The Monarch and the Anarch

It may seem strange for a self-professed monarchist to endorse the concept of anarchism, since the idea of having no leaders is at odds with unity under a single leader. However, I do think that it is possible for such contradictory concepts to co-exist within a single worldview, but a distinction must be made between anarchism as a political ideology and as a personal philosophy. The promotion of the state of anarchy is an ideological manifestation of the chaotic forces within the human psyche which is, in essence, a state of absolute individualism and the absence of any collective identity.

This is not the same as applying the principles of anarchism to oneself, which is something that does not exclude a collective consciousness. However, this is only possible for those who are capable of becoming fully individuated, and will not be a desirable path for those who require leadership and direction from others. Monarchy is the natural state for a group to exist, since one leader is needed to act as the head of a collective. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem once a monarchy becomes a state, which extends the collective beyond the individual, essentially violating the principle of mutual consent and enveloping all inhabiting a given territory within its net.

Being an ‘anarch’ rather than just an ‘anarchist’ means living an independent life and answering to none but one’s own inner direction. An anarch may be in league with a monarch for mutual benefit, but this is something which can only ever be continued through contractual obligation. Once there is no longer a reason for an anarch to remain allied to a monarch, then he may leave the monarch’s ‘realm’ and exist instead as a freeman. This system of anarcho-monarchism is the ideal mode of human interaction, but unfortunately the mechanism of the state has been imposed upon us from above and makes it impossible for an individual to exist outside of its jurisdiction. Common law is present as a way of making each individual responsible for themselves and to recompense or seek compensation from other individuals for any infraction committed, as defined by common sense.

Criminal law is only ever something which is defined by an external authority, which is usually the state but may also be influenced by wealthy lobbies and even public opinion. It is the assumption that the individual has transgressed against the collective rather than another person, and so the state becomes the arbiter of justice and defines what is and what isn’t a crime. The problem with the application of criminal law is that if the state becomes abusive (and at this point, all are in some form or another), then it means that the law will be used to persecute those who are not truly criminals, only dissidents, even if they are non-violent.

It is for this reason that all over the world we must endure laws enacted against freedom of speech and thought, personal possession of weapons and substances and basic rights to natural utilities. Every aspect of human existence is becoming increasingly regulated and scrutinized, to the point where more and more just can’t handle the unnatural conditions that this fosters and choose to end their lives or those of others. If we are not allowed to exist as individuals, then the human endeavour becomes reduced to what the collective deems to be worthwhile, which becomes impossible to break free from once a state is established. While it is certainly true that there must be some level of social control employed, it must be based on divine principles, which are discovered from within and transcend the ego. An individual who can utilize their talents to direct and employ the service of others is only able to act as an effective monarch if he is aware of his own responsibilities to his kinsmen. It is not about having absolute control over others and interfering in as many aspects of their lives as possible.

In Britain, we used to have elective monarchies, which functioned on the basis of all freemen gathering together to vote for the one who was seen to be the best leader. This was known among the Norsemen as the álthing, and it was through the selection process that the best man from among the nobility, the jarl, was drawn, who was the spiritual leader of the tribe. There were equivalents in all of the various British cultures, and it was only with the Romans that we were subjected to state tyranny. Thankfully, they never managed to conquer Scotland, and so here the old ways continued for longer.

However, after the Normans led by William the Bastard gained a foothold in England, the concept of the state was introduced to Scotland with the reforms of David I, who sought to centralize his authority and established a system of permanent primogeniture and hereditary monarchy. Ever since then, we have undergone the increasing encroachment of the state into our lives, beginning with the so-called ‘divinely appointed’ Medieval monarchs, who later became ‘constitutional monarchs’. The result is that in Modern times, we have had many a weak and ineffective monarch who is subject to the will of a corrupt and decadent parliament which does the bidding of powerful corporations and banks. Now, the British monarch is more of a celebrity and a mere facet of national sentimentality rather than a leader.

I have already discussed the details of tribal monarchy in my article concerning Neo-Monarchism, and so I wish to return to the concept of anarchism, specifically the misinterpretations of it. The most common attribution of anarchism in recent times is to the communist group known as Antifa, who act as redshirt street-thugs against perceived ‘fascists’. However, the sort of anti-statist rhetoric touted by such organizations is based on the writings of Karl Marx, who proposed the implementation of a stateless society where all is held in common. On the face of it, the Marxist doctrine appears to advocate anarchism, since the undesirable state has been removed and resources are available to all.

