pastor of the local Church and his wife have become good friends of mine, and we meet outside of Sunday morning worship – which I attend with my family – to enjoy one another’s company. Our daughters are only a few months apart in age, and our wives are both invested in diet and physical fitness. He is a brilliantly warm and hospitable man, physically fit, intelligent, and well spoken; I quickly grew to like him upon our first handshake.

    There is within our broadly pagan circles an – often justified – distrust or dislike of Christianity. A large majority of the readership and social circles herein likely had satanic heavy metal and the disdain for Christianity as a staple in our teenage years. It remains extremely stylish among intellectuals to chastise and ridicule Christian belief while predictably remaining nihilistic and empty, a perpetual chasing of external stimuli to numb the soul as many of our contemporaries and mentors have previously discussed at adequate length. In this segment, I do not strive to point out the flaws with modern man’s absence of relationship with the divine for the umpteenth time nor provide any particularly detailed dissection of any specific branch of the tree of Christian values, but rather, my own experience thus far in my interactions with the Church.

    I first heard of this particular church through an entertaining yet depressing reddit thread on a page for my hometown that I masochistically used to check in on every few weeks and have since broken the habit. One of the threads was something to the effect of “disgusting new oppressive church set to open in town”. I was extremely intrigued, were we getting some manner of Westboro Baptist church? Could it be some openly extremist church? In progressive coastal BC? The first few comments furthered that notion, suggesting fellow readers check out the church’s instagram and official website and just see all the bigoted garbage being spouted. Upon looking fervently, hoping for some passing amusement, I saw nothing that could vaguely pass for the boogeyman of “intolerance” and was instead greeted by sleek modern graphic design, and invitations to come meet and hear about their mission in person.

    The comments went on to make such statements as “being a member of the LGBT community I feel extremely unsafe that these people are coming here” and more broadly and generally “fuck these people” and so forth. While I couldn’t find anything on the church’s website and instagram even vaguely indicating something akin to “fags burn in hell” I was immensely amused by the degree of rustled jimmies among the redditors and so I messaged the Church simply saying “hey, I’m not a Christian, but I hope you guys do well on opening here, welcome to [town].”

    I wisely neglected to follow the thread on that godforsaken website, and when the Church posted to their instagram that the first few congregations were going to take place I decided to go meet them and get a vibe check. I arrived in the middle of their service, and was greeted immediately by the smiling faces and handshakes of young, happy, healthy looking families, and an assortment of kind elderly couples. The pastor – from another campus, I would learn – was speaking about coming together in the name of Christ above and beyond all mundane contemporary issues that may otherwise divide us.  I stood at the back of the hall for the remainder of the sermon, listened to their worship music, and then chatted with the majority of the congregation afterwards. I asked a few standard questions pertaining to what denomination they were, what philosophies outlines their particular strain of Christianity and so forth. They were all outstandingly kind and engaging.

    Speaking with the head pastor who had founded this Church, I told him that while I am not a Christian myself, I felt that the time is nigh for those of us who feel a connection with divinity, God, the Gods, the Heavens, to largely set aside these differences and come together in our communities against the grey morass of consumption and subjugation that Jack Donovan has named “The Empire of Nothing”. As a side note I was later speaking with Ioan and Zack and I told them that, while he agreed with me, the pastor also said “I’ve known lots of people on their spiritual journey and development.” I asked them if they think he was implying that becoming a Christian, “finding Christ” is the inevitable final destination of any spiritual journey; they said of course; for that head pastor, it would and should only be natural that his conviction tells him there is no other path.

    Years prior I had also attended a number of meetings with a Gnostic “congregation” which I enjoyed greatly. The discussions of archetypes spanning Christianity, Vedic and Norse paganism, Buddhism, and specklings of psychology, numerology, and general occultism set the hook in for me and since then I have been highly invested in this philosophical outlook largely as a thought experiment for investigating cultural parallels, archetypal manifestations, and representations of aspects of humanity.
    In this line of thought, I have come to view “Christ” as a symbol for the enlightened, individuated, elevated, perfected man. In line with Buddha, Odin/Wotan after his self-sacrifice, or any other Bodhisattva across the cultural board. Much in the same manner as we all strive for a perfect unattainable archetype that we know we will not reach in this life, Christians will never be Christ – yet they aspire to be as Christ-like as possible during their time here. This unwavering faith and devotion is immensely admirable whether we agree with the philosophy behind it or not.

    Is this type of thought too invested in some degree of Monism? I’m not sure yet myself. I don’t know if these myriad deities across time and cultures are all “the same” and have just been given new names and masks from each peoples who they sang to in their blood. Are Thor and Indra and Perun the same? This is highly likely given the shared Indo-European background and as many of our contemporaries and forebears have explored in spectacular depth. What about if we begin to call the archangel Michael a parallel to these “Strikers”? Michael leads the angels in battle against “the Dragon”, and his earliest sanctuaries and holy places are also associated with “healing waters.” St. George also takes up the mantle as dragon/serpent slayer as another Christian symbol superimposed over that timeless archetype of He who slays and casts down that which is dark or evil.

    The key area that I have found myself in disagreement with these Christians is the concept of salvation or the “breaking of chains” through servitude and devotion to their God and his manifestations. The current theme spanning the coming weeks of the Sunday services is “Jesus is King” wherein the pastors have said in no ambiguous terms that “you cannot make it through life on your own – you cannot be your own king – you cannot bear the weight of this world yourself” and so forth. My knee jerk reaction is to wholly disagree, but if I decide to play with this notion I can argue for symbolic aspects of it. 

    For Christians, God is their absolute axis mundi about which they navigate their lives. He is the Light and the Way; for this they cannot do it “on their own” without this guiding point. I have conceded to myself that in such a way, this is true. We as mundane fleshy creatures cannot “do it all ourselves” insofar as we require the vertical thought of ideals and hierarchy, we need “God” upon which we can orient ourselves, our choices, our actions, and our relationships. Largely it is the choice of the word “submission” that sits on my tongue as a bitter taste. Though the etymology of the word is as such “to place (oneself) under the control of another, to yield oneself,” from Latin submittere “to yield, lower, let down, put under, reduce,” and while again my initial response is the shirk away from terms that lower me, I must also keep in mind and recognize that for me to have ideals and lofty ambitions, it is necessitated that I be beneath those. 

