Read Vincent Ongkowidjojo’s article in Spiral Nature Magazine
Read Vincent Ongkowidjojo’s article in Spiral Nature Magazine
The Thornish Path
A Neo-Tribal Tradition
Subjects: Secret Societies/Odinism/Northern Tradition/Runes/Heathenism/Shamanism.
Wisdom from a hidden community …
From words of prophecy made in earlier times to the newsfeeds of the today’s internet, more and more people are becoming aware of the changes taking place in the world. The old and much abused industrial model, driven largely by human ignorance and greed, has placed the future of both humankind and the Earth herself on a path to a questionable future.
But there is hope.
Over the past handful of decades, a great many people have been awakening to the realities of the world but as well, also hearing – and heeding – the call from the wisdom that lies in the heart of all human beings. It is a call to an older way, a better way; a way of returning to the realms of deeper spirit; of magic and of tribe. As individuals and as groups, those who have heard this call of the heart are rising to once again take their place as true human beings: As stewards of the land.
Canadian author Jack Wolf brings us a collection of stories from one such group of Earth-stewards. He does so with the desire that what he shares will kindle the fires of awakening in the hearts and minds of those who are ready for the return of the primal spark-of-hope.
Known as the Thornish tradition, the tribal gathering into which Jack was initiated in the mid 1980s, this group of animist stewards, referred to as knights of the greenwood or even forest mages by some, practices a form of Deepening Tribalism; which is a Paganism deeply tied to the spirits and energies of the land. As well, practitioners of the Thornish way express a commitment to recovering threads of the First Knowledge; a hidden repository of ancient wisdom believed to have been gifted to all people in the forgotten, primordial past.
Told in the narrative form, The Thornish Path, is intended to provide the reader with an intimate glimpse into the workings and relationships found within this formerly secret society. It is also intended as an introduction to this unique tradition for those who may wish to explore further.
Thornish people believe that they are but one tradition of many emerging now, into the modern world in order to be of assistance in the ongoing battle to heal the Earth, and in the words of Jack Wolf: “The time has come for the folk of the green to come into their own – as protectors and managers of the Earth, not the despoilers of it.”
Praise for previous book The Way of the Odin Brotherhood
“Jack Wolf’s plunge into the deep past when Christianity drove pagans into hiding, reads like a page-turning novel full of suspense and intrigue. Will Odin and his followers rise again? You’ll definitely root for them as you speed through Wolf’s absorbing, yet entertaining, work.”
”The late P. D. Ouspensky noted that human evolution requires conscious effort. It is only degeneration which can proceed unconsciously in man.”
”Like the Odin Brotherhood, the Thornish tradition strives to recreate homo superbus (the superb man) in our decadent age. In contrast to the Brotherhood, however, the Thornish tradition draws upon the heritage and mysteries of the “First Nations” in the Americas.”
”Mr. Wolf’s book, the first detailed study of the “Thornish Path,” is required reading for all students of esotericism.”- Professor Mark L. Mirabello.
For more information on the Thornish Tradition
Shaking, Swaying & Serpent Mysteries
Subjects: Northern Tradition/Odinism/Runes/Shamanism.
From the author of Helrunar – manual of rune magick and Visual Magick, a handbook of freestyle shamanism, come the definative study of magical trance and possession techniques. The author is inspired by the Nordic tradition of Seidr, said to have been taught to the human race by Odin. The book provides an extensive survey of the manifestation of this powerful technique through several related magical traditions – shamanisn, mesmerism, draconian cults and the nightside of European paganism.