However, since private property has always existed among human societies (at least with regards to handmade goods as opposed to land which has traditionally been held in common), the complete abolition of private property means that the individual is not recognized as a sovereign entity. This means that all utilities are subject to the will of the collective, which is the difference between the utopia of communism and the ideal of anarchism, that is the freedom to choose who to work with or for. Absolute collective ownership is only possible with the oversight of some external authority, which is why all attempts to implement communism have failed to abolish the state, as the state is necessary to administer redistribution. This is similar to the concept behind fascism, where the individual and the state become subsumed into one entity and essentially leads to the same result, except that private property is still acknowledged.

Aside from these misunderstandings which arise among anti-social adolescents and weak-willed men, there exist many appendages to anarchist thought, each of which focuses on the individual’s perception of an ideal lifestyle. Some may prefer to emphasize reducing reliance on technology, others to pursue private enterprise and there are also those of us who seek to work as individuals for the sake of their nation. The obligation of an individual to any collective should be voluntary, and each should be able to exercise freedom of association based on one’s own personal values.

Without the state, you have less need to feel resentment towards others, because you then become responsible for yourself and therefore have nothing to complain about if you subject yourself to authority, since it is a mutually agreed partnership where both parties must agree to the terms of a contract if one is made. Anarchy is a term used to describe the state of leaderlessness, where every individual is out for themselves and no collective unity is present. It is for this reason that monarchy is necessary to provide guidance for those who need it and for a monarch to fulfil his role as a leader. However, we should still allow for the presence of the anarch, who may remain on the outskirts of the tribal territory or wander from place to place, guided by his own inner light.

Wulf Willelmson

Reducing Consumption in a Technocratic Society

Distractions, distractions, distractions. Our Modern lives are full of them, especially since we have become so immersed in the use of advanced technology on a daily basis. Our ancestors never had to deal with such a high level of stimulation, and so they were able to focus on what needed to be done. It is because we have access to so much stimuli that we have less willpower when it comes to thinking about what our true purpose is and how to go about fulfilling our needs. Though access to the internet has the potential to massively broaden our horizons, the fact that so much information is present also means that it can be difficult to discriminate effectively through what is worth spending time on and what is draining our energy and time. Websites and apps and television and video games are designed to constantly grab our attention and keep us returning to them, keeping us in a state of trance as we become mesmerized by the amount of options available that satiate our brain’s reward system. This is done primarily to gain exposure and revenue, and though it is not harmful to browse or use these things occasionally, habitual usage is leading to a decreased amount of personal time in our lives that could be put to better use.

It is not so much a matter of abstaining from such habits altogether, since depriving ourselves of things we crave as a result of regular use only strengthens our sense of attachment, making it more difficult to succeed in reducing our usage. This will be different depending on what particular website or program is being overused, and some will require simple steps towards gradually reducing our usage, while others will require restriction to occasional use and some must even be abandoned altogether (such as excessive consumption of psychologically harmful material). If there is a website that is addictive but also provides us with useful information, then it is useful to sort through one’s subscriptions or followed newsfeeds to see what is offering us worthwhile content and what is merely taking advantage of what we respond to. By separating the wheat from the chaff and retaining what contributes to our lives and discarding the rubbish, we will find that we have not only more time to spend consuming worthwhile content, but also that we don’t have to spend as much time on our devices as we have been. Additionally, having a vast range of options to choose from has the effect of shortening our attention span, and so it becomes difficult to have the patience to focus our attention on acquiring skills.

We currently live under a technocracy, and so control over online content and consumer products has become a way of manipulating what people think and how they behave. Therefore, it is important that we ourselves determine what we consume rather than having it decided for us. The psychological manipulation that goes into hooking our minds into thinking that we need a product is the result of increasingly sophisticated marketing strategies, and so it is becoming more and more difficult to resist what’s on offer to us. Having the discipline to know when you are being tricked into wasting your time or buying something you don’t need is part of becoming sovereign and autonomous. We are not forced to participate in a destructive society, we are merely persuaded to. Multinational corporations take advantage of our laziness and cravings in order to sell rubbish to us, and this is no different online. It is worth remembering that most companies do not have our best interests at heart, and so it would not be below them to convince us that something is as good as they say it is when it is in fact not, and even that something that is true is false. There is no fair play when it comes to competing for people’s time and money, as the corporatist system succeeds on this basis.

