Authority from Within

As the path of Odin, Shiva, Socrates, Lucifer, Buddha, and many others will reveal: authority, truth, and wisdom reside in our core, lying within us. Through the emulation and understanding of these most invulnerable and permanent forms, the essence of the Self stirring within every human incarnation, we get a glimpse into a higher, more focused, refined and crystalline sense of reason and awareness. Here is where all answers await, and where all questions of importance in time must be directed, as this is the only conveyer of truth, the eternal Self within all. This is the voice which calls the true seeker; drawing ever closer to its origin; striving to balance the earth and sky.

Irreplaceability, Mastery, and Glory

All men really want is to be irreplaceable.

Mans higher purpose is to become a master of something… a professional at X, a genius on Y, an authority on Z.

When it comes down to it, men want nothing more than to become irreplaceable. They want to know that no one can fill their shoes; that their existence has a meaning tied to their form. They want to know within that they have made a contribution and that their memory/legend will live on beyond the grave; whether or not one has heirs.

Man wants to conquer great obstacles, ascend the highest peaks, and soar into the blackness of space; each one wants his unique piece of the glory.

At a certain point, we must ask ourselves if this is really a bad or negative trait to possess. In reality, yes and no cannot answer this sufficiently, as it seems to be “natural” instinct for driven humans to behave like this.

Do we call the hunting aspects of a mountain lion negative or evil, even when they sometimes kill humans? No, it is natural for them to hunt any prey that is liable and in their territory.

The humans’ need to conquer seems to be akin to this type of instinctual, non conscious behavior; transcending a human “right” or “wrong” duality. Repressing this can be detrimental to one’s own life and the lives of those around him. But, through wisdom, it can be mastered and maneuvered with divine accuracy.

This view ties one in with the physical and metaphysical simultaneously, as one must achieve earthy victories in order to attain the metaphysical “legacy” one wants to build or acquire. In many ways, although this doesn’t seem to offer any sort of climax or end, it reinforces man’s role as the being “in the middle.” We exist within that context, as a wheel in between tracks, moving onward into eternity.

We emerge and dissolve into many forms, although, the deeper parts of our spirit continue to rise ever higher.

Suffering, Fire, and Wellbeing

The avoidance of suffering shouldn’t be the end goal, contrary to what many Buddhists would argue. 

Times of suffering are opportunities that give us what we need; chances to break cycles, change habits, grow stronger, etc. while also giving us the (unfortunate) opportunity to completely give up, stall out and/or fail. Suffering is the great catalyst for change, the instigator of wisdom. Without suffering, mankind would not grow or change. 

To attach yourself to an end goal which jades you or completely removes you from suffering is to imply that growth comes to an end and suffering has a limit. This is a pipe dream mentality, because just as with knowledge, the more you learn, the less you know. This is the case with suffering, as the more you conquer it, the more you see it’s lingering presence in other people and the more you will strive to assist in the destruction of its grasp upon humanity.

The only way we could righteously practice an “avoidance” of suffering is if every single human being took it upon themselves to destroy, or rather, actively overcome their own suffering(s). By rooting out the cause of one’s own suffering, then one can consciously choose whether or not to participate in that which makes them suffer. Only then could the notion possibly be eradicated, as we would slowly and consciously move away from the negative connotations surrounding the concept. Suffering should be viewed as a “friction’ in one’s life, the same friction that births fire from sticks. Friction generates heat and heat creates fire/energy. This is a metaphysical fuel-source to the conscious individual, who can channel this in any direction he/she wishes.

Likewise, it opens the door to find new and more profound approaches to raise one’s sense of well-being. This well being must be found and cultivated internally, not produced by external means. If one wishes to feel a long-term sense of satisfaction in life, then one must spend their energy internally and renounce the addicting pleasures of material dependence. This is the road to achieving greater heights of the spirit.

Short-term pleasure must be sacrificed for the long-term gain; the short term being materialistic tendencies like consuming, hoarding, or anything solely connected to one’s externally gained sense of comfort. Well-being and comfort are to be found within oneself. If you create a sense of comfort and well-being within yourself, then it is untouchable, grasped and stored in the most secure way and form; an internal armor against external chaos.

Like the Nauthiz rune teaches, we are to instead channel this phenomenon into a certain metaphysical fire, a drive to conquer. We are, in a way, meant to seek out hardship for our own benefit; to cultivate, build, and reach the supreme Self within.

Become addicted to challenges if you want to reach the heights of the Immortals.

Walpurgisnacht

Hailaz Walpurgisnacht!

However you choose to celebrate the next couple days, do it with your full attention.

Meditate on life in its myriad forms.

Banish any fetters holding you down in the damp halls of Hel.

Personally, we will be preparing a part of the homestead for the return of our patron deity of peace, plenty, and fair weather (Freyr,Ingwaz, Fraujon).

(In our practice, Freyr departs after Samhain and returns on May Day.)

Before we do this, we wish to shield ourselves and our land from all forms of evil and misfortune with song, ritual, and fire.

Under the darkest of moons we shall embody the Sun,

Becoming the fire that licks the sky.

Filling our hearts with strength,

impregnating our minds with ferocity.

Let us transcend the depths,

On the wings of the eagle!

ᚠ : ᛉ : ᛋ

Don’t Be Easily Polarized

We should always have unshakable convictions, laws, and morals. However, we shouldn’t place ourselves willingly into any particular ideological box. These terms, theories and identities are too minute, small, and insufficient to attach ourselves too without limiting our growth and development. 

The Sanskrit term “Madhyamāpratipada” describes this phenomenon, meditation, or act of non-polarization in the practitioner, essentially meaning “The Middle Way.”

