Ingrid Fischer (1950 – 2020)

Brandenburg Moot 2018, with Ingrid Fischer in the centre of the first row

Three months ago our friend, teacher and Rune-Master Ingrid Fischer left Midgard on July 16th 2020. We needed time to come to terms with that, but the activity on this blog shall begin again in a regular fashion. Ingrid was the Hall-Master of Eormensyl Hall and passed it on to Dave Lee, who ist the Hall-Master now. This first post after Ingrid’s death shall show the genius of Ingrid’s beautiful mind. She has inspired many of us and her example shall continue to do so. I am glad that I was able to interview Ingrid before she passed away.

It is Ian Read’s and my conviction that Ingrid had a satori experience, when she got the bad news of her terminal illness and that she had a few weeks left to live. Her stoic and heroic way to face death and her last poem (see below), which she wrote down spontaneously after she got the bad news, are testimony to this. Ingrid was prepared to die and knew that her divine spark is immortal. She fully and consciously embraced death as the moment, in which self-liberation or moksha is possible. After decades of practicing magic in its deepest sense, Ingrid focused on meditation and studyied the philosophia perennis or Sanatana Dharma in depth. She will be missed dearly. Her death is a great loss to the Rune-Gild.

Dear Ingrid, what drew you into magic and what system or tradition was the first one you encountered?

When I was not quite 16 years’ old, I looked around me and did not like much of what I saw. So, I took an oath to myself never to be like all these other people. I was studying Nietzsche at the time and deeply entranced by his ideas.

Some wild years later I started learning about Astrology, which did not really provide me with what I was looking for. Whilst living and studying in Graz I met a man who became my lover for quite some time and it was he who introduced me to Franz Bardon. From then on two years of rigorous and daily work with Franz Bardon’s system began, about two to three hours every day.

At the time I was living in Klagenfurt and I got to hear about a Sri Chinmoy group which was trying to recruit. Curious as I was, I contacted them and did several meditation sittings with them. This all seemed a bit fishy to me, but in order to find out more about them I joined them for a weekend retreat – and that was it for me! It smacked of cultism and total submission, which could never be part of my path.

When I spent a year in Linz for extensive psychotherapy training etc., I frequently browsed bookshops and there – hidden behind some heavy books – I found an advertisement for a magickal weekend course in Switzerland by one Frater V.D. (Ralph T). Reading through the leaflet I immediately decided to sign up for it, and off I drove all the way to Switzerland. At this weekend Ralph announced the first ever Chaos Magick seminar in Lockenhaus, a famous castle in Austria. And this is where I met Ian Read in the August of 1987. The rest is history, as they say. 

How did your meeting with Ian impact your views on magic or how did it change the direction of your magical path?

At the above-mentioned Chaos Magick seminar in Lockenhaus Ian introduced us to the Runes. This was a deeply magical session and I am sure that Odhinn spoke through Ian then, because when he asked us to go out into the wild woods surrounding the castle that night and spend 20 minutes on each of the 24 Runes of the Elder Futhark, I could never have not done this. During this night I was sometimes frightened out of my wits because there were all sort of wild animals around; however, the Runes kept me safe. After this initiatory night I finally knew where my roots lay and where I could learn and live my magic. My disciplined efforts with Franz Bardon’s system laid the necessary groundwork for me to enter the realm of our Nordic ancestors and their lore.

Have you ever seen yourself as a chaos magician during your IOT times? How has chaos magick influenced you in the long run?

One of the bugbears in my life has always been me being too serious and heavy-handed. Chaos Magick has taught me that you will not get anywhere fast by doing your magic in an overly serious and heavy-handed way. Do not get me wrong, your intent has to be serious, but the way you work your magic has to have a light touch and at times even humour.

Yes, whilst learning how to perform and live all these weird and sometimes wicked rituals, I did consider myself a Chaos Magician. When you enter a stream that speaks to you, you have to do this whole-heartedly or you will never succeed. I was the first woman in the IOT to be initiated into the 1st Degree, and believe me, this would not have happened without I gave it my all.

In the long run Chaos Magick has taught me that, while my main dedication will always be the Nordic system and its Soul Lore, I can take a more creative approach, and study and use other wisdoms to frolic magically through flights of imagination.

I sense a strong mystical side in you. If I may ask the question this way: When did you feel or realize that magic (in terms of sorcery and results magic) is not enough and the mystical path became more relevant in your life?

Magic brought me the desired results, however, sometimes the price was too high and at other times I asked myself whether deep down I really had wanted these results. All of these led me to the question, how well did I truly know myself, my motives, my outlook on life. Did this result magic genuinely enrich my life and my soul?