Seething is probably the most useful magical technique I have ever learned. I first was taken by the pleasure of it. My body felt warm and sensual, and seething in the hips felt quite sexual. I liked the feeling of my body taking over where the shaking was first voluntary – but I could still have some control, making the shaking stronger or more subtle. After a while I started to see visions – something that very rarely happens to me. I could see (with my physical eyes, not astrally!) the surface of the land in the centre of the circle rippling, like waves of energy. It was a really moving experience in a site that – until then – had not been particularly ‘special’ to me… it ..has had a major impact upon my magical work which used to be largely indoors, as at last I have found a way that I can work outdoors. This gives my magical work a potency that it simply didn’t have before. – Shantidevi quoted in chapter twelve ‘Rhythms and the Mind’
–‘Very highly recommended’ – The Cauldron
‘Jan Fries shows himself to be one of the most innovative and creative of contemporary magical authors. This is the best book on practical magick that I have seen for some time… an extremely useful body of techniques which any practically-minded magician will be able to use. Beautifully illustrated…Mandrake should be applauded for producing yet another fine book of modern magical practice and thought. Buy it, you won’t be disappointed!’
– Phil Hine in Chaos International 22
‘The text is always interesting to read no matter where you start from. With such a broad spectrum of content, Seidways is suited to anyone studying shamanism for the first time, and wants to avoid a pile of new-age crap. It’s also a great all-rounder for anyone with a general interest in European mythology. Seidways will become one of the more thumbed books in my collection, and I am sure the collection of anyone else who buys it.’
– Sant reviewing in White Dragon
Secrets of Asgard
Subjects: Northern Tradition/Runes/Odinism.
Foreword by Freya Aswynn
It is with great pleasure that I introduce this extraordinary book. A work of scholarship and intuition Vincent digs deep in the Well. The first part of the book is taken up with a discussion about the origins of Runes and the Celtic connection, very interesting.
Secrets of Asgard is aptly named as in this book Vincent forges new connections with Runes to reveal a multidimensional web of correspondences between other schools of thought partaking of the perennial Wisdom Tradition. Expanding the Runic meanings and offering a deeper layer of Rune might than ever before.
Like me, this author’s native language is Flemish/Dutch and so plugging into the unconscious more linguistic aspects are uncovered and discussed proving fascinating new insights into the Runes: lots and lots of new stuff, subtle seemingly little things so small that no one me included actually took the time to look at!
Vincent brings in a lot more of the natural world, as in his section on Berkana. It is clear that this monumental Work contains a wealth of scholarship as well as insights especially in the practical applications of Runes.
Vincent interprets the 3 aettir in a sociological context according to Dumezil, however he allows for evolution from thrall to Jarl within an initiatic concept; he also recognized a correspondence with the astrological crosses, something I had overlooked, I can honestly say that Vincent has taken the whole kit and caboodle to a new level.
Correlations with the writings of Alice Bailey are discovered and discussed. This book will appeal to Runesters and Heathens who cultivate an open mind and wish to go beyond religion into the Initiatic Mysteries of the Runes and the Gods.
About the Gods as well as their Runes, Vincent offers some very interesting differing and sometime radically opposing views to my own, solidly backed up by an alternative look, lore and his own intuition. Invocations and instructions for successful Rune magick are a large and rich resource. This book has something for everyone, sound lore and deep magick. This excellent work shows a deep and powerful occult current as well as keeping true to the tradition. Fine scholarship and impeccable integrity breathe through this work.
May it open many doors in the minds of those who wish to explore beneath and beyond exoteric heathenry.
Part one focusses centres on the meaning of the individual runes and the myths, esplaining the Aettir alongside Northern mythology. It describes each of the gods as well as the Nine Worlds etc. The second part centres on the application of the system, namely magic and divinatio and includes rituals and exercises.
A thesis of practical rune magic is developed which is based on the Havamal 144 stanza. The analysis concludes that the Runes were traditionally regarded as actual spirits. The stanza explains how to make your own set as well as other talismanic objects. The practice of galdr-singing is discussed in more depth to complement the Havamal 144 techniques. Then, a discourse is given on the most common Ancient Germanic magical formulae. They complement the practical work on talismanic objects.
A separate chapter is given on divinatory practices. Useful information on dreamwork is added and numerous other exercises used to make contact with the subconscious mind through auto-suggestion, and many other useful ritual techniques and practices.
Visit Vincent Ongkowidjojo’s website for latest updates on talks, courses and workshops in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.
