Sunday, December 27, 2015

One More Thing: Of Gods and Men - The 12th Night of Yule

If I had legs and feet I could have run to my love, my life.  If I had arms and hands I could have written a sonnet for my love and defended her with all my might.  So said the man who had no eyes, unaware that he had those things as he took his last breathe.  

Men are finite in nature and cannot know the Infinite; the finite does not stretch that far.  Spending a lifetime to know the Gods, the Infinite, is a fool's errand.  And claiming "to know" anything of that great stretch, UPG or otherwise, can border on possible madness.  Maybe the secret then is silence.  But not all men can do so.  

Books have been written and erroneously translated, in most cases, to conform to the translator's point of view.  Many more were written and continue to be written by using a very personal lens combined with UPG.  The end goal was and still is creative statehood and a considerable popular following with the followers choosing to blindly follow than striking out on their own.  There is less work involved when someone has made up your mind for you (not to mention some kind of damnation for non-belief).  Even the piercing of Jung's Collective Unconscious will not give you a true glimpse of the Infinite.  But it may give you a UPG that you will not fully understand (with the emphasis on Personal, it's just yours Pilgrim).  Even if you correctly understand your UPG experience, know that it cannot have meaning for others (do you believe that you are or can be the mouthpiece of the Gods? The interpreter of "their will"? )  It stands to reason then, that forcing it on others is not just wrong but can be brutally sadistic.  However, it's not all bad news.  

A UPG is personal to the individual.  Period.  If possible, it should be used by the individual for personal, positive development.  So, grow yourself.  Make a positive impact on your family, clan, tribe, and community.  Help those in need.  Die well, with your good name a shining star in the darkness of night.  Do not concern yourself with the Gods; concern yourself with yourself.  Do not pass from this life, like the man in the first paragraph, unaware of your own possibilities.  And you never have to tell a soul about your UPG.  

                              May you have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

                                              Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yule - The Rest of It

Modraniht.  Winter Solstice.  Ancestors.  So what of the other days?  Certainly you should give more than a passing word to the Landvaettir, especially if you garden, farm, or raise livestock.  And of course a blot/faining dedicated to the Gods always is a great thing to do during Yule.  But what of yourself?  

Time must be taken for personal introspection. Questions like, what did I do to advance my good name?  And, what did I do to put myself in an infamous position?  Did my plans for the  year bear fruit or did they fall way short?  Was I a good parent?  Was I a good spouse?  What can I do to increase my personal wealth and the wealth and welfare of my family, clan, and tribe? You must be brutally honest with yourself.  Yule is not just about eating, drinking, and having a good time.  It is also about growth.  Your growth.  Keep asking the tough questions - make your plan work.


Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Yule's Third Day - Ancestors

All those who have passed on before us are our Ancestors.  Some were great to good people, while others were well less than that; it is the nature of  all things.  Regardless of where your Ancestors fall  on the good to naughty scale, they are yours as are mine.  We carry them with us in our genes and  our DNA; this is an inescapable fact.  Life in all facets should be celebrated and Yule gives us this splendid opportunity.  

Do not be satisfied with just lifting a horn in praise to your Ancestors.  Set a full dinner setting to entice them to join you at table; let them feel your welcome.  For those whom you know, tell their stories.  It is important that the children hear and observe these things while all the while it is up to you to point out the importance of word and deed.  This time should serve as a clarion call to you; you want to leave this life with a good name.  Remember, one day you too will be an Ancestor for those who come after you ... people who forget their Ancestors also lose sight of the future.  Make sure that your story is filled with laughter and light.  

                                               Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger   

Monday, December 21, 2015

Yule's Second Day - Winter Solstice (2015)

Depending on where you are, Winter Solstice can be cold as hell.  For me and others who live on the Texas Gulf Coast, it's warm, a little to warm even for this time of year.  But, it is Yule and solstice is now.  

As a part of Yuletide, our Ancestors heartily embraced the Winter Solstice; Sunna's return, and her blessings of warmth, longer days, and the rebirth of field and forest.  Even in our modern era it is hard to deny the pleasure of the warmth of the sun and the greening of the fields - barren landscapes magically changing to life giving sustenance.  At Winter Solstice, the year turns from death to life, and darkness to light.  

At this Winter Solstice and those that follow, light a candle and lift a glass to Sunna and thank her for coming back to us with her love and life.   

                                                  Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger

Sunday, December 20, 2015

For Our Mothers - Modraniht

On the eve before Winter Solstice, we celebrate our Mothers, the female aspect of our family, clan, and tribe.  These are not are birth mothers or even our grandmothers; they are our ancestral Mothers, those spirits that have guided and nurtured our family lines for millennia.  

On the continent and in England they are known as the Matrons and in Scandinavia, the Desir.   These female deities were considered "local," or closer to the common man in his heart and experience than the Aesir and Vanir.  And throughout northern Europe, there are over 1,000 votive stones attesting to this devotion (over half of these stones host Germanic names for the matron goddesses, many others are Celtic, while others appear to be Celto-Germanic).  

 Modraniht is sacred to the Matrons, the Desir, Frau Holle, Frau Perchta, Freya, and Frigga.  These wonderful female goddesses were responsible for the health and welfare of their human charges as well as the fertility of family, field, and livestock.  Let them be so again; just ask.  After all, it stands to reason that we should be good to our Mothers.  

