Aesir, Asatru, Death, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Hope in Hel

There comes a rider
Eight legs bear him
Like a coffin
On shoulders born

One eye living
One eye gaping
Wide grin showing
Poisoned gifts giving

Hel gates open
For the Feeder of Ravens
To him to gather
Unquiet corpses

Bright gifts I bring you
Stolen from the living
Bright maiden’s yearnings
Proud warrior’s dreaming

He casts before him
Like nine rings falling
A thousand fingers
Corpse cold clawing

Torn and shattered
The scraps uncounted
Yet a taste is given
A hope in Hel

Cold hearts aching
Bare fangs flashing
Torn throats shrieking
Of its bitter taste

The pain awakens
Duties long forsaken
Oaths long shattered
Unquiet lie

To the river of venom
Where memories taken
Where is forgotten
The life long past

At its banks standing
Now silent Draugr
Clutched in their fingers
Cold hope in hell

No fingers open
No hand will cast it
No thing more precious
Than hope in Hel

Cold eyes weeping
Cold hearts beating
Cold memories stirring
Of oaths long failed

When sounds the horn
All Twilight ending
What will it matter?
This faded thing

Who failed while living
Who in harm delighted
Who now has fallen
To hope in Hel?

—-One truth is given us, where there is life, there is hope. Who is not dead is not done, your chance to build your worth, or redress the harm you have done is not lost. Yet too the dead are bound to the living, and to life as well. If the living ride the iron road to Hel for the secrets only they know, what is it the living have that gives them power to change even the unquiet dead, if not hope?

Asatru, Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

A Hundred Bloody Yards

Private John Parr of Church End
Sixteen years he knew
With Middlesex Regiment scouts he marched
For his homeland and his King

In Belgium then at a place called Mons
He met his bitter end
Against German scouts he chanced to fall
The first of our war dead

Twas 1914 and summer shone
The fields were gold with grain
The best and brightest of the Empire marched
So few would see home again

The Great War opened up its maw
Great Fenris, the corpse wolf howled
Four years and sixteen million dead
Churned that golden earth corpse foul

11 November 1918, two minutes from armistice
George Lawrence Price of the 28th Canadian
Last son of the empire fell
In the shadow of the first

Four years and a hundred yards
Between the first and last
Sixteen million Great War dead
For a hundred bloody yards

At St Symphorien they stand the watch
Fenris the ever hungry bides
Lest our leaders forget the price
Of a hundred bloody yards

Cpl John T Mainer, Retired

There was a thing called “The war to end all wars” that didn’t. It ended a generation of young men, beggared nations, and laid the groundwork for a greater and more wasteful stupidity we would name World War II as we at least admitted we were not done asking our best and brightest to die in the thousands and tens of thousands to hopefully buy a chance to do better the next time.

World War 1 began and ended one hundred yards apart. The first and last soldiers of the British Empire fell literally within sight of each other. Millions dead, nothing settled, for a hundred bloody yards.

Now we hear a lot of jingoist rhetoric, a lot of people talking about settling their political differences with bullets not ballots. We approach Remembrance Day. 11th of November we will summon the dead of our endless wars to the cenotaph, to give thanks for their sacrifice.

When we face those honoured dead, you had best wipe that snarl of hatred, that howling blood hungry maw with which you bay for the blood of your neighbors. You face those who died to keep you free, to keep our homes safe. Do not piss on their memory by raising your arms against the descendants of their orphaned children.

We have given the best men and women of our generation to the fires of war for as long as my family has kept records. They marched away hoping to return, but trusting that if they fell in foreign fields, those who remained would keep faith, and protect the people they left behind.

Pretend you were worth it.

Lest we forget.


