Saturday, March 31, 2012
The site was old; dating from the fifth century. A circle of stones, 15 meters across and each stone standing a meter high, provided a central focal point. Leading up to the circle was a processional road that had not felt a human foot for a thousand years. To one side there had been a wooden structure supported by strong wooden pillars resting on firm stone footings,but the wood had disappeared long ago. The whole array had been carefully, lovingly buried in peat, preserved from plow and weather, deliberately hidden from those who would harm it, awaiting the day it would be safe to once again acknowledge the old Gods. Surely, those who covered it must have thought, the Christian madness will someday pass and our descendants will be glad that we have saved this for them...
When an intact pre-Christian temple was unearthed in Norway, archeologists were overwhelmed. Comments like "Unique!" and "Unprecedented!" splashed across Internet news pages.
But now, it has been demolished - bulldozed to make way for a housing development.
Could the pagans of old, as they tenderly buried the holiest place they knew, have imagined a world where gold was more important than Gods? Where their own descendants would raze their temple so that the profane houses of thralls would forever crush that which they loved? When the steel blade of the bulldozer bit into the sacred earth, the present spat on the past. The clear intentions of the ancestors were ruthlessly betrayed...for money.
What would I have done, had I been magically transported to the site at that crucial moment? Had I been the bulldozer driver, would I have refused, and lost my job? Yes, I think so. Had I been a bystander, would I have risked prison, injury, even death to stop the machine? I hope so. I am only a man, no hero. But sometimes, being a man is enough - if he is doing the right thing. As the poet wrote,
"And how can man die better than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?"
Money has carried the day. The site was presumably private property,being developed by a corporation, for profit. I have no objection to profit. But who owns the past? Who owns the ancestors? Who owns the Gods? Is there a "right" to bulldoze an ancient holy site in Norway or, as has been done, to level an ancient stone circle in Ireland...for profit? The most important things cannot be owned by anyone: I do not "own" my family name. I merely borrow it to pass on, with added honor, to my sons. I do not "own" the genetic and cultural inheritance left me by my forefathers and foremothers; this too I have only borrowed from my ancestors. They are not mine to destroy.
One of the old rune poems says that "Gold causes strife among kinsmen. The wolf grows up in the woods." Anyone who has sat in a lawyer's office to attended the reading of a will has seen this; kin battle to get money, and hate each other for the rest of their lives. And the wolf...he is none other than Fenris, the wolf restrained only by the bonds of love and kinship that we forge with each other, from generation to generation and across the centuries. When he is loosed, Ragnarok - the great battle at the end of this cycle of time - ensues.
In Norway, the wolf is loose. The gift of one's ancestors, passed on for a thousand years, thrown away for a pile or kroner. Not that all Norwegians would have plowed the temple of their forefathers, and not that America is any better. We, too, have sold - given away! - our inheritance. Materialism, narcissism, alienation and superficiality permeate our popular culture. Our laws, based on ancient codes, are corrupted by the judges. Every man's and woman's thoughts are the property of the emerging surveillance state. Truly, this is the time foreseen by the seeress: "Wind-age, Wolf Age, ere the world falls..."
The temple so lovingly preserved by Norwegians a thousand years ago emerged in this time and place for a reason. This is the time of Awakening - awakening, that is, if the Gods of honor and valor can win against the gods of gold and whoredom...if men and women will remember the ancestors...if blood runs true.
Across the Northlands the ravens stir in the trees. Great chieftains await the call, heroes strive to be reborn. But we, their descendants - no matter where on Earth we now live - must call them if they are to awaken.
I call them! I call on Odin and Frigga, Thor and Sif, Frey and Freya! I call on the ancestors all-holy, and the heroes who sleep in the mounds! Let us remember that we are the sons and daughters of warriors and poets, mystics and seers, adventurers and explorers! Even now, the old Gods stir. Organizations dedicated to the indigenous faith of the Northlands - called Asatru, or Odinism, or "Our Faith" or by many other names - exist in many countries. Like the emergence of a forgotten Norwegian hof in 2012, they are here because a wind of awakening blows through the World Tree. Because...it is time.
We will chain the wolf.
Update - The stones from the site have been removed and stored, though the place itself has been "developed," as they say. To follow the situation, go to the Facebook page "Bevar veet pa Ranheim." There is a web site at http://ranheimhelligdommensvelforening.wordpress.com/ . We must support this effort in any way we can. I will post more information as I get it.