                                                 Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger   

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Yuletide Tune

Music and song are known to lift the spirit of all men.  I took the liberty to alter a popular X-mas song so it fits appropriately into Yule (don't be so smug - y'all know about the reverse side of this coin).  The song has twelve verses.  Only the last verse is written below.  That will give you the gist.  

On the twelfth day of Yuletide 
My real love gave to me-
Twelve acres yielding
Eleven hefty cows
Ten horses leaping
Nine runes a writing
Eight swords a swinging
Seven shields a shielding
Six pigs for feasting
Five arm rings
Four hunting hounds
Three game hens
Two wily hares
And a pheasant in a fir tree.

You know the tune.  Enjoy the verse.  Prost/Wassail/Skal !!!  Merry Yule to you and yours !

                                                       copyright @2015 Terry Unger

Monday, December 14, 2015

Things To Think About During Yule

Yule is the best time of year, but it is not all about eating and drinking.  For many of us, Yule is the Holiest time of the year.  That holiness demands reflection, Blot/Faining and Sumbel.  Here are some thoughts:  

1) Your Ancestors, the Desir/Matronae, the Landvaettir, and your immediate family.  

2) The Gods, Sunna's return (Winter Solstice), and Balder.  

3) Your friends, clan, and tribe.  

4) Your home, hearth, hospitality, and generosity.  

5) A review of the past year and planning the next.  

This Yuletide take time out from your revelries to delve into the spiritual side of Yule.  "Yule" be glad that you did.   

                                                      Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Keeping a Good Yule

It never fails.  Around the time of the American Thanksgiving the battle between Christian, Asatru, Heathen, and Pagan keyboard warriors lights up cyber space over the credibility/validity of Christmas versus Yule.  In my opinion, it is a waste of time for Heathens and Pagans to argue this point with Christians.  Take heart my fellow Heathens and Pagans:  our Yule Tree is not just older than their Christmas Tree but so much Bigger.  It is a historical fact that Yule was celebrated long before the supposed birth of Christ and that Christianity grafted Yule onto their Christmas for the sake of gaining, maintaining, and sustaining converts (this is a historical point, therefore not up for debate.  If in doubt, check out Professor Google and/or any university library).  For those wishing to celebrate Yule, your focus should be on this Holy Tide.

Keep this in mind:  we live in the 21st century, our Ancestors, obviously, did not.  What was common for them cannot be the same for us.  They struggled to survive the bitter cold, while we struggle to survive the holiday sales crowds.  This point can be elaborated ad nauseam, but this example, for thinking folks, should suffice.  Yule must be celebrated and enjoyed to the best of our/your abilities in our modern times.  And Yule is a great time for family, friends, clan, and tribe to create new traditions.  

Recently I posted, A Piece of Wood (or making Yuletide memories) on 11/30/2015.  This idea easily can be expanded to a larger group.  And, because of the larger group, it can be done over different Yule days at different locations; everyone participating gets a piece of wood from the various Yule Logs.  Then these saved pieces are given up to start the Yule Logs for the next year.

Trimming the Yule Tree can be a great group event; folks can travel to and from the various homes to do this deed.  Needless to say, hospitality comes to the forefront to make sure that there is plenty of Yuletide "cheer" to go around!  Also along these lines is group baking, and of course the sharing!

Many folks of northern European ancestry are involved with making mead, wine, beer, and ale.  During Yule, it could be fun to hold a "contest" featuring these brews.  But the makers beware!  He/she is held fast to gift all present with their winning brews!

Let's not forget the children.  Making various Yuletide crafts together can create lasting friendships. The kids can exchange their crafts among themselves.  Imagine the positive emotions this can generate when these kids are adults.  Imagine the bonds that can be built.  Imagine Yuletides woven together over the ages.  It's time to begin.  It's time to begin keeping a good Yule.

                                                Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Oh Tannenbaum

Many folks have been led to think that a Tannenbaum means "Christmas Tree."  It does not.  A Tannenbaum is a fir tree, an evergreen.  Period.  In 1824, musician Ernest Anshutz wrote the song, Oh Tannenbaum, based on Joachim Zarnack's tragic love story.  Zarnack's work was based on something even earlier from Germanic folklore.  In the song/story, a fir tree's symbolic traits of consistency, steadfastness, and fidelity are compared to a cheating spouse/lover.  From its origins, it had nothing to do with Christmas, but it was picked up and used as a Christmas song after Anshutz passed on.  It appears that Christianity wanted the fir tree to be a symbol that pointed the way to heaven and Christ, in addition to the heathen virtues of consistency, steadfastness, and fidelity.  Here Pilgrim, is something else for you to chew on.  

The German holiday greeting, Frohliche Weihnachten und ein Gluckliches Neues Jahr generally is translated as, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  However, that is not entirely correct; the error, I think, lies in the first two words.  Frohliche does translate like "merry or happy."  But Weihnachten does not directly translate as "Christmas," but rather Holy Nights, the latter referring to the  ancient twelve days of Yule.  

This Yule, as you deck your halls, hang the holly, and wipe clean your wassailing bowl, give thought to the consistency, steadfastness, and fidelity of the humble fir tree.

                                             Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger     


Monday, November 30, 2015

A Piece of Wood (Making Yuletide Memories)

As a young boy in late October, my uncles managed to haul out of somewhere a huge log.  Then they would cut it into pieces.  Being the  inquisitive lad, I asked as to why the cutting into pieces.  The answer came; it was simple, "We can't burn it all at the same time, that's why."  This was the family's Yule Log and it had to be burnt in pieces (there was no facility to burn the whole log at one time, so it happened as a cut piece at a time with a partially burnt piece to start the next).  This was a tradition that the family brought with them from "the old country."  And at the end of Yule, everyone was given a burnt piece.  It is my personal misfortune that I have lost my pieces given to me from so long ago.  But tradition and folkway can still carry on.  

