How a warrior should act.

A few days back, I saw a news alert come onto the screen of my phone. A massacre occurred at a mosque. Hundreds dead.

 

That’s about all I will say about that. What I will talk about, is the mind set of so called warriors for a faith.

 

Humans like to think they are in the right when the do something, otherwise they tend to hide their involvement, when they know it is not right.

 

Lets get this clear. This is not an attack on Islam, or Muslims. I will remind readers that Christians have a long history of being fuckwits (yes I swore, get over it). The IRA and Orangemen made being anywhere in the UK Ireland, a dodgy prospect. When I first travelled to the UK, it was the mid 80’s and you tended to be wary of parked vehicles, and in Ireland the question of “Are you Catholic or Protestant” was a loaded one. Buddhists in Miramar are forcing Muslims to flee by the hundreds of thousand. Hindus too are not with out blame. Neopaganism has the spectre of white nationalists, in the form of the Volkish movement, which could too become an “event”.

 

It remains, humans are unpleasant creatures.

 

But I feel (I don’t know for every example, though I’ve spoken to members of certain religious groups who this does hold for), that “Warriors of Faith” feel they are doing their God(s) work. Many faiths want to “win” (whatever the hell that is?).
However, they don’t get, that this is not being a warrior, in the spiritual sense. Yes they are “Doing war unto the other guy” and all that jazz. But a Warrior who is spiritual, is more than a murderer, more than a thug, they are the protector, the voice of reason, and advocate of the Devil on occasion. A solider has the right to refuse an illegal order, similarly the Warrior has a duty not to kill innocents.

 

I’ve been at pagan gatherings, where there is always some “warrior” (who sadly almost always is some Volkish twit), who advocates “getting them before they get us”. Here is the thing. As a Pagan of … geeze 30 years?? Not once, have I been targeted in a meaningful way by the “Dreaded Xtian” (Christian) or any other faith, well except some other pagans (Yes I’ve had run ins with White nationalists, who identify as Volkish, I am sure not all Volkish heathens are this way, yet I’ve yet to meet one).

 

I fully advocate being prepared for defence of community. Though my community has shrunken since I decided to leave from ADF. I have trained for over a decade in Combatives. I am prepared for a natural disaster (most New Zealanders are, we live with earthquakes, and potentially Tsunami). I constantly assess the safety of what I am doing at work (its how I survive working in the scale up in Chemistry) which bleeds over, into assessing the safety of many otherthings.

 

You will never find me thinking “Hey those fuckers in the Church/Mosque/Temple/Coven down the road are a threat to my ego, lets go get them”.

 

When I was Chieftain of the ADF Warriors guild, we actually had a couple of individuals, who were advocating this sort of behavior. They were quickly told that that was unacceptable, but one of them was actually removed from ADF, because he threatened to put a Grovemate through a wood chipper, and feed it to that persons partner. Needless to say, he’s an idiot.

 

That is not the Warriors way.

 

What I have thought however is “Hmm those people are very much aggressively pushing their faith on others, and I’m not going to stand for that if they push it my way. Should I fight back if they do that or should I ere on the side of safety and stay hidden?”

 

THAT is the correct way to do things.

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Bíonn an fhírinne searbh.

 

 

The Irish phrase Bíonn an fhírinne searbh means “The truth is bitter”. In many ways this is a perfect description of what the warrior does. The Warrior doing warrior things, is something most people are ambivalent to nervous about.

 

Recently, I decided to be honest (thus tell the truth) in an exit Survey to ADF. This has caused me no end of problems. I’ve been Sanctioned off of lists and FB groups. (despite as of this writing having 3 weeks membership left). To ADF my truth is bitter to them. Honesty to them was scathing, rather than a chance to change, and one-day lure me and other members back. In essence, my “disloyalty” is the problem, not the problems.

 

I expected this to be fair. ADF has never done well with criticism. The current leadership however are particularly bad with it, despite assurances they are moving to transparency. I would not be shocked if a scism or sectarian thing happens sooner than later.

 

This seems to be a very common reaction for people, and organizations (which are obviously groups of likeminded people) who do not actually wish to change. Sadly, sometimes you have to be honest, even though you know the reaction will not be positive. When you care about something or someone, but must walk away, I’ve found that honesty is healthier than “why, what did I do?”. I’ve been on the receiving end of people breaking contact and never saying why before.

 

SO the honest, open, and moral thing to do, is to be honest. Even if Bíonn an fhírinne searbh.

 

Self Doubt …

I have started a number of entries the last few weeks, then walked away from what I was typing. In the end, I felt that I was rehashing something from a previous entry (mainly from my old Blog of the same name).

 

In the intervening weeks from my last entry, I’ve been cited by The Wild hunt (that was as shock when I looked at my stats). I’ve seen the USA hit by two hurricanes (which actually started on of the posts I almost published, one on being prepared for when the smelly stuff hits the spinning blades that move air).

 

So on with a post.

 

One which is probably more important in this blog (nominally about Warriorship in the Pagan Sense).

 

Self-doubt.

 

Frank Herbert talks about fear being the mind killer. Self-Doubt is a cancerous death. One that can eat you up. You get over it, and then it can come back, and it makes you miserable in every way. You loathe yourself, but it is there, gnawing away at your bones.

 

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Now this is not going to be a blog about “how to get over it”. If I knew that, I’d not be blogging about it obscurely (tens of people have read posts here, not thousands) and esoterically (usually someone needs to know what I’m on about, to get what I’m on about, or call me on my shit).

 

What I will write about, is the battle.

 

First a story.

 

In the 1990s I watched someone I loved waste away, from a horrible disease. Without sharing this deeply personal story (which I am not going too). I saw courage. I saw someone accept death, look it in the eyes, and not blink. It taught me, that you can do this too. You can look at something that seems insummountable, look in its eyes, and not flinch. You will feel dread, and fear. I know my dear friend did. But you can make a stand. Shaking in your boots.

 

So I feel the battle in many ways is as important as the victory or the loss.

 

That is the true warriorship. Sod the fight. Its being willing to take a battle.

 

Now I am sure some of the people who read this over the years may think “what about all the covert battles? That is still a battle! You don’t have to meet something heard on. You can make a choice of how you fight.

 

Many people who know me. I’ve suffered from self-doubt. I was never the best in my class at Highschool (very nearly, but not quite), nor university (again, very close). When a round of redundancies hit… I’ve been cut three times. As a bastard (bon that way), only child, who was an atheist, than a Pagan, at a Christian single sex school. Who was to be blunt, fat. I know what it feels like to be not “the best”. It took me much of my adult life, to understand. It is the battle which matters. Also how you handle it.

 

I’ve made some major blunders, due to self doubt over the years. I tried being “aggressive” I tried being “passive” and “consolatory”. But in the end. Sometime in my mid 30’s. I understood:

 

  • Each battle is unique.
  • Make your stand. But don’t make it about the stand.
  • You are human. Forgive yourself.

 

Lets end with something esoteric 😉 Anyone guess why I posted this?

 

Then something started talking to me from over that parapet. …

So recently, I had an AFA member decide to try and engage me.

 

For those who do not know the Asatru Folk Assembly is a group which has been shown to be an organization where racists are welcome. 

 

Clearly this individual did not know who I am, in that I’m not an Asatruar. Not interested in Racialist (let alone Racist) ideals. Fair, I’ve kept a low profile of late. However I don’t follow any of the Northern Germanic Gods.

 

Of late the AFA has been trying to establish itself in New Zealand. Which worries me on a number of levels. Though the history of the white power movement down here, is one of self cannibalization, implosion, and general inability to achieve their goals. I’m not going to name the person who is organizing the AFA, however I am gratified he is not hiding behind a pseudonym.

 

Needless to say, I rebuffed the attempt. I was polite, but I’m now being very vigilant!

 

 

Something just stuck its head over the parapet.

So in the wake of the last post…. Enemies worth fighting.

 

Well a bunch of them reared their heads in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. As most of you know, a White Nationalist protest (it was a Nazi Rally folks, don’t fucking mince words) got out of hand. One of the protesters (and yes he was!) ploughed his car into a crowd of counter protestors, killing a 34 year old woman.

 

Anyone who knows me even a little knows, that due to the circumstances of my upbringing, I’ve a lack of tolerance towards bullies. I’ve always found the extremes of the political spectrum (yes in both directions) to be filled with bullies. I hate (and I mean that word) the White nationalist movement! But I also loathe the far far left, who think it is ok to shame and bully (and yes use violence) people into their way of thinking. So I was not shocked at the turn of events in Virginia. I’d been waiting for it. Not in anticipation, no. But in dread. The Anti-fascists (Anti-Fa) had been gunning for this confrontation. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

 

Now the wish to do battle, I’m actually all behind. I wish the Alt-Right and Far left had picked a field somewhere, and just hashed it out. Though I suspect the Alt-right would have cheated and brought guns, and eventually hit someone…. While the left would have been lobbing flaming solvent bombs back at them. What we had was a counter protest, with people not on the extreme of the political spectrum involved. This has always been my problem with protests. That they are prone to turn uglier than those who are involved might want. IF sign up for it, and you are ok with it, fine. But I know a great many people think they are only in for a peaceful protest …. 90% of the time they are right. But that 10%? Yeah. I know this is coloured by the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand.

 

Anyhow back to point.

 

The fact that the far right was first to resort to violence here, demonstrates why they are an enemy worth fighting. The counter protest was one of words. Ones full of vitriol I am sure. BUT just words. A member of the far right (yes he was) used his car as a weapon, causing the death of a protestor. The far right blinked first. They have now shown their hand. They are willing to use extreme violence, to silence the freedom of speech. Because it “hurts their sensibilities”. Hence as far as I am concerned, they are labelled as “enemy”, and thus should be treated as such. All niceties should be withdrawn.

 

Game on guys 🙂

Tilting at windmills

 

 

I’ve found one of the greatest problems with walking the “warrior path” as a pagan, is that it is assumed that you are an activist, and that you are down with anything that goes against “the man … man”.

 

While this might actually be the truth for a great many people, it is not a guarantee.

 

So with this said, the title of this blog entry is “tilting at windmills” which if you don’t understand is a euphemism for attacking an imaginary enemy. Something Pagans are experts at. We’ve made a cottage industry out of manufacturing for ourselves.

 

  • Many of us (again not I) are scared about the evil Xtian (That is a lazy spelling of Christian, used most often in a pejorative manner). They clearly want to “burn us all” just like in the “Burning times”. Ignoring the fact that the “burning times” were not really a burning time, more a drowning, hanging times. They did not kill nine million (9 000 000 !!) people, and those who were killed were most often tried, and executed by secular courts. All that aside, they were not, repeat NOT about what modern Neopagans would recognize as Witches (they also were about werewolves, ghouls, and other beasties, used as an excuse to be a poor example of humanity to other humans and animals). So yes, we fear the Xtian, who is out to get us. But really have done sweet Fanny Adams to us because we are pagan on the whole. Indeed, the Satanic Panic era (used as an example) is not called the witch panic for a reason (see next point)
  • Yep we apparently don’t like them either. Probably because of point (1) where we fear the Christian church picking on us, we distance ourselves from similarly occult minded (for the most part) individuals. Want to start a fight in a fluffy Pagan group? Say Satanists should be accepted (or say the Burning times never happened)….
  • The man (…man). Yep the government is after us. Because we are that important and a threat (probably because of points (1) and (2) or something?). This is why we get 501.3C status in the USA, or you know we’ve not been rounded up, or worship banned…. The point being, the government is a bugbear we apparently fear. Oh did you also know, some of us work for the government? I do 🙂
  • A sub set of (3) is the Police. They pick on us you know, stop us smoking our sacred weed (never tried it, never plan too), get upset when we have underage coven members naked in ritual (ewww), and gods forbid carry weapons, that are purely ceremonial. Yep those damn Cops… harassing us because we are breaking laws.

 

Now it gets interesting, we eat our own….

 

  • British Traditional Witches and other lineage Pagans, who have initiations. How very dare they? But no, any group that has *gasp* standards for its members is exclusionary! You mean to join, they might expect something out of me?

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  • Cultures which tell us to go Fuck ourselves because they do not want us appropriating parts of their endangered practices? I mean how can they not let us call ourselves medicine people, pipe holders, or the like? I attended a workshop at Pagan Pride, and read the Wikipedia damn it!

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That is just a microcosm from the many choices. But if you look at them they hold a great many similarities, imagined threats, insults, and such. Christians mostly are not after us, Satanists likewise, government, especially the police? Yeah… Ok and Initiatory pagans? Yeah, they are excluding you, you could try and get initiated, through hard work? The cultures we strip mine, to feel special? Yah they actually ARE excluding us. Because their cultures are in danger of dying, and it is hurtful to see the descendants of the colonialists who caused this, stealing (sorry it is theft, get over it) sacred rituals, and misusing them.

 

So these “enemies” to Pagandom? Not so much. The real enemies are there however.

 

  • Peodophiles, abusers, and the like who are protected inside the community, because we are scared of “the man. I am looking at you Kenny Klein, Scott Holbrook, Waco “White Wolf” Tohausen, and more. You can go away right now. Two of you rightfully went to prison.
  • Prejudice inside our community. Yep we have it. We have tolerated it, and it is not good.
  • Leaders who abuse the rules. Yep the folks who we elect, or at least allow to run things (we allow it, we could say no!), who decide the conventions we establish, are not required by them. We all know these leaders. I’ve blogged about them. Indeed recently I was contacted about one of the “Elders” in Milwaukee I had clashed with, and told she was at it again. My stance against her years ago, caused me to be banished. Here we are … 12 years later, and lo she is still at it.

So sure tilt at that wind mill, it’s a mirage.

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Honored dead (Pets)

 

I thought about you today....

 

I’ve choosen to make a blog entry (a living entry I hope). To honor the animals who have passed from my life.

 

This is in order of death (I think)

 

Jason. Beloved Dog of my mothers. For the first 12 years of my life you were sometimes my only friend.

 

Heinrich. Beloved dog of my mothers. You died after only 6 years. You passed with dignity, and honor.

 

Raudi. The soul of the Thomas family. When you passed, I don’t think we were ever the same again. I remember the day you arrived from the UK. I held you as they put you down.

 

Til. While my mothers dog, you were MY dog in most ways. You died three days before I finished my thesis. When people asked what it felt like to finish it? I have no idea. You were more important to me.

 

Bear. The soul of my wife’s family. You died too soon. I wonder if it chased your mother (my mother in law) back to the USA?

 

Ollie. My mothers Dog. Smartest damned dog I have ever met. The day you died (too soon) I was dozing on a drive back from Thanksgiving in South Carolina, and you visited a dream. My wife said I was talking in it. I awoke to a call from my family in New Zealand to mention you had passed.

 

Strauss. Gentle and skittish. I wish I knew you more. I held you as they helped you pass.

 

Johan. Confused, and needing understanding. My grandmothers dementia contributed to your attitude, as did another family members “life crisis”. I wish I’d been there when you went.

 

Jynx. You have your entry. But you my old Vam-purr. Made me love cats. You saved my mind with Moxie I think. When I held you, and said go raibh maith agat (thank you in irish) over and over again….

 

I feel the following animals have passed, but I have no proof (just logic).

Ed. My father in law’s  Huntaway dog. You helped me adjust to marriage before we went to the USA. I wish you’d been mine.

 

Bits (litte bits). Demon cat of the in-laws… I liked you.

 

Fric and Frac …. Jokester cats of the inlaws. I liked you too.