Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Toxic Masculinity: My take


I am one of those people that set some feminists off because I do pull back chairs, hold doors, and ma’am ladies that I pass. I also hold the doors for children, men, and anything except draugr, because even courtesy has limits. I was taught that a strong man showed courtesy to people as part of his basic nature.

Strong is important in the definition of manhood that I was raised with. Strong meant that you looked out for those who were less strong because a man protected those weaker then himself or he was not a man, he was a rabid dog. Those I was taught to eliminate before they troubled anyone.

Strong meant that you were self reliant, and self aware. It meant that you claimed who you were, all of it. Your abilities, your limitations, your knowledge, your areas of ignorance. You didn’t have to pretend to be an expert at something you didn’t know, you were confident in what you knew, always willing to work hard to learn more, and always willing to admit when you were wrong.

Strong meant giving credit where it was due, praise where it was earned, and thanks for what you were given. The weak fear to be lessened by another’s accomplishment, the unworthy fear to acknowledge the worth of another’s deeds, and only those who do not feel they deserve it fear to thank those who have assisted them. Never be ashamed of the work you do, the sweat of your brow, be it from work of the hands, of the mind, or both. Never be afraid to seek to learn a new skill, to attempt a new challenge, or to look at a mistake and claim it, for in doing so you have the chance to make those changes require to not make it a second time. To claim it is to gain the ability to conquer it, to deny it is to give it ownership of you.

Strong meant that you did not fear to give what was earned, you showed respect to those you admired, you showed affection for those you loved, you grieved for those whom you have loved and lost. The weak will not cry because they FEAR to be seen as weak. The strong know that tears are an offering, that those you loved in life, you offer tears to in mourning as you offer honour, for those two things are the only grave goods we can offer, and the strong do not let their fallen pass unremembered and unmourned because they fear more the scorn of the living than they feel their duty to the ones they loved.

Strong meant that you searched for a partner, one whom you could love and respect, desire and find joy with. Who that was, and how you found that joy, you didn’t really care if anyone else understood. If no one else saw what you did in your partner, that makes you wise, them stupid, and too bad for them. If no one else thought that you should love or desire that person because of their appearance, body size, social class, race, religion or gender, you are strong in your self, confident in your masculinity, owning your sexuality and your heart. Love who you love, find your joy, and the rest of the world can burn if they don’t like it. Strong meant that you loved the strength of your partner, took joy in their accomplishment, felt fulfillment in their growth, took pain from their wounds, and anger at their insult.

Toxic cannot do that, for they do not possess strength, they fake it. Their partner must in all ways be mindful of their inferiority; they must stoop, for you will not ever let them stand your equal, let alone above you at all.

It is not that toxic cannot love, it is that they cannot express the positives of love for fear of surrendering the power in the relationship that comes from caring the least. Toxic can show pride in possession, can show desire to possess, can show enjoyment in possession, but even if they feel true and honest love, they will hide it rather than expose a true feeling and vulnerability to one whom they require power over, more than love of.

Toxic was what happened when you decided not to rise to the challenge, was what happened when you decided that you would simply pretend you had put in the work, and take as your entitled due what you see others having received for their efforts.

Toxic is demanding people yield to you because you are strong, important, and you need to see them give way before you to accept for yourself that you are indeed strong. Toxic sees their own knowledge and accomplishments and understands they are not real, when others speak whose words are based on hard won knowledge you did not seek, or accomplishments they again earned through work you did not do, you must win out over them, you must silence their words and voice, or you will not feel you own your own.

Toxic is feeling you cannot be a man if a woman is also strong, or claims the same accomplishments you do. Toxic did not earn any worth, and understands that someone who did earn their worth is a very real threat to their sense of manhood simply by existing.

Toxic masculinity does not practice heterosexuality because they are drawn to women, it practices heterosexuality because they are drawn to conquer women. The idea that women may wish to be equals threatens that. The idea that women might choose to love other women threatens that. The idea that man might love other men….and still feel themselves your equal, that is absolutely intolerable!

Any of these things threatens your heterosexuality, because it isn’t really heterosexuality at all, it is a male superiority belief, with the underlying insecurity that you might be discovered as not really entitled to that crown at all. The same toxicity expressed as homosexuality expresses oddly, in that along with the browbeating of your same sex partner, the misogyny that is reflexive of toxic heterosexuality is actually still present in toxic homosexual males. Proving I guess, that it is the male identity rather than the sexual relationship power dynamic that is threatened by a strong woman. In either case, hetero, bisexual or homosexual toxic masculinity treat neither gender well, because they are only faking their own gender role.

Although I am known for my love of the Sigfather, what is needed in our societies understanding of manhood may be less of the Allfather and even of Thor, and more of Freyr.

Men once could be strong and still speak of romance, could still openly be affectionate to their children and mourn the loss of fallen brothers. Now we are asked to be shells of those men, bitter angry and empty is permitted, loving and open are now seen as only feminine.

Frey’s ever renewing lordship is needed, his laughter, life and love. The King Stag, the lover of life, man as more than just predator.

Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

The Big Lie

Pedophilia is being used to generate and more callously, to sanctify the promotion of hatred against LGBTQ people here in North America by a right wing that actually knows they are lying, because they know it will work.

