Witnessing the Similarities between the Popul Vuh, and the Icelandic Sagas

The Keq’chi Maya are an indigenous people that live throughout Guatemala and primarily in the states of Alta Verapaz and Peten in the cloud forests of the North. The prominence of their mythological tradition stems from  a book entitled the Popul Vuh, an ancient text that tells the stories of the early Keq’chi or Quiche, the creation of the world and different phenomena, familial geneologies, and folk legends. Through the language of exaggerated narration, memory, and representation, the Mayan Keq’chi beliefs and cosmology comes to be known. The translation I am reading is from Latin to English, and contains deep anthropological, theological, historical, and traditionalist fields in which to understand it from.

As a student of old Teutonic culture, Norse Mythology, and the Icelandic Edda and Saga literature, my usual bent is towards the branches of text that stem from the North Germanic regions, and pan-Scandinavian customs. I have read probably a few hundred works, folk stories, and legends that originate in the Icelandic tomes, yet I remain culturally sensitive in my travels and heavily influenced by the local languages and societies, so on a recent trip to Guatemala, I have been reading said book, the Popul Vuh, and without intervention on my own part have been noticing the similarities in these two vastly different branches of ancient civilization.

Kennings: Something any well read reader of the Icelandic Sagas and indeed the Edda or Amma, will indeed know and understand the use of kennings. Cheiftain Snorri Sturluson was the infamous Icelander who helped devise many of these kennings, and in my own opinion they are the lynchpin of all Icelandic mythology. They represent the advancement of language and poetry which the literate Northmen had even before the Christian Era, when almost all literature was instead composed by monks. To be simple, a kenning is a set of words or references to a single thing, idea, or phenomena. The kenning can be another way of speaking about something that is mentioned far too often, thus making it redundant, and in the Icelandic sagas, this happens a lot. For instance a Viking ship may easily be called by its name, but using kennings and compounded kennings allows the writer to implore their imagination into the subject, and the reader to create more verbally textual memories of the passage by thinking of it from a different angle. An example would be to call the ship as the ‘brine stallion’, ‘the wave horse’, ‘the vessel on the fish’s bath’, and so forth. In the Popul Vuh, I also observed this custom of using kennings in a similar fashion for instance in Ch. 7 of Part II, when a hawk is referred to as ‘he who devours snakes in the corn fields’, or when the Earth was created it was formed by ‘the Heart of Heaven, and the Heart of Earth’. The names of animals and trees are also referenced by many different words for instance the gum as ‘noh’ and ‘pericon’, and a different tree that exudes red resin is known as the ‘dragons blood’, or the ‘heart of man’. The kennings used in the Popul Vuh are indeed of a different calibre than those used in Icelandic literature, and of course for the purists they may say there is no comparison at all and each one is exclusively unique of itself, and that may be true as well, but for now I am only drawing certain arrangements of patterns between the two kinds of literature, what we might called an indigenous literacy, or ancient language style, that perhaps is lost to us now in our dialects and poetical minds.

Geneologies: The Sagas of the Norse Kings or ‘the Resultado de imagen de heimskringlaHeimskringla’ is but one major work of the Scandinavia northlands that deserves attention here, for it is literally all about geneology from the last Kings of Norway all the way back to the descendant lines of Yngvi-Frey or the Ynglings and that of Odin. Geneology and heritage in these works are sometimes daunting and monumental and it was only after several years of reading the Sagas and stories that I began to pick through them with any clarity rather than skipping through them. It is not uncommon in the first few paragraphs of a heroic saga to mention the familial ties ranging back as far as three, four, or five generations, naming each mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, each son and daughter and cousin. This can go one to the point of seeming mundanity and confusion as the Icelandic naming tradition, as in any culture had a specific set of names for males and females and names are often repeated within family lines. This kind of chaotic order of tracing geneology is fascinating for scholars but to the average reader can be offputting. A typical passage might enumarate the relatives of “Leif, who is son of Bestla and Bjorn, who also bore daughters Ingrid, Hildagard, and Solveig, and sons Ragnar, Svart, and Svein. Solveig also had two sons, one named Bjorn and the other Ivar. Leif’s grandfather was a wealthy chieftain in Iceland and had many wives ‘Astrid, Helga, and Bjork’, who in turn gave him many sons, Bjorn, Leif’s father being one of them.” I am just making this passage up but this is respectively how the opening passages of a true Icelandic saga can be expected. In the Popul Vuh, I came across this same kind of nomenclature of the men and women, and their familial ties. The opening of part II reads “Here is the story. Here are the names of Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub-Hunahpu, as they are called. Their parents were Xpiyacoc and Xmucane. During the night Hun-Hunahpu and Vucub-Hunahpu were born of Xpiyacoc and Xmucane. Well now, Hun-Hunahpu had begotten two sons, the first was called Hunbatz, and the second Hunchouen. The mother of the two sons was called Xbaquiyalo. Thus was the wife of Hun-hunahpu called. As for the other son, Vucub-Hunahpu, he had no wife, he was single.” And so it goes on like this naming off several members until all are accounted for, and then sometime later in the story they will make their appearance to some imporant degree, or be named specifically because they are to be known for some reference point of meaning.

