What is ‘Wotanism’?

The Creed of Caledon is based on the doctrine known as ‘Wotanism’, which is a modern-day expression of the people of Europe’s ancient religious and spiritual beliefs. The head of the Teutonic pantheon as far as the lore can tell us was known as ‘Wotan’ to the Germans, ‘Woden’ to the Anglo-Saxons and ‘Oðinn’ to the Norse. Though the names of the deities in Wotanism are based on those of these particular cultures, the path is open to all those of European descent and one may refer to deities from other European pantheons and even figures from Christianity, which has incorporated much of our ancestors’ traditions into its practices. It is a belief based on blood kinship and the bond with our sacred land, and so it is tied to the seasons and features of the landscape such as rivers, springs, hills, mountains and groves. Therefore the functions of many of the deities correspond to things such as the weather, the sea, the sky and even Mother Earth herself. There are others who oversee more human aspects, such as bravery, strength, wisdom and magic, and they are all described in detail in Angels and Demons in Teutonic Mythology.

The most commonly cited figures in Wotanism are David Lane and Ron McVan, who gave birth to the idea of ‘Wotan’s Folk’ in the 1990s. David Lane came up with the name and philosophy, while Ron McVan wrote much of the literature, including The Temple of Wotan, which is the source of the Creed of Caledon’s philosophy and rituals. However, the concept of ‘Wotanism’ goes back much earlier, to an Austrian mystic known as ‘Guido von List’, who was born in the mid-19th Century and died not long after the First World War. He coined the term ‘Wotanism’ to describe the exoteric religion of the Ancient Teutons, which involved invoking the deities in ritual and emulating the gods, particularly Wotan. This was paired with the concept of ‘Armanism’, an esoteric practice that involves working with the runes, particularly the Armanen Futhorkh, which was revealed to List during a period of blindness and is based on the rune poem in the Hávamál, which Wotanists consider to be the most sacred text. The Armamen Futhorkh is explained in his work known as Das Geheimnis der Runen (‘The Secret of the Runes’), published in 1908.

Armanen futhark stem version

Armanen Futhorkh

Wotanism can be described as a ‘pagan’ religion, which primarily involves interaction between oneself, one’s ancestors, ones kin, one’s land and one’s gods. Therefore it is a ‘folkish’ belief system that is dependent on one’s genetic and cultural lineage. It can be observed anywhere in the world, though only by those of European descent and preferably in a temperate climate which suits our kind best in ecological terms. This is different from ‘Armanism’ in that it is based on the external and objective reality, while Armanism is based on one’s own internal and subjective experience and should be seen more on an individual level. Armanism is a mystery religion akin to Gnostic Christianity, Vajrayana Buddhism or Western Hermeticism, though it is still based in Teutonic language and tradition. Therefore, Wotanism is not so much a form of ‘Neopaganism’, but a Wihinei (‘way’, more specifically ‘folk-way’), that incorporates aspects from other Aryan religions.

While Wotanism has been linked to Neo-Nazism and ‘White Supremacy’, it is worth remembering that many Wotanists  were interned in concentration camps under the Third Reich, as they were considered ‘heretics’ or ‘occultists’ that were deemed a thread to the regime. Heinrich Himmler’s spiritual advisor, Karl Maria ‘Weisthor’ Wiligut, declared Wotanism to be a false religion, and was in opposition to his doctrine of ‘Irminism’, which may have been the intended state religion of the Third Reich that was to replace Christianity had Hitler won the Second World War. Therefore, it is not in our best interests to support any totalitarian regime, be it Communist, National Socialist or Corporate Socialist.

As Wotanism is not a centralized religion without any structured organization outside of each kindred, there are many different interpretations and definitions of the doctrine and so the personal opinions of one adherent or kindred may be at odds with another. This, however, is not the case when it comes to the core philosophy, which is that we are to be gaining and spreading awareness of the ways of our forebears and promoting the wellbeing of our descendants. This is done through personal self-improvement, much of which is tied to the particular archetype or’ god’ which we unknowingly impersonate. By assessing one’s own nature and reason for being, you can aspire to achieve your full potential and become a valuable asset to your tribe. The tribe is considered to be a network of family and friends that share with you a common genetic and cultural bond.  It is a ‘nation’ that is not so much centred on what nation state you ‘belong’ to, but on whom you can trust and rely on.

Much of the work done by Wotansvolk, in the 1990s and early 2000s was involved in prison outreach, which is now impossible seeing as Wotanist literature is banned from many prisons because it is seen as such a threat to the establishment. However, the core mission of Wotanism hasn’t changed, and emphasis is placed on rehabilitation of those struggling with addiction, criminality, violent tendencies or simply weakness (with the exception of those who have committed crimes against children, who will never be welcome among the folk). It is true that Wotanism draws many who believe in Neo-Nazism or White Nationalism, but much of our work is designed to divert energy away from negative and destructive ways of thinking towards productive and honourable ideals and behaviour. This is why, despite the fact that I have written about political issues, the Creed of Caledon takes no particular stance in that area and supports no political organization. Our only concern is when such organizations transgress our natural rights or attempt to silence us.

We have much in common with other groups that describe themselves as ‘Odinist’ or ‘Wodenist’, though we call ourselves ‘Wotanists’ to distinguish ourselves from any organizations whose members may refer to themselves by those terms. The main difference being that we have no central authority or hierarchy, aside from those that are present in Nature between gods, men and beasts. Therefore, while each kindred is led by a goði (‘priest’), there is no overarching structure and connection with other kindreds is based on networking. We perform two types of rituals, which are known singularly as blót and sumbel. The former consists of ceremonies that are performed at holy tides (including Yule, Easter and Midsummer) and involve offerings to the gods and celebration of the seasons. The latter refers to folk-binding rituals which are less formal and include pledging oaths and recounting one’s ancestors and past deeds in order to encourage self-improvement. These are not held at fixed dates and are usually observed more frequently than blótar.

We believe that we are undergoing Ragnarök , ‘the doom of the gods’, and so the world is in the process of being destroyed so that it can be remade. The acceleration of Postmodernism has led to the downfall of Western Civilization and left a heap of ruins and lost and spiritually starved people. While the state and corporations seek to replace this need with consumerism and political involvement, some of us have become disillusioned with the established dogmas and decided to follow our own way. As Wotanism is based on self-reliance and intimate trust, we encourage others who feel that this is the way for them to create their own kindreds and endeavour to improve themselves. Rituals and ceremonies help to strengthen kinship, but more important is the need to fulfil one’s own talents and embody your chosen archetype. Remember who you are and where you came from, and honour yourself, your ancestors and descendants.

Wulf Willelmson

European Entheogens: Folk Medicine and Magical Aids

If you have an apprehension towards the use of psychoactive plants and their effects on humans outside of the context of Modern pharmaceutical medicine, then you may not wish to read on about this particular subject. Even more so, this topic deals with some substances which are currently illegal or extremely dangerous to use without training, and thus are unsuitable for experimentation by most people. If this concept frightens or irks you, begone! It is better for those who do not know enough about the nature of such things to rely on the advice of professional practitioners, preferably ones who do not fall for the reductionist quackery of Modern medicine (though for most of us, this is unfortunately not the case). However, for those of you who feel compelled to explore such things in depth, or possibly those who feel the call to study the art of traditional medicine, I will present a summary of some of the main plants that can be used in a sacred or ‘shamanic’ context within European culture.

It just so happens that we are among those various peoples across the world who do not have a significant tradition remaining that involves the use of such substances. The main culprit for this current state is the mania that seized our lands from the late 15th to the 17th Centuries AD, which encouraged religious and secular authorities to root out all traces of feminine folk wisdom and brand the practitioners of such arts as ‘witches’. This followed the social calamity of the Black Death and was an attempt by the Judeo-Christian authorities to assert themselves when the drastic population reduction in Europe and the loss of central authority had made folk more reliant on traditional methods in order to survive.

Much of this involved consulting wise women who were skilled in potion brewing and ointment making, as well as the creation of good luck charms and the practice of divination. These disciplines are all inter-related, and many of them can be achieved by working with plants which were once considered sacred. Sadly, the imposition of Judeo-Christianity merely followed earlier, statist attempts to outlaw such substances within the Roman Empire, and under such circumstances the use of these substances typically loses its sacramental context and devolves into a recreational or criminal activity.

