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Valarie Wright

§cholar & §eer . Åuthor & Årtist . §eiðu & §haman

Бeyond Þe Ħedge

The exhortations of madness in magic are centuries old and well-founded.

I have concluded that ‘abnormal behavior’ leans more towards blessing than bane.

To step aside from societal norms has become passe, and on occasion,

displays of indifference are ways to avoid engagement rather than true disassociation,

but to genuinely forego accepted reality, is rare.

~ ~ ~

Dare You Know More?

First pic: Lara Himpelmann   /   Second pic: Daria Endresen

₭raft und Ӎacht

I have long pointed out that Heathenry is not a religion; and as with all revolutionary ideas, this perspective has been met with opposition.  In that most Americans are raised in a Judao-Christian society, embracing a tribal or folk concept is genuinely alien, so understandable.  All the more reason when deciding to forego religion for a Pagan template, to not simply apply a veneer, but truly delve into what that older, pre-Christian philosophy was.

Yes, philosophy, the love of knowledge.  You see, philosophy is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence”, so simply saying “I am no longer a Christian”, but some other, is not enough, because religion is a creator of ‘reality and existence’, or social fact.  Meaning, societal constructs dictate sacred truths.

Today, many Pagans have come to realize that Christianity demonized the original folkways of their ancestral homeland; and with that idea comes a romantic notion of ‘by the sword’.  Indeed there are numerous historical records that highlight Christian atrocities (many of which continue today), but in truth, the most heinous Conversion was of the mind – a wound that continues to scar, centuries later.

For example, the Judao-Christian construct relates that there are those chosen by god to rule, and those chosen by god to be slaves.  This is social superiority, a philosophy that extends to the roles of men and women.  The societal constructs of Christianity – that men are primary and that women were created to be his helper, that men are bread winners and women are house wives, that men are righteous and that women brought original sin – is an historical system, not one that arose from nature, so not an eternal or sacred truth.

For example, the Old Ways of Old Europe – from the Iron Age to the Christianization – were rich in not ‘myth’, but the traditional stories and cultural practices of individual families and regional groups, extending prior to the written record.  Being both animistic and polytheistic, there existed a sturdy web of overlapping worldviews and practices, rather than a singular religion under one god.  Today, many focus solely on the Norse folkway, but there are other ample and richly rewarding philosophies to be had in the Continental Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Gaelic records.  The very idea that these accounts are deemed ‘myth’ is an example of how the pen came to be mightier than the sword, for again, this Conversion weapon stills fogs the Pagan mind today.

In all, the tribal model can be identified as having four markers:

-Economy, may be seen in the rune Fehu; from Germanic fehu-od (seen in English and French fee, fief), meaning ‘moveable wealth’, or, initially, ‘livestock’ (sheep, cattle, etc).  Today this tribal practice relates to gardening, bartering, gift-giving, and overall self-sustainability.

-Society, may be seen in the rune Odal; from Proto-Germanic *ōþalan, meaning ‘heritage; inheritance’.  Today this tribal practice relates to ownership of one’s physical and philosophical possessions.

-Politics, may be seen in the rune Tyr; from Proto Indo-European *deiwós, ‘shining one; celestial being; god’.  The word *tīwaz is seen in tívar, meaning ‘gods’, and is the root of modern-day diety and divine.  According to folklore, Tyr was representative of the Thing, or governing assembly, the original ‘folkmoot’ and ‘thingstead’, where individuals, families, and tribes came together to discuss thew, arrange marriages, formalize business contracts, make alliances, and the like.  Notably, all freemen attended and participated in Thing, to include women, who were property owners (fehu).  The limitations to women in this capacity seem to be centered on decisions of war, which were determined by Warriors.  However, even in this latter, there are numerous accounts of ‘soothsayers’ (Seidwomen, Volvas) being sought out to divine deeper truths.

-Culture and Spirituality, may be seen in the rune Gebo; from Proto Indo-Eurpean *ghabh-, meaning ‘to give or receive’, it has an implied meaning of ‘natural talent’ or that which may be conferred via inspiration.  Within a tribal worldview, gifts are social contracts, given to create social cohesion, as such, there is an expectation of reciprocity; the practice of sharing gifts then, further relates to Economy (above).  As Above, So Below: Gifts are contractual agreements beyond the horizontal (from hand-to-hand), but also vertical (spiritual reality).  The tribal mind did not prayer or beg the gods, but gifted their ancestors in a continued affirmation of familial reciprocity.

