Self development

In line with my path as what I would term an Odian Vitki, I now feel able to express the status of my development as being inline with the raja yogic realisation that I am separate from both my body and mind, but also that with effort- I can influence the world around me in many ways. The end of my Wyrd may be set, but I am able to shape it’s pattern whilst this vessel exists.

In short…

I have become…

Pagan music

Another note: I’ve update the playlist of Pagan/Heathen themed music I think is worthy of a mention…

 

It’s been a good time for this type of music recently with awesome new releases from Wardruna, Tyr, Amon Amarth etc. and the news that Grand Magus have a new album inbound. Enjoy the METAL!

Pagan misconceptions

There exist a number of misconceptions about Pagans as a whole that really bother me. Surprisingly, the general publics views are less bothersome to me than those of Pagans who should know better.

 

Some misconceptions held by the general public:

  • all Pagans are Wiccan
  • all Pagans are witches
  • all Pagans hold Gerald Gardner in high regard

Now, those are all forgivable as they are the result of misinformation, lack of knowledge etc. Now, the misconceptions that really annoy me as they are held by Pagans who really should know better:

  • we are all Wiccan
  • we all worship the Goddess
  • All Pagans hold Glastonbury to be the most sacred of sites
  • we are all witches
  • we all abide by the ‘harm none, do what you will’ rule
  • Pagans, by default, are animal rights activists
  • we are all vegetarian
  • no Pagan supports the badger cull
  • any Pagan thought is correct and should not be questioned
  • a lack of historic evidence does not mean yours is not an ancient religion
  • a recreated religion can be held up as historically accurate
  • the Tories are evil

I’m sorry but:

  • there are many more paths than Wicca
  • the gods of many Pagan beliefs are equally or more important than an indescript ‘goddess’
  • Glastonbury has a Tor and a well- so do many other towns in the British Isles. It is not that special, as can be said for Stonehenge- other stone circles are equally as magical.
  • I am not a pacifist and do not believe in the ‘harm none’ mentality. I will put my family first at all costs.
  • Animal cruelty is wrong. Animal testing is wrong. Inhumane hunting is wrong. Hunting what you need, killing it quickly and making full use of the animal is fine. I am not anti-hunting.
  • I love meat. Meat is a standard food used to honour my gods. Vegetables are what food eats.
  • I had a chance meeting with a farmer at a conference last week- they are sceptical about the badger cull, but they can’t afford to sit and do nothing whilst their cattle die and so they need the cull. I’m all for supporting the farmers on this. If they need to cull badgers, then let them so long as it is done humanely and with respect for the animals.
  • Why such an uproar over the shooting of badgers? Is it because they can be made into cute cuddly toys? Fox hunting was deemed cruel and everyone couldn’t see what the issue with foxes was until some urban foxes attacked children in their beds. Wild animals can be dangerous and diseased. You can make a cuddly toy gorilla, but you wouldn’t want 100 of them running wild on the street. I think cows are beautiful animals- yet they are also one of my favourite meats.
  • All thoughts and theories are their to be questioned. In some Pagan forums, the asking of tough questions is deemed as troll like behaviour. If your beliefs are so fragile that they cannot be questioned, then maybe this says something about them or you?
  • The modern druids have nothing to do with the ancient druids. Nobody has any ideas as to the full roles of the druids, their beliefs or practices. We know they held sacrifices, were scholary priests and healers. We do not know which gods they worshipped or what their rites were. The modern movement is an attempt to recreate this, but with a lot of unknowns, the modern druid movement is essentially a new age movement with little link to the past. It’s also unlikely that the druids built Stonehenge and other stone circles in Britain and it makes no sense that they are granted the special access to the stones as such.
  • I’m a 100% lifelong Tory. I’m a Heathen and a Tory. My politics have nothing to do with my religious beliefs- please don’t assume that because you hate the Conservative party and that you are a Pagan, that every other Pagan hates the Tories too.
  • Wicca is a 20th century religion. No matter what claim you make of it being handed down through the ages by word of mouth, Wicca is the creation of Gerald Gardner and is a syncretic Pagan belief. Wicca is not the original religion of these lands- that is more likely to have been the original and true Druid beliefs. There is no chance that Wicca survived the Roman invasion, the Anglo-Saxon invasion and the conversion to Christianity and that somehow the original religion survived by word of mouth regardless of 2000 years of replacement beliefs and the persecution of Pagan thoughts over the last 1000 years.