Asatru Folk Assembly
Thursday, March 8, 2012
OUR FOLK AND OUR CULTURE -
Across Atlantic Ice by Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley
This is an important new book on the peopling of the Americas, by a top scientist and a specialist on ancient tool making! Dr. Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian, and paleo-point expert Bruce A. Bradley, argue that early Europeans came to America long before the Indians came across the Bering Land Bridge. They accomplished this feat by traveling along the ice crescent which connected Europe to North America during the ice age. This book is the definitive one on this subject. If Kennewick Man or any of the other related controversies interest you, you must have this volume!
Here is the description from the Amazon page -
Who were the first humans to inhabit North America? According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered the continent some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. The presence of these early New World people was established by distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture. But are the Clovis tools Asian in origin? Drawing from original archaeological analysis, paleoclimatic research, and genetic studies, noted archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley challenge the old narrative and, in the process, counter traditional--and often subjective--approaches to archaeological testing for historical relatedness. The authors apply rigorous scholarship to a hypothesis that places the technological antecedents of Clovis in Europe and posits that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought. Supplying archaeological and oceanographic evidence to support this assertion, the book dismantles the old paradigm while persuasively linking Clovis technology with the culture of the Solutrean people who occupied France and Spain more than 20,000 years ago.
If you order it from the AFA site, at http://runestone.org, the AFA will get a cut at no cost to you!
“Wyrd, Causality, and Providence: A Speculative Essay” by Ian McNish
Available as a free PDF (halfway down the list of free downloads). Here's the first paragraph:
The arrival of Middle Eastern monotheism in Europe replaced a prior proto-scientific belief in causality with the teleological concept of Divine Providence, or the Will of God. Ancient Greek philosophy was supplanted by a demand that men should stop seeking to understand the nature of the causal forces at work around them, and accept these simply as the work of an all-powerful monotheistic God. A new, organized priestly class demanded that men must accept the “revealed” word of their God without question. The academy founded by Plato was ordered closed, and as Bertha Phillpotts first showed us, even among the Germanic nations the concept of Wyrd, which postulated an all-pervasive causal force, was replaced by the concept of Divine intervention or Providence. Europe entered the Dark Ages, and remained there until the rediscovery of the empirical character of the pagan classical scholarship made possible the Renaissance and the rise of modern science.
ENVIRONMENT AND YOU
Keystone XL pipeline opposition unites Tea Partiers and environmentalists
TransCanada has threatened to use disputed eminent domain powers to condemn privately held land, over the owners’ objections. And that’s creating unusual allies — Occupiers, Tea Partiers, environmentalists, individualists — united to stop TransCanada from threatening water supplies, ancient artifacts, and people’s basic property rights.
Keystone XL pipeline for export, not domestic use - will not reduce cost of gasoline
“The dirty little secret that those pushing so urgently for building Keystone XL don’t want you to know is the tar sands oil producers are in cahoots with Texas refineries to move the product onto the lucrative global export market, selling it to buyers in Europe, Latin America and China — not to you and me.
The pipeline and the toxic crude it’ll carry across six states would do absolutely nothing to shave even a penny off of the price we pay at the pump.
Already, U.S. refineries are exporting records amounts of the gasoline they make. For the first time in 62 years, America is now a net petroleum exporter. Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. exporter of refined petroleum products, is a major lobbyist for Keystone XL. Along with Motiva (an oil refiner jointly owned by Shell and Saudi Aramco) and Total (a French refinery), Valero has signed secret, long-term contracts with Keystone’s owner (TransCanada Corp.) and several tar sands oil producers to bring this crude to Port Arthur. All three have upgraded their refineries there to process diesel for export.”
COMMUNITIES FOR THE FUTURE...AND NOW -
John Robb has started a new blog site dedicated to “resilient communities.” You can find it at http://resilientcommunities.com .
Some samples of his stuff: What is a Resilient Community? -
A resilient community is the path to a safe, prosperous, and vibrant future for us, our kids, and our neighbors — despite an increasingly chaotic world...
It’s pretty clear that our situation is going to get very ugly over the next decade and that isn’t even taking into account the global pandemics and environmental catastrophes that are lurking on the horizon...
So, what do we do? What can we do?
We take control of our future. We implement the only solution that can give us the a safe, secure, and prosperous future. We become resilient. We find ways to help local people, businesses, and municipalities to PRODUCE, and that’s and important word, more of what we rely upon.
Fortunately, we now have the technology and the insights required to produce with quality and efficiency at the local level like never before. In fact, the changes are so dramatic, they could almost qualify as a revolution in local production.