    But the jealous desert God does not want us to climb that ladder as we know from the archetypal fall of Lucifer who wished to be more. Who tempted Eve with the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Like Prometheus who stole the fire of the Gods to bring it to mankind, which elevated us closer to our own Godhood and actualization – and for this he is punished. Chained to the rock of eternal noontide.

    This, I believe, is the point where we come across the trope of “the Church is all about control”. From what I see in daily life, these Christians are kind, loving people who don’t seem to want to control anybody, but passively hope for everyone that they find this light in their lives which has brought them such meaning. This meaning also provides the scaffolding upon which to base their behaviour and morals, so it can be argued that it does function as a form of “control”, and by that token every concept or idea is also “control” insofar as it provides framework for the mindset and lifestyle of the individual or group. To take a brief step back, my wife pointed out to me a few months ago that of all the other women she had gone to high school with, it was those among them who were Christian who largely “had their lives together”. They were married, had children, a nice home, and by all accounts appeared very fulfilled and happy. She said by contrast, most of the “other” girls were living lives largely outlined by many red-pill advocates or otherwise generally directionless and “figuring out what they want from life/doing me/in my lane.” Which seemed obvious enough to me that the prior women were operating within a set of moral guidelines with a solid community around them that shared these principles. They have a proper cultural framework.

    When your stereotypes are being kind, performing community outreach beyond your own church for people who don’t share your beliefs, praying for people and communities and wishing them well, having wholesome families, and coming together in a common belief of a positive light, it’s difficult to hold on to the disdain for Christians. “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” some might say. And while my experiences spending time with these Christians so far has been enjoyable and finally given me a glimpse into that community, I know I will always be slightly “other” from them. Perhaps they will hold on to the idea or believe strongly that “he’s right on the cusp” or that some miracle or notion or other will pull me over to see the light. What they perhaps don’t know or would prefer to not acknowledge is that much like they consume the flesh and blood of their God, my Gods are already also within me. I have incorporated them into my being and will continue to do so in a flaming, undulating Mobius strip Ouroboros of being and becoming.

    Christ “took our place” upon the cross for our sins. He was crucified atop Golgotha, which is the crown of the skull. Within the Sahasrara Chakra from which the Lingasarira erupts from the body to higher realms. His life was condemned and he was pierced through the ribs with a spear and placed in “the cave” – which we will of course see as the underworld – from which he arose, resurrected after 3 days. 3 days, 3 nights, a tripartite God – 9 – 9 worlds, 9 nights or 9 moons, a full gestational period from insemination to birth. The resurrection of Christ is the lynchpin upon which the faith of many Christians hangs, and it is a tale of ascension wherein the Son rejoins the Father –of whom he is a manifestation – beyond the firmament. It is the unification of divinity beyond our comprehension and ourselves as we too leave “the cave”. Yet the Christians do not seek to emulate Christ in this manner, they do not wish to risk the cleaving of their crown by the sword of Michael as they approach the throne of Godhood themselves. The jewel from which will be sought by many through the ages…


    I will always see fate, destiny – or “God’s plan” – as an extended Promethean hand beckoning me to explore all avenues during my time here in this round. To amalgamate my experiences and to indulge in all manner of undertaking that can embolden or reshape my preconceived notions. I will not stagnate under one single God, regardless of the positive impact His Word has led to in the lives of these people whom I have grown to call friends. His word is not what is in my blood, I will be cast from the garden for daring to eat the apple – I know it is one of the golden ones of the Hesperides. For it is only once we feel the longing and need to reclaim that Paradise within our souls, at the bottom of the Ocean, and beyond the Poles, can we begin to orient ourselves back North and pass beyond the winds.


O divine air Breezes on swift bird-wings,
Ye river fountains, and of ocean-waves
The multitudinous laughter Mother Earth!
And thou all-seeing circle of the sun,
Behold what I, a God, from Gods endure!
Look down upon my shame,
The cruel wrong that racks my frame,
The grinding anguish that shall waste my strength,
Till time’s ten thousand years have measured out their length!
He hath devised these chains,
The new throned potentate who reigns,
Chief of the chieftains of the Blest. Ah me!
The woe which is and that which yet shall be
I wail; and question make of these wide skies
When shall the star of my deliverance rise.
And yet-and yet-exactly I foresee
All that shall come to pass; no sharp surprise
Of pain shall overtake me; what’s determined
Bear, as I can, I must, knowing the might
Of strong Necessity is unconquerable.
But touching my fate silence and speech alike
Are unsupportable. For boons bestowed
On mortal men I am straitened in these bonds.
I sought the fount of fire in hollow reed
Hid privily, a measureless resource
For man, and mighty teacher of all arts.
This is the crime that I must expiate
Hung here in chains, nailed ‘neath the open sky. Ha! Ha!
What echo, what odour floats by with no sound?
God-wafted or mortal or mingled its strain?
Comes there one to this world’s end, this mountain-girt ground,
To have sight of my torment? Or of what is he fain?
A God ye behold in bondage and pain,
The foe of Zeus and one at feud with all
The deities that find
Submissive entry to the tyrant’s hall;
His fault, too great a love of humankind.
Ah me! Ah me! what wafture nigh at hand,
As of great birds of prey, is this I hear?
The bright air fanned
Whistles and shrills with rapid beat of wings.
There cometh nought but to my spirit brings
Horror and fear.

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The Riddle of Freedom

There is very little on this earth that can disable a man more than a loss of fire. 

Burnouts are inevitable for the modern creative. 

Oftentimes they are brought on by an onslaught of potent, and inspiring ideas and goals which rip and pull at you like the demons depicted in late Christian iconography. 

The eldritch sigil of the rune Kaunan warns us that the flame of creation is also the artist’s ulcer. A flame that both creates, and creates problems.

The Aesir tribe are divine and ultimate. They are those that have dominated nature by hook or by crook. Thunderously thrashing down upon the chaos in chariots of fire and thunder. 

They are the apex aristocracy that reshape the raw materials of the cosmos into shapes and forms that serve purpose towards their reign over all things.

In many ways this is reciprocated through a constant Thursian struggle to eliminate those that threaten the divine and natural state. 

The Gods are creators, and it is man’s highest honor to possess the ability to mimic this holy and immortal act. 

So holy, that if the Gods never even truly existed, we would still possess the spells of those archetypes, and the formulas to create anything we desire. 

As we constantly carve away at the natural order of this life, so too does it attempt to carve at us. 

For there is an equilibrium within the chase of order and chaos, and it sends us spinning ever upward. 

But there are times when that momentum is thrown off kilter and out of rhythm.

Often this is by our own doing. 

Man has a vice in his discovery of the good work. Whatever that might manifest as within his realm, his kingdom, his mind. 

For the good work is never revealed all at once, a fact that has ruined many. 

He might find this flicker of grail-light within a thousand actions and a thousand more endeavors, yet he willingly goes forth, knowing he still might never find that highest of achievements. 

It is within this maze of inspiration, and creation, that we often snuff out. 

Not because the goal was weak, but the application thereof.

We would know this to be true if we were to simply sit in silence after that failed battle and apply an analysis of extreme ownership over all of our actions that lead us to failing on that campaign. 

Were we too redundant?

Too predictable?

Too aggressive for our resource chain?

We must begin to understand that all of our burnouts and failures are due to a failed application of resources (think of a boxing match, a car race, a long distance run, etc) 

We often revel in the idea of freedom without understanding what freedom is. 

Ask most and they will tell you that freedom is something like ‘being able to get up whenever I want, and do things on my own time.’

Freedom is not found in a dutyless life, but rather in its opposite. 

When man has found himself fireless by his own hand, the weapon wielded by his lower self is the sword of comfort.

We fool ourselves into thinking we’re ‘running a company’ though we’re wearing sweatpants and waking up past noon.

We trick ourselves into thinking it’s liberating to ‘have no boss’ when we have no true understanding of how to govern our inner world. 

If man is to persevere through the trials of self governance then he must have a lord to bow to within his mind. That higher self should be your Solar King as you campaign forth for him like Horus and his sons ravage the galaxy as Lunar wolves. 

This cannot be learned through any means other than trial and error.

You will fail, and we all should welcome failure on the road of the self-made man seeking a higher existence.

Failure is the mead, and the ambrosia, which soothes us through enlightenment. 

All of our failures are riddles that if examined will illuminate the next steps to those willing to humble themselves in the eyes of their failed campaigns.

Until then you are simply playing as a king. So go down to Burger King for noon-breakfast, and get yourself a nice paper crown. 

When we men who wish for more run towards something, it is with a goal in mind, however blurry or concealed though it might be during those first steps. 

For without a goal, we wouldn’t have shot down that golden path with such ferocity. 

We would have meandered and become yeast-like long ago, and rarely ever contemplated that state like most of those who walk amongst us on the littered streets of these neon slums we were born into. 


But we are not those men. 

And the goal is not our problem.

How we achieve this highest of boons is often what leads us to this fate. 

With so many options and paths, we often sit and eventually begin to fester. Smell the rot, and sever just above the plague. 

It might seem counterproductive to backtrack, and sacrifice, but there is no greater sacrifice than moving forward while too weak for the next trial that might entirely crush everything you have built.

We understand that there are goals to achieve, that there is greatness to behold, places to visit, people to meet, friendships to be made, glory to be felt as we bite down hard on the flesh of life and feel its great juices cascade through the bloody gums and teeth that have helped us carve through all obstacles thus far. 

But the frenzy will make you a savage animal who has lost his way. We must be enlightened butchers as we carve our way, not simple animals that have become ‘lost in the sauce’. 

When man has less time with his thoughts and more time sacrificed at the altar of great deeds he might gain access to the insight he blindly clamored for with all the time in the world at his disposal. 

Your body should not be used to slaughter for your low-self’s needs. It is a machine that should be seen as off limits to the orders of that deceitful one. 

Build yourself constantly into an apex astartes through the disciplines of mind body and soul. Nor for you but for your future. For in the future lives your King, and everything you wish to become. 

In this way, everything becomes easy, and step by step you understand why you suffer now, for the boons of later. 

Through the correct application of orders, and the careful planning and adherence to the will of your highest self and his goal for your life, you must understand that freedom is found in submission to order. Not in submission to chaos. 

Like the shamans of old Lapland, we should pummel a hypnotic rhythm into the chaos through instruments fashioned through thought and application. 

For in so doing we coax out the spirits that besiege our grail keep; that place that houses our highest plans.

Where once was a reindeer and a tree now stands an instrument fashioned to create a rhythmic spell of order through sonic vibrations, that mimics the heart of the magician and creator on his path towards the Solar King. 

Towards that life you deserve to enjoy, and that position of power wherein you have wealth to shift the fates, power to shift the outcome, and a clan of beautiful people who trust you as their chieftain and their protector against the madness and false freedoms this world bombards you with. 

Failure 

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The Wanderer’s Hearth

It’s been a constant in my life that things tend to come full circle. Many reading this have likely noticed a similar pattern in theirs. Literally, figuratively, and all the like. No matter the context, there comes a time where we return to a point. To a point we consider home. The stage of grounding and rejuvenation, where all we learned along the journey is meditated upon. 

I found myself in such a spot. Mere days ago on my way into my usual sacred spot in the nearby valley. I found myself sitting in my little grove between the two tall hills, surrounded by Oak and Aspen. The creek, albeit lower than usual, was trickling. I heard the sounds of the crows and the distant shrieking of the coyotes. I sat beside a warm, crackling fire, enjoying a simple feast of meat and cheese with a bottle of Polish beer nestled in the grass beside me. 

There I felt that familiar warmth. It had been many months since I last sat on this spot. I pondered the previous months that preceded it. The two weeks amidst the Ontario cedars once again. The six weeks I spent on the other side of the equator. Weeks of time cultivating my relationship further in the South of Brazil. The nightmare of a trip back, complication after complication, and ultimately the return. The reflection and comfort around the fire. 

I thought back over all the new experiences I gained, all the knowledge I recieved, and what these new mental assets could do for my growth and well being. As I speared a piece of meat on my knife to eat, I realized I had completed a cycle. I had returned to the sanctum of recovery and meditation. 

The Inn in the woods, the shelter in the storm, The Wanderer’s Hearth. 