These deliberations mostly started when I had no choice but to sober up and stop drinking alcohol. The ‘Twelve Steps’ of Alcoholics Anonymous were a starting point for me well over 30 years ago.

My impression is that – at least to some extent – you influenced Ian with mystical ideas and/or persons. If this impression is right, how did it happen? Or: In which ways did your mystical path have an impact on Ian?

I cannot say that I influenced Ian with mystical ideas etc., it is rather that in our relationship we talk a lot with each other, discussing our own ideas and what we are studying, each seeking input from the other. At some point I found out about Krishnamurti and started listening to his recordings, also reading his books in earnest, and when I talked to Ian about this, I realised that he had been doing similar things with Alan Watts.

Ian and I have a different approach to mystical matters and the spiritual path; however, this never prevents us from working and studying together.

How does a relationship, in which both partners are dedicated to psycho-spiritual growth, impact one’s development? Do you think that such a relationship is more helpful on the path than walking it alone?

I count myself extremely lucky that both Ian and I walk a similar path and that I can count on Ian to support me wherever he can and, of course, vice versa. Our relationship is deep and solid, we are here to sustain each other, and this has strengthened both our developments.

How has your exploration of Indian spirituality (Yoga, Krishnamurti etc.) or other mystical systems (Gurdjieff, Watts etc) benefitted your spiritual growth?

Yes, Patanjali, the Yoga Vasistha, Krishnamurti’s works and so on have benefitted me no end, because they showed me how our Northern System could possibly have grown in a more practical and spiritual way had not the Christian pestilence put a stop to this.

Now the last one and very heretical: Do you think that an exclusive focus on the Germanic system and runes can limit one’s spiritual development? Would you describe yourself as a universalist?

I think that focussing on the Germanic system and runes exclusively is somewhat limiting because the sources we have are scarce and do not provide us with enough clues on how to reach Valhöll in our benighted times.

Shams of Tabrizi purportedly said: ‘Having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go’. Now, I do have roots in the Germanic lore, but this does not prevent me from being a Pilgrim.

And no, I am not a universalist, I am deeply rooted in the Germanic worldview.

This is a poem that Ingrid wrote after she received the bad news of her sickness:

The Realm as Yet Unknown

There was never a time to be calm like now
It was always just running around
The loudness, the shrill and unsettledness
Went away with a few words of truth.

Tread the path now into the Unknown
With a curious heart and a spirit unbent
Which will shine forth and up and up
Into the Realm as yet unknown.

Ingrid Fischer, 3rd of June 2020

Eirik Westcoat: The Odian Path

by Šárka Sedláková

June 24th 2020: Fortuna / St. John the Baptist / Old Midsummer. “A sacred day of the goddess Fortuna, Lady Luck. As St. John the Baptist’s Day, it is also the official Midsummer’s Day. It is customary to light midsummer bonfires on high points to celebrate the high point of the year and of solar light. Traditional locations for St. John’s Day fires are often places where the sun was observed in former times.”  (Nigel Pennick 2001 [1992]: The Pagan Book of Days, p. 82) Today we present a powerful poem by our great Skald and Rune-Master Wōðbora Galfróði:

THE ODIAN PATH

by Eirik Westcoat

I aim to follow
the Odian Path —
in three of things
I thrive and grow.
Because the quarry
in the quest is Rûna,
in thoughts and words
and works I live.

A gleaming Thought
I glimpsed in my mind:
the spark is kindled
by speaking Kenaz,
heightened and fueled
by Hagalaz and Mannaz;
a firestorm of Thoughts
flared in response.

The seed of a Word
I sought to raise:
the grain is planted
by galdoring Iŋwaz,
broken and grown
by Berkano and Ansuz;
a bounty of Words
I won in the harvest.

A mighty Work
I willed to create:
the engine is built
by uttering Tiwaz,
throttled and raced
by Þurisaz and Raiðo;
a train of Works
trailed behind.

In wisdom great
I waxed and thrived:
from thought to thought
by thoughts I fared,
from word to word
by words I fared,
from work to work
by works I fared.

The poem appears online here for the first time. It is part of a collection of poems, called “Sjálfsljóðin” (about the work of relating his self-analysis to particular runestaves in the curriculum of the Rune-Gild’s The Nine Doors of Midgard) which may be found in print, along with lots of other runic and esoteric material, in Eirik’s Eagles Mead (2019), available in hardcover only. More details about the book are at <https://eirikwestcoat.wordpress.com/eagles-mead/>. It can be ordered from Amazon at <https://www.amazon.com/Eagles-Mead-Initiatory-Poetry-Prose/dp/1947407066/> or you can search for it by title or ISBN, 9781947407060, at other Amazon sites or the bookseller of your choice.