Old European Pagans / Heathens today, would do well to examine their Orlog, to carefully tease out the Christianized layers of mental impression and oppression that have left a psychological imprint which continues to form one’s tendency’s, habits, and deeds.  Trying to live a Pagan life while maintaining Christian thoughts (even subconscious ones) will only bring about suffering and subjugation.  True Wunjo, is more than ‘joy’, but a Conscious Application of Will, which can only be earned through a genuine evaluation of s/Self.

Would You Know More, And What?

§ummer §olstice

#SummerSolstice .. #SolHuel .. #SunWheel

I Am The Queen of Every Hive!

Few have recognized that the Song of Amhairghin Glúngheal, is a dance about The Wheel.

The Solstice of the Sun is a Sheath of Yellow Flame, and akin to its Dark counterpart, is likewise a celebration of Twelve.

Sight and South, Purest White and Bloodiest Red are intwinned solar spirals.

This Tide is one of Light. A time for athletics and physical pursuits. During these Twelve Days, old brooms should be burnt, and new ones made. The herbs of Forn Threifa should be gathered, and prepared into healing brews and potions. Both adults and adolescencts should try and test their skills (Peorth), couples work on strengthening their union, scholars scour their scrolls, symbols teased for deeper meaning, and under Bright Sunna’s gaze .. the way ahead looked upon.

Now is the tide of divining rods and wicker fronds to gather the unseen. Now is the time of sacrifice – both human and animal – so fecundity is assured.

Would You Know More, And What?

§eið VVomen

“By and large, magic, or specifically, Seiðr was the realm of women, in several capacities. Some women did magic solely to benefit themselves or other women, while others did so to benefit their brothers, fathers, lovers or husbands. In many examples, these magic-women assist or hinder the hero by bolstering their strength or endowing them with magical protection, by creating obstacles to prevent them from attaining their goal or provide challenges for him to be further tested (peorth). In every example, these are portraits of women who move beyond the normally applied confines of the academically accepted role of women in society, namely as care providers, mothers, and nurses. Heathen lore is overflowing with tales of strong magical women who decide their own fate, and in so doing were labeled as “witch” and “harlot” by the newly arrived Christian faith.

According to the first Christian missionaries, these women were “transgressors”, meaning “violators of law and God’s commandments.” (*) As such, their magical deeds, whether it be to harm or heal, were generically labeled as “sin”, and their noble deeds reduced to not but “black magic”. But was their behavior considered ill by their own kin and kith? Were they crossing the boundaries of tribal custom, thew or law? How did the Old European tribes view ‘beneficial’ and ‘bad’ magic?”

~Excerpt from the forthcoming Heathen Anthology, Volume Two (link to Volume One)

~ ~ ~

Would You Know More, and What?

Бeltaine & ₸ime ₭eeping

Beltane is a traditional Lunar festival, one of four marked by fire, as recognized by Celtic Heathens and Pagans:
-Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas
-Winter Nights, Disting, May Day, Freyfaxi (Germanic Pagan / Asatru)
-Dziady Jesienne, Gromnica, Tydzień Rusalny, Domowy (Slavic Pagan / Rodnovery)

Today, all these observances have been centralized on the Gregorian Calendar, or the de facto calendar used to “inform” and “agree upon universally” all dates (civil or social). It is named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced its use in 1582 CE. Its purpose was to “stop the drift of the calendar with respect to the equinoxes and solstices”, and to affirm that the heavens belonged to the Christian god alone:

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
-Isaiah 40:26

Indo-European and other pre-Christian tribes, all observed the heavens – from lunar phases to longest and shortest days, from meteor showers to eclipses – and there is ample evidence to suggest there were trained astrologer-priests who marked these times for the benefit of their folk.

In the West, many know that this is the year 2017 Common Era, yet there are entire countries and peoples who are either dual faith or have dual reckoning. Such as:
-Hebrew Calendar, the year is AM 5777 (Anno Mundi [Latin], for Hebrew ‘Creation of the World’);
-Chinese Calendar, the year is AH 4714 (Anno Huangdi);
-Hindu Calendar, the year is 5119 YS (Yudhishthira Samvat); then, notably,
-the earliest known lunar calendar comes from Mesolithic Scotland, dated to 8000 BCE

Does it make a difference if Pagans today celebrate Beltane on May 1st or May 5th?

I think it does. For me, when the calendar became ‘universal’ – established by the Catholic Church, and recall that ‘catholic’ means ‘universal; universal cosmos’ – it took away a large portion of the original folkway (the ‘way of one’s folk/family’). For example, if those who seek to reclaim, and/or live their life in accord to the Old European Folkway, where to follow one of the calendar examples above, then they ‘forget’ that the Oldest Lunar Calendars and Identification of Constellations, are found in France and Germany, dating from the Upper Paleolithic; and that these represent mathematical computations for annual moon cycles, the ecliptic, solstice, and seasonal changes on earth.