Depending on your personal circumstances, a Yule Log tradition for your family can be done. Whether you have a huge fireplace, a fire-pit, or a simple BBQ grill, you can burn a log.  You have the option; burn one every day for the twelve days or just one, it's up to you.  What is important is the giving of a small piece of the charcoaled wood to family members, especially the kids.  Have them keep that chard wood in a cigar box, freezer bag, etc.  Every piece adds to tradition and our ancient culture.  It's the stuff from where stories are born and how culture continues.  

Note:  This writer will not debate anyone at anytime Christmas vs. Yule/ Yule vs. Christmas.  Long ago it was found that Yule predates the creation of Christmas by many centuries.  For those that have doubts, Professor Google and University Libraries have the data that supports this.  

                                             Copyright @ 2015/2016 Terry Unger     


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Leaving the Ranch (or leaving the patch on Black Friday)

Today is Friday, November 25th, 2016 - Black Friday.  The madness is upon us.  Consumerists barely get enough time to digest their turkey before they are called out to part with their money by the big box stores.  If you are Heathen, there are many fine Heathen shops on the Internet with which you can purchase gifts.  Spend wisely, gift wisely.

As stated, Sandra and I Did Not leave the ranch yesterday, Black Friday, November 27th, 2015; we had no desire to look like Rocky Balboa after his first fight with Apollo Creed.  Buying stuff that you don't need to impress people who just do not care is something that we do not get involved with. And, buying stuff to gift people to impress them with supposed largess is something that we just don't give a damn about; if we have to buy your friendship, you ain't worth it.  The art of gifting has nothing to do with buying "a Friend."   

Friends give Friends gifts; the relationship already exists, there is no need to create one.  The art of gifting helps to strengthen the friendship because it demonstrates compassion and empathy between people, friends.  And these gifts should come from the heart and not the depths of one's bank account; there is no need to impress a true friend with largess.  This Yule, be wise.  Don't leave your ranch and buy to impress.  Think with your head and give from your heart what matters.  In our time, real Friends are a rare commodity.   

                                               copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger



Monday, November 23, 2015

The Lessons of Krampus

This Krampus fellow, he is ugly.  And as ugly as he appears, so are the reasons for his existence; truth, honesty, and honor, of course, always leave an ugly footprint for those folks who seek the easy way around things.  

Half goat and half demon, Krampus bursts from German folklore as a son of Hel, the Germanic/Norse Goddess of the underworld.  Alpine tradition has it that Krampus is the counter-weight of St. Nick (not Santa Claus.  At this time, Santa does not exist). The day before 12/6, or Nikolaustag, the day that St. Nicholas rewards good kids with gifts, Krampus bags up all the rotten kids and takes them to his forest hide-a-way, to eat.  Krampus is a figure from folklore meant to scare kids into being good kids; it worked centuries ago and still works today.  So what of adults?  

Grown-ups need to understand that our behavior is what makes us what we are.  In short, we are our deeds.  As adults, there is no Krampus figure lurking around every life corner to make himself known.  As adults, we are supposed to know the difference between right an wrong.  But there are those who take the delusional path of wrong to force a distorted sense of right.  It is during this time that there are no absolutes, only gray senses of being that justify deviant behavior.  While the law of the land may or not be swift and just, wyrd and orlog are forever.  Maybe we should give Krampus a blank check to scare the hell out of all kids, always and everywhere to prevent them from going astray as adults (fear being a great motivator).  But alas, the PC police will not allow that to happen. Poor Krampus......  

                                               Copyright@ 2015/2016 Terry Unger    


Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Feast of Ullr and American Thanksgiving

This 11/24/2016 in the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day full of parades, food, booze, and football (as it is for most of us every year).  And in our modern age, there is no real need for us to hunt for meat; the supermarket provides everything.  It is  rather simplistic to state then, that our ancestors did not have this comfortable advantage.  To put meat on the table could have meant a death sentence and many times it was for our ancestors.  Therefore, it should not appear strange that our forbears called upon all that was holy to help them in their task.  At this time of year, they called upon a God known as Ullr to help them improve their skills.

In Old Norse, this God is the son of Sif and her husband Thor's stepson.  He is a God of winter and of the hunt.  And on the continent, it appears that he was known and worshiped as Wulthuz.  Ullr/Wulthuz is normally depicted on skies using a bow and arrow.  This fellow is so popular today that during January in Breckenridge Colorado, the folks there hold a week long festival called Ullr Fest.  But in the old days, people did not gather to ski and swill beer.

Times were tough and life was short - period.  Just venturing outside to the woodpile could be a life ending event.  Today, unless you live smack-dab in the middle of a combat zone, we face none of those life-ending events.  We have our supermarkets, our liquor stores, warmth in the winter, and coolness in the summer.  Maybe we should give thanks to Ullr for our largess.  Think about that when you are stuffing your face with turkey and surfing the channels for the latest half-time scores.

                                                     Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pre - Holiday Sale !

My books on Amazon are on SALE!  Amazon discounted the original prices and I do not know how long my books will remain at this low prices!  Did I mention that my books make great gifts?  They do! 