Resultado de imagen de popul vuhDrama/Violence: Any good saga has some violence in it, and sometimes it is extremely amusing to read of the antics that a band of stoutly countrymen inflict upon each other. Iceland was a lawless country for a long time, and several parts of the glacier country was known as the utangard because of the many horse trails that crossed it, lingering with thieves, murderers and outlaws. If I remember correctly, there is a passage in one of the Sagas involving a breeched whale, wherein a conflict between two Vikings arises, and they are fighting on the back of the whale while it is being cut by others for the blubber. Here are the men in a holmgang or duel, and one of them is struck with the sword to his death. Just about every saga, even the romance genres are filled with duels, wrestling, revenge, killing, and domestic violence. In the Popul Vuh, there is also a high focus on violence and warfare.
The place of Xibalba for instance is a house of torture. When Hunahpu and Xbalanque are tricked by the Lords of Xibalba, they go through several chambers and places in which different types of discomfort, pain and violence are treated to them. They enter the house of Jaguars, where they must throw bones to the animals so that they not bite them. They go into the House of Fire, which inside ‘was only fire’, or the House of Bats, which sheletered a creature that killed using its stingers. The bizzare and strange ways of torture are also complemented with human violence, in the way the head of Hunahpu is used for play in the ball game, a kind of primitive Mayan soccer that is itself incredibly aggresive that might make the British football teams seem tame. The violence in both this Mayan/Central American literature and the far sub-arctic North are worlds apart, yet add a kind of comic relief, and may intrigue readers of general novels to reading both of these works.

The last that I wish to mention, although there may be more ties I can draw out, is the evident nature of the oral tradition. The Popul Vuh IS the word, and thus the Saga is too the story of someone or several people retelling actual events but through a lens that is subjective and often exxagerate or phantasized. Regardless, these books are dictums of the oral tradition and passing on stories from one generation to the next, and the fact that we still have them here with us, even if they be translated from heiroglyphs, runes, latin, or proto-Norse is besides the point. They have simply survived because of their remarkable nature and remain classics because they are so interesting and compelling to read. I certainly could not read nothing but Icelandic sagas for all my days sitting in a rocking chair and imagining Viking warbands conquering the land, but it is fun to indulge in that sometimes, and the same to read the very primal sources of ancient cultures through a different lense, and being able to draw from it, the sources of its humanness and roots of our language.

Aldous Huxleys Island: review

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I just finished reading, and experiencing Huxley’s utopian novel Island, the third of his works I have bitten off now after the Doors of Perception, and Brave New World, and this is another work of genius, foresight, ingenuity, and pioneer literatureship, is that a word? Now it is.

