Monthly Archives: October 2014

Howl No on 1 and 2

It is once again the time of year for politics, and generally I try my best to avoid such things. However, this year there is an issue on the ballot that I feel particularly strong about, and I wanted to voice that opinion. Can you guess what it is?

The wolf hunts here in Michigan. That’s right. I will admit I have a bit of a pro-wolf bias, but even as a hunter I see no good justification for these hunts. Let me just lay it all out there for a moment. When I hunt, I intend to use everything I take, and if not I will find someone that can. Burying the remains also does happen, but that is only as a last resort or when the spirit specifically demands it. There are ethical concerns, conservation/ecological concerns, as well as spiritual concerns.  It gets complex real quick, and I’ve talked about it before. So moving on.

Now for a small bit of history. Wolves in Michigan were put on the endangered species list in 1965. In 2008 a law was passed that allows lethal methods to be used on wolves if they are found attacking dogs or livestock. Wolves were officially taken off the endangered species list in late 2011 – 2012, and the first wolf hunt was sanctioned in 2013.

The short history is only the beginning however. The whole legislative process concerning the wolf hunts has been filled with lies, half-truths, fear mongering, and downright corruption on the part of Michigan politicians. That is almost a bigger issue than the hunting of wolves. Our politicians have deliberately and intentionally ignored the will of the people when  it did not agree with their agenda. No, I do not think wolves should be hunted. But a corrupt and incapable government is just as bad, if not worse.

As far as the “sound science” line of argument is concerned that comes from pro-hunt groups, I have yet to see any convincing science that lays out a case to hunt wolves. In fact, the first link below is a report from two world renowned wolf experts, and they do a pretty good job arguing against any pro-hunt arguments.

I think this whole business has more to do with corrupt politics than it has to do with science, and that is a problem. When politicians, our so called leaders , ignore the will of the people they govern, that is a problem.

The wolf hunts are not “sound scientific” wildlife management, nor are they good policy. The hunts are not about conservation, and are more reflective of the sad state of our political climate in Michigan.

So yes, I intend to vote NO on proposals 1 and 2. And yes, I realize that these referendums have no real bearing at this point. That is how much those in Lansing value my voice, and the will of the people. None at all.

I also intend to vote against any incumbent that had a hand in this.  It is time for a change in leadership.

Links;

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Evaluation-MI-wolf-harvest-Vucetich-Peterson-1May2013.pdf

http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/08/michigan_wolf_hunting_a_timeli.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/michigan_wolf_hunt_rolf_peters.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/michigan_wolf_hunt_adam_bump_m.html

http://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2014/09/20/wolf-hunt-vote/15908551/

http://keepwolvesprotected.com/

http://keepwolvesprotected.com/fiction

http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2014/08/28/michigan-conservation-act-passed-wolf-hunt-protected/

http://www.ammoland.com/2014/09/science-based-wolf-management-hunting-now-the-law-in-michigan/#axzz3EX6LaEJ7

http://michiganradio.org/post/lawmakers-vote-allow-wolf-hunts

http://www.citizenswildlife.com/

http://michigan.gov/documents/dnr/Rationale_for_the_Wildlife_and_Fisheries_Committees_Recommendation_to_Adopt_Wildlife_Conservation_Order_Amendment_No_6_of_2013_as_Modified_Herein_420752_7.pdf


Skaði Part 4

A great deal is going on right now. There have been the ongoing family issues, the closing for the house is slowly moving forward, and I did manage to get a deer. Granted, I failed to find said deer. The shot was solid, the blood trail was good, but we lost it after about half a mile through the marshes. Also, some coyotes were rejoicing off to our east. Bastards found my deer. That’s my best guess. You win some you lose some.

Anyways, back to Skadi.

As far as general appearance is concerned, she generally appears to me with white hair. She is toned and athletic. Yet, this should not be mistaken for youth. She is old, who really knows how old. I can sense it on her, the experience behind her eyes. The Jotuns, which she is in origin, are the oldest in the north. They predate the Vanir as well as the Aesir. They are the old gods of the wilderness, of nature, and of the hunt.