A Manual of Freestyle Shamanism
Suitable for all those inspired by such figures as Austin Spare and Aleister Crowley, and who feel the imperative to develop one’s own unique magick way. Visual Magick aims to build vision, imagination, and creative magick. It shows how magicians, witches, artists and therapists can improve visionary abilities, enhance imagination, activate the inner senses, and discover new modes of Trance awareness. The emphasis is on direct experience and the reader is asked to think, act, do, and enjoy as s/he wills.
Visual Magick began as a small treatise on sigil Magick and automatic drawing circulated privately amongst members of the Maat network, and is written for practising mind explorers of the unorthodox variety.
Review for Pentacle Magazine www.pentaclemagazine.org by Kate Hoolu
‘No matter what the medium, a talented priest can communicate … without preaching or didacticism. Art shows rather than tells. All great artists function as priests, whether they think of themselves as priests or not.’
If you are an eclectic magickian or shaman, or have any interest in Austin Osman Spare, this is a book for you. Spare said, “All desire, whether for pleasure, knowledge, or power, that cannot find ‘natural’ expression, can by sigils and their formula find fulfillment from the subconscious”. This book is at least in part a modern view of the sigil magick that derives from AOS. But it is much, much more.
Fries has written on several subjects, including the Tao and Rune magick, but this work shows a very good awareness and ability with Spare’s techniques, cross-fertilised with some of the more well-known methods of shamanism and his own innovations; hence the subheading.
Fries makes the important point that sigils can not only be designed by the operator (for whatever magickal purpose) but also RECEIVED from entities too… and in those cases there is often a useful secret to be discovered within the sigil: “it should be noted that, while the sentience behind these sigils appears independent, their aesthetics are usually suited to the personality of the receiver. The best kind contains a blend of known and unknown…half revealed and half concealed”. This also stands as a beautifully short summary of perhaps what Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law are about- obviously it is in AC’s writing style, but has so much more within…. And Kenneth Grant’s work on the Tunnels of Set is supposedly largely based on received sigils.
Regardless of occult debate about whether these received messages derive from a neurological or a non-human source, which is not within the scope of this review, it makes perfect sense for them to appear in this ‘mixed’ manner. If they were completely incomprehensible they would be ignored, and if they were completely ordinary and fully known already, then they would be un-remarkable and pass from consciousness as quickly as yesterday’s newspaper headlines. The half-unknown element makes them all the more tempting and interesting to the magickian, like a partly open door….
Avalanches of really good points are made by JF, which are eminently sensible, humourous and useful. Not for him is gibberish pontificating about very fine points of obscure theory; his stance is very much of the Chaos magician- ‘get off your ass, find what works, use it and keep trying new things’ and get out of your conditioned tunnel realities, rather than relying on dogmatic magickal techniques that often descend from book to book, unchanged and without ever being challenged. He makes the very important point that you must allow yourself to make mistakes, and perceive them as that, and not as something else that is kinder to one’s often bloated magickal self-view:
‘Failure’ is recognized as a threat to ego… the same ego that so happily pretends to have divine power and authority… and so the whole thing is usually considered a ‘challenge’ or ‘ordeal’ in such cases- anything rather than accept that one might be wrong” – Indeed: in magick, strange things happen, to the point where, as Ramsey Dukes has said (somewhere): “cock-up is the word of the Aeon”
As the title suggests, there is a distinctly artistic bent to this work, but you don’t ever need to have sketched anything before to be able to join in with this stuff – it’s not the quality of what you produce, it’s the intent of the experiment: Fries encourages everyone to experiment with drawing sigils, automatic writing etc, but in all of this to take credit or debit for the works created (and the results of using the sigil magick method): “Frequently people need to insist on the ‘automatic’ origins of their creations (and behaviour) when they dare not assume responsibility for them. It’s so much safer to claim ‘I can’t draw but sometimes the spirit of Leonardo comes over me …’ as if that spirit has nothing better to do!… It’s always easier to blame some spiritual agency than to assume the responsibility of recognizing and developing one’s own talents”
Having dealt at length with visual methods, Fries then describes ”Chaos language”, a kind of glossolalia, which can be seen as a way of making auditory sigils with the voice. The book is worth the cover price just for this part. Awesome! Jan Fries:- add him to the growing list of ”people we like”. Superb, inspiring book.’ – KH
‘One of the best books on magick I have read in a long while.’Pagan News
‘A practical modern grimoire.’- The Cauldron
A Manual of Rune Magick
Subjects: Runes/Magick/Northern Tradition/Odinism.