I’m a man who is thoroughly discontented with stagnation. I actively and openly seek out new paths, new experiences, treacherous as they may be. I hunger for the new and the unfamiliar, within most aspects of life. This could be setting out on a new endeavour in my professional or creative life. It could also be something as simple as defying the status quo and deciding to head 8000km south to the bottom half of the planet. 

Whether the journey is in the realm of the physical, or within that of mind or printed word, the idea remains the same. Maybe the winds of change are blowing, or maybe just an urge to board Raidho’s chariot for a spell. The wiser of us would do well not to ignore these messages. The journey becomes a cycle in which the points along the way mark our progress. Waypoints along the road, fragments inching you further along. 

You will be tested. Any time you throw yourself out of your comfort zone, things won’t go exactly as planned. You’re going to be uncomfortable. You may have to shift your way of thinking to orient yourself in the proper direction. 

You travel, and drink in all the road has to offer you until you arrive back at that crackling hearth. 

So what is the Wanderer’s Hearth? Is it the fires of your home turf, or that which burns in new lands? Lands you’ve now made your home turf. 

It is both, because it is a concept. A state of mind. The Wanderer’s Hearth is the comfortable end of the questline. It’s where you can sit back and reap the spoils of the journey. Where you can recollect on everything you’ve learned. 

There comes an inherent thrill in beginning a new chapter somewhere you have yet to tread. That same thrill can come from returning to the familiar. After spending time away from it, you view it in a different lens. What you previously took for granted, you now have a greater appreciation for. 

Perhaps you’re like me, you’ve just returned to what’s familiar after a long stint in the unknown. Perhaps you have just finished a long quest to permanently settle somewhere else. Maybe after months, or years of planning and sacrifice, the doors to your new business are opening next week. Whatever it is, my congratulations to you!

It’s a feeling many miss out on. I pity those people. To feel the warmth of this comfort it requires sacrifice. You don’t just end up here without a reason. The life of the placid modern man expects something from nothing. To get to warm yourself around the fire with no toil of your own. 

It doesn’t work that way, mate. How can you share tales of the trodden path when you have none? Constant, frivolous imbibement, attempts to replicate this feeling without making a move will just end in disappointment. The mead tastes so much sweeter when you’ve actually earned it. 

I’ve had conversations with several people in my life who in current times have said they feel trapped within themselves, and to me that is truly tragic. That is cancer of the adventurous nature. The spirit has eroded into a state where they accept the banal day to day with no effort to change. A quiet, miserable acceptance. 

It’s not too late to break that cycle. Even the darkest depth can be illuminated. Take a chance on something that will throw you out of that paradoxical comfort you’ve cemented yourself into.

I can’t tell you what that choice is, or where it’ll take you. That’s up to you, my friend. 

However I will tell you this. It doesn’t matter what trip I’ve embarked upon or what I’ve attempted to do. Whether it was breaking a years-long habit of self destruction, or something as simple as getting home. Working through the hassle of being stranded in São Paulo. 

No matter what it was, that warm fireplace and feeling of success within myself made every tribulation along the way worth the while. I sat near my fire in the valley as the sun disappeared below the horizon with this thought in mind. I sipped my beer, threw some more maple on the blaze and smiled. 

There is much to see, friends. Much to do, much to experience. Get to it. When the time comes to reflect, enjoy it. 

I hope to see you around the fire someday. 

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ANSUZ: THE CALL

Óss er algingautr

ok ásgarðs jöfurr,

ok valhallar vísi.

[Óðinn] is aged Gautr

and prince of Asgard,

and lord of Valhalla.

Characterised in younger rune poems as being representative of the estuary, *Ansuz can perhaps be best understood by this analogy. Traditionally thought of in more ancient iterations of the futhark to be a symbol of godhead, of various deities (sometimes equated directly with the god Óðinn), the “estuary” can be seen to wind its meandering course from its origin in the earthly realm that we inhabit, forking up into a variety of tributaries that end in the halls of so many gods. 

It must be noted that this is not a rune that represents man’s reciprocal connection with divinity necessarily, as this is an aspect of the rune *Algiz that will be discussed at length in its own article. Whereas *Algiz, with its shape like that of a man, hands outstretched, can be seen as a rune representing the alternating current between the realm of the unseen and that of the material, *Ansuz is, on the other hand, a symbol of the direct current: it is instead self-referential, a depiction of divinity-as-it-stands, without the polar aspect that connects man to the immaterial. This is a symbol of what man looks to, the suprahuman, the personification of the ideal. 

While the rune *Þurisaz, discussed in detail in the article found here is a rune of chaos, of the disorderly energies that, unpredictably, might assist and hinder man, both within and without, the rune *Ansuz is a rune of order and stability. The Æsir, the Old Norse term for the gods of the ancient Germanic peoples, were generally Apollonian in character, unlike the Dionysian and lunar elements of the Jǫtnar with whom they often found themselves at odds. Showing an affinity for destructiveness, and the often seemingly angry elements that govern the unpredictable natural world, the Jǫtnar and their association with *Þurisaz can be seen as a chthonic counterpoint to the same relationship that mankind has with *Ansuz and its associated energy. As man is able to harness the spirit of a rockfall through the emulation of *Þurisaz, so too is he able to embody the greater potential found in *Ansuz and its Æsir-symbolism.

A woodcut of the golden temple at Old Uppsala in Sweden, based on a description by Adam of Bremen.

With the very shape of the arching, upward-pointing glyph, the orientation skyward is clear. This is not a rune of relation between the material and immaterial, but a personification of what to imitate: it is a summary of the transcendent power of the divine beings that the ancient Germanic peoples believed inhabit loftier realms, and interceded in our own when they were so inclined. It is a blueprint of what to look to, an image of what the judicious man might aspire to be, could be inclined through the force of willpower to imitate. This is the symbol that drew men from trackless wastes to temples at Uppsala, to roadside hofs, that forced the hand of the culturally-related Uralic Sámi peoples to raise idols to their “Horagalles” (c.f. the Germanic Þórr). *Ansuz, while not a rune of reciprocity, is a symbol that draws the attention and, by proxy, the energies of man. Quite simply, it is the call: the call to worship, the call to transcendence, and ultimately the call to emulation.

