I was hoping to limit this blog entry to (the highlights of) our hikes for 2017, but noticed my last “Heathen Hiking” entry left off in September of 2016 and didn’t included the handful of hikes that rounded out the year. These included a return to East Sooke Park, albeit to the Aylard Farms area in the southeastern section of the park, a trip up Mount Brule in Sooke’s Sea-to-Sea Park, a father-son expedition up the Sooke River with a stop at the old resort ruins, our first trip out to Mary Vine Falls near the Sooke Potholes, and of course one of our most epic hikes to date which saw us on the ferry over to Salt Spring Island in a marathon 40 km hike that carried us up Bruce Peak on the southwestern portion of the island, over to the it’s west coast, and then looping it (which required some pretty crazy bushwhacking at times) north along the coast and finally back around to Fulford Harbour just as the sun was setting and a real west coast rain began to fall. Our thanks to little Domo the dog, who insistently befriended us as we moved into the thick of it and guided us through some of the more uncertain stretches of the hike!
There are so many good images to share from those hikes, but with 2017 still ahead of us, here at two. This first is from my “Sooke River ruins” hike with my son,
And the second is from atop the aforementioned Bruce Peak (elevation 709 meters),
It was cool to be up above the clouds and the fog bank that was rolling in … almost reminiscent of the prairies in that you could see miles upon miles of uninterrupted miles upon miles. But speaking of the fog bank that rolled; it was quite the sight to see and to be honest, as my imagination played on the imagery it presented — in an apocalyptic, natural disaster sort of way — it even frightened me a bit … the sheer magnitude of the phenomenon! But really, you would have had to have been there.
Such was the end of 2016.
In 2017 we went on some 22 hikes that carried us a combined total of 543 km (337 miles); which is about the distance between the city of Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island here to Port Hardy, the last stop as one nears the northern tip! And the year began where it left off; with my (now) fiance and I catching the ferry over to Salt Spring Island to tackle it’s southeastern coast and then onward out to Ruckle’s Park at it’s eastern extreme.
We had spotted a fair share of bird’s of prey over the past year, eagles no exception, but all year I had longed to spot a bald eagle perched a top a tree for a really good picture. This was my “dream shot” as far as eagles went, but right at the beginning of the day, atop Reginald Hill, my fiance spotted two bald eagles about 200′ off, perched atop a tree the apex of which was basically eye-level with us! And you know, it really is like they say, “When something appears to good to be true … it can’t get any better!”
They have some really BIG trees on the Vancouver island here. This is not one of them.
While we expanded our range this year, breaking new ground on Salt Spring Island, heading as far out west as Sombrio Beach and as far north as Mount Provost in Duncan, the hills and mountains north of Sooke are a gift that just keeps on giving. Being a mere hour bus ride and then maybe a 5km walk to the nearest trail head, the place is basically in our backyard and offers a vast expanse of official parkland and “unbounded” back-country to be explored.
Some bemoan the blocking off and tearing up of the old roads that used to run through these hills — and now serve as speedy hiking arteries for penetration into more remote areas — reasoning that such has limited access for families that might enjoy a day out at some of the small lakes that dot the terrain. I on the other hand appreciate the fact that, while there certainly are some very nice places that families have convenient access to (eg. Thetis Lake), there are nevertheless some places that there is no convenient access to; Sheild’s Lake for example (image below). The lack of convenience keeps those predisposed to convenience, to doing whatever is the easiest as a matter of habit, away, which in turn helps preserve the (certainly relative) “sanctity” of such areas. It makes a difference (IMO) when you have to actually work to get there, cultivating an attitude similar to “pride of palace”.
Sheild’s Lake (no, I don’t keep mis-spelling that) is a beaut; nestled high up in the Sooke Mountain area, in fact due norther of Sooke Mountain, and hedged in by hills and mountains that rise up, amphitheater like, on all sides.
Lay the foundation for another Uppsala-style hof anyone?
Seriously though, it is a favourite spot for locals who, first, are actually willing to make the 10+ km hike in, loaded with gear and mostly uphill, and want to enjoy some back-country camping … away from all the rules to be sure, but all things considered, closer to common sense nevertheless. We would return within the week, loaded with gear, to do exactly that.
We would also return to Salt Spring Island, my son in tow, one more time in 2017 to explore Mount Erskine; due east of the town of Ganges on it’s western coast. The main attraction was the “fairy doors” that dot the park, built into the sides of random rocks and trees along it’s trails. The hike itself was only 13 km and thus a little on the slack side from what we are used to, but the fairy doors were interesting and in terms of the main viewpoint atop Erskine — looking north along Vancouver Island’s eastern coastline — it paid BIG for relatively little effort.
Our longest hike to date would have been the epic Bruce Peak (Salt Spring Isle) hike of late 2016 that I mentioned at the beginning of this entry. It measured out to be 39.9 km and carried us to an elevation of 903 meters. It was long. It was grueling. It was filled with uncertainty as the day wore on and the clouds grew ever darker. Man. Did I mention how much I appreciated that dog, Domo, who found us??? We made it back to Fulford Harbour just as the last light of day faded and the heavy rains began to fall; not to mention as the last ferry rounded the bend into the harbour headed towards the docks. Sigh. What an adventure! But in terms of at least distance, it was doomed to be outdone.
Around mid-May we decided to tackle what was less a trail hike and more a roadside marathon walk out to French Beach some 20 km west of Sooke; which itself measured in at 43 km over a 12 hour day. We saw some very nice sights as we hit a number of different points along the West Coast highway that day, but the sweeping vista …
The highlight of the day however was completely random and had to be marveled at with the naked eye alone or risk being missed out on altogether. We were on the return journey back to Sooke and had decided to “pull off” the road and down a trail into bush for a brief rest-stop. A turkey vulture swooped into the trees from the branches above, and then was immediately followed by a golden eagle … within about 100′ of us! And let me tell you, this bird was BIG, making the turkey vulture look like a mere crow in comparison. It’s wing span was well over 6′ and probably closer to 7′! It was SO big that, much like the aforementioned fog bank rolling into Fulford Harbour that day atop Bruce Peak, I actually felt a twinge of fear at the sight! Although unlike the fog bank, no imagination was necessary!
Oh! Speaking of twinges of fear, I mentioned in my last Heathen Hiking entry my confrontation with the Goldstream Trestle and the discovery that I had a fear of heights. Well, I finally made it over the sucker this year! I needed my fiance to hold my hand while I did it mind you (lol), but I made it over nevertheless! The old train-tracks carried on from there for a stretch until we came to a rock on which someone had written the words “turn back”. And so like all of the wise and intelligent people portrayed in your typical found footage movie, we “pressed on”. And soon after we came to a second (daunting) trestle. Word had it that some distance beyond this the tracks would pass through a tunnel, but in all honesty, I was already emotionally drained from my first trestle crossing and, quite simply, was not up to the (further) challenge. Which of course has the merit of leaving me with future challenges (of this nature) to surmount!