Many people are familiar in some regard to this concept. It’s been reworded and reworked countless times in countless traditions.

But, for those who aren’t familiar with this concept, I will do my best to summarize it in simple language. 

The “Middle Way” theorizes that while extremes are valid points of view and exist for a reason, they should be avoided by most, if not all spiritual aspirants or those looking to live a practical life. 

Of course, like the Hagalaz rune teaches, sometimes extreme measures must be taken to change a situation or element, but they cannot be practiced or embodied full time if one wishes to achieve samsara, enlightenment, nirvana etc…

We are advised to not delve too deep into the material world of sense-pleasure, as well as to not become to entranced in self-deprecating asceticism. The only reason a person should fall to one side or the other is to re-align and re-balance themselves onto this middle path. That is, of course, if one is conscious and aware that they have fallen out of balance.

The idea is that if we attach ourselves to one side of an idea, excluding the other, we will always face an antithesis regarding the same concept or thought. A type of cognitive dissonance of possibilities. 

Some might be familiar with this concept as mirrored in Greek philosophy under the title of “The Golden Mean…” 

Therefore, by taking the “Middle Way,” we leave no room for alternative or opposite thought or action. It simply becomes “the way” in which all beings “ought” to exist. In short, there is no possible opposite to the middle, so it must be the one true way or “dharma.”

The Neuroscientist Sam Harris touches upon this concept in his book “The Moral Landscape.” Stating that we can scientifically measure and calculate the ways humans “ought” to live.

This practice absorbs into one’s own dharma, duty, and daily rites, becoming one with the Eightfold Path of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. 

Strive to detach yourself from labels, identities, and denominations of any kind. They are at an incongruence with freedom of mind, body, and spirit.

Master Yourself, Master All

“More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm.” -Dhammapada

Make your weaknesses your greatest enemies and one by one eradicate them from existence.

Put yourself in the crosshairs and pull the trigger on your lesser self, everyday.

Lessen your comfort levels, lessen your needs, and lessen your expectations of others.

This is the path that will lead you to a place of constant clear, calm, and focused attention.

In this place, we shed our fetters, attachments, and “sins.”

Learn to master yourself, and you will master all.

Reflections on Nepal

In 2007, my family took a large donation of school supplies to Kathmandu, Nepal. My stepfather had some connections there, so we were able to become acquainted and friendly with the locals fairly quickly. We stayed in a small hotel near the magnificent, blue-eyed stupa in the center of town.

The trip was extremely positive and mind expanding. From listening to the myths and story from locals, smoking Nepalese weed and drinking endless amounts of Yak butter tea; my heart and soul was filled to the brim with new experiences.

However, nothing had as much of an impact as this specific part of the trip.

This picture was taken at the Namo Buddha temple/palace in the foothills of the Himalayas. A 3 hour taxi ride through the ancient winding mountains and farms of Nepal. 

This specific ceremony was a “Long Life” blessing facilitated by Thrangu Rimpoche; one of the most respected and renowned Tibetan Buddhist lamas. We were among a small group of outsiders that were present for this event, and for lack of better words, the feeling was surreal. The atmosphere in the palace was organic, ethereal, and beautiful. An experience nearly untouched since antiquity. The art, colors and sounds robust on the senses.

From what I gathered, most of the monks in the picture had all lived and studied in the palace for their entire lives, but some were also on retreats or pilgrimages.

You could feel that Thrangu radiated kindness and care for the people and also how much these monks loved and cared for this man in return. It was an equal exchange of respect as he and his disciples were indistinguishable in dress and stature. There was a bigger “Love” here than the West has had access to in recent centuries, buried many years ago by Christianity and materialism.

Each person in the ceremony was able to make an offering personally and receive an individual blessing from Rimpoce. I genuinely felt during and afterward that it had affected my well being, which was enough convincing for me of its’ potency and effect. Being from America, these “occult” feelings are rarely discussed unless in specific groups or families, but in this Eastern culture, it is no new conversation or taboo subject to discuss and experiment with the science and systems of the mind and how they correlate to the body and ultimate well being of the individual. These people were clearly much more “in tune” as a whole than the people I had left behind in the states; and this was the poorest country in the world at the time.

I felt something inside as I walked amongst the gold, red and endless colors around me. The Himalayan air fresh and furious in my lungs with nothing but ancient beauty surrounding me. Ancient Tibetan Pagan beauty.

My experience and understanding of Buddhism set the stage for my spiritual development as it was the seemingly best and most effective system at controlling the mind and will. The techniques only differ in name and execution among the pre- Christian European natives, making “Folkish” native Paganism and the ancient Pagan mind that much easier to understand and ultimately “remember.”

It is important for all European Pagans to explore Buddhism (and Hinduism) to fully understand their own religion, culture and history; as these chains have remained unbroken by the Abrahamic world since they were established. The Vedic roots of the religion can be connected all the way up the tree into the last Pagan periods, with a written and documented history of myth dating back nearly 4000 years. I am not saying become Hindu or Buddhist, but through exploration of their systems we are better able to understand the techniques and myths later described and practiced by Greek, Germanic, Celtic, and Slavic cultures. Ethics, focus, and culture of course change as things develop and tribes expand, but it is wise to understand the roots of something if you want to be able to expand and use the branches attached to them.

As you become more and more familiar with the Eddas and Vedas, you will begin to reestablish contact with a 4000+ year old system and framework of culture, myth and religion. What you do with the pieces in between is up to your and your own experience and history. But it is not wise to overlook the framework we are given. 

Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus!