[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 15 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Monday, March 17th, 2008|
Я тут совсем не долго, давайте знакомиться!
Вот, если что, мой адрес: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Tuesday, August 1st, 2006|
May All Have...
...a Truly Rich, Fullfilling, Festive & Blessed Lithasblot...
|Friday, December 23rd, 2005|
Here's something I was pondering earlier today.
Some months ago, the pagan group that I am involved with via the local Unitarian Universalist church traveled to another UU church and gave a panel discussion on paganism.
Naturally, one of the things that came up was "ask 10 pagans what paganism is all about and you'll probably get at least 13 different answers, if not more". Ok, fine.
As part of the service, someone from the host congregation got up and did a reading from one of Starhawk's books; it involved talking about all things Goddess and how Goddess people lived in harmony and peace until the horrible patriarchs came along with their war and thunder/sky gods and all this nasty stuff...and I thought, this is a little ridiculous.
What I thought was ridiculous was how the whole idea of Goddess was presented as all loving, all peaceful, all life affirming, etc etc. But I find this limiting.
Let me preface the next part of my comments by saying that when I first learned anything about paganism or Wicca, back in 1989 or so, I went Dianic. I was a complete feminist. But over the years, things changed, and now I am an Asatruar for many different reasons. Part of it is the fact that there are elements of Asatru that just seem more realistic and reasonable to the human experience.
I'm noticing more and more that many pagans and Wiccans, regardless of which path they follow, are terrified of death, darkness and violence. Carol Christ, a Goddess thealogian, has come out very strongly against deities of warfare, and I think this is very sad.
War is hard. War is ugly. But having deities of war and violence sanctify an otherwise ugly situation and render as holy a person's call to serve one's country by wearing its military uniform and being willing to risk one's very life for one's country and the values it stands for. Military personnel in the US do, after all, swear a vow to protect and defend the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. What they are vowing there is protection not of any one person, but an idea that is held as so sacred they are willing to give their lives for it.
I have been surrounded throughout my life with military veterans - three of my uncles, my grandfather, a cousin and my current life partner are all veterans of all branches of the military, including the Coast Guard. My grandfather achieved the highest rank of all my family members who have served - he was a Navy captain.
Some may say that violence isn't holy. Pah. "Holy" doesn't mean "good". The word "holy" actually means "whole" and how can people be whole if they reject or push away this side of human experience? That isn't whole. That isn't integrated.
I also think it's a really bad idea to deny to women the dignity of anger and violent power. Some women can and should fight. I once read a news article about a female boxer - for some reason, that's newsworthy. It shouldn't be. Women can be just as violent as men can, and if this can be channelled into something like military service, all the better.
Women bring forth life, yes. But women also bring forth death, for all living things must one day die. The holy days ("holidays") of Samhain and Jultide indicate how "holy/whole" the life cycle is by including death.
One of these days, sit down and read either the Lokasenna or the story about how Eris was refused a place at a wedding banquet. I realize that these deities are not necessarily "violent" but they do introduce a chaotic element into life that can lead to violence, and these two stories do tell me that try as hard as we might to make everything so perfect, they will find a way in and they will do their chaotic thing. Better to acknowledge them - Odin did so when he swore a vow that ale would not pass his lips unless Loki too were served.
I'm sure this will generate all kinds of questions like "oh so do you advocate domestic violence and beating up on your spouse and whatnot" and the answer to that ridiculous query (I might as well get it out of the way now) is no. I am a survivor of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and I'm not saying we should just start beating on people because we get a kick out of it. I'm talking about giving our violent side a constructive outlet, such as military service or police work or something like that. These are jobs that sometimes require a certain amount of force to maintain the peace; I do agree with the sentiment that freedom isn't free. It is a paradox, yes, that we humans sometimes have to kill people to maintain peace.
This is what deities like Odin and Freyja are all about; most people like Freyja's sexy side, but they shy away from Her battle-goddess side. Her sacred bird is the falcon - a raptor that kills to eat. Her other sacred animal is the boar - a very aggressive creature, a fearsome fighter. Odin's birds are ravens, and His other sacred animals are wolves; He has two (Freki and Geri) that sit at His feet.
