Satan

Having had a good look at Christianity and it’s various positive and negative forms, and also the various pagan myths of Teutonic lore, we will now shift our focus toward a particular feature of mythology that is a recurring theme throughout the history of religion. The being known as ‘Satan’ in Judeo-Christian mythology and as ‘Shaitan‘ in Islam, means ‘adversary’ and features as an antagonist either to God or mankind in different mythologies throughout the world. He is known in one sense as the embodiment of all evil, but also as a tragic or even sympathetic figure who rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven.

The lore surrounding this dark figure is a mixture of pagan and Christian myths, and his association with the Judeo-Christian ‘God’ is either as the prosecutor of Job, as in the Old Testament, or as tempter of Jesus within the New Testament. However, his appearance as a horned man with goat legs and a trident is a mixture of pagan imagery, in particular the Greek forest god Pan and his Celtic cognate, Cernunnos, as well as the Greek sea god, Poseidon. To mainstream Christians, Muslims and Jews, he is seen as the one who leads you astray from the path of God and towards damnation, but he is perceived as a liberator and a figure of freedom in some pagan traditions; and sometimes is even seen as a god to be feared, rather than the more benevolent Creator deity.

Though ‘Satan’ is the name most commonly known in the West today, he is also known by the titles of ‘the Devil’ (whose name relates to words ‘devious’, ‘deviant’ and ‘devour’), Beelzebub (‘lord of the flies’, thought to derive from the Canaanite deity Ba’al) or even ‘prince of darkness’. He is also associated with Lucifer, although this is a slightly different figure that we will look at in more detail later on. In other cultures, Satan is known in different forms, such as Ahriman in Zoroastrianism, who is seen as the enemy of Ahura Mazda (‘God’) and deceiver of mankind. In Buddhism, he appears as the arch-demon Mara, who represents illusion and is the lord of death.

Within Teutonic mythology, the best fit for a Satanic figure would be Loki; who also represents illusion and deception and is the nemesis of Heimdall, guardian of the Bifrost Bridge to Asgard (the home of the Aesir and a place representing enlightenment). However, in other cultures he was seen as a deity to be worshipped, such as among the natives of Virginia, who called this being Oke, and some even performed human sacrifices of teenage boys to him. In Ancient Egypt, he was known as Seth or Set, and despite being the brother and slayer of the Sun god Osiris, he still had followers among the Ancient Egyptian kings, though his name was later blotted out in religious dedications. Even within the Old Testament, there are references to dual goat sacrifices, one to Yahweh and one to Azazel, lord of the desert, who is very similar to Set in his attributes.

Today, he is often seen as representing a very real force of evil that compels individuals to commit atrocities against others. The so-called ‘Church of Satan’ and its brand of Satanism are simply a pompous form of atheism that promotes mockery of Catholic Mass and very base individualism based off of capitalist ‘philosophy’. However, much more serious stories involving human sacrifice and child abuse have appeared in mass consciousness over the past few decades. This practice of Satanism was once associated with people usually characterized as mentally deranged heavy metal fans, particularly in the United States during the 1980s.

However, this extreme expression of teenage rebellion is not nearly as prevalent nor as disturbing as tales of ritualistic sacrifices of children by plutocratic elites, many of whom are said to be or have connections to world leaders. Due to the nature of such clandestine activities, such practices are difficult to prove. For instance, it is possible that such stories are made up in order to disseminate fear and paranoia and have no basis in truth. Such accusations are similar to those made against witches by the Catholic Church during the Burning Times. However, it would also stand to reason that if these things were happen among the wealthiest members of society, then they would have sufficient resources to cover it up and protect themselves from the wrath of the public. Either way, the idea of offering humans as a sacrifice to an infernal being are nothing new, and it is naïve to assume that such beliefs and practices are not still adhered to within the darkest corners of Man’s heart.

Thus, the nature of ‘Satan’ is multifaceted and not so easy to discern in terms of a singular being. He is a different sort of character depending on the context and how his role relates to other beings portrayed as ‘God’. For example, in the Book of Genesis, Satan is usually associated with the Apple of Eve, which was eaten by the first woman from the Tree of Knowledge. Though not explicitly mentioned as the name of the serpent who tempted Eve to eat the apple, it has been inferred from the theme of temptation to disobey that this figure represents Satan in this context. However, this story could be interpreted in different ways. On one hand, the Judeo-Christian interpretation is that Eve and her mate, Adam (the first man, whose name comes from Atum in Egyptian mythology) were damned by God and cast out of the Garden of Eden (‘paradise’) for their acts of disobedience; and so began the Fall of Man from spiritual grace.

On the other hand, a Gnostic or Luciferian perspective is to see the serpent as the spirit of curiosity, which encouraged Eve to disobey the tyrannical false god ‘Yahweh‘ and reach towards enlightenment. Both versions reflect either a Left-Hand Path or Right-Hand Path interpretation of the story, for which the meaning differs depending on one’s own values. For one on the Right-Hand Path, Satan more often is seen as a dangerous enemy, and one who tries to distract you from achieving your goals through temptation and deception. However, within the Left-Hand Path, any obstruction to liberty is seen as a hindrance and Satan can be a valuable ally in overcoming the bondage of psychological conditioning during one’s lifetime. It is at this point that it is worth distinguishing the figure of ‘Satan’ from that of ‘Lucifer’, who are often conflated but who generally represent two distinct but related beings. Satan is a figure who was originally seen as ‘the accuser’ and acted as God’s dispenser of justice on Earth in Judaic mythology. However, within Christianity he is seen as the ruler of Hell (based on both the Greek and Teutonic underworlds) and as a fallen angel and lord of demons.

lucifer

Lucifer is an angel or demigod known as Phosphoros in Greek and whose name means ‘morning star’, which is the planet Venus. He is a metaphor for the ‘light-bringer’ or seeker of enlightenment, and is associated with both Loki and Prometheus; who is said to have brought the divine gift of fire to Man (‘Loki’ means ‘lightning’ in both a metaphorical and literal sense). Within Judeo-Christian mythology (though not actually in the Bible) Lucifer is portrayed as the angel who led a rebellion against God when asked to bow before Adam, and who was cast down into Hell following his defeat and becoming Satan. In this way, he is similar to the Yazidi deity Melek Taus, though their Creator is said to have praised the archangel for his refusal to bow before any creature lower than he, for this is how he was created. In these terms, Lucifer is the one who chooses to rebel, and Satan is who he becomes in doing so.