According to the archaeological record, human recognition and tracking of the stars dates to Europe, 32,000 BCE. This is the same cultural group that left us the Venus of Hohle Fels (Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), the Lion Man figure (Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany), the Sorcerer cave art (Montesquier-Avantes, France), numerous carved ivory figures of mammoths and horses, bone and antler spear points and arrowheads, and a bone flute.

Further, and though considered inconclusive, there is the Aurignacian Lunar Calendar, which could be an example of a compact and portable lunar calendar carried on long hunting trips and seasonal migrations.

Hunting herd animals is arduous and requires hunters to travel and track horses and ibex, mammoth and bison, for weeks at a time. Calculating moon phases and seasons of the year requires mathematical calculation; and this science is not just recording the movement of stars and constellations, but the multi-tiered realm of the mysterious cosmos. Animals Below follow the Stars Above, and so time passes, becomes predictable to a degree, so that what is objective becomes part of human awareness, consciousness even.

Many today have lost track of the passage of sun and moon; many even have forgotten that the word month come from Proto-Germanic *menoth-, then Old High German manod, and Old English monað, all meaning “moon”. From full moon to full moon, plants, animals, even humans, follow the churning heavens overhead. Plants and animals remember .. it is humans who have lost this wisdom.

Knowing the moon’s phase and season meant that hunts could be organized, that seeds could be planted, and crops harvested; that tribal gatherings could be organized over vast distances, and that, literally, every aspect of life could be marked. As it is today, on a Christian model.
Personally, I don’t want to follow the Saint Days (St. Patrick or St. James), Epiphany or Pentecost, Holy Cross or the Assumption of Mary. These are not my folkway. I am more connected when observing the Wax and Wane of the Moon, of the Equinox and Solstice dance as clearly highlights the seasonal tides, and of the Between Times. These rythmes of n/Nature and Nattura, of hunting and planting, are both external and internal. Akin to the ancient Time Keepers of yore – the Seidfolk and Sages, the Magi and Astrologer-Priests, the Wearers of Gold Hats and Bronze Age ‘Lords of Time’ – all from the wondrously diverse cultures of Old Europe (and beyond), my inner Wyrd Consciousness will follow that stars as a river that ebbs and flows with the earth around me. And when I follow that course – marking the dates I consider Holy Days (‘holidays’) – my soul ever finds its True North, which is the certainty of authentic and ancestral self.

Would You Know More, And What?

~ ~ ~

Beltane and Maypole celebration, 1917CE, Wisconson, United States

∀ncestor VVorship

Ancestor Worship is an idea based on the belief that deceased family members have a continued existence, take an interest in the affairs of their family’s life, and are able to influence family members. These practices are not to be confused with the ritual significance of dying and death found in other world cultures. The goal of ancestor worship is to ensure the ancestors’ continued well-being and positive disposition towards the living, and sometimes ask them for assistance. The social or non-religious function of ancestor worship is to cultivate kinship values like respect, loyalty, and continuity of family lineage; an example of which is seen in the fetch/fylgja.

Though not a universal practice, ancestor worship or veneration is found in varying degrees of social and political construct, and remains a vital component of various religious practices in modern times. In those cultures that practice ancestor worship, this is different from worship of gods. Gods, for example, are attached to local temples, and are asked for favors. Generally speaking, ancestors are not asked for favors, but asked to do their family duty – which is to watch over their lineage. Some cultures believe that ancestors need to be provided for by their descendants; while others do not believe the ancestors are aware of them, but that expressing family duty is what is important.

-forthcoming Heathen Anthology Volume Two (Volume One)

~ ~ ~

Would You Know More, and What?

Wittewieven, the “Wise Women” of ancient Denmark.
Here, emerging from the ancestral mounds to Seid and Forn Threifa.

Ħidden Эarth Ӎothers

Heathen Anthology Volume One is complete, and I am working on Volume Two.  The first essay is complete .. on Nerthus and her worship, specifically, how to reclaim her today.  I am working on the second essay, the Hidden Earth Mothers.

The Germanic tribes once had an All-Mother, a primary goddess at the head of their pantheon, but she was replaced by an All-Father.  Not fiction, not femininism, but powerful and frithful, terrifying and blessed woman who even the strongest warriors bowed before.

