‘Winter Nights’, the Wotanist New Year

No other festival in the pagan calendar has as many associations with witchcraft, faeries and ghosts as Winter Nights, more commonly known as ‘Hallowe’en’ or  as ‘Samhain’ in Wicca and the Gaelic tradition.  The Old English name for this time was ‘Winterfylleth’, which according to the Anglo-Saxon historian, Bede, referred to the full moon that signalled the beginning of winter. Though it is unknown what the name of this blot was to the Norsemen, it has been suggested that it was what was known as ‘Álfablót’, meaning ‘elven sacrifice’. This blot was not a public ritual in Scandinavia, and was concerned primarily with the ancestral cult of the family and home. However, in the British Isles it has always been a more social festival, where folk would go to each others’ homes guising, wearing a scary costume so as to fool mischievous spirits who would mistake them for their own rather than humans that they could play tricks on.

Though the traditional date in Modern times is the 31st of October, this is due to the fact that we use an exclusively solar calendar, and so the festival would have been celebrated on or around the full moon nearest this time, as suggested by the Old English word fylleth, which meant the full moon. Nevertheless, the festival could last between three to seven days, and so celebrations were not confined to a single day. Whichever specific evening during this time was deemed best for communication with the spirit world was the time of the ancestral offering.

The primary focus of veneration would be one’s ancestors, and the ritual would involve a whole household. The family would gather around a bonfire to perform the blót, a feature which is still present in Celtic tradition. However, in Modern Britain it is now more of a feature of Guy Fawkes Night, which is a secularized version of All Hallows Eve that largely replaced the original folk festival following the Reformation and is celebrated on the 5th of November. The bonfire was meant to keep away evil spirits that dislike the light. Offerings from the harvest, such as crops or animals, were given to ensure good luck for the coming winter. It was at this time that the oldest and weakest cattle were to be sacrificed in order to be able to feed the rest of the herd over winter, and the ancestors’ spirits were invited to join in the feasting.

The jack-o’-lantern was originally a carved-out turnip which had a face that was meant to represent the household spirits, which are known as ‘brownies’ in Scots or ‘hobgoblins’ in English and as a ‘Kobold’ in German or ‘domovoi’ in Russian. These creatures are usually described as little hairy men who protect the household and are said to help to do housework in exchange for offering of bread or milk. If offended or neglected, they are likely to cause mess and play tricks on mortals. As these creatures were also most easily seen around during Winter Nights, their abilities to protect the home were utilized and were represented by the faces now carved into pumpkins, though this has generally lost its original meaning. These domestic spirits were not considered the same as the spirits of the ancestors, but they were tied to families and could follow them if they moved to a different home.

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Modern-day turnip Jack-o-lantern

As Winter Nights was a liminal time, contact with faeries or the dead was most successful around this time. It was for this reason that divination was a traditional part of Hallowe’en up until recently, though this aspect of the holiday is being revived along with the new acceptance of and interaction with the supernatural. Any reflective surface could be used to see visions, including a mirror, a crystal ball or a ‘keek stane’, a convex piece of reflective glass kept in a box in the Scottish tradition. It is at this time that special care was taken not to visit haunted places, though there are stories of foolish folk who came upon these places by chance or deliberately. Although the protective spirits of the ancestors and the brownies were most active around this time, so were potentially pernicious beings such as goblins or ghosts, which is why ghost stories are often told or set during this time. It was also a time when witches would be working magic, taking advantage of heightened contact with the spirit word, some of whom had ill intentions. It is for this reason that witches feature so prominently in Hallowe’en imagery.

As this holiday was meant to signify the coming of winter, death became more present in the minds of our ancestors who required the good luck from the ancestral spirits in order to increase their chances of surviving the cold season. This was the time of year that most young children died from sickness, and so it was necessary to make sure that the family was well protected from harmful forces. This time also marked the New Year, as it corresponded with the nightfall of the year-day, and in Ancient Europe, nightfall was considered to be the beginning of a new day. This corresponds to the festival of Diwali in Hinduism, and is also celebrated by Zoroastrians as Mehregan (though the Iranian New Year is tied to the Spring Equinox festival of Nowruz instead). As such, this was a time to wind down and prepare for longer nights and reduced outdoor activity, and folk in the past would have focused more on indoor activities such as spinning and weaving, woodworking and storytelling, which is another reason that this festival was so strongly associated with the home.

Halig Winterfylleth!

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.

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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)

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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

Who Were the Picts?

As one of the peoples that contributed to the genetic and cultural lineage of Scotland, the identity of this enigmatic folk has been a mystery that has been debated for decades. Details about their language have proved elusive, and they have been associated with various cultural practices that put them at odds with their neighbours. No written texts in the Pictish language have survived, and so we are forced to rely on the commentaries of those other peoples that have ventured to our island; particularly the Northumbrian Anglo-Saxons, who inhabited the lands to the South of Pictish territory, and the Romans, both of whom tried to subdue the Picts through conquest and ultimately failed.

In fact, the domination of the Pictish folk was only ever achieved by the Gaelic Scots, who instead relied on marrying Pictish noblewomen and inserting themselves into the Pictish aristocracy gradually. This allowed their language to proliferate to such an extent that the Scottish landscape is covered with Gaelic place-names, to such a degree that it gives some of us the impression that Gaelic culture is the ‘native tradition’ of Scotland. To consider the importance of Gaelic tradition as part of our heritage is worth acknowledging, however, it really is no more ‘native’ to Scotland than the Teutonic traditions of the Anglo-Saxons, Norsemen and Flemings. These cultures were all preceded by one which had been established much earlier and survived in modified form in the land North of the Forth, which retained distinct archaeological and linguistic characteristics throughout the Iron Age and the Dark Ages.

The most informative historian about the Picts was the Northumbrian monk known as Bede, who lived during the 8th Century AD. In his book, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoples, he gives us helpful ethnology concerning his nation’s neighbours, including the Picts. The origin story that he provides for the Picts (which he could have obtained from either a Gaelic or Pictish source), says that the Picts came from Scythia (that is, the Russian Steppe) and arrived in Ireland. They asked to settle in their land, to which the Irish replied that they could not, but instead gave them wives and told them that they could settle on another island to the East, which would be Britain.

While this story may seem far fetched, it can actually be explained by what we know about the earlier Aryan migrations that gave birth to the Copper and Bronze Ages. The archaeological culture ascribed to the ‘Beaker People’ is connected to the male genetic haplogroup R1b, which originated in the Russian Steppe with the Aryans. Their discovery of metallurgy allowed them to expand to the East and West, introducing the Indo-European languages to Europe, as well as Central and South Asia. However, it is very likely that this did not just consist of folk migration, where a whole tribe would move as one, but also expeditions by explorers who were able to spread scientific and spiritual knowledge to the other peoples that they encountered.

The oldest name for Britain is ‘Albion’, which may have originated in the Stone Age. However, the people that were said to inhabit Britain by the time of the Iron Age were known as ‘Pretani’, which is attested by the Greek geographer, Pytheas, who called the British Isles the ‘Pretanic Isles’. This indicates that both Britain and Ireland were inhabited by the same peoples, and that they have long been considered united in this respect. In Welsh, the Picts were once known as Brithwyr and their land as Prydyn, acknowledging that the Picts, rather than the Celtic Britons, were the earlier inhabitants, as the Celtic Britons referred to themselves as Cymry.

These ‘Pretani’, were the descendants of Aryan men who had intermarried with the women of Neolithic Britain, who were themselves a mixture of European hunter-gatherers and farmers from the Middle East. However, one of the customs which has set the Picts apart from other Aryan folk is the practice of matrilineality, whereby descent would be traced through the female line. This would have meant that their children would grow up speaking their mother’s language, as the preservation of the family lineage would depend on the woman. This ensured that, despite the proliferation of Aryan genetics across Western Europe, the languages spoken in this part of the World descended from the previous, Stone Age inhabitants and would have been spoken throughout the Bronze Age.

Archaeological evidence of the ‘Atlantic Bronze Age’ culture can be found from Scotland to Spain and the language family that was spoken in this part of the world most likely survives as the Basque language of the Western Pyrenees mountains, straddling the border between France and Spain. The Basques have also historically practised matrilineality until the 20th Century, which has allowed the language to survive as an isolated pre-Indo-European speech for thousands of years. If the Pictish language was related to Basque, it would be part of the hypothetical ‘Vasconic’ language family.

