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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Climbs Out Onto a Branch

 

The famous Paris relief of the Gallo-Roman god Cernunnos is remarkable for many reasons, and perhaps the strangest is this: There are torques hanging from his antlers.

Virtually every description of the image mentions this fact, but few proceed to ask the obvious question: Why? What does it mean that torques hang from the god's antlers?

1. In the Classical world, the twisted metal neck-ring that Romans called a torque (the word means “twisted”) was known as a distinctively Celtic item of apparel. In Roman art, a Celtic warrior may not be wearing anything else, but he'll always be wearing a torque. This is no Romeburg import of a god, but a being of here and now: a god of this time, this place, and this culture.

Conclusion the first: Cernunnos is a Celtic—i.e. local, indigenous—god.

2. From its use in ancient art, we can intuit a number of probable meanings for the torque. As something made from a valuable material (metal) by a skilled craftsman, it represents wealth. It's certainly possible that, as in the contemporaneous Germanic-speaking world, torques were actually used as a form of currency.

Conclusion the second: Cernunnos is a wealthy god: Wealthy, and the Giver of Wealth.

3. Being themselves expensive, it follows that torques denote nobility or even royalty, since only the moneyed could afford such things.

Conclusion the third: Cernunnos is a noble, perhaps even royal, god.

Note that, while humans wear torques one at a time, the god wears multiple torques simultaneously. (Although now obscured by damage to the bottom of the relief, it is clear that the god once wore one around his neck as well: three in total.) All that the torque represents—indigenousness, wealth, nobility—the god has, so to speak, in spades.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb—one of the god's branching antlers, perhaps—and suggest that we see here a possible allusion to the giving of votive torques to the god.

Now, we have no evidence for the existence of life-sized statues of Cernunnos in the temples of ancient Gaul. If they did exist, one would expect them to have worn actual antlers inset into the carved head of the god (antlers being far too delicate a structure to free-carve in stone).

If this were so—going even further out on the antler here—I'm going to posit that votive torques may well have hung from the god's antlers in the temple.

Antlers—the fastest-growing tissue in the animal world—being calques for tree-branches, I'm also going to suggest that, in groves sacred to the Antlered, we might well expect to have found votive torques hanging from the branches of the sacred trees as well.

(I could readily envision a forest shrine in which the god's cult image was a standing post carved at the top with the god's head and face[s], and many-tined antlers—perhaps renewed annually—inset on the sides or top.)

OK: here I'll go out onto the very tip of the tine. Are we seeing here perhaps an allusion to a story? A story in which the Horned himself made the First Torque? A story in which, perhaps, wealth—represented by torques—grows from the very antlers of the god, as fruit grows from a tree?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Floral Healing Remedies

Flower essences mixed with 30 millimeters distilled water can also be used as the following remedies:

  • Addiction: skullcap, agrimony
  • Anger: nettle, blue flag, chamomile
  • Anxiety: garlic, rosemary, aspen, periwinkle, lemon balm, white chestnut, gentian
  • Bereavement: honeysuckle
  • Depression: borage, sunflower, larch, chamomile, geranium, yerba santa, black cohosh, lavender, mustard
  • Exhaustion: aloe, yarrow, olive, sweet chestnut
  • Fear: poppy, mallow, ginger, peony, water lily, basil, datura
  • Heartbreak: heartsease, hawthorn, borage
  • Lethargy: aloe, thyme, peppermint
  • Stress: dill, echinacea, thyme, mistletoe, lemon balm
  • Spiritual blocks: oak, ginseng, lady’s slipper

 

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What is men's magic?

Men's magic is magic specific to men, i.e. magic grounded in maleness both physical and psychological.

Is there a women's magic as well?

Trustworthy sources assure me that there is.

Is men's magic different from women's magic?

Yes, by definition.

Are there, then, shared magics as well?

Of course.

What is warlockry?

Warlocky is the magic specific to the men of the Tribe of Witches.

Where does warlockry come from?

The Horned our god, the Great Warlock himself, taught it to his sons long ago in ages of ages.

What is the basis of warlockry?

While it would be a vast oversimplification to say that warlock magic is dick magic, it certainly begins there.

Can a woman be a warlock?

So long as she has a functioning penis and testicles, yes.

Can a trans-man be a warlock?

