The Leaves ov the :FUTHARK:

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The Guild tradition ov mapping the year in Runes is a custom that is always a great medicine when end of an old cycle comes and the crossing over of the new commences. Nearing the solstice, I start to stash it all together, taking stock of the past 13 moonths and from the magical ash where the Runic teachings were sung forth for the first time. Offerings of self to the spirit in transit are laid down as feast for the Gods. A Blot made from the well waters of Urdr and Verdandi assembles within the Lik:Taufr, the Talismanic body of each being in Midgard, and informs the Hug:Mind where the branches must be pruned or given space to grow, and those supporting life. How the Runes move through us and condensate meaning is the nature of the Great Mystery, how they change our lives of us and our kindred are the Grails, the boons of the original twenty four staves of the :FUTHARK: seep into the web of wyrd, like some colorful dye in the weave of the Norns. Each color bringing the picture of their great textile to life.

The textures on the leaves of my inner Yggdrasil are as follows:

FEHU: Treasure. Used my metaphorical gold to buy a homestead and one acre of land outright and invest in solar energy system, deepwater well, firewood, and a drakkar (my cruiser). Finished the payment plan on my Mongolian Altai yurt. Tracked cashflow out for homestead upgrades, and shared wealth through gift culture and hospitality. Donations of rupees to people and charities in India. Made my savings last while in a foreign country. Stored away valuable assets to save money in leaner times and reserved spending to essential services and items of comfort. Purchases made with reciprocation in mind.

URUZ: Endured harsh weather conditions, climbing injuries, illness and extreme endurance for road trip through India. Created strong enough boundaries to generate respect without inducing fear. Worked from a place of primal energy to garner strength for physical labors. Carried others burdens and knowing when to set them down. Approached setbacks with will to power, and confronted domesticity with wilderness conditioning.

THURISAZ: Maintained integrity against the Giant forces of government control laws. Built resilient health in response to world pandemic. Increased personal power to protect against abuse of external enforcement. Refined my inborn will for use of good and productive action vs. reaction.

ANSUZ: Told story of India saga in word and voice as a medium for relationships to form and last. Learned sparse words of Tamil and Hindu language. Earned a reputation in a foreign land. Found common ground to stand on, through deep communication with international travelers. Started a homestead journal, spoke poetry for Sunwait rituals, and Wassailing at yule tide.

RAIDO: Went a’Viking in India, for a ten thousand km. journey from the Indian ocean to the Himalayas, and the Arabian sea to the Bay of Bengal by motorcycle. Saw the palaces of Mysore and the beaches of Goa. Traveled to the international town of Auroville, and rowed on the Ganges river. Traveled by boat in Kerala, and on foot in the jungles of Tamil Nadu. Settlement in New Brunswick after seven years of nomadic travel. Road wending travels to Ontario and back again. Took my drakkar throughout the province to explore new territory, and adventured equally by foot into the Appalachian foothills.

KENAZ: Secured enough cordwood for the coldest parts of winter. Burned torch within the hall to welcome guest and wanderer. Live entirely by candle flame and oil light for two month of night. Installed a solar system to fuel my cabin with direct current electricity. Arranged a stone circle to make a Rune wheel fire pit. Keeness of knowledge gleaned of foreign cultures from the Asiatic continent, and those closer to home.

GIFU: Managed trade economy while in Auroville, and learned to barter in the marketplaces of India. Gift exchange in yule times with neighbors of my village. Learning the deeper dynamics of reciprocity and its fruition in small communities. Learned the story of Windigo spirit.

WUNJO: The pleasure pursuits of a Viking in a new land. Love of Women from around the world. The deep peace and frith of homelife, and beheld in a lovers arms. Bonds with brothers, sisters and family ties. Embraces of joy from source, the small things that matter everyday. Profound feelings of contentment in place based existence.

HAGAL: The conjuction of my nomadic existence with the settlement stage of my existence. Crossroads of synchronicities found in the seedforms of potentials made manifest.

NAUTHIZ: Witnessed the great need of others, and came to know on a more fundamental level how Need is kindled, and maintained by the autonomous choices made throughout life. Ate a lot of my own karma to experience transformation through friction. Experienced more directly what one needs to start a home of their own, and what is important to have in life for each transition of the seasons. Valued the things that matter most, minding excess in the superficial wants of the ego.