Another example of a cultural practice that is not known among most Aryan folk is the art of tattooing, which was unknown among the Gauls or Teutons, but was also practised by the Scythians. The practice was described among the Picts by the Roman historian Herodian and the Visigoth historian Isodore of Seville, the former mentions depictions of animals while the latter refers to the use of a pin to paint the tattoo (the Latin name ‘Picti‘ means ‘painted ones’ and refers to this practice). Though possibly another contribution from the Aryans, it is more likely to have been something adopted by the Scythians from the neighbouring Turks, as this has not been a widespread practice in Europe historically until recent times, with the exception of the Picts and the Britons (as well as Northumbrian warriors who were chastised by the Church for imitating such practices). Though tattooing was also practised by the Celtic Britons (likely adopting a local custom), this practice is not recorded among them after the Romans, and so it presumably died out under Roman rule.

The Celts arrived in Britain during the Iron Age as traders and craftsmen, much like the original Aryans, and they were also responsible for introducing ironsmithing to our island. The Celts were also patriarchal, as opposed to the matriarchal Picts, and so they were able to conquer Western Europe both culturally and linguistically. By colonizing rather than conquering, they were able to establish a permanent hold in Britain, where they survive today as the Welsh. This was probably a different scenario on the Continent, as the overland expansion would have facilitated conquest though force of arms. This meant that the Celtic colonization in Britain was less extensive than on the Continent, and so there was more of a cultural blending than domination, reflected in the continued practice of tattooing in Britain.

However, despite the fact that most of the Pritani adopted Celtic language and culture, those living North of the Forth resisted, and continued to practice matrilineality. However, they most likely adopted a patriarchal system of governance in order to compete with the Celtic Britons, as a Brittonic chieftain would simply have to marry a Pictish matriarch in order to bring a tribe under his dominion. Maintaining matrilineality meant that the Brittonic language could only infiltrate Pictish culture through intermarriage with Brittonic women, which eventually occurred and gradually introduced Celtic vocabulary into the Pictish language.

They also practised similar styles of warfare, with the exception that, while the Celtic Britons were willing to compromise and capitulate, the Picts would never do so for any length of time. It is for this reason that the Romans were never able to conquer the Picts, as they would inevitably suffer betrayal of treaties and constant aggression form the Picts, which was the result of three unsuccessful attempts in the 1st 2nd and 3rd Centuries AD. While the Celtic Britons were eventually conquered by the Romans, the Romans found that attempting to hold the part of Britain known as Alban (the land North of the Forth which retained the pre-Indo-European name for the island) was an impossible task, and were forced to retreat behind the River Tyne, and eventually Hadrian’s Wall was built to solidify the border.

This may have been because, even if they held Southern Scotland (which was inhabited by Celtic Britons), they would be constantly attacked by the Picts. The Roman emperor, Antoninus, attempted to push the border beyond the Britons and even built a wall on the Forth-Clyde isthmus, but was forced to pull back after only twenty years due to persistent harassment by the Picts. The Picts were experts in skirmishing and would wear down the large and slow-moving Roman army through ambushes and hit-and-run tactics, luring individual soldiers away with livestock, killing them and then retreating into the forest. These strategies were only possible because the Picts made use of the once extensive Caledonian Forest, which stretched across the Highlands and gave them a place to hide and stage ambushes.

The Picts seem to have engaged in a more primitive form of warfare than their neighbours. No evidence of iron weapons has been found in Pictish territory, though they would have probably had some. The Roman historian, Dio, claimed that they had daggers and spears, which had bronze “apples” (orbs) at the butt that were used to make a rattling sound, for which there is archaeological evidence and is also shown on the Pictish Collessie Stone in Fife. According to Herodian, as iron is not plentiful in Scotland, the Caledonians (as the Picts were known until the 4th Century, a reference to the most powerful tribe, the Caledonii of Perthshire) wore iron as jewellery, and valued it as much as gold. Archaeological evidence, however, shows that they also wore bronze jewellery in the form of huge armlets, sometimes with a serpentine design. He also noted that they spurned armour, as they viewed this as a hindrance to their speed and agility.