Where in Brave New World, a strange society, and strange is the world for it was quite removed from it’s political and social setting of the time, is set as the status quo, a population of genetically engineered beings, who are perfect in every way, with manicured behaviors, and conformist attitudes, and if anything happens there is always Soma. This narrative is one of futuristic outlook on a rapidly evolving world and the authors own subjective fantastic analysis of one of it’s possible outcomes. The upheaval of a hyper-modern and industrial age, set betwixt an aristocratic backdrop of representative England, and the savage and brutal worlds of American and Iceland, for those that missed those references. While in The Doors of Perception, there is a personal account of a self-induced experience with the alkaloid mescaline, and a kind of social commentary of drugs, medicine, social politics, and a slew of interesting academic brain scratchers, it really gets you thinking in a transcendental way. But I think Island is the most approachable so far I have read, for someone who is looking for a lighter work with a higher spiritual inclination. It is a book that was relevant then, and I would say is even more so important to read today, and its subject matters are something growing in concern for us all. The revolving themes of colonization, industrialization, modernism, teaching, drug use (in an atavistic religious way), community forming, human behavior, consciousness and a few other metaphysical concepts that are intersticed through the grain of this work.
The subjects are part of the everyday life of the people of Pala, a small island in the tropics, with a stable population of essentially Indo-Europeans, tuned onto Mahayana Buddhism, self-sustainability, and radical schooling. This is a dart on the bulls-eye for all those out there who are interested in seeing the precepts in potentia, or theorizing and observing how they can function in a small population, so I would recommend it not only to people like permaculturalists, environmentalist country folk, psychedelic thinkers and activists, but also vastly different personalities like city planners, politicians, and government officials, though for that sake, I don’t really have the latter in my friend circle.

Will Farnaby is washed ashore this island, and gradually starts to meet the ‘indigenous’ people there, and it is through him and his questions, juxtaposed through a ‘your way and our way’ perspective, that is of Pala vs. the West/America. The main character comes with his problems, nervosas, and issues, and gradually learns, through the brilliant mind of Huxley’s fictional residents, what a healthy population looks like, how it works, and what to be aware of. That is a key thing throughout the book, awareness, and is quite humoristic in the way it is passed across. The people of Pala came from abroad, but chose to settle here, until they were reformed, and started to practice a kind of spiritually enlightened branch of Buddhism. There are these religious tenets stuck in through the daily life and text of this book that even I found highly intriguing from a heathen perspective because it is not overbearing or dogmatic in any way. The island has something they call mutual adoption clubs, which is a practice that most indigenous tribes of the Amazon, Africa and the rest of South America instilled in the upbringing of their offspring. Image result for huxley islandBasically these were larger tribal families, and one child had several mothers, several fathers, and many siblings, so there  was a preservation of diversity of care, intelligence, teaching, and discipline. This was one of the main teaching points I thought, and represents how far modern families have diverged from this healthy paradigm, where now the nuclear family, usually 2 parents, 2 children of opposite sex, all living in the same house until the children reach full maturity, which ironically takes about 18-20 years in these conditions, and sometimes embarrassingly longer. The youth are stifled from lack of attention, integration with society, and a diminished form of love when being raised, and family socialism becomes a kind of limitation for interaction with the world, the neighbors and even stagnates by itself in the household, because of having no outlet for problem venting. So the nuclear family vs. the mutual adoption society is a keen thing that is addressed, but in a novel sentimental way. Huxley has a way of conveyance that opens empathy, sympathy, and mutual understanding.

Another rather taboo confluence of thoughts that runs through the book is the use of indigenous drugs for conscious altering experiences. Not for the sake of pure hedonism and leisure, but as medicine. This is the distinguished difference here. Today we smoke weed for leisure, at least the majority, for thrills, for sexual stamina, and sometimes there is nothing wrong with this, but the medicinal value is often disregarded or forgotten and instead the commercialism of product reigns in its place. The people of Pala use something they call the moksha-medicine, which early in the book they refer to the biology of, in what I took to be the Amanita, even describing it as red, but then later talking about the effects, and considering the climate and ecology they exist in, I am rather convinced it may be Psilocybin but it is hard to say, as also Asian shamans have traditionally used the Muscaria, and not the latter. I would have to consult Huxley’s ghost for that, but it’s Image result for mynah birdbeside the important point, and would be missing the meal offered here. The Palanese use this medicine, and encourage to youth to take it as a rite of passage, after they have undergone an ordeal. So it is shamanic in nature. Their reasoning is, the moksha can take one to vistas of the luminous bliss and light, to realms that are beyond the mundane, the ordinary, and profane, while their spiritual practices, like anger management, and all the Yogas of being they persuade are ways to maintain the perpetual course taken to preserve the closeness of that state. In the end, Will Farnaby himself takes the moksha medicine, and is elaborated through a psychedelic experience that would make McKenna blush, and Lovecraft grin. The advocacy of this drug, and their philosophical stance of control over consumption should be a model for this bizarre paradigm most of the developed world, especially first world, still tries to impart with the war on drugs. They are only drugs, because their healing and evolutionary properties are undermined, and used improperly.