ISA: Sought out the quiet places to find sacred solitude, and the straightening principles of my own unique trajectory through life. Strengthened the central axis of the Self, to be more in line with the higher spiritual drives and virtue traditions. Felt more subtle connections with my own company during shelter in place protocols. Made comfort with my new reality of living alone in the woods. Experienced an important oneness and union with new kin around the world. Preserved my personality while in contact with the novel and foreign customs of other cultures, while branding my identity with recognition of honest refinements over a period of long maturation.

JERA: Experienced the tropical monsoon, and the dry summer of India. The autumn shift in the interior of New Brunswick, and the drought that dried the village wells. Gleaned skills on plowing terraces with two bullocks using a Yoke and blade. Sowed many indigenous Indian crops on terrace gardens, and Canadian crops on land designed with permaculture principles. Learned about how to efficiently harvest sunlight in different windows of the calendar year, where the prevailing winds come from on my acre of land, when to procure wood to season in time for winter, and an understanding of the botanical, and tree populations within the locality of my cabin. Witnessed a full solar eclipse on the summer solstice, and the yule star on winter solstice, during the conjuction of saturn and jupiter. Saw the constellations of our planet from several different lattitudes of degree both in the west and the east.

" Runes in the Yggdrasil with Jormungand" by Silk Alchemy ...

EIHWAZ: Set down much stronger roots in place based existence, and sown many new seeds for preparation of growing new branches. Held close my ancestral traditions and allowed for flexibility to incorporate new ones. Merged into a communal based lifestyle and extended the concept of my own journey to be inclusive of many. Gleaned a more subtle innerstanding of village dynamics with their offshoots of inputs and outputs.

PERTHRO: When nothing was known and the future uncertain, I learned how to bolster the mysteries with a more integrated level of trust. Making room for change without harm, and generating luck through magic and intention. Taking everything one day at a time, holding the possibility that all can alter. Allowed for the hidden signs of meaning, and nuanced information to steer me in the appropriate direction in fluctuating life seas.

ALGIZ: Survived one vehicle collision, a motorcycle crash, and a fall from a Himalayan cliff, grateful to still be here in Midgard. In the midst of a pandemic, fortified my immunity with healing herbs, and plant interventions against viruses and illness. Felt a tremendous capacity for protection of my loved kin and allies. Called to state boundaries when stepped over, lower walls when too formidable, and decide which doors to open and close to the flow of experience of a very full life. Stood guard against intrusion into privacy, material possession and personal space, while marking and upholding the gentleman couched in the savage.

SOWILO: Established a solar system to enable my modest home with four season electricity, and power security. Tracked the movements of the sun from the vantage point of my cabin and one acre land, noticing its exposure and patterns through half a year. Maintained a grip on virtue through temptation, and brightness over murkiness. Mediated some darker karma and personal traumas in spaces of healing, and experiences of renewal. Sought out the light of others through their own occult of shadows.

TIWAZ: Investigated deeper theories behind law, and authority systems to bolster myself with stronger personal will and intelligence for right action. Gleaned understandings and more integral coherence of the world schemes, and sought to dismantle any illusions about conspiracies and false news. Instigated personal order when the chaos of the world felt so close at hand, and made sacrifices for the continuance of that order.

BERKANO: Shakti, Freya, and Frigga coming in the form of friends, lovers and healers. A deep reformation of my relationship with women, those who run with the wolves, and those simply walk at home in the garden. The pull for the potential of forming family, and consciousness of the sacred feminine, womb, pregnancy, child bearing. Union with woman of different culture, sharing same spirit. Meeting the Sisters of my tribe.

EHWAZ: She-Bear ally, and potent Bear medicine. Moose traveler on roads to Home. Kingfisher in the Himalayan foothills. Elephant connection in the jungle of India. Year of the presence of the primate. The burning dead on the Varanasi ghats. Marijuana presence in all its forms, though with a more aloof relationship. The plant teachers of St. Johns Wort, Chaga, Banyan, and Bamboo.

MANNAZ: Saw and bonded with my Brothers for Yule, and Samhain, and found new male kin ties in the lands beyond the seas, those from ancestry and those of other lines of heritage. Redefined my sense of what it takes to be a Man, and being good at being a Man. Stepped into a more robust state of Manliness, and the onset of the Kingdom stage of Manhood.

