The Hidden Horn

This is a conversation we had with the anthropologist and shaman Alver Hviti on how to practice the Old Ways in today’s world.

WR:“We live in a tolerant society. In this day and age it is easy to be a pagan. Politicians and the media preach religious freedom all the time. Would you agree?”

AH:“It might come to a great surprise to many that, in this day and age, there is a great hostility towards Norse pagans in Europe. There is freedom for what is deemed the ‘ideal faith’ but this does not include Fon Sið. This is due to the use of our iconography by a tyrannic totalitarian regime and by hate groups, and also the rising Islamization of Europe”

WR:“Will the situation be better in the future?”

AH:“It will be worse. Following our ancestral faith may mean a death sentence in the near future – in certain countries, it already means getting a beating for being mistaken with extremist far right group members, and who can forget what the sharia Islamic religious law, prescribes for non Muslims who don’t follow the “Religions of the Book”? Yes, the sentence is death, by the way…”

WR:”What can be done about this?”

AH:”The only safe way to practice our religion is to hide in plane sight. I have taken upon myself, both as an anthropologist by training, and as a concerned member of a possibly endangered population, to write a guide for the followers of the Old Ways to do this.”

WR: “What does this mean? To hide in plain sight?”

AH:”Let me explain this from a historical perspective.

The Christianization of the Vikings is rumored to have started around 826 CE, with the conversion to Christianity of Harald Klak, King of Jutland, but the ensuring tale is somewhat foggy at best, having been heavily adulterated in order to mirror our sagas to stimulate conversion by making the missionaries’ stories similar to ancient Norse legend.

What is true and can be attested is that somewhere in King Olaf Tryggvason’s rule – Or Saint Olaf as he was known to Christians back then – Christianity was spread by sword and axe, culminating in the 18th century with a final mission to Christianize the last pagan remnants in Greenland, and the Sami folk who may have been the original Vanir tribe.”

WR:“How did the original Heathenism survive – in any degree – during eight centuries to repeated attempts of eradication?”

AH:”To explain this, I would like to present a more recent, and yet distant example of an indigenous faith which not only survived forced christianization, but is still followed today by thousands of individuals. I am talking of Umbanda and Candomblé, two syncretic religions originating in both the Banto and Yoruba faiths of the African slaves ferried to Brazil in the period between 1501-1806 CE.

Before being sent to Brazil and formally sold to their masters after being captured by enemy tribes in Africa and sold to the Portuguese and Spanish, the Yoruba and Banto prisoners were forcefully catechized and baptized as Christians since that would increase the slave’s trade value. In order to keep their ancestral faiths alive, they created an outside mask, disguising their native deities as Christian figures, and their rituals as Christian ones.

So, their Mother Goddess, Iemanjá, became Holy Mary, mother of Christ. Xangô became both St Jerome and St Barbara, Oba – Xangô’s wife/consort – became St Catherine of Siena.

Religious structure is predominantly matriarchal since women stayed indoors, caring for the kids and would pass on their faith: Female religious leaders, and sometimes male – Mães de Santo and Pais de Santo – lead worship and teach the next generations, although not surprisingly, when Yoruba slaves were sold and forcefully converted to Islam, they would also create syncretic links to keep their faith whilst their Muslim masters would think them submissive to Islam. These communities would be Patriarchal in order to disguise Pais de Santo as Muslim Imams and would syncretize their deities into Djinn, islamic Genies.

As a result, their faith survived up to today, and is still in relative growth in Latin America and certain areas of Africa such as Malawi and Liberia.”

WR: “What about the Ancient Norse? Did they use syncretism?”

AH: “Syncretism was  the solution the Ancient Norse too found to safeguard their faith for 800 years, and the proof is evident in the 16th Century Galdrabok, a collection of grimoires – spellbooks – which reveal a marked syncretic faith mixing both ancient heathenism with Christian mythology whilst using runes and Norse galdur enchantments….not to mention the archaeological evidence of several Mjolnir pendants made in such a way that they could double as both Mjolnir and the Christian Cross, such as the Yorkshire Thor Hammer, now in the Schoyen Collection tagged as the item MS 1708, and the small silver hammer found at Fossi, Iceland, belonging now to the National Museum of Iceland’s collection.

Now, in order to save Heathenism from possible future persecutions, we can discern two routes, both having at their core a simple principle: Hiding.