Here is the image being used, note the way they are taking the various Gay Pride, and other LGBTQ symbology and mirroring them, creating the impression that pedophiles are part and parcel of LGBTQ, welcome by the LGBTQ and in fact implying that accepting LGBTQ means endorsing pedophilia!

The Big Lie II

It is an awesome bit of propaganda. It is magnificent, if it were not completely vile, designed to manufacture very real hatred, inspire very real violence at targets the authors know are innocent of the implied (note, not accused) crimes, then you could almost admire the sheer artistry involved.

It has worked historically, some of the best propagandists have used it. Adolf Hitler wrote that it was more effective to tell a big lie than a small one, because that made it believable.

“All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying..” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf p134” {…}

As far as how effective it was, everyone “knows” Marie Antionette spoke in response to being told the poor of Paris had no bread to “Let them eat cake!”

This quote in the broadsheets inspired riots that eventually lead to the revolution that toppled her husband Louix XIV, and cost both of them their lives. It was amazing propaganda, and a lie created specifically to counter Marie Antionette’s popularity gained through charitable works that was lessening the very real outrage at the policies of her husband the king. Far from being true, it was completely the opposite of the facts, but it didn’t matter.

Outrage was created, outrage was fed, anger was focused, directed, and mobs were then used to work the will of those that authored the big lie.

Now we have the Alt-Right, who are continually objecting to being compared to Nazi’s, practically recycling old Nazi propaganda to demonize the LGBTQ community by equating them with pedophiles.

The target group of the Alt Right are conservative, family value oriented people who may be uncomfortable with LGBTQ issues they do not understand. This lack of understanding is not lack of acceptance, it is just that, lack of understanding. Into this can enter either education, or manipulation.

Education is hard and requires cooperation, manipulation is easy and requires only a complete moral vacuume that allows you to craft and propagate complete lies for the purposes of outraging a target group to act as your weapon against a minority group, and by doing so, bind themselves forever to your political view.

That is the scariest part. While many of the people crafting this do actually hate the LGBTQ community, others do not, or are even members of that community. The unifying factor is they do not care at all about the fact their campaign is a lie, or that their targets (the LGBTQ community) are innocent, they simply know this will achieve their political aims, and are accepting the human cost of innocent people hurt, largely by other people who were innocent and are now instruments of hatred because it achieves their ends.
Here is the reality of pedophilia.

The majority of victims are females (87%), but the median age of abused boys was lower. The perpetrator was 98% males, averaging 33 years of age. The greatest danger class for pedophilia is family, followed by acquaintance, authority figure, then stranger.

Big Lie facts

The facts are you are more likely to be abused by an uncle, a neighbor, priest, teacher or coach than you are that gay couple down the block. You are more likely to be killed by deer than molested by a lesbian.

That is right ladies and gentlemen, you are LESS likely to be molested as a child by the LGBTQ population you don’t know, than by the people you do know, or even a random stranger. Those are the facts.

This campaign is a lie, designed to use the threat of pedophilia which pretty much gay straight and bisexuals are united in condemning with a whole and unreserved heart, and using it to turn straight people into weapons to use against gay people.

It is a lie, a deliberate and knowing lie, and too many people are allowing themselves to be used. Sharing these supposed pedophilia pride flags is not about getting people to condemn pedophilia, it is designed to create target confusion, so that you begin to equate LGBTQ with pedophilia, and begin to respond to any pride flags or LGBTQ symbols with unthinking hatred, as you begin to attack the LGBTQ community, believing you are stopping pedophilia.

Actually you are supporting hatred, furthering hatred, and attacking people who are less likely than those closest to you to represent threats to your, our anyone’s children.

Do not share these memes, do not fall prey to the big lie. Be better.

The LGBTQ community has rich experience with being on the receiving end of abuses, and more than any other has zero tolerance for abusers like pedophiles. To use them as the targets in this campaign is nothing short of evil.…/2017001/article/54866-eng.htm…/arti…/54866/tbl/tbl03-eng.htm

Troth Opinion and Editorial

Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Not that kind of Witch

Preface: This is a work of fiction.  Sadly, the behaviours in it are not.  The actual behaviours attributed to the protesters are drawn from several events I have personally witnessed.  While I will be the first to say not every Christian, and indeed not many of them, the absolute number that feel free to be that abusive and threatening is still large enough to represent something that other religious minorities have entirely too much opportunity to get to know.

Amber Glory Café and Cathouse (pun most probably intended) was a trendy little café downtown.  The coffee was excellent, food was all natural, all amazing and not expensive.  You could bring your cat, but it was up to your cat to negotiate safe passage with Tree-Gold and Bee-Gold, the two gorgeous house lions masquerading as cats that followed the owner around like supermodel puppies.  More importantly, the woman who owned it, Gefn, let the local Wiccan coven borrow it for events that were too big for any of their homes.

Freya cats


Today’s event was important.  The local High School had several clubs, and one of those clubs had been a Pagan club.  The school rules had limited religious clubs to those with accredited clergy sponsorship, so they would be shut down without such a sponsor.  Diana, the local coven leader, was an accredited clergy woman through their parent grove, and had standing with the state for hospital and prison work, and had agreed to undertake their sponsorship.  This would be the first meeting of all of the Pagan club members with the coven itself.  A coffee cauldron to get to know everyone, and to introduce them to group ritual.