Among tribal societies, however, the knowledge of how to work with sacred plants is at the heart of the spiritual, physical and psychological well-being of the tribe and the individuals that use them in this way are treated with a mixture of fear and respect. On one hand, they have an intuitive understanding of what particular plant should treat a specific ailment, and also what the dosage should be depending on the individual requiring treatment. However, their working of potentially poisonous plants and the ability to travel to other worlds and converse with deities and other spiritual beings makes them potentially dangerous. The accusations levelled at women (and sometimes men) who were supposedly engaging in black magic during the Burning Times were not completely unfounded all of the time, as the ability to heal also enables the potential to harm; and so it would be naïve to assume that some of the cunning folk never employed poisoning or hexing, either as an abuse of power or as a way of teaching a lesson to a fool. However, the gift given to such individuals by the gods was one which could be taken away if misused, and so those involved in such practices had to abide by a deep adherence to natural law and know how to work above their own ego.

Below is a list of some of the more powerful substances that are known to have been used in native European tradition. I believe that it is important to focus on our own cultural perspective, as the adoption of practices from other cultures may not coincide with those of our forebears. It is unfortunate that we have experienced such a complete and utter devastation of the traditional use of entheogens in Modern Europe, and so most people’s understanding of these substances is tainted by harmful perspectives that are a result of prohibition.

Whether it be hysterical rejection of the use of such substances because of a belief in their inherently harmful nature and an ignorance of their positive uses, or a completely hedonistic worldview which sees such treasures as a way to ‘get high’ and only seeks such substances for the sake of pleasure, I find it necessary to give a third perspective which focuses on their sacred rather than profane usage. As there are many fantastic blogs which deal with herbal lore, I will only focus on those that are more suitable for a ritual context rather than those which are of a more mild nature and can be utilized for everyday use. Be warned that the penalties for messing with these things may end with a prison sentence or harming one’s body or mind because of side-effects, and I provide this list merely as a guide to entheogenic study.

Belladonna (Atropa Belladonna)

A-127-11 Atropa belladonna

This infamous plant is commonly known as ‘deadly nightshade’, a name which has been attached to it mainly to ward of children from eating the berries, which are luscious and sweet, but usually result in a painful death for them. The main chemical constituents are scopolamine and hyoscyamine, though the latter metabolizes into atropine upon drying and is the main chemical associated with this plant. These chemicals are known as ‘anticholinergics’ and are capable of inducing delirium, realistic or terrifying hallucinations, a rapid heart rate, difficulty urinating and stupor. However, they are also invaluable for their use in treating nausea, insomnia, toothache, low blood pressure and bradycardia (a dangerously slow heartbeat), and were historically used as sedatives before performing surgery.

Despite the lethal danger to children, Belladonna poisoning does not usually result in death for adults. However, its ability to trap a victim in a waking dream of hallucinations and delirium can have disastrous consequences for somebody who becomes poisoned by her, as they are reliant on others to make sure that they do not confuse their hallucinations for reality and injure or kill themselves in the process. It is for this reason that belladonna is feared for her dangerous power, and will only respond positively to those who employ her aid for reasonable purposes.

One particularly notable instance of its use for poisoning was at the Battle of Denmarkfield near Luncarty in Perthshire during the 11th Century. The Danes, led by Sweyn Knutson, had been pillaging Fife and besieged MacBeth near the River Almond. The Scottish king, Duncan, offered Sweyn and his army wine laced with Belladonna as a sign of truce. By nightfall, the soporific effects of the drug caused the Danes to pass out or become delirious, and were easily massacred by the Scots. Sweyn escaped, but the Danes were expelled from our land for good. There is a standing stone to mark the site of the battle near the village of Luncarty. Archaeological excavations have also unearthed remains of Belladonna seeds at the Medieval town of Elgin in Moray, and they are usually associated with monasteries. After the conversion to Christianity, much of the medicinal lore was kept in the hands of the monks, and healing herbs were a common feature of monastic gardens. Though Belladonna is fairly common in England, it is much rarer in Scotland, as it prefers chalky soil and much of our native soil is very acidic and dense in clay.

denmarkfield_standing_stone

Denmarkfield ‘King’s Stone’, said to commemorate the Battle of Denmarkfield, Luncarty

Aside from the medicinal uses mentioned above, Belladonna is known to have been used to induce trance and was used in the practice of astral projection, where the user is able to send their hama (‘soul-skin’ or ‘astral body’) into other worlds to attain visions for the sake of divination or healing. It is for this particular quality that the cunning folk sought her aid in private rituals, although they would usually have needed an assistant to watch over them while they journeyed. Typically, Belladonna was used in the form of a ‘flying ointment’ in conjunction with other, more poisonous herbs such as wolfsbane (aconitum napellus) or hemlock (conium maculatum). Atropine is unable to pass through the skin, and so this would reduce the negative effects on the body that would result from ingesting such a chemical. In this context, the entheogenic use would have been more secretive than that of some other substances, though it may have been used by a group of practitioners to achieve spirit flight.

The chemicals in Belladonna are also known to cause lycanthropy, a condition where the subject believes themselves to be a wolf, and may be connected to folklore about werewolves. An elite band of warriors in Norse society was known as the ulfheithnar, and they were supposedly able to invoke the spirit of the wolf to aid them in battle (much like the ‘berserkers’, whom I will mention shortly). It is possible that Belladonna was used in potions or ointments by these warriors for this purpose, and it could also have been used to contact one’s own spirit animal. Belladonna is sacred to Nerthuz and it can be used as part of a Saturday incense (though this is not recommended).

Cannabis (Cannabis Sativa)

cannabis_sativa

Ah, what a controversial herb this is! Found in every street in all corners of British society, this particular weed is widely utilized for its ability to treat nausea, calm the mind, relieve pain and increase appetite. Sadly, it is more often than not used as a recreational drug, and is associated with a black market that mass produces the plant without any regulation or oversight. As the result of prohibition, it is unable to be used for medicinal purposes unless in the extracted, chemical forms, though the non-psychoactive varieties of hemp are grown for their nutritious seeds which can be used to make oil, and also as a textile.

Nowadays, this herb is associated with Black gang culture and all of the thuggery and degeneracy that goes along with the criminal and recreational elements, but this is only a recent phenomenon. In the past, cannabis sativa was grown all over Europe for its value both as a medicine and as a textile, though it is probably not native. Its native range is probably Central Asia, and it was likely to have been introduced to Europe by the Aryans migrating from the Russian Steppe, where it grows wild in the form of cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa is the cultivated form of the herb and has been widely utilized for its mind altering affects, particularly those relating to euphoria and creativity. The main chemical constituents of cannabis are THC and CBD, though the ratio of these may vary between different strains of the herb.

The connection between Cannabis and ecstasy (the state of being, not the drug MDMA) is well attested today and in ancient times. It is known by names such as ‘reliever of grief’ and ‘banisher of sorrow’, and was used to treat anxiety because of its ability to engage the more logical side of the brain and calm over-active emotions. It has been used by Indian ascetics known as sadhus to assist in meditation and to achieve liberation from the five senses. Naturally, the use of the herb for this purpose requires tremendous will and discipline, and so most folk prefer to utilize its ritual or medicinal uses.

One example is given by the Greek historian, Herodotus, who wrote that the Scythians of the Russian Steppe used Cannabis as part of a funeral ritual, where the seeds (he probably meant the flowers, which are known as ‘buds’ and do not look like flowers) were thrown on heated stones underneath a felt blanket and the resulting vapour was inhaled by the participants. The effects of the vapour were probably intended to soothe grief and accept the passing of a relative, by easing the attachment to that person temporarily. Cannabis was also used by the Ancient Celts, as excavations of an Iron Age chieftain’s grave in Hochdorf, Germany, have revealed traces of hashish (a refined form of Cannabis) on his cloak, suggesting that he was involved in using the sacrament. Hemp seeds have also been found among the clothing of women from Viking Age burials in Denmark, although it is not clear whether they were used for psychoactive purposes or simply for food. Even excavations of William Shakespeare’s home at Stratford-Upon-Avon have revealed traces of Cannabis in clay pipes found in what would have been the garden, supporting the idea that Cannabis has, and still is frequently used, by writers and poets for inspiration and creativity.

Cannabis is not known to be lethal in any capacity (though it may be adulterated with toxins as a result of illicit production) and while its medicinal effects are lauded by those with enough clarity to see them, it also has its downsides as a drug. Some people with a predisposition to addiction may find themselves indulging in the plant for psychological pain relief, something which is possible with Cannabis but must be accompanied by the appropriate therapy, otherwise it becomes a habit and a vice. Excessive use can cause a loss of motivation and apathy, and may even result in a worse mood when the effects of the drug have worn off.