Hel and Halja, Hlodyn and Jord, Frau Holle and Hulda, all had great temples, numerous rune and name stones, great mounds, and learning centers.  It is time to re-remember and bring back their worship.  Not as shadowy and fringe figures, but remarkable women of brilliance and creativity.  In full light, with horn raised, it is time to call her ‘Mother’ once more.

Would You Know More and What?

Дreams and Дreamwork

dream-goddess

Dreams, to include sharing them, was once a common practice. In fact, there are several references from Old European Lore where chieftains seek the advice of dream-consultants, and base further action upon their prognostication.

Old Norse (ON) literature (Elder and Younger Eddas, Prose Saga, and Skaldic Poetry) contains numerious dream references. Leaving us ample information of the import and significance of dreams among the Heathen Teutonic tribes. And though, the majority of ON literature was written down 150-200 years after Christianization, the Heathen overtones are clear. All of which then morphed into Medieval literature, and its ample references to dreams.

And, though it is easy to consider these texts as Norse or Scandinavian only, it is important to consider the history during this period. For example, the events in Landnamabok took place during the mid to late 800s, and was not just Icelanders or Scandinavians, but immigrants from the British Isles and Ireland. Notably, several Seidwomen in the Lore have Irish names.
By far, the majority of recorded dreams mention some form of adversity; more combat than frith. Some are quite graphic .. depicting bloody violence and burning homesteads. Evenso, there is a wide array of topics of interest to the Seidbearer – such as dangerous nature and Nattura, and Otherworld beings .. many in both categories are gifters of poetry, wealth, healing powers (forn threifa), and magical weaponry.

Again, in all the chaos, there are significant details regarding birth and birthing magic, contracts for happy arrangements/marriages, one’s lineage and fortune, and wunjo after death. Also notable are the dreams often brought about through a ‘dream agent’ – a being of some sort that gives a message, makes a promise, teaches a valuble skill, or demands a quest.
Further, the symbols found in dreams also contain a wealth of information. Such as fetches and animals, guardian spirits and color, trolls and tivar.  Then there are the objects, like swords or scythes, arm rings and torcs, spindles and whetstones. And finally, the living and dead .. such as skinskipters and Seidfolk.

Disting/Imbolc is a dreaming tide .. as is its counterpart on the otherside of The Wheel. Learning dreams – doing ‘dreamwork’, having ‘dreamvisions’ – are part of Seidr. Which is why I have long stressed the importance of establishing a symbolic language .. one centric to Heathenry. If one has a dream overflowing with symbols and/or references from everything one studies (Voodoo, Wicca, Core Shamanism, etc), then the messages become garbled. Little wonder that so few are even able to interpret their own dreams, let alone assist others.

Would You Know More, And What?

~ ~ ~

dream-goddess-2

The Goddess Dreams by Ann Beeching

₸ime

arrival

Time is mentioned 111 times in my book Voluspa: Seidr as Wyrd Consciousness; because one cannot talk about Seidr without mentioning Time.

The Measure of Time ..

Seidfolk as Time Travelers ..

How Seidr existed Before Time ..

How the average individual has a Distorted Perception of Time ..

How the Wheel, Tree, and Well –
all elements Seidfolk work IN – are Without Time ..

That from a Seidr Perspective, Time is a Myth ..

That, to the Seidbearer, Time is circular. Yet, in seeing it as linear,
one’s perspective too, matches that ordered arrangement ..

Through Knowing a Language – such as Old Norse, Old English, or Old German;
the language of Heathen wisdom teachings – one is able to grasp the inner experience
of the ancestors, and so bring That into everyday reality ..

How Seidfolk access All Time ..

How Dreams and Dream Circles allow the Seidbearer to expand Through Time ..

How Seidfolk are able to chart a course Across Time ..

How Seidfolk realize that, “at every moment there exist infinite probabilities
or forever change. With change comes new courses of action,
and with new courses of action comes new direction of possible outcomes.” (Page 57)

The importance of the Between Times ..

How Time truly does Heal All Wounds ..

The Seidr wisdom of Above Time, Against Time, and In Time, or the Three Made One ..

How at the heart of Seidr, there exists the Purest Potential and Probability,
which are Prior to Time ..

How Seidbearers, by tuning-in to vibrations, follow Probable outcomes ..

And how these examples – and far more –
lead to the condition of Wyrd Consciousness.

Small wonder then that so few genuinely practice Seid, let alone understand it.

I share these examples – written in 2005, and based on thirty plus years of personal research into Seidr – because I just watched ‘Arrival’. This film, if I may, introduces Seidr, or the concepts I mention above. To include the importance of understanding the ancestral language to better realize Heathenry today.

Would You Know More, And What?

arrival2

 An Invitation

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