Either by hiding in a wood to perform Blotar, or by creating syncretic analogies between Heathenism and the local dominant faith, one may hide in plane sight.

As I previously mentioned, both this techniques seem to have been taken by our forefathers, in particular when one recalls the amount of myths about “red fairies” and “blood mounds ” perpetrated by Christians in Iceland and Denmark, usually referring to places which were in the past stages for blotar which, undefiled by the priests and due to their remote locations were probably in use long after christianization.

We can also mention the alleged founding legend of the so called Brotherhood of Odin: the burning of a heathen widow whilst her two sons and daughter were forced to watch then convert publicly to Christianity, leading those children to adopt a double life like any person trapped in such situation: as anyone could see, in their public lives, they became good Christians, but secretly assembled a group of heathens who would gather in groves and woods to worship the ancient Gods.”

WR: ”The Brotherhood of Odin seems to be a fabrication”

AH: “This is true. However many fabrications have an element of truth in them.”

WR: “Sometimes the fabrications are better than the original: the Essene Gospel of Peace for example.”

AH: “Indeed.The Brotherhood of Odin was ‘discovered’ by Mark Mirabello, a professor of history who was researching his PhD and later in ’92 wrote the book that may have turned his construct into reality (if it wasn’t before) and the tale seems plausible, specially when one is reminded that the ancient Celts did the same in Ireland and Britain with their own faith.”

WR:”How do you prevent the Mother belief being unmasked?”

AH: “It is a mistake to bring too much of the original faith into the syncretic form. One must focus on the essential and essentials alone. On the other hand bringing too little will lead to the Original Faith disappearing.”

After the essential elements are isolated, one must create the syncretic links: choosing venerable entities to serve as masks for the essentials. Usually, the criteria to choose them would rest on the potential mask’s attributes.

In a short example, when disguising the traditional Fon Sið as Christianism:

Balder becomes Christ (The resurrected son of the major god)

Frigga becomes Mary (representation of the sacred feminine in Christian mythology)

Odin becomes God the Father (since most Asatruar consider him as a chief deity)

Hod becomes St Longinus (Because Longinus stabbed Jesus with a spear whilst Hodr stabbed Balder with a missletoe arrow, see the paralel?)

Loki becomes Lucifer (The fallen angel who started as a trickster, then became evil).

And so on for other associations.

Blotar and Sumbeler, which are usually composed of a series of toasts, some with mead spilled in the ground as offering, others without. In order to hide Blot as a plane sight practice, a few elements would have to be changed, such as the spilling and the drinking horns. Those would have to be replaced by normal cups, and the invocations whispered into them as folk would pretend to be toasting each other.

Hammers may be disguised as crosses, and the popular Tree of Life designs that populate today’s trinket stores can be appropriated in representation of Yggdrasil, specially in those versions that depict the tree upside down.

WR: “What about in an Islamic setting?”

AH:”Unfortunatly, when it comes to attempt to hide in an Islamic setting, life gets harder for us. Any sort of alcoholic beverage (including mead) is strictly forbidden, not to mention any representation of living beings (including trees) is also forbidden because it is considered to lead to idolatry. Similarly, there is little to nothing on the mainstream creed one can grasp on to create syncretic links, but Islamic folklore gives you a way out: Djinns.”

WR: What are Djinns?

AH:”Djinns are “genies”, a form of demons in Islamic lore. Djins are reported to have their own culture and follow the faiths of Man, being easily “adapted” as syncretic links, allowing one to appear muslim, yet worshiping the Old Gods.

As for Blot and Sumbel, Islamic Law prescribes two times one must make a symbolic sacrifice – the Eid celebrations. In both Eid, one is supposed to kill a sheep or lamb, and make a huge celebration to commemorate the end of Ramadan. Since Blot cannot be made with mead in a muslim setting, why not making it the old fashioned way with blood?

Sumbel is a practice that would, unfortunately have to be hidden, taking place in one’s basement or a closed windowed room. Make sure someone stays as a lookout, though, case a “friendly” neighbor decides to denounce you to the authorities!

Trickier practices to hide would be Seidr and Galdr.

Galdr, ironically already has a mirror in Islamic countries: Taweez pendants.

These are hollow, cylinder like pendants which as supposed to be filled with Dua – special prayers meant to request something – and used around one’s wrist or as a necklace. BUT…..who says that it has to have Duas inside and not a galdr? Nobody will peek inside the box.

Seidr, on other hand, falls into the same category as Sumbel – has to be hidden from semi-public view and conducted in basements and suchlike.