An excessive dosage can also cause tachycardia (rapid heart rate), low blood pressure, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia (although this last side-effect is probably due to the fact that it is illegal, as the stimulating nature of Cannabis would worsen the worry about this fact). However, within a medicinal context, such issues are rarely a cause for concern, and it is a dreadful shame that many who need pain relief are unable to access it and are forced to rely on the pharmaceutical extracts or on street dealers who have no interest in their well-being. In the UK, Cannabis is a Class B controlled substance, and being found in possession of it can result in up to 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine and it is illegal in most parts of the world. Cannabis is sacred to Freya and can be used for any magic involving love, as it is known to be an aphrodisiac.

Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria)

amanita_muscaria

This visually attractive red and white mushroom is ever present in European artistic aesthetics, as it is commonly portrayed as being surrounded by fairies and is usually associated with Father Christmas and his reindeer. It grows under birch and spruce trees and is native to all temperate and sub-Arctic parts of the world. Though not the ‘magic mushroom’ that will be covered later on in this article, it is still psychoactive, though it is difficult to assess its actual effects for unknown reasons. For some reason, it can either have negligible effects or produce an intense hallucinogenic experience and it is difficult to know how to achieve this.

It is known that the main chemicals of Fly Agaric are muscimol and ibotenic acid, as well as muscarine and muscazone. Muscimol is a hallucinogen, while the other chemicals are simply poisons, and the side effects that can be experienced by this drug include delirium, stupor, vomiting, sweating and low blood pressure, effects which are associated with ‘cholinergic’ drugs. For this reason, there is a lot of superstition surrounding the mushroom, and factors involved in the potency of the drug include the time of year picked, the conditions of the location where it grows (presumably soil acidity is a factor) and how it is dried. The mushroom eaten fresh and picked late in the year is known to produce the most side effects, while those picked earlier and dried are said to yield more positive results.

Though Fly Agaric is commonly described as lethal in mycology guides, this is incorrect, as it is only seriously dangerous raw and in large amounts and would even be eaten after parboiling by natives of Siberia and Asiatic peoples in Northern Europe. It has been observed among the Sami people that reindeer eat the mushroom, and that the poisonous effects are mitigated by drinking the urine from the reindeer after its ingestion. Such practices have also been followed by priests in Western Siberia, where the tribal priests take the mushroom and dispense their urine to their congregation.

In Eastern Siberia, use of the mushroom is less restricted, and it is not considered as essential that only the shaman can ingest the mushroom. The desired effects of Fly Agaric are similar to those of Belladonna and other plants carrying tropane alkaloids, though they have the opposite chemical mechanism on the brain and actually act as potentates or antidotes to atropine poisoning. While Fly Agaric may also cause delirium and stupor, the effects are known to be less unpleasant and dangerous as those of the tropanes, and in its dried form it is relatively safe to be ingested. The ability to induce dreamlike states and visions means that Fly Agaric is very valuable to shamans, and would also have been important to our European equivalents. Fly Agaric is not exactly used medicinally, being more utilized for its mind altering effects than anything else.

Interestingly, it has also become associated with the ‘berserkers’ of Norse lore, and it has been suggested that it was used to induce ‘battle frenzy’ among these men. ‘Berserker’ means ‘bear shirt’ and refers to the use of animal hides used to invoke the protection of an animal spirit. Though the connection between Fly Agaric and the berserker has been dismissed in more recent times, there is sufficient evidence that it was used by them. The Icelandic word for Fly Agric is berserkjasveppur, which means ‘berserker mushroom’ and it has also been connected to the Indo-Aryan sacrament known as Soma (analogous to the Iranian Haoma).

This substance was used by Aryan warriors to achieve mental clarity, though it is difficult to imagine how this was achieved with the stupefying effects of Fly Agaric. It is likely that a combination of and mixture with other substances as well as the intention and discipline in conjunction with ingestion were utilized to achieve this, though it is difficult to assert with certainty due to the lack of evidence regarding its effects. It has also been connected with esoteric Christianity and and teachings of Christ, as one anecdotal claim holds that the subject experienced visions of Heaven and Hell, reinforcing the idea of the connection to Christian imagery. Though not illegal to posses, it cannot be bought or sold under recently implemented drug laws in the UK, which prohibit the sale of non-approved psychoactive substances. Fly Agaric is sacred to Wotan and the dried skin can be used in smoking blends with other herbs.

Henbane (Hysoscyamus Niger)

hyoscyamus_liger

Another one of the tropane herbs, this plant is very similar in its actions to Belladonna, though it possesses its own distinct character and attributes. Henbane grows on waste ground and near the sea across Europe, though it is very rare and considered endangered in the wild. It is not native to Northern Europe, most likely originating in the Mediterranean, though it was brought here millennia ago. Traces of Henbane have been found in a clay pot from Balfarg, Fife, dating to around 3,000 BC, which suggests that it was used as part of a ritual. Henbane seeds have also been found among the burials of women in Viking Age Scandinavia (much like the hemp seeds, making a stronger case for the use of Cannabis as an entheogen). The effects of the herb are more or less the same as that of Belladonna, though it may be slightly less poisonous due to the small size and different chemical composition of the plant (Belladonna is a perennial shrub, while Henbane may come as an annual or biennial). Therefore, Henbane may be more suitable for ingestion than her sister, though this is not recommended due to the toxic nature of the tropane alkaloids.

Henbane was another ‘witches weed’ and was considered especially useful in treating toothache, though the potential side-effects mean that it is no longer used medicinally today. In a magical context, Henbane was plucked by naked virgin girls in Medieval Germany in a ritual attempting to attract rain. It was also part of a potion given by the Iranian prophet, Zoroaster, to King Vishtaspa, who went into a deathlike sleep for three days and travelled to Heaven in that time. Henbane was also used for more sinister purposes by the Ancient Gauls, who dipped their javelins in poison derived from the herb in order to inflict more damage upon their enemies. Henbane may also have been part of the potion given by Circe to Odysseus’ men in The Odyssey, since the connection between tropane alkaloids and believing oneself to be an animal, as well as the connection between Henbane and pigs (which is what they were turned into), may mean that the story is about a witch who stole the wits of men by giving them a potion that made them believe that they were pigs. Henbane is sacred to Nerthuz, though some prefer to attribute its power to Thor, on account of its use in rain-making rituals.

Liberty Cap Mushroom (Psilocybe Semilanceata)

psem4

Also known as a ‘magic mushroom’, this is another substance which is prohibited under Modern law and has become associated with the worst aspects of the hippie culture and recreational drug use. Though more well-known than many of the other entheogens on this list, it is unique in being possibly the only psychedelic drug native to Europe. Psychadelics are different from other hallucinogens in that they do not produce delirium or dissociation, but rather they evoke colourful and geometric ‘visual distortions’ which are sought after by those looking for a step up from the curious effects of Cannabis.

Naturally, such substances are not suitable for social gatherings outside of a medicine ceremony and are frequently abused by party-goers, which can lead to unpleasant experiences. When used in an appropriate setting, magic mushrooms are useful in psychological therapy, and are known to treat depression and anxiety. Another difference between this fungus and the other entheogens on this list is that its medicinal values seem to be purely psychological and spiritual in nature, as is not known to relieve physical ailments. While they are not completely non-toxic, you would need to ingest and absurd amount of mushrooms to become poisoned, and as such they are safe to the human body for consumption in reasonable doses. The main chemical constituents are psylocin and psilocybin (which converts into psylocin during digestion).

Unfortunately, we know next to nothing about their use as an entheogen in Europe, the only clue being that in Ireland, they are known as ‘fairy mushrooms’. That and the fact that they can produce visual swirls and patterns that are reminiscent of Neolithic art suggests that they were known to our ancestors. Mesolithic cave paintings from Spain and Morocco depict strange beings holding mushrooms, and these are suggestive of shamanic use involving psychoactive mushrooms. Another small detail that may go unnoticed is the depiction of magic mushrooms in Medieval art, which feature occasionally and are curiously associated with the Apple of Eden, suggesting that Medieval Europeans knew more about these substances than we may have suspected.

If they were used in a similar way as by the natives of places like Mexico, then the Church would have taken a dim view of such practices and seen them as being used to communicate with devils. Such were the criticisms levelled at the use of magic mushrooms by the Catholic Church when it came to Mexico, and the suppression of these cults is a reasonable explanation as to why we have no indigenous tradition in Europe pertaining to the use of these mushrooms. If their use had been driven underground during the Middle Ages and only surfaced in art, we can be sure that the last vestiges were driven out of our lands during the Burning Times, and so we are left with a dearth of knowledge on how to use them.