We’ll meet again Goldstream Trestles! And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! 😉
Anyway, while French Beach had been the furthest westward we’d trekked on foot, we reunited with a couple of guys from our Heather Mountain hike of 2016 to hit the old Priests Cabin and from there hike from the seal grotto out to Sombrio Beach, some 36 km west of French Beach.
As one of our immediate goals is to hike the Juan de Fuca trail — a 47 km coastal hike that stretches from China Beach near the town of Jordan River to Botanicla Beach in the west near Port Renfrew — this hike would give us our first real taste of the ruggedness of the coastal trails.
While we have had plenty of experiences at this point with trails that turn into creeks with the onset of, ahem, “winter” and the associated mud-traps , the mud traps along this stretch of the Juan de Fuca were quite significant and entirely unavoidable.
Sombrio Beach itself was “recently” featured in a B-movie called “Dark Cove”, about a group of campers who head there for a weekend of fun and wind up with a dead body on their hands. They decide to hide in a crevice, the “Emerald Cavern”, that leads to a hidden waterfall.
Having watched this movie a couple of weeks earlier, it was cool to visit the spot and be, like, “Hey! This is where they hid the body!!!” lol
With the opening of the new “Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail” — that runs northward from Mount Wells near Goldstream to connect Victoria with other regional trails further north — French Beach didn’t remain our longest hike of the year; which itself carried us along this new trail to the northern extreme of Shawnigan Lake, and from there east to the coast and then south again to the Mill Bay Ferry and which all tolled measuring in at 44.3 km. That said, the majority of the hike felt very tame, if still fulfilling in it’s own right. It also gave us a taste for exploration even further afield.
This led to a trip up island to the nearby town of Duncan, where we got a hotel room and tackled a hike out and to the top of Mount Prevost on our first day, and then a hike out to and around Stoney Hill Park on the next. The Prevost hike stretched some 31 km (19 miles) and carried us to an elevation of 788 meters (2585 feet) in temperatures that reach up to 32 Celsius (89 F). Fortunately we were sparred the brunt of the sun on our way up, but the effort was certainly worth the reward and it represented our second highest “climb”; though it still fell well short of Heather Mountain. And “Heather Mountain” is not likely to survive 2018 as my fiance and I head out to Valemount, British Columbia for our honeymoon and what promises to be some pretty spectacular hiking!
Anyway, this is Mount Prevost as seen from the outskirts of the town of Duncan …
And here we are at the top …
And a better view of the, well, of the view …
Those are the mountains of Salt Spring Island in the distance there, directly ahead of us and stretch off to the left of the picture. The smaller mountain in the foreground is Mount Tzouhalem. We would be heading out to the otherside of that on the ‘morrow bound for Stoney Hill Park; which I had spied on our first trip out to Salt Spring late in 2016. The park sits atop this wall of stone in the background there, which I wanted to go to since first spotting it.
And now here’s the view from the otherside, dominated by Mount Maxwell with the stretch of shore I’m standing on in the last pic. a little bit further off the rightside of this pic. Erskine is a little further (north) off the leftside of the pic, fyi.
This hike stretched for some 34 km, a lot of which was on pavement and which, combined with the previous day’s Prevost hike, had me limping pretty well the entire way back to our hotel room in the 32 Celsius heat of the day!
I boast rather than complain!
Our next hike would see us heading back out along the “Rabbity Trail” that runs along the shores of the Gowlland Tod range back in the Victoria area. This was the site of our first and entirely impromptu over-nighter. This time we came prepared for the night and set up a crude little camp, under the stars, about 3 hours down the trail head from Mckenzie Bight beach and right on the water. Here we were greeted by a pod(?) of seals who could be heard splashing about and snorting as they emerged for the rest of the night. If not for the fire-ban the province was currently under, and a lack of water shoes to protect my feet, I would have jumped in and swam with them. And I might return next year or thereafter to do exactly that!
Here are a couple of the seals that were so curious about us and our music. I counted at least 6 in total …
We would spend one more night camping out in 2017, only a few days later at Island View Park on the eastern shores of the Saanich Peninsula, but by that point the smoke from all of the fires burning in the province was beginning to drift over the island, kinda killing the appeal of “getting out there into the fresh air”.
Nevertheless, it was a good years hiking. In fact, 2017 became our year for eagle spottings. And it wasn’t just eagles. While we had an encounter with an adolescent black bear last year, we had an enoucnter with a big momma and her cub just this past November on our last trip out to Mary Vine Falls while heading back in, ie. going the opposite direction wasn’t really an option. Fortunately, it was salmon season and we soon ran into three other hikers who were themselves heading back in, and so mamma bear soon lost interest and wandered back into the bush with her cub.
Some of the scenery from that same day …
And of course, having mentioned Mary Vine Falls on at least a couple of occasions by this point, here they are …
It is often said of the Nordic goddess Freyja that she is a goddess of sexuality. While that might very well be the case, the notion is often carried out into the murky realm of whoredom which folk seek to rebut simply by trying to recast “bad” as “good”. Lending to this notion of “Freyja as whore” folk will cite the Eddic lore that states that she has lain with all of the gods, her own brother included; that she is comparable to the mythic goat Heidhrun prancing about in heat, and of course the tale in which she lays with four dwarves so as to win the fabled necklace Brisingamen. Of course, the first two bits of lore come, within the stories, from the mouths of her detractors (Hyndla, Loki) and can hardly be taken at face value, while one of the Icelandic sagas, Njal’s saga I believe it was, relates how a Christian Icelander was outlawed for calling the Vanadis a whore/bitch. So, all we truly have in this regard, beyond some very questionable hearsay, is the tale of the Brisingamen, the precise nature of which we today are left largely to guess at.
My purpose however is not to disprove Freyja’s association with sexuality or, really, to wax at all academic on the matter. Rather I would simply shake up such conventionally accepted notions as surrounds the goddess and offer a perception of her that is not the product of those out to discredit and undermine her (and indeed out indigenous beliefs themselves as a whole) by an utter reluctance to see beyond the base carnal realities that all higher truth is rooted in.
It is that “higher truth” that we should be interested in.
As with all good lies, there may indeed be some kernel of truth to the words of Freyja’s detractors. Freyja may indeed have been regarded as having a strong sexual component. Rather than casting her as some two-bit mortal whore however, one might be inclined to say that she is the spirit of the passion that exists between lovers. And so that where there are lovers engaged in a “passionate embrace” there is Freyja. Following these carnal lines alone, one might say, in this regard, that highest expression of Freyja would have been more similar to Hinduisms Kama Sutra and certain Tantraic teachings rather than the “Girls Gone Wild” nonsense of the low-minded and uncultured.
Indeed, I have reason to believe that the magical art of seidhR, that is so strongly associated with Freyja, and was so “strongly opposed” by the early Church in Norway, was a cult that taught mysto-magical arts of seduction, ie. the generation of sexual energy and it’s use to manipulate the mind of other beings.
But as the spirit of sexual passion, to refer to Freyja as a whore is to misunderstand and cheapen the fundamental value of sexuality, the intense passion of lovers for one another, and to drive the very spirit of passion itself from one’s bedroom; a passion that extends well beyond the bedroom and into the higher realms of passionate devotion for one another as reflected in the supreme value the indigenous Germanic people placed on monogamy, and mythically reflected in Freyja’s own longing for her absent lover OdhR (Mental Excitement).
But Freyja is more even than the spirit of sexuality, or even of passion in general, but also of sensuality and what my high school Western Civ. teacher would have called “the aesthetic experience”; which itself was basically a recasting of Plato’s hierarchy of thought. Freyja promotes a fine appreciation of all the better things in life, noting, indeed, relishing in their fine and subtle details, like the brush strokes of a painting, the subtle differences in taste of a fine wine, etc.
A stately connoisseur of beauty. A Lady. A Freyja.
Indeed, I would tend to think that much of Freyja-lore survived, after a fashion, and can be gleaned in Eleanor of Aquitaine and her so-called “court of love”, where the ideas of ideas of courtly love, chivalry and the troubadours were brought together; not so much as a pure expression of Eleanor’s native Germanic spirit, but as a reaction of that spirit to the increasingly rigid structure of NW European society that began with the absorption of southern European culture and the introduction of Abrahamic Christianity.
The knightly notion of the lady as muse, be it in battle, or as found re-expressed in the Renaissance, in the production of art.
“Not at all do we consider him to be a god. He was evil and all his descendants. We call them rime-thursar.” — Snorri Sturlusson, Prose Edda
By the indigenous worldview of our ancestors the present is an accumulation of interwoven *layers* that set the context of our lives, both individually and collectively (in ever expanding circles of relation out to all of humanity).
We see this in the evolution of the primal realm of Niflheim, formed by the layers upon layers of rime and frost that built up around the primal spring called Hvergelmir (Seething Cauldron), and we see this in the actions of the Great Mothers at the Divine Counsel of the Tivar in Upper-Heaven, as they “lay the layers/laws” (of Divine Judgement) into the holy spring of Wyrd. And of course we see it in the folklore and the appearance of the Little Mothers at a child’s birth who would set the baby’s “orlogR”, the “primal layer/law” or “basic context” of their life … which would of course be deeply influenced — wherever that stops short of “micro-managed” — by the “primal law” of the family, tribe, culture, etc. that they sprung from.
Layers upon (interwoven) layers. Laws upon laws. A veritable three dimensional tapestry.
This is a useful perceptual tool in approaching the “Creation myth” of the Germanic peoples as embodied in the Norse-Icelandic Eddas; that each event along the path to Creation (and forward) represents successive “laws” or “precedents” that set the context of human existence on a fundamental level.
And THE primal law of all existence is, arguably (ie. Ginnungagap), the “Law of Ymir” whose “offspring” it is said are all brutish and hostile, the very forces of hardship and adversity as inherent in nature and natural existence; to which all things, great and small, are and ever shall be subject too (to one degree of another).
There is no escape from this primal law. It is set. Indeed, if one can rely on nothing else in life, it is an undeniable fact that one can always count on hardship and adversity. It shall always be there to hurt you, to make you suffer, to kill you, and then to casually step over your broken form utterly heedless that you were ever even there to begin with.
And this is how it should be; a fact that one can most certainly argue against, in all futility, but which remains a fact nevertheless. And it remains a fact that has and shall prove itself, over and over and over again, and never show itself off as anything other than the cold, hard truth.
No malicious intentions necessary.
There are of course mitigating factors, mythologically speaking, in the form of the All-Nourisher, Audhumbla, the Tivar and of course in the the foundation of the “innangeard” or “in-group/community”. But that combination of adversity (Ymir) and nurture (Audhumbla) is what gave birth to the first of the gods, to glory, and the process of the cultivation of resilience, strength and excellence, of divinity, in which adversity is a key component. And in which adversity remains ever-present, regardless of one’s degree of strength, fortitude, and excellence.
The “Law of Ymir” remains ever in place.
Adversity is a given.
And the best life is had by the those who accept that, who look upon it as a challenge; by those who have an inkling of exactly how adverse life could potentially be without the buffer of the innangeard established by the gods and maintained by our ancestors since time immemorial. And this keen awareness also makes such people some of the most thankful.
“the hardships of the freedman mark the freedom of his condition.” — Tacitus, Germania
Politics. It’s a funny thing. Funny-strange.
I spent most of my life, not unlike most of my peers who grew up in the 70s and 80s, without affording politics much more than a sideways glance. Unlike most of my peers, I was much more concerned with my native culturo-spiritual heritage as a man of Anglo-Frankish (paternal) and German (maternal) ancestry; which is to say that I was interested in my preChristian heathen heritage. And that of course is as much as to say my ethnic heritage; the word heathen (country-dweller) being a gloss of the Latin paganus (rustic, villager; from pagus meaning “rural locality”) which itself is a gloss of the Greek ethnos from whence we get the Modern English word ethnic; which itself is a much deeper and complex concept than “race” that certainly encompasses the notion of “race” but which is neither limited to nor dominated by it.
As a Germanic Heathen, my values, my identity does not “descend from on high”. It rises up out of the soil beneath my feet, up from the halls of my ancestors and through their generations to me, and stretches up and out as far as my reach can grasp and my environment will allow. That is my domain. And the well-being of my domain, of my tribe, is my politics.
My tribe first.
This is not to suggest that I don’t care about the well-being of other tribes, or fail to realize how successful alliances with outsiders can benefit my tribe, only that I know where my priority-one responsibilities and obligations lie. No one enters into a deal that is not beneficial to them; for all that we might hope that the benefit was mutual. This is of course no different than someone saying that they put their children first, even before my children, to which I would respond, not with self-righteous contempt and holier-than-thou indignation, but rather with a pat on the back and a warm assurance that this is the foundation of being a good parent. You are behaving as you should, as one should expect of you as a parent. Nothing more, nothing less. And the same principle applies no matter the context, big or small. What is true for the parent is true for the family head is true for the tribal head is true for the head of state.
Among wiser folk, folk more in-tune with nature and human nature, folk less ideologically obsessed, such a statement as “I put my child first!” might well come off as uncouth, a statement of the obvious, and as such might be perceived as carrying certain implications that might be frowned upon, depending of course. But we Euro-descended people of the 21st century are not such folk.
No. We 21st century Euro-descended folk can, as a whole, be summed up in the prophecy of Queen Basina, the mother of King Clovis of Frankland, when she foretold that her children would be like noble lions, but her grandchildren like savage bears and wolves, while her great-grandchildren would be like dogs and small squabbling animals that would devour each other. It might have taken a little longer for the dynamic to infect the West as a whole as opposed to just the once sacral Merovingian line of France, but infect us it certainly has. We are like a bunch of stuffy old obsessive-compulsive hyper-critical grannies with nothing better to do than constantly peck and nit-pick, remembering the past only insofar as it can be used to fuel our self-righteous indignation, but utterly senile and entirely oblivious to its many virtues … the very things that have afforded the “grannies”, the weak, the luxury of their continued existence, as well as the rights and freedoms to engage in their incessant, hyperbolic whining and protest to begin with.
One has but to speak towards the historical virtues of the “white male”, or express a concern over our demographic predicament, or cite a fact that runs contrary to the “victim narrative” — or even simply exist as a “white male” — to bringing the wrath of, not only the politically correct mob, but the politically correct establishment down upon you.
Nope. In the U.S. a Christian bakery can’t refuse the business of making a cake for a gay wedding. Meanwhile here in Canada, if you were looking to become a member of our Feds, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, you might imagine that you were in luck as they have plenty of vacancies and are having difficulty filling those positions. Not so lucky however, if you are a white male. Sorry. That quota has been filled. Indeed, in an effort to fill their vacancies with non-white males, the R.C.M.P. have since done away with … wait for it … the requirement of Canadian citizenship! And meanwhile any hint of Euro-descended peoples, and particularly straight white males, coming together to in any way discuss and/or represent their concerns and interests is denounced as “sexist” or “homophobic” or “racist” or “anti-immigration” and set upon by the mob as certainly as Pavlov’s dog begins to salivate at the sound of a bell. No actual “food” required. No actual hate required. And just never mind the fact that so-called “minority groups” are both encouraged and celebrated for doing the very things that Euro-descended folk are demonized for.
Indeed, just the other day there was what is believed to have been a “terrorist attack” carried out in Edmonton, Alberta by a Somalian refugee. In the wake of the attack our Prime Minister shared an image, presented within the context of the attack, that denounced white supremacy.
Inappropriate one might think. Definitely lacking in couth. But it comes as no great shock. We have seen similar responses as this numerous times at this point from other (or the same) politicians in the Western world; responding to Islamic terrorist attacks by lecturing us about the evils of “Islamophobia” … or even just deciding to “throw it out there” to the world that we the (Euro-descended) people (of Canada) are a bunch of low-life “racists”.
And no one questions it. Like Pavlov’s dog they simply begin to “salivate” when someone “rings the bell” of white racism; all too happy to hop on board and goose-step to the tune of the state … all the while imagining themselves to be that courageous soul with his arms crossed, indignantly, while amidst a crowd of (actual) Nazis eagerly throwing up the Roman salute … in the name of Germania.
Political correctness is after all adherence to the doctrine of the state by any other name. It is explicitly totalitarian, implicitly Leftist, and as such runs against the grain of our fundamental ethno-cultural disposition as Germanic people; as evidenced in our centuries long struggle and ultimate(?) victory against the theocratic Abrahamic (Christian) state that resulted in the separation of Church and State and the freedom of belief. But in fact, while the state my have tossed out the proverbial baby, it decided to hang on to the bath-water and carry forward the worst elements of the Christian theocracy; namely its negative evaluation of human nature and its over-bearing, “born again” paternalistic presumption to hold the one and only true path to salvation … which you are “literally Hitler” if you don’t give your mind, your soul and your undying devotion over to.
And hey! Don’t forget to ante up your “Peter’s Pence” while you are at it. Or else.
The Germanic ideal of government is of course best summed up in Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote, “That government is best which governs the least“; which shows off our ancient love of liberty, locality, and self-determination, our trust, our confidence and our sense of security in relation to our neighbour, our fellow man, that hearkens back as far as Tacitus in the historical record. In his work Germania, Tacitus expresses it in so many words here,
“Their freedom has this disadvantage, that they do not meet simultaneously or as they are bidden, but two or three days are wasted in the delays of assembling. When the multitude think proper, they sit down armed. Silence is proclaimed by the priests, who have on these occasions the right of keeping order. Then the king or the chief, according to age, birth, distinction in war, or eloquence, is heard, more because he has influence to persuade than because he has power to command.”
He hits upon it again in relation between lord and thrall here,
“slaves are not employed after our manner with distinct domestic duties assigned to them, but each one has the management of a house and home of his own. The master requires from the slave a certain quantity of grain, of cattle, and of clothing, as he would from a tenant, and this is the limit of subjection. All other household functions are discharged by the wife and children. To strike a slave or to punish him with bonds or with hard labour is a rare occurrence.“
What has become known as the “roof-tree law” in modern Germanicism is echoed centuries later in such Havamal stanzas as,
One might say it is further demonstrated among the Viking Age Norse in the founding of Iceland, Greenland, and the Vinland colony! But getting back to Tacitus, he also speaks towards the heart and soul of what made the Germanic concept of self–rule, the ideal of small government, actually work,
“good habits are here more effectual than good laws elsewhere.“
This observation is noted within the context of marriage and fidelity among the tribes of Germania, but speaks toward a more pervasive concept that the Anglo-Saxons called thew; meaning “customs, habits” of a community, as expressed, not in some lofty doctrine, but in rather in the habits of life and social interaction of the people that make up that community. Today we might call it “social fabric”, though “social muscle” would be more appropriate. It is organic, strong yet fibrous and flexible, and it is inherently functional. Thew is what enabled our ancestors, top to bottom, to feed and shelter and cloth themselves, and each other, to extend charity to the needy, to operate under a system of law that was largely civil in nature and absolutely dependent on the parties involved, and their local community, to determine and make amends for any wrongdoing. Good habits. Common values, common vision, common history, common sense, up out of the soil, emanating from the halls of the ancestors and down through the generations to them. And it is primarily in the area of thew that a society that has become co-dependent upon the state most suffers.
And yet in all of this talk that has emerged since the birth of Classical Liberalism about the oppressive nature of the state, and rabidly advanced by the mob of minorities that make up the “politically correct” crowd with the ever paternal “white knights” leading the charge, where is the call for smaller government? Where is the call for limiting the power of the very instrument of oppression that they are all so sore about? Rather, as a result of the very “politics of fear and division” they so often speak out against, they work to feed the wolf, to feed the state, in a frantic effort to secure a hold, Gollum-like, of “the one ring to rule them all”; granting the state ever more power to limit the freedoms and rights of their countrymen, and utterly oblivious to the ever-changing nature of the political landscape.
Here is a word to the wise for you … when you say that all politicians are liars and cheats, that’s a good indication that you mean all of them, rather than all of them except for this one here, who is offering me free stuff and catering to my sympathies, and who is clearly remarkably different than the rest … until I am betrayed by my own selfish naivety … yet again. Rinse and repeat.
Now, it’s one thing to see European peoples in general, or even NW European peoples in specific pander to this political correct nonsense, this faux shaming that generally amounts to so much hyperbolic hot air. But it’s another thing to see people who claim to be “Germanic Heathens” do it. And it is an absolute joke to see one of these “middle grounders” denounce “fanaticism on all sides, be it Far Left or Far Right”, when in fact, for one, both Nazis and Commies are on the Left, both equally big government totalitarian regardless of the presence or lack of an ethnic component, and for another, they set to salivating at the chime of “racists” every bit as quickly, as furiously, and as unthinkingly as the rest of Pavlov’s dogs.
Does it matter to them that the Sons of Odin for example, and most pertinently their Canadian contingent, have never been charged let alone implicated in a hate crime? Does it matter that they regularly spend their free time making sure drunk women make it safely home after a night of partying, do garbage clean-ups in their local neighbourhoods, and shovel their less-than-able neighbour’s sidewalks for them? No. Of course it doesn’t matter. It only matters that their Finnish founder had a background as some kind of “white supremacist” as though, true or otherwise, he is representative of the whole. Does it matter that such outfits as the Sons of Odin or the Proud Boys can boast members, prominent members, married to non-white wives with mixed offspring? No. All that matters is that they have a positive evaluation of Western culture and Western history, which of course somehow means that they are “Far Right” and “white supremacist”. Heck, does it even matter that some of the people being branded with the stigma of “white supremacists” are … wait for it … not even white??? Nor male, nor straight, nor even of clear gender in some cases? No. All that matters to the mob is the doctrine (and udder) of the state and the threat such people pose to the prevailing narrative and the status quo.
What is most confounding about these “Germanic Heathens” that engage in this game of smoke and mirrors, is that they often cite (unfounded) accusations of racism leveled against themselves, and a desire to get out from under them, as their motivation and justification for opposing “racists”; oblivious to the fact that, as such, they are complicit in the slander by, at the very least, validating it with their agreement. And also to the fact that, no matter how many times they address the question of racism to these slanderers, even going so far as to pull out their own token non-whites to prove the matter, the same slanderers can and do go on doing exactly what they do … slandering them with allegations of racism. This holds true for Euro-descended people as a whole of course.
Does anyone ever stop to consider where some of these so-called “racists” are coming from? Ever attempt to actually “build bridges not walls”? Do they ever stop, if they’ve accumulated enough years to do so, and think, “hey, in the 70s and 80s we were strongly encouraged by the political narrative of the time to stop having babies because doing so would result in a global apocalypse, only to be told in the 90s that because we didn’t have enough babies, we had to accept perpetual mass immigration as the only solution. Now, something isn’t right here.”?
No? Well, why not???
If nothing else, we were lied to … taken in by the good ol’ “bait and switch”. A person of honour and conscience could not simply over-look that or let it pass unchallenged, to say nothing of try to silence any such observations with socially malicious gossip. Our fertility rate as Euro-Canadians sits at .5 points below the abysmal national average of 1.6 (kids per couple) at an even more abysmal 1.1 (kids per couple). You don’t need to have a degree in advanced calculus to do the math on the issue.
Or maybe we weren’t lied to. Maybe Canada really did need to cap its population growth? After all, from its foundation in the mid-60s to its abolishment in the early 90s, the Science Council of Canada consistently advised a population cap in order to ensure sustainability and environmental health. And of course it was in the early 90s, paralleling the abolishment of the S.C.o.C., that Canada began its modern practice of perpetual mass immigration and we began taking in an average of 250,000 immigrants per year, every year, with the goal of reaching 100 million by the end of the century; a farcical and pretentious goal that flies in the face of simple logic, common sense, and every study done on immigration to date, and relies on some obscure metric that suggests a “sweet spot” of population density that, if reached, shall magically “unlock the bounty of the nation”, but which can’t actually be demonstrated, and only serves to be undermined by using existing countries that do sit in the hypothetical “sweet spot” of population density as examples. They might as well be prophesying from the entrails of goats or predicting the Second Coming for all that they can validate their claims.
Yes, gentle reader, for those of you unfamiliar with the Scientific Method, a hypothesis is not at all the same thing as a conclusion. And even a conclusion requires verification.
This notion of a population cap was in more recent times echoed by the West Coast’s very own environmentalist golden boy, David Suzuki, who said in criticism of the Harper government and its immigration policy that, and I quote, “Canada is full“. And for this Suzuki was lambasted as “anti-immigration” by the Conservatives and such media personalities as the roundly loathed Ezra Levant. Moreover, Suzuki was left so shaken by the Mjolnir-like bludgeoning power of the accusation, which, again, actually amounts to a lot of hot air, that he hasn’t said a peep about immigration since.
In fact, those very Conservatives that slammed Suzuki as “anti-immigration” were themselves coloured anti-immigration by their critics, and despite taking in a modern record of 285,000 immigrants in a single year. Likewise, back in the 90s, Preston Manning of the old Reform Party was slammed as “anti-immigration” for suggesting that we pull our intake down to 150,000 per year, despite being able to boast 150,000 articles of evidence as to why he was anything but anti-immigration … unless of course one meant that he was anti-immigration like antifa is “anti-fascist”, ie. not at all.
I mention this to demonstrate what a farce the accusation of “anti-immigration” is. And in this it is no different than the accusation of “racism”. Indeed, both have a very direct relation to one another, serve the same end, utilize the same hyperbolic tactics and rely on the same knee-jerk reactions, and as such are more-or-less synonymous. It would also seem to illustrate the essential contradiction that exists between the Leftist platforms of environmentalism vs. immigration and economy. And there is every reason to question the received doctrine of “immigrants and economy” as well.
Despite the oft repeated mantra that “Canada needs immigrants”, not a single study has been produced that lends credence to the notion. According to the study undertaken by the Fraser Institute immigrants represent a net burden on the Canadian tax-payer of some $23 billion dollars per year. A similar study conducted by the Simon Fraser University, often used in (pathetic) retort to the former, concluded that immigrants “only” cost Canadian tax-payers $2 billion dollars per year, ie. but cost us nevertheless. Meanwhile the study that, until recently, sat upon the Government of Canada website, “the Economic and social objectives of immigration: The evidence that informs immigration levels and education mix”, concluded that, economically speaking, immigration has only negligible effect, either way, upon the country; but also drew firm conclusions that, on the one hand, immigration certainly improves the economic outcome of the immigrant, and on the other, that immigration certainly undermines the social cohesion of the host nation.