collessie_stone_painting

Modern painting of image on the Collessie Stone, warrior with spear and shield

snake_bracelet

Bronze serpentine armlet

There is also a very interesting reference by the Roman historian, Tacitus, who wrote a biography of the Roman governor of Britain, Agricola, and his campaigns in Scotland. When describing their battle tactics, he not only says that they hurled masses of javelins and also had chariots, but that their ‘swords’ were huge and lacked a thrusting point. This does not sound much like a sword at all, but would probably have been more like the Aztec weapon known as a macuahutil. This is a long club that is edged with obsidian blades, capable of decapitation. Since obsidian can be found in Scotland and iron is comparatively rare, it is possible that this is the sort of weapon that the Picts used rather than a sword.

macuahutil

Modern reconstruction of an Aztec Macuahutil

During Agricola’s campaigns in Caledonia in the late 1st Century, his army had to endure constant evasion and refusal to meet on the battlefield from the Picts. Eventually, the Picts confronted the Romans at the Battle of Mons Graupius (possibly Moncrieffe Hill near Perth) and under the leadership of ‘Calgacus’ (‘the swordsman’ in Brittonic) they amassed their combined strength of around 30,000 men. Unfortunately, their large numbers were not enough to defeat the disciplined and tightly-formed Roman army. Tacitus notes that, though they had a massive army, after the initial skirmish their large ‘swords’ and small shields proved awkward during close combat, and so the Picts were not able to hold the line. The Romans gained the victory, and the Caledonians burned their own villages and fled to the Highlands, subsequently surrendering to Agricola. However, Agricola was called back by the Roman emperor, Domitian; as the Picts proved too much of a nuisance and there were more serious threats to the empire, such as the Dacians of Romania, though Tacitus attributes the decision to jealousy of Agricola’s achievements.

While so fiercely proud of their heritage that they would not relent in repelling an attacker, the Picts never sought to expand their territory, which meant that their tribes would continue to remain independent throughout the Roman occupation of Britain. In 367, the Picts conspired with the Britons in the South of Scotland, the Saxons in Germany and the Scots in Ireland to launch a multi-pronged attack on Roman Britain in an event known as the ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’, whereby each group attacked from the North, East and West. This event signalled the death-knell for the Roman rule in Britain, and they had abandoned the province by 410 due to constant raids from these peoples draining military resources which were needed more to defend Gaul and Italy from Teutonic invaders.

However, after the departure of the Romans, the Picts continued to raid the lands to the South, presumably because tribal warfare between the Picts and the Romano-Britons had flared up after the Romans left. By this time, the Picts had become proficient pirates, as they found that this was a more effective way to attack the Romans without the threat of fighting in a pitched battle, which they would certainly lose. It is quite possible that the Picts had simply become accustomed to raiding this way, and so the Romano-Britons recruited Anglo-Saxon warriors to defend what is now the East Coast of England.

Though this tactic proved effective in preventing Pictish piracy, the Romano-Britons eventually found themselves at war with the Anglo-Saxons, who then proceeded to conquer what is now England and the South-East of Scotland. In addition to this, two other groups settled on the West Coast of Scotland, the Picts of Galloway and the Scots of Dal Riada (Argyll). While we have been mainly concerned with the Picts in Scotland, it is worth noting that they also inhabited Ireland, and were gradually pushed North-East by Gaels from the South, who were a Celtic tribe originating in Northern Spain. The Gaels arrived in Ireland during the 2nd Century AD and began to dominate the Picts (who were known to the Gaels as Cruthin) and other Celtic tribes who had settled in Ireland. By the 4th Century AD, the powerful Gaelic O’Neill clan was pushing East into what is now Ulster, which in turn pushed some Cruthin into Galloway.

