Thursday, September 22, 2016

Your Personal Traveling Companion - The Fylgja

Within Germanic/Norse thought, belief, and myth the fylgja is considered a spirit that follows or accompanies a human person through out their earthly assistance (Christianity conveniently picked up on this and called it a person's guardian angel).  But is our fylgja an animal or a female human, or both?  

In an effort to keep this simple, and in my opinion, your fylgja is "female" and has the form of a female person.  The idea of an animal fylgja comes down to us via our shamanic past; the belief that people could turn their "shape" into an animal.  If a person "sees" his animal fylgja in a dream or vision he is "seeing" an animal, representative of, or if you like, a reflection of his character, personality, and alter ego - period.  It is not your companion/guardian.  The only thing that the animal fylgja and female fylgja have in common is the name - fylgja.  And sorry, there is no such thing as a man/male fylgja.  I will not exhaust this essay with examples about animal fylgja types.  That is something for the individual person who wants to scratch his curiosity to do.  So what about the female?  

All of us have at least one female fylgja; families, clans, and tribes have more.  But for now, let's just consider the individual.  They are with us from birth (or at least after some kind of naming ceremony) and escort our Hugr/Munr, our soul complex, into some sort of after-life.  When allowed, they are our personal counselors, advisers, and companions (allowed in this sense refers to a person's efforts to contact and then maintain a functional relationship with his/her fylgja - a topic for another day).  Our fylgja can protect us and helps us gather and  manage Magan.  There are folks who believe that the fylgja dies when its human charge dies; that is incorrect.  That thinking is based on the animal fylgja concept, which is as stated above.  Our fylgja could very well be our personal Matronae/Disir of ancient Germanic/Norse myth and legend - that makes them minor Goddesses.

SHE, your fylgja, always is close to you, ready to protect you and give you sound advice; you belong to Her as much as She belongs to you.  And if you have an especially close relationship, she will morn your passing, and possibly hang around your grave.  And if her expression of grief is strong enough, the Old Germanic/Norse myth and legends tell us that She can appear to passers-by and frighten them away, much in the same manner as your surviving Hugr/Munr (see - Your Personal Ravens - Hugr and Munr, 9/20/2016 on this blog).  So here then, is another example of the so-called draugr/revenant of the Old Tales.  The whole zombie thing is misunderstood and so over-rated, don't you think?

Also see on this blog;  For Our Mothers - Modraniht ...12/20/2015  
                                    Matribus Germanis ..... 2/25/2016  

Author's Note:  It is important to remember that the Hugr/Munr reside within you and you can learn how to "send them forth."  The fylgja, while being attached/a part of you resides outside of you.  Also understand that your fylgja is not a slave.  You cannot order Her around like a  pet.  Should you attempt to do so, it is one sure way that She will leave you.  

                                                    Copyright 2016 @ Terry Unger

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Your Personal Ravens - Hugr and Munr

To paraphrase an old saying, there is nothing new under the Sun plays well for this and some of my other blog posts.  Here it is......Astral Projection!!!  Oh that is so "New Age!"  It is not.  Wise men, Shamans, and Vitkis the world over were doing it millennia before the supposed birth of the baby Jesus.  And they are still doing it, along with the common man (yeah I know, this will make some Heathens wince, or worse).  

We know from reading the Edda's that Wodan/Odin has two ravens, Hugin and Munin.  Also, we are told that Hugin often refers to thought while Munin is mind.  But could not Munin also be Munr and Hugin, Soul/Spirit?   In my opinion, it is indeed possible.  Munr and Hugr are components of the Germanic/Norse Body/Soul Multiverse; Munr is your mind and Hugr is your Soul/Spirit.  These are the things that "live on" after you "pass on."  

Even though  Munr is a separate component, it is contained within the Hugr.  The fascinating thing is that this combined entity of yours can leave your body.  This can happen when you are sleeping or with practice, at will.  This should not shock you.  What do you think our Ancestral shaman's and vitkis were doing when they "went to other worlds?"  And what about your dreams that seem "out of this world?"  

