Hollywood Mirrors, Part 2: The Silver Screen

 

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The Snow Queen by Elena Ringo, used under Creative Commons

Following on from my last post, I wanted to further explore the imagery of Hollywood and its importance in culture. In my last post, I explained about how Hollywood uses the ancient European symbols of the Holly tree (a wood commonly associated with making wands) and the evergreen to worm its way into our psyche (through ancestral resonance with those symbols). So today, I wanted to discuss other Hollywood appropriation of European folk imagery and how it is used against us.

All culture is a mirror. Hollywood knows this and describes itself thus but in a understated way using the euphemism ‘the silver screen’. The silver screen is just another word for mirror and by describing itself as ‘THE silver screen’ it subtly asserts itself as the definitive mirror and therefore the source of culture for the Western world. However, the screen/mirror in question is silver, so what does this mean? The purpose of the silver is two-fold. Firstly, this mirror is not clear, not sharp, not defined – it’s opaque, dulled and subject to misinterpretation. Silver is also a sign of riches, wealth and glamour. It’s a little trick to get you to love the confusion you see in the mirror, plus it makes a lot of money for those who run it.  The use of the word screen is interesting because as well as being a neat bit of alliteration, it not only denotes mirror but the sense of keeping something hidden. It’s a magic mirror indeed.

Mirrors are a well-known talisman in European folklore for being magical and revealing the truth about ourselves, or for predicting the future or showing the past in some way, as they are closely linked to crystal balls (such as the Magic Mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the Mirror in Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott and, most importantly, the Mirror from Hans Christen Andersen’s The Snow Queen, which epitomises how Hollywood works).

The importance of culture is that as you participate in it (symbolically looking into the mirror), you see yourself reflected back at you, people with the same outlook on the world, who think like you, look like you, speak the way you do, as did their ancestors and yours. It is where we experience the collective folk soul. So obviously, to take control of a people and their collective folk soul, taking over their cultural output and how they see themselves would be high on the agenda.

The culture created by Hollywood and the mass media is akin to the Magic Mirror of the Snow Queen “which had this peculiarity, that everything good and beautiful that was reflected in it shrank… but that whatever was worthless or ugly became prominent”. 

It’s not difficult to see how this relates today.

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The Shard, by Colin via Wikimedia Commons

In the tale,  an evil imp created this mirror, which was used to torment people by getting them to see themselves as ugly. The imps then tried to take it up to “heaven to torment the angels, but the mirror fragmented into billions of pieces”. In the story, this pleases the Imps greatly because each fragment has the same power as the original mirror. They use these shards to get into people’s eyes and blacken their hearts and souls.

I don’t think it’s necessary to dwell on the imagery further, needless to say it’s fairly straightforward how this applies to Hollywood and the mainstream media.

Incidentally, this imagery of the shard still echoes down the ages. The Modernist Shard building in London, a development owned by the Qatari government, was opposed during its proposal by English Heritage, who said it would be like a “shard of glass in the heart of London”. The developers took it on, to mock and thumb their nose at the likes of English Heritage for wanting to preserve the traditional skyline of London.  The contempt of the developers for those wishing to protect the classical architecture of the London skyline and its history is obvious.

Another example is how the term Snowflake has been used as an epithet for liberals, who always seem fairly susceptible to Hollywood and MSM programming, in my experience.

The silver screen operates on many levels, not only is it a magic mirror, a crystal ball and a splinter in the eye, but also as a knife to the heart. And it is killing us.

Hollywood mirrors – Part 1

 

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The iconic Hollywood sign in the hills of Los Angeles, California… and not one holly tree in sight

I wanted to speak a bit today about the power of Hollywood and mirrors, and why it is imperative that we break free of its programming. In this first part, I want to concentrate on the history and the symbolism of the Holly-wood.

For me the term Hollywood does not just refer to films, music and the like but all Western popular culture. Rather than a popular culture, this is more like a mass spell that has been cast over us for generations now through its films, its merchandise and various other spin-offs. We’ve all been mind controlled and programmed by this nefarious cult.

As a follower of the ancient European ways, it is no surprise to me that to accomplish this Sleeping Beauty-like feat over the West, the sacred symbols of European traditions were taken and egregiously appropriated in the process. This happens time and again.

Often, traditional European symbols are taken and used against us in the West because we resonate deeply with them. These ancient symbols are encoded into our collective memory over thousands of years of use, so resonating with them is natural for us.

Unfortunately, it means that many lies and half-truths can be presented to us wrapped up in European symbols and we will be more inclined to believe them, as that is how strong the resonance is (it also explains why the Christian church, for example, tacked on their Holy Days to these times of the year – to make them ‘stick’ better). In this case, the symbols of holly and the implication of evergreen are being used here.

To the ancient Druids, the holly was, and is, a very sacred tree – King of the Forest. Even the mighty oak couldn’t surpass its great power, namely that it is able to retain its vitality and strength (its ever-greenery) through the depths of winter, which is why it’s so synonymous with Yule and Christmas – it represents the life of the coming year, as well as the birth of the Christ in Christianity and the hope associated with it. Holly groves were formidable places of might and potency.

So, Hollywood takes its symbolism from the holly groves of yore. Holly is also a tree of magic, power and creating illusion. It is supposed to spread life to the land and support it through its darkest times. However, we can see that Hollywood, as is usual with evil operations, has taken the power and energy of this European symbol (where do holly trees grow in the desert lands of California?) and done the reverse.