That is to say, it undermines thew … the ability of people to get along, work together, and feel at home in their surroundings.
These questions regarding fertility rate, demographics, and immigration, the integrity and power of the state, are real concerns based on actual data whose discussion should and shall be insisted upon by a civic-minded population possessed of right goodwill. And they are not at all problems exclusive to “straight white Christian males”. They impact the lives of women and homosexuals no less, and have already had a significant impact on the state of First Nations people within Canada … who have found their voice of 1.4 million strong eating the dust of “First Generations”, of which some 6+ million (offspring not included) have been brought into Canada over the past 25 years. And it is “predicted” that future population increase, and they are planning a lot of it, shall come predominantly from immigration (as opposed to natural increase), which should raise an alarm with any legitimate citizen of Canada.
Note that none of this is observed with any particular prejudice or malice towards the non-European populations of the world, or those existing here. There are certainly some groups, such as Islam, that I think we should certainly be more careful as setting up as our “preferred source of immigrants”, but I understand the motives of immigrants for wanting to come to Western countries, to come to Canada. Contrary to the self-loathing collectively apparent in those so eager to hurl and accept the slurs of “racist” and “anti-immigration”, we lovers of the West understand the motivations of immigrants only all to well. Namely, they know as well as we do that “the West is the best”. It’s not at all perfect, and still has some major hurdles to overcome, as this blog entry should make abundantly clear, but it’s the best thing that the world has going and, more importantly, it has evolved a process that speaks towards our collective humility, self-awareness and self-criticism, that is requisite to any hope of growth and progress. And it’s possession is why the West is the best. Moreover, while I am happy to judge groups collectively, I am also wise enough to judge individuals based upon their own merit as individuals and have in my life grown up alongside wave after wave of immigrants that had washed up on the shores of Canada. And contrary to the prevailing narrative, we all got along pretty good back in the 70s and 80s, governed on the play-ground and ballfield largely by local thew, before the state and its political correctness at last stepped in to do what it does … ruin an otherwise good thing for everyone, the young not least among them.
Finally, these questions, which amount to nothing less conscientious than questioning the state, are also a concern for anyone who has a true appreciation for ethno-cultural diversity. History has shown us time and again that in any collision or coming together of cultures within a given area that one shall dominate and subsume the other/s. It is a simple logistic reality. Whose language shall be the language of the state? Or shall the state have 12+ official languages? Whose values will it embody, who will define its social mores, what shall be it’s laws and system of laws? And what will become of its history? This is not to suggest that such “cultural conglomerations” cannot work. It is only to point out that the end product isn’t a wonderful garden of either baseline human or ethno-cultural diversity; which itself is not actually an ideal that needs achieving, but rather is the default position of human life on Earth, that only needs observing, but which has never been in greater danger than it is today.
You see, the political paradigm is no longer one of Left vs. Right, of Liberal vs. Conservative. No. The (re-)emerging paradigm is a very old one at this point. It is one of the diverse peoples and cultures and nations of the Earth vs. a pretensious and self-serving global elite and their collection of useful idiots. And its modern manifestation has been working hard, both at home and abroad, to destabilize cultures both foreign and domestic, with the end goal of establishing a global monoculture overseen by a global state … in which we mere “peasants” have all been reduced to interchangeable parts for their own convenience. And the rhetoric of these globalists and their stooges, most poignantly on the Left, betrays itself. In one instant they are demanding a respect for and celebration of diversity, and in the next they are insisting that we are all really just the same, with nary a difference between us; black or white, male or female, gay or straight, and indeed, ultimately, you or me.
You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
And so as this long rambling entry of mine draws to a close, my thoughts begin to wander back to its beginnings and the events that have transpired over the last few days. Particularly, this time around, to the events that rocked Las Vegas and left nearly 60 concert-goers dead. In its wake I have heard the bewildered questions, “how could this have happened??? What possibly could have been his motive??? What could have triggered him???”. And I am reminded of the fact that second generation Muslim immigrants tend to be far more prone to radicalization than their immigrant parents. How is that, we wonder? After all, unlike their parents, they themselves grew up here in the West, did they not? How could they fail so utterly to integrate with Western culture? But then you take a look at the cultural landscape they have apparently been in the process of integrating with since they were born. Where did this hatred of the West come from? Indeed, where did this disdain for humanity itself come from?
Gee. I wonder.
As a young man learning for the first time of the history of Germanic belief in fine detail, and straight from the mouth of Euro-Christianity’s monk-scribe and historians at that, I once felt a lot of hostility toward Christianity … which sometimes burned so hot that I attributed it to “the anger of the ancestors”. And yet no sooner did the thought of “burning down a church” cross my mind, at least in any serious manner, ie. that might actually be acted upon, that the question of doing so was re-framed in terms of my own Christian family, friends, or folk. Would I do it to them? Would I suffer it to be done to them by another “Heathen”? Does such a question even make any sense within a indigenous Germanic paradigm; in which blood-relations were held as sacred such that even the law had no business infringing upon them?
Of course, our families today, after some 1,400 years of Christianity, et al., are not the close-knit kindreds of old. And experience, hindsight, makes for a good teacher. We know things today, about Christianity, that our ancestors didn’t; such that a bi-polar leap from “murderous intent” to “unconditional love” is not at all warranted. At least not by wisdom’s decree. But these are the two poles, the Muspel and Niflheim, of the equation we are dealing with here, between which Creation ultimately emerges and evolves.
Lately, with all of this Globalist and Islam-nonsense the West has been experiencing, I’ve found myself in an ever-stronger sense of alliance with Christian folk … beyond that of my family and neighbours. And there is a reality to that that needs to be respected. But that is not the totality of reality, and that needs ever to be remembered lest we find ourselves moving, historically, from shit to shit, as we have done over the past few generations, and missing the window of liberation all together.
An Abrahamic belief is an Abrahamic belief is an Abrahamic belief; though I’ll let the Jews slide on that since they practice the ethno-cultural beliefs of their own people and never had any desire to universalize an inherently local phenomenon and attempt to convert the world … whatever else they might believe about the rest of us goyim. And of course, as said above and in regards to Christianity, my NW Euro-descended ancestors and folk are my NW European ancestors and folk. And we are just a tad bit integral with modern Christianity. Indeed, there isn’t a lot that went on in history that we didn’t do to ourselves. No non-Germanic ever forced Christianity down any other Germanic’s throat. We did it to each other and ourselves. And of course, it was those same “Christian era” ancestors that struggled under 1,400 years of brutal Abrahamic theocracy, and eventually forced it off our backs and into it’s proper place as a marginal and declining force in Western society; though piss on us for embracing this secularized monstrosity, ie. “globalism”, that has issued from it’s loins.
