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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ukraine

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Some Thoughts on the Craft of the Wise

 

How do you know when someone is one of the Wise?

 

My friend grew up speaking Polish with his immigrant grandmother. When, as an adult, he visited Poland, he wondered if people would be able to understand him.

Oh, they understood him, all right. They also laughed hysterically whenever he said anything.

He was speaking Hillbilly Polish.

My friend, a successful professional with a PhD, laughed as he told me about this.

“I never knew we were hicks,” he said, proudly.

 

I learned Old Norse from a man named Anatoly Lieberman, one of the most brilliant linguists that I've ever met. Born in the USSR, he spoke—not read, but spoke—seventeen different languages, both ancient and modern. He came to America because no Soviet university would give him tenure, so deeply-entrenched is Russian cultural anti-Semitism.

He told me once that the quickest way to get a laugh out of a Russian is to say something in Ukrainian.

Ukrainian sounds like Hick Russian.

 

To the English-hearing ear, there's something slurred and lazy-sounding about the Slavic languages, as if the speakers can't be bothered to enunciate clearly. To my American ear, at least, Russian always sounds like English played backwards.

It's easy to make assumptions about other people based on how they sound to us.

It's rarely wise to do so.

 

When you meet someone who is absolutely confident that they've got everything figured out, you can be virtually certain—regardless of what they may call themselves—that you're not speaking with one of the Wise.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Some Thoughts on the Craft of the Wise

 

How do you know when someone is one of the Wise?

 

My friend grew up speaking Polish with his immigrant grandmother. When, as an adult, he visited Poland, he wondered if people would be able to understand him.

Oh, they understood him, all right. They also laughed hysterically whenever he said anything.

He was speaking Hillbilly Polish.

My friend, a successful professional with a PhD, laughed as he told me about this.

“I never knew we were hicks,” he said, proudly.

 

I learned Old Norse from a man named Anatoly Lieberman, one of the most brilliant linguists that I've ever met. Born in the USSR, he spoke—not read, but spoke—seventeen different languages, both ancient and modern. He came to America because no Soviet university would hire him, so deeply-entrenched is the anti-Semitism of Russian culture.

He once told me that the quickest way to get a laugh out of a Russian audience is to say something in Ukrainian.

To the Russian ear, Ukrainian sounds like Hick Russian.

 

To the English-hearing ear, there's something slurred and lazy-sounding about the Slavic languages, as if the speaker can't quite be bothered to enunciate clearly. To my American ear, at least, Russian—with its broad spectrum of rubbery palatalized sounds—always sounds like English played backwards.

It's easy to make assumptions about other people based on how they sound to us.

It's rarely wise to do so.

 

When you meet someone who is absolutely confident that they've got everything figured out, you can be virtually certain—regardless of what they may call themselves—that you're not speaking with one of the Wise.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Over native land Painting by Oleg Shupliak | Saatchi Art

 

It's always a somber note in the otherwise joyful May Festivities.

The May song “Unite and Unite”, originally from Cornwall, accompanies a processional dance that usually includes the Hobby Horse. Its verses recall the regular Maytide doings in the town of Padstow, where the song is from: gathering flowers, weaving garlands, singing, dancing.

One verse remembers the soldiers: local boys who should be here, and part of the fun, but instead are off in foreign parts, fighting someone else's war.

 

O where are the young men that now here should dance?

(For Summer is a-come unto day)

O some, they are in England, and some they are in France

(in the merry morn-ing of May).

 

At one point, the procession pauses, and the Hobby Horse—around here it's usually the Green Man—dies. Then—this being May and the point thereof, after all—he springs back to life, and the procession continues.

These decades past, here in Paganistan—this is, after all, a living tradition, not a museum piece—we've updated the verse to match the current war(s).

 

O where are the young men that now here should dance?

(For Summer is a-come unto day)

O some are in Afghanistan, and some are in Iraq

(in the merry morn-ing of May).

 

I regret to say that our youngest coven kid knows only these lyrics. Always, another war.

This year, alas, yet more new words. How long, O Lady, how long?

Last modified on

 Tom Riddle | Harry Potter Wiki | Fandom

 

It's got to be one of the lesser ironies of the current war in Ukraine that both its hero and its villain (I'll leave you to decide which is which) share the same name.

Russian Vladímir, Ukrainian Volodýmyr: two equivalent Slavic names, both with their roots in Norse.

(This is unsurprising, since the Slavic state was first founded by east-faring Viking traders-cum-mercenaries; the classic Slavic woman's name Olga, for example, derives from Norse Helga “[female] holy [one].”)