Their use of Yogas I highly admire, as well from Aldous’ view essentially, exudes a more subtle truth of the real Yoga. Something I was turned off of for a couple years, after heavy intensive practice in my early-twenties because of the sheer commercialization, profit mongering, and pseudo-spirituality that surrounded that scene. I just didn’t want to be part of it. But the Palanese practice a form of personalized and subjective yoga that I think is way more important, one that goes to the roots. Of ‘yoking’ with the intentional actions of their body, and will, thus building soul. It really just has a lot to do with awareness of everyday passing ons, and proper behavior. There are no deep secrets in this yoga, which I also practice every day in my own lifestyle, even this very minute. So there are things like the yoga of love making, the yoga of not doing, the yoga of remembering, the yoga of speaking, and every other niche sympathetic, and mechanical function we have as humans. This is part of the Palanese teaching, as well as a unique kind of stress management. Using energy arising from possibly violent tendencies and turning them towards productive means. They have a whole group who just chop wood, or scale cliffs, or stamp their feet in a bizarre dance form. They cultivate skepticism in their youth, and teaching them all the practical sciences when they are young, the hard stuff first, which I think is really radical. The children grow up to actually appreciate the relative simplicity of surviving, and thriving through responsibility and change. They have an interesting experiment that involves checking their sons/daughters for hypnotic tendencies, because they can then be taught to defend themselves against future commanders, authority, outsiders, religious fanatics and militants, into exploiting them.
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Pala is a picture of an organic community that has not been developed, they have no wars, no plantations or factories, no harbor for possible invasion, no self-defeatist and dogmatic religions, or surplus, no need to import or export. They are their own microcosm, where the individual is as sovereign as the whole. I would be interested to know if the general plot of the Western man who visits a native population, still in touch with their spiritual heritage and animistic lifestyle, using entheogens and cut off from the world mimics Ernst Junger’s work A visit to Godenholm? If anyone has read it in German or the English translation, I would love to hear about it. Also if anyone might recommend another gem in Huxley’s line up, because he has quite the stack of literature he was written, I am really getting to be absorbed by his mind. Their are many take-aways from this one, insights into our certain cultural crisis’, personal sentiments, empathy of characters in sometimes dark ways, and an intriguing eye into thinking you are actually reading a real anthropological account of a lost people, which I love.

The Problem of Power Tools

*This is rather a special post here on aferalspirit, because it marks the first of a new genre that I will be writing on, in the permaculture section. These theories, ideas, plans, and praxis are usually hard earned knowledge from observable failures leading to victories, or perhaps fleeting thoughts I have while farming, or the reaped information from my studies on permanent agrarian culture.

Sometimes I question the real superiority or benefits of using power tools in the construction or on the farm. I have a problem with power tools because they negate the mechanical skill necessive for using them, they minimize the range of muscular ability needed for proper form, reducing all movements predominately to pushing, pulling, and clicking with the right or left index finger. I have always been a believe in genetic memory and ancestral skill, in using hand tools in a wide range of ways, with an instinctive or intuitive ability to make them effective to your work. I have picked up many a tool that I have not used before, and just seemed to ‘remember’ how, as if accesing an old store of learned skill from the past. Sure, power tools get the work done much quicker, but they are also a lot more dangerous, leave less room for natural error, are heavy, reliant on weather and temperature to function, are expensive to replace, and diminish the sense of integrity, and understanding of how a job is done with one’s own physical ability. Don’t get me wrong here, some small tools operating on electricity open up a world of new prospects for working with modifiable materials, but the work should be involving as much as it is efficient, and beautiful. Sometimes the best ways, are the ways of yore!

shaving the pines, for tipi building

Haskaps and Seabuckthorn

This is a feature for a couple ‘superfoods’ that I have been working with and learning more about in the past 4 months or so, and it’s been awhile since I had a write up for any of the ethno-botanical foods in my habitat, that I frequented more in my domestic years, so this one is about two different berries that I have come to use in my diet, and for my hygeine and health, that I will share some inside information about.