The View:  One Man's Living Asatru With Help From The Havamal

                  6 x 9 softcover - $12.03/ Kindle version - $6.00

The View:  Act II 

                 6 x 9 softcover - $12.00/ Kindle version - $6.00

The Reluctant Hero Trilogy (The Last Wizard - The Story of a Reluctant Hero, Son of the Morrigan, and Ragnarok) 

                6 x 9 softcover - $20.00/ Kindle version - $7.00

A Yuletide Anthology 

               6 x 9 softcover - $7.99/ Kindle version - $4.00 


              6 x 9 softcover - $6.00/ Kindle version - $2.00  

For book cover images look to your right and scroll on this blog.  

Just go to Amazon books and enter "Terry Unger"

                                              Copyright @2015 Terry Unger

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oh, What Filth !!!

The TV sitcom, Two and a half Men ended its run February 2015.  You either liked this show or you did not.  But it is interesting how a child star grows up and changes in front of his viewers' eyes.  

At the tender age of 16, this young man signed a contract worth $300,000.00/episode; add to that a $500,000.00 signing bonus (2010).  Two years later, this young man decides to convert to Christianity.  Well, jolly good for him!  

Appearing on a Christian radio program, he declared the show that paid him for over ten years to be, filth that contradicts his moral values.  Later he referred to himself as a paid hypocrite.  Nothing like chewing up the hand that feeds you.  Here is a thought or two about that.  

It is not at all unusual for the recently converted to be filled with religious zeal and for them to express it in various ways; put this on a shelf.  All honest work is good work; things like selling drugs, pimping women, and selling illegal firearms to criminals are not - a garbage man and a dishwasher have more honor than the latter.  So if a man has a change of heart (such as what happens in religious conversion) and refers to his employment as filthy and himself as a paid hypocrite, he has reached a moral dilemma.  

If a man, for any reason believes that what he did was filthy and dirty, it stands to reason that the money paid to do that job also is filthy.  It appears that to make one's self "clean," the dirty, filthy money should at the very least be given to charity.  But, this writer after searching, could not find any vast divestiture of monies from this young man: admittedly, I could have missed something.  So how filthy and dirty can that money be?  This writer does not hold any animosity whatsoever towards this young man.  Rather, I offer him the best of luck and Godsspeed.  For the rest of us, it serves as yet another learning experience.       

                                                   Copyright @2015 Terry Unger


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Standing in the Shadow of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

Everyone in the USA knows or should know the basic history of the Alamo located in San Antonio, Texas. Also known as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo as of 7/5/2015 became a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Very recently, my wife Sandra and I had the privilege of walking on this sacred ground.  For us, it was an emotional experience.  

The siege of the Alamo lasted 13 days.  On 3/6/1836, about 5:00AM, General Santa Anna launched his final assault.  He gave the order that all rebellious Texicans must be killed; it was a brutal hour and a half with no quarter given.  Eyewitness accounts put the total dead of the Alamo defenders at somewhere between 182 - 257.  And historians put the Mexican army dead at one third of the total of Santa Ana's troops (about 600).  Colonel William Travis died thinking that his letters for help were ignored.  They were not, but the politics of that time left the decision makers impotent.  But when the right time came about, General Sam Houston evened the score, and then some; it was payback time.  

On 4/21/1836, Houston and his small army attacked Santa Anna at San Jacinto.  Catching Santa Anna and his troops off guard, the fight lasted all of 18 minutes.  Travis's letters had their effect; the howl of "Remember the Alamo" caused Santa Anna to suffer at least 850 casualties and his very own capture as a prisoner of war.  Houston's army had less than a dozen casualties; legend has it that the San Jacinto River ran red with blood for days.  In a few days, Santa Anna gave up Texas and retreated south of the Rio Grande River, now the natural boundary between Texas and Mexico.  The history of this event in its' totality cannot be written in a short blogpost.  I urge you the reader to investigate; professor Google can be a big help.  

There will be those people who will question why my wife and I had an emotional experience at the Alamo.  The answer is a simple one:  we value our freedom.  The men at the Alamo in 1836 died to make Texas free from oppression.  We value their sacrifice.  Walking in their shadow makes their sacrifice an emotional one, at least for us.  

                                                 Copyright @2015 Terry Unger    


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Old Spice

Recently, my awesome wife Sandra thought that I would like a subscription or two to men's magazines (no, NOT Playboy, Hustler, or Penthouse.  These magazines are something that you can show your pre-Alzheimer's mother; definitely something in short order she will forget but something that would have amused your grandmother).  These publications, in my opinion, are short on substance and long on advertisements.  

There are plenty of ads for smokeless tobacco, booze, e-cigs, and yes fine cigars.  And, sandwiched between some sports articles and stories of manly men doing manly things, there are ads for men's fragrances.  These ads have a peel back section that allows you to smell/sample and see the price of the fragrance.  You have got to be kidding me; these men's fragrances smell like something that teenage age girls with raging hormones would stand in line for eight hours to purchase.  Do men really buy this stuff?  Obviously they do or they would not be featured in these men's magazines. What the hell happened to Old Spice and Aqua Velva?  

Nothing happened to Old Spice and Aqua Velva; they are still available.  However, they have been marginalized by these very feminine fragrances that men are supposed to and now do embrace. Why? Wait for it, here it comes.  Political Correctness has brought about the feminization of the American male; the term, it appears, is Metrosexual.  True masculinity is out and something between male and female is in, for men.  This is sad.  