Ya can't just take the nice friendly parts of a deity. If one is going to be dedicated to a deity (something else I think most pagans and Wiccans have no clue about - developing a relationship with a specific deity, which is the point of religion, not magic) then one has to take that deity as a whole. Oh, there's that word again. Whole.
Well, there it is. Make of it what you will. I just had to get it off my chest.
|Friday, June 3rd, 2005|
I think I've met Wotan for real
I run a ghost tour in my local city and when I get to the local cathedral I usually run into a few wandering drunks, which aren't dangerous. Well on th e last tour My wife an I met a drunk that wanted to tell me a story about a ghost incident, now this is where it gets weird, he was blind in one eye had a beard and had nowhere to live and is known to wander around talking to people who will listen in riddles. He also sayes to people to listen to me because I am telling the truth and I know what I'm on about. At the same time as that a person with a beard wandered past with a Thor t-shirt on grining at me and seemed to pay respects to the one eyed man even though he wasn't a homeless man himself, plus with me doing the ghost tour on a regular basis this is the first time I'd seen the man with the Thor shirt on.
Now most of you will probably say this is a coincidence. I got home and did the runes and was told that to take the things around me as being what I thought they were. Plus also not to get dis-heartened about practicing alone and to keep going as its the right path for me. I am a British Heathen who follows the Pre-christian Saxon path. Current Mood: but happy
|Monday, November 22nd, 2004|
Once, people walked upon the land,
And knew that behind each tree
And within each hill
Lurked spirits, living beings.
Each hill was holy, each tree.
I have my car and my cell phone;
They had horses and swords.
I have my nice synthetic jacket,
Wool cloaks were draped over their shoulders.
I feel the warmth of my central heating,
They felt the warmth of a hearth.
I speak to others that I never see, staring at a screen.
They looked into the eyes of people, around a fire.
I search, weary-eyed, through books,
And I listen to the wind,
Seeking for hints of holiness
In a world that has forgotten the mystical.
They lived in a magical world, full of gods.
They rode through rain on horses
My car carries me further, and dryer.
My fine jacket is surely much warmer
Than any rough wool or leather.
My home keeps me more securely from cold
Without worry about sputtering fire.
The people I talk to, they are real.
Even If I don't hear their voices.
We've studied the Wind. It's been explained.
What Gods do we need now?
What Gods did we ever need?
So what makes me listen?
Once, people walked upon the land,
And knew that behind each tree
And within each hill
Lurked spirits, living beings.
Each hill was holy, each tree.
No cars, no phones, no modern clothing
And perhaps they even died earlier,
Of things we can cure easily-
They fell as saplings, instead of trees.
And every one of them,
Gathered around those ancient fires
Was infinitely richer than me.
* * *
Copyright © 2004 by Ule Beornheard Current Mood: thoughtful
The Grace of the Heathens
Awake, Frothi, if listen thou wilt
"Our hands shall hold the hard spearshafts,
Weapons gory: Awake, Frothi!
Awake, Frothi, if listen thou wilt
To our olden songs, to our ancient lore."
-The Lay of Grotti
* * *
The World Tree is freshly in bloom, roots strong, leaves green, grown
from darkness and filled with rain and fruit. Its boughs shake with
the song of every season, red to green, barren to thick, cold and
hot, frosty and humid.
The Land is our comforter, the Gods and Goddesses of AllFather's
Family our Kin: The Holy and Pale ones who live in the Howes and
Hills of the World are our companions, and the Woman who keeps the
Fire and teaches secrets to the brave, She is our protector.
Hail the Gods Above and Below. Hail the Spirits of the Ancestors, who
live yet, and who passed on blood and wisdom to We who have come into
these times. Hail to the Three Sisters who spin the threads of Fate,
who come from the skies like swarms of bees, and like thunder
from the Underworld.