Haskaps a.k.a. blue honeysuckle, or honeyberry is are genetically native to Russia and Japan, and grow in a pretty varied basket of cultivars. The Ainu persons of Japan have used this berry for a long time, and gave it the name. It’s relatively new on North American shelves but some health food distros may have some. It is amped with more potassium, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin C, iron and phosphorous than apples, oranges, grapes and blueberries, and the energy kcal is more potent, so I like to have them with a thick porridge in the morning, or neat as a juice. They are extremely high in anti-oxidants and other flavonoids like Ferulic acid, Caffeic Acid, Ellagitannins, and Quercetin. They mash into some pretty sweet jams and chutneys, and distill to make strong gin or vodka, they can be sundried or frozen, and they survive harsh winters, while blooming in -10. They can also be grown from culture. If you can find a Japanese grocery store, you could find some Haskaps, and they are even more creative with their products.

Seabuckthorn a.k.a. Seaberries are a shrub grown mostly throughout Scandinavia, Siberia, Germany, Tibet and coastal Maritimes. They can only be harvested every two years. This one is making ground in the U.S. as a permaculture crop. They can tolerate salt in the air or soil! and grow well in sandy areas like beaches. They used to be a remedy for horses by their soliders for weight gain, and for coat health. It is one of the only berry plants that have protein in the leaves, and also stocks a fair amount of fiber, carotenids, amino acids, and vitamins. It has natural sugar alcohols, so there is potential for wine or moonshine stilling. The oils are skin medicine, and the berry is high in plant sterols. It is also a nitrogen fixer, and has strong roots for soil strength. It can survive arctic temperatures, and harvest comes right before the winter freeze. They can repair blood and metabolism problems, as well as caridiac and pulmonary issues. The pressed berries when put in a jar separates in three layers, each layer serves a different purpose. The top layer of orange cream for skin treatment, the middle layer for edibles because it is high in unsaturated fats, and the bottom for juice. The berries are quite sour when raw, but there is a process called ‘bletting’ which is frosting them to reduce their astringent flavor. They can be malolactically fermented to sweeten them which changes the alchemy of the acid. The cream from the berry even protects astronauts from radiation, so why not use it here down on earth, where in our toxic world, we need any natural medicines we can use. I live near an abandoned sea buckthorn farm, one of few in the west, but unfortunately it is still too early for me to reap the fruits.

Tools ov the Berserker

A protector, ally, and tool of the Berserker. This is a black bear skull from the coast of southern Nova Scotia/Vinland. I am selling this to provide for my travels to Iceland and Faroe Islands. This will go out for $140 for anyone in Canada/USA who claims it. Included will be some Datura and Henbane seeds for deep seta and seidwork. Plant them or use at own risk.


$140 (shipping covered) paypal to braydon_99@hotmail.com


Nomad Work Transmission 1: Okanagan Fruit Picking

If you head south from Kelowna on a June eve, and drive through the Okanagan valley of Canada, there is a surefire chance of finding a few pickers along the way. Every year, a couple thousand vagabonds from the quebec province, and some far farther away like australia, and europe flock to the californian-esque wine canyons of the Okanagan to do one thing, harvest fruit.

I was one of these modern day vagabonds, though traveling from Texas instead, after treeplanting in Caribou, BC. I hoofed it down through Quesnel, Williams Lake, and a few other no namers and after being stranded on mushroom beach in Kelowna finally made it to the haven of cherry country. This year I returned to work on two haskap farms, a perennial berry with Russian and Japanese heritage.

