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Pelagic Hunger

“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”  -Werner Herzog

There are few things that I fear quite like the ocean. On a truly primal level, the oceans of our planet absolutely terrify me. Thalassophobia is certainly one of the most understandable fears. It invokes a primal fear of the unknown. Just consider the ocean for a second. The sheer vastness of it, mile after mile of churning water, and the abyssal blackness below the surface. When storms rage over the atlantic, the waves tower and thrash, a weapon of Neptune’s fury. It’s a harsh, often unforgiving world of its own, one which has claimed the lives of many that have chosen to underestimate it. 

That being said, the ocean demands immense respect. Respect for its sheer power and scale. Respect for the unique flora and fauna within, and the ecosystems that go along with such. The alien-like nature of the creatures that dwell in the blackest regions, where the light does not reach. Equally deserving of reverence are those throughout history with the stones to take it on. I think about the absolute chads of history that would brave these oceans for the sake of exploration. They conquered the waves in a time before sonar and life jackets. Deep sea divers risk illness, paralysis or even death diving to some of the depths that they do. All of this, for the sake of finding what might be hidden in the darkness. To see what calls to them from below to feed their pelagic hunger. 

The promise of treasure in the deepest dungeon or darkest cave. Anything truly worth finding is hidden deep within where it resides. To find it, we need to often go deeper. In the esoteric sense, I see dreams as an ocean in and of themselves. Consciousness and subconscious mind are seen as separate yet intertwined. I see our body and mind as its own cosmos, with its own rules, its own crucible of formation. Dreams are glimmers into the mysteries of the psyche. Sometimes this is a fully realised experience, laid out before you by your sleeping mind. Sometimes however just fragments, pieces in a kaleidoscopic sea. The oneironaut, and the deep sea diver are one in the same. I’ve written about this in a previous work. I see the diving bell as a symbol of not just the deep ocean or of the dreaming mind, but as an idol of diving deeper into the unknown. Putting aside fears solely for the sheer fervour of pushing downward into the deepest point. 

The earth’s oceans are divided into five zones regarding depth. With each zone further downward, it only gets more hostile and otherworldly . The epipelagic zone is where you find yourself when you first break the surface. For the most part, this region is relatively benign. Its serene beauty is a window into what lies deeper below. Through miles of murky water, lies the Hadopelagic zone, the deepest points known (or so they say). Only certain places within the world’s oceans even reach this level of depth. The trenches carved into the crust of the earth, like doors to the underworld itself. It’s a hostile, alien world of hydrothermal vents and sparse yet eldritch forms of life.  

Is it not enticing to think what may be lurking in such a place? 

What lies deep underground in caverns where daylight does not exist? Professional cavers have devoted their life entirely to illuminating what lies beneath. Crawling through tunnels and spaces tight enough to give the claustrophobic among us a heart attack. It’s terrifying, it’s dangerous, it’s foolhardy. Why would anyone do something like that?  

Well, what makes you search for what you seek? What gets you out of bed and on the hunt in the morning? Those with passion will do what they do despite the risks involved, because that’s what lights their souls aflame. Driven deeper by the lust for what is shrouded in mystery. For this there are those that swim with the sharks, or crawl dozens of feet through a tunnel they can barely breathe in. The ultimate “prize” may vary, but the uncomfortable descent is the main point here. To go deep enough to where the sheer weight of wonder is enough to crush the heaviest of dread.

He who seeks Atlantis will swim past the shallows. This man takes the deepest breath and dive deep into the indigo void. Maddening whispers from R’lyeh enticing the similar journey within the minds of those that understand what they’re saying. Those who stay close to the shore may never get the chance to fuck a mermaid. Never get the thrill of weaving through a Parthenon of coral and stone, over a landscape of shipwrecks and forgotten utopias. 

I may fear the ocean, but I am also not content with never seeing merely what I can see from the shore. The darkest recesses of this world, and our minds hold secrets and knowledge that many never get to touch. At the bottom of the blackest trench, dotted with plumes of smoke and sulphur could lie the overtaken marble pillars, or perhaps something more illusive and ancient. What secrets are locked within your own mind that are yet to be discovered. Memories from when you were a child, that may have never made sense to you may suddenly take on new meaning. Knowledge you never fully understood, moulding and transforming into revelation. Meditating upon times past, a lucid fever dream, or perhaps a hearty dose of psychedelics. 

Regardless of the method of which you undertake this journey, just make sure you’re diving deep into parts unknown. What you find here, it will likely terrify you. It will make you question things about yourself. It’ll be shining a floodlight upon the briny depths of whatever obscures your sights.

The siren’s song sings out across the cosmic ocean within yourself. Piercing over the raging waves. She guides you closer, pleading you to throw away your shackles of safety and comfort. urging you to follow her down, to join her on a treacherous trek through the deep. I don’t know exactly what’s down there, but whatever it is, it’s calling…

…And I want it. 

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The Ineffability of Inspiration

As a broadly pantheistic man, would it be strange to say that I bask in the glory of God’s Word? How bizarre, that as one who acknowledges, feels, and loves the presence of the myriad of gods, spirits, titans, angels, heroes, and ancestors in his life wherever he goes, that I could also develop a love for “God’s Word.”

For God’s word is not to be found within the walls of any church or cathedral the world over – beautiful as countless may be – but rather it is simply all of existence. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [John 1:1] the Word – capitalized – is all of creation; it is the infinite stars of the cosmos, it is the air that fills my lungs, it is the immutable unsubstantiated force of the Will to Life. The Word existed long before any scribe of Asia minor invoked the name YHWH and it will exist long after the final hard drives containing digitized Abrahamic passages has degraded back into raw elemental material, swept into the mantle of our world by the eternal ebb and flow of the tectonic plates to later be ejaculated forth again as mountains in a new epoch which will in turn be deemed the abode of yet further iterations and emanations of Godhood.

I have found odd inspiration during my foray into the teachings and community of Protestant Christianity, most likely not in the places and ways other members of the congregation would hope. I came through the doors of the Church with a curious mind, speaking many other languages. Seeking not to learn “the right language” or find “the right path” of course, but to add to my repertoire. Much to the potential disdain of some of the more ardent members of the community who took issue to my mentioning of having a much more Gnostic and archetypal approach to the teachings of the Nazarene. For example, I was deeply moved at scenes of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion”; among them, before the scourging of Christ, he whispers “I am ready, Father.” Not because of his supposed dying for “our sins” but rather the notion of a man enduring (recall the Passion comes from Latin ‘Pati’ – to endure) severe torment and crucifixion for his ideal of what a Man is capable of and an ideal higher than himself. There is no need to deny oneself inspiration from, and be moved by the teachings and interpretations of various religions and schools of thought should that lightning bolt of intrigue enrapture your mind and heart. I certainly have not read the entirety of the Good Book, nor am I likely to ever, to be honest. I have flicked through and delved into certain segments when my research has brought interest to those aspects that I sought to understand more deeply.

Much as the Romans would not blot out the gods and customs of conquered nations, but rather demand that their gods be added to those honoured, or honoured first and foremost, I will not take an edgy atheistic stance of demeaning or degrading the Semitic God here. Such has been done at substantial length elsewhere and I assume those intrigued by the notions at work here at Halithaz are of broad and passionate mind to the plethora of forms of worship and connection to divinity that grace this era of our world. I recognize that countless men and women have led breathtaking lives of beauty and love in his name. And I will also not pretend that utterly revolting atrocities have also been caused in his name.