LAGUZ: Explored the falls of the Himalayan footlands, and bathed in the sacred River Ganges, while her waters kept me clean from illness. Consumed the water of my own land, from deep in the earth, unfiltered, raw, and cold. Learned where the water flows and pools on my own acre parcel. Experienced how to shelter against rain in an organic homestead with elemental problems, and experienced how much water can fall in one place during the Indian monsoon season, bringing fertility for a whole yar.

INGWAZ: Cultivated terraced garden beds on contour in the Himalayans using oxen to cut furroughs. Planted chia, bottle gourds, melons, corn, beans, pumpkins, and cucumbers in hand tilled plots. Worked dry evergreen forest in Tamil country to grow salad greens, pineapples, and chikoo trees, and harvested several species of custard fruit, bamboo, papaya, banana, mangoo and indigenous wild food. Ate from the land when possible, and moved to a primarily local and Paleo ketogenic diet for most thriving health.

DAGAZ: Became highly efficient with my work days, and learned to balance industrious productive time and creative pursuits with passive, rest laden days where not much happens. Started work in a maple sugar bush, partaking in a renewed traditon of wildcrafting nourishment from the forest. Kept a journal and cabin log of the days, noticing weather, siginificant events, emotions, feelings, and encounters.

OTHALA: Found my forever Home. Stoked a deep well attachment to place based living. Upheld some of the old world traditions, both from heritage and foreign. Named a new land, and made ready for future clan.

Vegvisir with Tree of life -Yggdrasil and Runes - Vegvisir ...

:ARAHARI:

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Hail!
Sköll the wolf that chases the sun reigns in his solar power, and at last swallows his feed. The nights of Hati now swell as Máni is pursued into a new night and a new day. The mark of blazing runes burn from my heart into the world of men and imbibe the teaching runes of the solar :Y:ear as it revolves on itself, and travels back into the sea of night. Today, Allfather and :URth:mother condense in the realm of mythos and magic, and I learn to put a new foot to bare ground where I have not walked before, there where power meets potential and the potency of a magic moment calls in a new reality for me to enter. Odins testing and the joy of Thor live inside me, balanced with Freyjas curious lust and will to power that carves a course where I move in the greater saga of it all. Wyrd and the well seethe with new meaning, the lores of runes speak in loaded spells :ARAHARI: I come to visit the old halls and the new, forever evolving, forever growing, protecting the powers that looms inside, and to defend if necessary, that which must be preserved. Carry the sun at your back and move in a world without fear, weakness or upheaval, and be prepared for anything. Change is the cycle of Jera, and only adaptation will make you stronger, more virile, self reliant, and impeccable. Souls rooted like staves in fresh earth, with thick bark and branches that will outgrow even its own forest. Move in tribal fashion, backed by rigorous self-work, love for brother and sister, skill and orientation. Functioning as does a finely tuned motor, that :R:ides into uncharted yet familiar territory. The sun takes its longest journey above our fields and it is time to open our mouths against the sky and swallow our fill with its vices and virtues, to clearly define where we stand, to make up our mind, and walk in the hallways of all:ways where are greater men, and the Gods imagine us worthy of them. :RISE: to this :SHINE: and set it motion a great ritual of self to SELF, a rite of passage for your own :S:oul to :S:tream :S:unward.

The Feast of Váli

The Norse Mythology Blog | norsemyth.org: Interview with M ...

Have you been shifted into buying chocolate confectioneries , aesthetically perfect roses and hopeless romance cards for your significant other once again yet? Today is Valentine’s day after all, another old pagan holiday masked in Christian taboo and modern consumerism. But were you aware that this day was a special feast day to our Germanic ancestors, before it took its modern form? It was called the Feast of Váli. Far from being an awkward attempt to rekindle passion with your lover, or have a night of abandon in casual encounter, this day long before the time when the two martyrs whom the name Valentine comes from is actually a sacred gathering. It fell on the 22 of the older calendar in the month of Sokkvabekkr, and is a.k.a. the Festival of the Kin. In the North it is also called All Heart’s Day (Allrahjartudagr /AlþrurhertudagaR). Váli was the God worhsipped and toasted to on this day, because he represented loyalty to family, friendship, and the protector of the familial group.