The meeting had gone well, and the kids were beginning to relax and actually ask questions.  Gefn wafted in, weaving her shapely form in between the tables and backpacks with the ease of her cats, and the gentle laughter of springtime, leaving food and drink in her wake like a faery godmother, if faery godmothers looked like they ought to be teaching yoga to movie stars or supermodels.


An assortment of athame were on the altar, dull bladed, frequently bejeweled ceremonial knives.  One of the students, Grace, a very earnest Asian girl who was always banishing a stray hair back behind her ears was touching the edge and finally asked.

“Why don’t the athame have edges?”

Gefn who was refreshing the coffees at the table answered that one before the coven leader could.

“These athame have no edges, you will find mine could cut through to the bone were you to touch it like that.  You will find Wiccans follow the rede ‘And harm none, do as thou wilt’.  “


Diana, the coven leader expanded on that.  “Wiccans are witches that follow the Rede, and as a personal ethic, most of us do not have edges on our athame, as it is a tool of magic and not a weapon for us.”


Grant, normally a fairly bold speaker, who was just getting comfortable, asked coven leader Diana as Gefn walked back to the counter. “Isn’t Gefn a member of your coven, I thought she was a witch too”

All the ladies of the coven laughed and finally one of the older ones, a stout grandmother who had been knitting pretty much the entire meeting expanded cheerfully “Oh my dear, Gefn is not that kind of witch, not that kind of witch at all”


The store had a sign on the front stating that it was closed for a private event.  As the witches of the coven all had complicated schedules, the door was not locked as some would come and go during the event as their own work and family commitments necessitated.  It was then somewhat of a surprise when the door was pushed open and eight people pushed it, wearing cardboard signs hanging from around their necks bearing  a cross, the number 22:18 and the words Witches Repent!



Gefn saw them pushing in, noted the flushed faces and white knuckled and correctly assumed they had already been worked up into a self righteous frenzy by whatever pastor had targeted these children for punishment for daring to follow the call of the gods they heard, not the god that some would force upon them.  In a loud clear voice designed to reach everyone, and push through whatever conversations were already underway she spoke.

“This business is closed for a private event to which you are not invited.  It is not open to the public.  You are trespassing, and if you do not immediately depart, you will be removed by the authorities.  My alarm company has already been signaled, and if you do not leave now, you will be arrested and charged”


The man in the front sneered at her, and spat on the floor beside her feet, spattering one of them.  The twin cats rose and hissed angrily.  The man in front turned and pointed his fingers at the coven leader and began to shout.
“The Lord tells us in Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.  Our pastor has told us how you hid behind the law when you forced the school to allow this abomination of corruption into our schools.  We will not allow you whores to corrupt these children with your demonic filth.  You will repent, and renounce your pagan sorcery, or you will find every hand in this town turned against you, and your families”


Diana rose, used to facing worse threats than this in her prison work, and honestly not inexperienced with dealing with similar protests at Pagan Pride.  It was important that the children see that you could be Wiccan without being weak, that pagans did not have to skulk in the corners and hide what they were anymore.

“The burning times are over.  The days that Christian mobs could come like the Taliban or ISIS and punish women and children for the crimes of thinking and speaking as free people are over.  Those who follow the call of the goddesses and gods do not seek to harm any, and wish you the joy of your own faith, we simply insist on the same freedoms that you enjoy, to follow and worship as we choose”


The woman in the front of the mob seemed beyond offended, actualy enraged that their holy fury was not driving the witches to submission as they had expected, but quiet defiance.  She pushed beside her husband  and pointed to the altar.

“What are you going to do to stop us, summon your demon?  Curse us?  We will ask the lord to strike you down, to punish you for your abomination, for the corruption of these children.  You will surely die for your sins, and burn forever”
Diana faced the woman, and spoke calmly, rationally.  Striving again to de-escalate the confrontation.

“We do not curse, the Wiccan Rede is ‘An harm none, do as thou wilt’.  We do not seek to harm anyone, we freely offer our blessings to you, but we ask you to leave, so we may finish our worship in the same peace we ask attend your own rites of worship”


Fearing that they were not inspiring the fear they desired, the leading man looked at the men following, and nodded to them, turning to the witches he sneered and pronounced.

“We did not come here to allow this abomination to be practiced with our children.  We are going to throw down your altars and show these children how god deals with witches”


Gefn pushed her way through the crowd to face the leaders, the light collected around her like fire, making the necklace of amber and gold beads at her ample breasts shine, and her golden hair shine like a crown.  Rising to her full height, she matched sneer for sneer, her bright blue eyes flashed like sunlight on a sword edge, and her voice rang like a faclon’s cry.

“You will not.  Any man who steps forward one step will never more function as a man.  Raise your hand to a woman or child in this place and your manhood will never rise again so long as you draw breath.  Any woman who seeks to threaten a child in this place, or lay impious hands upon the altar will know the full pains of childbirth for every period from now until death takes you.  If you will not learn peace, you will be instructed”


Like a queen she stood, and while the light blazed around her, the darkness seemed to bleed from every shadow in the café, until it seemed to press in on the protestors from all side, leaving only the blazing golden fury of Gefn standing before them.

The silence extended as no man or woman dared to be the first to step forward in her defiance, until the the darkness was lit with new lights, flashing red and blue, as multiple police cars descended upon the café, and officers began filing in.

Regal as any queen, Gefn addressed the officers.