The route starts at the border of Washington, in a small town called Osoyoos, where the first ripe cherries of the year will be red for reaping. A picker finds a camp here, humbly purchased from the local Canadian Tire if you are roughing it, or a more luxury style from MEC, some even have their own vehicles, but hitch hiking is bar standard around here. The picker will loose around town for the last few weeks of May, haggling the farmers around for a contract or three to start in June when the heat wave swelters in. Then its picking time from before the sun rises, until around high noon, realistically 1-2 when the sun is highest and hottest in the sky. The cherries picked in the morning hours before the dew condensates off the grass and the air still has a crisp chill like cider, is the ideal time for the fruit to come off the tree. You wear your regalia, a bucket that will hold a few kilos of cherries, and each one puts a fiver in your pocker. Some people do 20, 30, 40 buckets a day.

After the farms are bare of the red gems, you move north, to Oliver, and maybe take a thinning job for awhile with peaches and nectarines, or tend to grape vines, shucking, tucking, and pruning. This is the boring work, and doesn’t go by piece, so you don’t earn much, but you could have shorter days, take a siesta during the sun baking hours, and then put in some time in the evening before making camp. Soon enough the cherries will also be ready. Oliver and Osoyoos have the most wineries and cideries, and I have known some folks to get paid in wine and cash every day. Most of the wineries will only hire Mexicans that they fly up every year for labor positions, the rest are owned by East Indians and Sikhs. This can be a tricky relationship, because they and culturally a trades people, merchants for thousands of years, and the handling of money is something they are clever with. They can be hustlers if you are not careful, so a picker needs to make themselves clear and coherent if you don’t want to get taken advantage of. I have personally worked with several of these Hindoos, and while they were generous with hours, and the occasional cherry moonshine break in the shade, the money was not always what was expected. Working with the Mexicans still makes me feel a little closer to getting a fair deal, they don’t complain, but they know how to have a good time.

A picker can follow the work from mile 0, up through OK Falls, Kaleden, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland, and Kelowna with some east and west diversions in Keremeos and Cawston taking up anything from picking red and black cherries, to cutting table grapes, harvesting cider apples, making wine, or sweating it out in a greenhouse, or a tree farm. By the end of July, dependind on how much alcohol you choose to consume, you may leave a few grand saved up, then some people choose to caravan south to the festival circuits in the U.S.

Over a three year time span, the Okangan has been my home for at least two partial seasons. The Nk’mip Indian reserve and desert habitat is a great attractor, and the landscape is yield to some beautiful flowering cactus, wild sage, white tailed deer, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and songbirds. I have spent many hours with the French, around dying fires, and wandering the town, looking for a distraction or stimulation from the picking routine. They are a loud and crazy bunch, but do have the ability to be subtle and informative. They will tell you about the best places to find morels that year, and their stories from the Yukon. The lifestyle of a picker is rather a smorgaboard of different personas, but most of them are free-living hippie types who drive thrifty cars or volkwagens, and spend their time in the parks smoking chronic joints. The picking is intense for about a month, and then it’s over, unless you know how to move through the zones for different cultivars and ranges of the fruit, but you won’t be limited to fruit. Several stands are set up for vege as well, and there is potato, tomato, asparagus, and green reaping as well, but it’s not as common. I can say the work can be fairly monotonous when you are standing under a tree, always seeing the same thing, and performing the same movements over and over, but you can find the odd organic orchard, that may do things at a slightly different pace from the monoculture of cherries, peaches, and apples.

It is easy to find work for a traveler if you come with the right mindset. Just sit in a cafe and folks will tend to instigate a conversation and ask you what you are doing in the valley, tell them I sent you.

On the Question of De-horning Livestock, and Castration

The issue of goat welfare came up on the farm the other day, and raised a few contentions in my mind. It not being my own farmstead or my personal goats, I could have no control or coercement over the final situation, in the end, a decision was taken that in my mind was not conducive to goat and livestock welfare, and actually morally wrong, so I wanted to raise a flag, and see if there are any others who are alligned with the same mindset.

A male goat was to be sold to another farm in the locality, because her last goat, her only representive member, was ‘bored’, and needed an ungulate companion. Said farmer asked the owner of the farm I currently dwell on if she could buy one of her males. But she did not want any offspring, and concurently requested for the goat to be castrated and de-horned, you know, so they don’t fight or fuck, like that natural wilderness inside them impells them to, such would be a terrible thing, sarcastically speaking. Said man goat in his youth, was taken to a ‘friend’ by the farmer, and had the deed done, permanently sterile, and had his horns cut, and burned down… and then sold at a ‘fair price’.