However, this poem, and thirty others from that book, have now been reprinted in a smaller and more affordable paperback, Galdored Runes: A Portion of Eagles Mead, released on the Solstice, June 20. It can be ordered from Amazon at <https://www.amazon.com/Galdored-Runes-Portion-Eagles-Mead/dp/1947407147/>. There’s also a kindle edition at that same link. Or see <https://eirikwestcoat.wordpress.com/galdored-runes-bookling/> for more details and other store links.

David J. Jones: Daedulus Seed

June 21st 2020: Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Litha, Alban Hefin, Seventh Station of the Year / All Heras. “Midsummer, Druidic festival of Alban Heflin, Anglo-Saxon Litha, is the longest day and seventh station of the year, the time of sanctification. At Stonehenge, the heelstone marks the midsummer sunrise as seen from the center of the stone circle. Since time immemorial, people have acknowledged the rising sun of the midsummer. This is also the Day of All Heras in the women’s mysteries. Heras are women who have achieved full spiritual communion with the Great Goddess.” (Nigel Pennick 2001 [1992]: The Pagan Book of Days, p. 81) A similar construction as described by Pennick concerning Stonehenge is established at Externsteine, in Westphalia, Germany, where I have seen this magical moment many times in my young days. On this sacred day we publish a poem by David J. Jones.

by David J. Jones

Daedulus Seed

Daedulus seed of boldest manhood fell.

Flailing sycamore winged

your broken tempest

sowed itself and you

in the welcoming loam

you fought for.

Earth drawn for reasons now

obscure as why a seed should grow.

Surely only a fool would reap

the harvest of a fate sown wind

and despoil the beautiful myth

of sacrifice.

He dug, found craft, found bone,

separated one from another

and mothering earth,

found a lie,

that parts alone

lay in the victors grave marked yours,

the rest left in the haste of war.

Who found comfort in this plunder?

Not you, the fallen one,

not your living flesh and blood,

not the violated earth,

perhaps not even he who dug for his reasons

still obscure.

He had no right,

forms were missing,

permissions not given,

the T’s not crossed,

the I’s not dotted,

signatures absent,

no-one mentioned it being wrong.

His offence against a desk at MOD,

not a notion that heroes

are best left rooted deep

in hope of an equal crop.

He stated he was “deeply sorry”.

Your amulet and bracelet grace

a museum display,

a talisman long spent,

now rhinegold tainted.

Or is perhaps, the greatest luck,

a worthy death,

for a high ideal,

in the bloom of youth,

at the speed of Gods

and eternity far

from a world of dullards

at squabble over bones.

D. Jonathan Jones

Eirik Westcoat: Carve the Fuþark

by David J. Jones

May 24th 2020: The Mothers / Hermes Trismegistus. “This day is sacred to the Mothers, three goddesses worshiped in Celtic countries as bringers of prosperity and a good harvest. Also the feast day of Hermes Trismegistus, patron of alchemy.” (Nigel Pennick 2001 [1992]: The Pagan Book of Days, p. 73) Alexander E., an initiate of our German group, works on a Fellowship paper, which will illuminate the Mothers, also known as Matronae. This day is sacred to them. However, today we publish a poem by Eirik Westcoat, known in the Gild as Rune- Master Wōðbora Galfróði, a great poet and Skald, whose performances have began many a Moot and raised our moods and brought main to our minds. His works can be purchased in the links following this poem.

CARVE THE FUTHARK

by Eirik Westcoat

Carve the runes
in the right order
to work the sought-for synthesis.
Stain them in flesh
by standing in the shapes;
strengthen your body with staves.

Breathe in air
with brightest runes;
store their essence in self.
See the staves
with sight of craft
in the eyes of lich and light.

Carve them in space,
carefully with gand;
send them strong and swift.
Carve them in air,
artfully with sound;
vibrate the staves with voice.

Carve them in wood,
carefully with sax;
stain the staves with will.
Carve them in mind
with crafty thoughts;
stain those staves in self.

Craft a poem
and compose it well;
rightly tally the runes.
Cast the staves
on a cloth of white;
learn the hidden layers.

‘Tween tree and ring
and temple of flesh,
link the living staves.
Ride on rune-roads
by rowning the staves;
explore the worlds all-wide.

Carve and craft
and cast and breathe
and see and stain and stand
and rown and ride
to rightly know
the fimbul Fuþark Runes!