As a consequence of being told or convinced what is worth our time both in our occupations and during our free time, we are left with less options when it comes to personal fulfilment. The feeling of existential emptiness is what drives consumerism and keeps us enthralled to a market economy that has become centralized and corrupt. Therefore, it is necessary to decide as an individual what should be given one’s time and attention and what is detrimental to one’s well-being. Many of us work jobs that involve being in a state of overstimulation as a result of constant exposure to technology, which can cause us to feel like we need to continue this stimulation at home in order to escape boredom. Others may spend most of their day away from this sort of thing, but it is often the case that this makes folk more eager to use their devices in their spare time or during work breaks because of understimulation. Either way, resisting the urge to spend too much time on our devices is needed to make sure that we are able to achieve our potential and be less reliant on technology.

However, I am not necessarily proposing minimalism (though that might suit some), it is more about allocating the correct amount of time and energy into our actions. Regulating our exposure through time limits or treating indulgences as rewards for achievements rather than rewards for very little effort is a good way to reduce the time we spend online even while being able to enjoy it. Reducing online consumption can also combat fatigue and lead to less consumption overall, as spending too much time on our devices can affect our diet and cause overeating or junk food addiction; especially if our life is so cluttered that we don’t feel like we even have time to cook because we are so drained.

Our dependence on advanced technology and convenience is also the cause of excessive waste, because when we become reliant on technology to provide us with our basic needs, we are increasingly depleting the world’s resources in order to meet the high demand for more technology. Though it is a gift to be able to utilize such advanced resources for one’s personal benefit and use, it is also the case that our society cannot sustain itself without it, and so we are being driven by the need to consume more and more rather than make use of what we have already. Having control over our intake of technology requires time allocated to abstaining from it little at a time, and by doing so we can eventually become less dependent on it to fulfil our needs, leading in turn to less demand for more of it.

Wulf Willelmson

Man and Woman: The Masculine and Feminine Polarity

Too often today, the polarity between the masculine and feminine aspects of mankind is misunderstood. Both are frequently disregarded for the sake of achieving ‘equality’ and thereby remove the distinctness of each, resulting in an unhealthy striving toward androgyny, which requires for men to become like women and women to become like men. This is an unfortunate sign of societal decay, because as gender roles are disregarded, so too are the principles upon which men and women govern their lives. By being unable to distinguish between our own inherent strengths and weaknesses and what we are told by society, people attempt to fulfil roles which are unsuited to them, but are expected to uphold them because of a sense of moral obligation to correct perceived injustices. This particular aspect primarily affects our menfolk, as we are often told that we have an inherently abusive nature unless we manage to hold our ‘toxic masculinity’ in check. The fear of seeming too forceful or dominant causes men to adopt a position of submissiveness, in order to ensure that we do not become the monster that we fear may lurk within our souls. However, this has the unfortunate side effect of making women feel like they must be more masculine in order to feel like they are in control.

Unfortunately, when men and women hide their true selves by adopting the habits of the opposite gender, this results in a breakdown of communication between them and in such a situation one is not able to understand the other’s wants and needs. Men do not need to become more like women in order to control their strength, they should instead be able to distinguish when brute force is necessary (for example, in a fight with another man, as men are more likely to engage in physical violence with each other) and when he must curb his urge to dominate. Knowing the difference between dealing with a man and dealing with a woman is vital to acting appropriately, especially since personal interaction between two men is never the same as between a man and a woman. Similarly, while a woman should be able to stand up for herself and not tolerate abuse, she should not need to compete with a man in order to make sure that she remains a free agent. Typically, men have a better grasp of decisiveness and leadership, and so it often happens that a man would take command and pursue a goal. Though he should not ignore a woman’s advice, since women are generally better at managing the finer details and thinking more about how to accomplish a task successfully rather than deciding what should be done.

Thus, men and women naturally balance each other out, and it is through partnership and mutual understanding that they are able to build families and societies together, rather than ensuring that one or the other always comes out on top. However, what must also be considered are the varying degrees to which individual men and women possess masculinity and femininity within themselves. Though for most folk it is a matter of clear and conventional differences between a man and a women, there are some of us who feel more suited to roles which are not as clearly defined, and so the gender dynamic between a man and a woman who naturally possess some characteristics of the opposite gender will be different than between people with a more binary polarity. In this way, gender roles are more of a guide to practice rather than an established set of rules, and should be made to fit the relationship between two individuals rather than insisted upon in every circumstance. It is simply that in most cases, men and women benefit from recognising their own capabilities in relation to the opposite sex and discovering how to compliment the different aspects of each other.