The mysteries of the unknown, the mysteries of the faculties of mortals that cannot be brought out other than through the laborious action of ritual, of the casting into the immaterial, the knowing of the divine and the acceptance of the suprahuman, is the soul of this rune. While *Þurisaz as the ravaging power of fire or wind storm can be understood materially and at face value, the nature of *Ansuz is far more subtle, and requires the conscious disconnection from the world at large for those who wish to know the potential that comes from contact with the divine. The capacities of the Æsir, the apparently effortless prowess that comes from their elevation above our earthly peers, are the values and the tendencies that keep men of gravitas dreaming during the day, and lying awake at night. When we listen to the voices that speak within our blood, the voices that beget the movement of our spirits, we are drawn naturally toward the transformative and transcendent power of this rune, the unseen altar, by which way we might engender a transformation closer and closer to the ideals for which the ancient Germanic people raised the roofs of temples and shrines. 

*Ansuz is the compulsion to idolise that which exceeds our capabilities: not on earth, but in the image of that which is apart from the mundane. It is the wolfish desire to make jealous the forces beyond our kenning, through imitation of their orderly and Apollonian natures reorder our lives to commit acts and maintain reputations hitherto thought to be beyond our wildest abilities. It is the  rumbling charge of Elfland’s horns, that Lord Dunsany wrote of so eloquently in his novel “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” 

 […]Unheeding any words of Orion then, he held on with the brief tale that he had come to tell, and told how Elfland was gone.

“But that cannot be,” said Orion, “for I hear the horns of Elfland every day.”

“You can hear them?” Alveric said.

And the boy replied, “I hear them blowing at evening.”

The dichotomy exists, and is far older than the gods and runes discussed herein: to see the deeds of the gods, in practice or in metaphor, and transform ourselves in the image of those who exceed us through dedication and devoted emulation, or to ignore our will to power, silence our roiling blood, and blot out the sound of Elfland’s horns. The choice is yours.

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Clockwork

By new Halithaz contributor, formerly guest writer, Kyle Brickell.

Our world is turning. Our lives, our fates, our undertakings and adventures. Everything is
perpetually spinning. Falling into the underworld, entering winter, becoming engulfed in darkness,
swallowed by the wolf – only to inevitably erupt forth again into triumphant light, Apollo returning
from Hyperborea.


It is an archetypal system of flawless entangled clockwork. Intersecting and dependent gears of
an unfathomable mechanism built by masterful hands. It is echoed across all levels of existence, fractal
and permanent. From the orbit of planets around their burning, illustrious stars, down to the minutiae of
subatomic particles which may not even exist in a manner perceptible to our current concepts of
consciousness. All things spin, turn, whirl about in their seasons. From the zenith of the summer
solstice – jubilation, fertility, sweating naked under the blazing rays of the Sun as it warms our bronzed
skin; down to the pit of the winter solstice, where we plod to and from work in the dark, the clouds do
not part, the earth beneath our feet saturated with the cold, clinging rain of weeks or months. We feel
this, chronically and acutely, and the vast majority of us know of the term seasonal affective disorder.
We know most poignantly as people inhabiting climates and areas of the world with stark seasonal
contrasts that the turn of the year, the implacable and relentless spinning of our world around our Sun
and around our axis are manifestations of the grand clockwork of existence.


Begin to look at all of existence – the next minute, hour, day, month, season, year, decade, your
life, your friends’ lives, our civilization (and this one in particular at the moment) and all other cultures,
empires, and tribes that have risen and fallen into and out of existence throughout the relentless march
of what we perceive to be time. Consider the rotation of our world, and all the other ones. The spin of
our galaxy, the whirling insatiable yawning void of supermassive black holes consuming starlight and
engulfing raw information.


You know that they are all connected. Even as leaps and bounds of understanding are made in
the realms of theoretical quantum particle physics, all these contemporaries find are facts known to the
ancients and to the Gods they lived with – and we are blessed by our fate to be rediscovering that
thread beneath the detritus of our contemporary epoch. The interconnected nature of all things
throughout existence and throughout time.

Processed with VSCO with preset


And so where to begin dissecting the notion of “time”? At this point in our journey, it must be
assumed that we are no longer thinking of time as linear. This Abrahamic concept is no longer relevant
to out hearts and souls. Recognizing and acknowledging historical events that have happened in our
physical, mundane world at any given time and place are only manifestations of that same archetypal
cosmic drama that has played out – is playing out – and will continue to play out amongst the myriad
stars and throughout the infinite turns of the great Wheel. Perhaps it is best to start at the human scale.
We have moments – perhaps hours, days, weeks, months for the lucky ones – of incredible
fruitful, fertile creation. New songs, paintings, sculptures, works of art and the ability to forge into
physical existence those things that live deep within our hearts and come to be only through our hands
and tongues. And we have times of remaining barren, during what appears to be stagnation or a plateau.
We spend our days from waking, to high noon, to sleep. We break each hour up – quarter past, half
past, quarter to…

Have you ever sat and watched the second hand, the minute hand, the hour hand of a
clock turn? “A minute is a really long time.” Have you ever had the intriguing privilege of looking
inside a carriage clock chassis from a time before your great, great grandparents? Consider the
Antikythera mechanism. The gears, the “clockwork”, all spin at varying rates. Turning, and by their
turn, effecting the spin of other gears both near and far by their implicit and inescapable mechanism.
One might even say their Dharma. Construct this clock in your mind’s eye; walk up the staircase of Big
Ben in London, the Münich Glockenspiel, or the Prague Astronomical clock. Take in all the gears,
levers, cogs. The master craftsmanship that most of us can barely comprehend. Which aspect was
installed first? When they all rely on one another in infinite, repeating cycles, would it even matter
which was placed first? How about which one began to spin first?


As you admire these mechanisms, whirring, clicking, maybe grinding in their relentless turns –
mirroring that grand archetypal wheel or Mill – paint upon each gear one half in darkness and one half
in light, from the tiniest toothed cog, barely perceptible yet doing it’s sacred work, up to the monstrous
iron wheels that spin with the irresistible force to crush limbs. These cogs are all spinning at different
rates in accordance with their size. All will spend half the time with their light side “up”, and half the
time with the dark side “up”, some spinning fast enough that the difference may become irrelevant to
our perception as they blur to grey. Some spinning so slow you bore waiting for the turn.
We focus on one moderate sized wheel. It spins at a rate that we can perceive that it is turning,
yet it becomes increasingly frustrating to wait for the light side to point definitively “up”. Akin to being
told to watch a minute hand of a common clock and being told you can only be active while it is
between 9 and 3 in the upper half. We are focused so intently upon this one gear or minute hand that we
neglect the plethora of other wheels spinning at various other rates, taking many turns, involutions, or
rotations while our attention is diverted.