If you have been following the ‘debate’ rumbling in various publications concerning Jan’s theories concerning the Seething/Seidr technique – then this greatly expanded new edition has a revised chapter on Seidr that addressses some of these issues.
Preface to the new edition
‘When I went to school, my history teacher told us about the old Germani. In her opinion, the Taunus mountains were populated by a bunch of brawny brawlers who wore horned helmets and small pieces of pelt. They lived in hilltop settlements which were fortified by ringwalls. Barely able to manage agriculture, they had to rely on hunting to fill their stomachs. They lived in shabby huts with mud-plastered walls and when the Romans came, they fought the invaders with crude swords, pointy sticks and by hurling rocks at them…’
‘Nowadays, the ringwalls of the Taunus are known as the work of La Tène Celts, who lived on the heights in well organised cities. For this new edition much of the text has been rewritten and updated. A large section on the bronze ages, the Celts, Germani and the later Vikings added. The theme of Wodan and Helja has been elaborated with more detail on pagan Scandinavia. The chapter on magical rune inscriptions has been extended, on Seiðr/seething trances rewritten, the bibliography updated and twelve pages of new illustrations added.’
The Runes are a pan-European magical language. Its roots lie in the ancient pagan beliefs of our ancestors, who built many thousands of stones circles, long barrows and dolmens throughout ancient Europe. These same symbols and techniques were used by the pagan Celts and Germans. This book is a complete manual of magick based upon arcane symbolism and secret techniques.
Meaning /Urda /Origins /Futhorc /Magical inscriptions / Memorial stones /Fascism / Titles / Cosmology / Nature / Qabala / Vision / Werdandi / Rune stance / Breathing/ Vowel song / Problems / Tune in / Health? / Divination / Alignments / Sigil sorcery / Seiðr and Seething / Energy /lda / Rune companion / Sources
‘…eminently practical and certainly breaks new ground.’ – Ronald Hutton
(author of Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles)
Recommended by The Cauldron.
‘a very meaty read…’PJ in Gippeswic.
Bright from The Well
Northern Tales in The Modern World
Subjects: Northern Tradition/Chaos Magick.
Attentive readers might have noticed me banging on about the collective & individual fading of memory, & the need to imagine an alternative language to talk about radical social change, entailing a re-memberance, or putting together of scattered parts strewn over a landscape of fragments.
Into my hands recently came a new book by Dave Lee, Bright from the Well – Northern Tales in the Modern World. Mandrake of Oxford (2008). It’s a retelling & reimagining of the creation & social origin myths of the Northern European tradition, including the Völuspá, & Rigsþula (Rig’s Tale). Comprising five short stories & five essays, it’s an odd but compelling read, combining a reworked & updated phenomenology of the myths with vividly told stories set in the contemporary world of would-be sorcerers & Chaos Magic.
Those with a suspicious turn of mind wrongly might detect a whiff of the Thule Society, & the romantic/reactionary projects dreamed up by the likes of W. B. Yeats & D. H. Lawrence, which often resulted in psychosomatic afflictions of the right arm. But Dave Lee is no New Ager, sharing my view that these are people with too many easily acquired beliefs to spend, who couldn’t think their way out of a paper bag. Think rather of the imaginative legacy & radical engagement of William Blake. Great stuff, ideas sparking off in all directions.