I recently had lunch with a man from the church I have been attending. A wonderful, bright, welcoming man, and a gracious host. In his home was a large and very aesthetically pleasing Orthodox style painting depicting one thousand years of Christianity in Ukraine. In the painting was a very detailed renditions of Slavic pagans in those beautiful white robes with the red cross-hatch patterns we all love. Dragon headed longships adorn the sidelines, and totems of deities make an appearance. But all is not well, as the pagans are seen gnashing their teeth and weeping, forced into the river at the point of swords to be baptized and accept “the Lord” or face death. Above these pagans we see an armada of knights led by priests holding an effigy of Christ and other significant depictions of Mary and the Child, and the face of the Redeemer. I asked him what this was showing.

He told me this is showing the beautiful day that Ukraine became Christian. The day that the Pagans accepted Jesus Christ and Lord God Almighty as the one true God. Within 10 minutes through other segues in conversation he mentioned how horrific the ongoing war in Ukraine is; how Ukrainians have been persecuted through the ages by invading forces. I agreed and said that it’s a genuine shame when an invading force comes and destroys the local customs and lives of locals, demanding that they change or face death. 

He agreed. Seeing absolutely zero irony of this painting in his home.

I will not fill this essay and your minds with yet more critiques of the Christian faith, they are numerous and anyone seeking these things can simply scroll around Reddit and the page “I Fucking Love Science”. I still largely respect the lifestyles of the majority of contemporary Christians. But this incident reminded me sharply how different I indeed am from them.

Yet by this same token, I must admit as well that to the chagrin of my devoutly Germanic Pagan friends – from which circles arise my closest friends who I consider to be my blood – that I find myself being more of a Monist of sorts. The Bhagavad Gita has probably been one of the most formative works on my worldview. Not so in that I believe it is “Krishna” by name who rules above all, but that there is a singular formative energy or source that pervades behind, within, above, or from outside the infinite pantheons of Gods and Titans both remembered and forgotten to the annals of history and the Akashic records. It is also the same as the often insufferable New Age West Coast California yoga mosaic belief people who always give their thanks to “The Universe”. We are all saying the same thing, but in different languages.

yānti deva-vratā devān

pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ

bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā

yānti mad-yājino ‘pi mām 

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me. 

I must stress again, that it is not “Krishna” by name whom I have come to feel is addressing Arjuna throughout the Gita, but this all pervading aspect of existence, some degree of “Universal Consciousness” that is endowed and spread among all things material and immaterial in our cosmos above and below perceptible realms in light and in shadow in equal measure. A veritable mycelial network that pervades all levels and connects everything. “Krishna” does not dispel nor deny the existence of Demigods, Spirits, nor the perseverance of the Ancestors beyond their material lives on our plane. But rather that all these things are emanations of this force and manifestations thereof. The pursuit of this framework is “the great work” and can never been adequately conveyed but only felt, as our languages are too limited to express this ineffable experience of the infinite majesty of the divine above and beyond all things.

The Germanic pagans of which we are nearly all aware and learned of, the Vedic and Greek pantheons spawned from the same Indo-European root gods. The Babylonian and Sumerian gods and various angels and demons of the Semitic peoples. Seemingly infinite totemic spirits venerated by Aboriginal people from the Athabaskans to the Mapuche or Araucanians of Patagonia. Those elusive entities that walk or swim through the Aborigine Dream-Time of Australasia who have tread – and will tread forevermore through the red sand oceans around Uluru. All of these forces, beings, masks, spirits, energies, are the best attempt by those peoples and cultures at that time and within that collective psyche – zeitgeist – to convey their experience of the divine.

It is not lost on me that I am in essence arguing yet again for archetypes. Deep in the reptilian and early mammalian brain, brought to the first murky midwaters of our proto-hominid consciousness where the light of awareness first began to penetrate into the substratum of our astral and etheric selves not yet manifested here. These notions formed before the sinking of Atlantis, before the expulsion from the Garden, before the great Fall, and before Ragnarok or the Mahabharata – which are also still ongoing. It is our battle within and against ourselves as we seek to gain once again our audience with the Lord of Hosts within whose great hall reside all the gods of all time, and there they are stripped of their costumes and masks from their long journeys into our heavy and dense world. When and where they appeared under innumerable era to clothe and paint themselves in the perception of the people whom they visited so as to be recognizable to mortal noesis. Here they stand in their pure and stark blinding nakedness and cannot be described by these words I write nor by the discerning imagination of even the greatest of utopians. 

The hubris exhibited by those devoted to Jehovah and His Son to claim with absolute authority that their one Book –  a collection of scripts and parchments… written by mortal men… translated by mortal men… compiled by mortal men… printed by mortal men… read by mortal men – is the divine final explanation for all of existence and that all other beliefs, practices, modes of worship, and understandings are false is of course comical to the highest degree.

For Atlantis has been lost. We have been cast from the Garden. We remain bound by heavy chains to the black stone of the Caucasus. We are not perpetually with or living consciously in the divine state. By Christians’ own standards we are full of sin and imperfect; all of us. The hands that penned what would become “Genesis” or any other of the passages selected to be in the “final edition” of The Bible (which has as well changed throughout the years) are not those of the luminous and effervescent Lord God Almighty nor of His Son born in the flesh nor of the Holy Spirit which still exists as a burning ember within the soul of all. All these sacred doctrines have indeed been written by fallible, imperfect men.

Men who have done their best to try to clarify their experience of the divine to be passed down to their sons and daughters. And for them they are not wrong. 

I would like to take a moment to clarify at that remark and say as well that I abhor the New Age terms akin to “speaking my Truth” or notions that “Truth” is, or can be subjective. I am of mind that there is indeed an objective, unmovable “Truth” or existence that persists despite our best wishes and whims, but that the software we install in our waking, conscious minds will indeed very much affect which aspects and to what depth we can plumb this Universe or all pervading and ever present existence.

With that aside, it is important that we as temporary beings with our finite time here and now explore these paths to divinity. We should walk all of these paths so long as we feel a calling to them. For me “God’s divine plan” has become utterly synonymous with the tireless spinning hands of Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. Their tapestry they weave acts as my scaffolding within which I am bound to walk my path. I choose to listen to and abide the “pull” or intrigue to various schools of thought and explore them as I trust in this instinct and the guiding hand of God, the Gods, the Universe, or even genetic memory of my forefathers who have instilled in me instincts of which my conscious mind is not always fully aware.

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What good is the soil?

While much of the content we produce at Halithaz tends to approach spirituality through the lens of perennialism, it is important to adjust one’s perspective to focus on both the purely theoretical aspects of spirituality, as well as the praxis that reflects its actual implementation.

Many of our followers are adherents of traditional* religions, and the simple fact is that, whether it is in vogue to acknowledge so or not, if a traditional religion is actually to be considered traditional (i.e. part of a lineage that links it to historical practices, regardless of how strict its reconstructionist quality is), it is inexorably linked to some particular ethnic group or body of ethnic groups — it is folkish in polity. Long before the modernist values of individualism and decentralisation of in-group identity in favour of a “kinder” world linked by international banks and availability of convenience products, religious and cultural traditions were at parity with the substance of the material body, and by proxy the substance of the tribe. The Chinese have their own mínjiān xìnyǎng, their folk beliefs; the Finns had suomenusko (literally Finnish faith), and the mosaic of Germanic peoples that populate northern and central Europe once belonged to a cultural continuum that revered a common pantheon. Of course, while some traditional religions, like those of the Jews and the Druze, have been mistrustful of outsiders and discouraged proselytism, there are several examples across recorded history of some of these groups being open to converts — the religions of the Romans and, again, the Chinese, respectively, being notable examples.