Let us always know the mysteries of the Old Ways. Let us all strive
to walk in the footsteps of a sorcerer, in awe of the mystical power
of the Great Hidden One, She whose body and breath we cannot be seperated
Let us all strive to walk in the footsteps of a brave warrior, with
the boldness to act, instead of constantly reacting, and the skill to
control conflict, instead of being caught up in conflict.
Let us all strive to walk as a craftsman or a worker of the land,
with total dedication to whatever task we set our hands and minds to,
and a tireless will.
The Old Ways are a blessing to all who come to them with an open
heart, and with an appreciation of simplicity: In these ways there is
no treason of the spirit, no sin, no heresy, none of those sicknesses
in the mind; only honesty and peace for they who trod the path into
the Ancestral Land.
Let my spirit bellow a song of sorcery amid the flights of a thousand
white moths, and know the sound of Owls wailing in the night. All
shall be well and all is well.
Copyright © 2003 by Ule Beornheard Current Mood: awake
|Friday, October 15th, 2004|
Winternights meditation-poem (crossposted to several Heathen forums)
"When all the Swedes knew that Freyr was dead, but that the good harvests and peace continued, they believed that it would remain so as long as Freyr was in Sweden. They refused to burn his body, but called him 'God of the World' and sacrificed to him for good harvests and peace, as they have always done since." (Ynglingasaga, chapter 10--my translation)
Bare now its limbs, and long its shadow:
while Sol sinks low o'er Sweden's hills,
her light glows through the leafless ash,
whose steadfast roots reach far below.
The barrow-grass has browned with death:
though Freyr had sworn no frost would lie
above the dead, his dearest friends,
still the cold has struck the land.
My thoughts run back to bygone years,
and tales the Northmen told before:
the buried king they called a god,
for harvest-luck they left him gifts.
His bones with earth are blended now,
his earthly kin are kings no more--
though some among the Swedes still trust
his unseen might, the Yngling-father.
I, too, have known his nearness there
and felt the god whom grave-dust hides:
he called me kin and clasped me tight,
he called the land I love my home.
Bare are its limbs and long its shadow--
the ash that wards this wintry land;
Sol's brother lights the barrow-ground,
the sparks of Muspell spread their gleam. Current Mood: nostalgic
|Friday, June 18th, 2004|
"Ein prosit, Ein prosit, Gemutlicheit!" The song rose up into the rafters of an enormous tent decorated with the blue and white of Bavaria, the words roared from a good thousand voices as if they were trying to compete with the tent's gigantic lion mascot.
September 1986 - A still wet-behind-the-ears Airman First Class, reporting for duty at HQ USAFE (also known as Ramstein Airbase), I had been in country only a day and had been informed that I had several days free before my inprocessing was complete and duty would begin. I had wasted no time - I immediately purchased a 35mm camera and a bus ticket for a weekend in Munich. Oktoberfest was going on and I was SO going to be there.
I did not speak a word of German. That didn't matter. I sat at a table with an Italian, an English couple, a Spaniard and many Germans. I knew a little Spanish and Italian so between all of us (the Brits knew German) the beer kept flowing and we were able to communicate with each other. It was the biggest party I had ever seen, before or since. This blew St. Patrick's Day in NYC away, hands down.
That was my first, and most intense experience of "gemutlichieit" but by no means my last. No one ever explained it. It simply WAS. The closest anyone ever went into any sort of explanation was the bus tour director, who responded to a question about why the Bavarian mountain roadsides we were driving on were dotted with tiny little houses about the size of a bus station. "They are there," she said, "to keep people from getting caught in the mountain storms and freezing to death. You have heard of the Saint Bernard dog? This is something like that."
Gemutlicheit exists because in the Northern European countries, the weather can kill you. It is considered great shame to allow this to happen, even to an enemy, if there is something you can do about it.
It is - literally - a great shame to freeze somebody out.
It is more than a shame. It is AGAINST THE LAW to allow such things to happen with knowledge aforethought. One reason is because it is supremely dishonorable, another is because people can die as a result.