These are merely small suggestions which have vast field to be improved. Suggestions on commentary are welcomed.”

Webgraphy:

https://cefeco.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/a-influencia-de-costumes-islamicos-no-candomble-e-na-umbanda/ retrived in 29/8/17

http://www.ravenkindred.com/RBRituals.html retrived in 29/8/17

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ta%27wiz

https://www.utsavpedia.com/cultural-connections/mythological-influences/taweez-religious-pendant/

WR: “What about the Chinese religion?”

AH: “There are many similarities with Fon Sið. Ancestor worship for example. The Chinese often display photograph of their ancestors, perhaps on an altar. So just put photos of your own ancestors on an altar or other sacred place.”

WR:” What about the gods?”

AH:” Lao Tsu is an avatar of Odin possibly. There are many similarities. He is an old man of great wisdom who is shrouded in mystery. There is much wisdom in the Tao Te Ching.

The offerings made to the ancestors and Immortals on special occasions, generally of food and drink, are a form of Blotar.”

WR: “Is mead offered?”

AH: “No. Generally a drink of red color.”

WR: “Such as?”

AH: “Anything, just provided it is red. Sometimes red fanta is used. However one could use mead instead.”

WR: “When are these offerings made?”

AH: “On special occasions such as an ancestors birthday or the day they passed away. This fits perfectly with Fon Sið and is something we should be doing anyway. Just substitute mead instead of the red drink.”

WR: “What about Buddhism?”

AH: “Buddhism is a goldmine of information about the Indo-European religions. Buddha was a reformer who wanted to return the the original root religion from which Fon Sið is a branch. Therefore we can learn a lot from Buddhism.”

WR: “I have heard a theory that Odin and Buddha were the same person”

AH: “Sir William Jones, first suggested this, on etymological grounds . And there are obvious similarities between Buddha  finding enlightenment under the Bodhi tree and Odin finding the meaning of the runes hanging from the tree of Yggdrasil.

Meditation for a Norse pagan could take the form of visualizing the runes, in the same way that some Buddhists meditate on a mandala,

The 5 precepts that Buddhist lay people take are an excellent code for living for people of any faith. The Daoists for example live by the 5 precepts.”

WR: “What other similarities are there?”

AH :”Many. Buddhist cosmology is compatible with Norse cosmology just using different language. The Norse gods would be devas in the Buddhist system. The concept of Hel is the same. Valhalla is Nirvana, although described in a way that would be appealing to the Viking warlords, certainly in the form that has come down to us. Wights elves, trolls would be ghosts or devas in Buddhist terminology. Buddhists would have no problem relating to these entities.”

WR: “What about Ragnarok?”

AH: “In Buddhism the end of the world comes as the sun gets hotter and hotter and the world ends. Eventually even the devas (ie gods) perish so the idea is the same.“

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The gods are real

This is an interesting post on reddit:

Okay, I’ll try to be brief. Mid-October was traditionally Winter Nights. Vetrnaetr. A time when summer shrinks and winter grows, or I suppose in Northern Europe. Not so much Midwestern USA, where I am. So on Saturday, I decided to make a sacrifice to Freya, a small one, the best I could do, as thanks for the Harvest and good fortune through the winter. I found an area between three trees, in a triangle shape, what seemed to me to be the perfect spot for this. So I knelt down, and poured a glass of milk between them, and between some quiet words to Freya. Best I could do, being so isolated as a Heathen. So I went back inside with some thoughts on it, and didn’t expect anything more than some spiritual comfort. The next night, my sister brings home some cats in a plastic container the night before trash gets taken to be burned. They were left out in the rain all day to die. We brought them in and cleaned them. Picked fleas off. Kept them warm. But what’s exciting to me, is that they were twins. Brother and sister. And damn strong ones too. They fought for each other. Very defensive. You can probably guess what I named them. Now, you could say this is just coincidence. You could write it off as that. But I don’t think it is. I make a sacrifice in a small ritual, and I get the spitting image of the Vanir twins as cats the next night. That’s crazy. That’s amazing. And because of this insane coincidence that I really don’t think is a coincidence, I’m convinced there’s at least something out there, something old, very old, shared between cultures and races of men that’s beyond names. I’d say it’s the gods. Most would call it God, capital G. Others may call it simply Fate. It doesn’t matter in the end. It is out there, and that’s the important part.