They were the folk that became known to Bede as the ‘Southern Picts’ and as Goidel Ffichti (‘Irish Picts’) to the Welsh. Due to intermarriage with Gaelic women, these Picts spoke Gaelic and introduced the language to the South-West of Scotland. The Scots of Dal Riada were known by this name because they too spoke Gaelic (the Scoti were one of the first Gaelic tribes to arrive in Ireland from Spain and gave their name to the Gaelic language, known as Scottis during the Middle Ages), though they were not Picts, but rather one of the Celto-Germanic tribes that had migrated to Ireland from Belgium (known as the Belgae in Latin and Fir Bolg in Gaelic) and had been influenced by the Gaels linguistically through intermarriage. Bede claims that the Scots colonized what is now Argyll through “a combination of treaty and force”. The Scots became the Picts’ new neighbours and introduced the Gaelic tongue to the Highlands.

One other feature which distinguished the Picts from the peoples surrounding them are their elaborate symbol stones, which can be found all over the areas that the Picts inhabited. Examples of carvings are depictions of animals including salmon, geese, bulls, wolves, bears and horses, as well as the mythological kelpie, or water-horse of Scottish mythology. They also had unique symbols that were specific to the Picts and are difficult to interpret. In addition, they also showed images of people, either hunting, fighting on the battlefield or simply alone as on the Collessie Stone. One such stone found at Aberlemno, Angus, dates from the 8th Century and depicts the Pictish army engaged in battle with the Strathclyde Britons.

aberlemno_stone

Section of the battle scene from the Aberlemno Stone

By this time, the Picts had adopted the more conventional battle tactics of their neighbours, and they are shown using spears, swords and even pikes against the Brittonic cavalry. Noteworthy is the depiction of the Britons wearing helmets and mail coats, which are notably absent from the Pictish army, suggesting that they continued to reject the use of armour well into the Dark Ages. Later stones take on a different form, and become Christian cross slabs in the tradition of Celtic Christianity, depicting scenes from the Old Testament. Though their unique pagan religion became gradually replaced, the Picts still found ways to incorporate their own stone carving style into the high crosses, and continued to feature pictures of animals.

aberlemno_stone2

Older Pictish stone also at Aberlemno, depicting a snake, a mirror and a ‘z-rod’ symbol

It is after the Roman departure that the new religion of Christianity began to affect the Picts, and it is the Southern Picts who were first converted by Saint Ninian in the 5th Century AD, establishing a church at Whithorn in Galloway. However, a letter from Saint Patrick to the king of Strathclyde (which is where Saint Patrick was from) refers to the Southern Picts as ‘apostates’ suggesting that they had abandoned Christianity and would have been subsequently converted at a later date by Irish missionaries. The conversion of the Northern Picts was a later process, and was also achieved through the efforts of the Celtic Church, which began with the establishment of a monastery at Iona by Saint Columba in the 6th Century.

Though Columba himself managed to convert some Picts, the bulk of the conversion was done by his disciples, which allowed Gaelic culture to proliferate among the Picts through the establishment of monasteries. We know nothing about the pagan Pictish religion, and it is unclear to what extent it was influenced by Celtic culture and how much it retained an older form. Though the Picts were initially converted to the Celtic version of Christianity, they eventually switched to the Catholicism that was practised among the Anglo-Saxons in the 8th Century, which was more orthodox. By establishing their own bishoprics, the Picts were able to free themselves from the influence of Iona and assert their culture within the Church, though they then became more influenced by the Anglo-Saxons.

The Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria conquered what is now Lothian in the 7th Century and the Picts had yet another new neighbour. However, unlike the Scots who were not interested in expanding into Pictish territory by force, the Northumbrian king, Oswy, attempted to subjugate the Picts, and succeeded in the only way that one could with the Picts; by having them as clients. Oswy was able to expand his hegemony through extracting tribute rather than through conquest, which would have been impossible with the Picts. Indeed, though Oswy’s son, Ecgfrith, defeated the Picts after they had refused to pay tribute, he would eventually be defeated by them. Initially, the Picts had been defeated by Ecgfrith at the Battle of Two Rivers, which would have been in a Lowland area of Pictish territory.