Personally, I cannot imagine real men, masculine men of the past embracing these things; they would have kicked such things to the curb and lost not a moment of sleep in the process. Here is a hint:  Don't just try to smell like a man, be a man.  As for me, I will stick to my Barbasol, Old Spice, and Aqua Velva.  

                                                   Copyright@2015 Terry Unger   


Monday, October 19, 2015

Important Announcement !

My interview with Mythology Corner is released!  You can watch it at these venues:  

At this time I want to thank Syam Akella and his great production crew at Mythology Corner for an excellent job.  Also, Patrick Henry, my interviewer, did a great job at keeping things rolling.  And thank you, thank you, thank you to Mike and Amy Erwin, owners of Fantasia Crystals, LLC for providing the time and space !  

In my opinion, this is a ground-breaking interview for all involved.  The interview is punctuated by some great music and features the awesome artwork of Adriene Alden.  Watch the interview and see what all the excitement is about! 

                                                       Copyright  @2015 Terry Unger

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Winter Nights

It's that time of year.  As the Sun settles in the western horizon, a chill fills the air.  To our gaze, there are as many leaves on the ground as are on the trees.  And, the days are shorter while the dark of night intensifies.  It is the time of Winter Nights.  

Winter Nights is one of the original holidays celebrated by our northern European Ancestors (Ynglinga Saga/Heimskringla...the other two are Yule and Sigrblot/Ostara).  Modern Asatruars and Heathens mark this holiday between the mid to end of October (the Celtic Samhain, sometimes pronounced Sow - Inn is celebrated at the very end of October 31st and is not related to Winter Nights) and try to practice this holy period in a re-constructionist vein.  

For our Ancestors, it was the time to get ready for winter:  the final harvest, the butchering of animals  and the preservation of the meat.  It also was a time to give thanks to Mother Earth for her bounty.  But, great care was given to honor and praise other mothers.  

Female Ancestors and those known as the Disir/Matronae (the deceased women of family, clan, and tribe known for their positive contributions and Goddesses such as Frigg, Freya, Frau Holle, etc. The Disir/Matronae were Goddesses) were honored, remembered, and petitioned for aid and protection during the coming cold weather.  It was not unusual at this time for thoughts to turn to the female regenerative, healing, and life giving part of life.  

In the eyes of our Ancestors women in all of their aspects were important, as they should be today. All men (humans with a penis) need to look at their wives, daughters, grandmothers, and our Goddesses with a sense of awe, deep appreciation, and wonder, daily.  And, honor them with our memories, Blots, and Sumbels.  We must keep and properly honor the Tides.  

A certain decorum and behavior must be followed by all true Asatruars/Heathens.  This Winter Nights and for all of our Holidays, if you do not Blot and Sumbel you're doing nothing more than attending/hosting a BBQ or a pot luck supper; anyone can do that.

Suggested read - Matribus Germanis 2/25/16

                                                Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger   



Friday, October 16, 2015

The High Road

Arminius was the son of a Cherusci chieftain who was given up to the Romans to seal a treaty.  As this boy grew into a man, he also grew in stature in Rome; he excelled at everything.  Rome thought so highly of Arminius that they gave him a high military command and made him a noble.  To say that this so-called "barbarian" had it made in the shade would be putting it mildly.  But, he willingly gave up his life of wealth and Roman prestige.  

While in command of his troops on a journey north, Arminius came home for the first time since he was a boy, years ago.  He witnessed first hand how well the Romans honored their treaty with his fellow Cherusci; they didn't.  His people were suffering against the unfairness of the Roman yoke and it sickened him.  After some cloak and dagger maneuvering that involved uniting the Cherusci with the Marsi, Chatti, Bructeri, Sambri, and Chauci Arminius convinced the Roman commander Varus that a rebellion was afoot.  And Varus believed him.  

Following Arminius's directions, Varus took three full Roman Legions, Calvary Brigades, and auxiliary troops into the  Teutoburg Forest.  During a few days in early September, 9 CE, over 20,000 Roman troops were slaughtered (this defeat, the worst in Roman history, effectively ended Roman expansion east of the Rhine River).  It also ended Arminius's Roman wealth and prestige.    

There may be a few who may argue that Arminius did what he did to create an empire of his own; I do not believe that is what Arminius had in mind.  Rather, he saw his people, the Cherusci being given a raw deal by the Roman occupation; the Cherusci were his family, clan, and tribe - not the Romans.  Arminius freely gave up what the Romans gave him to help his people.  He could have turned his back on his fellow Cherusci, his family and lived a luxurious life in Rome, but he did not. Arminius took the High Road.    

                                                  Copyright @2015 Terry Unger

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Columbus Turns Over a New Leif?

Every second Monday of October is a federal holiday known as Columbus Day.  Government offices are closed as is all banks.  The retailers love this holiday; it is their jump-start for Christmas sales. On this date we are supposed to celebrate the life of a man who discovered "the new world."  But this man's life is not one to be celebrated but rather forgotten.  

This all started in the 1930's when the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's organization, wanted a Catholic hero to hold up to the nation.  They must of had some powerful lobbyists; President Roosevelt signed the holiday into law in 1937.  And ever since, we are supposed to celebrate the life of a murderer, rapist, and slaver.  

Columbus never, ever set foot on land that we know as the USA.  The first place he placed his foot on was an island in the Bahamas chain.  Then, he pushed off to walk on what we know today as Cuba; that's the closest he ever got to mainland USA.  He made a total of four voyages, all of them a disaster for the indigenous populations.  