Honestly, I think her hunting associations hardly need to be mentioned. I have already talked quite a bit about hunting,  I have hunted with her, and continue to learn from her about survival, hunting, and a whole host of related skills. So I am glossing over this part.

She often appears to me accompanied by a white wolf. Sometimes, just the wolf appears. Yet, even when it is just a wolf, I can still sense her. This gives me reason to believe, like her father before her, she is also a shapeshifter. Sometimes she is the wolf, sometimes it accompanies her. Not always real clear.

Skadi is also a world walker. She, at one time or another through marriage or blood, is/was counted among the Jotun, the Vanir and the Aesir. In Norse mythology, these are treated as separate “worlds” or homelands, inhabited by different denizens. She has moved between Asgard, Noatun/Vanaheim, as well as her home in Jotunheim, Thrymheim. Just from my own experience with journey work, that is no small task. There could be an element of shamanistic work in there. When I think about her stories, I realize that she went from the middle-ish world of Jotunheim, up the world tree to Asgard to pound at the gates and scare the hell out of the Aesir. From Utgard, to Innagard, and back again. From a shamanistic perspective, that takes a decent amount of skill. That is no short, or easy journey.

As such, she is a challenger and keeper of limits and boundaries. After all, a boundary can be both a prison and a protective wall. Paxson helps to bring both these points home; ” If you find your relationship with Skadhi deepening, you may feel the need to explore your limits, to find out how it feels to push yourself to the edge of your resources. Skadhi is a goddess who challenges. You may find yourself experiencing her most fully in some activity with an element of danger, such as white-water rafting, or going to survival school…

“Skadhi comes from Utgard– the wilderness– and though she can function in a civilized environment, her wildness is never entirely lost. She is a good guide when we ourselves are attempting to reclaim our own wild natures and to go outside our limits and boundaries, whether they are imposed by others or come from within.” Utgard, from beyond the wall (Did anyone else just think of Game of Thrones?), outside of civilization. In the wild places of the world beyond the cities, that is the place of the hunter, of Skadi.

There is still so much to explore here, and it will be forthcoming soon. I have a source or two I want to explore in more depth as well as other things.

Sources/References;

Skadidottir, Lyn http://www.northernpaganism.org/shrines/skadi/writing/working-with-skadi.html

Paxson, Diane http://www.hrafnar.org/articles/dpaxson/asynjur/skadi/


Skaði Part 3

At the moment, in response to my last post, there does seem to be a leaning towards breaking these posts up into smaller chunks. I feel a little resistant to the idea, but then again a long article has never been a distraction to me. Yet, I see no harm in experimenting a little bit. So going forward I going to section these up into about 500 words or so each, and post weekly. We will see what happens. If the results are good, I may stick with it. If not, I’ll go back to the longer articles.

In this post, I wanted to explore more of the experiential parts of my apprenticeship with Skadi. At least, that I have learned about so far. It is hard to say if this will change, or how.

As such, a lot of this piece is my own thoughts and interpretations. I will be pulling in quotes from a few other sources that have helped me. All I can say is that this is the current state of my relationship with her, and it may change, nor is it the end all or be all. It seems a standard caveat in spirit work that your relationship may differ.

As Paxson says; “We call Skadhi a goddess, but in the old lore of the north, she comes neither of the clan of warrior deities called the Aesir nor from the agricultural Vanir, but of a kindred far older– the frost-giants of ancient days.”

Jotuns belong to a prehistoric past, and it is hard to say how far they actually go back. Some even argue that Skadi may be connected with original or indigenous peoples that predate agricultural, such as the Sami. I will be covering this more in a future post.

Skadidottir says;  “She is a very physical being, strongly interested in physical health and stamina. The first thing to know about Skadi is that you will have to learn how to exercise, take care of your body, survive in the wild to some extent, and deal with winter in a constructive way…. She does not deal well with sloth and gluttony. She abhors any type of laziness involving the body – regardless of your health concerns. If you want to work with her, you need to know how to exercise, and you need to do it outside on a semi-regular basis.”