The breakdown of traditional gender roles has been the result of the increasing prevalence of Neo-Marxist ideals, which seek to undermine the basis upon which our civilization is founded:  the partnership between men and women in order to build society. Through the weak egalitarian principles of Liberalism, Neo-Marxists operate under the guise of ‘feminism’ in order to promote antagonism between the sexes through institutions such as schools and the media. Men are constantly shamed for being too dominant, while women are encouraged to become dominant themselves in order to compensate, in order to achieve ‘equality’. However, all that results in is that men and women become equally resentful towards each other and refuse to cooperate in order to build stable families. If women refuse to acknowledge the forthright and forceful nature of men, then men will either submit to them and become passive ‘nice guys’, or else they become embittered and come to despise women for their sometimes fickle nature. If men must acknowledge that they are capable of brutishness and insensitivity, then women must also recognise their capacity to twist the truth and manipulate others. Each of these traits are inherent weaknesses within those who display either masculine or feminine qualities, and should be dealt with when they arise and should not be ignored when pointed out by somebody of the opposite sex.

At this point I should probably clarify the difference between sex and gender, since there are efforts to convince people that such things as gender do not actually exist, or that they are one and the same. Sex is obviously determined by the presence of either male or female reproductive organs, while gender is a result of hormones in the body that determine how the body and the brain operate. However, gender also covers anything which expresses a masculine or feminine quality, and so sometimes feminine physical or psychological features are present in a man and vice versa. Therefore, gender is something which pertains to features that are characteristic of a man or a woman, but may be present in either. This means that it is possible for men or women to engage with that part of themselves which is of the opposite gender in order to understand somebody of the opposite sex better. By expecting certain behaviour from another person based on their gender, it is easier to predict the best way to communicate with them, though one should not expect the other to conform to one’s own perception of how they should act.

The ideals of how man or a woman should behave are for the individual to strive for rather than to be forced upon others or else disregarded altogether. When we act out of accordance with our own nature we begin to act unlike ourselves, and this is often a source of frustration and resentment towards others. It is not fair to expect from someone what is not in their capability to do so, as this leads a man or a woman thinking that they should be more like the other, thereby becoming insecure within their own masculinity or femininity. Suppressing our natural instincts will only lead to a distorted perception of ourselves and cause us to forever feel inadequate in pursuing an ideal towards something which we are not. Let women be women and men be men, it is not for others to decide how much one is allowed to express their masculinity or femininity, though it is also upon the individual to realize which expression is appropriate in a particular circumstance. As personal experience has taught me, things that can be said or done around others of the same gender may not be appropriate or understood in the company of the opposite gender.

When men and women are able to fulfil their own determined gender roles to the best of their abilities, this helps to foster a strong and stable society with solid foundations and clarity with regards to what each person is meant to do. If men are permitted to be heroic and manly, then they will be able to fulfil these ideals the best they can, while women may lay the foundations of a family and homestead and manage these things the way they see fit. If, on the other hand, men are expected to be submissive, then they may become perverted and seek to express their masculinity in ways which are underhanded and passive-aggressive. If women are told to assert themselves above men, then they may become domineering and aggressive. Though there have been some great female leaders throughout history and also men who worked better behind the scenes as women often do, this is the exception rather than the rule, and it is for each person to find out what works best for them.

In the end, we all have aspects of both the masculine and feminine, as we all have both a father and a mother, these principles will always be present within us. It is through having good relationships with our parents and other members of the family that we learn how to behave towards those we meet who are of the opposite sex or gender, and so those who have experienced trauma or have bad relations with their family members are more likely to treat those of the opposite gender poorly because of a lack of understanding of how the other functions. We must also strive to fulfil the role of mother or father if we choose to raise children, as neglecting this in favour of our own personal happiness will only lead to fragmented families and people who do not know how to be good men or women for want of positive role models.  Whether we look to the gods or to our own parents and relatives for inspiration, we can perceive the presence of masculine and feminine in the world every day, and we should learn to appreciate the presence of both in our lives. Without the union between masculine and feminine, there is no creation, and so the interplay between the two is essential to understanding the world and others around us.