The poem appears online here for the first time. It is part of a sequence of poems, “The Work of Nine Doors,” (about the curriculum of the Rune-Gild’s The Nine Doors of Midgard) which may be found in print, along with lots of other runic and esoteric material, in Eirik’s Eagle’s Mead (2019), available in hardcover only. More details about the book are at:

https://eirikwestcoat.wordpress.com/eagles-mead

It can be ordered from Amazon UK at <https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eagles-Mead-Initiatory-Poetry-Prose/dp/1947407066/> or you can search for it by title or ISBN, 9781947407060, at other Amazon sites or the bookseller of your choice.

However, this poem, and thirty others from that book, will soon be reprinted in a smaller and more affordable paperback, Galdored Runes: A Portion of Eagles Mead, to be released on the Solstice, June 20. See <https://eirikwestcoat.wordpress.com/galdored-runes-bookling/> for more details and store links when they become available.

P.D. Brown: Tiw

by David J. Jones “Earth and Sky”

May 6th 2020 : On the night when Máni – mighty tongue of heaven – is now full, is the day of the Norwegian Pagan Martyr, Eyvind Kelve, who “was killed on the order of King Olaf Trygvason for refusing to give up his faith in the Pagan gods. The Enlightenment of the Buddha is celebrated in many Buddhist traditions on the day of the full moon in May.” (Nigel Pennick 2001 [1992]: The Pagan Book of Days, p. 68) A perfect day for an illuminating poem by pagan poet and Rune Master, P. D. Brown, an accomplished storyteller, excellent carver of Runestones and magical crafter of weaving words, who is profoundly steeped in the Poetic Imagination of our ancestors and skillful Skalds. The poem illuminates the mysteries behind, below and beyond the rune Tiwaz. As the Gild tradition is essentially an oral tradition it is best to experience the magical power of storytelling at a campfire on a starry night, when P. D. Brown’s words are woven into the very fabric of reality – their meaning shining in his eyes and the stars, like many of us did at the last World Moot in Vermont three years ago. Hail to the one-armed Sky-God and God of the thing!

Tiw (as in Tuesday). T, the god Tiw.

by P. D. Brown

Points up and on and to another lore;

Amidst the blue, upstanding, straight and strong,

The Father in the Sky, the God of War

Makes might have right, defeats those who are wrong,

Ideal of judgement, speared a thousand times

Down here on earth, where honour guides but few,

Berserker bullys wreak a thousand crimes,

Blaspheme this letter of the law called Tiw!

But there’s another side to him, unseen

‘Til night reveals the firmament above;

Star of the show, secured by spear pole’s head,

Two-ended shaft that joins him to his queen;

Polarity that some might name as love;

A mythic poem: earth and sky as wed.

Šárka Sedláková: Nettle –The Dark Twin of Flax

Tonight, on Walpurgisnacht, also known as Hexennacht, we publish an article about Healing Magic. Šárka Sedláková is an Elder Fellow and paramount in creating the Rune-Gild in Mainland Europe. Her constant contributions to the Gild, her beautiful photographic art, her magical insights and the fact that the next World Moot will take place in the Czech Republic are all proof of her importance to the Rune-Gild and its manifestation in Europa. This is further confirmed by the fact that Šárka is the first magician from the Czech Republic, who ever contributed and added something to esoteric runology as the following article demonstrates:

By Šárka Sedláková

Different kinds of nettle plants are growing in various parts of the world. They have their own place in folklore; they can be used for medicinal purposes and, if one uses their fibres, also for making textiles. Young Spring nettle leaves are used for cooking and can be used as a nutritional substance for pets. Based on earlier Germanic formulas, LINA (‘linen, flax’) and LAUKAZ (‘leek’), I was able to construct a galdor using the Proto-Germanic word, *natōn (nettle), and utilize its unique folkloric power in rituals.

Formulaic word LINA

Lina is probably identical with lin (‘flax’) because flax and leek are both mentioned in Vǫlsa þáttr (Flowers 2014, p. 178). This inscription can also be found on the Fløksand knife in combination with laukaz (‘leek’) to evoke fertility, growth, regeneration (Flowers 2014, p. 178; Pollington 2016, p. 335). The term lina has sometimes been seen as a kind of herbal substance. Looijenga also points out that there are edible parts of flax, namely the seeds. The sequence of runes liin can be also found on bracteates (Flowers 2014, p. 178). These multiple runes “l” can be interpreted as laukaz or lina or a combination of both of them (Mees, MacLeod2006, p. 104; Looijenga 2003, p. 355).