Even before Johann Herder, who encouraged various Romantic Nationalist movements that began to blossom across Europe with his vision of a pan-German identity for his own volk, it has always been easy to correlate ethnic and cultural groups with a geographical domain to which they are indigenous. Even to this day, the tapestry of aboriginal tribes that cover the Americas have a thorough understanding of what land constitutes their traditional territory — in spite of many centuries of Pre-Columbian in-fighting, conquest, migration, genocide, and subsequent societal re-structuring under European hegemony. The intellectual acknowledgment of “blood and soil” in polite society in the West in the 19th century was akin to the discovery of a “new” species of animal: it wasn’t written into existence, it was legitimised within the material structure of what the intelligentsia and the upper class in general considered identifiable phenomenologically — the same way that, when the mountain gorilla was finally acknowledged as being a real animal and not the stuff of legends in 1902, it didn’t suddenly drop into place on planet earth in time with the pen describing its biology.

A Russian Cossack man in full regalia enters the United States at Ellis Island

With the advent of modernity and an increasingly materially-obsessed world, human beings of all stripes have left their traditional territory, either under threat and duress or with the expectation of a “better life”, for all corners of the globe. Particularly, people have flooded the “New World”, that is to say the Americas, en masse. Of course, for those whose religious beliefs are not by necessity traditional, but rather universalist in structure, such as the beliefs of the Christians and of many Buddhists, mass exodus has never been a spiritual challenge. Christianity posits, depending on its denominational policy on the nature of grace, that salvation is available to almost anyone, and certainly never in any mainstream fashion has excluded people based on ethnic or cultural origin, or else made it particularly difficult for interested parties to assimilate spiritually and culturally. In effect, one of the foremost values of Christian thought is the commitment to spreading the word of the gospels. For many Buddhists, with the notable exception of Tibetan and Mongolian Lamaism, with its pre-Dharmic shamanistic and Bön influences, and of certain Japanese varieties syncretic to some extent with ethnic Japanese folk beliefs, there is an implicit commitment to making the road to enlightenment available to all sentient beings, especially within the Theravada school which is largely characterised by its commitment to good works (c.f. Methodist Christianity, for a Western analogy).

But what of those, like the Southeast Asian Hmong, whose religion is steeped in a cultural system inseparable from blood and soil? What of those who believe that the soul of an individual is doomed to roam the earth as a rootless, suffering ghost if their afterbirth is not buried at the foot of the family home’s lodgepole in their traditional village? This seems to present an issue, a fatal impasse in which the material realm and the spiritual one are no longer at parity, no longer in sync. This appears to be the ultimate spiritual crisis of modernity, to a greater or lesser extent, for those of us whose religious practices, in defiance of the “everybody welcome” attitude of the cross or the crescent moon, are linked to the blood and ephemeral substance of our forefathers, and presumably their lifestyles. While this is a common complaint and a source of debate particularly among modern adherents of “pagan” European religions, especially those of a reconstructionist attitude, it must be acknowledged that the “issue” itself is actually illusory: it is likewise a trapping of modernity to even be concerned with something as ridiculous as forcing a religious tradition to be at parity with one’s material circumstances. While they should reflect one another in essence, or perhaps more succinctly, the material world should follow the example of the spiritual one, attempting to sculpt the circumstances of one’s life to the letter of the “law” of ancestral practice is neither sustainable, nor reasonable under the lens of what constitutes a living tradition.

The assumption that, for example, the Germanic religion was an orthodoxy that was governed by a strict system of laws as opposed to a loose collection of tribal cults united by a common ethno-linguistic spiritual “language” is fallacy. There were no rules. There was no pope, no caliph, no fat patriarch firing off proclamations from a gilded and bejeweled throne somewhere on the Rhine or in a tower in Iceland. This presupposition is rooted, presumably, in the Medieval and Early Modern practices that define universalist religions as opposed to traditional ones. Perhaps to some extent, it also originates in modern, global society’s passive tendency to assume there were idealogues Tweeting miserably into the dead air of the Iron Age, with our ancestors scrolling away in their sacred groves the same way so many today wait with bated breath to see what the accounts with blue “verified” badges have to say about the fabric of space and time.

Hinduism is a fantastic example of one such tradition that, despite the full-scale displacement of effectively the entire body of original adherents, has managed to not only survive but thrive in light of a pantheon tied to soil that its worshipers haven’t set foot on in millenia. Originating among the Indo-Europeans, ultimately, in Central Asia (along with so many pre-Christian European traditions, as well as Zoroastrianism, among others), its intrepid faithful found themselves pressing further and further into the Indian subcontinent, eventually subjugating, mixing with, and engaging in spiritual syncretism with a network of people we assume were, at least mostly, Dravidian in racial and cultural origin (e.g. the ancestor people of the Tamils and other south Indians). The spiritual culture of these early Indo-European people evolved. They continued their ethnic faith. They broadened the perspective their ancestors would have had on what constituted the nature of the eternal, how to interact with it, and the way in which it is represented and manifested in the material world. At no point has a Brahmin thrown up his hands and proclaimed that, since Hindus hadn’t been affiliated with the Bronze Age Sintashta Culture since ~1800 BC, their ancestors were gravely disappointed and their religion was ruined and irreperably altered. They adapted to the shifting circumstances of their forebears’ righteous conquest of land ripe for the taking, subconsciously shifted as a body of people and allowed their spiritual traditions to move internally with all the persistence of ivy over a stone wall to meet the needs of a folk now settled, enjoying the well-deserved fruits of military supremacy like agriculture and real statecraft.

Thor will not mind if you don’t know how to address him in what you, as a layman, think that the western variety of Old Norse might have sounded like sometime during the 700’s. In fact, he would probably make fun of you trying to speak the modern Icelandic you feel is “authentic” for your cool, sexy Viking religion, since you’re almost certainly not doing a good job with that either, and speaking to him in a modern, foreign language makes about as much sense as speaking to him in English, or Cantonese for that matter anyways. When the Turks tore out of the steppes and mountain ranges of Northeast Asia, moving swiftly across the Eurasian continent as far afield as Anatolia, they brought their religion, their Tengrism, with them. Their god was invoked under an open sky, a god of wide spaces and wild fields. Not a particular field, but rather the same field over which his childrens’ chargers raced in their frenetic surge for spoils and glory. Blood and soil are inexorable; the deep relationship between people, their gods, and the land they are tied to is not able to be altered or minimised. But the belief that a folk, whose good fortune and resolute nature bring them to lands far from the  places our frozen snapshot of history-as-vignette leads us to obsess and masturbate over, must be destroyed. It must be cleansed from the collective consciousness as another fatal misstep in the process of navigating modernity. Where blood is spilled and people are buried, where living traditions secular and religious belong to a people group in lands on which they have established their bloodlines, through war or clever decisions, their gods are alive. Perun is in the blood, Perun is in the marshes of the Proto-Slavic urheimat in Belarus, and Perun is also in Alaska where so many Russian-Americans live, where some have undoubtedly returned to their Slavonic folkways and call on him again.