This man made his fortune by becoming a master slave trader and had no qualms about selling girls as young as ten into sexual slavery.  In his lust for gold, Columbus is personally responsible for the genocide of thousands of native peoples; the island of Hispaniola, modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic, had at least 250,000 inhabitants - all dead within ten years of Columbus's arrival.  And, it appears that he and his son introduced the black slave trade from Africa into "the new world."  So you want to celebrate this man's life, a man who cut off the hands of indigenous people who did not bring him enough gold?  And then we have syphilis.  

The debate rages on as to who introduced syphilis to who; the Europeans to the natives or the natives to the Europeans.  What is not debatable is the massive uptick in deaths in the old and new worlds from this killer disease after Columbus's voyages.  How can a person in good conscience celebrate a man like this?  A person of conscience cannot.  In our time, a man like this would be sitting on death row waiting for a needle in his arm.  There is a solution.  

It is a fact that Leif Ericsson hit the beach in North America five hundred years before Columbus raped his first native girl.  It is a fact that there were at least two more voyages after Leif.  It is a fact that they made temporary settlements.  It is also a fact that these men (and women) did not stick around for long; the natives did not want these tall pale skinned fellows to partake of their beachfront property.  And these men did not rape, murder, or enslave anyone - history still refers to them as Vikings.  Here is an idea.  

A Catholic Christian men's organization is responsible for the creation of this horrid holiday.  The Sons of Norway can and should petition Congress to replace Columbus with Leif Ericsson.  It is the ethically, historically, and morally right thing to do.  

                                                Copyright @2015 Terry Unger


Friday, October 9, 2015

The Making of a Saint

According to Merriam - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, copyright @2007, a saint is - 1 : one officially recognized esp. through canonization as preeminent for holiness 2 a :one of the spirits of the departed in heaven  b : ANGEL 1a   3 a : one of God's chosen and usu. Christian people .... 4 : one eminent for piety or virtue .....
Recently Pope Francis canonized another man, Junipero Serra y Ferrer, O.F.M. into the Catholic Church's Hall of Fame (sainthood).  This writer has a question or two.  

Pope Francis spoke about how the Church had harmed the indigenous peoples of North and South America and asked for forgiveness during the  period known as the "colonial expansion."  And it is right well that he should; thousands died on both continents from a variety of reasons.  And then in the United States we have this thing known as "the Doctrine of  Discovery," circa 1823, which made the indigenous populations lower than second class citizens (another chapter of abuse).  

Francis, for whatever his reasons, pushed through Junipero's canonization by deleting a couple of steps.  Like the two verified miracle requirements (there was one, in 2013.  Supposedly a woman was healed after praying over a relic believed to be one of Junipero's.  Here, this writer must ask - how do you verify something like this?  In our age of science?  Did not hocus-pocus go out with the bath water after science became prominent? Oh yeah, faith right?)  Also, he by-passed the Vatican committee that supposedly makes the final approval (Four months after Francis declared that he would canonize Junipero Serra this group did approve Serra.  Because the Pope gets what he wants when he wants it).

There are some historians who state that Junipero Serra was an oppressor of the indigenous peoples of California: he forcibly made these folks give up their age old culture and heritage, while shoving conversion to Christianity down their throats.  And, he had no problem imprisoning, whipping, torturing, and working these people to death, all in the name of his religion and god.  Serra, like some many other churchmen, believed that indigenous peoples were like ignorant children who needed to be brought to Christ and "civilized," no matter what the cost.  Now many Native Americans, especially those in California, consider Junipero Serra a genocidal maniac and should not have been made a Saint; this writer agrees with them.  So why did it happen?

In my opinion, Hispanic Catholics within the USA make up a large segment of the population and many of them vote.  Is Francis trying to influence the vote here in the USA? Serra did hail from Spain. Only Pope Francis knows why he elevated Junipero Serra to his Catholic Church's Hall of Fame.  But a genocidal maniac does not fit into the definition given above.

                                               Copyright @2015 Terry Unger  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Living Simply

Gandhi said, "Live simply so others may simply live."  These are wise words.  But in my humble opinion, a person must to be able to live simply to make the second part of that statement happen. Too many people have chosen to not live simply; they have complicated their lives by willingly falling victim to our consumerist society.  In other words, they are up to their eye-balls in personal debt.  Every credit card is maxed out, and no money in the bank.  Life is lived paycheck to paycheck,  an unpaid sick day determines how well they will eat for that month.

Sure, we all need stuff.  The problem lies in how our wants are turned into needs by the hypnotic and constant blathering from corporations convincing us that their product(s) is something we cannot live without.  There is, I think a solution but it will appear to be too radical for many people and therefore not attempted.  The solution is a change of worldview.

Paraphrasing Gandhi, "Live simply so that You may simply live."  To me, living simply is about taking stock of your life and unloading excess baggage; if you are going to be honest, it will be a brutal assessment.  Dying with more toys than your neighbor is not only uncool, but foolish.

A few things could be mentioned to help live a simple life; an easy one is credit card debt consolidation.  Pay off the debt by floating a personal loan and cut up all the credit cards save one.  But, this is too easy.  All one has to do is telephone the destroyed cards' lending institution and bingo, they will send out a new card, possibly with a higher credit limit.  Let's not waste more time with financial solutions; you cannot run out and buy a simple, better life on the installment plan.  The roadblock to living a simple, contented life is not physical, mental, or emotional.  It is spiritual.