Fortunately, we can speculate to some degree based on their usage in Mexico. They were used by the Aztecs and the Mazatecs in order to communicate with the gods, and the purpose was usually to discover a cure for an illness. They could have been used either by the healer alone, or by the healer and the patient if the illness was of a more metaphysical nature and required expelling negative entities from the patient. Typically, these healers are not looking for the fantastic visual effects, but for the intuitive voice that tells them what they need to know. Though magic mushrooms can have awful side effects, these can be mitigated by the guidance of an experienced healer and are not as commonly felt if the participant engages in preparation beforehand.

Usually, a participant would fast and abstain from meat, sex and alcohol for a few days before taking part in a medicine ceremony, as the mushroom cleans out the body on a spiritual level and any toxins remaining may lead to nausea and other discomfort when under its influence. Psilocybe semilanceata typically grows on pasture and grassland and is native to temperate zones, growing near, but not on, the dung of cows and sheep. Its association with cattle means that it is sacred to Frigg and its effects would also associate it with healers. Unfortunately, in the UK it is a Class A controlled substance, which may lead to up to 7 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine, and (like Cannabis) is illegal in most countries.

The use of these substances is something which is heavily looked down upon in our society, as it is deemed necessary for the state to have complete control over what medicines the people may have access to. Therefore, I neither promote nor encourage the use of such substances, as it is up to each individual to know if it is worth taking the risks that I have mentioned and if they can gain anything from their use. Some people are not meant to take certain substances due to risk factors, and so most of us will remain in the dark about their potential due to the restrictions on what can be done with them.

Though there is more and more evidence suggesting that our common perceptions of psychoactive plants are based on misinformation and lies, governments are slow to respond and prefer to maintain the unregulated black market rather than allow individuals to act responsibly and use what they can to treat illness. It must be kept in mind that if one does choose to use these drugs, then they must approach it with the utmost respect, as disregarding the spirit of the plant may anger it and may even be dangerous for the user. Therefore, it is important to remember what you are using them for and why you need to invoke their aid. Typically, other healing methods should be tried before attempting to deal with psychoactive drugs, and though some of these substances are not illegal, they are still capable of inflicting harm as much as they can heal. Tread carefully fellow travellers, as the world of entheogenic plant spirits is as dangerous as it is rewarding.

Wulf Willelmson

‘Neo-Monarchism’: Sacral Kingship in the New Age

One of the more interesting concepts that has presented itself in recent years is the resurgence of monarchism, the idea that a society should be led not by a democratically elected representative (who one is almost never able to trust except to do the wrong thing), but by a leader selected by natural law and the will of the folk. It is not surprising that we are beginning to see this sort of thing again, as in Scotland we have been bereft of capable leaders since the Renaissance, though the power of the king was becoming increasingly restrained and bound to the will of parliament.

Today in the United Kingdom, designating oneself as a ‘monarchist’ is usually taken to mean support for the British royal family, and also support for the Union (which is based on the extent of the kingdom and includes all lands in which British folk are the majority). However, the problem with this identification is that not only are there serious issues between the British folk and the ‘British’ state, but also with the royalty themselves. As the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, the monarch is almost completely subject to the will of parliament, though they still retain the power to veto anything put forward by parliament. This does not happen, however, as the concept of democracy means that the will of the parliament (which represents the interests of the merchants and plutocrats, as it always has) is seen to be more legitimate than the will of the monarch, and so the monarch can only realistically act as a puppet of parliament and not as a free agent.

In the Medieval and Renaissance periods, the parliament mainly represented not only the interests of the nobility, but also increasingly of the merchant class who were becoming more powerful because of the connection that had been forged between trade, loans and war. In the Dark Ages, war was done more for the sake of glory and honour, to avenge insults and to expand territorially for the sake of one’s folk. Once the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms has been established, kingdoms such as Northumbria began to expand not for the sake of territorial expansion, but for tribute.

Extracting tribute as part of the terms of surrender to a defeated foe had always been a feature of tribal warfare, but during this time it became the motivation for going to war in order to sustain a growing economy. As the king became a more secular figure with the conversion to Christianity, the profit motive began to dominate warfare. This did not change with the idea of divine kingship being reintroduced by the Normans, as they expanded territorially in order to gain subjects and tax them, which was a development from earlier tribute collecting and made the conquest permanent. It is worth noting that William the Bastard was not a legitimate heir to the English throne because he was Norman rather than English. Harold Godwinson was chosen by the English nobility, and was naturally a more suitable candidate than either William or Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, after the death of Edward the confessor.

This is a rather different situation from the earlier Danish and Anglo-Saxon settlements in England, as they involved the migration of new folk to Britain and the need for their own leaders. The Norman conquest was only possible because William recruited Flemish and Breton mercenaries by borrowing from money-lenders, and so did not need to raise an army from among his own people (the other Norman nobles were not interested as they saw no benefit from the risk of invading England). This was repeated during the English Civil War in the 17th Century, as Cromwell invited the money-lenders back (who had been expelled in the 13th Century by Edward I) in order to finance his war and defeat Charles I.

This sequence of events in British history has led to the situation of our current monarchy, which has been under the heel of the merchants ever since the parliament under Cromwell committed regicide by ordering the execution of Charles I. From then on, war was fought for the sake of expanding trade networks and monopolies, and the king would merely remain the head of state rather than leading his men into battle of his own volition. Nowadays, the only purpose of the monarch is to act as a tourist attraction and a celebrity by being a sentimental reminder of the former power of the British Empire, in addition to acting as the head of the Anglican Church and the Commonwealth of Nations (which is essentially the current form of the British Empire as a trade confederacy).

With this in mind, the identification with ‘monarchism’ is problematic as this would imply retaining the monarchy in its current form, which is essentially non-functioning. I therefore propose the term ‘Neo-Monarchism’ as a way to describe a position which acknowledges the role of the monarch and sacral kingship, but does not apply to the Modern monarchy. By this I mean the rejection of succession based on primogeniture, but on natural talent and suitability for leadership. Ideally, this would result in the passing of the crown from father to son, but this may not be possible if a more suitable candidate appears. I also suggest that the role of monarch should be closer to the Ancient Teutonic role of erilaz (‘earl’) rather than the kuningaz (‘king’), as the latter was a secular general elected by the warrior caste, as opposed to the former being divine royalty who is chosen by the land and the folk. The concept of Neo-Monarchism may also apply to those of our folk in lands where the concept of monarchy has never existed, such as in the United States or other former colonies such as Australia or Canada.

In this instance, it would be possible for other nations to have their own monarchs, as opposed to acknowledging the authority of the Modern British monarch. Personally, I do believe in maintaining the Union among the British folk, although the system of monarchy should be reformed drastically. In particular, the concept of ‘high kingship’ is appealing to me, since it implies that each tribe or nation would have their own kings that are then in allegiance with a high king, or ‘king of kings’. The lands of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland having their own monarchies would ensure accountability among leaders to their people and erase the problem of having to all share the same monarchy, which is always based in England.

The issue of accountability is another great advantage of monarchy over parliamentary democracy. Because the leaders of the democracy are elected as representatives of the people (and therefore the people that vote for them are theoretically the ones in charge), the responsibility rests on the people themselves. Since most Modern people do not wish to accept responsibility, it is claimed by no one, and this enables the oligarchy of politicians to evade accountability due to their interchangeability. A common excuse given by representatives of political parties after coming into power when something goes wrong is that the cause is the fault of the previous administration, thereby implying that they did not cause the problem and so it is not up to them to solve it.

In this way, individual MPs can also refuse to fix certain problems f they were implemented by a previous MP, and they are usually unwilling to do anything about it because they are backed by the same banks and corporations that are usually causing problems through over-regulation and financial interest. When power and responsibility are all placed into the hands of a single individual, it is easy to see who is to blame when things go wrong, and everybody else is simply following the guidance of the monarch and so it is clear that in such circumstances the monarch has to accept responsibility; either fix the problem or hand it over to somebody more capable. The parliament is the Modern equivalent of the Teutonic Althing, which actually included all male members of the folk and was much more local than centralized as a Modern parliament is. A parliament at the level of our Modern one should only consist of regional kings, as the stooges of banks and corporations have no place making decisions on behalf of ‘the people’ of Britain.

In Ancient Scotland, kings were usually coronated on a sacred stone, which represented their marriage to the Earth Goddess and the union of king, land and folk. The folk were the ones who worked the land, while the king led the folk and who was in turn bound to the land. This ensured that everybody knew who each was accountable to, and that each party was engaged in mutual exchange and respect. If the population of a tribe grew too large, then a section of the tribe would elect a kuningaz (which where the word ‘king’ comes from, but in its meaning is closer to ‘duke’) and conquer territory to gain land. This is inevitable in societies that are dependent on agriculture, and cannot realistically be avoided unless population control is better managed. Thus, the role of the king is to maintain balance, to act as a mediator between his tribe and the gods and to provide for his folk. It is not the person of the king himself who is important, but his ability to fulfil the position to which he is appointed. Genetics play a huge role in these requirements, which is why it is necessary to employ eugenics in the selection of a king and queen.