Dance Macabre

No rest for the weary
No sleep for the lost
Just the chains of fatigue
The madness
And the dance

Can’t shut out the ringing
Can’t block the jags of pain
Can’t muster the strength to care
Just the whisper
Of the dancer

Too tired to block the visions
The abyss roars its welcome
Scatters me in its storm
Lost in the dance
The madness and the dance

He is there in the darkness
He is there is the lightning
Wild white hair streaming
Wolf skins flying
Wolf howl sounding
Mad wild laughter
And the dance

She is there in the shadows
Cat skin gloves
Gold bright on her throat
Blood spilled bright on her breast
Wild laughter in her eyes
And the dance

I will give myself to the madness
I will give myself to the storm
Should I not rise again
Then I gave my soul to the dance

Soaked in sweat and snarling
My flesh half remembered prison
I come back confused
Restored, rearmed
If not rested

No promise of healing
No promise of life
Just the storm, the frenzy
And the dance


Scarlet and Sable 3: Bedside Manner

Scarlet and Sable

The prince returned, alarm stirring as for the first time in centuries he doubted his own immortal prowess. For a week he had sported with Scarlet, and yet she had not quickened with the child that would free him of obligation until its birth.

His own arts had read the richness and fertility of her flesh, and his arts had stilled within her those chemicals of mortality that sought to rob humanity of its only superior gift, the fertility denied the fair folk, yet she did not quicken.

Scarlet waited demurely in her bower, and the very demure patience alerted him of the trap. His senses swept, yet found no threat, only her room mate awaiting in the next room, a strange and compelling excitement tinged the air, yet no threat.

“What trickery is this?” The prince asked, his elven tones too pure for humanity, yet for all his experience, all his magical talent and immortal will, he was unable to see the chains that bound him.

“How is it you are not with child, how is it the bargain still binds me?”

Scarlet pushed some buttons on her mortal communications amulet, or “phone” as mortals would describe it, before turning and smiling like a cat with a cornered baby bird.

“Oh my lord, that would be the surgical steel IUD. Guaranteed proof against fairy magic and unplanned pregnancy both; although I absolutely adored every instant of you trying” She batted her eyelashes with uncomplicated lust, even as her complicated web began to unfold.

“What is this, we are bound you and I for a moon to produce a child that will be mine, or the magic will claim us both!” The prince felt anger rising, as the terms of fairy bargains were hard and cold as the killing iron, growing nearer to biting them both with every un-quickened dawn.

The door opened, and Sable, the dark haired room mate wafted in, a vision of pale loveliness in black veiled mourning, a sorrow deep and bitter as absinthe hung about her like the echoes of loves dying scream. The prince looked from her to Scarlet and back as Scarlet spoke.

“My dearest friend, sister of my heart, Sable lost her fairy prince unknowing when her tongue piercing caused an unfortunate end of their love in fiery anguish”

The elven prince drew himself up in hauteur, for the death of another lord meant less than nothing to him. He had ended more of his own kind than could be named in a day of chanting.

“What has this to do with me, and our bargain?” He hissed, magic crackling about him as his anger rose.

Scarlet took the black veil that guarded Sables face, and lifted it to show the deep sorrowful eyes. With one lace gloved hand she brushed the tears from Sables pale cheeks and spoke softly.

“There is no surer way to get over one Elven lord, than to get under another one” Scarlet said taking the tear covered lace glove, and trailing it suggestively over the princes codpiece.

Opening a silk kerchief in ornate Romany adornment, Scarlet showed a gleaming surgical steel IUD, and tongue stud. As the fairy prince stood in stunned silence, Scarlet continued.

“Have you heard the mortal phrase ‘Double or Nothing’ my lord”

The fairy prince felt laughter burst within him, the audacity, the sheer mortal audacity of trapping him for the sole purpose of easing her beloved friends grief through love-play was so Byzantine it could have come from a Queen of Fairy, not a pair of goth girls from Trenton.

Two sets of arms pushed him back to the bed, and he set out to finish what had become indeed the hardest bargain he had made with humanity.

Somewhere before dawn, as scarlet and sable tresses fell across his pale chest, he realized that this world yet held wonders, even for one as ageless as him.


Scarlet and Sable 2: Hard bargains

Scarlet and Sable

Scarlet accepted the potted black rose from the silver clad elfin lord who offered it with a superior smile.

“Our bargain is complete and binding, tea from this flower will keep the sun from ever marring your skin, nor will any disease ever bite upon you. In return, you will furnish me your first born child within its first moon”

Scarlet began unbuttoning the long dark Victorian boots that clad her long pale legs.

“Not quite correct on the word order. You have one moon to furnish me the first born child, that you can have custody of. Be a dear and help me with the corset, it takes forever to get unlaced.”