Nettle in Germanic and Slavic Folklore

An Anglo-Saxon spell (Harley MS. no. 585 fol. 186) mentions nettles as one of the herbs that is used against fær-stice, a sudden sting on the side. Nettles from this perspective are clearly magical and not only a medicinal plant because it is necessary to pick nettles that grow through a fence (Grimm 1882, p. 1244). Jacob Grimm further explains that this kind of stinging was considered to be caused by spirits, hags or elves, similar to an elf-shot. It is necessary to understand that we have here a stinging plant that is partly ‘evil’ and otherworldly. It can harm people, just like thorns, thistles and thorny bushes. The same nature can be used to exorcise ‘evil’ or thursic forces that caused the sickness to begin with. The word nettling also means ‘irritate or annoy someone’.

It is also worth noting that the nettle plant is mentioned under the name stiðe in the Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm. In this charm, Woden strikes a wyrm (‘worm’) with nine glory twigs. The worm then flies apart into nine pieces – diseases (Pollington 2011, p. 459).

Nettles growing around fences, in ditches and on the edge of the forest are liminal plants, meaning a hedge plant that connects two (or more) worlds. This is a source of the nettles power.

Czech and Polish folk-magic also consider that the ambivalent nature of nettle is a source of its powers (Michalička 2017, p. 25). Some nettle spells contain work with liminal spaces, such as fences, rims of a field or a threshold under which nettle plants have to be buried in order for protection. In Czech and German folklore nettles are used during a storm to magically protect beer from spoiling (Grimm 1882, p. 1790; Michalička 2017, p. 25), and in Slovenia nettles are also used as protection from lightning strikes (Michalička 2017, p. 25).

Another important Germanic magical motif can be found in a fairy-tale about a girl who had to harvest nettles with her bare hands and make shirts from nettle fibres for her brothers, who turned into swans or ravens from a curse. Hans Christian Andersen also wrote a story with boys who turned into swans who needed nettle shirts in order to turn them back into human beings. For this story, Andersen used various older folklore motifs which can be found in the ATU Index as folktales of type 451 (The Brothers Who Were Turned into Birds). Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm wrote their version, The Twelve Ravens, where the origin of fibres is not specified.

The Russian fairy tale from a collection Ненаглядная красота (1949) about Maria the Golden Hair and Ivanushka combines both textile materials. Ivanushka has to fight a fire-spitting dragon to free Maria. So, his grandmother makes him a nettle shirt and, during the process of making the shirt, she constantly cries from pain. She gives him two pieces of clothing—one is a fine linen skirt for a lower garment and the other a nettle shirt as an outer piece of armour; He then dons both pieces of clothing. The last remaining head of the Nine-Headed Dragon bites the nettle shirt and burns its mouth. Ivanushka and Maria finally kill the monster.

Formulaic word NATŌN

In order for a proper galdor formula to be written in the runes of the Elder Futhark it is necessary to reconstruct a word into Proto-Germanic, a proto-language which used the Elder Futhark. There are two reconstructed names available: *natōn and *natilōn (Köbler 2014; Orel 2003, p. 281, 282). The Germanic root *nat– (in both *natilōn and natōn) is from PIE *ned (‘to bind’). The original runic formulas tend to use shortened versions, e.g., lin instead of lina, or just „l“. Therefore, the version *natōn was selected which can be even shortened as an N-rune.

In the chart above, the functions of flax and nettle are already given, these competences should not be understood as opposites but rather as complementary forces within nature. To fortify their complementarities, we can add the third element, laukaz (leek), which would be a tip of the green flame in this magical formula of vegetables. Flax is a cultivated and soft form of power whilst nettle possesses rough and otherworldly influences.

Bibliography

Flowers, Stephen E. Runes and Magic: Magical Formulaic Elements in the Older Runic Tradition (Third Revised and Expanded Edition). 2014. Bastrop, Texas: Lodestar.

Grimm, Jacob. Teutonic Mythology. 1882. London: George Bell and Sons.

Karnauchova, Irina Valerjanovna. Krása nesmírná (orig. Ненаглядная красота, 1949). 1884. Lidové nakladatelství.

Looijenga, Tineke. Texts & Contexts of the Oldest Runic Inscriptions (Northern World). 2003. Leiden, Boston: Brill.

MacLeod, Mindy. Mees, Bernard. Runic Amulets and Magic Objects. 2006.Suffolk: Boydell Press.

Orel, Vladimir. Handbook of Germanic Etymology. 2003. Leiden, Boston: Brill.

Pollington, Stephen. Leechcraft. Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing. 2011, reprinted POD. Anglo-Saxon Books.