This process may also, however, work in reverse. Wotanist mystic, Kalki Weisthor, has suggested that both the figures of Satan and Lucifer can be incorporated into Wotanism by adding Wotan as a third component. The idea is that one begins their journey on the Left-Hand Path by acting as Satan, and so undoing unhelpful social conditioning and false beliefs by refusing to follow what you have perceived to be the rules. The next step is to become Lucifer, which involves pursuing enlightenment and acting as a free agent, having done away with what restricted you before. The last step is to embody Wotan, after mastering the skills of magic and using one’s liberated position to come back into society as a teacher and as a leader.

I personally find this a very helpful concept, though it presumably does not work as well for those on the Right-Hand Path, who will want to stick to their principles and resist the urge to rebel, since it is not in their nature to do so. Satan is not so much to be feared but respected, and he is a figure that will remain as long as human consciousness can conceive of a negative force, pulling us either towards damnation or enlightenment. It is also worth keeping in mind that Satan can mean many different things to many different people, and that misunderstandings about his character have led to persecution and ostracism which arise from ignorance. As a friend or enemy, he is with us always, as a teacher, tempter or that which we despise but know we must embrace as a part of life.

Hail Satan!

Wulf Willelmson

The Dark Ages

The term ‘Dark Ages’ refers to the time also known as the Early Medieval (or ‘Early Historic’) period between the 5th and 11th centuries AD, and this is because we know little about events from the historical record in Western Europe compared to the Roman and Late Medieval periods. This can be contrasted with the Renaissance and the resurgence of paganism and occultism in this part of the world following the Middle Ages around the 16th Century. After the fall of Rome, the Continent was divided between pre-feudal, Teutonic kingships, while the British Isles descended into tribalism; where there was competition for land and resources between the native, Brittonic folk and Anglo-Saxon settlers.

However, despite the suggestion of genocide that has been proposed by some Modern archaeologists, there is no reason to believe that the Anglo-Saxons had some sort of ‘apartheid’ regime (something which can only be implemented through the state, which was not present in Britain following the Roman departure). Exterminating the Britons would have made little sense if much of the land was depopulated, a process which began in Late Antiquity and continued into the Dark Ages. It is certain that there were folk that came from what is now mainland Denmark and Northern Germany, though they arrived in Britain over a continuous time, as they were hired as mercenaries by the Romans and later the British petty kings to help fight the marauding Picts and Gaels. Thus, the Anglo-Saxons became more populous on the Eastern and Southern coasts of England, and eventually took control of the areas in which they formed the majority.

They could only have achieved this with the help of British pagans who felt alienated by their Christian rulers. There is reason to believe that the Anglo-Saxon warlords married into local noble families and gained power this way. The founder of Wessex, Kerdic, has a Celtic name, and so it is likely that he had an Anglo-Saxon father and British mother. Also, the Northumbrian king, Oswy, gained the territory of Rheged (Lancashire) through marrying a princess of that kingdom. It is for this reason that many Britons became absorbed into Anglo-Saxon culture through intermarriage and because of shared religious beliefs.

This is presumably what is meant in the Welsh Triads by the description of the Lloegrians (Britons of the South and East) coming into confederation with the Angles and Saxons. Though the Angles, Saxons and Jutes (who settled in Kent and also in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight) were three different tribes, they all spoke the same language and worshipped the same pantheon, which is why they are known culturally as Anglo-Saxons. Christianity subsequently fell out of favour among many of the Britons, but was reintroduced from Ireland by missionaries. These ‘Celtic Christians’ were more successful in converting the Britons than the earlier, state-imposed Roman Church, as they preached a doctrine that was more suited to Celtic culture and spirituality.

The first among the Teutonic tribes of England to be Christianized were the Jutes, whose close contact and trade with the Franks over in France, Belgium and the Netherlands exposed them to the later ‘Catholic Church’ that was more friendly to pagan customs. The Dark Age Roman missionaries were advised not to destroy pagan shrines, but to simply consecrate them in the name of Christ and convince the local people that they were Christians. In Late Antiquity, their methods included desecrating pagan shrines and attacking pagans, acts which did not win the hearts of the common folk. While the Jutes, Saxons and Mercians were converted to Roman Catholicism, the Northumbrians initially responded to the Church established by Saint Columba.

Edwin, was the first Northumbrian king to convert, though Oswy (a rival to Edwin and future King of Northumbria) converted to Christianity while he lived in exile in Iona. However, Oswy would eventually be responsible for turning his back on the Columban Church and agreed to revise the date of Easter to conform with mainstream Catholic custom at the Synod of Whitby; a move which would be followed by the Picts (in whose lands lived many Culdees, ‘hermit monks’ who preserved the Celtic tradition) and later at Iona itself. And so, the Catholic Church had succeeded in drawing the folk of the British Isles closer to its dogma, and went on to firmly establish Judeo-Christianity among the peoples of our land.

A similar process that occurred with the Britons and Anglo-Saxons may have also have happened among the inhabitants of the Northern Isles (and some of the Western Isles), and the Norsemen who settled there. These islands were some of the last places to be Christianized, and though they were attractive to the Culdees due to their isolation, they presumably did not bother the local pagans. The folk of the Northern Isles, especially in Shetland, have inherited much of their genetic lineage from the Norse. However, this does not mean that the natives were massacred by the Vikings. Rather, it suggests that they were more open to interaction with the Norsemen than with the mainland Picts and Gaels.

This may have been because the high kings of these peoples were known to raid the Northern Isles and the Hebrides, of which the goals were usually to capture booty and some slaves. It is important to note that chattel slavery was not widely practised in Britain before the introduction of Christianity, aside from kingdoms in the South-East who were in close contact with the Romans. Though there were many in European tribal society who were not free due to debt (and so were more like serfs), the market for this practice was only opened up through trade with the Mediterranean. Mercantile slavery was also not initially a feature of Scandinavian society, though they engaged in the practice once they began raiding other parts of Europe (especially in Ireland).

The place-names of the Isles show no trace of a Brittonic language such as Pictish, though we know that their culture was present in this part of the country at least so some degree because of the survival of some scattered Pictish symbol stones. However, the lack of Pictish material culture may also suggest that many of those living on the Isles before the Viking Age (between the 9th and 11th Centuries) were not Picts, and that this process may also have occurred over a longer period of time through cultural contact.The folk of the Northern Isles were converted to Christianity by the sword at the behest of the Norwegian king, Olaf Tryggvasson, who was one of the most bloodthirsty and fanatical Christian kings in history.