This article is dedicated proudly to the intrepid spiritual cosmonaut Ganapatyas, whose traditional beliefs lead them to throw a statue of Ganesha into a meandering river in a white cedar forest in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Your tradition is alive. Your god is listening.

“traditional” with a lowercase “t” — i.e. “historically customary for a particular culture”, as opposed to “Traditional” within the framework of perennial philosophy, which seeks to identify authentic, pre-modern religions across the world as having sprung from one common source of immutable truth (see the work of J. Evola, R. Guénon, F. Schuon, et al.)

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Aergia and Agenoria

Few things poison the self quite like inactivity. This isn’t always our fault, perhaps maybe we have an injury which has limited our physical abilities. Maybe it’s simple exhaustion and we just need to recuperate. These are understandable. Things happen when we don’t expect or want them to. That’s a part of life. What I refer to is self imposed inactivity. Where you yourself made a conscious choice not to act, usually without any good reason. Unfortunately this can be a dangerous trap to fall into, and one which may prove difficult for some folk to escape. 

Among the lesser known deities of the Greek and Roman pantheons are Aergia and Agenoria. Agenoria was a Roman goddess associated with motion. She was seen as an important deity in childhood. Her association with children learning to walk, speak, and so forth. Her personification as motion and development even went on to inspire the name of a steam locomotive constructed in England in the early 1820s. Aergia (or Socordia in Latin) is the antithesis to Agenoria. Aergia was a Greek goddess associated with sloth, laziness, and indolence. Two deities with conflicting attributes, but both of whom relate to Inertia. 

Inertia is a widely known concept in the world of physics. Simply put it is the inherent property of something which opposes a change in its motion. This can be an object standing at rest refusing to budge, or something in motion where its directory and momentum are unchanged by outside forces. So it can be seen as both the unstoppable force, and the immovable object. Raidho and its merkstave counterpoint. One being of journey underway, the other a frozen standstill of the chariot that carries us. 

Aristotle’s theory on potentiality and actuality used the terms “energeia” and “entelecheia” the former meaning “being at work” and the latter “being at an end”. Aristotle’s belief would seem to be rather than being a theory of motion in a physics sense, to be applicable to being alive. Being at work means progressing through life, Being at an end being a stopping point or rather the halting of progress.

For those of us that seek something better in life, motion is second nature. It’s the thrill of the chase, the bliss of running across open terrain with the wind in our face. The thrill of success and experience further fuels our fire. Many forces within life will oppose you and get in your way, however this may manifest. But when in motion we remain in motion, unchanged by resistance or delay. 

But what of the flip side to this coin? If inertia states that an object in motion remains unchanged in its trajectory, what of something more static. What happens to the man who has a flat tire in his life so to speak? This is a situation many find difficult to break. Remaining motionless. Unmoving. When in this state, it can be very difficult to get the figurative ball rolling again. Many of us have been there at some point or another. Call it burnout, struggle or even worse just laziness. Burnout is something most struggle with from time to time, but naturally, we commit to overcoming it. Laziness however, to me is just a form of soul suicide. Many times this is due to the fact they see the necessary work to change something as not worth the effort. So they just give up, and accept the lesser. The adoption of the “That’s just the way it is” mentality only adds further weight to the ankles of those that adopt it. 

Most of us can recognize this, however not always the case. Some individuals are truly content with being static in their life pursuits. I suppose if someones perfectly fine going through the motions but never truly moving past their banal yet comfortable bubble they’ve put themselves in, all the power to them.

But are they really content when they could be so much more?

When events are put into motion, healthy momentum keeps the movement forward. Onwards and unchanging. Alternatively, when complete lack of motion is achieved it can be very difficult to initiate movement again. Momentum in life is a self feeding, self supporting process. Onwards motion in the form of personal achievements along with a rabid desire for growth and adventure. Friction from forces or influences which oppose that consistent momentum are easily overcome when our self shows no sign of wanting to slow down. 

I liken this to that feeling that we get during physical training. Once you get into the flow of movement, in the energy of the moment you are in full unchanging momentum. You get that feeling that you are unstoppable since nothing can slow or change your pace. When you achieve that trancelike state, and no force earthly or otherwise can dissuade you. 

Then you’ve got the other guy that decided to skip the gym today. Then maybe the next day as well. In terms of getting the ball rolling, this is like throwing a cinder block in the nearest river instead. It’ll just be harder and harder to get moving. Outside forces can’t move what doesn’t want to be moved in this case. 

Inertia being defined by unchanging momentum or stagnant cementation may not just be about the literal physical forces at play but in everything else we do. The longer you choose to not make a move on something, the harder it’s going to be down the line to finally do it. Whether this is through fear, uncertainty or just plain old “I can’t be assed” it’s just adding more weight to your ankles. Unstoppable force or immovable object? Aergia or Agenoria? That’s for you to decide. 

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The Hero Light

The Irish knew of a warrior hero whose name was Cú Chulainn. 

It is stated in many works that this demigod often fought so ferociously that he became nothing more than a hurricane of arms and weaponry. 

This frenzied state earned him the name of Cú, meaning ‘hound’, of Culann. To fight like an animal and to become ferociously intoxicated. To the people of the British Isles, and the annals of where myth and history meld, this man had elevated himself to the house of the immortals.

This is the alchemical transmutation from human to demigod. 

It was said that a ring of light could be seen around his head as he fought so bravely and ferociously. This was known as a ‘lon laith’ to archaic scholars, and a halo to us of modern times. 

Not unlike this halo is the prabhamandala or Siras-cakra that resonated from the highest of the Hindu/Vedic traditions. 

As we are all aware, most saints to the Christian myths, including Christ himself, were adorned with such a crown of light by keeping their utmost values, and resonating such a powerful aura that they were able to resonate its light and beauty within the material realm. 

Standing Buddha with a halo, 1st–2nd century AD (or earlier), Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara.

HERO LUX (literally hero light) is the first song off the new Unbowed record for a reason. 

The entire album is a grand tapestry that we have been weaving together for the last five years. 

Music is arguably the most powerful medium. Growing up, the one thing that truly filled me with power and courage was the bombastic spells created by black metal, pagan metal, what have you. 

It is stifling to see grand ideas thrown at the wayside by modern academia due to the content having not undergone a ruinous path of deconstruction within the echo chambers of modern psychology departments. 

I argue that the human soul is a crucial part to our wellbeing as organisms. If we are to truly survive the endless onslaught of decay, nihilism, and mass coercion, we have no hope at all without a strong soul to guide us through the journey. 

It is for this reason that me and my guys took the time to create a concept album that is truly brimming with meaning, to the point where it could almost shed its own halo onto the world. 

The album will consist of ten songs that each encapsulate a very specific part of the soul. All of this will be based on the runic soul map that was ushered in by a Jungian philosophical perspective on the Germanic traditions.

