Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Hunt, The Wolf, The Boundary and the Dead

A month or so ago I bit the bullet and splashed out and bought a monograph off of Amazon. I had come across the reference in a couple of papers whilst researching the Wild Hunt and after seeing it mentioned in a context that was increasingly interesting and which was tying together several strands into a single, exciting whole.

It was one of those books which had me buzzing with excitement within the first chapter; not only did it clarify some things I had come across but also linked together differing strands in a way that really paints a picture of the Wild Hunt, it’s mythic origin from within the Indo-European culture and seriously fleshes out both of these in a ritual, religious and cultural practice. It also lays out some neat ideas about the role of the Männerbünde and the dead/the ancestors.

I am going to have to do a proper essay on this whole subject, suffice to say the Koryos (the IE term for the pan-IE youth contingents) and the god of the Koryos; the Koryonos can be given a place in practice today in some form or another.

A really, really nice quote for now to leave you with:

When we look for the god of the *koryos we will do well to keep in mind these words of Gernet: "in general, in ancient cults, it is not the personality of the god which is the point of departure, is from the cult itself that the god derives his being." (Gernet 192) In our case, we will be looking for associations with war, death, the wolf and the dog, with ecstatic states, with initiations and the winter solstice, and, where these do not coincide, with the changing year. We will expect him to share the ambiguity of the *koryos itself and to appear sometimes good, sometimes evil, and always at least potentially dangerous.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A Reminder

I went back to west Wales this past week to spend some time with my family. It’s a small town on the far west coast; there is a single train line that runs into town 3 times a day. When I say single train line I mean that literally, only one train at a time can use it; there is a junction about 15 miles away up the line and when you get there you pick up the token to carry as you head to Fishguard and then hand it back when you go back east again. There is only one token, so no token, no passage; otherwise there would be a head on collision. 

I took the train back towards London this morning and spent my time gazing out of the window over the area I knew intimately but was seeing from a totally different perspective. I saw the back garden of the house I grew up in and saw the extension that has been built onto it. I went past my gran’s old house; the place I had spent every Saturday for the first 18 years of my life, along the train line we used to play on (eep) and on past the woods and river we used to play in as kids. Along the damp, boggy valleys I used to cycle through to go see my friends, the town and train line I used to walk along (eep! again) to get to the woods with my other friend to do our ‘pagan stuff’.

It was this bit that struck something in me.

There has been a lot of talk on the blogosphere, such as this. A narrative with a focus on the idea that we have been cut off, separated and disconnected from our gods and the land, by capitalism, Christianity or whatever you wish to blame.

I think that is wrong somewhat, I think it isn't that we have been cut off, more than we have forgotten. When I was 14 or and my friend and I started doing out pagan stuff we did what seemed obvious, we headed out of his town and went into the woods, always out on the hills, the woods or up on the Carnau near his farm. I think we instinctively know where to find the Gods, we instinctively know where they are waiting, where they are to be found and if and when we decide to hear them we know instinctively where to go to find them. We haven’t been cut off, we just need to remind ourselves.