Indo-European languages have long favored two-element names—e.g. Beowulf, “Bee-wolf”—and the Norse name Valdimar is of the same sort. One could translate it “power-fame” or “powerful fame.” Its first part is kin to the English word wield. (We still speak, tautologically, of “wielding power.”) Compare, also, the Yiddish expression oi gevalt, literally “O Power!” (i.e. “O 'God'!”). Gods being, by definition, powerful, one could perhaps render the name “divine fame” or “godly fame.”

Drawing, no doubt, on the name's “foreign” feel, J. K. Rowling recasts it as a Norman French charactonym for the main antagonist of the Harry Potter-verse: Voldemort, which one could parse as “death-willing.” (Cp. deus vult, “'God' wills [it]”.] That, a thousand years after the Noman invasion, the good guys of Rowling's series tend to have Anglo-Saxon names (Potter) while the bad guys have French ones (Malfoy) probably tells you quite a bit about the enduring nature of the English class system.

Still, Voldemort Putin.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The statistic I've heard is that to this day, 90% of the land in England is owned by 10% of the population. I suspect that that's
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, It would also not surprise me one bit, if the titled descendants of the Norman victors at Hastings in 1066 still held

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summertime Ukrainian Ridnoveri Holidays

If you have recently contacted the Slavic gods and are looking to deepen your connection to them, here is a list of holidays observed by some Ridnoveri groups and individuals. Ridnoveri is a modern Ukrainian pagan path. Other Slavic peoples have their own paths, which share many gods and characteristics but don't always have the same holidays.

Some of these holidays have a Christian history and some Ridnoveri pagans are Christopagan. I have done the math to translate these from the Julian calendar, traditionally used by Orthodox Christians in Slavic countries and also by Slavic pagans, to the Gregorian calendar generally used in English speaking countries.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

As recently reported in the Wild Hunt, it appears that a Ukrainian news agency reported that Ukrainian witches are planning a ritual against Putin. The Wild Hunt indicates this article may be propaganda by Russia, since it was picked up by Russian state controlled media after the Ukrainian article ran.

link to Wild Hunt article: https://wildhunt.org/2022/03/pagan-community-notes-week-of-march-28-2022.html

link to Ukrainian article: https://www.unian.net/society/ukrainskie-vedmy-provedut-31-marta-ritual-na-otstranenie-ot-vlasti-putina-novosti-ukrainy-11756578.html

I make no claims for whether this really originated from Ukrainian witches. I don't have the kind of intelligence assets that would allow me to make that determination. The article itself indicates the ritual is being done by both Ukrainian witches and foreign allies, but only includes ritual instructions for second part of the ritual, the part that is not a curse but is instead meant to be supportive of the fighting forces in Ukraine. Curiously, the gods called upon in the instructions include Heathen (Norse / Asatru) gods in addition to a Slavic god. War is inherently violent, so even though the second part of the ritual is not a curse but appears to be positive magic, it is still in support of violence, so don't participate if you are not comfortable with that.

This article calls for a 3 part ritual, with each part to be performed at a different time. The first part was in March and has been done. April's ritual is in support of Ukraine's armed forces.

This ritual calls for these words: "На победу нашего великого народа, на удачу, успех и открытие дорог! И пусть все боги войны - Один, Тор, Перун - сопутствуют нам!" Roughly translated, this means "For the victory of our great people, for good luck and to open the way! I call on the gods of war, Odin, Thor, and Perun, to help us!"

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Latest war magic news: Ukrainian video evokes an Old God (tw: graphic) https://twitter.com/pilotmsv/status/1513131559834079234 a
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, great ritual! Great use of checking with the pendulum too.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    After the invasion I felt an impulse to do magic in support of Ukraine. In the morning before breakfast I light a candle and say:

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 1500+ Sky Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

 

How do you join yourself to a people?

In the dream, I am leaving home, going to fight in Ukraine. In dedication, I carve a piece of flesh from my right calf, about the length and volume of a finger.

I vow to Tue, old Sky Father, lord of battles, to make this people my people, and this fight my fight.

I take the all-seeing Sun, guarantor of agreements, to be my witness.

 

***

In waking life, of course, I do nothing of the sort. Instead, from the safety of another continent—from the middle of the continent, no less—I sit and write, torn in spirit, shaken by a war in which I have no part.

 

***

In the Old North, war was a religious affair.

Before a campaign, a departing army would first gather for the hosting-sacrifice. Sprinkled—literally, blessed—with the blood of the sacrificial victim, they would bind themselves with a hold-oath to fight as one, laying aside all other feuds and grievances for the duration.

 

***

I once lost a friend to victimhood.

He had embraced victimhood as an identity. There were no oppressed in whom he could not see himself. “I wonder which oppressed group Tom has decided to identify with this week,” a mutual friend once commented archly.

In the end, weary of being cast as eternal oppressor to his eternal victim, I walked away from the friendship.

In sorrow, I walked away.

 

***

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