A lot of people these days are hungry for community, camaraderie, freedom, tribe, etc…
These are all good things to want and to ultimately strive for; especially when paired with a regular sacrificing of everything that doesn’t align itself with this vision.
However, for those who are seeking for this “group,” it is wise to not only find the correct group or collective to engage with, but when we do, the most important thing is not to ask “what this group can do for me,” but rather, “why does the particular group need me to become a part of it?”
If you can answer the second part easily, you will have no issue in your ascension within any group. If you can’t, you will have to acquire this sense on your own if you wish to gain importance within said group.
The tree we chose to represent our Irminsul/Yggdrasil is located in the dead center of our property and is one of the oldest trees still remaining after the years of logging, oil drilling, and neglect the land has experienced.
The Shagbark Hickory tree, as someone who came from the West coast, was one of the first trees I noticed around my new home in the East, being highly mysterious and eerie looking, especially in the fall and winter. It’s many knots, “shaggy” bark, holes and twists make it look like something out of a Halloween movie, it just needs an owl and some bats…
These trees can live around 350 years and grow up to 100 feet tall. They produce delicious edible fruit (nuts) that resemble the pecan in texture and flavor. The native tribes who had access to this tree used it for a variety of food products, including milk, flavorings, and bread. It is also a choice wood for smoking meat.
Just like the Germanic tribes favored Ash for weapons and tools, some Native Americans used these trees for weapons, tools, arrows, bows and drumsticks. The bark was also used to flavor a maple syrup alternative.
The Seneca Indians associate these trees with the dead and bringing the dead back to life. It’s said that one could leave the bones of the dead beneath the tree and essentially threaten them to become resurrected lest they be crushed by the limbs of the hickory tree.
Once you see one of these interesting trees it’s hard to not recognize them everywhere. The Shagbark Hickory, in particular, because of its flowing, shaggy, disheveled bark that is signature to their character. This trait, however, is only found amongst mature trees, usually over 20 years old. Until then, the bark remains very smooth, similar to beech.
If you live in the Eastern United States, from Texas to Maine, it is likely you have one of these trees around. I recommend to everyone who has access to one of these awesome trees to sit with one, observe it, experiment with one of its related products, and enjoy its unique character amongst the other trees of the woods.
For those looking for further reading recommendations on pre-Christian Germanic culture, here’s a few more books that I found useful on the journey:
– “Teutonic Mythology” by Jacob Grimm.
– “Barbarian Rites” by Hasenfratz.
– “Runic and Heroic Poems of the Old Teutonic Peoples” Dickins editions.
For those who like a quick informative read, “Barbarian Rites” would be a good book to check out. I found the research on the “Sib” to be interesting, among other things. It breaks the basics down into clear language that most people should be able to understand, in short concise chapters.
I’ll be compiling a full list of reading materials for those interested and putting it up on the substack, PDF links will be included if available. Make sure to subscribe there to keep up to date, a few things will be posted there next week in particular.
People ask me for book recommendations a lot, especially when first delving into Germanic Paganism.
3 books I would recommend for constructing a basic worldview within Heathen spirituality (aside from the Eddas and Sagas) are:
– “Gods and Myths of Northern Europe” by H.R. Ellis Davidson.
– “Germania” by Tacitus.
– “A History of Pagan Europe” by Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick.
These books should help give you a framework for understanding the time period, lives and minds of what we know about the Germanic tribes prior to the takeover of Christianity.
Another book I found helpful was “Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia” by Varg Vikernes.
Usually, once a person has worked through these books, they will find a more focused research direction to move in.
When one loses a child, they sometimes fall victim to negative thought patterns. Usually, this would be associated with the attachment one has to “fairness” in life, or what one believes they deserve or have earned.
These laws and concerns are not present in nature, fairness is not to be determined by man. Nature has its own goals, the gods we’ve named in it have their own motives.
When death takes the ones we love, the ones we cherish, it is for its own reasons. When one understands this, life’s “tragedies” seem less so, as beauty resides in all of existence.
Every experience is a conscious validation of existence, a root from us into the very being of the Earth; a link between ground and sky. Whether we believe it or not, the things that are presented to us in life are the things we are meant to have; the lessons we must learn, the wisdom we must gain.
When things that are “unfair” beset us, it is a balancing within natures framework; cause and effect, the chains of karma. Life will ebb and flow like the tides, eternally returning, eternally disappearing.
“Fairness” only resides in the minds of men, and it’s wise to detach oneself from its fetters.
That which is fair, is what is.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Happy birthday little one.
ᛉ 7/8 ᛣ
ᚲ : ᛋ : ᛃ
Fe is a fire, and fuel of desire,
Light as a feather, heavy as iron.
Ur is one’s power, endurance and might,
Primal aggression, and fuel for the fight.
Thurs are the remnants, more ancient than gods,
Raising creations, from their dead bodies.
Oss is the old one, more wise than the rest,
Slayer of Ymir, bestower of breath.
Reid is a wheel, steering your journey,
Safely through hardship, and whole to the end.
Kaun is the burning, when agony strikes,
A fetter of flames, a road of fire.
Hagal can curse you, and others as well,
The powers of change, that nothing can quell.
Naud is the lesson, teacher of spirit
Cross of the heathen, step of the ladder.
Is moves with patience, over the landscape,
Silent destruction, focusing the mind.
Ar is the reaping, gold in the meadow,
Fat on the cattle, food in the kettle.
Sol rising higher, holiest fire,
Priest up in heaven, divine transformer.
Tyr follows battle, invoked during war,
Carved on the sword hilt, warrior idol.
Bjarkan is fragrant, a beautiful wood,
A bridge from the Earth, to those under root.
Madr is mortal, observer of time,
Conscious creation, subjective divine.
Lagu is life-force, connecting the lands,
Carry us forward, towards destinies sands.
Yr is a poison, that also can heal,
A force of tension, projection of fate.