Speaking of Globalism and the modern Left, who else do we know that wants to guilt you for things that had nothing to do with you? To mischaracterize your ancestors as hateful and immoral? Who imagines their ideology is infallible and inherently upright, such that even the worst of people who accept it are better than even the best of people who do not? Who imagine that humanity is (or at least should be) one big happy family and that we are all interchangeable? And who are happy to tax the Hell out of you to serve their own “elitist” ends … or else?
So, while I’m happy to give Christians a pass, to even embrace them, I am, like King Penda of Mercia, under no illusions as to the hypocrisy so endemic to this faux “universal” religion or anything that even vaguely resembles it, ie. we have the one and only truth, which is the only hope of salvation for all of mankind, and in the face of which an outsider is at best ignorant and misguided and at worst the very epitome of evil against whom any and all indecency is completely justified. Personally, I don’t particularly care about what words in some “book idol” say. Long before we today heard anything about the “religion of peace”, ie. Islam, I heard ALL about another “religion of peace”, having been born and raised in its midst, which, at least in action, looked unsurprisingly identical to the other. From Clovis to Ongentheow, the Christians and Christian missionaries were received with open arms among whatever Germanic kingdom or tribe they went to. And the same could be said for the Scandinavias as one moves into the Viking Age; though by that time the 8th century had happened and the cat was out of the bag. The missionaries were taken in, given freedom to practice their religion, given the freedom to win converts, given the king’s hospitality and protection. And how did they reciprocate? You know, how did they reciprocate once they got their hands on the ring of power? The “ring of power” having been their primary goal and focus in the conversion of the Germanic peoples, ie. to convert the kings and carry out a top-down, “progressive and enlightened” state vs. “deplorable” folk, conversion. They repaid kindness, curiosity, and right good will with gross intolerance. Rulers showed personal favouritism toward fellow converts. The Christian elites advised their convert “kings” to destroy holy places while advising their missionaries, in letters written and sent at the same time(!) to, instead, make use of the temples and cultural patterns of behavior; to be weeded out over time of course, one freedom at a time, like slow boiling a frog. They drafted laws regarding the formation of “raiding parties” and made such lesser crimes for Christians. And they made the practice of the elder rites, be it the worship of the gods, burial practices, mathematics, etc. — to say nothing of failure to submit to baptism and observe Church customs — a crime, with penalties ranging from fine (earlier) to death (later). And without these measures, the people of NW Europe would not be Christian today.
And without the peoples of NW Europe, Christianity, for better or for worse, would have ceased to exist … not unlike we see in the original homeland of Christianity. And to boot, without the people of NW Europe, our spirit, our cultural character and disposition, the West would still be living under a rabidly intolerant Abrahamic theocracy. A Abrahamic theocracy that was happy to make women second class citizens; that was happy to execute queers for being queer; that was happy to control the market and milk as much taxes out of the population as possible; that was happy to execute you for thinking or expressing “unsanctioned” thoughts and opinions. Etc. There is a lot of history that “historians” leap over to get at what they want, eg. the ancient Greek philosophers. But for others, for those devoted to the ethno-cultural beliefs/identity of their people — which neither begins nor ends with things that might be considered “properly religious” and in the province of priests — what we want is the story of our people. And not some nonsense told by the slanderous tongues of a people who’s explicit intent and only interest in our folk was to undermine and undo our story and make us over in their own idolatrous image. And regardless of politics or religion, it’s ALL our story. So while we might “leap” as much as anyone, to revitalize ourselves with contact with our roots, we are inevitably led back to the rest of the ever-evolving tree of our folk … to what in the Norse-Icelandic Eddas is called “MjotvidhR” (ie. the Measuring Tree/Stick).
Here are a few choice quotes from the history that everyone likes to “leap” over, but which we would be wise to never forget …
- “… let those who burn grain where there is a dead man for the sake of his health and household do penance for 5 years.” — Penitential of Theodore
- “If however a freeman works in the forbidden time (Sunday) he is liable to his healsfang, and the man who reports it is to have half the fine and half the work” — the Laws of Wihtred
- “If a man sacrifices to devils without his wife’s knowledge he is liable to pay all of his goods” — the Laws of Wihtred
- “a child is to be baptized within 30 days; if it is not, 30 shillings compensation is to be paid” — the Laws of Ine
- “Church-scot is to be given by Martinmas; if anyone does not discharge it he is liable to 60 shillings and to render the church-scot 12 fold.” — the Laws of Ine
- “he who is accused of (taking part in) the raid of any army (36+ men) is to redeem himself with his wergild (life payment) or by (an oath equal to) his wergild. 15.1 – with communicants, the oath shall be only half as much” — the Laws of Ine
- “From Worms he marched into Saxony. Capturing the castle of Eresburg, he proceeded as far as the Irminsul, destroyed this idol and carried away the gold and silver which he found.” — the Royal Frankish Annals
- “Then all the Saxons came together again, submitted to the authority of the Lord King, and surrendered the evildoers who were chiefly responsible for this revolt to be put to death—four thousand and five hundred of them. This sentence was carried out. Widukind was not among them since he had fled to Nordmannia (Denmark). — the Royal Frankish Annals
- “If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished by death.” — the Capitulary on Parts of Saxony.
- “If any one, in accordance with pagan rites, shall have caused the body of a dead man to be burned and shall have reduced his bones to ashes, let him be punished capitally.” — the Capitulary on Parts of Saxony.
- “in the summer he led an army into Saxony and deported all Saxons living beyond the Elbe and in Wihmuodi with wives and children into Francia” — the Royal Frankish Annals.
- “They were sometimes so much weakened and reduced that they promised to renounce the worship of devils, and to adopt Christianity, but they were no less ready to violate these terms” — Einhard
- “The war that had lasted so many years was at length ended by their acceding to the terms offered by the King; which were renunciation of their national religious customs and the worship of devils, acceptance of the sacraments of the Christian faith and religion, and union with the Franks to form one people.” — Einhard
- “1. sacrilege at the tombs of the dead.”
- “2. sacrilegious funeral songs made to the dead.”
- “9. sacrifices made to some saint.”
- “25. Those who carve images for dead persons whom they say are saints.”