Each of these gears is an aspect of our lives and abilities, we are the mechanism. The segments
of light and dark are Joseph Campbells “The Hero’s Journey”. The waking, mundane world of daylight
and common occurrence, and the dreaming, sacred, ‘dark’ dream world beneath the waves or within the
earth. On any given day we experience one turn of one of the wheels we could simply label as ‘day’.
And by that token, adjacent to the ‘day’ wheel we have ‘week’, ‘month’, ‘year’. Obvious enough, and
thinking on common scales. Shrinking down we have our hours, minutes, seconds. These segments of
this great mechanism are clear enough as well, but taking a glimpse behind we see the depths of the
machine and the infinite components that make up our lives all spinning at different rates. There is a
wheel or even multiple wheels for creation, for hunger and satiety, for dreams, for decision making, for
strength and weakness, for impulse control, for our connection with the divine, happiness and sorrow,
drive and intent, inspiration, and all other things that make us who we are.


They are another part of the Apollonian and Dionysian balance of all aspects of our existence.
The orderly marching in the light, and the ecstatic abandon. They hold the reins of atoms as they gather
under collective gravity in the vacuum of space until under their own weight they ignite and give birth
to a star, and as that star’s wheel turns, it expends it’s fuel and dies. Scattering the remaining particulate
matter into the cosmos where again it will eventually be utilized in the birth of a new star as the wheel
completes yet another inexorable turn. Within the Apollonian though, still rests the potential of “too
much” order and is balanced by spurts of confusion and ecstasy; the spontaneous urge to break habits
and routines even if they are ‘healthy’ and beneficial once they have been wrung of all their nectar. Just
as within the Dionysian there are the blinding illuminating lightning bolts of eureka! Those moments
where, lazing about perhaps in the small hours of the night or morning where we are struck by the
passion of creation from out of the imperceptible void with no forethought, planning, or intention.

So what are the implications for our daily lives? The frustration of stagnation is a heavy burden.
When nothing seems to ‘hit the spot’ and what we create never feels quite right, or that it doesn’t
embody the image or sound that is within us that cries out for manifestation. The brush stroke or the
key fall, the particular order of words or choice of word, the thickness of this line or the richness of that
colour. For those of us who feel it is in our blood to create, these times are horrific. Perhaps physical
training has become a chore. The same tired routine, that, while it may even be a spectacular routine
and has helped you build strength or shed fat, has become mundane. Performing the same movements
week in and week out merely adding a few pounds each time has elicited the sensation of the office
worker stuck in traffic on his way to work to perform the same menial tasks yet again to earn his hourly
pay.


The wheel must turn.


You will feel the impulse. The draw to the “next step” and the frustration and inner conflict of
not taking it and allowing that transition to occur smoothly and organically. There are instances when
resisting this upheaval can result in a veritable wrench thrown into the mechanism, and large portions
of the clockwork will seize and grind and cease to function, building tension and the energy compiles.
Then there are those blessed, natural states of being and flow where the machine spins freely in the
myriad fractals down to the most intimate details, well oiled from one’s connection with the divine and
ability to hear the songs of the Gods; this is not to lend credence to any willy-nilly shirking of
responsibilities as “I suppose this wheel or that has turned” but rather to allow oneself to trust in an
inner voice of impulse. A faith and complicit understanding of instinct, of the “lower” portions of the
brain too often choked out by the cerebral cortex of higher thought that was left above water with the
sinking of Atlantis.


So allow yourself the room to pursue many avenues of lifestyle, thought, creation, and
disciplines. Embrace the passions as they visit you, and be able to freely flow to the next as impulse
takes you – for the irresistible draw to things is there for a reason, a golden thread drawing you forth to
your destiny. Placing a blockage in this unfathomable clockwork of our lives, destiny, universe, by
trying to cling desperately to any manner of thing, person, or experience that has crossed the threshold
into the dark will only cause harm – whether perceived immediately or not. And as all things continue
to turn, perhaps those elements will enter your life once again in some days, some weeks, potentially
years down the line. They may not come back into your life in the same form, as the Gods wander our
world in disguise, but you must be ready to greet them and show hospitality regardless.

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The Narrowing Path

The staff of Ningishzida, origins of Caduceus, the Hermetic staff of the entwined serpents. 

Ningishzida is the Mesopotamian deity of both vegetation and of the underworld; the implication here being that he is god of both life and death. 

Often seen as a Lord of innkeepers and hospitality, and in some other cases that of warriors and warfare. 

His name translates to something like ‘lord of the good tree’ which in itself is reminiscent of both the Hermetic traditions and those mysteries that steep the name of Odin Allfather in deeper and deeper mysteries as time continues to coil away from the first Hagal rune. 

The tree is therefore to be seen as the pinnacle of symbolic representation within the myths of this world: for we all understand the tree. The tree is strong, it needs light and endures the darkness. It grows ever upwards, though not always in a straight path. 

The tree is provisional, protective, and finite, as well as immortal through its seed. It is both the world, and man, the hub of many different branches, and reliant on its deepest and darkest roots, far away from the sun. 

It is in this way that man has always found it to be something of a god, or at the very least a familiar sign during his many eras of supremacy over nature, and a solid reminder of the prowess that nature shall possess long after we are all gone. 

The ancient Germanic peoples believed that the tree of Yggdrasil was the great cosmic pole; the axis mundi to which all life and realms are connected. 

The English word tree ultimately finds its roots, of course, in Proto-Indo-European descending ultimately from the word *dóru, which is cognate with the Hittite word 𒋫𒀀𒊒 (tāru). *Dóru has been argued by some to have some connection to other ancient words which translate to hard, strong, etc… which is not too much of a stretch if we consider the reverence that most of human cultures seem to have found within the shape and history of this type of vegetation. 

“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” 

-C.G. Jung

There is a great deal to be learned from the path of the Solar. And it is not to be scorned that the youth of today seek the positive in an increasingly dark world. 