“I will see these people charged with criminal trespass, and if you wish to charge them further with uttering threats, I think you will find that since we were filming this event for the Pagan Club members who couldn’t be here, the video and audio records should clarify matters nicely”

As the police ushered the terrified and confused protesters away, one of the High School pagans asked quietly  “I thought we didn’t curse, that we didn’t harm anyone”


Diana laughed quietly, and shook her head, settling back into her chair to allow the shakes to finally overtake her.

“Oh child, Gefn is definitely not that kind of witch”

For Gefn, Gullveig, Freya.  Golden goddess, and definitely not that kind of witch.

Goddess Freya true


Heathen, Uncategorized




An old man and an attractive woman were playing chess outside the recruiters office.  Here in Canada I guess they aren’t that busy, because they had shut down for lunch.  I took a seat at the rough iron seat at the table next to the two chess players and determined to wait.


The woman turned and smiled in a way that made my eighteen year old blood rush lots of places unrelated to my brain, and she gave me a long slow once over look before she spoke in a voice soft and warm as sunlight and honey.

Freya woman

“Oh a big strong boy like you, I bet you would make all the girls swoon in a uniform.”


I had a lot of experience with girls, but her voice made me feel like a twelve year old virgin trying to talk to the hottest grade twelve in school.  I was saved from stammering out something lame by the old guy who made a move on the chess board with a sort of brutal shove, then turned to glare at me.

His hair was down over the far side of his face, concealing some nasty scars, and he grinned at me about the way a dog grins at a rabbit it finally cornered.  His voice when he spoke was rough, like maybe he had taken some serious throat damage, sounding almost more like a crow croak than a man.

“Don’t you believe it boy.  You won’t find one marriage in ten survives an enlistment, let alone to retirement.  Broken homes and broken bones is all you will find in there. Nothing for a boy like you”

Odin Face
In his mouth, boy sounded like a curse, and I flushed this time with anger.
“I’m no boy, and I am not afraid of dying.”  My voice sounded weak beside his, but I was not willing to be treated like some child on a whim.

The old man grinned and swept his hair back from the far side of his face and leaned close.  His empty socket gazed back at me in mute ruin, the scars down his face told a tale of fire and steel that I didn’t want to know.  His neck, where I could see it was marked as well, and his hands were traceries of scars layered so thick his skin’s natural tone was hard to discern.

“Nobodies afraid of dying boy, until they see it for the first time.  Even then, easier to be brave about dying, less about coming back burned, blind, legless, armless, or paralyzed.  There are a hundred things worse than death boy, and every one of them is through that door.  You can live a long safe life, never see a scar worse than a paper cut, but not if you go through that door…..boy.”


I was scared, but goddamn it, every time he called me boy my blood boiled.  I didn’t have any reply more coherent than a glare, but my glare was a pale thing compared to the lightning bolt that burned in his one cold blue eye.  It was like the flash of a sword right before it took off your head.


I pushed back my chair, ready to do, something, although I wasn’t sure what, when the woman let her hand trail down my shoulder to my elbow, and my mind just sort of went away as my body just lit every one of my nerves with pure fire, a hundred times better than my first lap dance, and certain parts of me were in full revolt to the point that standing up would be deeply embarrassing (but good advertising).

Her voice calmed us both, like honey it flowed over us, washing away the taste of anger.

“Now now, don’t mock the lad.  You can see he is determined to do his part for freedom, honour and the glory of his nation.  You get very few who feel the call, not a lot of knights in shining armour left in this world, and I won’t have you pecking at him, old crow”


When she said it, it sounded noble, just right and holy.  I felt myself straightening, felt the pride pull my shoulders back and chest out.  When I was a boy, I dreamed a lot about knights in armour, bright banners and glory.

I met the old mans grin, and I felt the cold wash over me.  He grinned, that cold, cold grin.  I held his eye until I couldn’t any more.  My shoulders slumped.  I took a deep breath, and let it out slowly.  I turned to her and gave the speech that I had rehearsed for my mother, to deal with her objections.
“No ma’am.  I guess if I went in that door looking for freedom and glory I would be just as stupid as your friend thinks I am.  I guess those knights must have got a lot of glory back in the day, but most of the people just got rode over, robbed or killed.  None of them seemed to make it into the stories, or poems either.  Just the knights.


I don’t think I am any kind of knight, but maybe I think there are too many people getting rode over, robbed and killed even now, and maybe, every once in a while I might have the chance to do something about it, if I walked through that door and signed up.”


The old man wasn’t mocking me any more. He leaned back and spoke quietly, without the challenge of before.

“You won’t make a difference boy, not really.  Pissing into a volcano, or trying to shovel the sea.  Nine times out of ten they will lie to you about why you are going, and lie to themselves about if they are succeeding.  Best you can do is look after your own, and maybe try to balance a scale or two.  Even then, you may do more harm than good, no matter what you try”


This time I challenged him.  I turned my own cold green eyes to his burning blue one and asked my first question.
“And if nobody goes sir?”

He lunged forward and grabbed my forearms with a grip of iron.  His voice was a whisper, a rasp, the cold grating of a whetstone on a blade.

“Then the world burns boy, the world will bloody burn”  His eye burned into me, and mine blazed back into his.  I nodded slowly.