Now, in the words of Sepp Holzer, and Austrian permaculturalist, on de-horning, he says “It is extremely painful for the animals and also has an effect on their behaviour. Acording to my observations, they act in a completely different and disturbed way. They butt each other in the stomach, which can lead to premature or stillbirths in pregnant cattle.In addition to this, I am of the opinion that dehorning cattle also affects them in other ways. I think it is possible that animals also store and dispose of harmful substances in their claws and horns. Dehorning as well as docking tails and cropping ears is nothing more than mutilation.”

Thus is can be said the same for goats, dehorning them only creates a false sense of equal rank, instead of establishing a hierarchial system that exists also in other mammals like wolves, the beta’s and submissive serve the alpha, usually female, or farm animals like the chicken pecking order, these are important natural orders that people try to manipulate and change for better keeping conditions, during the domestication process, they lose their innate behaviors and have problems with the social structure of their kin. Removing the horns is taking away their power, and possibly as Sepp Holzer notes, an external source of waste for possible pollutants, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, smog or processed and gmo chemicals and substance that enter the body, the same way humans do in their nails and hair. On the castration issue, I think this stands as obvious, that we must treat animals with consideration, and it is straight mutilation to do such a thing. Ask yourself what you think about circumsicion, or female clitoral cutting at birth, as well as that of castration, this is mutilation, a form of punishment or conditioning, a medieval torture method.

I generally go against domestication of any kind, including the human kind, and in my opinion, the ideal farm would be left partly feral, just tended to from the wilderness with space for animals to live in a natural ecosystem, not a paddock or pen. I could almost feel the pain of this unsuspecting goat, who was chosen to have its man parts removed for the sake of a quick sale. This goat is now sterile, essentially removing it’s lineage forever. It will lose its testosterone, and its meat will take a lesser quality, not to mention he may suffer from arthritis from the lack of strength in his elder years. He will be more susceptible to problems if he accidentally consumes infected grasses, poisonous mushrooms or chemicals that somehow infest its feed from the monsanto type companies that control much of the farm feed at its source. I am completely against this move, and ask others to consider what they would do with their livestock, and animals, and consider them like family.

A special note to add, only some centuries ago, our Celtic and Germanic Ancestors, of Northern Europe did not have a separate room for their cows away from the house, it was attached to the main building, and on specifically cold nights, they would sleep one or two on each side of the cow to keep warm. The cow was clean at all times, and not looked at as a kind of bestial creature, made for living in the muck. They had a name and a place. They were a valued member of the farm.



Rudyard Kiplings words keep returning to me, mulling like wine, reminding my heart of virtue, seeing me through heartwrenching loss, keeping the crow wings straight and true. I recorded this over a year ago.
If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Cultivating a Personal Mythology, the Road Ahead

The ideas I espoused in my other diary entry for the Plan, Plant, Planet serves as a primer for this one, as will to implore further of what I see to be the road ahead, and the anchors I will choose to drop as I navigate these seas of existence as I seek those islands of the world where the radical traditionalist, a black wolf amongst bleary eyed sheep can thrive.

Wedded to the RUNA, the mysterious and obfuscated, the very unknowable transcendent paradigm that compels every good heathen to leave his comfort zones, to attain new knowledge. Deeply inspired by the journeyman tradition of Germany (auf der Walz sein), wherein a man would leave his home and his master, and often his native country, offering his time skill and labor to his host in exchange for his lodgings, usually in

Europe. This (die Walz) was traditionally done for three years and 1 day, as it soon dusks for me of this exact timing. I see the imperatives of my next leg, and continue to continue to honor these outlets and watchwords as driving forces behind the person I have become today. I seek to capatalize on 200,000 kilometers of wanderlust, and continually associate with those who have more prowess, skill, or better technique than me, because this is truly the only way we grow. My aims now divert from the strict admonition of world service, to inter-dependent tribalism, tradeskill building, self-reliance without hosting, and cultivating a prosperous lifelong relationship.