The Western Isles were presumably converted more gradually as they merged with the Isle of Man to form their own kingdom, independent from Norway. Gradually, the process of Norse domination reversed, as the folk of the Western Isles adopted the Gaelic tongue and were eventually incorporated into the Kingdom of Scotland in the 13th Century. This later period produced more literature than the previous Dark Ages, as the Catholic Church had secured a monopoly on the production of books among most of the European kingdoms (Eastern Europe underwent a similar process with the Orthodox Church, though pagan customs were still more prevalent there than in Western Europe).

However, despite the fact that the Dark Ages heralded the introduction of Christianity to Northern Europe and the Middles Ages were characterized by the domination of the Church, it was still a time of dual faith; meaning that while society maintained the veneer of Christianity, most of the folk traditions and customs of the Europeans at the time remained rooted in paganism. This was also reflected in the monastic literature, as myths from Ireland and Iceland were preserved by the dedication of some monks to maintaining the ancient tales, though they probably omitted details if they offended Christian sensitivities.

Even in France and Germany where the pagan myths had not been written down during the Dark Ages, the rise of Romance literature continued the common themes of Celtic literature, such as the legends of King Arthur and his knights. While Welsh monks managed to preserve earlier versions of these stories, the French and German versions were more heavily adapted to feudal society (with Arthur and his knights acting more according to contemporary ideas of chivalry rather than his status as a warlord in Welsh stories). However, they still contained the pagan and Celtic elements at their core, and had many parallels in Welsh mythology.

While the Church continued to control the narrative of the written word, most folk of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages engaged in oral tradition, and they preserved their people’s history through storytelling rather than writing. Though some of these stories were written down at some point during the Middle Ages, it is certain that many more have been lost over the centuries. There have been many attempts to record the ancient legends about Finn MacCool and other Gaelic heroes in Scotland and Ireland throughout the Modern era, either as a transcript or as audio recordings. These recent retellings in many cases match the ‘Classical Gaelic’ versions written down in the Middle Ages.

This is a testament to how strong the continuity of oral tradition can be, which is vital to maintaining the survival of a people through reminding them of the deeds of their ancestors and providing guidance for future challenges. Texts (and for that matter, computer data) are liable to be destroyed easily, and as their content resides in something external to ourselves, thy are forgotten if committed to writing and then lost or destroyed. This is why so many powerful institutions seek to control the narrative through media, and it is more effective to do so through the means of text and pictures. One of the reasons why folk customs were demonized in the Burning Times was that they posed a threat to the established order by diverging from the mainstream narrative and surviving thanks to the folk that remembered them. These ‘cunning folk’ were most likely to be engaged in what was deemed ‘witchcraft’, such as fortune-telling and herbal medicine.

I am unfortunately pessimistic in regards to our own time, as I do believe that we are on the verge of another Dark Age, as events that mirror the situation during Late Antiquity that preceded the fall of the Western Roman Empire signal that the collapse of our civilization has already begun. Our society is constantly over-stretching its limits and we are likely to see such events as mass starvation and outbreak of disease, as environmental disasters such as soil erosion and floods will lead to these conditions in a way similar to the Late Roman period. As the Roman elites became so corrupt that they practically enslaved their own populations (as they were no longer receiving slaves from imperial expansion) and introduced foreign populations against the wishes of the people for the sake of their own political interests (the Roman military needed soldiers, the central banks need debt-slaves).

Now that the European empires have expanded and subsequently fought each other in two devastating Brother Wars, only the shells of these empires remain and are being filled with more and more people to prop up consumer culture. Ethnic and religious tensions tear apart empires, and I can easily see Britain descending into tribalism once more if the central authority breaks down and people are left to fend for themselves, just as Emperor Honorius told the British nobles that they would no longer be receiving soldiers from the empire, as Britain had become such a vulnerable province.

In such events, the Celtic peoples survived because they managed to maintain their oral culture and were not devastated by the coming of Christianity. However, the Britons of the South-East became absorbed into Anglo-Saxon culture because they no longer shared the beliefs of their countrymen, and because they became surrounded by foreigners with whom they had more in common spiritually. I do wonder if the vacuum that has been left by the widespread abandonment of Christianity in the West is now being filled by Islam, as it is also an organized religion that insists on spreading its message to all corners of the globe through persuasion or by the sword.

In this way, historical patterns repeat themselves and we can tell what may happen by paying attention to the past. With the loss of spirituality in the West, it must quickly be replaced by our native belief systems, otherwise we may see another wave of violence similar to that during the Dark Ages. Whereas the people under the Roman Empire were protected by the imperial army, the petty kingdoms of the Dark Ages relied on local militias and mercenaries, a situation which is also mirrored today in the Middle East. This is a result of the breakdown of societies, which happens as they become less homogeneous and different cultures compete to control the narrative. Many indigenous cultures around the world have now become endangered, including our own.

However, it is still possible that we could have another Renaissance, as we Europeans rediscover what we have lost and realize who we truly are. This may be possible after a population collapse in the wake of catastrophic events (as with the Black Death that signalled the end of the Middle Ages), and less people would mean that more resources would be available. However, it is only possible to achieve this with dedication in recovering our heritage and history, and by thinking of ourselves also as worthy of being remembered in legends.We are not, as Modern nihilistic thinking suggests, individuals that only exist for one lifetime, but are part of a chain that connects us to both our ancestors and our descendants.

This link may only persist by thinking less about ourselves and more about our families and our folk. One of the reasons that the Dark Ages were known for the prevalence of warfare was that scarcity of resources once the Anglo-Saxon population expanded led them to push further and further West. Many of the inhabitants of cities such as York were still living within the Roman walls, and so urban life continued in some parts of Britain after the Roman left. However, these areas were more susceptible to cultural assimilation, as they were cosmopolitan and did not have a sense of national identity in the same way that the Britons of the countryside did. In the same way, it is in the rural parts of our country where our culture will have a chance of survival.

Wulf Willelmson

‘Ostara’, Goddess of Dawn and Spring

As our second blót of the year, the Creed of Caledon has performed our first ‘Ostara blót’, and are looking towards the coming season with optimism and determination. ‘Ostara’ is the reconstructed form of the Germanic holiday known in Old English as Eostre and in Modern English as Easter. There is some variation as to when the festival is celebrated. Though it traditionally marks the Spring Equinox (which is when we have chosen to celebrate it), it may also be celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, as in Western Christendom. ‘Ostara’ is the personification of the dawn, and is an alter-ego of Freya (whose twin brother, Frey, is associated with sunset). Traditionally, our forebears would perform this blót at dawn to greet the goddess of Spring. However, because of personal obligations (this year, the Spring Equinox was on a Monday, which does not work well with a regular work schedule), we chose to celebrate it on the evening prior, which is just as sacred a time to perform a blót as at dawn.