Under the leadership of King Bridei of Werturiu (the most powerful Late Pictish kingdom which consisted of Moray, Ross, Badenoch and Strathspey), the Picts lured Ecgfrith’s mounted warband into the Highlands, and crushed them at the Battle of Nechtansmere, which most likely took place near Dunachton in Badenoch. After this, the Picts became the dominant force in Scotland, and for the first time were able to assert themselves through shrugging off the influence of Iona and through making peace with the Northumbrians. During the 8th Century, the Picts began to extract tribute from their other neighbours, namely the Britons of Strathclyde and the Scots of Dal Riada. It was at the peak of their power that the Picts were to face their greatest threat, which lay the foundations for their final defeat.

From their mountainous and sea-swept homes in Noway, the Vikings began to raid the Northern and Western Isles at the beginning of the 9th Century, and subsequently settled there, establishing their culture, language and pagan religion. From there, they went on to invade the mainland, and the Pictish kingdom of Cait (Caithness and Sutherland) fell under the control of the Orcadian Norsemen. Eventually, they descended on Werturiu, and the Pictish royal family were slaughtered by them, bringing the carefully constructed Pictish high kingship into chaos and civil war. The linchpin that held the Pictish kingdoms together was the able rulership of the kings of Werturiu, and once they were defeated it fell apart.

Despite attempts by other Pictish kings to gain control, they were eventually subjugated by the king of Dal Riada, Kenneth MacAlpin, through treachery and murder of the other Pictish kings at Scone. He then began the domination of Gaelic culture among the Picts by establishing patrilineal descent and his successors went on to unite the Picts and Scots into one folk. While the Scottish kingdom retained the ancient name of ‘Alba’, it was no longer culturally Pretanic, and as such became absorbed into the wider Indo-European world after resisting for so long. The Pictish language had probably died out by the 11th Century, and so all that survives are place-names and the names of Pictish kings. Though many of these are Brittonic in form, this is due to the partial adoption of that language because of their close proximity to the Celtic Britons, as Bede makes it clear that they spoke different languages.

During the conquests of Edward I of England, ‘Hammer of the Scots’, he made every effort to undermine Scottish royal authority by destroying as many texts as he could pertaining to Scottish history. In addition to the sacking of abbeys during the Reformation, this has ensured that if any texts were ever written in Pictish, they do not survive and so we have no real idea of what their language looked like, what they called themselves or what their mythology would have been. Though the Southern Picts of Galloway retained their cultural and political independence until the 12th Century, the cultural and religious reforms under David I meant that they too were finally absorbed into the Scottish kingdom, though they had long abandoned the Pictish tongue in favour of Gaelic.

It is for this reason that we have suffered a cultural disconnect with our ancestors, and so many of us who are interested in reviving their traditions have either the Gaelic or Teutonic paths to choose from. Yet the Picts still remain a feature of history that are unique to both Scotland and Northern Ireland. Though known under different names, they formed a continuum with the earlier, pre-Indo-European culture of the British Isles, one which was sadly broken over a thousand years ago. Even though we do not know what gods they worshipped or what their customs were, we can still look back on them as an example to be proud of our heritage and to never give up or give in to invaders. Despite this loss, we still inherit the same blood and inhabit the same soil.

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

On the Importance of Syncretism

One of the main differences between orthodoxy and eclecticism in religion is the willingness to incorporate other belief systems into a spiritual practice. While orthodoxy emphasizes purity of dogma and rigidity in structure, in more mystical or folkish religions there is more of a tendency to acknowledge similarities with the religions of other peoples and adapting to changes brought about by migration and trade. While there is nothing wrong with a more defined and specific approach per se, it does limit one’s perception and the failure to give value to the insights of others may hinder understanding of one’s own belief system. A more syncretic approach is becoming necessary in response to globalization and the erosion of traditional religion in the West. While Christianity has largely lost relevance among Westerners at the same time as the expansion of Islam in our lands, it makes sense to proudly defend our traditions from all throughout our history, not just those from the time before Christianity.

Though we carry the torch that has been passed down to us from our ancestors within our genetics and our culture, and in many ways we embody our ancestors, we are not living under the same conditions as they did. This means that our forebears had more access to their own local traditions in the form of skills passed down through generations, as well as folk-binding ceremonies such as the ceilidh (an event traditionally hosted by the local storyteller, now more centred around Highland dancing). However, many of us today have lost touch with our roots in the whirling confusion that is living in a Modern multicultural society, and so we need to be less picky about what can be used to further the spiritual well-being of our folk.