Váli is the son of the god Oðin and giantess Rinðr, as well as the brother of Balðr, Þórr, Höðr. In the mythos Váli was one of the Gods who survived Ragnarok, he was a light bringer, and avenged his brother Balðr when he was struck by the mistletoe by Höðr. This can be seen mytho-poetically in the sense that Baldr was a son (sun), and was full of light and virtue, alike to the broadleaf trees, who is killed at his weakest point, when Höðr attacks him with the mistletoe. The mistletoe finds the crutch of the solar tree in the time of least light, during the polar midnight, and parasitically drains its vigor. The sun is killed in the arctic for three days and everyone weeps for Balðr’s death. Váli, out of honor, avenges his killer and takes care of Höðr. So this day could be seen as the day when revenge was paid and balance restored in the world of men, when the dark resentment of the death of Baldr, was lifted by the selfless act of Vali, for rightful vengeance and the boon for the rest of his people. It would be equated to ridding a murderer from modern day society that poses a threat to your people. In old honor cultures this is how it worked, to show resilience to slight and betrayal made you a hero, and to neglect this would make you a coward or less of a man. These matters mostly concerned men, as feuding, holmgang and the Ting were the main devices to settle disputes, law, outlawry, and revenges. So today we honor Váli as a man who did what needed to be done out of love for his brother. He represents love in a broad, the love between friends and couples. Not necessarily overtly-romantic love.

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In the Poetic Edda, Váli is depicted shooting arrows, much like the contemporary Cupid in Roman myths, and he has parallels with the god of love in Greek lore, Eros. So Váli is the Northern European counterpart, which has been again adopted into a religiously branded confusion. Now the modern society has made it about over indulgence in sweets, and putting on a kind of performance for your partner, or ironically for a complete stranger in an effort to get them into bed, for pleasure and selfish means, even if such relationship is not healthy to begin with. In fact I have witnessed many relationships take the opposite turn of what is intended for Valentines day. For those of heathen ilk, this is a time to invite someone over you love, or are close friends with, or maybe a cousin, family relative, member of a community you belong to, etc. and truly honor them. Offer to make them dinner, make toasts to each others bonds, have as much fun as possible, and celebrating each persons presence and empathy. It is a time to ‘make time’, and have ‘quality time’ with those people who appreciate most, even if you can just call them, for lack of geographical closeness. Unfortunately we do live in this segregated age, where social media has made us farther apart and we do not always live in close proximity of our true friends, our real tribe. If you can gather any of them to you, then you should make it a priority for today. Enjoy feasting, eating well, partake in something you would normally only do with your best company, bring out your finest ales.

Most of all put away any resentments, hatreds, or longings you have and make a ceremony of the love that does live in your current life. Even if that is just self-love, you start there, it emanates outward, and others will attract to it. For me, I’m cooking up my rainbow trout, wild rice, and sending my heightened thoughts and intentions outward to my comrades amongst me, my empowered sisters, new friends and my prodigy, my 12 year old brother. I also think of those kind women who have loved me through the years, and unveiled new depths to my being over the years. Try listening to some Norse/Germanic inspired music named after Vali, with a softer acoustical atmosphere to create a lovely evening for this occasion.

Vali’s music

 

 

THORSday

Our Teutonic ancestors called this day in time, Thor’s day. The god of the common man, a strong farmer, warrior, and something of a peasant shaman. Thor is the enigma of a truth that can only be known through mythology, and a cognitive system that allows us to follow suit with such a belief system, but on a more practical level I find there is a deeper reality in this honoring of Thorsday.

What does it mean, and what does it imply to the average man, who must face the same set of challenges, tribulations, and confrontations of a life in Midgard. Personally speaking, it helps me to humble myself to my own abilities and limitations in this world, and then to understand that even these constructs are not concrete, and are greatly altered by the power of the will. One is ushered to deal with the implications and surmounting responsibilities of his own work and wyrd, and in honoring the hail of Thor, a subjective evolution must take place in one’s own spirit.

Strength must be the ideal, for this is the hammer’s intentions, and we must be forged in the stoutest of fires, and tempered by the finest hands and muscles if our form is to be as impeccably wrought as we compel it to be. For Thor is a God of more than Man himself, he is of the quintessence of Man becoming great. When a man comes to terms with his own incredible nature, and seeks to exploit it for it’s full worth while here in time, he makes a testament to his species of his ability to conquer weakness. When I think of Thor, on this day, I must face my own inedible frailties, and see through them to the other side, to a point in my being in which these are no longer relevant, and I come to bear runes of victory for my success.