Pollington, Stephen. Runes: Literacy in the Germanic Iron Age. 2016. Anglo-Saxon Books.

On-line sources:

Köbler, Gerhard. Germanisches Wörterbuch, (5. Auflage). 2014. On-line.

http://www.koeblergerhard.de/germwbhinw.html?fbclid=IwAR3FHatkVy5dZy-WbJDALYtEJAtGlZnDw-_HODhr-6od1yME-preUebIdmQ

Michalička, Václav. Kopřiva. Plevel, který šatil. 2017. Nový Jičín: Muzeum Novojičínska, příspěvková organizace.

https://www.muzeumnj.cz/muzeum-a-pametni-sin-sigmunda-freuda-v-pribore/muzeum-z-domova/publikace-kopriva-plevel-ktery-satil-pdf/

The Brothers Who Were Turned into Birds:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0451.html

David J. Jones: Creation Myth

by David J. Jones

We present Issue #19, Threemilk Moon, which will be our last issue of that sort as we decided to post contributions by Gilders worldwide more regularly. Today a very special and highly talented poet, Skald, painter, magician, madman, necromancer and performance artist, David J. Jones, is presented. His poems speak for themselves, so I won’t say more, except: To see Rune Master David J. Jones performing his poems live is the most enchanting and powerful way to experience his genius radiating out of his Wode, the ecstatic abode of Asgard, where he turns into a channel of the Gods. His jokes are the funniest, his presence is the loveliest and yet his Soul reaches the darkest darkness sometimes, which you feel through his poetry. This is the hallmark of all great poets and great Souls…

CREATION MYTH

When the Gods made you and I my friend
they weren’t thinking of angels.
When the Gods made you and I my friend
they laughed out loud at their mischief,
their intentions were not for the good,
the heavens wept tears of blood
and the world knew punishment had come.

When the Gods made you and I my friend
the wolf, the bear, the snake,
the eagle, the raven and shark
cocked an eye and said,
“Behold! To us are born brothers”.

When the Gods made you and I my friend
the sun fled, set early,
the moon refused to rise.
Twilight reigned the world for an age.
Our womb, the abyss
stared curious into its offsprings eyes,
flinched and turned its gaze
to sweeter vistas.

When the Gods made you and I my friend
the world sought to forge us anew in our sleep.
The forge was as a mistral,
the anvil as a feather pillow
and the hammer blows as falling blossom.
The smith trailed his useless tool
and left us to our infant slumber.

When the Gods made you and I my friend
they cast us out saying “too beautiful”,
the monsters said “too ugly for our kin”
and the men just fled saying “human, too human”.
We cared not, that we were
was enough for us.
When the Gods made you and I my friend,
when the Gods made you and I.

D. Jonathan Jones

Issue #18 – Easter-Moon

Today, for our Easter Moon issue, we publish the second part of Dave Lee’s interpretation of the Germanic creation myth. The Germanic peoples, like all ancient pagan cultures, believed that every creation is followed by a destruction, after which rebirth – we’re reminded of the rune Berkano – and recreation take place: spring, Ostara, light, life, liberation. In these days though, during the Corona panic pandemic, we experience the power of destruction, Ragnarök, dissolution, chaos. But I am reminded of Dave Lee’s words: “Spring-tide is the tide of Chaos. True magic appears as everyday life becomes transparent, open to endless becoming.” In these times of chaos, look deep inside and find the dragon eye in the void, where recreation and endless becoming give birth to new possibilities and potential futures. These principles are also echoed in the following text about the process, in which the world(s) came into being.

An Evolving Creation.

Act 3: The Giants

Ymir inherited the fertility of the Gap in a different way to her. Sucking in its vast free lunch, he lived and prospered, a sublime, grotesque, unconscious, automatistic perfection. His organs mated as he slept and sweated, slept in a lumpy void with no particular up or down, slept with a Möbius strip as a pillow.

Ymir, the sloppy, dirty supergiant, already his parts have fucked, one with another, and bred giants. Each of his brood, stemming as it did from a burned-out completeness, a husk of an old flower gone to seed, took with it part of his form and power and wandered off to do giant things.

Act 4: The First Mind

Audhumla lay down in the dim red light, licking her way further into the wall of cosmic ice. The third being came as no surprise for her. Cows are not equipped for surprise, and when a half-grown, unthreatening life form appeared in the ice she just kept on licking. It grew towards her warmth, her udders swelled with expectation, and she mooed softly in pleasure at this Other to love and nurture. It looked like a man.

And the man-being bred with a giant, and the universe’s etin-genetics reshuffled once again – giving rise to Odin.