As opposed to the Judeo-Christian Europe of the Middle Ages (where the Church engaged in pogroms against ‘heretical’ sects, who were usually practising some form of Gnostic Christianity), the pagan Europeans had a much more relaxed attitude towards the cults of other peoples. While the adoption of Celtic, Teutonic and various other European pantheons by the Romans helped to strengthen their state religion, it also led to the eventual decline of paganism in the Roman Empire. As Asian and African cults (such as those of the goddesses Cybele and Isis) were also incorporated into Roman religion, they undermined the patriarchal vigour of the Greco-Roman belief systems and allowed for Judeo-Christianity to take over the empire. And this is where the danger of syncretism lies; in order for this method to work, a belief system must be compatible with another in a way that there is no contradiction due to a common spiritual understanding.

More often than not, this is only possible with other spiritual teachings that derive from the same racial root as the one you may wish to supplement. It is no good trying to adapt the beliefs of foreign races into one’s own religion, as the cultural assumptions will differ and lead to a misunderstanding of symbolic meanings. For example, the wolf or dog is considered a noble (if not somewhat dangerous) animal in Aryan and Turkic cultures, and is the guardian animal for many tribes among these two races. However, in Semitic cultures, the dog is seen in the same light as the jackal, a lowly creature who is shunned and considered unclean. Attempting to reconcile such contradictory symbolism will only lead to confusion about the role of parables and symbols in religion, leading to its eventual abandonment.

However, it is now the case that many of our native European customs are so intertwined not only with each other, but also with Christianity, that it is necessary to admit to what works and what doesn’t with regards to carrying tradition. During the Dark Ages, Gnostic Christianity successfully merged with Celtic paganism in order to compose what has become known as ‘Celtic Christianity’. In many cases, the folklore and mythology from Medieval Ireland and Wales are so heavily shaped by this post-Roman culture that it is now difficult to separate the two, making the attempt to reconstruct a ‘pure’ form of Celtic paganism fruitless. Even with regards to Anglo-Saxon paganism, we only have fragmentary evidence for their specific spiritual practices, and most of this comes from after their conversion to Catholicism. In this way, the poetry of Anglo-Saxon England is no less ‘authentic’ despite the Christian overtones, because the original tradition is preserved underneath the symbolism reflecting that time period. It is only because of the preservation of Norse mythology in Iceland that we know more about Teutonic paganism than its Celtic counterpart, although even the works of Snorri Sturluson (the Icelandic priest responsible for preserving the Eddas and Egil’s saga) are written from a Christian perspective.

Nowhere is the need for a combination of cultural motifs in contemporary paganism more apparent than here in Scotland, where it is difficult to ignore either our Celtic or Teutonic heritage. The British peoples are known to be mongrels, yet we still preserve a specific blend of traditions that is unique to both us and the Irish. Specifically, they do well to compliment each other as embodying the masculine and feminine (or patriarchal and matriarchal) forms of religion, with the Teutonic tradition as the former and Celtic culture as the latter. The head of the Teutonic pantheon is Allfather Wotan, who values the manly pursuits of warfare and rune magic, in addition to encouraging exploration and adventure.

While Wotan’s Celtic cognate, Lugh, is also the chief deity in Irish mythology, there is a strong emphasis on the cult of Danu (‘Mother Earth’ equivalent to Nerthuz) and more focus is placed on trade and shamanistic ‘woman’s magic’. Together, their worship forms the basis of the solar and lunar festivals; Yule, Ostara, Litha and Winter Finding (marking the solstices and equinoxes) among the agricultural Teutons, and Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh in the Gaelic pastoral tradition, marking the beginning of each new season. It is for this reason that I consider Wotanism and all other folkish forms of paganism as the European variant of Aryan religion. We do not need to have our religion specific to one ethnic group or another, as long as the mixture is between cultures with a shared origin so that each can represent two sides of the same coin. While the main source of pagan lore comes from Norse mythology, there is also much to be learned from the cultures of all Aryan peoples, from Ireland to India and from Russia to Spain.