One elegant eyebrow of the alfar lord raised as he observed the cat like ears mounted on the tiara like hair ornament woven into her scarlet tresses. She had removed her boots and was reclining upon the bed, one dark stocking clad foot trailing up his leather riding trews with impudent impropriety.

“Surely you don’t mean me?” He asked with the lofty disdain of an immortal lord for a girl child of no more than a score and handful of seasons.

Reclining on one arm, displaying quite a lot of decolletage, Scarlet smiled wickedly.

“My roommate Sable is as fair a maid as I, surely you don’t expect her to get me with child? After all my lord, by your own will and words, our bargain is complete and binding.”

An almost catlike quality of malice and uncomplicated glee flashed in her eyes, and a smile tugged at his pale lips.

Trickery, lust, pride and whimsy were woven into the nature of fairy, and for an elven lord, lust and trickery together were enough to bring warmth to the blood of a pale prince who had seen nations rise and fall so often to have forgotten anything beyond momentary distraction.

Looking again at the mortal girl, this black clad scarlet tressed mortal girl, he felt challenged for the first time in centuries. Where challenge was met with subtle magic or flashing blade, it was an older and purer form of lance work she was demanding.

Smile lazily spreading across his face as blood across a fresh cut throat, he felt more than challenge rise within him. Fingers moving with inhuman grace and with more than mortal hunger, he worked first her laces, and then the oldest magic of them all.

Hard bargains lay ahead it seemed.

Scarlet: I am desolate

Sable : Yes, its a good look

Scarlet No, my heart is ash, dealcoholized absinthe, and a day without night.

Sable: No! What happened?

Scarlet: My dark prince turned out to be a faery.

Sable: Unkind much? There is no room for homophobia in the dark. You can still be soul mates, does not the tragedy enhance the doomed perfection of your love?

Scarlet Not fairy, Faery. Fey, full on elflord. I got my tongue pierced to better express our dark love, and when the steel stud touched him, his junk burst into flame and he died.

Sable Doomed love, turned to ash in your mouth

Scarlet Literally. I am desolate; also, yuck.

Sable Mint?

Scarlet Please.

Scarlet and Sable: Beginning and Ending

Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

We the People


They have bought and sold our country

They have bought and sold our law

In the House they call the peoples

Smiling whores one and all

They kill our hope with rubber bullets

Smash our dreams with their batons

Let us die in hundred thousands

Just to protect their precious Dow

Sell our sons to die for foreigners

The precious trade of blood for oil

Send the troops to smash the natives down

If they dare defend their soil

But the rage is rising strong in us

We are taking to the streets

If we have to wash the flag with blood

By gods we’ll see it clean

You sold our children’s future

Then left us for the plague

Gave the law a hunting licence

Let them hunt us down like dogs

But the rage is rising strong in us

We are taking to the streets

You stole and sold the land from us

But we are taking back its soul

Blind the press with rubber bullets

Steal our voice with poison gas

Beat our elders down with riot clubs

Covered face and covered badge

Your masters promised no consequence

When they turned you on your kin

The thin blue line of jackboots

Who forgot who they defend

But the rage is rising strong in us

Not divided black and white

We are come to take our country back

We the People here to fight

–A poem dedicated to all of those fighting for the soul of your country, and a tomorrow where black lives, indigenous lives, LGBTQ+ lives actually do matter to authorities as they do to us.


Aesir, Asatru, Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Wolf Age

Fenris Wolf, the destroyer of all life, the harbinger of the end strained at the fetter that bound him. He heard the rumbles, the whispers, the screams of the human world.

Sword age axe age wolf age. Brother slays brother, oaths are broken, treason wears a crown, the tree of life shivers and even the fetters binding him tremble and weaken.

With a mighty heave, Fenris breaks free. Storming to earth, he seeks the mightiest of nations, that it may tremble before his wrath, feel his hunger, his never sated rage.

To the United States he comes. Down he goes, to a land he can feel in his bones is the champion of this world, and a champion at it weakest, ready to succumb to the godslayer, the wolf of endings.

He drinks the air and a low growl takes him. Plague ravages the land, and rage, so much rage. He drinks it like the scent of a prey’s exhaustion and fear, the hunt end promise. He seeks the crowds he hears. He would make them scream, make them bleed, drink their terror as he ended their nation.