The use of greenery as a symbol is also evident, and as a result it’s easy to see why Hollywood is obsessed with youth and vitality, and why it has been linked to paedophilic practices. Inevitably, it seeks a never-ending source of youth of and innocence to perpetuate itself – not just literally, but figuratively.

In recent years, much-needed attention has been focused on the literal depravity of Hollywood, yet the figurative aspect has been neglected in the process. This is also important, as this is how it enslaves most of us. Many people rely on Hollywood and popular culture as their imaginative and cultural touchstone. Such reliance makes it easy for Hollywood to control and influence our imaginations.

Our dreams, visions and hopes for the future are wide open for being influenced. It is an evil spell worthy of Maleficent herself, and each time we partake of it, we prick our finger on the spindle again and again.

Sleeping Beauty

And after pricking her finger on the spindle, she fell asleep for 100 years…

 

 

Cultivating Beauty Part 2

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In my last post, I discussed the traditional definitions of beauty from a European perspective.  So, now I want to talk about what that means for us as women. I think as women we should be reclaiming beauty and its power and taking it back for ourselves.

We live in an age that abounds in and celebrates ugliness. Modernist architecture increasingly encroaches on our civic spaces, women purported to be beauties are often plain and uninspiring. Obesity is not only on the rise, but is something – despite all its proven health consequences – to be celebrated, lauded even.

The word beauty comes from the Greek word for ripe and the inferred notion was something being of its time. Obviously, fertility is implicated. This is something that beauty is being slowly disconnected from in modern culture, the ability to bear children and bring precious life forth. Being of childbearing age and being able to bring children into the world is a gift and a power like no other. We are the nurturers of the next generation. (This is why it is so important that women know about their own culture so that they can transmit to their children that sense of ‘This is who we are’ – but that’s the subject for another post.)

Beauty, true beauty and grace, is something that can only emerge from within. We can spend fortunes on cosmetics and clothes but without the inner order and harmony we will only be imitating beauty, rather than embodying it.

Feminine beauty has always inspired men to create the most wonderful civilizations for us to make call home. Our civilizations are poems of love and commitment from men to women and back again. Men build civilizations for women, inspired by their beauty. Women then nurture and grow the children of that civilization and around we go. It is not surprising that as women increasingly disregard beauty as a virtue, Western civilization goes into decline.

In my last post I spoke of how beauty has been defined as an ideal, by philosophers since Plato. Although there are differences there is a consensus that beauty is an ideal, a standard of perfection which reflects a harmony or order.

As women, we can do a great deal to ensure the survival of Western civilization by beginning to reflect this feminine energy back to the world again – grace, tenderness, kindness, gentleness and motherliness.

Feminism leads to a perversion and skewing of this natural force. The greatest, truest power at our disposal is not, and never has been, trying to be like men but celebrating our differences from them. So, our innate tenderness and gentleness are our greatest powers and gifts. In any healthy society, this force is used to sustain itself. In the past, this was why women not only birthed and raised the children but took care of the sick, the elderly and the dead.

In the West, we have seen women’s traditional roles taken over by the state and outsourced to high heaven as we have been coerced into the traditionally masculine sphere of labour. Simultaneously, we have been conditioned to stop focusing on our immediate families and communities and regard the whole world as such. Rather than pumping feminine energy back into our civilizations, it is being ineffectively sprayed at the world. This makes our energy ineffective and largely unappreciated, leaving women burnt out, bitter and, quite often, just plain crazy.

Feminism has encouraged women not to be beautiful, in any way, to syphon off the nourishment to Western civilization.

When we are aligned with nature we are more gentle than men, we are more emotionally responsive, we are more tender. There’s nothing wrong with that. Why are we trying to compete with men for emotional resilience? We have different jobs to do on this Earth, ours is tending to the well-being of the tribe. For men, it is tending to the safety of the tribe.

In the West, it is obvious this energy is out of kilter when we look at the different female fashions, either a slobby, dumpy mess with rainbow coloured hair or an overly made-up slut, both of which are pastiches of femininity.

When we disregard nature, we don’t do very well anyway, we don’t think or act like blokes, no matter how we try. Isn’t it time we were just ourselves?

Cultivating beauty

What I wish to discuss today is beauty and the cultivation of the feminine. In the West today, we don’t see much beauty. Our buildings are ugly, our fashions are dowdy and drab, our language is littered with mindless profanity and the popular culture presented to us is shallow and corrosive. Beauty, truth and goodness are in short supply.

It is important that any civilized society pursues these ideals. Beauty, truth and goodness are what Plato called the Transcendentals and are related to our ability to think wish/imagine and feel. Traditionally, these concepts have been represented by the arts (beauty), science (truth) and religion (goodness). However, all three overlap and are intertwined. I want to talk about beauty in particular and why it is important to cultivate, especially for women.

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Beauty, expressed via the arts, represents the realm of the imagination. The imagination is the bridge to the world of Spirit, the Divine realms. Controlling this aspect of a culture is like being in command of a prominent toll bridge or road. It is an important strategic asset. Beauty and art are the bridge between Spirit and Logic. We can receive divine inspiration and guidance through engagement with Spirit, such as via prayer or meditation. Such inspiration often expresses itself through art (the Renaissance period alone is testament to this) and concepts and ideas which flow from this wellspring may be evolved via logic. Leonardo da Vinci  was a master of all three of these processes – he shows what we are capable of when we are fully autonomous and understanding of all three realms.

Over the past century, with the advent of modernism and post-modernism, we’ve seen an active rejection of beauty by the prevailing Globalist culture and the triumph of  dull homogeneity as expressed through art and architecture (nothing means anything). We have lost the value of beauty and its uniqueness, and our culture – in all its forms – has grown increasingly ugly and nihilistic as a result.