The importance of the queen is also not to be ignored, as she represents the Goddess. She holds the power that is to be wielded by the king, and his attitude towards his queen will reflect his attitude towards the land. A king who does not respect women cannot be expected to perform properly, though if possible he should always act as the monarch. A queen should only be considered to perform as the monarch in the event of an emergency and if there are no male alternatives. Such was the case with the Iceni queen, Boudicca, who was considered the most capable leader to fight against the Romans because she was married to the king (who was killed by the Romans).

It also follows that showing kindness to one’s folk is also important (the fact that the concept of ‘subjects’ applies to a conquered people rather than one’s own says a lot about our current monarchy), but also in remaining steadfast and doing what is right rather than what will please others. A monarch is also notably different from a dictator, in that a dictator seizes power through might of arms or through constitutional reform upon acquiring power through democratic means. A monarch is chosen through none of those means, as they do not involve either the land or the gods in their consideration. It is upon the basis on natural law rather than state law that a monarch is chosen, and so the monarch is considered to be one with the folk rather than above them.

In essence, Neo-Monarchism is anti-Modern and anti-democratic, as its ideas only apply outside of the concept of Modernity and are reliant on the capability of leadership rather than ‘the will of the people’. The mob cannot be entrusted to lead a society, and it is for this reason that the tyranny of the majority under which we currently live is much worse than the tyranny of one man. A single king can be replaced, but if nobody is accountable, then our society’s problems remain unsolved and will lead us to self-destruction. In this sense, Neo-Monarchism also rejects autocracy, as the monarch cannot have so much power that it interferes in the personal life of each member of the folk. The power of the monarch is general in nature, and acting as a micro-manager will only lead to bad results, including resentment among the populace. This is why a monarch appoints others to be in charge of smaller management tasks.

Neo-Monarchism is in fact corporate in nature, although in the sense of the tribe or nation being a corporate body as opposed to a business venture. In order for the ‘body’ of society to function, it must have a head to direct its movements, and one person to act as the head while enabling the other parts of the body to function automatically. The particular people in charge of our society today do not see themselves as part of ‘the people’, but as a separate entity that intends to rule all peoples. We are in desperate need of transparent government, and the only way to achieve that is to adopt a system that has a holistic attitude to the Earth and to the folk, rather than acting as a parasite on both.

Wulf Willelmson

Folkish Tribalism VS White Nationalism

We live in a time when the neoliberal order of the past few decades is beginning to disintegrate, signalling the final collapse of what was Western civilization, probably within the next decade (if not within a few years). The combination of crony capitalism along with ‘social democracy’ (socialism within a neoliberal framework) has become exhausted because the central banks that sustain it have hoovered up the world’s capital in order to maintain their power through this false dichotomy. The resulting strain felt by the average human has pushed many of us (particularly in the younger generations) towards more radical ideas about how to replace the current order with something more desirable.

The spectres of the past (particularly those that led to Word War II) have appeared in the voices of the Millenial generation in the forms of both Neo-Marxism, commonly referred to as ‘social justice’ (which is based on the plight of perceived ‘oppressed minorities’ in racial, sexual and economic categories) and what is known as the ‘Alt Right’, which is a combination of various nationalist and traditionalist ideologues acting as an effective opposition to the Modern Left. There also exists a more Centrist aspect, consisting of ‘libertarians’ and ‘sceptics’ who claim to oppose both movements as extreme and primarily advocate individual liberty, and may also favour civic rather than racial nationalism. These divisions reflect deep fissures within our civilization and are a sign of its fall, which I believe to have occurred between the 1960s and the 1990s. Now, new ideologies are competing for dominance, and there are various factions involved on all sides that I will not discuss in detail here. For now, we shall focus on the ‘Alt-Right’ in particular, its relationship to racial nationalism and how this is connected to, but also distinct from Folkish Tribalism.

First of all, one thing that unites the two movements is the resurgence of the ‘folk soul’ of the White race, which has occurred as a result of multiculturalism and the realization among certain Whites that their civilization, and in fact, their very existence as a subspecies, is under threat. The fact that we appear to be the only race of people that should feel ashamed of our heritage for the abuses of imperialism and colonialism has awakened many to the hypocrisy that all races have engaged in such behaviour, yet the others are seen as victims of White oppression in the eyes of the Modern Left. This even extends to the general liberal consciousness, which maintains that all races are equal and so to make distinctions between them is absurd and leads to racism.

A feeling of not being able to express ourselves as a distinct group without either having to apologize for past grievances or denying our own heritage has permeated the consciousness of the White man in particular, and is taken either as an inevitable or even desirable situation, or one that needs to be challenged and changed. Thus, this impulse expresses itself in the various socio-political ideologies that compose the Alt-Right and others that signify the resurgence of folk consciousness. The rise of the internet in particular has led to the awareness of these issues and made it easier to consume and create content relating to these topics, and to engage in contact with others who have reached the same conclusions. For many of us, this is an exciting time to be alive, as we are fuelled by feelings of destiny and purpose that have come to fill the void left by our decadent and worthless consumer society.

However, in many ways this is where the similarities end, and we can now critically examine the relationship between these movements, and how we can not only work together for the sake of our people’s future, but also to avoid the drastic mistakes of the past that led us to the mess that is the post-World War II West. The main distinction between the Alt-Right and Folkish Tribalism is that the former is political in nature, while the latter is not. The Alt-Right relies on the dissemination of information relating to socio-political issues and raising awareness of topics such as biological differences between races and the incompatibility of other cultures with our own, particularly those of the Middle East and Africa.

This is achieved through spreading ‘memes’ used to highlight or provide humorous commentary on a particular issue, or through various alternative news outlets in the form of podcasts, blogs and YouTube channels. Folkish Tribalism, on the other hand, is primarily spiritual in nature, and is more concerned with the revival of our native traditions and providing the tools necessary to build a future for our folk through musical, literary and environmentalist expressions. This is twain with paganism and the reverence for our ancestors in the form of the gods and heroes of our native lore, as well as the spirits of Nature and a reverence for Mother Earth. Though both movements spring from the same source of discontentment with post-Modern society and an urge to reconnect with our folk-soul, the means of achieving this are quite different and their focus is oriented in different directions.

On one hand, the Alt-Right focuses on biological and cultural differences between races, and acts as a reactionary force against the forces of globalism and multiculturalism. On the other, Folkish Tribalism is geared towards asserting our people’s existence in its own right, and is less concerned with what people of other races do as long as it does not interfere with our own well-being. In this way, both forces act as pillars of our emerging civilization, one defending our people against false accusations and abuse directed towards us for perceived transgressions, while the other provides a focus for how to build and sustain a society based on tradition and natural law. However, one thing which must be kept in mind is that the relationship between the two must be one of varying levels of importance, with maintaining our folk in a cultural and spiritual sense being the priority and the political and social dimensions remaining secondary.

The danger that now presents itself in the wake of the ascendancy of the Alt-Right is that the political and material aspects will take priority, and subsequently drive both movements into the ground and destroy our race’s chance of survival. This is precisely what happened during World War II, particularly in Germany and to a lesser extent in Italy. The völkisch movement that included the appearance of Wotanism as a modern religion and the revival of Teutonic culture was eclipsed by the rise of the Third Reich, which placed its own importance above that of the German folk once the National Socialists gained power and subsequently interned various ‘occultists’ in concentration camps. In doing this, it doomed itself by removing the spiritual core of what had propelled National Socialism into power in the first place.

It is this point in particular which I wish to emphasize; which is that it is not the political or even racial expressions that are the most important in our struggle, but the spiritual foundation on which such movements are built. It is here that I also wish to make a distinction between the two ideologies of White Nationalism and Folkish Tribalism. Since the Alt-Right is a development from the earlier subculture of White Nationalism, it is essential that we disconnect the two concepts. I want to emphasize that attaching a political ideology to the Alt-Right is counterproductive, as the concept of White Nationalism is neither desirable nor possible. The concept is flawed in two ways, one of which is the idea of returning the current White nations to their previously homogeneous states. The problem with this idea is that it proposes to work within the framework of the already existing society in order to advance the interests of our folk, which would imply mimicking the state as it exists today.

The matrix that binds together the nations of our world through the mechanisms of the ‘deep state’, which is collusion between the banks, the media and the state to maintain the current trajectory, is designed to facilitate entropy and the destruction of our culture by removing that aspect which is central to maintaining a healthy, functioning society; which is the spiritual essence of our folk and the guiding hand of tradition. In this way, any attempt to design a society that is in any way similar to the present one will end in disaster, as it is the presence of an external authority based on mere ideals that causes decay.