Mead

This is a recipe on how to make mead from anthropologist and shaman Alver Hviti.

0,5l of water from a well,
6 tablespoons of honey
1 coffee spoon of granulated bread yeast.

Warm the water and dissolve the honey in it, then let it cool to lukewarm, dissolving the yeast in it.

Pour the mix into a bottle and cover the top with a double folded cloth so that nothing will fall inside. Leave for 3 weeks in a warm room, occasionally shaking it lightly to release the CO2. Filter it though a brown paper coffee filter before drinking and store.

Animism and Shamanism in the Digital Age

by Alver Hviti

The word “Shamanism” conjures, in the minds of most of the so called “civilized” world, the image of a small, unkempt man jumping around with a staff decorated with feathers around a campfire, and riding high on drugs. In sum, a misunderstood image coming from ages past.

In Neolithic times, our ancestors worshiped spirits of the wild and the unseen. Life was taken at the pace of nature, rising with the sun and resting with it (except in some notable exceptions). Everyone who has ever been  creative  knows that trance is an effective problem solver,  with the further specialization of labour which commonly comes with the evolution of societies. With such evolution, there naturally comes into existence the “professional problem solver”, someone who can interact with the spirits and bring solutions for the “tribe”. And who else is the shaman than someone excelling at entering in such states?

Animism evolved from such beliefs, the belief that everything has a tutelary spirit, and this was most likely the origin of the discovery of the Vanir, and later of the Aesir, which are described by some sources as the original tribes of Scandinavia, the Vanir-Aesir war being supposedly the mystification of a conflict between the original, agricultural settlers and a secondary, patriarchal, war-driven tribe. Clearly, what ended up by happening was a system that valued equality and peaceful co-habitation, but all that would disappear with Christianity and the forced conversion of the vikings.

Amongst ancient pagan religions, and that includes Heathenism, there’s a clear animistic stream underlying the mythological system, from myths referring to the passing of seasons (Balder’s murder at the hands of Hod and his consequent rebirth after Hod is killed according to some divergent versions of the tale. More on that later) to personifications of natural phenomena and elements (Thor being Lightning, Ullr and Skadi being Snow, Sutturn  being Fire, amongst other clear examples).

Whatever it was, the Fon Sið reputably still had their own itinerant shamans, the Seidrkonner or Völver in it’s twilight years at the turning of the second millennium of the Common Era, and some of their rites have remained written in sagas such as the Saga of Erik the Red and this is to mention only the Norse. Remarkably, some of their techniques have survived, either by descriptions or passed down though the generations until today, despite the efforts of the dominating patriarchal “faith” to suppress the animistic nature and knowledge of the cultures it “defaced”.

The dawn of the digital age came as a double edged sword in this context. On one side, one can now easily explore several shamanic traditions from the comfort of one’s own home, getting in touch with other shamanic practitioners and learning how to walk the way, finding out about the latest books in the area amongst other things. It simplified one’s search in societies on which such “relics of the past” are frowned upon and suspected, allowing it to blossom despite adversity.

On the other side, by opening Shamanism to the world, it also made it prey for some “new age” groups to self-appropriate themselves and claim what they do to be shamanism, when in fact is a syncretic practice, mixing some traces of shamanism with new age spirituality drawn from several sources.

In the ages of old, such knowledge was transmitted by the knowledgeable elders to selected people, who would practice and teach to others they would select, perpetrating the chain and the knowledge. This was also how the original version of the Abrahamic Faiths used to persist, in a time before Dualism became Patriarchal Monotheism. When any non-patriarchal belief is written down “for posterity”, we see the rise of a sacerdotal class that uses writing as a means of power over belief, and returns the original beliefs into a version that demonizes the side that did not use writing, but used oral transmission instead. One example is the mystery of the Jewish Temple of Elefantine and the Jewish Temple at Leontopolis. In Deuteronomy, Jews are commanded not to sacrifice to their God outside of Jerusalem….then these two temples were built. And in Elefantine, there are remnants of a  cult to both Yahweh and  to a female deity known as Anet-El or Anet-Yahu. Nobody knows for sure if Moses really wrote Deuteronomy, but if he didn’t, Anet-El was most likely erased by then, leading to the Abrahamic religions as we know today.

By opening shamanism to the world, we take the risk that those who come seeking for the real deal end up with watered down,  adulterated mock up of what the ancient ones knew.