Because of it’s association with Freya and the Vanir, Ostara is a fertility festival, marking the blossoming of the flowers and the reproductive activities of the animals. Hares and rabbits in particular are associated with Ostara, and the ‘Easter Bunny’ which lays eggs is a symbol of fertility. This represents the possibilities in our lives that need to incubate before they can hatch in the summer (although the association with pregnancy would mean that the cycle begun at the Spring Equinox will complete at the Winter Solstice). In this sense, now that Winter has truly ended, we can now focus on starting projects and making changes in our lives. It’s astonishing to see how so many people choose to move house at this time of year, and it is also now that ‘Spring cleaning’ is necessary to prepare for Summer. Since Ostara follows Lent (another Christian tradition with origins in paganism), it also means that we can once again look forward to growing crops after the ‘hungry gap’, the early part of Spring when very little grows and food is even more scarce than in Winter. Now is the time to think about sowing seeds for the coming season, as the earth has become fertile once again. The Spring Equinox is important because it marks the point where day and night are equal in length, and so from this point the days will become longer than the nights. The extra sunlight will encourage growth and will hopefully encourage us to spend more time outside.

Though known as Easter or some variant of Passover (as in Judaism) in Europe, the Spring Equinox is also an important part of other Aryan cultures. In India and Nepal, the festival is known as Holi, which is ‘the festival of colours’, and is marked by people smearing each other with coloured dye and throwing water balloons at each other. It is also customary to imbibe bhang (a traditional drink with cannabis as the primary ingredient) as a way of getting in touch with the feminine energy of Springtime and feeling joy at the prospect of growing days and a fruitful season. Among the Iranian peoples, the festival is celebrated as Nowruz, and is traditionally the New Year in Central Asia. This time of the year is marked in all Aryan cultures as a time of increased activity, and a good opportunity to make good on personal promises or ‘New Year’s resolutions’, which are much harder to fulfil while the days are still dark and the weather is still cold. Though it is still cold in Scotland at this time of year, it is starting to get warm enough that we don’t have to pile on as much clothes to keep warm, and we can look forward to spending more time outside, either in Nature or simply in our back gardens or local parks. I have always personally had a certain distaste for Spring, though understanding the importance of the yearly cycle and coming to appreciate the religious and spiritual significance of the Spring Equinox has made me more content with this time of year.

Hail Ostara!

Wulf Willelmson

 

From Behind the Shadow Veil: The Rise of Traditionalist Witchcraft

There is a tremor rumbling through human consciousness that is only becoming more and more noticeable with each passing year. The status quo in terms of political, social and spiritual discourse is beginning to crack and ideas which have been buried for decades (sometimes even centuries) are finding their way into conversations when they wouldn’t have before. Over the years I have had an increasing interest in authentic magical and occult practices, and I do not seem to be alone. When I first began researching such things as I was moving from childhood and into adolescence, much of the discourse on topics magical and spiritual were held within the domain of the New Age movement. This can best be described essentially as a subculture and umbrella religion that has been carefully controlled and cultivated in its message so as to provide an outlet for dissatisfaction with the cold and calculated nature of our bureaucratic society, while still keeping one locked in the globalist mindset, specifically touting the mantra of “we are all one”. Nowadays, however, this is not so much the case. At the time when I began to research such topics, the internet was becoming prevalent, but still had less influence on public consciousness than mass media and what folk could find in their local library, if they bothered to look (sad to say, I never did). However, with the rise of social media and its eclipsing of television and newspapers as primary sources of information (particularly for younger generations), ideas which were previously filtered through the New Age movement, such as shamanism, magic and the use of entheogens are now shared within the context of exploring tradition, which has become particularly important to those of European descent.

One of the reasons that shamans were so fascinating to Western anthropologists was that our society had no real equivalent to such people. We had doctors, pharmacists, priests and other such professions (which are rolled into one within the shaman), but no ‘witch doctors’, who relied on spells and enchanted objects as part of their healing skills. This is because such ideas had been expunged from our society as part of the destruction of our folk heritage during the Burning Times, and so all that was left in the following 18th, 19th and 20th centuries was a secularized and distorted understanding of medicine and science. Therefore, those who went to study other cultures where this had not occurred found peoples who were ‘superstitious’, meaning that they engaged in magical thinking with regards to illness and cure. Shamans are typically animists, and so they see every living thing as possessed of a spirit, in addition to disembodied spirits which live in other dimensions and may have beneficial, detrimental or parasitic effects on humans.

Diseases are not seen to be caused by bacteria and viruses, but by vulnerable spots in one’s aura through which parasitic entities can drain your energy on the astral plane, which weakens the immune system and allows harmful microorganisms to proliferate, while your body’s attempt to fight these invaders manifests as symptoms. This is remedied not only with the use of healing herbs to strengthen the body, but also with talismans (which may also be the root of a herb) and chanting, to restore the balance of one’s energies and heal a broken aura. While such practices certainly require the power of imagination, it is not enough to simply ‘make things up’ in order to properly cure an illness. A knowledge of sacred words and tones in the human voice (something which can be aided by study of the runes) that resonate with the vibrations within a person is required in addition to a pharmacological knowledge of herbs and their effects.

The awareness of these practices among foreign peoples remained restricted mainly to academia, and were simply unavailable to most people, and various folk remedies that survived throughout the Modern era have been dismissed as ‘superstition’ and ‘auld wife’s tales’. This changed with the social upheaval that occurred in the 1960s, when disillusioned youths took to exploration of consciousness through mind-altering drugs, sexuality and spirituality. Tales of shamans in Tropical Mexico who took hallucinogenic mushrooms as part of their healing rituals and of sadhus (holy men) in India who imbibed cannabis to aid meditation became part of a cultural craze in the West, which was spurred on and accompanied by social alienation and rebellion against established authority. Experimentation with drugs and the native rituals associated with them led to an increase of interest in the occult, which had not been as strong since before the Second World War. This was reflected in emerging styles of music, as the psychedelic influenced rock music became more and more associated with the occult with references to Satanism and paganism.