The other issue is the question of race, and how this should be reflected in one’s conduct towards not only members of one’s own race, but also towards others. Essentially, the principal problem with a White Nationalist view of race is that it is based strictly in biological terms, where the mere membership of the White race is enough to guarantee one’s interests as far as establishing an ‘ethno-state’ is concerned. Let me be clear in saying that I have no interest in maintaining the White race as it exists today, most of whom are deluded and sheepish creatures who may not even be aware of the importance of blood and soil in the divine order of the universe. I would rather be involved in the creation of a new, invigorated Aryan race, which is able to sustain itself both on a spiritual and material level.

This takes us to the distinction that must be made between the concepts of ‘race’ and ‘folk’, which is that one is material and biological and the other is spiritual. This is not to say that race is not important in building a new society, as it would only be possible to build a tribe with other members of one’s own race (or else, such a project would devolve into a group based merely on ideology rather than blood kinship, which is essentially what globalism strives to implement worldwide). However, there must also be a shared concept of what is important and that the divine order is more important than both the individual and the collective, thus excluding members of one’s own race that think otherwise. Such connections based on intuition and shared belief can transcend nationality and ethnicity, and there should be a willingness to let go of some of our more particular regional identities in order to maintain the folk as a whole.

Then there is also the issue of the ‘folk’ and ‘tribe’, which is that all members of one’s tribe are part of the folk, but that all of the folk cannot be part of one’s tribe. The tribe is merely the people that you know personally and are a part of one’s daily life, being those who are worked with directly. The folk may consist of people in another land that you do not know, but who are with us in spirit and the recognition of a shared goal. Another issue with White Nationalism in this regard is the focus on identity politics, which begins from the collective and ends with the individual. In this sense, since the primary focus is on the preservation of the White race, this acts as the central focus and everything else comes after. This is a backwards way of going about restoring our people’s dignity, as the first point of reference is the individual. The individual must assess his or her personal nature, their skills and purpose within the tribe and work to becoming a fully functioning component that is indispensable to the tribe, unlike the interchangeable ‘individual’ of Modern society, whose worth is measured quantitatively and is replaceable.

From there, the next point of departure is to the individual’s own family, then to the tribe and the folk. As each collective grouping becomes more abstract and removed from the individual, the more importance is placed on the spirit of the folk as a whole and only then we can speak of ‘nations’ and ‘races’. The future Aryan race must reach a point between the spiritual and biological aspects based on a shared genetic lineage, but also on shared ideals and values. A society must have both of these in order to survive and thrive, as an example of one that had the former but lacked the latter would be the nations of Western Europe, while the opposite would apply to somewhere like the United States.

Both of these societies within Western civilization as a whole have succumbed to the same problems of multiculturalism and consumerism, which arise from the loss of tradition and the recognition of the folk as an organic entity. The idea of building a society from the ground up and the urge to form tribes to preserve our ancient customs is what drives Folkish Tribalism, not the desire to return to some glorious past where you could be assured that your nation consisted of others like you in a genetic or cultural way. This is not to say that the role played by the Alt-Right is not important, in fact it is what represents the things we advocate within the political realm and can introduce those curious about their own heritage to other sources of information regarding how to go about reclaiming it.

Its main advantage lies in its sense of humour, as opposed to the dour and overly sensitive Left, which is unable to laugh at itself and is in a weaker position as a result. However, when one takes these ideas too seriously, it can lead to delusions about the rise of the ‘Fourth Reich’ and even revelling in all of the atrocities that would entail. In this sense, building a future for our children and exiting multicultural society should take priority over the political arena, which consists of posturing and all of the most base characteristics of man’s animal nature. It is also because one cannot simply shy away from politics that I choose to address these issues, as this would imply a denial of what needs to be done in order to reach those who enter the fight from the political end first before moving on towards more practical and worthwhile pursuits.

Despite the bickering and disagreement between individuals online, I am still confident that we are winning the culture war and have a solid basis from which to direct our future endeavours. Such base behaviour is to be expected among those who feel drawn towards the call of their blood but still cling to petty political ideology and racial identity as the core of their personal opinions. There is a much more significant number of us who are finding that we all have particular talents that we are capable of utilizing to advance our people’s interests. This may even take the form of completely apolitical activity, such as promoting awareness about our history, folk customs and musical traditions which are specific to each geographical region of our lands, but which speak to all of us on a fundamental level.

The most important thing to remember is that the political aspect comes last, and that it is essential to have an anchoring in one’s own personal purpose before focusing on the collective effort. This is certainly important, but only if we have energy to spare after our personal relationships and tribal and familial bonds are secured. It is what we do rather than what we think that unites us in camaraderie, and there will indeed be many who may share the same opinions as us, but will not have the will or the courage to go beyond that. Such people are as irrelevant to our cause as those who will perish along with our sick, rotten society because they still cling to ideals deriving from the 18th or 19th Centuries (liberalism and Marxism respectively). The future looks bright, but only if we know in which direction to go and the most effective way to get there.

Hail the Folk!

Wulf Willelmson

Paganism or Christianity? Which is the Way for the West?

This issue in particular has come to my attention among those who wish to revive our native folk spirit and once again see our civilization flourish. There are those who feel that it is most important to acknowledge our Christian heritage as a source of strength, and that this is the only way to rally our people to defend our lands. Others see Christianity as having caused the problems of multiculturalism and environmental devastation in the first place, and that only by returning to our pagan past can we see a true revival among our folk. This issue is not as clear-cut as it sounds, and it is quite frustrating to see Europeans bickering amongst each other over matters of religion while the enemies are at the gates. I wish to give a broader analysis of the situation, and will attempt to explain why it is not an issue of which religion is the ‘true’ one, but rather which one is appropriate for the present situation.

First of all, I will address some of the concerns of pagans who have an issue with Judeo-Christianity and see it as the source of our woes and wish to abandon its tenets in favour of the ways of our ancestors. As this is the camp which I fall into as a Wotanist first and foremost, I can sympathize with such concerns. The abuses by the Church against our folk for the sake of profit by promoting high-minded ideals while indulging in the very things that they preach against (such as adultery, pleasurable sex and attachment to material possessions) has sickened many people to their stomachs, severing their trust in organized religion and even the idea of ‘God’ itself. I too held this view of Christianity for many years even before becoming a pagan and it is because of this hypocrisy that paganism has seen a revival in recent decades. Christianity has become a part of all of our institutions, even though in Britain (and especially in Scotland) it has largely taken a vestigial role. Though this may be the case, it still looms large as part of our cultural fabric, and it is difficult to escape its presence.

However, as I have explained before, ‘Judeo-Christianity’ is a specific form of Christianity, it is not a particular sect or offshoot, but rather a method of employing religion as a way of practising capitalism. It involves the deception of believers into giving their money to the Church, not because they provide an actual service in the form of offering tips on achieving connection with God through the self, but in order to bolster its authority and capital in order to maintain its control over the parishes. Judeo-Christianity was promulgated by Paul the Pharisee as a way of merging the Judaic religious hierarchy with the teachings of Christ that were intended for gentiles. This religious structure was adopted by the Roman emperor, Constantine, who used it to secure his hold on the Roman Empire, by emphasizing the monotheism of Christianity in order to legitimize his own rule as ‘God’s regent’ on Earth. This tactic was later employed by Medieval kings as a way to consolidate their power.

One can be a Christian without being either complicit in or fooled by this tactic. If one knows how to interpret the teachings of Christ correctly and not to take them literally, then you have already raised yourself above the level of what the Church expects its followers to be, which is sheep. This path is known as ‘Kristianism’, and involves discovering esoteric knowledge through personal study of the Bible. There are also simply’ Cultural Christians’, who adopt Christianity as merely a cultural garb and to whom the corruption of the Church is known, but who also know their local clergy well enough that they can trust them and for whom engagement in Christianity fills both social and spiritual needs. This is particularly relevant to those following Catholicism, which has incorporated Pre-Christian practises in order to convert pagans in the past. The result is now that it is essentially a syncretic religion that has more relevance today than any attempt to revive the original paganism, as this is the form in which those traditions have survived.

As to the concerns of Christians with regards to the resurgence of paganism, I must say that many of their fears about this are misplaced. There are some who see such a phenomenon as ‘the devil’s lure’ and conflate the return of paganism with the proliferation of Cultural Marxism and other Modern ills. For this reason, paganism is seen as a threat rather than an ally, and the Christian heritage of the West is emphasized, particularly the Renaissance. I would disagree with some pagans that the Renaissance was more pagan than Christian, it seems to have been a mixture of both. For this reason, I do find it rather annoying that some Christians see paganism on the same level as Islam, and are not willing to work with pagans because their religious beliefs prohibit this.