Wulf Willelmson

Excerpt from the ‘Shahnameh’ (Persian ‘Book of Kings): Bahram Gur’s Priest Ruins and Revives a Village

‘Another day Bahram went out hunting at dawn with a group of companions. His vizier Hormozd rode on his left, and a priest on his right, and the two told him tales of Jamshid and Feraydun [legendary early kings of Iran]. They took no dogs, cheetahs and hawks with them and searched through the morning, but by noon they’d found no trace of either onager [wild ass] or deer, and when the sun shone in the heavens like a bright coin, Bahram irritatedly made his way back from his expedition. A green area, filled with men and flocks, appeared, and many people gathered round to stare at the hunters. Bahram was weary and feeling short-tempered; he’d hoped to dismount and rest in the village, but no one came forward to meet him, and the place seemed inhabited by donkeys. He grew angry with the people there and looked askance at them, saying to his priest:

May this green, prosperous village be a den
Of beasts – a wild and uncultivated fen –
And may the water dry in every ditch
And turn to stagnant and black as pitch!

The priest knew how to fulfil Bahram’s command and he turned aside from the road and entered the village. He said, “This green area, filled with houses, people and flocks, has pleased King Bahram and he has a new plan for you. Rejoice in your hearts, you are all masters now and can make this a splendid place. Here women and children are masters too, and no one has to obey anyone else. Labourer and headmen are equal: men, women and children, you are all headmen of the village!” A cry of joy went up from the inhabitants; in their minds men and women were the same, and labourers and servants were equal to the village headman. Since the young men now felt no fear of authority, they cut off the heads of the village elders: everyone became muddled up with everyone else, and bloodshed became commonplace. The area became as confused and horrifying as the Day of Judgement, and the inhabitants fled. A few weak, old men stayed there, but every sign of activity or prosperity had gone. The whole village took on a rundown look: trees withered, irrigation ditches dried up, houses were now in ruins, fields were uncultivated, men and their flocks were nowhere to be seen.

A year passed, and the following spring Bahram again went hunting in that area. He reached the place that had seemed so pleasant and prosperous, but the village he remembered was not there. All the trees were dead, the houses in ruins, the fields empty of flocks and people. Bahram’s heart was wrung to see this; he feared God and wished to act justly. He said this to his priest, “Ruzbeh, it hurts me to see this lovely place in ruins, go quickly and provide them with money from my treasury, so that they won’t suffer any more.”

The priest left the king’s side and rode into the ruins. He went from house to house and finally found an old man who had no work. He dismounted, greeted him politely, and invited the man to sit with him. He said, “Old man, who has ruined this prosperous place?”

The old man answered him, “By chance one day
The king and his companions come this way.
A foolish priest with no sense in his head,
One of those noble idiots, born and bred,
Declared to us, ”You’re all the masters here,
Social distinctions are to disappear.
The ranks of those who rule and those who serve
Are niceties that no one need observe.”
As soon as he’d said that our little village
Was filled with fights and plundering and pillage:
May God reward that man’s stupidity
And fill his days with grief and misery!”

Grieved to hear this, Ruzbeh asked “Who is your village headman?” The man replied,

“A headman’s a place where grain is grown,
And men can reap the harvest they have sown.

Ruzbeh said, “You are to be the headman here, you’re to rule over these ruins. Ask the king for cash, seed, cows, and donkeys, and bring back to your village whoever you can find who is destitute. You are to be the headman and they’re to do as you tell them. And don’t curse that priest who came here before, as he didn’t want to say what he did. If you need help from the king’s court, I’ll send you whatever you need. All you have to do is ask.”

The old man was pleased to hear this and forgot his former sorrows. He immediately went from house to house to find men to work on the irrigations channels and to start cultivating the land again. They asked neighbouring villages for donkeys and cows and set to work making the plain productive. The headman and his villagers worked hard at planting trees everywhere, and their hearts were filled with happiness each time they saw a house had been rebuilt. All those who had fled from the place weeping and wailing came back one by one when they had heard of the success of the old headman’s efforts. The watercourses in the streets were rebuilt, the stocks of cows, donkeys, and sheep multiplied in the pastures, and the trees that people planted everywhere made the former ruins look like paradise.

By the following year the village had responded to the old man’s efforts and was as he wished. Once again, at spring time, the king went hunting with his priest, Ruzabeh, and for a third time they came to the village. Bahram Gur saw the land under cultivation, the herds of animals, the fine buildings, the plains and mountain slopes covered with sheep and lambs, the water courses coming down from the foothills, and the village filled with handsome men. He turned to the priest and said, “Ruzbeh, what have you done? This fine village was in ruins, its people and animals had fled. What did you give them so that they were able to make it flourish again?”