Demonstrated here: 

The ten segments of the soul stand for the following crucial aspects of a person’s wellbeing on a spiritual level:

  1. :Hamingja: – Personal Power 
  2. :Lich: – Interaction between mind and body 
  3. :Hyde: – Shapeshifting/ body morphing ability 
  4. :Hidge: – introspective analysis/ intellect/ knowledge 
  5. :Myne: – Memories/ ancestral bonds and patterns of hereditary thought 
  6. :Athem: – The breath of life/ center of soul/ the mortal fire
  7. :Wode: –  ones inspiration/ muse/ source of creativity and thought 
  8. :Fetch: – Ones Spirit animal, or bestial composition of self 
  9. :Shade: Shadow Self/ Soul
  10.  :Soul:  The composition of one’s entire and cumulative life song

Each of these ten aspects have been attested and bound to a single rune from the elder futhark. The first song ‘Hero Lux’ is bound to the powers of Algiz, whose poem reads: 

sec[g e]ard hæfþ oftust on fenne

ƿexeð on ƿature, ƿundaþ grimme

blode breneð beorna gehƿylcne

ðe him ænigne onfeng gedeþ.

This poem speaks of one’s Fetch. One’s Fetch resides in the innermost sanctum. It guards the knowledge you do not yet hope to possess. 

‘Waxing within the water. Wounding all grimly who dare grasp at the blood that runs deep.’

If one is to possess the knowledge of their ancestral line, they must yet weather the storms and trials of adventure within the waking world, only then will they find the true meaning of life, and the wisdom that has been left for you to uncover within and therefore without. 

 ‘Forebears of the swarth, send these thoughts streaming forth. 

I am the spear that guides the way. 

The edge of :GAR: (spear) that does not sway.’

We live for only a short time on this earth. As we breathe and grow, we carry with us the banner of all of those who came before. We are the very tip of the spear that has been honed for Aeons for you to live and do your part. They are with us always and send us the powers accumulated over time immemorial. It is up to us all, here and now to resonate our hero light, and bring forth their dreams into the waking world. 

Our new full-length album “Colour the Soul”  will be available everywhere May 20th 2022!

Pre-Orders available on Bandcamp.

Watch the new video:

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On the Medicine of Mountains

Z. Janson, Banff National Park

[He] who enters his mountain,
With or without sword in hand,
[He] who enters his mountainside,
He will learn.

To Enter your Mountain, Bathory (Twilight of the Gods, 1991)

In many Traditional cultures across the world, mountains are understood as implicitly spiritual places. Often believed to be the home of gods or spirits, the concept of heights-as-metaphor for the esoteric is common, and perhaps borders on a cultural universal, for human societies that inhabit mountainous regions, foothills, and flatlands where mountains can be seen from afar.

Mount Olympus is a motif that many are familiar with, upon which the twelve principal Greek deities, the dōdekátheon, were said to reside. The Stoney (Nakoda) people of the Canadian Rockies have a similar belief that Mount John Laurie (Yamnuska), as well as many other mountains with steep, vertical faces, are inhabited by Thunder Beings – a race of supernatural entities comparable to the Judeo-Christian concept of the angelic Ophanim (“wheels within wheels”). Both were considered taboo to summit by the respective cultures that honour them; Yamnuska still is by the Nakoda people. Both are easily accessible to anybody fit enough to endure a multi-hour hike, and are popular today with modern outdoorsmen and tourists, a clear desacralisation of what was once considered an act steeped in taboo and avoided out of fear of the almighty. It is the simple fact that, in pre-modern, agrarian or hunter gatherer societies, the underlying otherness of the mountain as a spiritual and mythic motif supersedes its status as an obstacle of material conquest.

Some, like the mountains described above, or others like Mount Zaphon, which was sometimes equated literally with the Canaanite god Baal, are easy to understand as clear representations of divine beings or their abodes. But what of mountains with less obvious, less explicit spiritual connotations? Nobody can deny, in looking at mountains of considerable height, with the tops sheathed in fog, clouds, or the obscurity of blue snowstorms, there is a majesty that approaches the tempered zeal of the monk, in silent, seated contemplation of the almighty. Evola noted this nature and man’s relationship with it in his Meditations on the Peaks. What of those who dare, in the case of mountains not governed by taboo, to summit peaks that pose real risk, that can’t be bested by weekend travelers and wives in Arc’teryx jackets? Think of the man of the mythical early age of mountaineering, leatherbound goggles fixed across eyes that would otherwise be assaulted by the glare of innumerable glaciers, turning away as Perseus from the Gorgon. Picture the heroic crossing of crevasses on ladders slung over abysses that so closely resemble hell, reflect unbeing, reflect failure so abject that nobody will ever find your bones.

Who can look on this character, teetering on precipices far above the mortal world, in the realm and the image of gods, and not see a cæsar? The atmosphere of the high peaks, the act of man rising from lowly holdings on the flatlands, speaks to the transformative action of vertical movement, speaks more to the spirit within the mountain, and within the man, than the material mechanics of body over stone, or boots over rock. In this way we see a mirroring of the stalwart spiritual stuff that informs both summit and summitter: while the intrepid climber finds himself growing in the atmosphere and under the influence of the mountain, there also existed a likeness in spirit before the mountaineer ever set foot on the scree, a likeness that was developed, nurtured by the self-transformative experience of his journey.

There is a medicine in the industriousness of self-sacrifice, of the disconnection from the middling, small worries and meaningless actions that bear no actual spiritual consequence, hold no objective transcendental value, yet almost exclusively inform the modern, profane world. There is nobility in placing the self on a pyre, and like so many corpses on the Ganges, floating internally to a state of greater spiritual development. This is the medicine of mountains, the doctrine of blue squalls and roaring gales, of alpine wastes that seem beyond death, yet bloom resplendent with wildflowers in the summer sun. The seemingly initiatory practice that so many modern people focus on, the simple material act of placing one’s feet at the pinnacle of a mountain, is lost in the background noise of a million other things to post about online, a million other things to check off the bucket list. With the simple acknowledgement of the notion that you could die, that in actuality even mountains of relative technical simplicity are chaotic places that exist in a realm of spiritual initiation rather than physical, the dichotomy becomes clear.

There is a place in the Canadian Rockies, on the edge of Kananaskis Country, where red petroglyphs decorate a secluded rock wall up the side of a mountain. Their creators were Hopi people, indigenous to the American Southwest, and they traveled across the continent, leaving a subtle and transient mark in a place most people will probably never see. Some competing theories posit that the cultural motifs may have been graphical spoils of war, the rights to use them having been won by a rival tribe. Though the area in which the markings are found is not at a particularly stunning elevation, given the locale, it offers insight into the spiritual significance of the markings. A medicine man, hand outstretched holding a ring, or a drum, show the triumphant posture of a hero made for the vertical journey beyond self-limiting materialism, through the rigors of spiritual tests, up the side of a mountain, with a thundering will that bore him 2,400 km to find mountain-nature within himself.

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Walking on the Wire

Do you remember when you first were learning how to ride a bike? 

This trademark experience of our early childhood is likely something we don’t even think about anymore. When it was time to take off the training wheels. You likely wobbled and fell several times as I did.The slow progress and scraped knees likely frustrated you, but you persevered. Eventually found your balance, kept your bike upright and you were in motion. This is something we likely never even think about anymore, but if we never achieved the proper balance on the two wheels, we never would’ve been moving at all. 

Into our adult lives we maintain a healthy balance in many other aspects. We have obligations in our personal, and professional lives, and we must maintain a healthy balance of both, careful not to neglect one too much in favour of another. We all love sharing a couple drinks with our friends, or relaxing with some form of entertainment media. However, we have work to do as well, so make sure that gets done first.