 

Now, that will probably upset a few people. Let me be clear- these are my views. I have no problem with Wiccans, animal rights protestors, Druids or those opposed to the badger cull- just don’t assume that every Pagan has the same beliefs.

 

Seidr travels

As you may recall, I’ve recently began working on the skill of seidr. Inspired by Runic John and Jenny Blain, I’ve taken to this practice.

I have found that much of what constitutes seidr is actually what I had been doing by myself when sitting down for a meditation- I have rarely sat and meditated upon the image or meaning of an object etc, but after doing Thorsson’s series of meditations upon my own psyche and the runes, I had began meditation that involved a journey along the pathways of Yggdrasil to seek advice and enhance learning. Only now do I know that this is not too far removed from the practive of seidr- I was even using a shamanic drumming mp3 in order to assist my meditations.

One things I have found immensely useful is the frithstead I have found courtesy of Runic John’s work. I have quickly worked here to create a temple which I can use for my rituals. This is incredibly useful when I am unable to sip from the horn and sing galdr in public. I’ve only began to learn the methods and benefits to seidr and especially my frithsstead, but I know this much- this, like the runes, is something I will master as Odin has done so before us.

May ravens guide my way.

Spiritual and magical development

In forming my own system of training for both mind and will, I’ve accelerated the schedule of reading thanks to the kindle app on my ipad.

Some great books I’ve been reading are:

Beyond Good & Evil by Nietzsche- a great book on morality and I almost clapped for joy at the definition of slave/master morality. The master morality approach is definitely aligned with my own here.

the Book of Seidr by Runic John- a brilliant book that developed the system of meditation I had already began without realising it was along the lines of Seidr.

Raja Yoga by Yogi Ramachakara- an old book, but a brilliant introduction to the power of Raja yoga and the realisation that our bodies and minds are just tools for us to use. We are not our bodies. We are immortal and invulnerable.

Liber ABA book 4 by Crowley- Crowley’s definitive magical text in my opinion. Not everything is valid for myself and I believe there are elements of chaotic text thrown in purposely to deceive and deter the unworthy individual, but I sincerely believe Crowley is not only the most understood of British heroes of the last 100 years, but was in fact one of the greatest minds that these isles ever produced.

It is my opinion, that in order to develop both the powers of our might and main, then we must also develop our spiritual understanding and self-awareness as well as simply harvesting knowledge of herbs, ritual etc. and this is the reasoning behind my interests in yoga, qi gong, philosophy, art and music.

 

Stirring the well…

In an unprecedented wave of enthusiasm, I have attempted to organise a family friendly Heathen walk and talk, issued a list of requests for the Pagan Federation of England and Wales to undertake in order to evolve with a purpose, formulated the basis of my own Odian training system and discussed membership of two larger organisations.

Interesting times ahead and I can guess where the inspiration for this bout of activity is coming from!

Making my own

I’ve had a vision of a ritual over-robe to wear during blots, rune working, seidr etc. that would be designed to harness and project my will whilst also receiving the energies surrounding me.

The idea has been bouncing around my head for a couple of months. A strange conversation came up somehow that resulted in my wife offering to help me make this.

Other items were also added that I was looking to have custom made- some pouches, bags, reading cloth designs etc. that my wife will most likely produce for me by herself and then add whatever rune designs I wish to them.

It’s a strange world- I never envisioned sitting around the dining room table stitching ritual garments would be something my wife would want to do each evening. The moment of inspiration hit us hard I guess. Now- where do I find the right material?

Reyn til Runa!

 

The signal has been sent

After some frustration at remaining solitary, I sent out a request for Heathens nearby to shout out if they want to form a meeting.

The issue is always that so many events are in London, late at night or at times which do not work for anyone with children.

Much to my surprise, it seems to have only taken a few short hours before there is an initial interest from fellow Heathens in a similar place to myself. A meeting has been set at a time and place that should suit most who work or who have small children and it’s intended to be a family friendly event too, so I do hope the children come along.

I actually have no idea where I was going with this process, but the wheels are rolling now!

Also, I seem to have pushed my local pagan meeting to give me time to explain my beliefs to the group and also outline my own personal interests. I need to control that side of me which lands me in these situations!