In sum, shamanism can be a key to keep humanity’s connection to the planet who brought them to life. In today’s society, in which most of the active moments in one’s day are spent in front of a computer screen, we’ve reached a point in which most people have  lost their connection to Earth, and often feel empty and depressed. It is known that an animistic perspective of life prevents clinical grade depression. Shamanism can be a tool to bring Mankind back to Earth, and for that, we can use the very tool that  is pushing Mankind away from it. Now how things will go….I suppose only time will tell.

 

Sources:

Magee, Michael “Robin Hood and the Wiches” (2003)

Haugen, Andrea “The Ancient Fires of Midgard” (2008 reprint)

Rysdyk, Evelyn C. “The Norse Shaman” (2016)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantine_papyri#Jewish_temple_at_Elephantine [accessed 20-8-17]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Onias#Jewish_temple_at_Leontopolis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantine_papyri#Jewish_temple_at_Elephantine

A Shamanic Journey to the Gods

Below is the fascinating  account  of how  Alver Hviti  found his path to the gods. To people in the East there would be nothing strange about this story but in the West  people have been blinded to the reality of these kinds of experiences. Fortunately many are finally waking up and rediscovering the beliefs of our ancestors. Enjoy.

It is said that a path which has nothing to teach us, is a path not worth following.

It was following this philosophy that I departed my childhood absence of faith, having grown as an atheist and undergone a long, hard path until I found myself following the faith my ancestors had abandoned almost a thousand years ago.

As a child, back in Switzerland, I always had a strange fascination with snow. I couldn’t help to run to it – usually without snow cloths much to my mother’s dismay – or to eat the snow flakes, dance to the wind carrying them or just contemplating the moonlight over the fluffy whiteness covering my large backyard. Such communion with such harsh, yet sweet element, wasn’t lonely, even though at that time, my family would not understand when I would tell them I could see and feel two distinct presences near me which I could not name.

Fast forward a few years: I, now a young adult of 25 years of age, with a long, lengthy and tortured faith search path under my belt, embittered by the recurrent failure of the one and only thing I ever asked for myself to the Gods for the past 20 years, just finishing carving a small pendant out of cedar wood for my sister. In it’s face lies now the small figure of an archer with skis on his feet and the rune eihwaz on it’s reverse.

Despite my previous and rather short stint as a heathen, I had never heard of that deity before my sister asked me to make her a “portable shrine” for the god Ullr. No matter what I searched, nothing would show up so I let it go, or so I thought until I felt a sudden urge to have a similar one for myself. Carefully, I carved it and it was carrying them that Chris and I went to a snow trip in January, burying them in the snow to soak in it’s energy and dedicating them to the obscure deity whom my research referred to as the God of “Skiing, Archery and Honor”.

It didn’t take long for the God to poke their way again in my life. Somehow after that, I kept stumbling upon pages relating to Ullr and Nordic shamanism, the later being something close to what laced my religious practice since my early childhood. After accidentally going into Raven Caldera’s online shrine for Ullr for the third time in two days, I final decided to light a candle, asking for a colder winter, and snow in my garden. It didn’t take  long for the prayer to be answered and it was with a joyful bout of adrenaline that two days later I jumped out of the bed at dawn as my father knocked at the door to tell me to look out the window. It was February and the winter had barely cooled until then. And living where I live, 2 kilometers away from the ocean in a south Mediterranean country, that little amount of snow….should be impossible. It was then that the revelation hit.

A few days later, there I was in my freezing room – how stupid of me…asking for the coldest winter in almost a decade when all the heating in the house is malfunctioning – beating with a long staff covered in runes, crystals, raven feathers and colorful strips of cloth at a set cadence as I whirred in the same spot, a focus on my mind alone. I was following some extremely vague pointers I had found on Seidr, an ancient Nordic shamanic practice, mixed with Sufi dervish dancing which I had learned earlier during my stint as a Sufi.

There was not enough data for me to know this unknown God who favored me, both by sending me snow when I asked and whom by now I suspected to be one of the figures who watched over me as a child. It was rather clear to me that, if I wanted to know Him, I would have to go out to meet him. And what better than following my gut? I spun and spun and spun until my body turned to lead and fell, releasing my soul who took flight, turned into a hawk, leaving Midgard and soaring in the branches of Yggdrasil, then falling in a predatory fall towards Vanaheim, landing with a small flip as I stopped being an eagle to become something closer to myself. In front of me, a blond, radiant lady smiled, curling her hair with one hand and playing with an amber pendant on her neck as the gentle breeze ruffled her deep emerald dress.