Maybe that, then, is why Ymir, the unconscious universe, went to sleep: because consciousness had arrived. Odin immediately gets a grip on the situation and out of the pre-conscious chaos slumbering around him he hacks a meaningful world.

Act 5: Time Begins With A Murder

Ymir is a grimy slob, his beer belly hanging over the edge of the greasy settee where he has snoozed for millennia, one leg fucking with the other, entities crawling out of his armpits. This is the dregs of a previous cycle of time, of evolution, as witnessed by the new stage – consciousness, Odin.

Odin walks in, and with aristocratic contempt, says ‘Look at this fucking mess’, and proceeds to make a universe from Ymir’s body and blood and hair, his empty plastic takeaway containers, cans and fag ends, the leavings of that former perfection.

It is a triumph of consciousness, not because the pre-conscious, Ymir, is evil – but because that is what consciousness has to do – that is what this tale tells us: Undifferentiated unity must be broken for individual consciousness to arise. Or, time begins with a murder.

Now the TV is on a dead channel, the 3.5 Kelvin background grime of the cosmos fizzing on a grainy screen. The eruption came and went and still just crackles on as new awarenesses gape with awe at its incredible velocity and ferocious meaninglessness. That is what it’s like at the beginning of time.

Act 6: Subcontract, Automate, Devolve Power: The Dwarves

The orderly dwarves built the hierarchies within which they live, built the whole world of perception, opened the eyes of the world… and eventually united with its light and life, when the Lady came to love them; but that is another tale, for another time.

You can find the secret powers, still at work in the world…

Act 7: The Gift Of Self To Self

Consciousness has arrived. The god has acted; what does it mean? He is alone in a universe that he has set in motion. He will wrest meaning from it by an act of sacrifice, in order to interact with the only other thing he can possibly interact with: the totality, all that he is not: the cosmos.

So, Odin met the Other, and gained the runes.

Act 8: And Here We Are!

The god has encoded the keys to consciousness in the runes. Now this pattern must be passed on to other sentient life.

So we come to the creation of humans, to the part of the story where we try to explain ourselves to ourselves, to understand what kind of being we are. The story of the three brothers ensouling us gives three forces, three centres, three ‘brains’.

Act 9: Deals, Ends, Beginnings

The realm of the gods is established, and now the Aesir, the tribe of Odin, the gods of conscious life, enter into relationships with the other entities that inhabit their universe. However, the deals they make are subject to the laws of that universe, its ancient layers, and the seeds of its downfall are sown at the same moments as many of the actions that create and sustain that world.

The Ragnarok is the tale of the completion of the processes of creation, the return of the cycle to its origin-point, the end and a new beginning.

Adapted from Dave Lee’s ‘Bright From the Well’.

Issue #17 – Storm-Moon

Welcome to the Storm-Moon issue! Today we present the first part of Dave Lee’s illuminating and surprising interpretation of the creation myth in the Edda. This story can be found with other inspiring tales and insightful articles in his Masterwork for the Gild  Bright From The Well.
The following is an excerpt from this book:
The tale we read in Völuspá and Gylfaginning of the formation of the world from cosmic fire and ice, the growth of the giant and the cow and the sacrifice of the giant to pave the way for an intelligible cosmos is not really a creation myth. There is no overall creator, sitting in gaseous solitude until he ejects everything. Rather, it is a myth about how automatic cosmic processes give rise, by a process of fatal inevitability, to stages of evolution.

It provides a sophisticated hierarchy of the development of new forms. We start with cosmic principles – fire and ice, and the pregnant magical void ginnungagap which separates them. The next level of organization to arise is that of the androgyne Ymir and the cow Audhumla. From Ymir grows the race of giants. Among these giants are the etins, wise immortals who appear to us a little like the laws of the universe. In parallel, Audhumla licks and shapes the matrix of ice and salt where a proto-man is growing. These new forms interbreed to form the first truly conscious beings – Odin and his two brothers Vili and Ve. The brothers dismember Ymir, the old universe, and build a new one which reflects their conscious state. Consciousness is carried forward from the gods into the stream of organic life when the three brothers endow two trees with that spark and give rise to the first man and woman.

We can see that we are living in a layered universe, each layer of novel development stacked on top of another layer of completed development. All the structures that our awareness is built on top of are still visible. All the ancient layers are still with us. I have hung the tales and ideas onto that robust old story, understood as a sequence of nine stages.

Preamble, Or Act 0: The Seeress.