Life is a perfect synchronicity of forces from all directions, and achieving harmony with these forces is what keeps us progressing through it. 

I compare this to the art of Funambulism, better known as tightrope walking. Whether this is a performing artist in a circus, or a stuntman attempting a highwire stunt at a nauseating height. The precision and skill required for this practice is nothing short of astonishing. Tightrope walkers must keep their weight in balance with a literal thread being the only thing keeping them from possible death. Each step is calculated and executed perfectly, ensuring a safe passage from one end of the rope to the other. 

While failing to keep a balance in our lives might not have the same dire consequences as falling several hundred feet, it’s impact is profound nonetheless. The repercussions of what happens when one or more aspects of our life is uneven in regards to others. It’s a very natural feeling. Because we’re so naturally inclined to favour stability, this is something most of us feel automatically. We feel when things are out of whack in our own spheres, and from that we can adjust, as the Funambulist uses a long pole to stabilise his footing on the thin wire holding him up.

Charles Blondin, tightrope walking across The Niagara Gorge, June 1859

We need only look to our own natural world to see the balancing act in full effect. Call it the scales of Gaia herself, putting stones on either tray to balance the forces around us. Even when damaged and thrown out of equilibrium nature always finds a way to measure itself out, as a carpenter centres the bubble on his spirit level. This is certainly not always peaceful or gentle. 

The Rainbow Serpent is a deity appearing within the mythology of many Aboriginal Australian peoples. A mythological being embodying nature, rain, and storms. Many depictions of the Serpent show it as being a benevolent entity, bringing quenching rains to humanity during times of necessity. On the flip side, it could be seen as a powerful destructive force when angered. The serpent was said to be capable of conjuring powerful storms, and torrential downpours. Some myths even suggest it would devour human beings as a punishment for upsetting the natural order. A very powerful metaphor for what happens when man oversteps his boundary on the natural world. I see the Rainbow Serpent legends as a perfect example of nature righting wrongs, whether caused by man or otherwise. 

I’m looking out my window as I write this, and see the immense amount of snow on the ground. Snow drifts, many taller than me standing as a monument to how unrelenting this winter has been. But then I recall last year, where the province was under severe drought conditions. Many towns and small cities were declaring water shortages. Wetlands and sloughs I’ve always seen waterfowl swimming in throughout the years were completely dried up and cracking. Sure, there may be heaps of snow outside, but the melting of such will return much needed moisture to the soil. It will help towards restoring the natural equilibrium within the local ecosystem. 

Cave painting depicting the Rainbow Serpent, in Northern Australia

Throughout all cultures symbols and practices resonate this age old concept that ties all things together. The symbol associated with Libra is depicted as the beam balance scale. It was Described by the Roman Poet Manilius as “The sign in which the seasons are balanced, and the hours of night and day match each other”. Other symbols such as the Yin and Yang, showing the intertwining of opposing forces as being integral to the whole. The two halves of the Dagaz rune, a show of the opposing forces of dark and light being intertwined with each other.

Keeping all aspects of our lives in symmetrical unison is what makes us well rounded people. We can imagine ourselves as Charles Blondin, the man who walked on a rope across the Niagara Gorge. Our lives as the rope itself. Stabilising ourselves as we take each step. My favourite little detail of the Niagara Gorge tightrope feat, is that halfway through the walk, Mr. Blondin sat down on the rope, and signalled to a tourist boat below. He cast down a rope, and hauled up a bottle of wine, which he then proceeded to drink from. After imbibing, he stood back up on the line and continued across to the end. 

While reckless, and no doubt a display of showmanship, it serves as a good reminder to take care when moving forward, but don’t forget to have yourself a little fun along the way. It is a balancing act after all. 

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Laguz and the Quantum Energy Effects of Water

By guest writer Nicole Hunter

Screenshot

The forest and water are so closely interconnected. If you remove the forest, you remove the water at the same time. If you destroy the forest you destroy the water because instead of flowing in coolness under the shade of trees which is the way nature ordains the water to flow, it flows out into the sunlight and loses its energy. Watercourses are shaped by winding curves and shaded banks to protect itself from direct sunlight and its low temperature and natural flow are the condition necessary for water to preserve its supportive and carrying strength.

Viktor Schauberger concluded that a natural watercourse allows for a natural buildup of energy. The trout uses this energy, which flows in the opposite direction of the water, when jumping high watercourses in the moonlight. When looking at a waterfall, you can distinguish this energy flow as a natural channel of light within the stream. This whirlpool of energy is instinctively sought out by the trout to suck them upwards and over. Schauberger witnessed this phenomenon repeatedly and came up with new ideas of motion:

“I did not trust my generally observant eyes anymore, when suddenly an almost head-sized stone begun to move in a circular path in the same way as a trout before leaping over a waterfall. The stone was egg-shaped. In the next instance the stone was on the surface of the water, around which a circle of ice quickly formed. It appeared to float on the water surface, lit by the full moon. Then a second, a third, followed by other stones in sequence went through the same movements. Eventually nearly all the stones of the same egg shape were on the surface. Other stones of irregular or angular shape remained below and did not move. At the time I naturally had no idea that it was a case of synchronicity of events, leading to a unique form of movement. This movement overcomes the force of gravity and allows the stones of regular shape to come to the surface of the water.”

He experimented with the concentric spiral movement in both water and air and showed that levitation is possible when the speed of the spiral is rather fast.

Fc = mv^2/r

A hyperbolic spiral is externally centripetal, and internally moves towards the center. We find it abundantly in nature, in water’s natural flow, as well as blood, and sap. We may observe the hyperbolic spiral in macrocosms in the forming of a galaxy, where the energy from the periphery rotates towards the more dense center, or in microcosms like DNA molecules that have a double spiral structure. Centrifugal force occurs in nature destructively, to dissolve energy and break up a medium. Nature uses this force to disintegrate that which has lost its vitality, or has in essence, died. Biotechnology using this sort of movement causes upheaval and poor results. Schauberger recognized this and sought to invent new technologies with hyperbolic concentric motion, which nature uses to build things up. The centripetal hyperbolic spiral movement causes falling temperatures, contraction, concentration, implosion and biological improvement, and in nature it switches back and forth continuously with centrifugal movements, rising temperatures, heat expansion, explosion and biological decomposition.

Helena Blavatsky wrote,

“In the Scandinavian Eddas, the honey dew, the fruit of the gods and of the creative busy Yggdrasill (bees), falls during the hours of night, when the atmosphere is impregnated with humidity; and in the Northern mythologies, as the passive principle of creation, it typifies the creation of the universe out of water: this dew is the astral light in one of its combinations, and possesses creative as well as destructive properties.”

But there can be no development, without growth.

To grow and build, there is a sequence of charging/discharging energies, and a balancing of these charges between the voltages of the atmosphere and the earth. To utilize this charge, there must be insulation between each varying polarities, otherwise you’ve essentially got a short circuit. Schauberger described it as “a skin that the earth must have around it.” This is why it is of utmost importance that the forest not be stripped bare; the covering of vegetation acts as that skin. It is also a key to the origin of our race. Just as the flowing water relies on the vegetative covering of the world, so too was it the case with the birth of the first modern Europeans, where during the times of the extreme cold of the Ice age by which our earliest ancestors evolved in Europe also relied, where through the arid glacial climate, the small patches of coniferous forests clung to the flowing water bodies in the river valleys and rock overhangs that acted as the roads for the fall reindeer migrations and grazing spots of mammoth and aurochs; places where our first forefathers set up winter camps for the local clans and conducted the mass seasonal hunts that our people relied on for survival. It is here along the flowing water of melted Ice between the vast stretches of tundra steppe where all life congregated for survival in the harshest condition of the last glacial maximum and where the terrain of the continent had the most powerful influence on the evolution of life.