“Oh, an unexpected guest….how amusing. And using my arts? Tell me, child, what do you seek, and I shall point you to your way.”

Recognizing Lady Freya, I bowed deeply, and muttered, asking where could I find The Archer in Skies.

“You mean the Master of Ydalir? Try finding him in the White Woods, near the Ice Queen’s embrace.” she smiled, before kissing me in the forehead “Beware of the wolves, young hunter, they may not be what you expect, nor what you are ready for.”

Saying this, she pointed towards the edge of the clearing, then disappeared, her vanishing radiance leaving the place less bright.

Following her directions, soon I disappeared into the woods, seeing the birch and aspen trees turning to tall, bleached pines, the fruitful lingonberry shrubs replaced by shadowy, frozen versions of themselves as the floor started to become covered in snow. Distantly, a blood-freezing howl cut the air as I kept going, crossing a dark, frozen river, then taking off running as I dealt the wolves closing in.

Running. To no avail, as a powerful, enormous white wolf cut off my escape, staring majestically at me as the others approached. Hesitant of turning my back to it, I tried to circle around, finding myself surrounded by black wolves, lead by a giantess carrying a spear.

“Little one, so lost away from home…” she mused in a thin, sinister voice laced with amusement “Did not your mother told you not to play with wolves?”

“Let him be, Armylgr.” A chilling voice, reminding me of the angry winds that blew outside when I prepared my ritual “You are not in your land. Now leave, and take your children, or face the consequences.”

“The little one is mine. We saw it first Skadi!” the dark giantess howled, right before the colossal white wolf pounced over her, growling as the black wolf pack scattered, leaving me an opening to escape and disappear further into the woods, finding a small leather tent pitched next to a creek, a small fire kept lit as the tent’s owner was busy making arrows.
Deep inside my being, I knew who he was, but I couldn’t speak. I crouched in front of him, studying his face, then equipment, being greeted with a warm smile and a nod of understanding.

“Took you a while to find your way, did it not?” his eyes seemed to say right before I felt pulled back to Midgard and my body, waking up spread eagle in the middle of the mat as my mother pounded at the door, worried with the noise I did as my body impacted against the floor.

Since then  I feel close to Ullr and Skadi. I have taken up “primitive” archery as a self taught in a way to honor them, practicing almost daily whilst occasionally asking for help, then feeling gentle hands guiding my arrows. Archery needs supplies beyond a bow and arrows, like gloves and a quiver. All expensive things, specially for those who use a Mongolian bow. So, as a form of honoring my patrons, I took upon making those myself as well. After asking for aid, somehow, a pattern for an archery glove appeared on my documents, and when it came for the quiver to be made…..well, let’s just say no tutorial was followed, nor scrapped prototype was made.

Nightstrider-Aerandir bow.jpg

The Gods sometimes choose us, mortals, any of us. After a thousand years of oblivion, they do not wish to be silent anymore. To be called is to keep them from being forgotten, like Ullr once told me “Mankind these days, has a notoriously short memory.” They can touch everything in out lives, dissolve the barrier between sacred space and common space like in the ancient times, and show us how to solve things other ways seem impossible.

This was my journey to meet the Gods, a shamanic journey that melted my boundaries between sacred and profane, and made me establish a relationship with Ullr, the Archer on Skis and Lord of Oaths. And for this journey and it’s outcome, I am eternally grateful.

 

Atavism

Old longings nomadic leap,
Chafing at custom’s chain;
Again from its brumal sleep
Wakens the ferine strain.

Helots of houses no more,
Let us be out, be free ;
Fragrance through the window and door
Wafts from the woods, the sea.

After the torpor of will,
Morbid the inner strife,
Welcome the animal thrill.
Lending a zest to life.

Banish the volumes revered,
Sever from centuries dead ;
Ceilings the lamp flicker cheered
Barter for stars instead.

Temple thy dreams with the trees,
Nature thy god alone ;
Worship the sun and the breeze,
Altars where none atone.

Voices of Solitude call,
Whisper of sedge and stream ;
Loosen the fetters that gall,
Back to the primal scheme.

Feel the great throbbing terrene
Pulse in thy body beat,
Conscious again of the green
Verdure beneath the feet.

Callous to pain as the rose,
Breathe with instinct’s delight;
Live the existence that goes
Soulless into the night.

John Myers O’Hara