The Ancients put a great deal of emphasis on Beauty. It was considered to be important because they believed it fostered a sense of feeling in the individual . It is easy to argue that the lack of beauty we see in the West today has served to deaden the senses – and this has been done deliberately. The implications of the lack of Beauty demonstrate why art and culture are barometers of the surrounding politics and why controlling them is always an important goal. Is part of the reason we have become so inert in the West, so apathetic about the collapse of our culture, because our souls are deadened of feeling? Do we feel less now than we did, say, 100 years ago?

Beauty, as defined by Pythagoras, was predicated upon  sacred geometry and the concepts of proportion, harmony and order/rhythm.Beauty was predictable, it was not random or chaotic. It followed a pattern or rhythm (or as Aristotle put it order, symmetry and definiteness). Obviously, these patterns and rhythms varied a great deal but a rhythm nonetheless. Being built upon the concepts of sacred geometry such as the Golden Ratio (Phi) means they reflected the order of the cosmos. We see these mathematical concepts expressed through great architecture, art and pieces of music. Beauty was an expression of the harmony of nature and the wider universe. This expression of nature also includes us as humans. I think this is an important thing to consider for those of us wishing to reclaim beauty. Indeed, such great classical works show how the Transcendentals are a circle of expression, Logic influences and religion, which influences art. Such great works represent the essence of life.

In my next post, I’ll talk more about beauty and how we can can reclaim it as women.

 

Lent 2.0

As it’s Ash Wednesday today, and the first day of Lent, I wanted to talk about this particular tradition and the meaning we can derive from it in our modern age, as Westerners.

There has been a lot of discussion online recently about how in the West we have become decadent and weakened, and I would agree with that sentiment. Our obesity rates are a testament to that. Historically, in the West we have, in one form or another, either been subjected to, or subjected ourselves to, great pressures which have in turn created power and advancement.

To subject yourself to such great pressure or sacrifice is an old Western tradition (and I’m sure it is in other cultures too, I just don’t know enough about them to comment).  The northern traditions provide not one but two fantastic examples of sacrifice. Not only did Odin, piercing himself with a spear and hanging from Yggdrasil for nine nights to gain the wisdom of the runes, he also gave his right eye to Mimir, who guards a well whose water imparts the wisdom of the ages. Such stories also abound in Celtic and Greek mythology, whereby a young hero forgoes some immediate pleasure to gain greater riches in the future. This ‘tyranny of the future’, as some philosophers have called it, can also be found in Christianity. It was common in the early Church and until medieval times for Christian mystics and Saints to fast, which they believed induced ecstatic states that allowed them to grow closer to God.

Creating pressure for ourselves is quite an alien concept today, where everything can be literally gained at the touch of a button, so I would like to plead a case for a quiet tradition, which is built on a very old European tradition that can help us create pressure in our lives today – Lent.

Lent is the period in the Christian calendar preceding Easter. Christian Lent is a time of penitence, suffering and deprivation to identify with Christ as he spent his time in the desert. Today, Lent is often portrayed by modern Christian churches as a time of deprivation and suffering. I believe that the message of how Jesus went into the desert to gain power and knowledge seems to have slipped quietly under the radar (this power was demonstrated when he was tempted by the Devil, and overcame the temptation).

Over the past century or so, Lent has become a rather tepid affair, with a token vice or pleasure being given up such as smoking, swearing or drinking alcohol being common favourites. I would argue tha, although such actions will no doubt be good for your health, they miss the point of Lent, which was sacrifice and deprivation in order to receive power and insight.

Traditionally, Lentern fasting used to consist of abstinence from meat, butter, eggs and sugar as well as eating only one full meal (plus two smaller meals known as corollaries, which were basically small snacks) taken after midday.

Mothering Sunday (about halfway through Lent) was a celebratory time and fasting was dropped on that day and then resumed again on the Monday.

The Lentern tradition is built upon a much earlier one which was a common practice (give or take some regional differences) across Europe. Sacrifice is part and parcel of who we are in the West. February, for instance, named by the Romans, was known as the month of purification.  The Lentern custom of fasting is built upon an older tradition of fasting and purging the body to receive new life in the spring/Easter/Ostara.

Astrologically, Lent (which means ‘spring period’) occurs roughly under the time of Pisces, which represents the all-that-is, agape and mysticism.  Fasting, not only from food but deliberately turning our attention to matters of spirit and being introspective, allows us to harness the energy of the spring and go forth with new creative vigour. If you think the tides of the seasons have no effect on you, you’re much mistaken.  You too, no matter what your beliefs, are a part of nature, of Creation, and you respond to these impulses as do the birds making their nests and animals rousing from hibernation.

This ancient pagan – for want of a better phrase – culture across Europe is the soil in which Christianity grew.

Now, let me be clear, I am not anti-Christian by any stretch of the imagination. I do not think that Christianity should be thrown out, there are many parts of it that I revere and think are beautiful. Moreover, it’s part of our history and culture – to understand ourselves, we MUST take Christianity on board and understand it.

So, this time of Lent, the early spring period, is an in-between time. Yule is over, winter has usually done its worst, yet the spring is not quite yet begun. Now is the time to prepare for it, to prepare for the new energy that is waiting to be unleashed. In the West, we’ve always been good at preparing and being organised – it’s how our civilizations grew. So let us reclaim this tradition now and use it to propel us forward into the spring.  I think it’s time to revive this custom of fasting and introspection. It’s our original form of detox, which for a short period is good for the body, to clear out any accumulated toxins. We have all the traditions and wisdoms there in our history of how to live in balance but we have forgotten them and they are waiting to be remembered and reclaimed.