Gasthauses and taverns have thick curtains that one passes through to keep the cold winter winds from disturbing those inside. From the mighty 5-century-old Hofbrauhaus to the tiniest tavern, no one is turned away if they take shelter within while the cold rages outside, even if they are not there to drink or cannot justify their stay with coin. It is considered an HONOR to guest travellers, and an act of MIGHT AND MAIN to be able to do so in style and in such a way that they would want to return.
I saw this for the first time on this trip to Bavaria. I stayed in some gasthauses that had sumptuous breakfasts laid out, thick down comforters on every bed, and water so hot it all but came out of the tap as steam. In general the Deutsch don't do things by half, but most especially will a traveller see this in the level of hospitality - gemutlicheit - that is offered.
My landlords ran an ancient hotel in Kaiserslautern called the Blechhammer (metal hammer) that had been in their family for generations. They were honored and proud that my family stayed with them when they were visiting me. They treated my family to breakfast and a liberal discount. My family was given the best suite in the hotel and they were personally waited on by my landlord and his wife.
Nobody seemed to care what my parent's ancestry was. No one asked their political beliefs, or spouted about theirs.
At the same time, there is a responsibility as a guest to maintain the gemutlicheit and the frith during these times. MUT
- this is where we get our word MOOT - is a meeting place, not a place of holmgang. No one wants to have to deal with rising voices that might occur if one has no shelter to get away from the breaking of frith but to go back out into the cold. Guests have as much a responsibility to hold their tongues and their tempers at a moot as hosts have not to foul common drinking water, or poison food.
It is no dishonor to keep silent when a loud and boorish animal attempts to provoke a fight in the middle of what is supposed to be a frithgard. What happens outside those boundaries is certainly one's own affair. To take the fight within the boundaries of a frithgard, however, reflects poorly on those who cannot hold their tongues and their tempers. It violates geMUT
licheit - the spirit of the moot. Even as recently as in the old West, the concept of "take your fight outside" was not unknown to most sensible human beings.
Never for one moment pretend to yourselves that the Gods do not see such violations done... and act in judgement accordingly.
It is laughable that there are those who claim a "folk soul" and a superior understanding of the Germanic ways via heritage, but that those people's concept of gemutlicheit is easily comparable with that of the Harper Valley PTA or the average high school hallway. Such people could even perhaps visit the land of their ancestors and see gemutlicheit in action right before their eyes and they STILL wouldn't get the concept, because to them gemutlicheit begins and ends at ancestry, political belief system, or even just how much they like you.
Gemutlicheit is a feeling, a feeling that drives one to act honorably and in frith. After spending five years of my life in Germany I certainly know when it is present, and when it is not. I can feel gemutlicheit in my bones. American Asatruar would do well to study the concept of gemutlicheit if they truly wish to follow in the ways of the Germanic peoples. I am of a thought that perhaps the only way for such people to truly know the meaning of the word is to have an experience where THEY are at the mercy of a winter storm, where THEY have to take shelter against the cold in a frithgard, where THEY are the weary traveller of thin blankets and few coin in a land of strangers.
There was a woman who asked me if I was of Jewish ancestry when I was at the Trothmoot. I saw no reason for her question that made me comfortable, but answered it honestly and without pressing her further as to why she was asking. It was clear she cared far more than I thought was appropriate about my ancestry and my heritage. Later, this woman, who was from Florida, told me she was having trouble with the temperatures up here in NY and that she hadn't packed for the weather. Without batting an eye, I gave her my woolen blanket for the night.
BECAUSE THAT IS GEMUTLICHEIT!!! Current Mood: firm
|Saturday, March 20th, 2004|
What I Found..
All at once he heard a rustling, and when he looked round, a strange man stood before him, who wore a green coat and looked right stately, but had a hideous cloven foot. "I know already what thou art in need of," said the man; "gold and possessions shalt thou have, as much as thou canst make away with, do what thou wilt, but first I must know if thou art fearless, that I may not bestow my money in vain."