This may prove to be an especially dangerous move on the part of the Christians, as the fact that Judeo-Christianity and Sunni Islam fall under the Abrahamic umbrella may be used by the powers that be as a way to turn both forces against us pagans, reviving the Burning Times and securing the control of the Church and other various Abrahamic institutions. While I do not think this is likely, it would be the result of a reluctance for Christians to cooperate with pagans, a scenario which is also not helped by the attitude of some pagans, who also refuse to work with Christians because they cannot see any merit in Christian teachings as they conflate this with Judeo-Christianity. Simply saying to a Christian “all of the good parts of your religion are stolen from paganism” is not going to win you any friends, and this will only result in confirming their perception of us pagans as brainless barbarians who are unable to reconcile the cultural contributions of Christianity with their own heritage. Christians would also do well to remember that their religion is indeed in decline, and that it would be wise to ensure their survival through working with emerging faiths, as opposed to sealing their fate to the history books by lashing out in the same way as Islam.

And now I wish to move onto my final point, which is that different types of religion are appropriate for different periods in history. To illustrate this, I will reference a symbol which can be appreciated by both pagans and Christians alike, the Trinity. The Trinity can be expressed in a variety of artistic forms, from the triskele (triple spiral) of Celtic paganism, the valknut (triple triangles) of the Teutons, or the triquetra of Celtic Christianity. The Trinity is taken in a theological sense to signify the Son, Father and Holy Spirit within Christianity (as aspects of God) or as three gods or three goddesses within paganism (such as Wotan, Thor and Tyr in Teutonic paganism, or as Morrigan, Badbh and Macha in Ancient Ireland). In a metaphorical sense it has many meanings, but one of the main principles of the Trinity within Aryan philosophy is that of representing arising, being and passing away; in other words, birth, life and death. This is taken to reflect the cycles of life and applies to all forces within Nature, such as creation, sustenance and destruction. They are also reflected in the gunas or ‘energies’ in Hinduism, which are rajas (generation, passion, building), sattva (goodness, stability, peace) and tamas (darkness, ignorance, degeneracy).

triskelion

Triskele

valknut

Valknut

triquetra

Triquetra

And so, how does this all relate to which religion will enable our people to find their inner strength? Well, in one sense, each person is suited to a particular path; whichever one calls each individual should be their own guiding light, and this is for no one else to interfere with. However, it is clear that civilizations go through these same cycles found in Nature, and so one type of religion will be more appropriate for each stage in an epoch. These three types of religion have mainly to do with interpretations, which take the form of either paganism, mysticism or fundamentalism. Essentially , the difference in attitude between these three belief systems is that, for pagans, their general philosophy is “I must take care of myself and my kin”, for mystics, it is “I must take care of others before myself” and for religious fundamentalists and materialists, it is “others must take care of me before themselves”. However, I find it necessary to explore the differences between these approaches in more detail and compare their varying attitudes and attributes.

First of all, ‘paganism’, in a true sense, refers to a religion or culture that is embodied by rajas; for which the main focus will be fertility and procreation, art and literature, mutual exchange, war and conquest, animal sacrifice, fortune-telling, magic and folklore. Paganism is often polytheistic, emphasizing the importance of multiple deities (also known as ‘archangels’ in Abrahamic mythology) and their interaction with each other and with each individual human. The gods represent seven archetypes (and are further subdivided into different characters in mythology) and they act as role models for an individual to both relate to and embody, and can be called upon for various desires, if the favour is returned in the form of an offering or sacrifice. Paganism tends to be a communitarian religion, and the relationship with one’s ancestors is seen as one of the most important facets of one’s life. Paganism embodies all that is practical, creative and sensual. The pagan religions consist of what are considered ‘native religions’, which are folkish belief systems specific to each culture and people. Their membership is therefore restricted to each ethnicity from which these religions emerge, since power is gained from one’s ancestors which one does not share with the rest of humanity.

In contrast to this are the mystical religions, which include Kristianism, Buddhism, Sufi Islam, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism and the various mystery religions of history. In Hinduism, this takes the form of devotion to Krishna (another name for Christ) and is associated with the mode of sattva; and so adherents to mysticism value modesty, chastity, humility, charity, making plant offerings and practising meditation and fasting as a means of attaining peace. The focus of mysticism is for each individual to follow their own path to enlightenment, and so this applies to all of humanity and is therefore universalist. Mysticism tends to be either panentheistic (“God exists in all things”) or monistic (“all is one”).

Mystical teachings encourage connection between oneself and the universe, and so this involves seeing all other plants, animals and humans as part of one self, which exists as a singular entity in union with God (or ‘creative force’). This path is personal and is usually pursued on an individual basis, and so it involves the study of Gnosticism and esoterica. Groups are formed by those who share such beliefs, but the main emphasis is on a deep, personal connection with one’s surroundings in order to attain peace, which is why monasticism and Hermeticism (a ‘hermit’ is somebody who follows the ‘Hermetic’ or ‘wisdom’ teachings) is so popular among such people. Those who follow the mystic teachings exemplify grace, unity and purity.

The third type of belief system in this context is religious fundamentalism. Such religions consist of what are known as ‘Orthodox’ interpretations of scripture, and include Judeo-Christianity, mainstream Sunni and Shi’a Islam, Orthodox Judaism and various death cults that have existed throughout history; including the thugee of India, who drugged and captured travellers and sacrificed them in the name of the goddess Kali. Religious fundamentalism requires a literal interpretation of mythology, and so being in the mode of tamas, encourages deception, coercion, enslavement, humiliation, violence, bigotry, hatred, perversion, human sacrifice and demonolatry (‘demon worship’). It is worth clarifying that ‘war’ in a pagan sense is quite apart from ‘violence’ within fundamentalism.

While warfare is seen by pagans as a necessary act as a means of gaining honour in battle with other combatants, religious fundamentalists will typically resort to attacking the weakest targets, such as women and children, and by employing trickery to gain sympathy while they commit crimes against others. Religious fundamentalists tend to be either monotheistic (“one god is the only true God”) or atheistic (“there is no God”) and will appear in the form of any religion (including paganism), as their intent is to subvert religious doctrine to suit their own needs. Though they desire to attract more adherents, religious fundamentalists will typically shun anyone who does not follow their specific dogma and are usually hostile to those outside their own faith, particularly pagans. Fundamentalist leaders demand conformity and obedience from their followers.

Though usually associated more with politics, it may also be said that Marxism is a type of religious fundamentalism; the only difference being that, instead of committing atrocities in the name of ‘God’, they do so in the name of ‘humanity’. Their human sacrifices are those who stand in the way of their pursuit of ‘progress’. In essence, any interpretation that takes some statement literally (such as ‘all humans are equal’ or ‘God will punish those who disobey’) comes from a place of ignorance and can be seen as contributing to the destructive forces of the universe.

While some (usually mystics or fundamentalists) tend to see such interactions in the form of ‘good versus evil’, as a pagan I do not believe in such concepts. Rather, each of these forces form a necessary part of struggle in life, and must be relegated accordingly to each situation in which they are appropriate. Unfortunately, for those who wish for there to be no negative interpretations of religion, this in itself is a form of ignorance, as such practices will always exist among humans, and it is up for each individual to choose the path for which they are best suited. If there were none who embodied the destructive and chaotic aspects of reality, how could we compare their behaviour in contrast to nobility or goodness? It is more a matter of management than eradication, as the belief that we can erase evil from our world is as foolish as it is undesirable.

Which brings me to my conclusion with regards to which religion will meet the needs of the time in which we find ourselves. As I said before, each type of religion will be for each person to choose, and so no one can be blamed for feeling the call to a path that is not the one in vogue at a particular time. However, as for the collective, it is clear that one approach will suit each time period to reflect the state of our civilization. It is apparent that we have been living in an age of decay, and the tamas energy has been reflected the Death of the West. The proliferation of Marxism alongside Christian and Islamic fundamentalism have been the signs that materialism has dominated and accompanied the destruction of the environment, our societies and ourselves. However, it appears that we are moving into a new age, where the energy of rajas will likely become dominant, and that this can be shown by the resurgence of native faiths across the world.