More on the Lia Fail

I’ve been meaning to wind up the Four Treasures series for some time now, and I will, although I did get waylaid by Christmastime. Before I do that, I want to add some more information about the stone.

The stone, represents the Earth element, it represents the body and it represents WEALTH and INHERITANCE of all stripes. Obviously, it is synonymous with the Earth herself and the land that we live on, which was also part of our inheritance, we inherit the locality of where we were from and its culture. In a transient secular society, such as we have in Britain, those regional cultures are less delineated today, but in previous generations they were more clearly defined. Where you were from, not necessarily determined, but indicated strongly what you did, which in turn shaped character. To modern sensibilities, such a path is regarded as oppressive, but I would argue that it was not necessarily like that back then. Certain traditional trades and ways of living (such as fishing, mining or farming for example) had evolved due to a relationship between the land and the people in that locale. Becoming a part of that living tradition by following in the family footsteps, was usually a source of honour and pride for many. Having generation after generation work as a charcoal burner or a shepherd for example, was an expression of this relationship between the community and the land. By working with the land in this way, it provided them with a living, it gave wealth, because they could begin to trade with different communities who lacked what they had, such as wool, fish or timber.  Specific work being repeated over the generations created a culture and a way of being, a way of interacting with the land specific to that community or region (such as the culture around coastal fishing communities for example) and contributing to the tapestry of the nation.

People using their inheritances in this way, to the best of their abilities created wealth, as it allowed for trade and commerce. In turn, this paved the way for culture to be created. This is crucial, LOCAL PRODUCE CREATES CULTURE. Being able to produce goods and services using the raw materials from our ancestral lands is very important. The land on its own is not a culture, and neither are the people. It is the interaction, this threefold relationship of people, land and produce/creativity from those raw materials which create culture.

These cultures represented, quite literally, what had been previously built by the ancestors.  The task of each current generation is to sustain/improve this for our offspring. Culture is a shelter for the people who belong to it. Each individual culture is like a second womb. It sustains and grows us, over a much longer cycle of time, which is to do with our evolution as peoples of the Earth.

As the Stone represents culture it is also the place where art is created. Art is often an interface between the ancestors and ourselves. When we use our traditions as a touchstone, great art and stories are made. Often, we think of the ancestors as being of our direct lineage only, and there is worth and power in this. However, historical figures from our cultures have great relevance to our lives and are people we should study and emulate. They shaped conditions that our direct ancestors lived in, they helped make our countries what they are, and they are OURS. We should be reclaiming our great historical figures and asking ourselves what they can teach us today. This is not so that we can LARP, or return to the Days of Yore, but so that we can get a feel for who we were then, and what that means today. How can we keep our traditions fresh and vital in a modern world where globalisation puts traditions, cultures and true diversity under threat of extinction?

The stone also represents our old ways and spirituality. It represents everything our ancestors have believed. Across Europe we see standing stone structures dedicated to the long cycles of time. This is just one of the reasons that the Druids were known as People of the Stones. Examining these old beliefs, learning about them, not necessarily to agree with them, but becoming acquainted with the beliefs of our ancestors reminds us of what they were creating for us, and what they wish us to create for our descendants in turn. I will say more about spirituality at some point, but it will take another post. Suffice to say, it is represented here.

Therefore, the stone is literally the bedrock of civilization. The sword that opposes the stone defends what the stone creates and builds upon. The stone signifies the ancestors, the land and the culture that comes about as a subtle exchange between the three (the third being us). It is demonstrated in our architecture and how we build.  It is what protects us. Our cultures protect us from harm, they are a clothing, they really are that important.

Metropolitan living has severed many from their spiritual and emotional roots, deriding interest in tradition as backward looking and too exclusive. Eventually, this notion will collapse upon itself, and I believe we are seeing the beginnings of that, but we can begin in our own lives by ensuring the necessary tension for personal sovereignty, which the Four Treasures outline.

The people of the Greater British Isles have always enjoyed commerce and making money. We enjoy luxury and comfort, it is one of the things that has always pushed us forward, trying to improve our material lot for the generations that have come after us. I believe this is an innate trait in Europeans to ensure we survive winter (which Earth rules in this system). Ensuring we have enough to survive is hardwired into us, so, we inevitably feel in control and secure when we accumulate.  I think part of the hippie movement in the 60’s which tried to reject this inclination was an acknowledgment that these tendencies to hanker for material wealth had grown out of control. Unfortunately, that movement mainly flat out rejected and disowned this part of the Western psyche, which has only compounded the issue.

It is difficult to pinpoint when this breakdown began, and I suspect there were numerous factors involved (that’s something I need to research further), but by the time the Industrial Revolution was in full swing the beginnings of this rampant greed was becoming apparent. This is not to say that I reject the developments Industrialisation has brought us. I’m not arguing for us to all live in yurts, I like central heating, running hot water and superfast broadband as well as the next man – and I’m grateful for all of this. It is the attitude behind it, the myopic indulgence, that I wish to discuss.

Prior to Industrial Revolution, there was still some balance in how we worked and generated wealth with other areas of life such as familial relationships.  Wealth does not just refer to material prosperity, but general wellbeing (as it’s etymology attests). Wealth is a combination of spiritual and emotional factors, such as being in harmony with the land and your community, which in turn generated material wealth. Prosperity is in direct relationship to well-being, and ultimately is a measure of our spiritual health. If our spirituality suffers, the people/culture suffer. If the people/culture suffer the economy suffers too.

