TikTok is the Tip of the Iceberg

On the surface it can be viewed by some that TikTok is being unfairly criticized for some similar privacy concerns that exist on other social media outlets. While that is true, a key nuance many are overlooking is just what a huge difference it is with geo-politics when the app is owned by a Chinese company.

This is a map of how China views their world.

Asian map focusing on China's eastern border and the Pacific Ocean.

China is hemmed in by geology and their neighbors, their one area of growth is to the Pacific. Their best access to the Pacific is in a narrow sea lane from the Yellow Sea, to East China Sea, to Phillipine sea then out to the wider Pacific Ocean. This means they are hemmed in by countries allied to varying degrees with the United States (many home to US military bases): Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan.

It’s rare when you see non partisan members of the U.S. legislature united in the same concerns. According to CIA intelligence reports, China has been told to prepare to take back Taiwan by 2027. Their Naval expansion is already alarming and still planning to grow.

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Cultic Worship to Loki – Revised & Expanded

Did you know we have possible evidence of cultic worship to Loki from antiquity?

Al-Tartuschi (also known as Ibrahim ibn Yaqub) hailed from the Cordoba Caliphate (specifically the Al-Andalus area from the Iberian peninsula), and wrote of his travels abroad in Europe in 961 – 962 CE.  He records seeing worship connected to the Sirius star in Hedeby, Denmark. The population size is estimated to have been around 1500-2000 people. Hedeby of the time was a commercial center populated by a range of groups: Danes, Frisians, Franks, Germans, Swedes, and Slavs. So that suggests to me the possibility for a much wider dispersion of the practice outside of Hedeby.

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We are the Gatekeepers

Recently I was told of a gathering where a friend after a recent move had visited a nearby group for the first time, only to unfortunately discover they polluted their faining (ritual) by catering their religious space for atheists while undermining the sacred for the Heathens.

I was absolutely flabbergasted and appalled. To be Heathen is to be a polytheist. If you don’t believe the gods are unique holy powers with their own agency, if you do not venerate them as such, then by definition you are not a Heathen. Our sacred spaces and places are not to be adapted to a worldview that is absolutely antithetical to our existence. If someone chooses to be an atheist, that’s their right. But removing the Gods or to allow discussion in ritual space that they are not real to make the atheists comfortable is irrefutably wrong. To permit such blasphemy in our sacred spaces is tantamount to destroying our own tradition. The group in question apparently tried to justify it by pointing to the concepts of hospitality found within the ancient Heathen worldview, but they failed to account for the fact that different rules and cultural norms applied for our sacred spaces and rites, versus the secular sphere of life.

In the skaldic poem Austrfararvísur (written circa 1019 CE) we have a first hand account by Christian skald Sigvatr Þórðarson (995–1045 CE) as he traveled through Sweden on a diplomatic mission to jarl Ragnvald Ulfsson. While en-route he and his companions sought out a place to stay for the night. He was refused hospitality at three different heathen farmsteads because it was the sacred time of Álfablót and he was Christian. One of those exchanges follows:

‘Gakkat inn,’ kvað ekkja,
‘armi drengr, en lengra;
hræðumk ek við Óðins
— erum heiðin vér — reiði.’
Rýgr kvazk inni eiga
óþekk, sús mér hnekkði,
alfablót, sem ulfi
ótvín, í bœ sínum.

‘Do not come any farther in, wretched fellow’, said the woman; ‘I fear the wrath of Óðinn; we are heathen.’ The disagreeable female, who drove me away like a wolf without hesitation, said they were holding a sacrifice to the elves inside her farmhouse.

R. D. Fulk 2012, ‘ Sigvatr Þórðarson, Austrfararvísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1
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Hate without a home – AGAIN.

My not-so-nice, super unfriendly neighborhood Hate Cult that so many have been fighting against is getting the boot again. Per a youtube update by the pastor posted on December 18, 2022 the church has to move out, and no one will lease to them.

Gee, could it have something to do with the fact you preach death and violence and your hateful rhetoric is infamous at major international, national and local news media outlets. Several churches in the area have issued statements AGAINST you too. Plus, you have a number of pending lawsuits including some for embezzlement, and damages to a previous landlord. This means that they’ll have only had about a half year at this location.

While this is a victorious battle, the war is still before us. Last time they were homeless they started renting out hotel meeting room space until they found a new space.

The link below contains research on the cult and an outline of the struggle against them.

Sunwait – A Countdown to Yule

Yule is one of our most sacred times of the year. Not only do we have the twelve days of Yule usually bookended by Mother’s Night and Twelfth Night in our observances, we also have other celebrations like Krampusnacht (and with it the rebranding of Saint Nicholas’ Day as Oski’s Day), Lussinatt, and more throughout December and through the wassailing season, which concludes by early January. So many folk customs have persisted from what were once surely pre-Christian practices, that we get excited to have so much we can sink into as we celebrate the holy tide. We also are opportunistic, seeing traditions from mainstream religious observances around us and deciding to do our own thing that speaks to our own religious pathways.