Ruzbeh answered, “One speech was enough to bring this ancient village to its knees, and one idea was enough to make it prosperous again, and so rejoice the heart of Persia’s king. You had ordered me to destroy the village using money from your treasury, but I was afraid of God’s judgement and the reproaches of noblemen and commoners. I saw that strife results when one has two thoughts, and knew that when a town has two masters it cannot survive. I told the village elders that there was no master over them, that women were masters now, and children too, as were servants and labourers. When the commoners became masters, the master’s heads were brought down to dust. This lovely place was destroyed by a speech, and I escaped reproach and did not fear God’s judgement. But then the king forgave them, so I went to them and suggested another course of action. I set a wise old man over them as their headman, someone who was eloquent and knowledgeable. Through his efforts he restored the village’s prosperity and made his inferiors’ hearts happy.  Once one man was put in charge of the rest, things went well again: goodness increased and evil decreased. I showed them the way of evil and then I opened the door to God for them. If a man uses speech in the right place, it is worth more than fine jewels. If you want your soul to have no troubles, wisdom must be your king, and language your champion. May the king’s heart be eternally happy, triumphing over all evil and ruin.”

The king responded, “Ruzbeh, you are worthy of a crown!” He gave this clever and perspicacious man a purse of gold coins and a royal robe of honour, raising his head to the clouds in glory.’

[Abolqasem Ferdowsi, English translation into prose by Dick Davis, Penguin 1997]

Saravan-Nahook-village

Bahram V was the ruler of the Persian Empire between 420 and 438 AD and this story, written in the 10th Century, is set during his reign. It is a cautionary tale that demonstrates how a society can fall apart, but also how it can be built up again. The village is a microcosm of society and the events that occur mirror the process of dissolution and revival. Because the villagers did not greet the king and his entourage, this signals the beginning of the society’s fall, as the lack of manners and hospitality to strangers invited the king’s wrath upon them. The first speech given by the king’s priest is an example of the kinds of things touted by demagogues that preach egalitarianism, which then ensues in class warfare. The suggestion that everyone is equal results in a loss of focus and purpose other than removing power from those that have it in order to distribute it equally. Since each person is considered the same as everyone else, this results in confusion about who is to do what and so nobody knows what they should be doing. The distress that comes from loss of purpose when one is out of touch with their innate capabilities drives people to insanity, and so they become self-serving and opportunistic. The fact that no one can co-cooperate means that everybody becomes poor and no longer has a sense of common purpose. At this point, people begin to flee and leave for greener pastures, leaving only the old who are unable or unwilling to leave. And so, as there are no young folk, the society has no future.

However, upon the return of the priest once the king sees how destitute the village is, he finds the wisest of the old men, who knows how the society of his village fell apart and why. Because of his capability to understand this, he was appointed as the new headman of the village and was able to use the money given to him by the king to pay for new people to work for him. This demonstrates that there are natural leaders among a population, and that the wisest should be considered the most able to be so. Once there is somebody who can work with others and make use of their labour, their focus becomes finding what each person’s skills and abilities are in order to make use of them in working towards a common goal. The headman does not need to interfere in the lives of those that he commands, and so there is no resentment between people when they adopt the roles of master and servant. Thus, by recognizing the most agreeable purpose between individuals on a voluntary basis, a society can prosper and thrive.

When the king inquires about the splendid state of the village on his third visit, the priest explains that words and ideas can have a powerful effect upon a society, and can tear it down just as easily as they can build it up. By seeking to recognize a common truth with others, a society becomes functional and able to provide for the needs of those who inhabit it. This can only be done by working out the distinctions between those who can lead and those who follow. There is also the aspect of provider and dependant, which can be reflected in gender roles and definitions of maturity. As men are more likely to assume leadership roles, it does not make sense to expect this as something which women are as likely to fulfil, just as most men would struggle to perform roles better performed by women. Similarly, children are not considered capable of leadership as their immaturity makes them unsuited to the responsibilities of running a society.

However, whenever the natural tendency towards unity is disrupted and the idea of multiple leaders is introduced, society fractures into factions based on personal allegiance, and so people will not see themselves as part of a complete group, but as smaller competing collectives based on class, gender or race. When this happens, it results in hostility and bloodshed, and the benefits from the conflict are generally reaped by those who started trouble in the first place. But since the priest did not have a self-serving motive to begin with and was also able to promote truth and harmony, he appointed the old man to the role of leadership and returned the society to even better prosperity than before. Thus, the priest demonstrates that the mastery of language and the ability to convey truth or falsehood is a powerful tool that should not be abused if one has good intentions. King Bahram remarks that his priest deserves a crown, recognizing that wisdom is required to rule justly.

Wulf Willelmson

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)

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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)

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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