So, during the Industrial Revolution, we saw people in effect begin to sell off the stone, or parts of it. To turn it into an analogy, the stone represents an old manor house say, with land attached and resources. It has been tended for generations by one family. However, one generation comes in and finds that they can accumulate a bit of quick cash by selling off some of the farm, just a couple of paddocks, no big deal. Realistically, this may happen from time to time, where you must give up a bit more than you’d like, but endeavour to make up for it in some other way. However, what we have seen is that whilst making a go of the farm, or the orchard, successive generations of tenants have also been selling stuff off as well, because they can make even more. The reason for doing this is irrelevant, as the result of this long-term neglect is the same: we arrive at the point where the house is on the point of being sold off. There is nothing to pass down as all the money and capital has been squandered. This is what we have been doing in Britain, on a macro and micro level for generations now, and with each generation the cumulative impact has grown greater. I’m not trying to apportion blame, there are reasons for this, which I’ve got drafted in another post. The fact remains, it is a travesty to sell off what our ancestors have provided for us so wantonly.

So, the stone covers our INHERITANCE and that is the land of our ancestors, their ways, their stories and what they built. Other inheritances we receive come from our families and these will include not just material wealth – if one is fortunate – but also certain gifts and aptitudes. These gifts are from your ancestors and are there to be used to help you generate wealth. Use them. Understand your personal, familial history, the tendencies that run in your family, the talents.  Then research your local history/ies, then national. This will provide a clue for how each of us individually is here to build upon the ancestors’ work, of where each one of us fits into the jigsaw puzzle of the nation. Understanding what was built before us and why is key to understanding who we are today.

All of this is to provide freedom. Once you have these treasures mastered, you can begin, but only begin to become a free person.  The ability to provide for yourself (spear), defend yourself (sword), regenerate yourself (cauldron) and build/helping to build a legacy (stone) are what are necessary to be regarded as sovereign being. I’ll discuss that in my next post.

 

The Four Treasures – Keys to Sovereignty Part 4, The Lia Fail

 

The Lia Fail translates to English as the Stone of Destiny or the Stone of Ireland (Fail is an ancient name for Ireland as in the Irish political party Fianna Fail translates to Warriors of Ireland) was from Falias. It represents the direction of the North. When the rightful High King of Ireland put his feet on the stone would roar out in joy. The stone would rejuvenate the King and provide him with a long reign.

The Lia Fail has obvious parallels with the Stone of Scone/the Coronation Stone, and have been linked by some Scottish researchers. There is some speculation that it was loaned to Scotland alongside the Stone of Scone. The Lia Fail at some point returned to Ireland as per legend, whereas the Stone of Scone stayed in Scotland.  The Stone of Scone became a contentious issue in Britain after it was taken from Scotland to England by Edward I during the 13th Century.

The stone represents the ancestors, as well as knowledge, wisdom and history. The Lia Fail, (like the stone Excalibur was drawn from in the Arthurian tales), is the arbiter of sovereignty.  It represents communing with the Otherworlds and the knowledge and wisdom that comes forth from such interactions. Thus, it subsequently represents our histories, our pasts, our roots. The stone is literally our foundation and without it our houses cannot stand. We must always know what our foundations are and keep them in good repair.

Stone also represents the metals of the Earth, which makes the sword (in the south) an interesting opposite. The stone is the substance that the sword comes from, yet the sword has been honed, polished, crafted. In this regard, it is like civilization, which it represents – something which must be cultivated. The stone is the essence of civilization, it is what we have built our pasts out of. Studying our histories is very important. The stone is feminine as the sword is masculine. The women were the ones who kept track of the lineages of their kin and they were the ones who transmitted the culture because women tend to be the ones that usually teach the children. This probably goes some reason to explain why women have traditionally been the bestowers of sovereignty on Kings and depicted as embodiments of the land (Eiru, Britannia, Columbia etc.), because they represent the essence of the culture and the passing it down through the generations. This also gives a nod to the cycles of time represented by the cauldron, which is also a feminine aspect. The men defend (sword) and provide (spear) for this civilization. The women regenerate (cauldron) and transmit (stone) it. Women are the stone of foundation.

So, both axes balance each other. The east to west is more centred around physical/emotional sustenance and the north to south is about mental/spiritual sustenance. The provider ethic of the east(spear) satisfies the nurturing aspect of the west(cauldron). The rootedness of the north (stone) finds changing expression in the civilized south(sword). In fact, it is this rootedness which drives it forward.

Reclaiming sovereignty in this aspect means to study our history, our pasts, individual, local and national. It means to get in touch with the land you are living from and know about the events that happened in your region. On a spiritual level it implies work with the ancestral spirits of the land, and we can finally see that they are the drivers of our culture, which is expressed in the sword/south which is where we find our civilization and a more ‘of the moment’ time.

Each generation has the task of reweaving the national character/story and expressing that story. This weaving explains the rise and fall of different artistic movements and interests/tastes, but through all of these different expressions their are usually some common threads running through that.

In Britain today, and England in particular, we’ve let those threads slip from our grasp and now we have the task of not only weaving the story of our generation/s, but finding the threads in the first place. I don’t think it is necessarily our fault that they have been ‘dropped’ as it were. I think that our grip has been loosening on them for quite a while now. However, someone has to do the dirty work and pick them up and sort them out – so it looks like its us, here on Earth now.