The recruiter had come back from lunch, and flipped the recruiting office sign from closed to open.  I nodded to the old man. He let my arms go with a quick grin, and sat back.

I stood up and nodded to the one eyed old man, and his scary pretty blond friend.

“Sir, ma’am, if you will excuse me.  I need to see the recruiter.”

I walked past them, the woman’s hand caught mine for a gentle squeeze, and gods help me, that little touch shook away the cold sick fear the old man had filled me with.  The visions were still there, a hundred versions of myself broken.  Dead, half dead, or better off dead.  Nobody wants to be the one that pays the price, but the old man’s words burned in my blood too.  What happens if nobody steps up, if nobody risks paying the price.

The world burns.  Well it is not burning on my bloody watch.

The recruiter smiled as I walked in the door.  His smile reminded me of the blonde’s.  Sizing up a likely piece of fresh meat.  I didn’t make him work that hard at it.  I made my choice before I stepped in.  Now it was just a case of finding the contract where maybe my abilities could make enough difference that I could do a little better than pissing in a volcano, or shovelling out the sea.
Out front of the office, the old man moved his rook, and took the blond woman’s knight.  “Check”  he announced smugly.

Watching him take the white knight into his scarred hands she shook her long golden hair and chuckled ruefully.

“They say I am the great seducer”  She said “But you seduce them far worse than I do, and you don’t even pretend to be good to them”


Pushing over her king, she conceded this game to her opponent.

“It’s a shame, he will look so good in that uniform.  He is a pretty boy, but he would have been a beautiful man if you hadn’t got to him first.  Still, if it comes to it, I may still take him from you”
The old man nodded to his opponent as he rose.  Chuckling they moved past the recruiting office where a boy signed his freedoms away for what some would call foolishness, and others a higher calling.  Had he glanced out, he would have noticed two golden cats running at the woman’s heels, and two dark ravens flying at the old man’s shoulders.


John T MainerFreehold Oath Ring

Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Entitlement and hatred

Raven and Skull

I have a bizarre news feed.  I am a veteran, and I have a whole lot of my circle of friends who are veterans as well, so from them I receive a whole lot of more conservative stuff, and given the knee jerk reaction to whining, a lot of it is pretty edgy or down right savage.

I am a Heathen, and active in the pan pagan community, an active proponent of Inclusive Heathenry which puts me in direct opposition to the sort of racist homophobic misogynist assholes whom everyone agrees make legitimate targets if they are in ISIS but which acquire an odd social immunity if they are white, rich and Christian.  From this side of my feed comes a lot more liberal stuff, and some outright SJW weirdness.

You would think it odd that I can have friends on both sides of the spectrum, but what makes them friends and held in esteem by me is what they share.  A sense of responsibility, a sense of duty, a sense of obligation.  It is not enough for them to believe, they must act on those beliefs.  It is not enough to receive a freedom or a right, it is required that you demonstrate your worth to hold it, to make the sacrifices that went into winning it, and defending it, worthwhile.  HOW they express it, and what it is they are most driven by is different.  Their individual expression of it may even place them in opposition, but I honour them equally, and where both of these groups agree on anything, you can take as holy writ that defines the good of the whole people.  That does leave a ton of public policy up for debate, we call that freedom, and it allows our society to evolve alone with us.  Evolve or die, and the latter is a bad choice.

I witnessed a frenzy around the US independence day from the fringes of both sides of my feed.  I almost missed it.  The middle ground of my feed was taken up by genuine messages of hope and solidarity, and the medium fringe by an amazing “Second Civil War” letters parody spawned by some right wing nut’s spurious claim of a leftist coup planned on Independence Day.  Get real, no one plans any minivan and Prius based revolution on the one day you couldn’t get through traffic with anything under a full panzer.

Second Civil War

The center is filled with those who possess a sense of humour and a sense of responsibility both.  The fringes of both sides have exactly three things in common, and the third one was the surprise.

They are purists, there is absolutely no middle ground.  You are either 110% behind them, knowing they are oblivious to the fact there is no possibility of exceeding 100%, being by definition, all of it, or you are an enemy.  Either a traitor (meaning claim to be on my side, but not willing to deep fry the enemies two year olds), or an enemy (who have no rights to life, property, law, opinion, or self defense).

They are utterly without any sense of humour, self awareness, critical thinking, or any willingness to examine even for one instant any evidence that may not agree with their philosophical allegiance ( I will not call a thing derived without thought as a philosophy).

They are driven by both a sense of entitlement, and a threat to that entitlement.

Wait, what?

Entitlement.  Both the far right and far left are driven by the sense that they are owed the total and complete breadth of their fantasy based on their simple existence; independent of any action, any accomplishment, and sacrifice or effort on their part, not based on merit or achievement, they are owed by the world complete obedience to their own bizarre little world view, and sense of self importance.  Those who do not see them as fundamentally the key person on the planet simply by the amazingness of being born a person of no detectable accomplishment, demonstrated virtue, history of service, or sacrifice for anything but their own immediate gratification, must be the foulest fiends in history.

When this leaped out at me I was stunned, I was shocked, I was in danger of a spit take on my poor computer screen.  Firstly, how the hell did I miss this for so long.  Secondly, why isn’t anyone on the right or the left grabbing hold of these very public leaders of their movement and going  “Whoa there buddy, you strayed out of your lane, left rational and went full fuckwad.  Stop talking before our very real concerns drown in your sea of stupid.”