For the whole story go here: http://www.4literature.net/Jacob_and_Wilhelm_Grimm/Bearskin/ Current Mood: working
|Friday, March 19th, 2004|
Ok, I'm a spazz who forgot to introduce herself first
Please excuse... I shall backdate it so hopefully it at least might appear in the proper order before the question I asked.
I've been pagan all of my adult life: Asatru for about 12 years. Prior to that I was practicing solitary wicca for another 12 years, and worshipped the Lord and the Lady; which I now realize gave me a solid alignment with the Vanir. I am a dedicated gydhia of Freya.
I was stationed in Germany for six years with the USAF and during my travels and living there I picked up a lot of information and guidance, as well as a smattering of the language. I am rather violently non-racist. Some of the spirit guides I interacted with while in Germany were those of the WWII Jewish war dead, and they have become as much a part of that sacred ground as any other wights. There are times I am moved to speak for them, and I consider it a sacred duty from Freya to work against racism, especially if it is happening in my real-world community. This is hardly meant to diss the ancestors, but I feel strongly that the Gods call whom They call as they know our history far better than we do in many cases, and who are we to dare question Their judgement?
I am the proud descendant of warriors on both sides of my family, amusingly enough of the traditional enemies of the Germanic and Scandinavian tribes - Celts and Italians. I have Langobard/Lombard blood, and very likely some German or Scandinavian as well, since I'm fully aware that warfare hardly ever would have stopped the inter-breeding that often goes on even between enemies. I am a true descendant of both love and war. I got this red hair from somewhere
, people. :)
I am very interested in the historical evolution of Freya as She is a very ancient and widely travelled Goddess. I am one of those who sees links to other lion/tiger/cat love/war goddesses such as Cybele and Durga, and I believe that traces of the origins of the Vanic tribe are visible in the study of the civilizations of the ancient Greeks/Hittites/Hindus, while the Aesir seem to perhaps be related to the Altai/Huns/Tocharians.
Likewise I believe that Asatru is a religion that is capable of peacefully coexisting with the concepts of evolution and science, unlike Christianity. A visit to the Corning Museum of Glass answered a lot of questions for me about the creation myth, for example.
Anyway, interested in hangin' out and learning what others have to share about the Vanir. Current Mood: woopsie!
There's a discussion on alt.religion.shamanism about green coats/ green cloaks and how they relate to shamanic initiation and/or journeying. I feel that this relates quite strongly to the Vanir and the Alfar.
I posted about how I received my green coat, rather a few years before I actually started wearing it, but circumstances dictated that this was how it had to be. Mine is a WWII vintage trenchcoat that I picked up at a flea market in Paris while I was stationed overseas. I began wearing it during the period of what I now recognize was my shamanic initiation, which began in 1992.
Has anyone here read the Grimm fairytale "Greencoat"? What'd you think? Does anyone else here aligned with the Vanir and/or Alfar use one of these? Current Mood: curious
|Monday, February 23rd, 2004|
It was suggested that this might be put behind a cut..
Since I don't know where to cut the poem itself I figured I'll say something that has very little meaning and make the cut after it..
Sound about right?? ( Read more...Collapse ) Current Mood: inspired
|Wednesday, February 18th, 2004|
Come Check It Out..
Well everyone.. I just revamped rainbowbridge
it is now a Scandinavian Folklore Community.. So, let's share stories, poems, inspiration galore! Current Mood: accomplished
|Wednesday, February 11th, 2004|
I've been a practicing Asatruar for about 10 years. I primarily focus on the Vanic Pantheon. Specifically, Freyja. Though I do feel close to all of the Gods, at the moment I'm doing research on Mother Holle, some research suggests she may be connected to Freyja rather than Hel or Frigga. Anyone got any information to back that up or discredit it? I'd love to see what you have!
Ayla Wolffe Current Mood: mellow
|Saturday, February 7th, 2004|
Welcome to VanaTroth!
I created this community so we can explore what it means to be Vanatru, and to hopefully bring back the Vanic lore that we have lost...
I my self am not as of yet a Vanic Scholor.. so i need your help to make this community the best it can be! On that note...
HAIL AND WELCOME!
Ray Current Mood: accomplished