Tracking our character and our national story, through the ages is essential and it’s primarily what this blog is about. Who are we? As it’s difficult to know, who we were is a good place to start. This is what the stone is about, it is about fixing the foundations, so that the house doesn’t fall down around our ears!

The balance within the axes demonstrate that, for sovereignty to flow within each one of us correctly, the masculine and feminine aspects must be balanced.  In my next post, and final one of this series, I’ll be exploring some ideas of how we can do that.

The Four Treasures, Keys to Sovereignty Part 3- The Cauldron of The Dagda.

The Cauldron represents the direction of the west and originated in the city Murias.  It was known as the Undry and was one of two magical artefacts belonging to the Irish god, the Dagda (the other was a magic staff or club, which could take life with one end and give life in the other). The Dagda took over as the king of the Tuatha De Danann after Nuada was wounded in the first battle of Magh Tuireadh (pronounced Moytura in English). He is known as the ‘All-Father’ or ‘The Good God’ and has parallels with the Norse god Odin, as well as the Greek god Zeus.

The Cauldron was capable of constant replenishment – no one ever went away from it unsatisfied.  It is entirely possible that this cauldron is also the cauldron in the story of Branwen, the daughter of Llyr from the second branch of the Mabinogion. The cauldron plays a crucial role in that story.

The Cauldron represents the ability to regenerate. It points to the Celtic belief that rather than being an ending, death is merely a transformation into something else. The Cauldron as a motif signifies knowing how to renew and transform oneself, knowing how to nurture and how to respond to the rhythms of release, change and renewal in good time. (Incidentally, the Dagda was also said to carry a magic harp made of Oak called Uaithne which when played would put all the seasons in correct order.) The Cauldron is akin to the void, which we all go into and return from in different form. Knowing how to release and to allow oneself to transform (which is more difficult than it should be for us material Westerners) is an essential part of its teaching. This release can be as simple as having a longed-for afternoon nap or as significant knowing when it is time to make the ultimate journey to the Otherworlds. Essentially, the process is the same.

The first two treasures of the Spear and Sword are very masculine. They seek action and reception, they are very phallic. The Cauldron and the final treasure, the Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny), represent the feminine aspects of sovereignty.

The ability to regenerate oneself touches many different aspects of life but what seems to bind them together is a humility and a surrender to bigger forces at work in our lives. Areas of life such as creativity, physical health, intuition, cycles of time and procreation all come under the cauldron. Knowing how to work with these forces necessitates knowledge of the cycles of time, especially the larger, forgotten ones. It is about being tuned into the spider-web threads of life and sensing what is or is not needed in any given moment – such as when to comfort a grieving person and when to stand back. It is about knowing all of the seasons – those of the year, most definitely, but also those of life, those of individuals we meet, even the different seasons that can occur in one day.

In times gone by, women were the adepts at this due to their menstrual cycles, which instinctively tuned them in to different cycles of time.  Women are able to sense the reverberations on the spider threads of emotions that permeate most social situations. We are able to pick up information from the slightest nuances in a voice or a look. Reading such information is akin to knowing another language. Knowing these spider webs show women an invisible language of appropriateness, it shows us when a hug or a cuddle is needed, or when to stand back and observe, when strong words are needed or when hushed tones will be better. It shows us what to talk about and when. It shows us how we are viewed in our community, women feed back to each other through incredibly subtle ways which are beyond men. However, I would argue that most women are insufficiently in touch with these cycles today, leaving them open to manipulation and misunderstanding from such impressions.

Being able to respond to these cycles keeps a community and a people in harmony. This is why most women in a household, especially where young children are present, will oversee the finer details of Christmas, Easter, birthdays and any other important holidays or festivals. Women keep the pulse of time and rather than denigrating or decrying this, we should be celebrating it. It is a sacred role.

Opposite the Cauldron is the Spear. On a mundane level, the Spear takes life via the masculine act of the hunt and brings the quarry to the feminine Cauldron to be transformed into something palatable. These energies balance each other out; the Spear represents the masculine aspect of transformation/regeneration, the Cauldron the feminine.

As the Cauldron represents regeneration, it is natural that it should represent our physical health and a good indicator of that is our reproductive health. The Cauldron signifies being in tune with the growing cycles of the year and being able to select the choicest of foods to support and feed the tribe and ensure their health and survival. It implies knowing about plants, herbs and the nutrition value of each food and the healing properties of plants. As a result, it implicates the literal regeneration of ourselves as well – and our ability to reproduce.

In terms of sovereignty, anything that undermines any aspect covered by the Cauldron should not be tolerated. So, things such as over (or under) work, harmful substances (especially in excess), GMO foods and anything that undermines our ability to regenerate on any level should be regarded with suspicion and derision.  Obviously, we have to take responsibility for our own lives and manage our own actions, all of it is a balance.

So, reclaiming sovereignty under the Cauldron means knowing the cycles of life. Knowing when to release and let go is a key part of this. The cauldron signifies healing knowledge and being aware of what is needed to make oneself healthy and strong, what foods to eat, when and how to exercise, when to sleep and rest. It is about knowing what activities make our souls sing. It is also about knowing how to create healthy offspring. Now, this isn’t to say that everyone should feel obligated to go out and reproduce but knowing how to do so, even if one chooses not to, is an essential Cauldron knowledge and power. Attempts to impinge on this sacred power of reproduction for men and women is an abomination, as it is our ultimate creative expression, one we should all guard to the death, whether we have children or not. Once that is gone, all other creative expressions will soon follow suit.