Second, I know from first hand experience what you are entitled to.  I have seen it, I have tried my best to stave it off when it came out of time, and many times succeeded.  I have seen it come in its time when all the efforts and arts of mankind could not stop it.  I have brought it with my own hands when it was my duty to do so.  Not a whole lot of people are in a hurry to get what they are entitled to.

You are entitled by your conception to exactly one thing on this earth.  Your death.  Many times this death comes before the opportunity to live at all, as your death arrives before your birth.  Those who succeed in being born share this one truth sucked at the teat, you are entitled to at least one death.  Sometimes we can bring you back, but don’t worry, death is always waiting.  She is the unbroken promise, the period at the end of your sentence, the silence at the end of your song.  She is what you are entitled to. I take it as a grace and blessing, but there is a chance I have seen enough more of life than some of you to fear death less.  The true horrors are experienced on this side of the grave.


Hel awaits all of us.  Death is the one thing we are entitled to.  Yet entitlement drives the far left and far right.  Why?

Entitlement is the father of hatred.

Trust the gods to supply the missing piece.  That little whisper was the penny that had to drop.  Entitlement is the father of hatred.  Those who feel they owe responsibilities to deserve the rights they have been granted by those who fought long and hard to enshrine them in law, and defend them from infringement, understand that their freedoms come with responsibilities and consequences.  They accept the premise that my right to swing my fist ends before your jaw, not after it.

The entitled do not.

The entitled do not accept that their rights have responsibilities, corollaries, or that their possession of a right in society in any way implies others might have rights; not if they are different.

If you are responsible, you accept that freedoms, rights, and everything you hold in this life comes from effort.  None of what you hold is yours by your own efforts alone, for it has taken our whole people and society to create a place where our own efforts can win for us individually such safety and success as we know.  It took generations of effort and sacrifice long before you were born, took the efforts of countless more than you could ever thank for their efforts.  You did not inherit this because you are awesome and deserve it, you inherit this because other people built their personal worth through effort, dedication, discipline, hardship and struggle.  Now it is up to you to show you deserve it, and make sure those that follow after inherit more, and not less of the freedom and opportunity you inherited.

If you are entitled the world looks differently.  Anyone other than you who claims the right that you do is threatening the basis of your entitlement.  They are threatening the foundation of your worth and existence.  You are not special because of your deeds, your words, your sacrifices, service, creations, or relationships, you are only special because of your (insert whatever bullshit label drives your fantasy of being the centerpiece in the story of the world, in which all other people are but bit players to your star).

You cannot remain special if those dirty homosexuals can be married too!  Got to wonder how that one works, I mean, how is the couple two doors down having the same sex married that they did the night before as single going to change your own marriage.  If it can, you have got an issue, not a marriage.

You can’t remain special if that person looking at you in a dress gets your personal pronoun wrong and assumes your gender is female.  Your gender and sexual identity are your own, and if you are threatened by someone who only understands the two biological genders they understand, and making a good faith effort to treat you respectfully as member of the gender they assumed you were, then you don’t have a gender, you have an insecurity.  If they deliberately continue to misgender you, they really are being an asshole, but don’t go assuming every person out there is attacking you when they are trying to be polite.

You can’t remain special if someone can be different than you and not only completely miserable because they are not you, and completely open to agreeing that they are no where near as special as you.

Strip away the different coding for the right and left wing nuts, take away the racial, religious, and gender language, and it all boils down to the same thing.  I am entitled, and your having worth you earned makes me feel bad, feel like my entitlement might be taken away at any moment.

I am a violent person, so I tend to look at violence as a measure of just about everything.  I am not condoning violence, or advocating violence, but I will say that a large portion of my life, and my formative years were definitely shaped by it, as was much of the history of this planet, so I will always tend to look at issues in the social and political spectrum and see how this translates into expressions of violence.

Violence as a measure of entitlement is an interesting thing.  It works.

If you look at who is the most prone to violence, it is the ones with the most developed sense of entitlement.  The Antifa thugs really are drawn from among the special snowflakes of legend who really do feel entitled because of their membership in the hyphen club as the most hyphenatedly hyphened super yoga non gluten recycled tibetan hyphen rasta that ever hyphened a mens menstration.  All the conservatives are now laughing, yes these are the ones most prone to start, and then lose a riot.

Time to stop laughing now.

The most entitled and most violent group out there are straight white conservative men.  I am one, so yes I am saying the statistics don’t lie, we are far more likely to kill anyone who threatens our sense of entitlement than any other group.

Muslim extremists in their own lands occupy the same position that straight white men do here, and with a far greater legal and social freedom to enact the worst abuses of the patriarchy that feminists are always going on about.  Here is the thing, we may laugh at feminists now, much as we laugh at unions, but like unions, we would not recognize our society without the changes they forced it to undergo.  The abuses were real, were terrible, were soul fouling for those who did it, and life destroying for those under it, and those abuses are the daily life of a huge portion of the globe, so stop laughing at the feminists, stop mocking the unions and start saying thank you that you don’t live, yet, in a third world shit hole run by entitled abusers empowered by the law.

You live in a country that is run by entitled abusers restrained by the law.  I grant you it is not what we should inherit, but it is better than the alternative, and a starting point to build on.