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Today we hail Thor, because he is representative of our slumbering primal masculinity, and we acknowledge the wild, yet ordered energy that erupts from our souls, when we hear the sound of steel, or run freely through the wilderness of our own souls.We wear the scars of our past as experiences and lessons, not of weaknesses and failures, and we come to bear the task of the hero, to fight against our own psychological and physical in order to see the golden sublime that awaits us in Valhall. The work of this Man then becomes not of doing, but of becoming, for anyone can simply react, but to actively participate in the formulation of our own heroic ideals, we are THOR, and the only reality is what we do here and now!

Heathen Pilgrimage ch.2: Skåne og Uppland

Taking the ferry from Helsingor to Helsingborg, and arriving by sea, to Skane marked my first movements in the territory of Sweden. A new flag to fly on my global journey on this heathen pilgrimage, and what I hope to be, worldwide travel. Though these events happened over a month ago, I am now writing these from the other side of the Atlantic back on the shores of Canada, with time for reflection, and digestion of my experiences in this Scandinavian second home.

Naturally, any ‘pilgrimage’ to the sacred sites of our pagan forefathers must include the kings graves at old Uppsala, I have purveyed a more spiritual account of this in an earlier post, so I shall keep the information here limited to the how and why I came here. Originally a planned visit to Omberg, a mountain in the Ödeshög municipality was intended, but troubles on the road encouraged me to pass blithely on the highway, for lack of adequate transportation. Instead, with all intentions set on the Uppsala graveyard, I took a train from the modern city, a fairly pleasant university center with a high uppsalapopulation of youth, and canals snaking through the town. Uppsala is bordered with Lake Mälaren, and the river Fyris. Nearby historic town of Sigtuna is said to be where Odin himself lived, with Uppsala is where Freyr settled, and owned the land. At Gamla Uppsala, I encamped myself in the nature reserve near the Eriksleden OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtrail. For two nights I slept near the mounds and read the runes on the rocks, sat by the river Fyris, and watch the golden fields of wheat bend and sway in the breeze. I talked to a local farmer with special black breed chickens who told me of an ancient Viking settlement just beyond his small farm. Two terraces were also located near the mounds, probably the sites of two longhouses, like those found at Lanse aux Meadows, Trelleborg, or elsewhere in Scandinavia. The place carried a certain bioregional energy about it, and though the scenes from Vikings did loom in my mind, of the dark temple on the hill, through deep broadleaf forest, from the walking trails of the reserve, this picture was not so far off and made me think of just how elusive this place was. The last reserve of the pagan faith. The mushroom told me things about the Gods, and their ways, that I believe are reserved to those only who sit on the mounds, and with that, I fled with this mead of knowledge.

In Skåne, I took a coastal route through Lund, Malmö and Höllviken, visiting the picture stones once observed by the 17th cent. Danish physician and antiquary Olaus Wormius. From the Hunnstead monument, once located in Ystad, carved at a time that Scania belonged to Denmark. 600px-hunnestadsmonumentet_skane_ole_wormThey were the largest and most famous monuments of their time. Some of the stones were destroyed during for bridge and house building during the modernization of Scandinavia, so it is an amazing piece of historical heritage to even glance at these stones now. One of the runestones shows a man from the Varangian guard, dressed in a longcoat, with the latinized rune inscription. Another one shows a cross, and the other most interesting one shows a hag riding a wolf creature, who is also holding two snakes. She is believe to beOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe giantess Hyrrokin, who appears in the mythology as she who pushed Baldr’s funeral ship into the sea. These were the most fascinating pieces of Nordic art I had witnessed since seeing the Gotlandic picture stones about a month before. Located now at the Kulturen museum, outside, were also three rune and picture stones, one picturing a lion. Lund had several runestones located in the Lundagård, one depicting an interesting picture of two wolves, wearing both shields and swords on their bodies. There is also a mound near the old King’s house in Lund with 6 runestones. After visiting Lund, my count of authentic runestones visited throughout the world probably peaked 20, but of course there are hundred more in the countryside I have yet to see.

After staying in Malmo for two weeks, I went to volunteer in the Foteviken Viking reserve, choosing to live the days in an Iron age setting. I learned how to make traditional flatbread, amber carving, tin smithing, and basic blacksmithing. When the Foteviken reserve was closed, I combed the beaches at Maklappen watching rare seabirds, and seal colonies, and hunted for amber at the Falsterbo peninsula. For a week I lived in a thatched wooden Viking house, on the bay of Foteviken, from my window and across the waters was Copenhagen, and about 500 feet from my door was the mound of the battle of Foteviken. I soon left the Scandinavian shores, it seems as I was just getting my teeth sunk in. The German chapter will have to wait to be written for future travels.