To be an archetype such as Apollo should be the goal of all young men, for what is more divine than the primal fire of youthful masculinity?

And yet, without darkness, there is no light. This is not news to anyone but the fool. And yet increasingly I see vast numbers of our ilk failing to see the importance of the shadows. 

Make no mistake, the shadows are what our enemies fear the most. Away from the painful incantations of their neon lights, and away from the fluorescent hum of office prisons. There lies the woods, there lies many trees who wish to stand on both of your sides, and greet you as you pass. 

“He who sits in the dark is the bringer of light”

-Kristian Eivind Espedal

There is a riddle to be found in the trees, for they are both of sky and soil. They are Hermetic in nature, and provide man with the perfect symbol of balance within his realm.

This balance is not reliant on anything but the natural flow. 

Imagine, if you will, a tree without its deepest roots.

Imagine, if you will, a tree with no leaves nor height. 

The Hermetic staff, the axis of Ningishzida, has around it two serpents. They chase each other endlessly, and have found rhythm and holy movement. One cannot exist in harmony without the other: for they each chase their opposite. 

Yet the staff of the first wizard, wanderer, magician and seeker was not a serpent. It was the staff which housed them both. 

:The New Way: requires you to sprout three trees which stand for 

STRENGTH 

WISDOM 

SPIRIT

Where there is no need for balance, there is no need for great men. 

As we fill bars with idle chatter, and speak of topics that give us no kickback nor reward we are able to speak our minds and profess the most extreme of positions without understanding what we miss without the art of Sophrosyne (the art of balance).

Easy is the life of a peasant who wishes to only be good or bad. Martial or wild. But this is not the way of the Hero, this is not the narrowing path of the Halithazian. 

It is therefore of the utmost importance that those who follow this :New Way: learn to tear themselves away from all ideals, and the pomp and frill of extremism. There is a balance to be found, and as the quest moves forward, you will be required to find balance as the path narrows before you.

Opportunities will close, enemies will take their aim, and hidden figures will whisper of your fall through any means that might aid them in your demise.

It is in fact the opinion of this writer that they indeed prefer those men who profess only qualities of a specific category. A man who cannot be pigeonholed is the most terrifying thing indeed to all parties. For it reminds them of a nature they had cast aside for greater material gain. It is the quality of a hero who can wield more than just one type of statistic.

They would have you believe that to be both is to be none, and this could not be further from the truth. As is the case with all those who worry about the endeavors and diverging paths of any of their peers, they will choose to misunderstand these actions as a means of protecting their own views of power, glory, liberation, and victory.  

It is not so.

To be called Lunar by those men who howl at the moon from firesides of their own lands, bought and raised by nothing but primal Dionysian fury.

To be named Apollonian by men who admire true light. 

I speak of no such horseshoe theory that pencil-necked computer servants wish to deem all those who have nuance in their blood. I speak of a magic that can only be understood by fellow heroes and magicians. 

The Witchers of our world know many faces, many cultures, many skills, and many spells. It is for these folk that :The New Way: has presented itself. But to scorn those who do not yet understand is not the goal of the Halithazian.

We remain and type into the ether in hopes that others might understand this call-to-arms. 

We await the company of other such men who understand the power that is held within the Staff of Hermes, for the power of the serpents resides only there upon that axis.

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THURISAZ: SACRED FURY

“ᚦ Þurs er kvenna kvöl 

ok kletta búi 

ok varðrúnar verr 

Saturnus þengill”

“THURS is torture of women

And cliff-dweller

And husband of a giantess

Saturn’s Thegn”

The giant trods across the ice-capped plain. Thorns, sharp and fierce garnish the landscape.

Quite a stellar image, isn’t it? The image of a colossus, born from the great chaotic gap itself. It strides, grunts, and shuffles along. The image of its mission forward burning sharp in its mind. It takes up arms, it bellows a deafening shriek.

Its strike lands true. Thorns of might pierce. The mountain shakes and movement initiates. 

Force, Chaos, Direction, and the Energy to give it motion. It is the meaningful conflict which allows growth. The punch to the face that we must throw to win a fight. Perhaps it’s to protect our girlfriend, specifically her ass, of which the man whose face you are currently rearranging was foolish enough to grope.

For great motion to take place, there needs to be a driving force to accelerate it. Without this forceful push, action is merely an idea. An empty vessel without a pilot.

Thurisaz, the THURS is the runic embodiment of the giants of old with whom it shares its namesake. The giant and the thorn. It is, in its most basic form, the chaotic, reactionary force. The sharpened thorn which stabs and bites at its target.

I talk about chaos a lot, across many articles, and for good reason. The all too often neglected aspect of life and the cosmos. Associated with chaos, there is conflict. Conflict is seen by many as an inherently bad thing.

Upon a closer look, it’s just as important as the gift of wealth or the strength of the bull discussed previously. It’s the instinctual snap of the nerves to allow for all to weave and grow. 

Thurs represents the chaotic and aggressive nature of man. The aggressive will to go forward and strike out we have had since we first learned to walk upright. 

We are animals at the end of the day. Since day one we have had to initiate actions of might and violence against one another. Whether it be warring tribes battling for territory, or a simple standoff over a fallen animal carcass.

This rune, whose shape even resembles that of a crude hammer, can also be the hammer we wield in the times when necessary. 

It’s the force of our emotions, our spirit, our mind lashing out and driving forward. Literally, and figuratively.

I see many people in my life try to act like violence is not necessary. That conflict is not necessary. That chaos and the might of unrestrained energy is not necessary.

I have news for you holier than thou pacifists:

It is. 

There is a dark side to all these things, yes. This rune has its potential for negative use as all in the futhark do. But to turn a blind eye to our chaotic instincts is foolish. 

We have a will to power, the suppression of that will leads to this rune’s bite maiming you rather than what you are targeting. 

THURS: The Masculine Force

The rune itself represents force of action, a powerful and brutal strike. This is tied into the hearts of us men. It is the hammer in a man’s hand, striking a nail with the intent to build. It’s the great hammer with which Þórr himself cracks the sky with. The hammer of the striker which rings through thousands of years. 

It is the man who fights for his kin, for his principles. It’s the swing of the hammer or the fall of the axe to split the head of the man who opposes him.