According to our Lore, we know that daily, Odin/Wodan sends his Ravens Hugin and Munin forth, to see what was going on in the rest of the Multiverse.  Here, in my opinion All-Father was practicing astral projection.  Some folks may find this objectionable, because well, All-Father is a God.  That is truth.  But the Gods, infinitely more advanced, are made of the same stuff as we, and can possibly die.  And it appears that All-Father was concerned that one day his ravens, Hugr and Munr (mind and soul?) would not return to him - The Grimnisal.  Was Odin/Wodan concerned about losing his mind? Or dying?  

The myths and legends of many cultures discuss the concept of astral projection and not just within the scope of shamanic work; the best source for now is the Internet.  And there are articles from the so-called experts.  These fellows give enough information to the seeker to let his personal ravens loose on the world.  According to some, should the practitioner get that good at willful projection, people will literally "see him."  That brings up another thought.  

The Germanic/Norse myths and legends are full of stories about draugr and revenants.  In my opinion, these two spooky beings very well could have been astral projections (or something else - sorry kids, that's for another blog post).  

As stated in the first sentence, there is nothing new under the Sun; it's just expressed in different ways and with different words.  It is a serious misfortune that the Germanic/Norse culture did not have the opportunity to flourish like the Greek and Roman - we know who that culprit is!  If it had, I am confident that the warrior-poets would have evolved into serious writing philosophers, along the lines of Rome's Marcus Aurelius.   Then, the Northern Path would have produced scholars equal to and even greater than the best Rome or Greece could muster.   But, we must move forward without that light to guide us.  

                                                  Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

Friday, September 16, 2016

The View

Recently a young man asked me why I wrote the three View books - a very honest and up front question.  I told him that if he bought me a beer or two, I would readily answer.  He did, and this is what I told him.  

It is a rare that someone asks an author "why" they wrote anything.  Often it's assumed that the author wrote a book for some creative reason, or for the reading pleasure of the public.  In other words, the author wrote the book to entertain a segment of the reading public, much like television writers bang out TV episodes for an adoring audience.  As sure as the sky is blue on a bright sunny day, that was not my reason.  The Views were written to ask a man (or for that matter a woman) a simple question or two.  In the wake of political correctness and the numbing of the individual they ask, do you have the right stuff and ... are you a good man?  

All three use the same work book type format:  a written essay is followed by verses from The Havamal.  What  comes after the verses is/are one or several questions, along the lines of...... what is your opinion, how do you feel about that, what do you think, etc.  These are probing questions with ample spaced provided for the individual reader to answer in writing.  And, this is not a test; there is no right or wrong answer.  

The essays first breathed life as individual blog posts, with my eye on bringing bringing them together under The View titles; in many cases, I was a bystander or an active participant.  As they say, shit happens.  But not every blog post I wrote found its' way into The Views; they did not fit the desired mold, although they do have the desired starch to stand on their own.  

It was a painful experience to pair individual essays with the proper Havamal verses and then write out the appropriate questions - the results I wanted depended on this delicate pairing.  A few of my readers have told me that they were surprised with the answers they wrote; it made them think.  And thinking about do I have the right stuff I a good man....should lead the thoughtful man to action.  Action, deeds that will make him a force for good.  Deeds that will be remembered long after he passes from this life.  And while The Views are directed at Asatruar/Heathens, men and women of any stripe can find them useful.  That is why I wrote The Views; there will not be a fourth.  Three manuals about personal improvement are enough.  

                                                    Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inconvenient Truths

Every time I think about written history I whine to myself about how incomplete it is.  And by incomplete I am referring to not having it all in one gigantic volume, with the various reference points to take the seeker to the answers of "why."  It would be interlocking, answer all questions, and dispel all mysteries.  Even if this could be accomplished it would take a fleet of 18 wheelers to transport it.  But who am I kidding; general, written history is full of blank spaces.  

Humanity, within its' various factions competing for supremacy, has managed to wipe out some of this historical information.  This shit happens when books are burned, libraries are torched to the ground, and practitioners of truth are put to death.  All of this has happened with Monotheism being the biggest culprit.  However, we do have written accounts that have come down to us, written by Christian writers of that time, that help modern historians paint a picture that is different from what authority wants us to believe.  