 

Heathen Pilgrimage

This one has been kept a bit secret for awhile but in traditional fashion I would like to write here a little about my recent foray into the world. This time on a self styled heathen pilgrimage though the whole of Scandinavia, from Iceland to Faroe Islands, Denmark onto Sweden and Norway, Gotland and Finland. This will be the first part of a several chapter diary of my experiences through some of these countries, some will remain only spoken in the oral tradition to those I meet along the way, for I see no purpose in documenting every minute detail. The focus of this trip is to visit sacred sites, cultural landmarks, Runestones, Viking settlements, ancient ruins, and Iron/Viking age museums, to learn and experience as much as I can.

On the Danish chapter, my heathen foray began in Copenhagen as do most trips, I stayed with some old acquaintances along the canal. I was to meet an artist at a local tattoo parlor for a tattoo of the runic futhark, but this fell through, so I was not in the city for long. The next day I traveled to the open air museum in Lejre. Here volunteers lived in different periods re-enacted villages, from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, and Viking period. A traditional lifestyle was brought to fruition in the open heath of the countryside. This was set near a few ship barrows and the burial mound of the Egtved girl.  It was fascinating to be standing on the grounds that this young girl was once buried, her body now lies in the Copenhagen museum. Several modern rune and pagan stones were carved in the landscape. A farm with traditional livestock like heritage pigs and boar also existed here. I met a father who was teaching his young son the art of smithing, and met other modern day Vikings who travel to different villages like myself.

From here I took a train to Slagelse and Hyllinge to walk at the Trelleborg Fortress on the island of Zealand. This was ordered by Harald Bluetooth in 980 to be constructed. The circle fortress would have kept 16 longhouses within its bounds, and it is the best preserved of the other Trelleborg that exist in Denmark and Sweden. It has been fully excavated, so I had the chance to see the relics of the foregone place, lain in the ground for hundreds of years. Seeing the skeletons of actual Vikings that lived, raided, farm, and loved is something I can barely wrap my head around, seeing their weapons and ships is another thing but their bodies, and for that matter, those of their animals is a truly connecting experience. In the higher mounds, horsemen were found, while there may have been Christian influence in the smaller graves. One woman carried pearls, game stones, a wooden casket and a bronze bucket. Several domestic items were also found like whetstones, utensils, combs, scissors, needles, locks and keys. It only shows, that our lifestyle is not so different. Some of the men in the graves were even from what is now Poland! This Trelleborg was known as a stop of Ibn Fadlan on his journey out of the east, and naturally marked a place of extreme curiosity for me since readings Ibn’s account of the Russiyah.

The Roskilde fjord was my next sojourn, but before this I took a side journey to Faxe, a place known for it’s brewery and lime quarry, but less know for the mythology behind the name. In Norse mythology Faxe means the horse’s mane, while Skinfaxi and Hrímfaxi are the horses of the day (dagr), and they pull the chariots of the day, while his mane lit up the sky and midgard. The name of Faxe comes all the way back from a poem called Vafþrúðnismál, but I digress, there was no Viking presence in this town that I know of, but I spent one night at a lime quarry before getting back to Roskilde. During the afternoon, I met some of the tradesmen working in the boatbuilders guild who were re-constructing the Viking ships at the harbor, then I was able to go out into the fjord on a sailing in a replica clinker built ship, seating fourteen, while rowing and gaining some experience about working the mast. The museum located here also housed five original Viking ship remnants, the infamous Skuldelev’s, which were sunk into the fjord to prevent access from a raid on Roskilde. There are 9 other ships ranging from the Iron age and medieval age found in further excavations. They were ranging from the clinker war ships, cargo boats to simple fishing skerries. Roskilde was of course a Viking trade town in league with other Scandinavian cities and foreign ports like Birka, Trelleborg, Ribe, Bergen and Dublin.

This marked the first part of my Danish adventure in the island of Zealand, but I am dreaming up further travels in Odense and western Denmark for the future, to visit such towns like Jelling, Jutland, Aarhus, Ribe and Hedeby. Next time I will talk about my travels in Uppsala and Skane in Sweden.