I feel this is a rune misunderstood by many. Some choose to see it in a negative light solely, in use or casting. 

Thurisaz is not evil. It does not symbolize direct harm. It’s simply a force of nature. A neutral power like a cannon with an unlit fuse. A force of chaos if you will. Any powerful force and how it’s utilized depends on the hands of its user. 

You take a guy who has no idea how to drive a bulldozer, and put him in a bulldozer — what do you think the result is likely to be? Not sure you want to ask him after they’re done scraping what’s left of his supervisor off the pavement.

Understanding Thurisaz is understanding there are very primal forces. The more brutish nature of life and the cosmos. 

It is force. It is conflict. It is the explosive release of energy. The great bolt of lightning. The fall of the stone hammer. It’s the nature of conflict, movement, and initiation. One of the most potent and powerful of the entire futhark. Not to be taken lightly, but necessary to understand. 

Keep the image of the thorn in your hearts, for it is the sacred fury. 

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URUZ: THE GOLD STANDARD

Ur byþ anmod ond oferhyrned,

felafrecne deor, feohteþ mid hornum

mære morstapa; þæt is modig ƿuht.

The aurochs is proud and has great horns;

it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;

a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle.

You are a hunter in the Bronze Age, somewhere in the murk of a floodplain forest in what is today’s Germany. Around you is a party made up of hunting-age men from your tribe, in your hand you hold the haft of a spear. All of you are strong, agile, and know the terrain and the behaviour of your chosen prey the way only men who eke out an arduous living killing for subsistence can. 

Your comrade taps your shoulder and points silently, directing your line of sight to the object of the pursuit that has taken you hours away from the village of roundhouses you inhabit. A herd of aurochs, coats shiny in the autumn sun, their massive bodies beginning to fatten for the winter, stand grazing in the low, damp grass beneath a copse of oak trees that have grown together in the moist earth. 

You all stand watching with bated breath. Right on cue, one begins to wander away from the others, tempted by some patch of vegetation that will lead it dangerously far from the herd. The eldest man gives a signal, and your party breaks from the tangle of trees behind which you were hiding. The animals scatter, but your strategy has the outlier trapped, and before it can make a move, the sound of the stampede on the waterlogged ground has left the clearing otherwise empty. The beast is surrounded, its hocks dark and eyes wild as it swings its horned head in defiance. 

Maybe you kill it. Maybe your leather turnshoe slips in the mud and you end up under the hooves of 900 odd kilos of angry steak. Maybe the wild eyes turn your way and one of those wide horns comes by and hooks you under the jaw. Breaking it, slicing you open, killing you. You lose your teeth before you lose your life. You gain some esteem on the way out. It might turn out a lot of ways. 

For the people of prehistoric Northern Europe, the rune *Ūruz ᚢ had a dual symbolic interpretation: the aurochs and the element of water, though primarily we believe that it represented the former, a local species of wild cattle. What is significant about the meaning of this rune is the particular nature of this animal as a phenomenon, and how their value can be contrasted with other similar symbols.

The rune *Fehu ᚠ, which was discussed in detail last week, represents domestic cattle: the proverbial bird in the hand. Cattle were tantamount to wealth, and even deified, in many pre-modern societies (compare the common Indo-European theme of the sacred cow in Hindu religious tradition). What sets the docile, productive animal represented by this rune from the wild aurochs is its predictability, its almost guaranteed return.

If you look after your *Fehu, if you’re able to maintain your livestock, your nest egg, your investments, barring an act of God, you are expected to cash out. Not so for wild *Ūruz, whose unpredictable nature means that any attempt to control it might result in abject failure, or worse – death. But while *Fehu’s extremely low risk correlates with a high level of return, so too does the high risk associated with *Ūruz mean that you might come back empty handed.

 *Ūruz is the proverbial bird in the bush, available freely with 0 guarantee to any man willing to test his mettle against the unknown. While many over the years have recognised this rune’s symbolic association with strength, what needs to be acknowledged is that the personal strength that *Ūruz can be seen to represent must be understood as a reciprocal force against the external strength that one is expected to surmont. Essentially, when faced with an immovable object, one has no choice other than to become an unstoppable force. 

*Ūruz is the obstacle, the hulking form of a wild and unpredictable animal preparing to charge wild-eyed at and through you, but, by the same token, he who wishes to best the bull must become like him too. It is also the raising of the stakes, the allyship of good fortune, and the never-to-be-underestimated element of grit that separates the weekend ham n’ eggers from those who take their place in the winners’ circle. 

From the Minoans at Knossos and their bull-leapers, to rodeo athletes in rural Ontario, Canada, we see now where *Ūruz’ elemental symbolism as an aspect of water can be understood. As the bull rider plunges out of the chute in one of the most ancient sports still practiced, he becomes himself an aspect of water incarnate, contorting with the movements of the enraged animal between his chaps as he waits in physical meditation for his eight seconds to be up.

*Ūruz is the wild animal, it is the weight on the bar, it is the wild-eyed and rank investment in an uncertain future, the risky gamble with hooves – and while its impenetrable countenance can inspire an equally taurine outlook in the man wishing to get the better of it, one must also remember the flexible aspect of water, that which takes its place in the form of the container its been given, conforming not out of submission but in the quiet way that leads brooks over the side of mountains.

Standing above the spillway of a dam with three friends after a rodeo, drinking buckskins in the dark as we shot the shit on a cool evening this past weekend, somebody remarked at the stillness of the water before it tumbled over the precipice, roiling into the gorge with the thundering bass that reminded me so much of the hooves of a colossal group of cattle. The water is patient, the water knows that it must take on the form of its course, contorting with it as it waits for the inevitable drop in elevation – its aurochs – before returning with an imitatory vengeance as it tumbles over (or out of) the “chute”. 

If you want to bet big, if you want to earn big, if your *Fehu is fed and taken care of but you still hunger for the flavour of game and the thrill of the hunt, the spark in the unknown that might lead you to failure face down in the arena as much as it might lead you to success, then learn from both aspects: in *Ūruz find the wisdom of reciprocal strength, but also the pliability to ride the bull as it bucks once they pull the gate, moving with the situation as it vacillates beyond what you can understand.

It’s the only way to make it to eight.