Our bodies are mostly made up of water, and that same water that replenishes us will again be returned to the earth. Our energy is the same, because energy cannot be created out of nothing. There is an eternal recycle of energies. Consciousness is, therefore, given to us temporarily by the permanence of the ether of the cosmos. Water is a psychically chargeable medium, as is any vital liquid, like blood. Fluids carry the life force and act as a bonding medium for spiritual conceptions. Representing the Well of Wyrd, Laguz holds all the secrets of the unconscious and the collective or universal knowledge. It is the astral ether, a fluid existing beyond the range of human senses, a flowing current, an ocean of the cosmos full of charged, powerful particles. Laguz is the universal ocean, of past, present and future. The human unconscious lingers beneath its surface, and we must dive deep to bring it to the surface of our conscious mind.

When a river is forced by its natural terrain to flow through narrow sections, the velocity is much higher through the narrowest points. You can do this by artificially narrowing a river’s bed, or introducing a longitudinal vortex. Water naturally tends to form vortices, especially with the influence of gravity accelerating its flow. The axis of the spinning motion coincides with the way the water flows. Not only do they increase velocity, but they decrease temperature, and increase density. As the vortex develops, the water cools, shifts and grinds sediment, thereby becoming infused with trace elements and nutrients, while at the same time building up its internal charge of pure energy. As the vortex approaches the ford, the flow decreases, the water warms slightly and begins to deposit its store of trace elements and nutrients and at the same time, prior to beginning its vortical rotation in the opposite direction, radiates its accumulated charge of pure, life enhancing energy into the environment along a plane perpendicular to the direction of flow. Schauberger called it the “Energy Cannon.” However, if the life energy of the riverwater has been badly degraded due to faulty methods of river regulation, then instead of longitudinal vortices, vertical vortices develop, which radiate life-destroying energies laterally into the surroundings along a horizontal plane. We can observe natural vortices in a water faucet. As the water picks up speed, it will form a funnel shaped vortex.

Under a microscope we can see that the implosion vortex has a cleansing effect, and that the water is more homogenous than it is before passing through the vortex. This means it will have a better biological effect on all living organisms: plants, animals and human beings. It is important that we work with what nature has so clearly shown us. Chlorination and other chemical and artificial processes need to be eliminated from our drinking, bathing and agricultural water. When having water flow through pipes we must utilize a proper form. Schauberger found that the shape of the kudu antelope’s horns, another example of double spiral structures provided by nature, was the correct form for water transmission.

The secret of life is dipolarity. Without opposite poles in nature there is no attraction and repulsion. Without attraction and repulsion, there is no movement; without movement, there is no life. It is thus, that Laguz is the ebb and flow of life, our dark and light currents. The most important fact about all of Schauberger’s theories, is that we must work with the building processes nature has already provided us with. The central stave of Laguz is Isa, and we can easily see this as the melting of ice, the result being the flow of water, the natural bending of the life-energy. When Laguz is revealed to us it means thus: that only by attuning to creation will your life

truly flow as it is meant to. Emotional balance comes from harmony with creation around you, just how we must work with water’s natural centripetal movement, spiraling inward, to build and grow. It is exactly why a merkstave Laguz means you have corrosive and destructive elements in your life, as centrifugal forces, spiraling outward, work to dissolve and dissipate that which is dead. We must remember not to view merkstave as negative, but as a reminder to connect with the energies around us and use the flow to our advantage.

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The importance of Cooking in Nature

Did you know that the writer and director Guy Ritchie invented and sells his own custom BBQ grill? He calls it ‘The Gentleman’, and it sells for between £2500 and £50,000 depending on how many seats you want.  

Allegedly, there is nothing that makes Ritchie happier than hosting, cooking, and making people comfortable around a fire. Isn’t that strange? 

No, not at all… obviously. 

Now, whatever your stance on the man or his films, this enjoyment of hosting is not something that should be at all foreign to you. It is an enjoyment reserved in praxis for those who have ‘enough to go around’. It is a social practice wherein one’s wealth and power serve as conductors in the further generation of connectivity and stability within a collective or group.

When I say ‘enough to go around’ I intentionally divert away from two extreme opposites. The first camp I exclude are those who give, but have not enough. When the generous ‘don’t have enough’ or simply a surplus, the receiving party cannot deem them magnanimous nor stable enough to be considered for a role of ‘provider’. This isn’t a bad thing to any degree, infact generous people are equally given loyalty by those who are blessed with their good deeds, I simply mean to differentiate between those who have enough for several good deeds, and those who simply wish to share what little they have with those they choose. 

The second camp being those who give, with the intention of garnering loyalty or favor, yet have not the resources to do so. These parties often have very selfish intentions and aim to show more wealth and abundance than they truly have. 

It is clear that protection and comfort are driving factors of the human spirit. No matter the circumstance, we constantly strive for that which would satisfy our human urge to care for those we deem as our tribe. This cannot be accomplished in one deed but rather through the culmination of several. It is the ultimate goal of man to not just survive but thrive. In order to reach this pinacle, those of its following must create strong walls, provide resources of value and eliminate threats wherever they may arise. Those that do not feel this urge are in themselves, not entirely whole. Suffering both personal and spiritual displeasure, these individuals ultimately plague their own lives with formulated and false struggles.

Do you know why we progress in all fields and constantly grow?


It is because since the very beginning there has been no greater position for a man than that of the provider. It fills us with pride, and drives our every move in this life, and possibly the next.

The fire represents the gathering, and the display of one’s provisions and comfort. The hearth, the hall, the feast, the fire. These are subconscious symbols that our brian enjoys metabolizing whether we know why or not. Symbols are so very deeply rooted in our psyches as organisms, and some things and ways we act go so far back that they even supersede many components that make us feel like us.

Remember to always scoff at those who say ‘I’m a lone wolf’ with some sort of false pride. It is so factually untrue that the amount of mental summersaults that damaged person must have undergone would put them right at home in the Cirque du Soleil. 

Together around a fire with other men who yearn for responsibility is one of life’s highest glories. Where we might stand cold together in the night — no matter the weather — and to create an ancient friend through the sacrifice of the forest’s debris, this is the highest of all things. The ‘need fire’ (Nauthiz). 

To build a great hall or home around that fire, and host gatherings of many there, and to feed their hunter as well as their families; to fill their ears with song and stories. This is the thing that keeps us getting up as we are constantly beaten back by the waves and death throes of lesser experiences. 

Yet, even those demons and shortcomings that we thought kept us small for so long, did no such thing. They built us higher than any man who felt anything short of their gnaw. 

Even those beasts and sorrows have a home in the halls of great men who still have tongues, and now drape themselves in the finest of garnets. From fine seats at the end of firelit halls do those stormborn sons of the Allfather wag their tongues for tales long gone. 

And all those who love us and need us will listen with intent. With ears, eyes, mouths full. They will yearn for the cold as they sit amidst your warmth. And there is nothing greater than this. To have fulfilled your duty as a man of industry, and to inspire those of youth to become as cold, or even colder in the search for their own halls.