Being able to regenerate our spirits changes our brain patterns and therefore changes us. Knowing what nourishes us and nourishes those we love is an overlooked but significant power. On a wider scale, such knowledge will feed a nation and keep it on its evolutionary track.

In my next post, I’ll be talking about the fourth and final treasure, the Lia Fal/Stone of Destiny.

The Four Treasures, Keys to Sovereignty Part 2 – The Sword of Nuada.

The sword represents the southerly direction and the city Findias. It is named after Nuada, King of the Tuatha de Danaan. Known as the Claiomh Solais (Sword of Light), no one ever escaped from it once it was drawn from its sheath and no one could resist it.

In Irish Mythology, Nuada loses his right hand during the first battle of Mag Tuired and was subsequently unable to wield a sword. This led to him losing the Kingship of the Tuatha de Danaan, as their tradition stated that a King must be physically perfect. The ability to wield a sword is particularly crucial, and the loss of this ability causes Nuada to loses his position of sovereign over his people. His arm was later replaced by a silver one, leading him to be known by the nickname Nuada Airgetlam (silver arm). This silver arm was later replaced by a flesh and blood one, and he was restored to the throne.

As the spear represents the ways of the wood/nature, the sword represents civilization and boundaries of all kinds. It denotes, justice, fairness, the law and all the accoutrements of civilization such as metal work, artisan craft and of course, being able to fight and protect oneself. It represents being able to defend your ground, physically and metaphorically. Not only does it incorporate self-defence, but also implies being able to defend one’s position with words, which necessitates being able to debate. The sword emphasises the use of logic, reason and intelligence. It also represents a discernment, which requires a certain type of clear-sightedness, that enables one to see the truth in every situation and respond accordingly. Civilizations were built upon the sword and it truly is a noble instrument. It marks boundaries. Our ancestors would have been skilled in sword fighting, which in turn would have sharpened the mind and instincts. In ancient European culture summer fairs/games were common, and one reason for them was to display the physical strength and prowess of the tribe. However, these fairs were often accompanied by bardic performances and contests and markets. The whole fair was an expression of skill and aptitude, demonstrating the level of civilization of the people. Today this lingers in our own summer fairs, and although the Scottish tradition of the Highland Games (amongst others) is an obvious example, where I sense it most in Britain is at the humble fruit and veg competition that is a common event at such gatherings, it is this need to demonstrate of prowess that taps into something primordial. I know that may be amusing, but it’s true! This showcasing of the level of civilization was a way of recalibrating the roles of each member of the tribe, it showed how able you were to live alongside each other and communicate. This is the glue that binds people together and is expressed materially through trade and art – two closely related commodities.

So, as we move around the wheel we begin in the realm of the wood with the Spear as our instrument. This aspect of sovereignty, although powerful, is self-contained – it pertains to primal instinct, survival and the ways of the animals. As we progress to the realm of civilization, with the Sword as our instrument, interaction with others – whether as friend or foe – is key. The sword is a motif for how we deal with others.

The spear and the sword represent the two masculine expressions of sovereignty and are expressed through access to material resources and strength. Strength, although physical, is a mental trait too.  For many of us today it is easy to feel disempowered because these two particular aspects of sovereignty have been under extensive attack. I would strongly argue, that one of the quickest ways for us to reclaim this aspect is to hit the gym, get fit and learn about defence. Learning such skills switches on the mind to perceive reality in a different way so we can think more critically about such things as foreign policy for example.  A strong body is not enough in and of itself though – learning about ancient Western philosophy, how to construct an argument, how to debate, how to use reason and logic, the differences between rhetoric and dialectic are all crucial too. The mind and body both need to be trained in strength and wisdom.

Another way to reclaim this treasure is to learn about our laws, Constitutions and how our governmental systems (at all levels) work. We are woefully uniformed about this, we don’t know enough about what keeps our civilizations in good order.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the third Treasure: The Cauldron of the Dagda.

The Four Treasures, Keys to Sovereignty: Part 1

This post has been rolling around in my head for a while now, so I thought I may as well set it down and get it out there. Since Brexit, Trump and the rest of the populist movements rising across the rest the word sovereignty gets bandied about a lot. But what is sovereignty?

Traditionally sovereignty has meant self-determination, being able to control borders, set taxes and those sorts of things. It is about having power and the ultimate say about what goes on in a country.

However, the quickest way for us to become a sovereign nation, is for us to become sovereign beings.  As a person who works with my ancestors and spirits of the land, I have been back and forth about sovereignty and what it means, and want to share a model I have been given for each of us to reclaim our personal sovereignty.

The model I was given was based on the Four Treasures of Ireland. I have some Irish ancestry, as well as British, and I was reluctant to share this model at first because I’ve been unsure of how it would be perceived. However, I’ve been informed that this model is important, not only for those of Irish and British ancestry, but it’s value will resonate with all peoples of European descent, and needs to be shared now.

Each treasure represents a different aspect of sovereignty, and in this model, operates on a compass/medicine wheel, with each aspect clearly defined, yet flowing into the next aspect. Only through balancing these aspects/treasures can one claim to be sovereign. So here they are.

What were the four treasures?

The Four Treasures of Ireland were rumoured to have been relics, from an older, much loved, but long past Civilization of great repute. They belonged to the Tuatha de Danaan, an ancient race of beings who were just one of the prehistoric groups who inhabited Ireland. Mysterious and wise, the Tuatha de Danaan have been speculated to be Gods, aliens and even a lost tribe of Israel – who they were is a post in and of itself, today I wish to confine myself to the Treasures.  Each treasure was said to have come from a northern city of antiquity, long perished. These cities were thought to correspond with islands in modern day Scandinavia, where the Tuatha de Danaan went to learn magic and knowledge. Each famous treasure of theirs held magical properties and was associated with a different aspect of being sovereign. I want to outline how these treasures are a kind of shorthand, a lexicon if you will, for what true sovereignty is and what we can each do to acquire it.