She sits in a cave at the centre of all edges, in the twilight of morning, in the red dusk behind closed eyes. In her gaze the universe around her creates and destroys, harvests and sows, cherishes and abandons, emits and absorbs, spins the moon’s emptiness and fullness… The soundtrack is a timeless music, as if you just walked into a performance that has been going on for forty thousand years. A single eye blazes out from under the traveller’s broad-brimmed hat. He leans forward. ‘So how did it begin?’She takes a long, silent breath. Her eyeballs roll up under closed eyelids, as if she is brimming with something.’It happened in stages. Each stage led to the next, with no possibility of it happening any other way.’

Act 1: Fire And Ice

In the polarity of cosmic Ice and Fire arises the spring Hvergelmir, rivers of venom roll, frost fills the gap, thaws and drips…We are in a moment before life appears, in the presence of the most primal layer of power.

Act 2: The Cow And The Androgyne

He lives on the melting ice, always has done. In the frost-covered void he meets the cow Audhumla and feeds from the streams of milk that flow from her four udders. She too is always there, a child of the Gap-frost. She smells salt and moves away from the hot place. She blends into the mist, through which occasionally emerge glimpses of an icy void, her world ending just over there. She follows the bloody scent to the edge of the ice sheet. She lives on an eternal edge, on a shrunken border between two unlivable extremes, two universes of death. The air is always wet.

Issue #16, Wolf-Moon

Welcome to the Wolf-Moon issue! This will be the final issue under present editorship; Issue 17 onwards will be edited by Mathew Hern.

For this issue, I present my own Rune-Poem, from 2001 c.e.

 

Rune – Poem

FEE to be free must freely be given;

gold hoarded makes human cattle;

the serpent’s shining scales crawl with fatal envy.

 

AUROCH’s strength is limitless, surging from the shadowed earth;

an ancient bull bellows on the frozen moor –

but fine rain melts hard ice

 

THURS thrusting from the mindless rocks;

three thorns thrown for torment;

but this force is terrible for man or woman to grasp.

 

ANSUZ is the tearing wind of Odhr’s breath;

the mighty Word leads the wise,

but is a terrible sword to the common man

 

RIDING on the right road is a swift journey,

and in the hall a ready rede,

but rowning the rites is rough on the horse

 

KEN’s cunning fire makes clear light;

yet children cannot play

with the scourge of art

 

GIFT is honour to the host and good for the guest,

and a kiss that begets greatness;

though the wise should grasp the cost of the gain.

 

WYN is wonder when the wind waves the banner,

and happiness of the war-band;

but if a man lose his way in joyous company,

then woeful is his lot

 

 

 

HAIL is hurled from the heavens,

wreaking harm to crops, and havoc to the beast;

yet it is the seed of perfection,

sown for the world’s remaking.

 

NEED is a narrow way through hardship,

and terrible toil;

yet it is a goad to greatness,

and the midwife of magic.

 

ICE is cold beauty, the bridge over endless chaos;

slippery and untrustworthy, it is death to the fey;

but the wise may use and enjoy, while trusting not.

 

YEAR brings to term whatever we sow;

the good earth guarantees growth –

but the gain is in grief

when the germ is rotten

 

YEW stands alone, strongest in the stead;

yet its branches bear berries of death;

and none but a Lord may string the bow of fire.

 

PERTHRO is played with passion and joy,

testing and igniting the luck of bold Lords;

yet things unknown to men are born in the web of Wyrd.

 

ELKSEDGE shoots up from the mud

sharp and dangerous to the young seeker who tries to grasp it,

setting out on the bloody road to wisdom.

 

SUN’s glory guides the seaman on his voyage;

if he has no love for clouds and ice,

victorious he returns 

 

 

TYR the noble leader faces the great wolf;

a lone star shows him his truth;

often must he turn to guide his clan,

showing not his one hand.

 

BIRCH is first to brighten the young wood,

her lovely limbs beauty and birth and nurture;

but the unwary spirit may be lulled to sleep in her shade.

 

HORSE is true friend, and good speed among the nine worlds,

and joyous companionship;

but if carelessness brings nightmare, then closeness is deadly

 

MAN is joy unto man, glad mortal company in the ship of forever;

but law and compromise must he make

when love fails

 

LAKE is life’s water, and endless depth unto death,

and the place of fearful sacrifice;

but the leek thrusts up green and healing

 

ING is the God of the old forest earth,

reaching East,

reversing the spin of the polar swastika,

bringing serpent gold from the ancient past.

 

DAY is the famous light,

mirth and hope to all,

and the unseen cleft in the world’s dawn

 

HOME is the enclosure, warded with inborn might, and holy,

where live the athelings in freedom and pleasure,

if there be right;

but many a stronghold is poor in spirit,

and a place of woe to its folks.