- “The following are capital offenses … sacrifices to the bodies of the dead or over their sepulchers” — the False Boniface
- “Now King Olaf entered into the temple with some few of his men and a few freemen; and when the king came to where their gods were, Thor, as the most considered among their gods, sat there adorned with gold and silver. The king lifted up his gold-inlaid axe which he carried in his hands, and struck Thor so that the image rolled down from its seat. Then the king’s men turned to and threw down all the gods from their seats; and while the king was in the temple, Jarnskegge was killed outside of the temple doors, and the king’s men did it. When the king came forth out of the temple he offered the freemen two conditions, — that all should accept of Christianity forthwith, or that they should fight with him.” — Heimskringla
- “Early in spring (A.D. 998) King Olaf went eastwards to Konungahella to the meeting with Queen Sigrid (of Sweden); and when they met the business was considered about which the winter before they had held communication, namely, their marriage; and the business seemed likely to be concluded. But when Olaf insisted that Sigrid should let herself be baptized, she answered thus: — “I must not part from the faith which I have held, and my forefathers before me; and, on the other hand, I shall make no objection to your believing in the god that pleases you best.” Then King Olaf was enraged, and answered in a passion, “Why should I care to have thee, an old faded woman, and a heathen bitch?” and therewith struck her in the face with his glove which he held in his hands, rose up, and they parted. Sigrid said, “This may some day be thy death.”” — Heimskringla
- “The Emperor Otta (Otto) was at that time in the Saxon country, and sent a message to King Harald, the Danish king, that he must take on the true faith and be baptized, he and all his people whom he ruled; “otherwise,” said the emperor, “we will march against him with an army.” — Heimskringla
- “When Harald Gormson, king of Denmark, had adopted Christianity, he sent a message over all his kingdom that all people should be baptized, and converted to the true faith. He himself followed his message, and used power and violence where nothing else would do.” — Heimskringla
And sadly, such quotes fill the history books and shape our attitudes toward our own ancestors today, while such quotes as Alcuin of Yorks, “If the light yoke and sweet burden of Christ were to be preached to the most obstinate people of the Saxons with as much determination as the payment of tithes has been exacted, or as the force of the legal decree has been applied for fault of the most trifling sort imaginable, perhaps they would not be averse to their baptismal vows.” or Adam of Breman’s, “Although even before receiving the faith, living after a certain law of nature, they had not differed much from our own religion.”, are too few, far between, and as historically irrelevant as anyone’s preferred selection of Bible quotes.
What will save Europe? Christianity??? Please.
Nothing short of a reawakening in the hearts, the souls, and in the minds of Euro-descended people to their innate value AS SUCH will save us. And that requires a Penda-like putting of Christianity (or any other similar minded belief, eg. Leftism) in it’s place, ie. “I shall hate and despise…”.
Once again, without NW Europeans and the indigenous culture and cultural disposition of NW Europeans, Christianity would not exist. And it certainly wouldn’t exist in the form it exists today, as found among the people.
“One’s own home is best. To each, home is hall. Though he own but two goats and a thatched roof, it is better than begging.” — the Havamal
The importance of the remains of the dead, their treatment, their burial, the tending of graves and honouring of one’s dead kinsfolk and heroes. It was an important aspect of the elder Germanic beliefs; with enough parallels in both the beliefs of their fellow Indo-European cultures and the associated archaeological record, to nail it down as a very ancient, very significant, and very enduring thing.
But was Hell simply the grave and grave mound? Was the soul truly and irrevocably bound to it’s remains? Was there in fact no Germanic “afterworld”, beyond life in the grave-mound, as more than one well informed person has proposed? And indeed if the remains of one’s ancestors were lost and/or forgotten so to were their souls to the kindred?
Well, I like this perspective. It’s something that began to dawn on me a couple of decades ago after reading Gronbech’s “Culture of the Teutons”; in which he drew a parallel between the cosmology of the Eddas and the physical realities of a tribe’s surroundings. And there is a lot in elder Germanic lore that certainly points in this direction.
However, while this understanding is a very good foundation — rightly shifting our attention, energy and emphasis away from the otherworld and on to this world, away from the goldstar we will get in some otherworld and on to the legacy we leave for the benefit of our community and descendants that remain in this world after we have departed, ie. world accepting — it nevertheless presents certain inconsistencies with other aspects of both Germanic and Indo-European lore; which, from subtle indications of language and elder figures of speech to ship-burials are suggestive of both a journey, and hence a destination, following death … undertaken from within the gravemound it would “certainly seem”.
For all of that, I still find that the Eddas, paint too detailed and too certain of a picture about such things. Who knows what lies ahead in that great journey taken after death? The dead … of which none of us are at this moment. As with the nature of the Tivar, I tend to dislike sharp and certain definitions of things a person doesn’t really know anything more-or-less about than anyone else. Certainly we have a sense of “life after death” … a sense that is of course the strongest in the presence of the bones of our ancestors, but if the ancient Greeks are any testament, a mound is a mound is a mound, each as the other a gate to Hades apparently, whether or not their ancestors or heroes were actually buried in “that” particular mound or worshiped at many different mounds in different localities. But no, certitude was never a promise or pretense of elder Germanicism, which was always happy to own it’s sense of things while happily letting those things be whatever they actually are apart from their sense of them. As can be gleaned in the following passage from Bede’s History of the English Nation, the elder culture knew how to honour to *mystery*,
“The present life man, O king, seems to me, in comparison with that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the hall wherein you sit at supper in winter amid your officers and ministers, with a good fire in the midst whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door and immediately out another, whilst he is within is safe from the wintry weather. But after a short space of fair weather he immediately vanishes out of your sight into the dark winter from which he has emerged. So this life of man appears for a short while. But of what went before or what is to follow we are ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed.”
And in the poem Beowulf as it pertains to the death, funeral and otherworldly fate of Scyld Sceafing,
“Men do not know
truth be told, neither counselors
nor heroes under heaven, who unshipped that cargo.”
And in Book I of the Gesta Danorum,
“she drew him with her underground, and vanished… <snip> … purposed that he should pay a visit in the flesh to the regions whither he must go when he died. So they first pierced through a certain dark misty cloud, and then advancing along a path that was worn away with long thoroughfaring… <snip> … Going further, they came on a swift and tumbling river of leaden waters, whirling down on its rapid current divers sorts of missiles, and likewise made passable by a bridge… <snip> … Then a wall hard to approach and to climb blocked their further advance. The woman tried to leap it, but in vain, being unable to do so even with her slender wrinkled body; then she wrung off the head of a cock which she chanced to be taking down with her, and flung it beyond the barrier of the walls; and forthwith the bird came to life again, and testified by a loud crow to recovery of its breathing.
Did our ancestors believe in life after death? Certainly. But certitude about such things as no man can be certain about is not a selling point of the elder beliefs. As ever, truth is more about questions and less about answers. Beware the man who is certain about things no man could possibly be … for within him grow the seeds of evil.