Yet, everywhere he went, fires burned. People already savaged each other, although to his nose they stank of the same tribe and folk.

Seeing a defender of the land, a gold shield upon his breast, he stalked forward, only to see this gold shield defender blast the sight from a defenseless child’s eyes, then shoot a pregnant woman. Fenris snapped his head off as he passed, unsure if he was helping or harming.

How do you destroy a nation whose defenders war upon those they protect. Who is the herd, and who the protectors when the sheep dogs ravage the flock, what is left for the wolf to do.

Drinking in the tear gas he smiles, and pads off in the direction of the hottest struggle. He feels the kill urge, the shining nobility of spirit withering under the hatred and rage. Here he will strike.

Yet who will he strike. Oh the protectors again are falling upon their own folk, Rage now on both sides, and shame, fear, hopelessness, yet still others strive to defend the folk, so few of them bear the shields of the defenders Fenris begins to wonder if he is wrong and they are somehow not all one folk as his nose and spirit tells him.

He sees a column of trucks of the defenders, bright shields and challenge sirens blow, and they rush to the crowd. Fenris lets his throat go back and howls his defiance, at last to face a challenge worthy of his fangs.

Then the vehicles plow into the herd, killing their own, before backing and retreating, cowards and murderers both. Others catch one of the vehicles and force it over, finally lighting it on fire.

Here and there a defender actually defends. Here and there one of the masked ones actually destroys. On all sides all swear they are defending, but to Fenris eye there is no difference between them; one folk destroying itself. Who is there for him to slay, what god, what champion, what leader is there for him to test himself against?

Kicking over one of the flashing light vehicles in disgust, he feels the pathetic patter of their barking weapons, unable even to ruffle his fur and he does not bother soiling his fangs on them. Lifting his legs, he lays them low with a blast of piss too good for child slaying dregs, then stalks back to the rainbow bridge and his island.

Odin was halfway down the bridge, spear in hand for the final meeting at the end of days, but Fenris is too disgusted with the utter failure of the night.

“Relax, one-eyed lord of war. There is no glorious struggle no valiant meeting of champions for us to end the word in. Just stupidity and waste. I am going back to my island. Rouse me again when they figure out who their enemy is, because right now there is nothing I can do they will even notice. They are already destroying themselves.”

Odin led him back to his island and resealed the fetter that bound him until the end of days. Fenris looked at him and glared.

“At the end of days, I will kill you, and you will never know if you saved those fools or not. Having seen them tonight, I wonder if you aren’t luckier not seeing what they do with the chance you buy them.” Fenris almost laughed.

Odin snarled but had no answer for the wide white grin of the wolf.

I wonder if we have one.

—–Ragnarok or the end times myth of the Norse is preceded by an age of strife, where brother turns against brother, oaths are sundered, peoples war with themselves, and all the ties that bind us to each other are thrown away.  Then comes Fenris to begin the Twilight of Gods and Men, the end times.

Those who should be defending the people are going to war against them.  The forces of “Law and Order” are operating outside the law, bringing only strife, disorder, and spreading both hatred and plague, division and rage with ever blow.

We are doing the wolfs work, or at least our leadership is.  We need to do better.  As long as justice is something that is extended or withdrawn at a whim, it is not justice at all.  As long as only some of our folk are protected, but not others, due to their skin, their gender, their sexual preference, their politics or their religion then we are not a free folk, but an occupied one.

Yes black lives matter, native lives matter. Until this is practiced not just promised, no one gets to say all lives matter without choking on the lie.

Fenris Wolf II

Aesir, Asatru, Current events, Heathen, Heathentry, Uncategorized

Two Gods Meet in a Bar

Two Gods

Outside the crowd cleared from the protest and counter protest. Loud had been the shouting, violent the clashing, and utterly absent was anything resembling community, communication, or reason.

Odin stared into the dregs of his cup, rage bitter upon his tongue. In a voice that rasped like a blade upon a whetstone he spoke.

“Nine days and nights I hung upon the tree that I might steal learning for my children. Gunlod’s wood and bower I dared that they may know inspiration. A century or more I walked this world to teach them hospitality and how to build a community beyond family or tribe, and now they use my runes for hate, my name chanted by the wilfully ignorant as they tear apart the communities their ancestors built”

Jesus sighed and touched Odin’s glass, and blood red wine filled it to the brim. He nodded as Odin drank deep and sighed deeper.