Most folks who were born and raised in the Western world are saturated with Monotheistic ideals, mainly, the salvation doctrine.  When clinging to this illogical doctrine, one gives up the present life in order to secure a place in some foggy unverifiable after-life.  But enough; I have written about this life denying world view in greater detail in previous posts.  People of northern European descent, in order to have a more spiritual life, need to go back to their roots.  Today, those roots are known as Asatru, the reconstructed folkway/religion of our northern European Ancestors.  After all, people will do better in what they are grounded in;  it's burned into our DNA.  It's that simple.  If you are floundering, google Asatru.  And maybe after some time, you too can simply live.

                                                       Copyright @2015 Terry Unger            


Monday, September 28, 2015


In life, wonders just keep coming.  After I finished my workout at the gym today, I followed routine and headed to the locker room.  When inside I saw an old man in obvious distress; he was wincing a bit in pain.  I asked if I could be of assistance.  He politely declined, telling me he just had some cramps in his stomach.  One thing led to another with me telling him that I was 65 years old.  He smiled at me and said, "You are are young man with many years left before you get to my age - 92."  He didn't look it.  His voice was firm and his eyes and mind were clear.  He went on to tell me that he comes to the gym everyday, although his normal comings and goings were in the evening with this day being an exception.  Somewhere in our conversation he mentioned that going to the gym every day helped him to feel better.   

It's been a while since someone referred to me as a young man (picturing in my head my best Mr. Muscles imitation).  But the real message is clear :  Never Give Up.  That message is for all of us, regardless of what we wish to accomplish.  NGU - Never Give Up.  I forgot to mention that the older fellow had a great walker, one of those with a seat, wheels, and hand brakes.  

                                                        Copyright @2015 Terry Unger

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Amazing Electric Clock Radio

For my fourteenth birthday, I asked my parents to gift me with a clock radio, a specific model; it is pictured above.  I took a big chance in asking because you did not dare ask for too much from them. But come my birthday there it was.  That was almost 50 years ago.  It has been with me from house to house, city to city, and state to state and always is to my left on a bedside night table.  It's amazing because it still works, perfectly.   

My AM/FM clock radio is ancient technology - transistors.  But when I plug it in and turn it on, it works.  For almost 50 years, this antiquated radio has entertained me and always got me up and out of bed on time.  And, the mechanical on/off/alarm switch is just as firm today as when I first turned it on.  Of course the sound is not high definition or even simple stereo, but it is crystal clear, and loud when I want it to be.  This amazing radio just works and I truly expect it to work long after I am gone from this life; it will make a fine gift for one of my grandchildren after I pass on.  But this radio is not and cannot be the totality of my legacy.

The older I get, the more I strive to leave a lasting legacy that my family will be proud to inherit.  And it is not easy.  As you age, the tendency is to slack off and relax.  Constantly I remind and push myself to positively excel.  The big question, Terry have you done enough?  Will my words and deeds be praised by those left behind?  Will my words and deeds delight my Ancestors?  Or will I fail my living family and Ancestors?  I don't know; that's why I must keep moving forward and striving to be the best I can be.  So what about you?  Are you satisfied with yourself?

And you thought I was going to rant about some kid in Texas who ripped the guts out of a circa 70's Tandy radio, stuffed it in a pencil box and claimed it as his very own.  Nope.

                                               Copyright @2015 Terry Unger  



Friday, September 18, 2015

Megaphone Man

Social media can give us many things:  the football teams your face book friends favor, the latest dirt on someone you don't like (let alone never met), the best in gossip about the rich and famous plus so much more.  Then we have the cry babies who feel it necessary to tell the world about their problems. If life has treated you so bad, please seek professional help; the majority of your "friends" don't care, although there always is a handful who feel the need to dole out their advice.  But none are professional mental health care providers.  It is amazing how people will take to the social media center stage with metaphorical megaphone in hand and announce to their hundreds or even thousands of "friends" their deepest angst.  So what would compare to this angst ringing in real life?  Here is one far fetched thought.    

It is half-time during the Super Bowl.  A person runs out onto the stage, megaphone in hand, and begins to whine.  The lion's share of the people may not even notice; to busy watching the show to see who will be next to have a wardrobe malfunction.  But a handful out of the 100,000 plus people will hear,see, and whisper, "that poor man."  Then security wrestles megaphone man to the ground and hauls his ass of to jail.  At his arraignment hearing the judge determines that megaphone man needs a psychiatric evaluation and off he goes to the funny farm.  In cyber space the whiner is left to his or her own devices, normally more whining.  That raises these questions:  could a social media whiner, "Oh poor, poor me," be a megaphone man in real time? Are they "for real" or just looking for attention, some emotional strokes?  And finally, what makes people do this?  

From the  "for what it's worth department and my humble opinion," 95% of these folks are lonely and want someone to talk to; they need a real friend or two.  If they had a friend that they could trust and confide in, cyber space would be less bitchy.  What about the remaining 5% you ask?  They are the lunatics and should be avoided; the 95% will not do as above, but the 5% will.  So don't be a megaphone man - go out and find a good friend that you can trust or fork over the dough to see a shrink.  And let the rest of us in peace to watch who will have the next wardrobe malfunction.  