As a projection of years, I ponder of the places in the world I still may travel to seek fellowship, but they are now refined to suit the game I sit down to. The Scandinavian nation began as a fetish in my early teenager years and has grown to be a magnetic homecalling as I draw closer to closer to the ways of my ancestors. I aspire in some half a decade or so to acquire land here, and be exponentially further ahead in my acoutrements, and well being, and organic wealth by this time. To have settlement in these old stomping grounds of our folk. I want to establish some form of trading system, build off the grid cabins and outbuildings and raise many heritage breeds of livestock, and animals. I want to learn how to mush dogs and how to ride horse. I see myself continuing to travel in the next 5 years to lands familiar and far from my own; Australia, India, Ireland, Tibet, Greenland, Sweden, Finland, Alaska, France, Germany, New Zealand, and Amsterdam. None of these are final destinations, only dreams not yet manifested. I see myself in a more ancestral home, surrounded by people I love, and co-dependent only on a small few I now overwinter in a province of Kanada that has over 100 trade skills that are not offered anywhere else in the country, and I am allowing for those seeds to be blown my way, to be bissected at any step. To meet with failure and paramount challenge as gifts, and spend increased spans of time in association of those other individuals who are like mentors to me. I want to gather those out there who feel a similar calling, man and woman, to not act out of fear but courage, so that we may speak on equal terms, and may be tread the same track together, either from afar, or in real life.

Every day is a lesson in un-learning the domestications of a corrupt civilization, and re:wilding the genetic codes I have stored deep inside my nerves, bone, blood, and sinew since the pre-Christian/proto-European/pre-industrialized pages in HIS story. The dominate masculine, ego-driven governmental (fr. ment = mind), as we are yanked into this factory farm or assembly line of surreality. To burn away the further dross of mechanization, cultural loss, and apathy, and barter them for the ubermensch, ritual, consciousness, and mythology.

‘Resacralization of the world versus materialism, folk/traditional culture versus mass programming, natural social order versus an artificial hierarchy based on wealth, the tribal community versus the nation state, stewardship of the earth versus, the maximization of resources, a harmonious relationship between men and women versus the war of the sexes, handcrafts and artisannsip versus, industrial mass production’ ~TYR

The fermentation of long invested relationships will start to take form. Tribe/family, skill, and self-reliance, from the grassroots up will be the knotwork of the wyrd’s weave that becomes my tapestry. The taboos of living will be transcended further and rent from their shells so even within the stagnating pools of modern heathenism, I can not experience https://i0.wp.com/josephschneiderhaus.com/media/10080/frakture.jpgcensorship, or stifled thought patterns. I see myself having a more intact presence in the world, and continue with outreach in some forms whether it be through speech, teaching, training, or leading by local demonstration. I see love interests become more intimately involved in my identification with whatever ‘I’ am, to truly abolish this sense of self-centeredness, what is mine is shared, but only with those who deserve it. I want to fall in love again, for I have fell out many a time, and fell hard. I feel new branches grow from stunted limbs, and roots going further towards the core. The nine worlds living within and without, and the names of the Gods and Goddesses on my rune branded tongue as I work, learn, love, fight, protect, travel, trade, forge, and far on this path less taken. I feel the heroic tasks that I have been given to be honors, and my connection with the landwights, spirits, and divine archetypes grow. Ragnarok happens inside of us, we do not need to destroy the planet to start over, we only have to denounce that we are limited beings, unable to change and grow into completely mythological deities and intoxicate ourselves on the mead of living through our words, and actions.

Godspeed, and Hail!


North, Home

I opened my eyes and the panorama of my vision could no longer see the orange lights from the houses, or the metal guardrails. A snow field extended out before me over the frozen lake, where I sat, and the blown down, gnarled forest of the boreal beyond that, as it always had been, I saw vague bodies clothed in brightly pigmented colors, a herd of reindeer running in both directions and the drumming of their hooves, I heard their indiginous chants to the animals, and others singing or playing, and the vista of my eyes saw comfort, acceptance, tradition, in my bones I felt home, family, tribe…

…then the stark halogens and electronic music of a car passed behind me on the road, and I became aware that I was down the road from my bedroom, sitting on the frozen lake, and had experienced a moment of true peace and belonging, which vanished as the dim of the car sped further down the backroad. In that moment I was free. Words called to me to find my people, find home, survive, and thrive