As I said, she insists I exercise. As I am a pretty active person to begin with, so this wasn’t too much of a problem. But this doesn’t mean she is all brawn and no brain. While it does not seem to be in her nature to do “brain games” for the fun of it, her nature is a very balanced one. Archery is one good example. It takes mental discipline as well as physical strength and endurance to do well. It is a challenge both mentally as well as physically, and takes dedication. That is how Skadi appears to me.

That is where I am going to leave this post for now, though there is so much more I want to say. Doing these shorter posts might be a bit of a challenge.

The next part of this work is forthcoming in a week or so, so stay tuned!

Sources/References;

Skadidottir, Lyn http://www.northernpaganism.org/shrines/skadi/writing/working-with-skadi.html

Paxson, Diane http://www.hrafnar.org/articles/dpaxson/asynjur/skadi/


The Breheimen Bronze Age Bow – 1300 BC

ThorNews

Breheimen Bronze Age Bow 2

On 7 September 2011, an advanced constructed and complete bow was found at the edge of the Åndfonne glacier in Breheimen mountain range. The C14 dating shows that Norway’s oldest and best preserved bow is 3300 years old. 

The 131 centimeters long bow was discovered by archaeologists in connection with the last check before summer fieldwork was completed. The bow was found at the ice edge about 1700 meters above sea level. This shows how important it is that archaeologists are present just when the ice is melting.

Findings of complete bows are very rare, and it turned out even rarer after the results of the C14 dating returned from the laboratory in the U.S.: The bow turned out to be 3300 years old – dating back to about 1300 BC – in other words from the early Bronze Age.

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Breheimen Bronze Age Bow 1

It is the oldest bow ever found in…

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Found 1300-Year-Old Ski and 6000-Year-Old Arrows in Reinheimen

ThorNews

Viking Age Ski Norway

Archaeologist Runar Hole with the 1300-year-old ski. (Photo: Oppland County Authority)

In recent summers, many sensational archaeological discoveries in Norwegian national parks have been made. This summer there was found 390 objects from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, including sixty 6000-years-old arrows and an 1300-year-old ski.

The Early Viking Age ski is 172 cm (69 in) long and 14.5 cm (5.7 in) wide, well-kept with binding constructed of wicker and leather straps. The binding sits on a raised section in the middle of the ski, and there is a hole where it was attached.

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Viking Age Ski Norway 2

The discovery shows Vikings used skis with bindings – which meant they could move fast and steady on the snow. (Photo: Oppland County Authority).

There are about 2,700 glaciers in Norway, and these glaciers have an area of ​​approximately 2700 square kilometers (1042.5 mi²). When they melt due to climate change…

View original post 233 more words


Inquiry

I will start with updates, as so often is my custom. The wife and I have found a house, and are moving towards closing. It is still all up in the air at the moment, but there has been no shortage of paperwork. It’s all a bit taxing.

Hunting season has also started, so I am writing this now from atop a tree.

That’s also a lie, in case you didn’t know. Not because it is impossible, of course, given modern technology. I do occasionally return to civilization, and there is always that day job thing.  Even so, I will be spending more time in the woods. The writing slows down as a result.

But all in all, the new equipment is working well so far, and I haven’t froze to death. So I am calling that a win.

This is an in-between blog, because I have an honest question for my readers. It has always been my goal with this blog to create useful as well as practical content. I put in a good deal of time and research crafting the content here, because it is important to me to do so. Good content is not short, and short content is often not good. This blog isn’t meant to be a sound bite. It is meant to be engaging, theoretical, practical, and most of all, informative.

That is where my question comes in. After talking with a few people, it seems that many readers are reluctant to peruse longer articles on the internet. I tend to write longer articles, in the spirit of good content. I am a bit conflicted on this matter. I would like to think if the content is good then I shouldn’t have to tailor my work to a short attention span. At the same time, readership is important to me, and my readers are important.

My question is, should I break up my articles into shorter segments, say ~ 500 words for readability?

Currently I write about 1,000 words or so for this blog every two weeks. Would it be more prudent to write the same amount, and publish half an article every week instead of every two?

Let me know what you think!