                                                Copyright @2015 Terry Unger 


Monday, September 14, 2015

My Latest Book Published

I am pleased to announce that my latest book, The View - Act II is now available.  Act II is a continuation of the work started in The View - One Man's Living Asatru With Help From The Havamal.  Both books look at the human condition through a Heathen/Asatru lens.  

As of this date, the 6 x 9 softcover is available on the CreateSpace e-store.  In 3 to 5 days it will be available on Amazon USA and Europe.  Expanded distribution will be available in 6 -8 weeks.  The Kindle version should be available in 3 days.  

                                                         Copyright 2015 Terry Unger

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Simple Man's Guide To Fix Social Security

There are days when I have trouble cobbling together one or two sentences.  Also understand that I am neither an accountant nor an economist.  But I cannot help but think that our elected officials like to dramatize for press and votes.  And the solvency of Social Security has many of them trying to yank your heartstrings.  But does it have to be that way?  Maybe not.  

The other day I had a great encounter with a young man (mid twenties) who is working hard to secure his future.  When it came to Social Security he flat out told me that there would be nothing there for him and his generation.  He would continue to pay in, he said, but only to pay the "bill" for me and my generation.  Those words were spoken   without malice but with a certain amount of resignation; it was sad to hear.  I believe that we can do better; we can solve the problem.  There are three things that can be done "fix" Social Security once and for all (remember, I am not an economist nor an accountant).  

Most people know that the federal government "borrowed" heavily from the Social Security Trust Fund to fund a variety of "things."  Well, it's time for the government to pay up.  Good luck with that. Pigs will fly before that happens.  This does not mean that it's not impossible.  It means that other methods are quicker and easier to implement (probably easier for our elected officials to get their collective minds around - AKA how many votes will it cost me).  

Only a handful of states do not have a lottery program.  The Federal Government could, through the Department of the Treasury, hold four lotteries a year.  This program would generate capital well beyond the stated prize monies and expenses.  These "profits" then go to the Social Security Trust Fund.  And we did not raise personal taxes.  

The so-called war on drugs is a dismal failure.  How many billions a year spent - hold that thought.  Personally, I have a very hard time with hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, PCP, Meth, etc.  But these things are not marijuana, something that grows in the soil.  Maybe it's time for the government to revisit the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, legalize nationwide medical marijuana and allow family farmers to plant and harvest Industrial Hemp (surprise - before the MTA of '37, this stuff was legal.  Industrial Hemp has no active cannibinoids.  It's the stuff our ancestors, founding fathers, etc., planted to make stuff with - google it).  If the federal government would legalize medical cannabis and then tax and regulate it in the same manner that they tax and regulate booze and cigarettes, the lion's share of the monies collected could be funneled into the Social Security Trust Fund.  Again, personal taxes are not raised to bulk up Social Security.  But there is another step.  

In the previous paragraph it was stated (my opinion) that the war on drugs is a failure but still has a billions a year price tag.  Maybe it's time to declare victory and call it over.  The federal government can take the monies now freed up from the war on drugs to pay down its debt to the Social Security Trust Fund - and pigs do not have to fly!  Further savings can be had by folding the DEA and the ATF into the FBI.  These ideas are radical; don't hold your breath for them to take place.  

These ideas do not raise personal taxes, they do not increase the personal/employer deduction/contribution of the current 6.2 percent.  They do not eliminate the current income cap. They are but simple ideas from a man who sometimes has trouble cobbling two sentences together. 

                                                     Copyright @2015 Terry Unger  



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Book Coming Soon - The View Act II

A snippet from my author's preface- 

               Author’s Preface – The View Act II

When asked what was on tap as my next project, my stock answer was a sequel to THREE TALL TALES.  Over time, I simply changed my mind; I no longer wanted to go in that direction.  But all the while, I was writing many relevant blog posts (or so I’m told).  It seemed natural then, that I publish another View. 

I chose Act II over part II for a particular reason.  It appears to me that all of us, regardless of what religion we have chosen to follow, are actors in a grand cosmic scheme that can be and is altered by the actors themselves.  For those folks who follow the ancient folkway known as Asatru, this is known as Wyrd and Orlog; we are our words and deeds. 

Currently, we are looking at a publishing date of 10/01/2015 or sooner.  

                                    copyright@2015 Terry Unger 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Man

Two thousand years ago men were responsible for the safety and welfare of their spouse, family, and  home.  In our 21st century, the responsibility remains the same, just the pathway to accomplish it is different (very few men have to plant or hunt to provide for their family).  Today men can provide the material safety and welfare for spouse and family through employment or self-employment.  But is providing food, clothing, and shelter enough?  The short answer is no.  

All humans need attention, affection, and love over and above the basic material needs.  Men need to remain in total fidelity to their spouses; a man's spouse should always be the love of his life - his rose beyond all comparison, his pearl of great price.  Daughters look to their fathers for strength and what is good in a man.  And sons need to be taught by their father what it takes to be a good, solid, protective, and productive man and not a canker sore on the backsides of  those responsible for a positive and productive society (something that is not lost on the daughters of today).  Spouses and children need to be pushed up, not pushed down, loved and never ignored.   These things are a part of a man's responsibility to his spouse, children, and society; it is a broad form of caring and loving.  Weak men and men not ready or willing to sacrifice should not apply.  It takes a tough man to love like that.   When a man does this he can truly say that he is "The Man."    

                                                    Copyright @2015 Terry Unger     

Unity of a Forgotten Kind

The world and all it contains, both seen and unseen stands with mankind in a state of consubstantiation.  Our ancestors understood this as...