Unfortunately, because the mass media still had influence over most people at the time, such practices degenerated into drug abuse and promiscuity as there was little information available on how to do such things properly. As these people were demonized by the media, their ideas were pushed further and further away from public consciousness, and the response from the United States and most other governments around the world was to ban the drugs that had become associated with the hippie movements, namely psychedelics. Cannabis had already been made illegal in the United Kingdom in the 1920s, though this was more to do with the interests of companies that produced pharmaceuticals, paper and plastic that felt threatened by the newly discovered uses for cannabis and hemp for all of these things, which would have been so cheap that there would be less need to rely on the extraction of oil and wood or on the production of synthetic pharmaceuticals.

The movement against the use of psychedelics and cannabis by the establishment meant that public support for the anti-war movement waned, as such ideas became associated with drug abuse and criminality. In response to the proliferation of heroin in the drug scene by gangs that ended up selling cannabis and psychedelics on the black market (as a result of criminalization), some hippies responded by becoming careless and overdosing people on psychedelics in an attempt to compete with the gangs pushing harder drugs. The terrible experiences that resulted from a lack of consideration for purpose, preparation and setting turned most ordinary folk away from using such substances, and so they became associated with a criminal subculture which sometimes led to the use of harder drugs. The New Age movement is not necessarily associated with drug use (in fact, most New Age practitioners advise against it), but it is evident that it arose from the turbulence associated with the transition from the 1960s into the 70s, and many who have an interest in New Age subjects also use cannabis or psychedelics. This subculture is generally associated with right-brained (emotionally driven) perceptions, the worship of pagan gods, the practice of Asian expressions of spiritual traditions such as yoga and meditation and experiencing spirituality as an individual.

However, despite the fact that this subculture is somewhat removed from mass society, there is still an association by those that are part of the movement with establishment ideals such as leftism and feminism, in addition to others that are against the establishment, like environmentalism. The New Age belief is a synthesis of ideas which takes from authentic tradition (such as the eight ‘sabbats’ in Wicca, which are based on Celtic and Germanic high festivals), but watered down to accommodate the Modern lifestyle (since Wicca was founded for the express purpose of promoting nudism, not paganism). It is something that provides a loosening from the control of your mind, but which still maintains its hold. Most mainstream ‘pagan’ organizations in the West today have explicitly multiculturalist, homo-normative and feminist ideals as part of their philosophies, which gives a conflicting and contradictory impression of paganism to most people. Paganism is the religion of the folk, and it does not extend to other peoples outside of a common acknowledgement of the gods and spirits. Certain esoteric traditions contain philosophies which transcend collective identities and are available to all peoples, but the common religion has always been based on shared heritage. The names and archetypes of deities are unique to each culture and do not translate precisely into others.

For example, Wotan is the chief deity and a god of war in Germanic culture, but in the Egyptian tradition his scribal and eloquent attributes are more heavily emphasized in the form of Thoth. Both gods are based on the same archetype but are also specific to each culture and can be seen as separate entities. The same goes for traditions in different countries, where one culture’s understanding of the significance and attributes of a certain plant or animal may differ from another. In the West, black is used to represent death, but in China they see white as a better colour to express this concept. This is why in authentic traditions, the practices consist of innovations by the people within a particular culture rather than from outside it. What works for one person might not work for another, and the same is true with the various races and peoples of the world. Universalist religions preach equality because it means that they can gain a monopoly on the minds of more people, by convincing them that they are all the same as long as they hold the same beliefs. However, you cannot make different peoples believe the same thing, as their inherent differences will be expressed through believing different things. The irony of most Neopagan attitudes is that they unwittingly promote ideals intended to erode their own traditions while basing their religious practices on such traditions.

Fortunately, this is beginning to change. Many of us have started to see that the demands for resources caused by mass immigration, for example, are in conflict with environmentalism, and that there is an inconsistency and hypocrisy in having empathy for other cultures, but disdain or apathy towards one’s own, especially if you consider yourself a ‘pagan’. At the moment, Folkish pagans are in the minority among those that consider themselves to be followers of the old gods, but changing political and social attitudes are having an impact on these movements. My own awakening to such ideas coincided with my study of entheogens alongside archaeology and history. What began as a curiosity about the altering of consciousness became a stronger interest in the traditions of my ancestors and in preserving my heritage. Working with sacred plants helps to get us in touch with Nature and discover her secrets, the old ways have a new appeal to those of us that see our society as almost completely disconnected from her. This practice goes beyond simply being escapist or making life in Modern society bearable enough to ignore its problems (as is the case with drug addiction and indulgence in Hollywood media), but seeks to actively restore and heal our currently decrepit human state with what has been missing from our society for hundreds of years.

The spirits are calling us from other worlds, and we can hear them better than before. We realize that we cannot simply dip our toes in the water in an attempt to fill our religious or philosophical needs o a superficial level, but that we have to embrace the Way and find out how to make these practices work today. Nature provides all of our needs, and there are many hidden cures for common ailments. Aside from the mainly psychological uses of illegal drugs such as psychadelics, physical problems can be solved by plants that can easily be grown or found in the wild. The bark from water elder can be used to ease menstrual cramps, while nightshades such as henbane and belladonna can be used to treat asthma and eczema. Even more mild herbs such as nettle can be drunk regularly for a variety of problems. As a reslt of the renwed interest in authentic practices, there is now more information than ever before on the internet about the uses of herbs in folk medicine and magical rituals. Sometimes this involves working with dangerous plants (recipes for ointments used for astral projection contained wolfsbane, the most poisonous herb in Europe), which has made such practices unappealing to most Neopagans.

However, with careful study and knowledge, one can reduce the harmful side effects of such dangerous chemicals, by knowing which plants counter their effects. The main principle is to be deliberate in intent, to know what you are working with such plants to achieve and how to go about it. When you see all plants and animals as beings in their own right, you learn to develop more respect for them, particularly the hallucinogenic ones, whose psychoactive effects on humans are a sign of high intelligence in the plant or mushroom. One thing to remember for those serious about engaging in ‘shamanic’ practices is that you do not interact with such organisms for fun, but that you work with them to achieve some sort of magical or medicinal benefit. As this is an exchange process, the spirit of the plants will also want certain things from you before they agree to work with you. This may include fasting, abstinence or a more general display of self-discipline before imbibing sacred plants and fungi. It should be stressed that in this context, the use of drugs for recreational as opposed to medicinal or spiritual uses is a sign of abuse, and will inhibit one’s ability to perform magical rituals properly, as the draining of energy that results from addiction and laziness means that you have less energy to put into your magic. The main demand from magical practice is self-mastery, to act as an adept of magic rather than the servant to desires or ideas. This also involves acting and thinking independently of any external authority, be it the public consensus or whatever religion you happen to be a part of.

