Some years ago I gathered as much information as I could find on my ancestors in order to compile a family tree. It was a difficult task, considering the rarity of my surname and the confusing history of Irish tribal/familial names, which have been so prone to change throughout the centuries. However it is worth mentioning that it has never before been so easy to construct a visual record of one’s history using online services such as Ancestry.com and local records. Nonetheless the task was still toilsome and required a great deal of research and detective work. Despite the challenge (or perhaps because of it), the building of my family tree was a fascinating process which has clarified my position within a long legacy of men and women to whom I am indebted for my genetic inheritance.Continue reading
Baldr (also Balder) is one of the major characters in the Norse mythos. A son of Odin (like most of the male Aesir) Baldr was said to be so charismatic and good-natured that he was beloved by all whom he met, and he is associated with light and warmth and the sun.
“The second son of Odin is Baldr, and good things are to be said of him. He is best, and all praise him; he is so fair of feature, and so bright, that light shines from him. A certain herb is so white that it is likened to Baldr’s brow; of all grasses it is whitest, and by it thou mayest judge his fairness, both in hair and in body. He is the wisest of the Æsir, and the fairest-spoken and most gracious; and that quality attends him, that none may gainsay his judgments. He dwells in the place called Breidablik, which is in heaven; in that place may nothing unclean be.”
-“Gylfaginning”, Brodeur’s translation.Continue reading
Smartphone Addiction sounds absurd when you say the words. What normal human being would possibly allow themselves to become dependent on the dim blue light of a computer screen, right? But as absurd as it may sound, smartphone addiction is a real problem, and it’s a problem that we are probably all affected by. That seemingly innocent but slightly reassuring blue light from the screen of your phone, a window into the unlimited realms of knowledge available online, wields more power over your subconscious mind than you might realize. On a very basic level, we find the blue and white light of the screen to be immediately satisfying because of its resemblance to a clear sky. Prolonged exposure to the light of a smartphone screen fools your brain into releasing the same hormones that it releases on a beautiful clear day. The kind of day that we can no longer truly appreciate because we are too busy Instagramming about it.Continue reading
the ancient pagan Irish once worshipped a sinister and mysterious deity, commonly known as Crom Cruach. However, we are told that he was saluted by other names too. Crom Dubh, Crom Croich, and Cenn Cruach. The meaning of the name of this enigmatic spirit is as mysterious as his history. Crom means “crooked”, Cenn means “head” or “chieftain”, Dubh means “dark” or “black”, Croich means “gallows”, and Cruach means either “bloody” or “mound”. I would not argue that etymology alone should be the means by which we build an understanding of our unknown history, but it is certainly a significant indicator of intent. Taking these things into account we could loosely translate the many titles of Crom as meaning:
“The Dark Crooked Lord of the Bloody Mound.”Continue reading
In the book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, Friedrich Nietzsche introduces us to his concept of the Superman or Overman. Keep in mind that Nietzsche was writing 150 years ago and his Superman bears no relation whatsoever to Clark Kent, Man of Steel. Nietzsche’s concept of the Superman is a contentious one as the man’s ideas are sometimes hard to stomach for many modern readers. Nietzsche’s legacy has also been misrepresented by many parties since his death to suit their own agendas. The ideal of the Superman itself however, is a solid one.
“Man is something that is to be surpassed. Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman- a rope over an abyss. What is great in Man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.”Continue reading
In the beginning, all was barren and lifeless. As the murky fog of Chaos dissipated and the earth separated itself from the seas, plant life began to form upon the land. Jungles spread, mountains rose, rivers slithered out towards the sea. Eventually the gods decided to create animal life in order to populate this new landscape. So they employed two brothers, sons of The Old Gods, the Titans, who now lay imprisoned in the depths of Tartarus. Prometheus and Epimetheus were the names of these brothers, Foresight and Hindsight.Continue reading
The word Kern is an anglicized version of the Gaelic word “Ceithern” which translates roughly as “a warlike group”. Woodkern can thus be described as “bands of warlike men who dwell in the woods”. Though the phrase Woodkern refers to men who lived during a specific period of time, they belonged to a very old tradition that dates back throughout the ages of recorded history into times of legend and myth. These men were often described as outcast or outlaws, but in reality they were usually men of good social standing and wealth. They would have needed the funds to supply their own arms and equipment and they would also have needed more skill in the arts of warfare than the average peasant or farmer would have had. Warbands such as these were common throughout history and those who operated in this manner have been known by many names at different periods of time.Continue reading