My feelings are that this is a part of the struggles that we are facing today, our folk and our civilization is being reborn. However, it is a painful process, but one which cannot be held back by the hangovers of the previous age. We have experienced this before; after the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe experienced the gradual conversion to Christianity. However, before the Late Middle Ages, most of Europe was still pagan, even if Christian in name, and the nations that were born in this period (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales etc.) are those which exist today. By the Late Medieval and Renaissance period, Western civilization was at its peak, and Hermeticism was proliferated throughout Europe by means of widespread literacy. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches had also secured their hold on our lands, but for most this was an opportunity to experience unity with their fellow Christians. However, with the tumult of the Burning Times, this period gave way to the Modern period, in which liberalism and secularism became dominant, and the Western nations began to build empires in order to feed the ravenous hunger of the central banks from which the kings of Europe had borrowed money to pay for armies and secure their political power.

And so, the last century has been characterized by the fall of the European empires, the spread of Marxism and consumerism, the invasion by foreign peoples and the decline of our societies. This means that the cycle will begin anew, and this means that it is paganism, not Christianity, that will lead us into a new era. I do not say this based on my own bias, but rather because this is simply a recognition of the rhythms of the universe and what will be essential in order to face the challenge of rebuilding our civilization. Christian teachings of charity and pacifism are ill-suited to repelling invaders and meeting the basic needs of survival, something which concerns paganism much more closely.

Of course, Christians will not simply go away, even if their numbers are falling. They are still important to our sense of history and heritage, as they preserve that element which is sustainable, and they may carry a tradition that extends beyond the borders of our own folk. There will come a time when the generative force of paganism is no longer relevant, at which point Christianity (or whatever form European mysticism takes in the future) will be necessary in order to maintain what we have built. After those teachings fail to reach enough people through corruption, they will be twisted into literal interpretations for the sake of greed, and so civilization will once again fall and the cycle begins anew. We are at the beginning of an exciting new dawn, as we not only have the traditions of our ancestors which have survived the ravages of time, but also the shared knowledge and technology that characterizes the world in which we live. Strength and honour shall be the order of the day!

Hail Wotan!

Wulf Willelmson

The Law of Reciprocity and the Con of Corporate Socialism

For a society to function in a way that benefits those involved in it, there must be some form of reciprocity that is based on voluntary exchange. In Modern society, this reciprocation is fundamentally based on the exchange of labour for capital, and so money is given to workers usually on the basis of how many hours are worked. The employer gains capital for himself by charging more for the goods or services provided by employees than is actually paid to them. This monetary gain is his ‘profit’, and the pursuit of profit is what is known as capitalism.

In some cases, profit is honestly earned by an artisan who charges more for a product than it cost them to produce, as the extra charge represents the extra labour that went into putting materials together into a finished product. This becomes a form of exploitation when extended to getting other people to do the work for you. However, there is nothing wrong with this if the decision to do so is voluntary. Someone who would rather work for somebody else to gain their capital rather than than through their own ideas and efforts is perfectly suited to acting as an employee.

Unfortunately, this is many times not the case in Modern society, as labour is often given reluctantly, and is usually driven out of necessity This may even be because even if one wishes to become their own employer, the need to make ends meet forces many talented people to work for others, often in selling goods that they are not interested in promoting themselves. This is a result of corporatism, where a small number of successful multinational corporations have created a monopoly through out-competing small businesses and dominating the market. This has only been possible through subsidies given by the state. As governments collect money through taxation, this means that they are using public funds to support private enterprise. This should give you the first hint that our governments are corrupt (from the local Scottish parliament, through the old imperial UK parliament to the EU superstate), since on what basis do they have the right to prioritize certain businesses over others?

The answer is that it is purely out of self interest at the expense of the public, as politicians benefit from the support of corporate donors to fund their political campaigns, and so in turn they give out subsidies and look the other way when those same corporations mislead the public or damage the environment. The common man is not considered in this exchange, other than a means of gaining either taxes or profit. The reason given for government subsidies is that certain businesses act in the interest of the common good, and so should be given support to fund their projects. However, businesses cannot be trusted to act in this way, as their only responsibility is to deliver a profit to their shareholders, and so their financial gain will always come at the expense of other concerns. This is simply the way of business, it only becomes a problem when said businesses become so powerful that have influence over governments that choose to support them.

Many who can see through this charade advocate socialism as the answer, since this is seen as a way to redistribute the wealth that is earned by the workers through the state, and thus ending the cycle of exploitation. The absurdity of this idea becomes apparent when you consider that wealthy billionaires are usually the ones who fund left-wing organizations. They use their capital gained through exploitation and usury to fund groups which pose no real threat to their interests. The reason for this is that, in order to achieve the ideals that utopian socialists wish for (specifically equality, a concept based on nonsense, as humans are all born with different capabilities and so can never be equal), they must empower the state to enforce their wishes. The same state that colludes with corporations in order to maintain the current order.

While left-wing organizations, such as the Labour Party, claim to advocate for the interests of the workers (or ‘labourers’), the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats support the ‘capitalist’ banks and corporations. In reality, nobody supports the small businesses that are based on garnering wealth through honest capitalism. They are also disadvantaged by the partnership between big business and the state, as they are consistently crushed through excessive regulations that favour wealthy corporations that can afford to pay the fees that accompany such regulation.

This balancing act maintains the power structure between exploiter and exploited, with no option in between and where human worth is gauged by how much money one can make, not through inherent worth based on talents that do not involve the manipulation of capital. The Left continues to encourage the common man to act as if he is ‘oppressed’ (and so becomes an eternal victim, always blaming others and never bettering his situation through his own efforts), while the Centre tries to convince us that our current situation is good for us (the Right has no real influence in Modern politics, and will never be allowed to by those who benefit from the demise of nationalism and conservatism).

There is no choice and there is no ‘people power’ within this system. Corporate socialism is the political game that suits the elites best, as they can continue to find excuses to employ Soviet-lite mass surveillance and suppression of free speech, while still allowing a measure of private enterprise so that people are fooled into believing that we still live in a capitalist society. A man who gives his labour unwillingly is by definition a slave, and this is the position that many of us have been forced into through globalization, as decisions which affect our conditions are made by people far away and whom we have nothing in common with.

The corporate state has managed to elevate itself above the people by bribing us with material goods and by employing mind-numbing media such as newspapers, television and cinema to enforce their world-view and to convince us that it is what we want. Through the proliferation of consumer goods meant to satiate our desires, they have scientifically perfected their psychological manipulation of our minds in order to assure us that the exchange is voluntary, and that our freedom and dignity are a price worth paying for commodities and comfort.

This is why, in a political sense at least, there is no true or effective opposition to the Modern order, as the system sustains itself through itself. No party manifesto filled with dubious promises can ever address the real problems which plague our society, as this would require the dismantling of the whole structure to its foundations in an effort to start again. What has happened is that we have set our expectations too high, and that in order to maintain the perpetual economic growth (which is, by the way, impossible) we have had to coerce people, by hook or by crook, into maintaining the monster that has been created.

This means that people in general go to work and pay their taxes unwillingly, as many of us (particularly in the younger generations) have lost the will to work towards a system that only abuses us and expects us to provide for the needs of the older generations, when we know we will not receive the same treatment in the future due to corruption and overpopulation. Once the trust has been lost, there can be no willing exchange, and holding society together becomes a game of coercion and manipulation in order to get people to work towards a common goal, because there is no incentive for people to willingly work towards filling the pockets of the rich and little else.

It is for this reason that Modern society is doomed. The ‘American Dream’ that has been exported to the rest of the world now rings hollow, and there is no way that the mess that has been created can ever be fixed. Modernity gives us nothing truly fulfilling, it simply takes and takes and takes, as its benefactors are constantly trying to convince us that it is what we want, and they are consistently failing because we can see the results, or lack thereof. It is not only we humans who are having the life sucked out of us, but also Mother Nature, who is constantly having to pay the price in order to prop up our society’s ridiculously high demands for convenience and material abundance.

There will come a point when she will have nothing left to give, and presumably will begin to take from us what we owe her in order for balance to be restored. Learning to give and take in equal measure is necessary for order and survival. Do not give to parasites that will never give anything back, and this includes uncaring employers and abusive partners; as well as what can be considered ‘corporate charities’, where money that is not donated for a specific cause cannot be trusted not to be misused as a means of earning profit.

This is not to say that one should not be charitable, in fact, the cosmic law of reciprocation means that goodwill is repaid with good luck. However, we should never feel compelled to give out of guilt or hoping for a reward, but rather out of recognising mutual benefit and shared interest. This process is not merely a human construct, but is based on cosmic law (known in Sanskrit as rita, from which we derive the word ‘right’) and is the basis on which we give offerings to the gods in mutual trust. This awareness is something that Modern society has lost, but it is essential to us to learn in order to survive as part of a tribe in the hard times to come.

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