Restoring our Ancestral Contract
Monotheist ideas still plague Heathenism. It’s time for them to go.
In this column for the Heathen/Northern Traditions issue I was initially planning to write about Loki, perhaps the single most controversial deity in any Northern tradition. Loki is a God so associated with chaos (and hence, evil) that some denominations of Heathenry won’t even speak His name. But upon reflection, I concluded that the fact that some question whether or not a being clearly counted amongst the Gods by our ancestors is holy presupposes such a fundamental hole in the foundations of the Northern Tradition that I felt led to discuss a more fundamental point: eradicating monotheist dualism from our traditions, once and for all.
Law and Order 101
Discipline is essential to a mature spirituality.
So the theme for this issue is “law and chaos” and I have to completely admit that the concept of law warms my warrior’s heart. Sometimes I’ve gotten the feeling that my love of order makes me rather unusual within the generic Pagan movement, yet the key secret underlying law is discipline, a mode of being that lies at the heart of the warrior’s path. Moreover, that quality of discipline is a fundamental building block of engaged and passionate spirituality; absolutely essential.
Birth of the Barbarian
The “noble warrior” is nothing more than a Roman myth.
He lives in that shadowy land where archetype collides with stereotype: the muscle-bound, wild-eyed, sword-swinging Viking. For good or ill he has become the popular image of Heathenry. The many other roles common in Norse culture — fisherman, farmer, trader, skald — receive much less attention than “warrior.” As Asastraur Ed LeBouthilier writes:
The Charge of the Goddess: A Wiccan Ethic
It has been my experience that many people get involved in Wicca because they like the lack of rules. We don’t have a lot of “Thou shalt nots.” All we have is the Witch’s1 Rede, they say. But there are many unspoken rules of ethics that we think of as being essentially “Wiccan.” Why? Where do they come from?
The answer should be self-evident but often isn’t. What is the one piece of liturgy that Wiccans really have? The answer is the Charge of the Goddess.
Most modern Wiccans treat this prose as a lovely way to invoke the Goddess. It does work well that way. But consider the original meaning of the word “charge”. It is a command, a responsibility laid upon someone, an exhortation, a duty, an injunction, or being entrusted with someone’s care. It is a series of rules!
Magical Cleaning for a New Beginning
Start getting ready for spring now.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for new beginnings. At Imbolc, in February, we celebrated the first tiny stirrings below the surface of the earth. At least, in theory. In reality, it can be difficult to get ourselves in motion during the doldrums of winter and even early spring. Especially if, like me, you live in a place where Brigid — or even Spring Equinox! — is as likely to be heralded by a snowstorm as by emerging tulips. So how do we push past the winter-induced lethargy and get our bodies and our lives moving in a positive direction? I respectfully suggest a major bout of magical cleaning. Here’s a three-step plan to bringing the New Year’s burst of energy into your life for more than just an evening!