Traditional witchcraft and Folkish paganism are still small movements within the wider counterculture, and are overshadowed by their ‘safe-bet’ counterparts in the form of Wicca and Neopaganism, but there is a growing interest in these subjects that goes beyond the modified forms of accepted norms offered by New Age beliefs. Cultural and racial awareness is taking hold all across the world, and part of this has to do with the availability of such resources on the internet. Not only can you study the culture and traditions of other countries, but also your own, which may have significance to somebody from another country but with a shared heritage (such as that between the British and Irish and many North Americans and Australasians). Over time, ‘paganism’ will become more and more associated with having a sense of identity through heritage and culture among all peoples, and the Universalist outlook which has dominated the New Age scene for the last half century will diminish. Those who are so abhorred by the ideas of self-determination and racial pride will abandon the idea of paganism in order to avoid being associated with ideas that they find repulsive, while those who value their traditions and ancestors more than mainstream society will only make our movement stronger by turning on their programmed beliefs and embracing freedom of expression and to go against what is considered ‘socially acceptable’ to say and do in our repressed society. While this is the result that we want, we will have to be wary of the authoritarians and their response, and it is possible that such a strong Folkish movement could end with an attempt to foist an oppressive Neo-Marxist or Islamic regime on our folk in order to combat what they see as “the rise of the racist far-right”. However, since the customs and values that we hold are those derived from the folk itself, it is likely that we will have those that have at least some awareness of their own heritage and do not see it as a bad thing will be on our side. They can’t get away with burning us at the stake, but they will try every way they can to shut down the threat of self-determination by using the media to turn the public against us. Thankfully, less of us watch television and read newspapers these days and more of us care about having freedom of religion, speech and expression.

Wulf Willelmson

Yazidism: The Cult of the Peacock Angel

Though most of my work is centred on my homeland in Europe, which is being assaulted and invaded by hostile forces from within and without, I wish to draw attention to a people in a similar situation in the Middle East as us Wotanists; namely, the Yazidi Kurds of Iraq. While most of the Middle East has succumbed to monotheism, this people stands out among all others because their religion seems to be a form of polytheism; where reverence is given not to a singular, cosmic God, but to seven holy beings known as the ‘heft sirr‘ (‘the seven mysteries’), with particular emphasis on Melek Taus, the ‘peacock angel’. Though they consider themselves Muslims and believe in the power of an almighty God, their religious practice seems to suggest that this is merely to avoid Islamic persecution, as they seem to believe that such a deity does not require worship, but that rather he should be worshipped through the heft sirr.

Melek Taus is revered by the Yazidis because he is seen as the creator and ruler of Earth, and was respected by God for refusing to bow down to Adam when he was created, representing the refusal of a spiritual being made from God’s light to be subordinate to a material creature. This has parallels to the Islamic story of Iblis, the angel who refused to bow down to Adam and so was cursed by Allah and became ‘Shaitan’, the Islamic Satan. This perverse concept that damns spiritual pride and independence has led to the Yazidis to be seen as ‘devil-worshippers’ by many Muslims, and has resulted in their persecution and, more recently, attempts to exterminate them by Islamic State. It doesn’t help that Melek Taus is also known as ‘Shaytan’ to the Yazidis, however, he doesn’t seem to be either good or evil as in Abrahamic religions. While the Yazidis do not have a concept of dualism and do not worship demons, this has led to the abominable practice of killing members of their ethnic group who attempt to leave or marry outside of their religion (also known as ‘honour killings’). Such an extreme practice reflects the severity of persecution and the fear that their unique religion will die out in a sea of monotheism, and the original religion of the Kurds will be forgotten.

The similarities between Yazidism and Wotanism are apparent, as the focus on seven holy beings (considered gods in Wotanism, though the Yazidis prefer to see them more as angels, probably under influence of monotheistic religions like Zoroastrianism and Islam) is a central feature of both religions. Nevertheless, these beings are still subject to higher authority, in Yazidism it is God, in Wotanism is is ‘wyrd’ (meaning something akin to ‘destiny’ and is from where we have the word ‘weird’), which is maintained by the three Norns governing past, present and future. However, these higher cosmic forces are not considered to require reverence, since they are self-sustaining and eternal. However, the gods or angels are dependent on human interaction to survive and maintain order in the cosmos, and so this is why it is they and not God who are focused on by both Yazidis and Wotanists. Melek Taus can also be compared to the god Wotan, as he is considered the leader of the heft sirr, as well as creator of the world (in Germanic mythology, the world was created by Wotan, Wili and We, a triplicity of Wotan). They also share the same holy day, Wednesday, which in English is named after the Anglo-Saxon Woden.

Yazidi customs include parading a golden model of a peacock, which is kissed by Yazidis for good luck. The Yazidis are keen to emphasize that they do not worship the idol, but that it is merely a representation of the spiritual force of Melek Taus. Their New Year is comparable to the modern Easter, as it falls slightly later than the Spring Equinox. They also have two holy books, known as ‘Kiteba Cilwe’ (‘the book of revelation’) and ‘Mishefa Res’ (‘the black book’). Though these have been deemed as forgeries by scholars, it has to be remembered that the Yazidis have a purely oral tradition, and so to make their beliefs and customs known to outsiders it was necessary for foreigners to write them down, as their content is consistent with Yazidi doctrine. Their society is led by a secular ’emir’ (‘prince’ or ‘general’) and a sheikh, who is the spiritual leader and is split into three castes who strictly marry among themselves. In this way, they maintain the structure that has held up their society for thousands of years. As they have been at the centre of many different civilisations, they have been influenced by all other religions in the area, from Zoroastrianism to Greek paganism and Sufi Islam, which is a sect of Islam that teaches pagan wisdom under the guise of Islam in order to preserve the knowledge, mainly among the Iranian peoples.

While the Yazidis join the fight with other Kurds against Islamic State, some of their women are taken as sex slaves and the Yazidis are seen by IS fighters as less than human. This is comparable to the recurring rape of European women by Islamic invaders, though our stronger state structure means that such events are somewhat successful at being covered up and ignored to avoid backlash and so, unlike in Iraq, we have not yet fallen into open warfare. However, it is important that we stand together with our polytheist brothers and sisters from all parts of the world, our struggle is the same and we have the gods on our side. Many Yazidis who have fled to Europe now carry the same fears from their homeland as millions of Islamic invaders are pouring into Europe. It is important that we realise that we are on the same boat and fight to preserve the traditions of all peoples against the cancer of dogmatism.