This, to date, remains largely unexplored territory.

To speak for myself, I remain open to the possibility.

What is an example of warlock magic?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Safe Haven Potpourri

Potpourri was a medieval product revived by the Victorians, who used the symbolic meanings and powers of flowers. Grow flowers in your kitchen garden or buy cut flowers. Dry them; then place them in a pretty container. Choose flowers that connect with your astrological sun sign, moon sign, and personal energy. Try a mix of your favorites along with some of the beloved posies of Victorian and medieval times:

Daisy opens in the morning and closes when the sun goes down; this beloved flower is associated with purity, loyalty, innocence, patience and simplicity.

...
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PHOTOS: Mount Etna erupts in Italy, spewing smoke, ashes, and lava 

 

Europe's most active volcano, Sicily's Mt. Etna, is erupting again.

Today, therefore, let me tell you a story of a previous eruption: a true story, a story profoundly pagan.

It took place during the 1980s.

 

The old woman had lived in the house on the slopes of Mt. Etna all her life. She had been born in the house; there she was married, there she bore her children and, after her husband's death, raised them herself.

Now the lava was coming.

Her son had driven up from Palermo to take her to safety. The car was fully loaded. Now she stands alone in the kitchen, for what might well be the last time.

She opens a bottle of wine, wine that she made herself from grapes raised and pressed on the volcano's fertile slopes. She pours two glasses.

She salutes the mountain with which she has lived in relationship all her life. She drinks a final toast.

Then she leaves, perhaps never to return.

On the kitchen table behind her stand two glasses: one empty, one full.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: ** Mount Doom ** - 3.  The Slopes of Mount Doom

 Pagan Spring

 

My friend and I are celebrating the break in the winter weather with a walk together.

The sidewalks, icy no longer, are wet with snowmelt. Talking about religious imperialism and imperialist religion, we pass first a church, then a mosque.

Straight-faced, he begins to chant.

One god to rule them all, one god to find them;

one god to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them:

in the land of Israel, where the shadows lie.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Nazi Symbol That Is the CPAC Stage

There are photos circulating on social media of the stage of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Caucus. One is included in this blog post. The stage is an odd and awkward looking design that could not have arisen purely from functionality, it looks like "the Odal Rune," and it appears that the speakers at CPAC will be standing on a Nazi platform.

Let's talk about Othala as distinct from "The Odal Rune." The symbol you see in the photo is "The Odal Rune" which is 100% a Nazi symbol. The upturned feet on the ends of the legs appear only on the Nazi version, Odal, not on any version of Othala, the historical rune used in historical heathen alphabets.

A curious thing, though. Modern rune magic has adopted the "symbol upside down = opposite" thing that is common to Tarot cards, aka regular or reversed, and of course the dichotomy between the regular cross and the upside down cross. From the perspective of speakers backstage, the symbol is right side up in this photo, but from the perspective of the audience it's upside down. Regular Othala in rune readings basically means real estate or psychic inheritance, but the "Odal Rune" is usually said to mean "heritage." So, whose "heritage" is being protected and encouraged in this photo? Not the audience's. If whoever designed this stage actually understands magic, the intent is to concentrate power in the hands of the speakers, away from the general public. Magically, it would take heritage energy from the audience and allow the people standing on the platform to vampirize that energy for their own use.

If the intent behind the choice of the shape was not magical, though, it's probably meant to be a dog-whistle to neonazis. Experts on neonazis are mostly being more cautious about calling this out. American Iron Front tweeted the picture and called it "probably a coincidence." I'm glad that the anti-fascist community is being careful not to stomp on heathens and pagans when they aren't sure what symbol they're looking at. But I'm an expert on heathen symbols and I know this isn't one. There is no possible way an actual Asatruar drew the footed or winged version on a design program thinking it was a nice historical heathen rune. It's unlikely the stage designer is heathen, anyway. That is not Othala, the heathen rune, it's Odal, the Nazi symbol.

You can read about more symbols in my article Heathen Vs. Hate in the latest issue of Witches & Pagans Magazine.

Photo: news photo composite copied for news editorializing purposes, consisting of a photo of the CPAC stage and two historical photos of SS insignia

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for the tip off. I'm pretty sure that someone on set design is fully aware of the magical implications you mention.

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