Those manly men of “The Great Generation” of WWII that the conservative right is venerating now as moral gods, mostly because they are safely mostly dead and unable to correct anyone, actually earned their status.  Largely by risking, and by the hundreds of thousands offering their lives in the defense of the state that really should remember to be worthy of them.  At the same time, women stepped up into the roles men had traditionally played in the workplace because the reality of technology had long made our traditional roles not a necessity but a luxury our survival could not afford.  Be worthy, or be history.  That generation chose to be worthy, to accept uncomfortable change, to rise to be greater, to demand more of each and every one of its sons and daughters, and by all the gods they rose to that challenge and earned the title of Greatest Generation.  They really did.

The problem with the conservatives holding up the Greatest Generation as their example is my grandfather, himself a product of that generation almost to a stereotype, would be quite likely to put the fist that was once the 2nd Divisional boxing champion from his days in the Grenadier Guards through the chin of any man openly insulting a woman.  The language, the open disrespect and pettiness that is the hallmark of those praising that Greatest generation was not acceptable to those who ever earned its merit on the beaches, or hard city fighting of the bloodiest of all wars.  It was common however among those who stayed home herding our own citizens into internment camps, as it was those condemning their neighbors during the McCarthy era.  Not the language of our greatest generation at all, but that of our greatest shame.  Again, entitlement’s face, not worth, merit or achievement.

The most entitled in our society are the greatest threat to it.  It is ironic that Right Wing extremist supporters are always pointing to the Muslim fundamentalist men and condemning them as a great threat to our society, and especially its women.  They are right.  They are blind to the fact that the only threat as great to those women is those very men themselves.  Muslim extremists do commit atrocities, not as frequently and well as white men because in our society, the top entitled and threatened assholes are mostly white.  It is that combination of entitled and threatened that combines into deadly violence.  Granted Islamic fundies fall into this category, but Christian fundies, Incells, white supremacists, tin foil hat Illuminati/Deep State conspiracy freaks all fall into this category, and they have the numbers, guns and complete contempt for the lives of everyone not in their special class to really make the numbers of dead start to resemble an active war zone.

We are all entitled only to this, to one death.  What right our society enshrines for us were earned by the sacrifice of great men and women of the past, defended by great men and women of today.  Be worthy of what you have already inherited, be thankful for the choices you have and try to make those worth the cost other people paid so you could make them.

When you hear someone from your own end of the political spectrum get up and begin demonizing anyone who disagrees, decide right then and there if you are entitled to what you have simply because you were born, or did you on some level have to be worthy of what you have been given.  If you have any responsibility at all for the rights you have earned, stand up then and there, and demand that your own side accept that you can disagree and still be a worthy citizen.  Accept and acknowledge that all of our rights to swing our fist end before another’s chin.  We absolutely do not ever have to suffer the violence of another, but the corollary to that is that we cannot be worthy of that right while we stand by and let those among our allies swing their metaphorical or physical fists without that same restraint.

Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Soldier’s Eyes

John Remembrance1

I had a long talk last night with some of my own. Soldiers. Canadian and American. Francophone, bilingual and English speaker, yet what bound us was the language we spoke. It is a language that forever divides us from everyone else, and unites us at the same time in a terrible brotherhood. Those whose eyes have seen what we have seen lose the world they knew, and are reborn into a new one.

Initiation is an old word, a magical world that describes the practice of undergoing an ordeal of transformation. Those who are initiates into the mysteries cannot truly speak to those who have not known them, for although they may hear the words, their eyes have not seen what the initiates have seen, and what is summoned when they speak those words cannot be seen by those who have not been through the same. The words are the same, but the dictionary was changed.

It is by the eyes you will know us. Eyes that have seen too much the poets will say. A pragmatist would point out the real issue is that these eyes can never stop looking for what they have learned to seek. Seeking and assessing threats, angles, and constantly updating action plans in every situation. Those who are quick to say paranoid are themselves frequently ambushed by things they lacked the situational awareness to track as a threat, and were therefore taken by it. Innocence of the threats around you is not a virtue, it is a handicap. Hyper vigilance is a coping mechanism for those who have not been able to separate operational and home environment. Sometimes it is because returning home they are no longer innocent, and are no longer blind to the threats that were always there.

When we left, we were ignorant of the lesser dangers that surrounded us even then.  Now we return, what we saw in innocence as safe, we see as surrounded by threats today.  Lesser threats, by in large.  Learning to adjust your threat response means adjusting your world view to accept that what you once thought of as safe is different from where you learned to live with danger only by a matter of degree.  On good days a very large degree, but subject to change without notice.  Awareness of that threat will either become intergrated into your new understanding of home, or you will literally never make it home; you will simply live your conflict on familiar earth.

Odin is the god who instructs me, who owns my loyalty and whose tools preserved me when my own strength and skills did not suffice. Odin is the one who taught me to see what ails his folk, his soldiers, the ones who have been there and done that, but not made it all the way home.

The lore is a dangerous thing to study, for who it is who reads it will change what lessons you see inside it. Returning to the lore with eyes that had seen too much already I saw for the first time the god of the price we pay, the god of the sights that cannot be unseen. He is not just the Victory Father, he is the hanged god, for those of us who bear the guilt of those things we have seen, and those things we have done that we cannot forget hang like gallows fruit on his tree. Bound by what we cannot unsee.