And this one -
Rebuilding Rich Soil with HugelKultur - http://tinyurl.com/6qjs2bm
We have a problem. Most of the land we live on (even in rural communities) is barren. Dead. What does this mean? It means the soil can’t support life without perpetual and massive injections of imported petro-chemical fertilizers, irrigation, and mechanical labor. Worse, it takes years to reclaim dead soil and turn it into something productive.
A home or community with dead soil, won’t help you survive an economic winter or supply disruptions. So, here’s a trick that may help out, but you need to start earlier than latter. Living soil has a lead time.
It’s a technique called Hugelkultur ...
SPACE...because there will be an Asatru of the 25th century
A thousand private spacecraft launches a year by 2019?
U.S. companies launched just five licensed commercial rockets into space last year, but they might be able to loft nearly that many every day by the end of the decade, a federal space official contends.
George Nield, associate administrator for commercial space transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration, thinks it’s possible to double the number of permit-holding private launches every year for the rest of the decade. That exponential increase would lead to 1,280 liftoffs in 2019 — an average of 3 1/2 per day.
Private space industry rushes to fill job openings
The burgeoning private space industry continues to grow and based on hiring needs, there is more growth on the horizon. Three of the leaders representing both commercial orbital and sub-orbital missions have busy human resource departments trying fill dozens of openings.
Scaled Composites, the company designing, building and testing Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship Two even produced a recruiting video trying to lure engineers to the Mojave Desert. Another southern California company, SpaceX has pages of hiring needs as the company prepares to begin a busy launch schedule over the next several years. And industry veteran Orbital continues to add plenty of engineers to its ranks every month.
Comprehensive online resource for amateur rocketry -
Asatru Folk Assembly
As of today, AFA Update goes out to 2,082 people. Nice!
Some of the material you will have seen before, but some parts are new. Be sure to take a look!
Asatru Folk Assembly
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
On March 6, 1836, the Alamo fell to the army of Mexican General Santa Ana. For thirteen days, the garrison of around 200 Texans held out against a force of about 1500 Mexicans. On the eighth day of the siege, Commander William B. Travis gave any man who wanted to leave permission to do so. One man accepted; the rest stayed to die rather than surrender.
Such an act seems almost impossible in our cynical and degenerate age. The men of the Alamo remain a shining example for those of us who live in these dangerous times. There is a wonderful poem sometimes found in Asatru circles, written in the old Germanic style, about this battle; it begins
Harsh that hearing for Houston the Raven:
Fools had enfeebled the fortress at Bexar,
Leaving it lacking and looted the while
Hordes were sweeping swift on the land,
Hell-bent to crush him...
(For more, go to http://www.anitra.net/commonwealth/alamo.html).
But aside from its obvious courage and idealism, what does this engagement in central Texas have to to do with Asatru?
Quite a lot, actually...
Our Christian friends, if they know Asatru lore well enough, chide us with statements from another supposedly lost battle: "Your Gods die at Ragnarok. They may be brave, but they are losers; mere mortals writ large. Why follow Gods like that when you could follow the God of Abraham?"
The answer, of course, is that by doing their duty and fighting to the death, the Gods and those great souls who fight alongside them make rebirth possible. If they do not fight, all ends in eternal darkness and death. Their resistance, and their resistance alone, enables the great cycle of arising, being and becoming, and falling away to a new arising. And of course, there remains the fact that the Gods are reborn into the new world, so the Christian argument is flawed from the start.
The men who died at a lonely mission village called San Antonio de Bexar similarly "lost." Yet, the time they bought allowed Sam Houston to raise an army, and led to the sweeping Texan victory at San Jacinto on April 21st of the same year. In a surprise attack, Houston's army killed 630 Mexican troops and captured 730. Only (Ahem!) nine Texans were killed. The actual combat lasted eighteen minutes.
Because of this victory, Texas won its freedom and remained an independent nation for ten years before joining the United States. As recently as the 1980's, a poll of Texans found that 18.5% thought Texas would have done better on its own.
Great things come from great lives, and great deaths. Our role, like that of Colonel Travis' volunteers, and like the Gods themselves, is to do our duty as demanded by honor - whether that duty be fighting and dying, or writing, or raising our children well, or speaking the truth when that is perilous. Victory is sweet, life is precious, and we ought to pursue them - but above all we must meet our Wyrd without shirking or shrinking. One could do worse than winning what all branches of the Indo-Europeans, from Troy and Thermopylae to Maldon and Beowulf, would recognize as "bright and undying fame."
Asatru Folk Assembly