Censorship again.

Yes, the idiots are doing it again. Please consider viewing GetUp’s campaign to bring some much needed sense to this issue. There is no need for Australia to become China just because our Prime Minister fancies he can speak Mandarin.

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/SaveTheNet/442

Very important.

The Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter internet traffic and block any material the Government deems ‘inappropriate’. Under the plan, the Government can add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret blacklist.

Testing has already begun on systems that will slow our internet by up to 87%, make it more expensive, miss the vast majority of inappropriate content and accidentally block up to 1 in 12 legitimate sites. Our children deserve better protection – and that won’t be achieved by wasting millions on this deeply flawed system.

Bath day kittens update.

Hehe. It’s a reference to some history I came across during the week… though for someone with a reputation as a bit of a hippie it may be relevant. =D And it’s still raining!! Hail Thorr!! This is fantastic. If it keeps up we’ll get a crop of cucumbers afterall. Lying awake listening to the sound of rain on the roof is truly one of the most exquisite experiences of life. Even if the wind is giving the roses a hiding.

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Some photos of my gorgeous tom Mephistopheles. He was one of the kittens that was dumped down the drain out front of our house last xmas. The other one went to a new home, but this little guy stayed. Despite having him fixed when he was 4 months old he’s still managed to grow into quite a tom. He brought his first dead sparrow into the house last week (Grrr…) and has a voice on him like that guy from System of a Down.

When he was dumped he was so young that his eyes were still blue and he could barely walk, though that may have also been because he was skin and bones. Poor little bugger. His first birthday is considered to be next Thursday, roughly. Partly decided upon because that would make him a Sagittarius which rather suits him. He’s a real knockabout kind of character and athletic, as well as being the only cat I’ve ever seen fail to land on his feet after rolling off my lap one day LOL. He can, however, jump off the roof quite effectively.

But he loves a smooch. Any time I sit still for more than 5 minutes he appears from nowhere, purring like a four stroke, and wants a cuddle. (Sitting on my lap as I type…) How delightful. Eats like nobody’s business too of course.

There are two black cats sharing the house, Desdemona Crowfeather and this bloke Mephistopheles. When they were registered the council clerk had to ring us to check the names LOL. In case we get any more black cats I have names up my sleeve, fairly predictable things like Beelzebub and Lilith, but two are enough especially when they’re moulting.

In case you’re wondering that’s the beanbag we’re sitting on at 2 in the afternoon on Saturday. I’ve discovered IM, and spent Friday night sitting up way too late chatting and drinking beer, as you do.

While I’m waffling I’ll link a plug for the Nine Worlds Asatru forum over on Delphi. It’s pretty quiet at the moment but there’s a history there and some interesting discussions… perhaps it can be resurrected?

After reading about Norse poetry protocols yesterday, I noticed with interest that someone suggested erotic poetry as an offering to Freya. Don’t panic, I’m not going to subject you to any examples… but doesn’t it sound like a great idea!

New references for contacting other Asatruar:

Melbourne Heathen Moot though they have links with the Odinist group that I’m not really part of…

and the FaceBook Australian Heathen group.

Now for that bath… :D With sage and marjoram from the garden I think, since it’s Spring.

Music and poetry

While following links today I came across Ingeborg’s site and particularly the page on Norse or Germanic style poetry. Since poetry makes a good offering to the Aesir and Vanir it seemed appropriate to learn some of the cultural forms… and they weren’t what I expected.

Pursuing other links, in the music realm, Viking metal came across my path =D This is no doubt old news to other Heathens, but I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Remember the metal heads from Finland who won Eurovision a couple of years ago? It’s a bit like that but there’s orchestration and some folk song melodies involved, so there’s a corn factor, but it’s quite listenable. Examples include Turisas, Ensiferum, and Korpiklaani. Not all the lyrics are in Scandinavian languages so you get the benefit of listening to music with a Heathen bent. Great fun.

Following some rune reading yesterday, there hasn’t been any family knocking on my door (Edit: It happened later that night LOL) but there have been some interesting events relating to lifestyle. In Paganism, where I lingered for a while betwixt xianity and Heathenism, there was some cross over with the kink scene… You’d get Pagans who were also into S&M. Without going into too much detail, it’s an area of interest. The thing is though that Heathenism is such a life-affirming religion the kink scene seems incongruent with some of the energy, if you like, of the spirituality. The concept of, say, Goddess worship, doesn’t translate with quite the same potential as it would in an area like Dianic Wicca or eclectic Paganism. And if you really want to grovel you’re going to have to stick with christendom for forms.

A friend was considering some of the aspects of Female dominance and we were wondering about the psychology of such a thing. Obviously there’s some archetypal imagery going on there. Perhaps the balancing of the sacred Female with the last gasp of the patriarchy that tried so desperately to destroy Her image? This is more Marion Zimmer-Bradley and Diana L Paxson than Dan Brown btw… though despite his being ridiculed in many circles I for one appreciate that he raised the subject.

Diana L Paxson was comparing Freya to Cybele in an article… (though not with the same perspective I’m taking) and if that’s the case then perhaps there’s some room for a bit of fun. Particularly if you consider that in comparison with some of the former worship of Freyr. Anyways, it’s something to explore.

Home

It would be neat to have a photo of a redhead to go in here. Edit: Found one! LOL Since I’ve been doing Blot for Thorr I keep seeing redheads everywhere. Wonderful! Going from monotheism, though it be some time ago now, to polytheism is an interesting move. For one thing, there are plenty of Heathens (Heidhni?) who feel a strong affiliation for one Goddess or God… Yet almost everyone worships all the Aesir and Vanir at appropriate times, not to mention respect for landwights and ancestors. All of elohim seems to be well covered. ;-)

Currently I’m feeling this great affinity with Thorr. He’s a protective influence but without being smothering or dominating. Feels wonderful. The situation raises some questions about whom I’m following or who is doing the directing of all the little coincidences that are piling up in my life. Getting to know the Goddesses is also worthwhile, though admittedly I haven’t been doing as much of that consciously.

Most Heathens write about their Goddesses and Gods being ‘elder kin’ rather than slave drivers. They’re not jealous, controlling or foul tempered. Nor is one expected to give up control of one’s own life in service to them or for any other reason. The connection feels much more like a partnership relationship. This approach reminds me of the subject of process theology, whereby the will of the individual was theoretically rehabilitated and seen as useful, to be engaged in the development of spirituality as distinct from the ‘I am an unworthy worm and I submit unquestioningly’ school of worship. If you’ve read any of Aleister Crowley’s thoughts you’ll recognise an ironic influence here.

At this point it should be mentioned that there were a variety of views on God in christendom, there were plenty of sources to point to Jesus’ God being Fatherlike, with the unfortunate shift in practise toward him appearing more as an abusive father… There’s such difference between what I was studying in theology at Whitley and what seems to pass for popular belief in xianity. All up I spent 9 1/2 years in that study, and I can tell you I saw an enormous diversity! I have no regrets regarding dumping christendom, however I feel obliged to acknowledge the open mindedness and hard work of the professors at Whitley. Embracing Heathendom is probably not the outcome they expect for most students, however, if you’re analysing faith and belief, why remain subject to a faith that was forced on you if it isn’t working for you and has been quite harmful?

Getting to know the Aesir and Vanir is not as much of a challenge as it would seem without the kind of authority that ‘scripture’ is touted to be. There’s plenty of scope for one’s own experience and development in relationship and as mentioned above they aren’t jealous about these things. This is rather something new for me, the realisation that although I’m currently feeling this great sense of Thorr’s presence, it doesn’t infringe on my awareness of Odin or Freya at work in my life. And Odin is very much at work!

Last night after all the family related stuff came up again, specifically thinking about adoption and life on the margins, I went to bed in something of a temper. Feeling rather despondent… Funny how that seems to be becoming a sore point. When I was younger it was simply a fact of life. Now it bothers me when people are discussing family and origins. I’m more and more reluctant to have the subject arise in conversation. Anyways, I went to bed early and was feeling considerably unhappy about my circumstances. The conversations about family and origins had lifted the lid on a whole seething mass of unresolved issues. Odin seemed to say to me that this would be something to deal with. I was not happy and laughed at him sourly “I deal with this every damn day!” Then in Terry Pratchett’s Witches Abroad which I was re-reading for about the fourth time, the page opened to a mention that witches never run away from things they fear. Pffft. Synchronous events can be confronting at times.

Today while reading further on runes and runelore, I dived into an essay about Othala, the rune of inheritance, family connections, lands… All the background of humanity that comes to you down through the generations. Needless to say it felt rather like I was having my nose rubbed in it. Meditating on this rune and exploring it’s importance in my life should be fun… for a given value of fun. LOL. Probably connects substantially with the experience of the land claiming me that I was recounting in yesterday’s post.

Suffice it to say that if any information about my origins comes to light now, after years of searching and invariably heartbreaking dead ends, it would be a bloody miracle. I’m not sure if that’s what the Allfather has up his sleeve, is anyone, ever? Anyways, it’s certainly an intense journey.

grey days

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Well, prayers seem to have been answered. We had a bit more rain overnight and it’s a lovely overcast, damp day. Beautiful and restful. Now if only I can get my son out the door and off to school I can get into some meditation or something LOL.

This week I’ve been doing a fair bit more reading on runes and history. It’s really interesting the way it’s all developing and sinking in. Some time ago the perception area was all shut off because I was picking up too much of other people’s stuff and had little way of filtering it all. Returning to it, particularly in this present context of Heathenism and with what I’ve learnt in the meantime, is a lot of fun.

The spirit walking is going very well. It doesn’t take much now to sit for a while and drift into another awareness, a little like the guided meditations one does, except the guide is not a CD ;-) Different animals are also beginning to make an appearance now. Initially at least, it’s tempting to explore those as symbols as in dream interpretations. This includes some of the things they say. It seems that much of trance work has quite a bit in common with dreams, or lucid dreams if you like.

One coincidence has raised the issue of community again. This is always difficult to deal with, as people tend to look askance at those on the fringes and wonder why we’re all so bloody anti-social. The combination of realising that most of constructed culture is not all that wonderful anyway, and being hypersensitive to things like body language or emotional messages… perhaps also spiritual perception, means that all the ‘culture critics’ from poets and artists through to goths and emo kids, really don’t feel like part of things and it’s a legitimate POV.

Human society has always had outsiders on the fringes. In some cultures there’s the overlap between mental illness and holiness, the spiritual fool. There’s one infamous climbing joke that says when you go to certain countries you simply carry climbing gear, like an ice axe, in view. People then know you’re a climber and therefore mentally unstable, so you don’t get hassled. ;-)

For someone who’s spent the first 40 something years of their life as a wanderer on the face of the earth, the whole mess of human community looks like exactly that. A mess. Some time ago a friend lent me a very old book about “a place for you”, written by some 19th century French philosopher or theologian or some such. He was talking about the number of people he encountered in his counselling who had “no roots”. They wandered, it seemed, and never could settle down. These days we’d probably attribute it to some dysfunction or other, but it’s interesting to note that this had been observed and also noticed to be a permanent situation, even that long ago.

In all the reading that I’m doing regarding the whole Heathen trip, groups, ethnicity, origins and community keep coming up. It alternates between being amusing and at times painful. I guess if you grew up knowing the story of where you came from and had links to those origins then it would make sense for it to be an important part of your identity. And no doubt, something that would be very threatening to question, as any questioning of identity is. If you change then who are you? Those kind of questions can be profoundly unsettling.

For myself the whole issue is a life long experience. This lack of roots is something that I’ve had to learn to manage. And management (again) is pretty much all it is. So when people with families are looking at their origins and considering them in terms of how they fit in the life of the planet, it’s fascinating to see what they consider important. But it’s also a mark of difference. Simply looking in the mirror and seeing what’s apparently a white face doesn’t provide the feeling of connection with any particular ethnic heritage… and reading discussions about it often increases the awareness of a lack of such connection.

In my own experience, there was a formative moment a few years ago… No doubt I’ve written about it previously, but it provides some basis for where I am at present. Sitting at the top of Mt Arapiles after seven pitches, with a bloke who’d just arrived at Araps the day previous. I’d been camping there for the best part of a month and was as filthy and feral as it gets. He probably had a shower that morning. He’s 20, a chemistry student with his life planned out, I’m 40 odd with no plans at all past getting back to camp. He comes from a valley in Austria and knows his parents, grandparents etc. from around that area, and I come from the flat inland of Australia with no idea (at that stage) about any of my origins. We sat there sharing an orange after the climb and talking about his chemistry studies. As I looked out over the Wimmera in the shimmer of heat haze, it was as if the land claimed me. I felt suddenly that I was of the same substance as this land, this dirt… and not only because of being covered in it! There’s a theory I’ve read about Aboriginal understanding of the land, that you don’t own it, but in a way it owns you. You come from it, live in it and eventually return to it…

That was probably the most grounding experience I’ve felt. It put me in connection with something concrete about where I came from and who I am. Dirt, basically. (Explains a lot about my priorities for housekeeping ;-)) It seems quite a bit different to people who connect themselves with their origins via families and culture.

So I guess all this is something I’m simply going to have to journey with. Other people aren’t going to up and separate from their families, and even if they did, would be vastly different again from having been uprooted as a child… There’s a term in heraldry, ‘eradicated’. When an oak or other plant is shown uprooted or disconnected, it is referred to as eradicated. That’s me, and that’s the way I’ve been all my life… Going from one to the other would be complex and incomplete as an adult.

No doubt there have always been “wanderers” and will continue to be. With all the peculiar feelings and experiences that involves. It might also be part of the reason for such a spiritual search. Adopted people are apparently reknowned for being interested in those connections. Still, it’s family of a sort and something constructive to get you by in this nutty world. It’s probably Odinic.

musical interests… metal edition

Well, it’s almost official. I’m over Marilyn LOL. Not entirely… but after picking up Rammstein again it’s all German now. That link is to their Herzeleid site, which although it is plastered with ads, how ironic, seems to be much more up to date than rammstein.com.

This latest foray into the nether worlds has been developing for a little while now. While musical trends around here do tend to come and go, from Middle-Eastern tribal fusion one week to death metal the next… it seems to be lingering which it hasn’t in the past. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of assimilating the shadow self? Gods, I can’t help myself %-)

NIN didn’t last long… there are a couple of Trent’s songs I quite enjoy, but personally I prefer Marilyn’s voice. If not his sfik… ‘zanshin’? That said, the drummer who did “Perfect Drug” is an absolute bloody legend. The bass player on “pop my cherry” is no slouch either. It took some time to hunt down a reference to Chris Vrenna, (here’s his home site) Trent seems to go through drummers like I go through genres. Looking through the history of some of these guys, Chris has also played with Marilyn, I notice… it’s all a bit incestuous really. LOL

There was some noise that Rammstein had been banned from playing in Aus… Apparently there were bans on touring in the US because of something to do with homophobia… what a novelty. But all of this is old news to anyone who’s been into it for a while, kinda emphasises how out of it I’ve been LOL

Okay, just wanted to make the hat tip to a great drummer. Now back to listen to the techno cover of the sesame street rubber ducky song… Someone’s on some good drugs :D

Funny things u find on the nets

OMG Did u know that Rammstein have done a cover of Barbie Girl? ROTFLMFAO!!!!

That’s it, really. Was deep in a meaningful conversation with a friend and suddenly winamp was playing some German bloke screaming at a little girl… something about ‘your Mother’ in there somewhere.

Still grinning.