Wulf Willelmson

Merry Yuletide!

I am happy to announce that the Creed of Caledon has performed its first ‘blot’ to mark the Winter Solstice on the 20th of December. We went outdoors to perform rites to herald the beginning of Yuletide at sunset with offerings of mead to the gods and our ancestors. Later, we performed our second ‘sumbel’ (folk gathering) this year and concluded the rituals with a meal and some mead. Despite not being considered the New Year by the Ancient Europeans (which was marked by Winter Nights in mid-October), it is the most important blot, as it marks the darkest day of the year and the time when the powers of darkness and illness are at their peak. Celebrants may pass a sunwheel wreath and walk or dance in a circle using chants (which survive today as carols) to bring back the sun in an effort to reverse the shortening days and strengthen its power. ‘Yule’ is the name for the Winter Solstice and is celebrated at sunset before the actual date of the solstice (as our ancestors saw darkness preceding light and a new day began at sunset) and ‘Yuletide’ refers to the twelve days of Yule, the middle of which is now known as Christmas and ended on the 1st of January. ‘Yule’ means ‘wheel’ and refers to the wheel of the year but also to the turning of the sun itself, which are both represented by the sunwheel.

In Norse mythology, Yule is the time when Hermod (an alter-ego of Wotan) journeys to the underworld to petition Hel, jotun of death, to give back Balder and Nanna. Hel refuses, but Balder and Nanna give Hermod a ring and a blanket as gifts to the gods, which is why we exchange gifts on Christmas. Balder represents the light of the sun, and it is at this time of year that he is at his weakest and most miserable in the cold of the grave, but the visit from Hermod gives him the strength to begin his recovery. The celebration on the Winter Solstice is known as ‘Mothers’ Night’ and refers to the reverence given to our ancestors (in particular, the female ones known as ‘disir’), reflecting the fact that the realms of the living and the dead are very close at this time of year. Wotan leads the ‘Wild Hunt’, a procession of ghosts and elves roaming the night sky that lead the souls of the recently departed to the underworld. Wotan is also known as the ‘Yulefather’ and is the origin of the image of Father Christmas. In heathen times, children would leave their boots filled with hay for Wotan’s eight-legged horse ‘Sleipnir’ to eat, an in return, Wotan would fill their boots with presents.

Much of the traditions we associate with Christmas come from Germanic customs, and the Christians simply replaced Balder with the figure of Christ, and Wotan with Saint Nicholas. It has always been a time where families spent most of their time together indoors at the coldest time of year to tell stories, play games and feast and drink. The Christmas tree is also a part of these heathen customs, as the animal sacrifices of the blot (which means ‘blood’) would have their blood sprinkled on and limbs hung from pine trees, which are now represented by red bobbles and tinsel. Despite the crass commercialization and materialism that we are subjected to every year, underneath the veil of consumerism lies our authentic traditions that our folk have practised for millennia. It only requires a stripping away of cultural elements from Christianity and more recent capitalism to uncover a twelve-day long festival that is specific to Europeans and their temperate homeland, where the warmth and light of the sun is much missed at this time of the year. Yule represents the fire that is kept burning at the darkest time and we offer our light to the sun to contribute to it’s recovery. Remembering these traditions is essential to maintaining cosmic order and harmony and we only need to remember our ancestors and our family to continue them. Merry Yule, and may Wotan bless your family and your ancestors, wherever you are.

Wulf Willelmson

How the Druids became Witches

 

Today, these mysterious magicians of the Celtic lands are generally understood in two ways; either as a class of priests or seers who basically governed their society through advising their chieftains, and only existed during the Iron Age, or alternatively, as a longer tradition stretching from the earliest times into the present day. The main problem with the former is that it relies on a restricted interpretation of the word ‘druid’ in an Iron Age context and ignores the use of derived terms during the Middle Ages with slightly different meanings. The word “dryw” meant ‘”seer” in Welsh, while the Gaelic word “drui” meant “wizard” or “magician”. Though some claim that the meanings of these words are not interchangeable whatsoever, this merely reflects the loss of religious duties of the druids after the invasion of Christianity. Instead of being the spiritual leaders of society, their role changed to that fortune-tellers and folk healers, many of whom would be burned as witches from the 15th to18th Centuries. Despite Christian propaganda claiming otherwise, the druids were said to have had magnificent powers; not only in prophecy, but also in controlling the weather and practising astral projection, such as spirit flight and shapeshifting.

The word ‘druid’ literally meant “oak wise” in Ancient Europe, but this name does not simply mean that they knew a lot about trees and other things in Nature (of which they knew a great deal), but also that they were generally considered powerful because of their knowledge and were ‘strong in wisdom’. They were described by the Romans as not only responsible for spiritual matters, but also as lawyers, philosophers, astrologers, doctors, scientists and politicians. They were also portrayed as a distinct social group along with “bards” (musicians and storytellers) and “owates” (seers) By the 1st Century BC, many Gaulish tribes had transferred political sovereignty from their chieftains to a ‘senate’ of druids, which functioned similarly to a republic and was led by a ‘wergobret’ (magistrate). The leader of the Aedui tribe who was allied to Caesar was knows as “Diviciacus”, and was described by Caesar as a ‘senator’ of the Aedui. This reflects how similar Gaulish society had become to that of the Romans, but the main difference between their societies was that the Romans had a city-state civilization, while the Gauls retained the tribe as the largest political unit. They were both run by the elites of their societies who formed a level of government above the common folk. The druids were also said to have performed human sacrifices, which the Romans saw as barbaric (as they only sacrificed animals). However, it is possible that these ‘sacrifices’ were actually executions of criminals and that the Druidic legal system was a thorough mixture of of religion and law, and so execution may have had a ritual aspect that was not shared by the Romans.