For us and our people, we gather weekly in the woods and share the various foods, drinks, stories and songs we have attained so far on our journey towards the hall. And as our numbers grow, so too does the warmth around that place we built so long ago.

To keep healthy discourse, competition, food and flavor is to keep a healthy group of growing souls as they care for one another amidst nature, our oldest ally and foe.

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The Man-Myth Protocol

Jenny Nyström’s depiction of the Germanic hero Sigurd

Traditional accounts of early medieval England, including the Anglian Chronicle and even the writings of the Christian monk Bede, posit that several early rulers of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms ultimately descend, quite literally, from the gods. Likewise too are many of the men who rose to rule the first incarnations of the Scandinavian nations said to trace their ancestry to the god Odin. This is a motif that, though particularly common amongst Germanic cultures, can be seen in historical accounts in many traditional cultures the world over: the Japanese imperial house of Yamato traces their lineage to the deified sun, Amaterasu-Ōmikami (天照大御神); the Sumerian King List, first scribed on clay tablets around the year 2000 B.C. describes “kingship” as having been “lowered from heaven”. 

These royal characters share a pedigree that supersedes normal earthly reality and instead forces a distinction between them and common people, even those of noble birth, that cannot simply be attributed to their political station. Even the emperors of traditional Japan, once literally considered to be personifications of the sun by their subjects, are not really divine in the sense that beings of myth or orthodox religion are in a cross-cultural sense, as Emperor Hirohito himself proclaimed plainly at the end of the Second World War in his Ningen-sengen (人間宣言), or Humanity Declaration.

But what about those individuals whose lofty deeds furnish the folklore of so many cultures, whose divine ancestry is more direct, more recent? Those that the Roman poet Ovid termed semideī – demigods? Those characters endowed with abilities whose mysterious ancestry included more recent connections to the world of the supernatural, such as Hercules-son-of-Jupiter, the Finnish Gandalf-equivalent Väinämöinen, or the Irish hero Cú Chulainn, the progeny of the god Lugh? More intriguing still are those that Greeks such as Homer or Hesiod called hemitheoi (cognate with semideī), who were so considered not due to traceable divine ancestry, but rather due to their exemplary behaviour that mimicked the heroic powers of heaven so acutely that other mortals had no logical course of action but to consider them as existing in the image of gods.

At Halithaz we freely admit that spirituality from around the world, particularly Indo-European traditional beliefs – specifically those of the Germanic cultures – inform our perspective on all things. Perennialism, that is, the notion that genuinely Traditional spiritual customs from all cultures stem from a common source of divine inspiration, that universal monomyth motifs can be found that underlie parables much greater than the sum of any of the systems they stem from, is one of the core values that colour the Halithaz worldview. However, in certain instances, it must be acknowledged that there is an intersection between the common man, and that of the heroic one: a veil that, once crossed, can act as the impetus to catapult an individual of seemingly ordinary material substance into the realm of the divine, onto the hero’s journey. This is the same bridge over which Achilles and Hector travelled, that does not require the lineage enjoyed by Swedish kings or Japanese emperors, or the recent divine ancestry of Hercules or Cú Chulainn in order to be traversed. 

Among these men is the greatest and most inspiring substance of myth. Some – through factors beyond their own control – find themselves endowed with divine power that sets them apart from mortals, while so many others are pressed by the duress of necessity and the daring that compels men of mettle to inject themselves into the trials that go beyond that of an ordinary life. Who can look upon the substance of these true demigods and deny their destiny as being anything but equal in mythic status to those whose lineage stems from the gods? The Italian Perennialist philosopher Julius Evola speaks extensively on the contrast between the chaotic, illusory state of becoming versus the predestined, autotelic and eternal state of simply being, and there is no greater example of the latter than in the mortal hero whose path could never have been anything less than finding himself a peer of the likes of Hercules. What makes such men, these hemitheoi, pass from ordinary reality into legend, and legend into myth, wherein they find themselves among peers of celestial origin? What makes a hero, a true demigod whose origins lie in the dirt of the earth rather than the dust of the stars, yet still ultimately of internal substance that vastly exceeds his phoenix origins in the ashes?

While the great monomyth, the hero’s journey, has been studied extensively and its process described in rigorous detail by philosophers, writers in the field of comparative mythology, and pundits of psychology like Lord Raglan, Otto Rank, Carl Jung, and most recently Joseph Campbell, one must also examine what traits these mortal demigods had in common, the substance of the internal alchemy that they underwent as they rode the whirling wheel that separates wheat from chaff, and turns ordinary men into beings fit to sit amidst the gods:

Courage – the spiritual fortitude to rise against adversity, to embrace the process of being in an Evolian sense, as if on a predetermined track, as opposed to the intentional state of becoming, of making some conscious attempt at waxing into something greater that the hands of fate clearly have not allotted oneself.

Will – that “thoroughbred quality” that, like the guards frozen at their posts in the ash of Pompeii that Oswald Spengler wrote about in his Man and Technics, is related to but far greater than the similar but inferior trait of duty, as it stems from an internal condition rather than an intentional adherence to an external norm or obligation. 

Honour – the code of value-adherence, mutual and self-respect that led to such acts as the carving of one passage from the Swedish Sjörup Runestone, detailing in commemoration that one hero called Ásbjörn “[…] did not flee at Uppsala, but slaughtered as long as he had a weapon”.

Selflessness – the embrace of the destiny, and the acknowledgment that the spoils of war, the fruit of the other values, the glory and the ascendance to a level of notoriety and spiritual, heroic substance that supplants the status of ‘virtuous, competent man’ is simply a consequence of the process of being, and a supplementary balm to the frank act of embodying one’s heroic destiny.

When all of these exemplary traits are allowed to exist in the Uranian and static condition of simply being, similar in its quietude to the state of transcendental detachment that Buddhists of the Japanese Zen school might call Kenshō, or divine insight, those who look with speculation at the titans of the past will judge one’s life accordingly. No man of mettle, no hemitheoi of earthly body and aristocratic soul, ever asked for his lot, ever fought for the express purpose of becoming a fellow of those whose blood roils with the mercury of heaven, but rather found himself in the grip of the scales that measures renown and individual mythopoeism against the traits discussed above. The hero, the man destined to become myth with not a drop of material god-substance inside of him, does not look outward. Heroism was never truly the goal, and never should be. There was never an Achilles that killed Hector for spoils, that laid waste to Troy for the glory of doing so, but rather found himself compelled by his adherence to simply embodying the condition of his soul. 

Those who cannot rise, those who mythify, venerate, and may eventually come to deify and to worship the cleverest shoots of this earthly loam, are those who, quite retroactively, decide who has won the right to join the rank of the divine. Through deeds and traits, through the ghastly and beautiful substance of heroism that drips like blood from the wounds of Christ, the wheels that make heroes from men simply being are greased and made to turn. There is no choice, there is no recourse, one must only answer the call of their own blood, and find that within the annals of genealogy, descent from the gods does not matter – so long as the seed of heroism rests inside the mortal body. Who can say that there is not some sense of parity between those like Hercules and those like Sigurd? When they sit next to each other, the blood of both teaming with the same celestial nature, potentiality or origin is no longer in question. There is only the fulfilment of the heroic soul’s destiny. .