In modern times, heathens have created a new tradition in the 21st Century known as Väntljusstaken (literally, candles we light to wait) or Sunwait. Sunwait began specifically in Sweden, and it quite intentionally was started to echo Christian advent style countdowns towards Christmas. Sunwait starts six weeks before the winter solstice, and is an anticipatory lead-in towards Yule. One candle is lit per week leading up to Yule. Each candle is also symbolically tied to the first few elder runic letters: ᚠ – Fehu, ᚢ – Uruz, ᚦ – Thurisaz, ᚨ – Ansuz, ᚱ – Raido, ᚲ – Kenaz. Traditionally Thursday evening’s at sunset is when each candle would be lit, but others have created timings that work for them instead. Some decide to have it coincide with Friday’s because of work schedules, or choose instead to have each week fall on the same weekday as the winter solstice does in that given year. Still others opt to observe it on Sunday, since that day of the week is named for the solar goddess Sunna.

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Iðunn – Norse Goddess of the Apples

While it may not feel like autumn yet in Texas, I always in particular venerate Iðunn (or Idunna), an ásynjur (one of the Norse Goddesses). Her most well-known story involves her abduction by a giant, which causes the gods to age thus revealing her important ties to vitality. Iðunn is known within Skáldskaparmál as the Gods’ Lady, and indeed this is because the vitality (and therefore immortality) she provides is gifted to all of the Gods and Goddesses. While she is part of my regular praxis throughout the year, I always feel her most strongly in autumn through the winter. I decided to do an exploration into her heiti and kennings. There’s a lot to unpack here, and I feel like there’s much more that I’ll be musing upon for a long time to come too.

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Open Halls is Shutting Down

Husband and wife, Josh and Cat Heath, who have long been the operating force and co-directors behind the Open Halls Project have announced that they are shutting down. For those unfamiliar with the Open Halls Project, Josh Heath was on active duty in the US Army from 2006 to 2011 (deployed 2008-2009 In Operation Iraqi Freedom). He saw a need and decided to act upon it. He wanted to make it easier for military heathens to find heathens wherever they might be posted, both civilians and other active duty or veteran military heathens. That included penpals, care packages, connecting heathen clergy, kindreds and other believers. It evolved into making resources for military chaplains available. It had been an over decade fight by others (including the Heaths) to get pagan and heathen symbols approved for veteran tombstones. There was a national rally on the Washington mall in DC on July 4, 2007 towards this end. The pentagram was added in 2007, and the mjollnir added in 2013. (You can view the symbols at the official Veteran’s Affairs emblem database).

The Heaths decided that they wanted to tackle getting the religion added to the US Army. On June 16, 2011 they put the call out seeking US Army soldiers (past and present) who identify as asatru or heathen, as they were working with other organizations to get heathen/asatru added to the religious preference list for the US Army.

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The Holy Tides – Hlæfmæsse and Freyfaxi


When it comes to religious, pagan celebrations most people are familiar with the eight holy days or sabbats that comprise the Wheel of the Year, such as Lugnasadh. In the Northern Tradition, we do not call these celebrations sabbats. Instead, based on words (like the Old Norse hátíðir) used to describe the most holy of these celebrations (like Yule) as high tides, we tend to call the various religious celebrations we recognize today as holy tides (since not all of the holy tides are considered high tides).

Since we practitioners of the Northern Tradition are dealing with a general umbrella culture that existed in vast plurality we look to ancient Germanic, Scandinavian (Norse, Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, etc.) and Anglo-Saxon sources. It is important to understand that these ancient cultures reckoned time in different ways in comparison to one another or to the modern world. They existed in different latitudes, lived amongst different types of geography with unique climate conditions that affected the local agricultural cycle. This means that sometimes the timing between when one group would celebrate and another would celebrate a similar type of holy tide could be several weeks apart.

Sometimes we can see an obvious and clear link between these cousin cultures to a specific holy tide like Yule, in other cases things are a bit less clear, or the celebrations of the different groups can sometimes seem vastly different even when they have a similar root, or some celebrations may be unique and not echoed in extant sources elsewhere.

Hlæfmæsse translates in our modern English tongue to Loaf-Mass, and is sometimes also called Lammas, we have numerous instances in Anglo-Saxon literature that talk about this particular Christianized celebration and some of the traditions attached to it. Since mass denotes a Christian ritual, some have theorized that the pre-Christian name for this holy tide may have been Hlæfmæst (feast of loaves), and for this reason some Heathens will use this name instead. That theory may not be far off reality. The ninth century text, Old English Martyrology, refers to August 1st as the day of hlæfsenunga, which translates to ‘blessing of bread’.

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Interviewed in The Wild Hunt’s story – No Hate in Texas group continues to protest and speak out

The Wild Hunt came to the June 26, 2022 protest of Stedfast, my not so friendly neighborhood cult that wants so many people to be dead. The Wild Hunt covered the effort of the group I am in No Hate in Texas. I knew ahead of time I was going to be interviewed, so I represented as an ally in my rainbow attire, my mjollnir (Thor’s Hammer) a symbol both of my heathen faith but also a symbol of protection against foes, and my gallehus horn replica pin. Because when we speak in ritual over the sacred horn or cup, our words fall into the well of wyrd, and our words have power to shift outcomes for good or for ill. So, such words need to embody both troth and frith. It was a quiet nod of the seriousness I take to my words in that moment, but also that speaking out even if not in ritual, is still a powerful and important thing. Hate is a virus, it spreads if people won’t take a stand against it. ✊️

That news story was released on July 3, 2022 by The Wild Hunt with both a print and a video component.