In Britain, the Romans became intent on destroying the druids as part of their invasion in the 1st Century AD, so they slaughtered them at their base on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales. It appears that the druids were too effective in stirring up resistance against the Romans all over Britain that they were exterminated or forced to swear allegiance to Rome and conform to the Romano-British hybrid religion. However, the druids evidently survived in Scotland, as they feature in Adomnan’s “Life of Saint Columba”, as antagonists. Though they are never mentioned again by the Romans, this is probably because the druids had previously had a centralized religious institution that had become localized after the eradication at Anglesey, and the remaining tribal druids would have no longer posed a united political threat to the Romans. The druids continued to act as the legal and spiritual leaders of their societies, but they became subjected to Christianity around the 5th Century AD. The first attemps to Christianize the Picts were carried out by the Britons in Scotland, who were likely to have practised Romano-British religion and would have been quick to adopt Christianity from the Romans. Missionaries like Saint Ninian (‘Winnian’ in Brittonic and ‘Finnian’ in Gaelic) converted the Southern Picts of Fife, Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Angus and Galloway in the early 5th Century. However, Saint Patrick’s “Letter to Coroticus” (probably a king of Strathclyde) calls the Picts “apostates”, suggesting that they had probably abandoned the Roman variant of Christianity by the late 5th Century.

Irish missionaries were more successful, as they preached a more syncretic form of Christianity, which was propagated by the Saint Columba in the late 6th Century. While Columba managed to gain converts among the Picts, he did not succeed in converting the Pictish king, “Bridei” (“bree-day”), but his work was continued by his monks at Iona and other parts of Scotland. Druids were also present in Ireland before Christianity, and they are described in more detail than those in Scotland. They are the ‘snakes’ that Patrick supposedly “drove out of Ireland”, as he made every attempt to undermine the wisdom of the druids by smashing statues of their gods and burning their books. Despite claims to the contrary, the druids did have an alphabet other than ‘ogham’ (a writing system used for carving inscriptions on stone and on wands for divination) known in Wales as ‘Coelbren’ and can be found on inscriptions across Europe. Modern academia asserts that Coelbren was invented by Edward Williams in the 18th Century, despite the fact that the reason we have no textual evidence of the alphabet is because the Christians burned the evidence. This is where the assumption that the druids were illiterate until they adapted ogham from the Latin alphabet comes from (which is also false). At the same time, the druids were still primarily concerned with oral tradition, as esoteric knowledge could not be written down (their writing was more likely to have been used to aid memory rather than record it) and druids were trained to memorize poetry, mythology, spells, songs, religious rituals with which they tried to understand Nature.

The Irish druids are described as wearing feathered clothing (in contrast to the Gaulish druids, whom the Romans said wore white robes), giving them the appearance similar to shamans in other parts of the world. The link between Druidism and Shamanism is one which has a lot of evidence to support it. The practices of soul flight and shapeshifting as well as detailed knowledge about plants and animals appear to be common to many such traditions, so it stands to reason that Druidism has been passed down to us by our earliest ancestors and inhabitants of these lands. In traditional societies, the shamans are the spiritual healers of their people, and will use their powers to fight sickness and protect their tribe. They also serve as advisors to their chieftains, though they live somewhat apart from the rest of society, despite being essential members. Another important similarity appears to be the lack of gender exclusivity among druids and shamans. The folk on Anglesey chanting curses at the Romans were women, and there is no evidence that the druids had a patriarchal institution like the chieftains, even if women were in the minority or were possibly part of separate orders from the male druids (it is said that Saint Bridget was a druidess who converted to Christianity).

The status of the druids diminished with the coming of Christianity and so they became a misunderstood and sometimes feared folk during the Middle Ages. To many, they became associated with legends of werewolves and curses than for their previously important contributions to society. In Ireland, the druids were said to have been able to cause madness, by blowing a powder (most likely a drug made from plants containing scopolamine) into somebody’s face, a practice still utilized by criminals in some of the poorest countries. The word ‘sorcerer’ comes from the Latin ‘sortiarius’ which also means a seer, and in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, the use of magic was known as ‘wiccecraeft’ or ‘witchcraft’. The male ‘wicca’ and female ‘wicce’ may have been the Anglo-Saxon equivalents of the druids and became the witches and wizards of Medieval lore; however, the common folk sought to distinguish between ‘witches’ and what they called ‘cunning folk’. The difference between them was that the former practised ‘black magic’ while the latter engaged in ‘white magic’. Black magic became known by the term ‘maleficium’ (sorcery) and consisted of hexing, poisoning, becoming invisible and changing folk into animals, while white magic was focused on healing, prayer and removing hexes. ‘Cunning folk’ were tolerated because they frequently invoked Christ and Semitic gods such as El and Adonai, while ‘black magic’ usually consisted of interacting with Nature spirits (wights, elves and dwarves).This was all seen as pagan superstition by the Catholic Church and was either ignored or ridiculed.

This was to change near the end of the Middle Ages, as the Church became concerned with the potential proliferation of occult literature with the invention of the printing press in the 15th Century. They reacted in a typically hysterical fashion and began to encourage secular authorities to hunt down and persecute ‘witches’. Whereas before, their policy had been to deny the veracity of supernatural powers attributed to or even the existence of witches, now witches became servants of darkness who worshipped the Devil and used magic to harm and to kill. The previous bigotry towards ‘heretics’, who held differing interpretations of the Bible, was now unleashed on all who practised folk magic (and many who did not). In Scotland, they did not burn them alive when found guilty of witchcraft (as was done on the continent), but rather strangled them first before burning their corpses (though there are reports of ‘witches’ being thrown off cliffs). Despite the holocaust that ensued throughout Europe into the beginning of the 18th Century (and later in some parts), some cunning folk survived and continued to be consulted by the common folk but were simply ignored for the most part by the medical establishment. The ‘Enlightenment’ had secularized science and medicine, and so druids and witches and all things ‘superstitious’ became memories of the past.

Druidism resurfaced in the 18th Century as a Welsh cultural movement, influenced by the work of Edward Williams and espousing a peculiar form of monotheism. The early Neo-Druid movement had a fraternal organization similar to freemasonry, though more recently, others have tried to discover more authentic Druidic practices. Druidism is a spiritual philosophy native to Europe and in places where Europeans form a majority, and is a tradition that can be incorporated into Wotanism. In contrast, ‘witchcraft’ is more of a method of experimenting with natural forces, which can be used for any purpose and is a cultural practice rather than a religion. ‘Wicca’ is a dualistic Neopagan religion that is based on a hotchpotch of European folk traditions and ceremonial magic, and is a universalist religion like Christianity. There are many New Age belief systems designed to trick you into thinking that you are reconnecting with your roots or the land, but still holding you in a modernist mindset. Our traditions are neither ancient nor modern, they are both since time is eternal, which is the cyclical view of the universe that was held by the druids.

Wulf Willelmson