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The Valhalla Project

Sooner than later, a man needs to think about his family. The Valhalla project is about building something much larger than your own ego. So this is also something dominating my mind lately which I have been keep quiet for awhile, save for between myself and my closest allies. Now there is need for me to share this dream with others, so I may be able to rouse momentum and movement to the project, which has been a closely tended seed in the ground for over a decade.

Over the summer I will be returning to some of the Scandinavian countries, namely Iceland, Faroe Islands, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, and I will be actively seeking others tribal minded ilk to ally with, for future collaboration on a land taking in the lower Hordaland valleys of Norway. By the European winter next year after my work in Australia I yearn to have some direct roots in these Norselands, and a small collective of people to start work on farming and building on a piece of communally owned property. Taking a pre-Christian, Viking era approach to agricultural life With a 5 year aim of raising several different native livestock, maintaining a perennial permaculture garden, and growing a wide range of food in Norway’s ‘fruit basket’ near the Hardangerfjord. I want to establish local trade with the Bergen businesses, and organizing local farmers markets. The farm will be directly rooted in traditional European practices, and incorporate a Northern Germanic spiritual aspect into everyday routine.

  Hardangerfjorden in Norway – Lofthus,  Hordaland,  Norway

I envision a small hamlet of families in the growing tribe. While first starting humble, solo, with a wife or a few allies and hangers-on to test the dynamics of group sustainability. It will grow and ferment into something much more socially and bio-dynamic. Norways fjord climate creates their own weather system, and Hordaland is known as one of the most fertile places in the world for it’s sun balmed summer mixed with the monsoon season. I’m thinking in the line of a fusion of integrative modern perma-culture systems like rain catchment, work animals, solar/wind/wave energy, biofuel, and earthship principles with a traditionalist guise.  Scandinavia style architecture, Germanic language dialect, heritage reconstruction, and ancestral spiritual practices. Each member of the community would hold their place in the tribe, and in addition to a Longhall, the Farm, and a workshop, there would be several outbuildings for animal accommodation, blacksmithing, several outdoor Ve, and old style houses modeled after Icelandic/Faroese/Norwegian homes from the Viking-Medieval age. In time there could be larger community involvement from volunteers, courses in building, and a teaching center, but the focus will always remain for a self-reliant traditional community, paying homage to an older way of life, living more in contact with the earth. This is something I want to get the word out to those who are truly and deeply moved to also live a life in the country, and provide a useful place in a society that preserves honor and integrity and spirit into the daily routine of life. If we are thinking big, it takes more than one body and mind to kickstart the regeneration after the Ragnarok the rest of the world is going through.

 

Palms Unfurled

These lines, he said… they are very strong, I have them too. You are a natural born storyteller, and they are the same on this hand, very defined. And this line is your love, you have many lovers in life but not necessarily all at once, they come and go. You are able to make people love you.

“These are earth hands” she said, as I unfurled my knuckles outwards, and she took my palms in hers, then showed me to her tipi.

Odin’s Love Travels: a Personal Romantic Myth

I don’t know how long i’ve been on this journey for. Sure, it has been nearly two and a half years of meeting Odin at the tree and following in his footsteps, but is this the only measurement of my time out here in Midgard. I’ve been here before, and the Gods have known me by name. The other day, whilst sky gazing from a small cottage in the Icelandic wilderness, I re-viewed that this entire journey has been formed by love and for love, and often chasing love. Everywhere I have wandered has been for some medicine woman or another, a goddess, a healer who would take me in, a pure spirit of the feminine, Freya’s daughters have eluded me over and over again. This sounds familiar then, to Odin’s love journeys, three intoxicating nights with Gunnlöð, a sacred marriage with Frigg, his concubine with Freya, not to mention what might have been included with her handmaidens, Fjorgyn, Idunn, his love in with Skadi and not to forget the other Asynjur. Freyr and Njordr have had their own shares of love dramas. These divine women inhabit far away halls, and a man doesn’t travel to others worlds to simply ‘check it out’.
Love has brought me halfway across the world, into the Atlantic islands, where the bonds were shattered by a cheating heart, leaving this one to starve, over thee ocean to overwinter with a sweet mother in her woodland homestead, deceived and told to leave, lured by the deep southern into the arms of a lover, a sacred bond to be destroyed by fear, and doubt, then seduced by a magic mistress in the northern states, only to be taken down from the clouds by the black magic of a younger witch in her tipi. These relationships all have something in common, and I can only admit these personals because of a new found openness and honesty. Judgement, distance, and age. Though I do not prescribe to the idea that age is a factor of loving someone, for surely it has not been. Thee women I have loved have been older, but it is this, the age old myth, that he takes, the man, Odin, the hero, in his quest for love. Some may become a Goddess to him, his one, only to reveal they are not who he thought, but this is not always bad, rarely the case. I have found these women, for the same reason every man on a journey has, these medicine healers, mothers, sisters, dreamers. Because I have had to. For the rainbow light is reflected in all colors, so the bands of love take many forms. Man needs his woman, as Jack London in Son of the Wolf knows:

“Man rarely places a proper valuation upon his womankind, at least not until deprived of them. He has no conception of the subtle atmosphere exhaled by the sex feminine, so long as he bathes in it; but let it be withdrawn, and an ever-growing void begins to manifest itself in his existence, and he becomes hungry, in a vague sort of way, for a something so indefinite that he cannot characterize it”
Odin goes on a quest for love, and has many lovers, sisters, and wives, he learns his shamanic wisdom and prophecy from the Volva, the Runes from modir Jord, his seithing abilities from Freyja, his storytelling from Saga, a thing or two about the household from his loving wife Frigg, and I would maybe say his medicinal knowledge from Eir. Would Odin be the man we know him as without the women in his life? I can ask the same question of myself, for I would not be where, who, what I am without those in mine. For the woman is a perfect manifestation of beauty, teaching, healing, love, she is Berkano in the Sun, she is the Goddess of the crops, she is the sweet Lover through the dark cold nights, she is the caregiver to a rambling soul, the loving mother of the world, the powerful seeress and we are lost without them.
I would never choose to live without women in my life, and this journey’s steps have not yet been accompanied by a second pair of feet. Simply, I have not been with a woman who can keep up, is there any who can? Is there any who will face this wide garden of the world the same way I have? Now, my sweetheart lives apart from me, and tomorrow is the day of one year, our lunarversary if you will, for it is also thee blue moon, and yet I will be alone, sitting quietly in this wooden cottage in the shadow of icelandic cliffs, moon gazing, remembering, thinking… I try to understand, what is this new medicine, it is far more powerful than anything I have had before. How to mend this distance, these miles of space, or maybe it is not as it seems, another delusion of the heart and mind? Sometimes I don’t know, but it’s not the unknowing that causes me to pine, the myths are never known for sure, that is why they are myths, that is why they are us. I pine because I know what happens to those who don’t love. If my heart was the only thing I had left, I would be a rich man. My sisters of this world family, some of them call me by name, and I know a love with them. It is strange how they turn up, how they reveal at the right times, to answer the questions I have for Freya. And perhaps, her daughters will be kind, as they have before, and welcome me in their arms when the moon rises, and the hours of the night are my only solace.

Mannerbunde Mannaz

The Mannaz rune at this specific time stands for the Mannerbunde, as I peer inwards from outwards and judge the caliber of my being, am I good enough? A testament to the clan, and camaraderie. The tendencies steering my into the sphere of the secret society. The Mannerbunde, the hard hearted and toughed hessian men who’s actions, deeds, rites and philosophes are concealed from non members. An esoteric warrior band, versus the rest of the world. I took my lot of the :M: rune at an according time, when my worldview of sexual dynamic also is shifting from 0b6124e93b23eab372891a9cdb1242a0hedonistic poly-amorous relationships to exclusivity, in the way an alpha wolf will fight for his she-wolf and stay loyal to her until death. Not to be understood in a Kristjanized way, but more akin to the Wolfpack. The mating ritual, and mutual interchange of two dynamic beings the enhance, not complete each others lives, because I don’t need completion from others. My view of woman has melded with a more ancient understanding of the bonds between two lovers. A bit more Jack London ‘Son of the Wolf’ ilk, when he speaks about Man’s inheritance and valuation of the sex feminine.

Mannaz, the essence of Man, is my role to take on within the folk community. Sloughing off old behavioral patterns with far less appeal to the effeminate qualities, and deeper connections to the atavistic man of elder times. Cultivating the traits of hardness, industriousness, rugged, warrior-ilk, strong, loyal, doer, maker. The man I see in my reflection of a quiet lake, or a dark window, is not my face or clothes, but the Man beneath the skin. Forging ahead, in front of his counterparts, because he is better, stronger, more able, and well ready for the next circuit of his existence. The elite initiation of what it means to be the living and becoming man.Indian-Warriors