Klaus Bubblehammer, Bubblehammerblog
Bright From The Well
– Northern Tales in the Modern World
by Dave Lee
Review by Akashanath
A common difficulty for magicians moving from one tradition to another is reductio ad nauseum. With little effort, it is easy to nail the symbolism of one’s latest trip onto the pre-existing crucifix of one’s earlier experiences, eventually reducing every opportunity for novelty to a stale repeat of one’s preconceptions. Chaos Magick has often fallen into this trap, its dogma of ‘non-dogmatism’ leading adherents to strip belief-systems to their ‘essentials’, sometimes to the point where they lose much of their beauty and function. At the opposite extreme one can simply be overwhelmed by the strangeness and unfamiliarity of a new world-view, and fail to find a point from which to begin one’s assimilation. The Norse and Saxon myths, with their fragmented, archaic language and almost prehistoric themes, can often evoke this type of response. In his newest book, Dave Lee lithely navigates the pass between these twin peaks, taking time to pause and explore the dilemmas, or muse on them in the form of short fables. People expecting a book about the runes will not be disappointed. Those hoping for further expositions on the subject(s) of Chaos Magick will find plenty of interest. But for me where Bright From The Well comes into its own is as a series of reflections on dilemmas that will be familiar to many 21st century occultists.
For example, Chapter 5 is entitled “The Magician In and Against The World.” It’s essentially an analysis of the twin functions of the magician as anarchist, challenging the false autocracy of consensus reality, and the magician as priest, strengthening social traditions by helping the laity to connect them to their spiritual and cosmic sources. Within his complex analysis, Dave grapples with magicians’ tendencies towards transcendence on the one hand and immanence on the other. This rang loud bells for me; in my magickal quest I have often lurched from mind-bending hedonism to ruthless ascetic austerity and back again, struggling to marry my hungers and drives with some arbitrary construct of ultimate purpose. Dave also concludes that some sort of unification is necessary, describing this in terms of the intermarriage of the Vanir and the Aesir, the two Northern pantheons who exchange hostages somewhere near the beginning of time. Dave’s exegesis interprets the former as gods of immanence and the latter as deities of transcendence and consciousness (though not exclusively so). In a story from Snorri’s Prose Edda, Dave tells us how the Aesir (in the form of Odin) and the Vanir (in the form of Tyr) trick the Fenriswoolf (primal chaos) into allowing itself to be bound, creating the ordered universe that is a necessary precondition for human society and hence both esoteric and exoteric religious practice.
Students of Tantrika may find parallels here, and indeed Dave makes passing reference to the left and right hand paths. In many contemporary Hindu icons the transcendent Shiva is depicted sitting on his mountain, meditating and smoking Ganja, largely disinterested in the world. One myth tells us how the goddess Kali once went on a killing spree. Initially invoked by men seeking support in their war with the demons, Kali has lost sight of her original intention in an orgy of destruction. With all the demons slain, she turns her unstoppable fury on her former allies, slaughtering them with her many arms. Summoned from his mountain, Shiva is intrigued. Lying in front of her with his c**k erect, he looks up, turned on by her warped face and blood-stained body. Gradually her lust for killing turns into a different kind of lust, and the two deities begin to f**k. Separate from one another, they are aimless, functionless. In unity, Siva (transcendence) gains the capacity to manifest in the physical world, while Kali (immanence) transmutes her destructive power to generative.
Some of the other sections completely obviate the need for parallels by speaking directly to the magician’s experience. In Chapter 7, the author recounts a fascinating and credible list of magickal anecdotes spanning over 20 (and perhaps closer to 30?) years of workings, grouped into a rough typology of function. Several chapters take the form of stories, some obviously derived from Nordic originals, others less so. The style is engaging and entertaining, not laboriously educational or annoyingly whimsical, and each is short enough to be knocked off quickly (or omitted altogether) should it not be to the reader’s taste.
As well as re-telling stories from the northern traditions and presenting a novel method of working with the entities described as dwarves, the book contains a complete rune poem in English. Although it probably wouldn’t stand alone as a manual of rune magick, anyone genuinely interested in the subject could probably learn something new. The main strength, for those interested in Nordic traditions, will probably be for those looking for another perspective from which to triangulate dry, historical academic texts on the one hand and the often pedantic dogmatism of modern Odinists on the other. Overall, as the title implies, the collection is refreshing and inspired. Well worth a read!