Jesus spoke like the call of a trumpet on a clear morning, yet his words echoed with sadness and pain, not glory and hope.

“I hung from the cross, and three days burned that my children should be free of judgement. I walked among them for years to teach them to feed the hungry, house the poor, cure the sick and in my name they destroy food for the homeless, profit from sickness, and turn my churches into businesses that take what little is left to sell hope to those they took everything else from, all the while condemning all those I asked them to raise up.”

Odin laughed, a cold gallows sound, and signed Laguz above Jesus’ glass. Rich golden mead filled the glass, and Jesus drank deep like it was his last supper.

In the corner, two women were venting.

“The police destroyed all the food, and gave us another fine” Said the younger one.

The elder responded “We fed twenty before they did, and they didn’t get all the blankets we gave out either. I am sure we can get enough donations to cover the fines. Does this mean you won’t be back next week?”

The younger one slammed down her glass and replied hotly

“They aren’t stopping us! It’s not right. No one should go hungry when there is enough to go around. No one should die on the streets when we can make a place for them!”

Odin and Jesus eyed the women, smiled and turned back to their drinks.

Jesus whispered softly

“They didn’t all forget”

Odin responded

“So we continue”

—-I wrote this piece over a year ago, when the war on the poor was the face the Trump administration was showing to us.  Now it is the war on the disenfranchised, an open war on people of colour, and everyone who dares to stand with them.  This is perhaps more needed than ever.

May the gods help us learn to live with each other as fellow citizens, as one people, not let us be turned against each other so that we may easily be exploited and used by our true common foe.

Asatru, Heathen, Heathentry, Pagan, Uncategorized

Magic in the Age of Reason

I trained as a scientist, paid for by Her Majesty in return for carrying a gun and being badly used by a succession of governments who let us bury far too many good men and women because it was cheaper politically to let our gear rot, crash, and sink, bow your head over the corpse of one to a dozen of our “noble heroes” than pay the treaty mandated 2% GDP we swore binding oath to our allies and our dead at the end of WWII we would do. Neither of these professions lends one to mysticism, and one of them leaves you prone to cynicism that make the average nihilist think we need to lighten up. Yet here I am to talk about magic.

Recently I had the ironic joy of hearing someone tell me how well I recovered and suggest I take up the kind of life destroying job that requires the ability to carry a demanding full time job on top of your demanding full time job, because of course, I can.


I can’t. I had my neck broken, my brain injured, lost the sight in one eye, the ability to sleep, the ability to lie down, lost the ability to see in sunlight, lost one of my two balance and equilibrium systems, gained permanent nausea and timpani (ringing in the ears, less fun than it sounds), I lost the ability to lay down short term memories, the ability to retrieve memories without multiple functional duty and context tie ins to connect them to the part of me I carved out of the wreckage during my recovery.

Yet I work a high function job seven nights an week. I don’t get sick. I don’t make mistakes. I regained the ability to write. I gained back the ability to function when my family requires it in whatever capacity they require it.

I do this sleeping one night in three, I do this throwing up everything I eat about one day in three or four.

Yet those who work with me, either professionally at my work, or in ritual at events “know” I am restored to full function. I am not, but I have gods who cheat. If you are willing to pay the price, and you are willing to walk the path in all the places it leads, then the limits of your flesh, and even your mind can be, if not overcome, then patched with tools not your own.

There are times I have to act for the community, where for days and nights at a time I must function as I did of old, and I can. I am not paying the price, I am using the energy of my gods to carry me past my limits, more terrifying, I am using their mind to fill in the empty and broken places of my own when I serve their needs. When it is done, the energy leaves, and I fall broken in ways that my doctors would freak over. Nothing is free, and magic isn’t Hollywood, it’s a set of disciplines that connect you to things that tie to the flesh, that speak to the mind, but are neither wholly in, nor wholly respect the limits of either, but that can use utterly dissimilar tools to approximate functional equivalence to the bits of flesh and brain that don’t exist, or don’t work anymore.