When first I read of the halls of Valhalla, I saw only the feasting warriors, the Valkyrie, the ever flowing horns and revels of the night, the endless battle of the day. To look again, you see everyone feasting, everyone laughing, all save one.

Odin sits at the head of the table brooding. His eye was given for knowledge, and he knows too much. He has ridden the iron road to Hel too often to learn the secrets of the dead, cast his eye too far into the well of wyrd to see what will be, and what he will pay in the end. He cannot unsee what he has seen, and he cannot rest until his duty is done, even though his watch will end only in his death in an attempt he will never know the success of, to save a remnant of a remnant of mankind.

All around him laugh, love, feast and live. His meat he feeds to his wolves as he broods over his wine, his watch unending. He has seen too much to ever know true rest, to ever know his watch is done. He is the god of those who have seen what must be done, and who will never be free of the cost of doing what must be done.

And yet….Odin Picture
Who is it but Odin who gives us poetry to capture the sights no words can convey, can tell the truths that none dare speak, and capture both the beauty and horror, the futility and nobility, the waste and the necessity, the tangled ugly purity we once called home, and in truth never fully left.

Who but Odin can teach us that we can be as we are, far from clean, far from safe, far from any pretentious of glorious knighthood, but very much the shield of our families, the sword of our state, the flame against the dark.

Soldiers eyes have seen things that other eyes have not. If our world is darker, if we will forever be trained to seek things that in your mind are unnecessary or paranoid, you cannot reach us with your words, for we come from a place where what you describe as paranoid, or unreasonable and unsubstantiated fear, was in fact a reality that was written in blood and bone, and whose reality once bore names, before they were reduced to flag draped coffins and memories. Your innocence of reality does not trump our awareness of it. There is no reason you should bear the cost of our knowledge, we don’t want anyone to have to bear it, but for those of us who do, we do, and your opinions are as uninformed as they are unwelcome.

Odin teaches us of our role. We are the ones who watch the shadows, who stand guard against the things that shouldn’t exist, but do. We are the ones who bear the cost of doing what must be done to create a place in this world where millions of people can actually believe that terrible things shouldn’t have to happen at all. Perhaps one day enough of the world will have sorted out the predators among us to make this true, but for now, it is enough to know we who bear the cost for this island of peace can at least witness our families enjoying that which we find no home in anymore.

We will come to your feast, even host it. We may follow enough of his lessons to learn to laugh and love again, but just as Odin gave one eye that will always and forever be lost in the vision of what will be, so are we forever unable to stop watching with a soldiers eyes. Our watch can never end, for innocence is ignorance, not grace, and we have learned too much to pretend otherwise.

Many hate us and fear us because we refuse to pretend that violence is not sometimes the best and only answer. If this was not true, we would not have police or soldiers, would have no word for guard, have no word for murder or rape. We do. We won’t pretend that evil does not exist, for we know both the cost we bear from stopping it, and the more terrible cost of standing aside and letting it work its will.

Many pity us because we are scarred by what we have seen, troubled by our knowledge, and by what we have learned about ourselves. I find it hard to understand that. Innocence is ignorance, not truth. Wisdom is knowing what lurks in the darkness, and choosing to love, to laugh, to build and to dream anyway. Odin teaches wisdom, it isn’t a pleasant school, nor are we ever able to lie to ourselves about ourselves again once we have learned from him, but it is far better to learn how to live honourably as the man you are, than see those you love suffer when you fail to match the man you thought you were.

Odin gave up an eye for knowledge, and on some level, a part of him died with that innocence. What remained was grimmer, colder, more dangerous, but at the same time now focused very clearly on becoming what he needed to be to respond to what he had seen. Odin was not the leader he needed to be when he got his glimpse into what would be. He set out then, and for the rest of time to become what he needed to be, accepting the cost, however terrible, that he could be the leader who could save what could be saved.

No illusions about glorious victories, parades or eternal peace. Just pay the price you have to, and keep the world from burning for one more day. It is ok if we see and relive nightmares behind our eyes when it comes time to sleep because in the morning we can hear children playing on the streets, unconcerned and innocent in the space we have defended for them.

It is enough.Freehold Oath Ring


Huntsman’s Truth


Wild Hunt shadow

There is madness in our soul
Rage it burns in our blood
Children of the storm we are born
From our eyes the veils are torn
And we walk the killing fields
Will you bow your head and weep,
Or raise your voice and howl?

There is a guide upon the path
One mad voice who masters wrath
One eye sees what two cannot
One to trust when all is lost
One whose paid this power’s cost
Lost in madness and the night
Trust the one with raven’s sight

Bound he was upon the tree
Bound to him I learned I was still free
The storm that burned inside my mind
The madness written in my soul
The veils he tore from both my eyes
Took up his wisdom screaming

Laughing as he broke us all
The lies we never were
Faced ourselves striped bare and bloodied
Accept the monsters in our selves
And rise as the hanged ones own
Scarred and brutal
Mad and broken
Yet fearless stand before the foe

Whispers of the raven
Courage of the wolf
Madness to stand, madness to trust
Madness to build, madness to dream
From the mad one learn
Madness to love
Madness to dance
In the heart of the storm
Hope burns bright

—Holy Odin, storm rider, mad one, hanged one, high one; huntsman, know me as yours for the gifts given those of us born to your storm, bound to your hunt.

Odin shade