 

The Spear of Destiny.

The Spear of Destiny corresponds with the direction of the East, and the city Gorias. It is also known as the Spear of Lugh (the Irish god of light, whom the summer harvest festival Lughnasadh is named after). The Spear was said to be possible to overcome and had to be kept in a pot of water to prevent it igniting. According to the Lebor Gabala Erenn it was made of Yew.

On a mundane level the spear is the primal weapon of hunting, and although it was later surpassed by the bow and arrow, it still represents that ability. Hunting has been much maligned in the West for a fair few generations now, so it is difficult for us to examine the Western psyche of Hunting in the modern age. However, if we look to our ancient past, such as the Lascaux cave paintings, we can see that hunting was an obvious preoccupation for our ancestors. Some have speculated that these ancient drawings have been assault plans on a quarry. Others have argued that the drawings represent the setting down of a set intention, a ‘build it and they will come’ approach to capturing the bison or whatever. If this is the case, which I do suspect, because our ancestors would have been much more attuned to the different worlds than we are, this shows how the spear can also be viewed as a staff or a diving rod seeking out prey, as well as the weapon to make the kill. Such a concept hints at the hunter and hunter being in a symbiotic relationship. The hunted eventually gets tired of the chase and thus surrenders to the hunted.

The spear as a staff is a short metaphorical leap away from spear/staff as a wand, and this is should also be included in our definition of the spear. On a symbolic level, spear represents our AGENCY. It symbolises those areas of life where we set our goals and aims for the future and go out and achieve them.  It also symbolises our ability to act upon our instincts. Mastery of the spear represents the possession of finely tuned instincts and cunning which are both firmly supported by strategy and logic. It is about being able to survey the savannah of life (whether that be the streets of London or the Pyrenees mountains) and determine what you need to do to make it today. It necessitates knowing your local terrain, wherever that may be, and being able to operate skilfully within it.  The balancing of these forces is necessary to perfect the art of the spear, or the skill of the archer. Obviously, in a modern context the spear represents being able to support yourself and others financially, it covers bringing home the bacon. On a more sacred level it is about being able to make your dreams into reality. The wisdom implied here shows us that manifesting your dreams isn’t about meditating for six hours a day on your dream and lighting a purple candle. Achieving dreams, like hunting is HARD WORK, you have to put the graft in.  Goal setting, planning and working are the stepping stones to ACHIEVING. Luck is also involved.

The spear represents the huntsman in the forest who always gets his quarry. It is about staying alive. So, one part of sovereignty is about being able to support yourself and others. Are you able to snare your quarry? Hunting is an ancient practice, and demonstrates a symbiotic relationship between hunter and hunted, between goal setter and the goal. The metal point of the spear acted as a dowser, a magnet for the quarry.

Being able to support yourself and a family is part of being sovereign. In the West, wages have been frozen in real terms for approximately 10 years. I would argue this is a deliberate attack on this aspect of self- sovereignty. So, one way we can restore sovereignty is by implementing the adage of a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. Working hard is an essential part of spear/hunting. Denying capable people the opportunity to financially support themselves robs agency.

Tomorrow I’ll publish the second part, the sword of Nuada. I’ve broken this post up into parts as they would be too long otherwise.

ADDENDUM:

I want to thank Rosemary Taylor for her feedback, which prompted this addendum. It’s been a while since I received this model, so there are levels of it that I may have missed. Anyway, Rosemary’s comments reminded me of this aspect of the Spear – so thank you, Rosemary.

The Spear also represents the ways of the wood. It is that primordial time of the forest and is represented by Lugh, Herne, Odin. It is the way of the tracker, the hunter, the woodsman. It also represents the wisdom of the animals and how they are our teachers. Observing and copying animals has always been a part of human behaviour since time immemorial, in the metropolitan west we have forgotten about the animals and just generally see then as a nuisance to be controlled or managed. Our ancestors lived very differently, and lived alongside in animals who they regarded as allies, friends or foes.

In Britain, certainly, but in many urban parts of the West, we don’t know enough about the animals of our landscape, where they live, their tribal patterns and hierarchies, which they have. We don’t know where the badgers make their setts, or the difference between male and female molehills. We don’t know how to build shelters and make fires. It is very easy to argue that they are of no use today – and on one level, this is true, but activating these skills ignite parts of your brain forcing you to think creatively and be resourceful. This is just one reason why these skills are important – they are transferable.

I know for sure that in Britain, we are hungry for this sort of knowledge. Why else do people watch Bear Grylls and Ray Mears with such fervour? The enduring popularity of animal stories children’s literature also indicates the passion for this type of knowledge. From Aesop’s Fables through Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh to the Wind in the Willows and even the Gruffalo, we can see that this resonance with our native animal kingdom is still incredibly strong.

So, one way we can restore our sovereignty is to get back into nature and feel that connection with the land. Learning and studying nature is also essential, books are good, but there is nothing like the real thing. Having nature breaks such as camping weekends, or wildcrafting weekends which have become popular in the past few years are also part of this. We need to pass these skills on to our young people urgently. Doing these types of activities on a regular basis will change the way you think and approach life. It is essential aspect of sovereignty.