Magic. I won’t tell you what it is, I don’t use all of it, don’t know all of it, don’t want half of what I know and yet the part of me that reaches greedily out for every bit of it I find in lore, I am taught in journeying, or learn through shared ritual I horde in ways that a billionaire or dragon would understand.

I began my practice a long time ago with the sure and certain belief that magic wasn’t real. I softened this to its OK for others (ie women, and men who weren’t as strong, smart and idiotically convinced of their invincibility as I was), because I could see it work, and had to admit I had a raven’s eye for shiny, and a scientists desire to know how things worked, and I was figuring out how it worked even as I swore I saw no utility to it.

Until I got hurt. Until flesh failed, mind was shattered, and the tools needed to command the flesh, to process sensory information, memory integration, were lost. Until I had pain that could not be escaped, that drugs could not take away, and whose side effects made me too dangerous to live.

The senses learned in journeying between states and between worlds became the tools used to map my broken mind. The tools learned for moving energy in magical ritual became the tools used to force my nerves to reroute around broken pathways, using tools that didn’t always need to cross the space between two points to carry your will from one part to another long enough for the nerves to find away to connect the controlling machinery to the bit it used to control again.

Lost in a mind I no longer knew or controlled I walked the paths of madness, to the tree of the hanged one, offered myself to the tree as one of the hanged ones own, and laid myself along the bark as he drove his spear into me, and whispered the secrets of the first necromancer to make the dead parts of me bend to my will, to make the madness serve, to throw myself into the storm so that if I could not walk the path, I could go from the place I stood, to the place I needed to be, even if no one could fathom the path I took to get there, even me.

Sounds a bit like poetry, and a lot like gibberish. Honestly its both. Magic is part intuitive, part experiential, part pouring over the lore and writers of others whose poetry and madness echo your own enough that you come to understand they rode the winds you rode, enough that you can listen to their talk of how they flew enough to use your own wings.

I know a lot of Wiccans and ceremonial magicians I have worked with over the years think I am a bit of a prude about sticking with only Heathen practices, but it is a matter not of superiority, but comprehension. Inside the idiom of my own lore, I can draw upon writings that I understand on intellectual, emotional, instinctive, and poetic levels. If I see something, I know what it means, in that time, place, context. I know what I know, and what I don’t. The former is small, the latter is huge, so I stay in my own so that the new things I find, am given, or forge can be fit into what I already have, or will acquire.

None of the tools I needed to survive, to thrive, to recover, and to regain my ability to function at or above my previous professional level were acquired for purposes of work. None of what I use to master my mind and body, to make me safe around my family, to make me able to help others dealing with their own damage, none of it did I ever dream would be of use. Magical tools picked up by a raven because they were shiny, and I was greedy.

Twenty years of collecting useless magical tools I swore I would never use, but occasionally took up for the communities need. Then in one blow, they became all that stood between me and the grave, all that stood between me and helpless uselessness.

Magic is nothing but lies and mummery. Magic is just primitive misunderstanding of things science explains. Except when its not.

I am not what I was. It is not possible for me to be what I am, to do what I do. Science and medicine gave me a sentence, and magic and my gods commuted it. What I have I earned, and pay for each day, and each bloody night, but what I have is more than science and reason allows.

Magic, for those who find it comes to their hand and mind is not a way around doing the hard work yourself. Magic isn’t cheating. You pay for it. Anyone who offers you something for nothing is setting you up for something you can’t afford to lose and needs a quiet knife someplace vital before they get around to showing you what.

What you can do without magic you should. What you can do with magic you should learn. I spent twenty years learning something I didn’t even think as useful as playing tafl, or writing amusing limericks, only to find out the gods saw to it I had all the tools I would need to survive and thrive when my mind and body both were shattered and taken from my command.

What will you need it for? I don’t know. I do suspect strongly the day will come you reach out in desperation with instinct and wield that useless bangle picked up because it sparkled to save the life or health of yourself or one you value more.

I am a magician. Eight in ten of you will just laugh, the ninth will have some delusions founded in bad video games and worse fiction. The last will understand. I have learned to throw myself into the winds of the universe, to find my way in the chaos, and find my way to a place where the thing I need exists and hold on to it strongly enough that when the universe pushes me back to myself I drag it with me. For the sea is vast, the storm is strong, but the gull that soars with it, not against it may hunt right well.

Odin wanderer