The general rule of thumb is that Christianity "conquered" Europe when Iceland made its' decision (about 1000 CE).  Not so.  Let's take a step back about 150 years. 

The 30 Year Saxon Wars were brutal but the people, the Saxon people were restless.  The Lex Saxonum, the Law of the Saxons codified by Charlemagne, allowed the nobility, the upper crust to insanely increase their wealth at the expense of he common man; the common man was exploited. something Monotheism does very well.  Long after Charlemagne's death but during the rule of his grandsons. the common man came together and called themselves Stellinga.  

The Stellinga (comrades - Stellingabund) was comprised of freemen (frilingi) and freedmen (lazzi).  These two "classes of people" were the lower and lowest rung of Saxon social status.  These folks wanted to toss Christianity and return to the way things were before the Christian usurpation; a return to ancient tribal customs that would restore their rights.  The struggle of the Stellinga went on from 841 - 845 when they were finally crushed by their own nobility.  Monotheism, under the pen of Charlemagne took away their rights and gave their overlords the power of life and death over them, something that was not just missing but totally foreign to their ancient ways.  Let's jump a few centuries.  Let's talk about blood lust.  

Christian Crusaders were defeated by Saladin in the so-called Holy Land circa 1187 CE ; they were kicked out and went back to Europe.  These fellows were down on their luck and resorted to the common practice of looting, pillaging, burning, and raping within their home countries to provide themselves with an income.  Here is where I get my wrinkles rankled.  The chaos created by these "Christian Knights" is a historical fact but how often does the general public here about it?  But how often do we hear about the "barbarism of the Heathen Vikings?"  Think about this point.  I digress.  

The popes of that era were not happy with these guys and decided to send them on another crusade.  They sent them to the pagan Baltic states; the papacy did not care about the rape, looting, burning, and pillaging that was done to heathens - it was all done for the faith.  And the major motivation at that time was land and money (for the Church and for the upper nobility).    

Two hundred years of bitter fighting ensued, with the death toll of Balkan folk to be one million or more.  Finally in 1387 CE, Lithuania officially accepted Christianity but her western territories did not come in line until 1413 CE.  Balkan nobility readily accepted Christianity along with the unlimited exploitation granted by this foreign usurper:  free men were made into serfs and told that a good Christian must work hard for his overlord.  But this fight was not over.  Within their homes and forest deep, the old religion was practiced well into the 18th century.  This was something that was practiced through out northern Europe, either in some actual form, folkway, or folk tales (an in-depth study of the Reformation will tell about Protestant reformers finding pockets of  heathenry/pagandom and how they treated the "heretics." - worse than the Roman Inquisition).  

It is hard to write about such a broad period of human history; the more you search, the more you discover and thus a larger story emerges, something I alluded to with the reference of 18 wheelers.  And, it certainly calls into question anything remotely related to a "complete Christian victory."  

If Christianity had truly conquered northern Europe, the Roman Church would not of had a people to launch a crusade against and the Protestant Reformation would not have discovered vast pockets of "heretic heathens."  Also, if victory was complete, what folklore would have survived?  After 3 or 4 generations it would have evaporated like the morning dew.  Now, heathenry/paganism is growing by leaps and bounds in the Baltic States and Russia (much to the chagrin of the Russian Orthodox Church, who encouraged the people's practice of their ancient folkways).  A bit about myself.

Admittedly, I have grown lazy.  All of the information above and so much more can be found in University Libraries.  However, I chose the Internet for the above.  Frankly, you will need "a fleet of 18 wheelers" to haul it away; you will discover there is much more to this history than "complete victory."

Note:  the picture above is of a popular Baltic States sculpture (called - The Pensive Christ) depicting Jesus.  In my opinion, there is nothing victorious about it.

                                                  Copyright @ 2016 Terry Unger

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 11th, 2001

To borrow from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, September 11, 2001 is a day that will forever live in infamy within the hearts and minds of Americans.  Make no mistake, it was a sucker punch that caught us by surprise.  And that surprise came with a hefty price tag; almost 3,000 people of all colors and creeds paid for it with their lives.  Americans who reached the age of reason by 9/11/2001 will never forget what happened that day; hopefully unborn generations will be properly taught.  