Having said that, care must be used when dealing with the religions of Iranian and Indian cultures. Though the peoples of Central and Southern Asia share much in common genetically and culturally with Europeans, they have also been affected by the presence of indigenous non-Aryans (such as the Dravidians of India) and by incursions from peoples like the Arabs and Turks. This means that while the esoteric meanings of Zoroastrianism or Hinduism can be adapted and applied to European paganism, the more exoteric cultural aspects (such as traditional cuisine or music) may be more alien and inappropriate for blending with our own culture (for example, the presence of figs and dates in Middle-Eastern folklore, whose symbolic meaning is difficult to apply in temperate Europe where they don’t grow).

An example of a successful cross-cultural interpretation is with the story of Wotan and Gunnlod. Wotan wished to drink the sacred Odrerir (‘mead of poetry’) held by the giant, Kvasir. To achieve this, Wotan slept with his daughter Gunnlod for three nights, each night turning into a snake and slithering up the mountain to drink the mead. On the third night he was caught by Kvasir and had to turn into an eagle to escape back to Asgard. This symbology can be interpreted as a metaphor for the practice of Kundalini yoga, with the mountain representing the body and Wotan as a serpent representing the astral ‘snake’ (Shakti in Hinduism) that travels up the spine. The drinking of Odrerir and changing into an eagle is representative of the ecstatic state achieved by channelling this power, and this is a feature of Wotan’s quest for wisdom which serves as an example for his followers.

As a reflection of my mixed ethnic heritage, I choose to outwardly revere the gods of the Teutonic pantheon, while at the same time studying Druidism and other forms of Celtic and Aryan mysticism. This feels like a natural state and it is similarly the case for many of us in Britain. While there is a stronger Teutonic presence in somewhere like England, and in turn a stronger Celtic influence in a place like Ireland, the aspect of this mixture is what gives us our own unique sense of identity. It is obvious that most will swing more one way or the other, but the dual nature of each aspect is always present, and has been for millennia.

While the Nordic character of the East coast has been shaped by the first inhabitants who crossed the lost land of Doggerland in the North Sea, down to the Aryans and later Anglo-Saxons and Norsemen, the West has been more thoroughly colonized by folk from lands facing the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas. It is because of this that it is necessary to draw from a larger pool of culture, as the demise of Western civilization has stripped our heritage down to its roots, and it is more pragmatic at this time to revive our local customs in addition to taking inspiration from religions far and wide. Our blood and spirit runs much deeper than nation or language, as the source has and will remain for as long as we remain.

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 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 fund both of these ideologies are siphoning off the wealth of the West and leaving more and more people destitute. 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 ‘civic nationalists’ who claim to oppose both movements as extreme and primarily advocate individual liberty, though they refuse to address fundamental truths about the differences between races so as not to seem ‘racist’. 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 White 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 Aryan 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 only non-Whites 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 White men in particular, which has awakened a desire for the prevailing zeitgeist 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 socio-political in nature, while the latter is not. The Alt-Right relies on the dissemination of information relating to social and 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 (though online censorship is taking its toll). 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, although it may also be expressed through a traditionalist interpretation of Christianity. 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 the 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 relative greater and lesser importance, with maintaining our folk in a cultural and spiritual sense being the priority with 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, thus destroying our race’s chance of survival. This is precisely what happened during World War II, particularly in Germany. The völkisch movement that heralded the rise of Wotanism as a new expression of Aryan heritage 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, who 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 acts as a political vehicle for spreading the concept of White Nationalism, I wish to emphasize that such an idea 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 is proposes to work within the framework of the already existing society in order to advance the interests of our folk, which would imply gaining control of the very state as it exists today that works towards its demise. 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.

 

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 the former is material and biological and the latter 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 our more particular regional identities in order to maintain the folk as a whole.

 

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 become 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 then we can speak of ‘nations’ and ‘races’. The future Aryan race will be at 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 diseases 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 which 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 basest characteristics of man’s animal nature. It is also the fact that 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 endeavours.

 

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 are 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 achievements 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 and 19th Centuries (Liberalism and Marxism respectively). The future looks bright, but only if we know in which direction to go and in the most effective way possible.

 

Hail the folk!

 

Wulf Willelmson