All of us remember what we doing when those planes hit the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and then the downing of the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, in Shanksville Pennsylvania.  How could we forget?  What kind of person could forget the poor souls who decided to jump out of the Towers instead of burning to death?  We saw it in real time - it was not a dream.  Who in their right mind could forget the bravery and sacrifice of the NYFD and the NYPD?  They were the first responders.  Do you remember how many of their number died trying to save others?  Do you remember the scene at the Pentagon when people of all stripes (including then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) were carrying out the injured?  And how could you ever forget the bare, raw knuckled courage of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, who decided to make their deaths matter - Let's Go!  

Fifteen years later we are still faced with the same forces of aggression and oppression.  These forces want to destroy our way of life and will do everything they can to beat us into submission.  As long as we keep the memory of 9/11/2001 burning bright, they will never succeed.

                                                            Terry Unger 09/11/2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Treadmill and the Poor Law

The other day I needed gas and stopped at the local convenience store to top up.  As a walked from my truck to the store I noticed a really sad sight:  a homeless woman, old and ravaged by her situation, squatting between the ice machine and the building's corner outcrop.  After I paid for the gas, I walked to her spot and gave her a few dollars; I was not the only one.  She was so frail and her clothing was past well worn and, ashamed of her situation - she could not look at me when I extended my hand that held a few dollars; even her "thank you" was frail and barely audible, tinged with defeat.  She was not a professional panhandler.  She was homeless and alone.  An hour or so later I drove by the store and noticed that she was gone.  The following day I stopped by the store and asked about this poor wretch.  The manager, I was told, forced her to leave; bad for business, you know.  WTF?  Then I remembered this scene from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol........ 

Two gentlemen are out and about collecting charitable contributions for the poor and destitute from the local business men:  

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentlemen taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.  Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."   

"Are there no prisons," asked Scrooge.  

"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.  

"And the Union workhouses?"  demanded Scrooge.  "Are they still in operation?"  

"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."  

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then." said Scrooge.*  

Obviously homelessness and destitution is not something new and neither is the turning a blind eye to it.  We take for granted many things and consider little.  Many of our homeless had something and lost it, including their personal dignity.  Now we have men and women of our Armed Forces being neglected.  And how often do we take the sacrifices of our Service Men and Women for granted?  They come home broken in mind and body to a health care system that itself is broken.  At least 20 and more Veterans commit suicide a day; how many homeless die daily is hard to figure since they are considered human refuse.  The homeless who die on our streets and the Vets who commit suicide always die alone; they are destitute, lonely, and broken.  Within my own mind I do not have a quick solution to put an end to all of this.  But I do have the strong opinion that it should not happen at all.  

The Havamal tells us:  

**Verse 22 - A man who is small minded and laughs at others is not without faults and flaws of his own. 

**Verse 47 - Once I wandered and was lost; sadness overcame me.  Then I came across a friend and felt elated.  Men fair much better when together. 

**Verse 50 - A man who is alone, shunned, and not loved questions why he should keep on living.  He is like a tree or a garden, dying for lack of water. 

**Verse 135 - Loddfafnir, listen to my words.  If you have a guest or even a stranger in need, help them.   

If you are Christian, reading this and are confused, go to your bible and read the tale of The Good Samaritan.  And hopefully you will see the irony in the tale:  the Samaritan is a polytheistic pagan helping an orthodox Jew who was left for dead (his own people would not help him).  The irony is that the orthodox Jews hated the pagans.  

I am a simple man of simple means.  Here comes the but - when I read reports of how much money we give to countries whose people hate us it gives me pause.  Why not use some if not all of that mega cash for our own people in need?  But then, I am a simple man, best fit to perch on my front porch and slurp beer.  

* A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, December 1843  

**These Havamal verses can be found in my book, The View From My Front Porch Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved.  

          Copyright @2016/2018 Terry Unger All Rights Reserved


Unity of a Forgotten Kind

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