May 26 2014

Woodshed part 1

Lately I’ve been working on a shed for firewood. I’m getting pretty tired of using raw birch for firewood (although that does work and I can talk about that in another post). I cut two spruces at about 2.5m hight and used some of the timber from the top for the rear posts, which I dug down. The two trees gives enormous stability for the rest of the structure. The core structure is made out of whole timber from my property and I only bought nails for joining them. I could have of course have used wooden plugs but I didn’t have an auger to drill the holes with.

The roofing and sides will be finished when I have gotten hold of the appropriate materials.

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May 25 2014

Randomness, Signs and Divination

It is commonly assumed that events which happen in life can be random. When an event seemingly out of your control happens it’s considered bad luck. However, since everything seems to be connected this does not make sense. Even a slight event in the far reaches of the universe will affect you in some way, although you might not notice the effects and the cause might be even more obscure to you.

Magic is an attempt to control this randomness, under the assumption that the subconscious knows no limits. It would however be extremely tiring to try to control your whole life through deliberate magic rituals. Traditional people have solved this to some extent through ritualizing everything. They have songs, taboos and a code of conduct for almost everything. Integrated in a culture which all the participants believe in it 100% will in my opinion be a quite powerful way of adding some predictability to the chaos. I will consider such ritualization of your daily life in a later article.

Another option to attempting to control the future is to read it so you can make the proper adjustments to prevent or encourage a development. This is if you believe fate to be changeable. There are basically 4 ways of looking at the future which moderates the usefulness of divination. These are simply extremes and one’s belief-system might lay somewhere in between these.

  1. As random. To this person divination is mere child’s play.
  2. Various paths available branching like an endless tree.
  3. Pre-determined from the past either by yourself in a previous existence or different plane, by the shared subconscious or by a god or otherwise divine entity.
  4. As pre-determined in endless cycles where time is completely irrelevant.

To number 1 divination is not interesting. For number 3 and 4 the future is absolute, although number 3 might believe he can affect future by deliberate means such as prayer and rituals. Number 2 is the pragmatic choice that can be understood either fully physically or spiritually. By reasons I might explain another time I tend to lean towards something in between 3 and 4.

Self-fulfilling prophecies is a cause of concern for the people hovering around 1, 2 and partially 3, but is irrelevant to number 4 since this person believes it would happen anyway and that this self-fulfilment is part of fate as much any other event in life. In any case, to protect yourself from this danger, avoid asking too direct question about the future unless it’s about something which you don’t consider important. The more vague you are, the less useful the oracle is, but it also saves you from worrying about a prediction coming true. There seems to be a tendency for fears to come true. If you ask HOW to achieve something rather than IF you will achieve something you are protecting yourself from self-fulfilling prophecies.

For the Sceptics

For the sceptics hanging around nr. 1 I’ll ask you: How many times in your life have you experienced mathematically completely unlikely events? An example would be to meet a person in a place unfamiliar to you both, which you haven’t met for 10 years and have only recently started to think about again. For people who writes a diary¬† such phenomena should be well known and easily reviewed.

An example from my life happened a while ago. At an oil platform I spoke to a guy who mentioned that they had seen some seals lately. I had not seen them there before, although I’ve been there many times and have spent many hours overlooking the sea. However, as soon as we stepped outside of the room we were in I clearly spotted a seal swimming right off the rig. I have not seen any since.

To me it is clear to me that this conversation was a “sign”, that we either picked up something or drew the seal towards us from the eagerness to see one. Cause and effect is never perfectly clear in magic, so as long as it works I don’t ponder too much about whether I’m reading the future or creating it.

Methods and Trance

Anything can be used to predict the future as long as you have integrated the meaning of the tools you are using into your belief system. Say in a binary toss with coins, you need to have fully decided in your life which side is yes and which is no. I’ll only quickly mention some other methods this time. They include: Reading rocks, tarot cards, reading the liver of an animal, coffee grinds etc… In a later article I may write a bit more about the ones I am using.

Binary tosses, numerology and very many other methods are very straightforward and you get a very clear reading due to the meaning of the system you are using, but they are limited in the way that you can’t normally see the unexpected unless paired with interpretation. In this case you “make” the signs and your ego can thus be a limiting factor. More interpretative oracles, such as reading rocks and coffee grinds has more room for seeing the unforeseen, but it requires a lot of focus and training for the answer to not be ambiguous fluff. On the contrary of some authorities on the magical arts, I do not think a trance is necessary when you use tools for telling the future, because everything is connected anyway. However, during interpretation it can be helpful to go into the appropriate mindset, perhaps connect to a certain “spirit” in order to see things more clearly.

Signs

All dreams have elements of past, present and future and cross various dimensions of our existence. Their meaning is usually very symbolic and to interpret the meaning of the dream to a meaningful degree you need to be culturally extremely close to the person who has had the dreams. And some symbols will still not make sense, but be a personal symbol that even the dreamer isn’t aware of himself. An example is a dream about snakes; for some that could be a dream about death, for others it could be about healing.

Everything is a sign for everything it’s being noticed by, even if the sign is very hard to see as significant or that it is very obvious in it’s meaning. For instance, seeing a pine marten could mean a very clear sign of danger to a squirrel. On the other hand a sign can be very subtle, like you hearing an fox screaming when considering a decision. Your thoughts at the very moment of the scream could be the way to go, or what to absolutely avoid, depending on what kind of symbolic meaning a fox scream has to you.

A strong cultural heritage is helpful in all interpretation of signs, clearly defined values and little external influence makes it far easier to understand which signs has whatever meaning. A person from Western society, does not have this homogenous spiritual tradition to support him/herself on and finding out what the signs mean to themselves can be extremely difficult.

Clairvoyance

A few people are particularly gifted or have long training in terms of seeing the future and can see it by slipping into a light trance and see it just like “it is”. The omission of the interpretative layer is definitely helpful, but here at least a slight trance would be needed. As far as I know a functionally sane person can not see the future constantly, or they he would mix it with the past and the present in daily tasks. I don’t believe anything is impossible though, so someone out there might be able to see the past, present and future simultaneously.

A person using visionary oracles is using his mind to interpret the “waves” or “energies” that constantly move through everything. It’s not possible for the rational mind to process such immense amounts of information, but the intuition filters out the relevant information and reproduces it in symbolism and imagery which you are familiar with in your life on earth.

As a last word of caution: A good seer doesn’t judge the subject whom he/she is reading. That will create a layer of ego that can influence the readings. The importance of empathy and association is something I will cover in a later article as it is essential for nearly all fields of magic.

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May 06 2014

Connection and Manifestation

Like water in a river, hugging the rock, the water flows as blood through your veins, nurturing the cells with fire from the sun. We’re immersed by air, walking on and built of earth.

As comforting it can be to know that you’re never alone, that every ancestor is always here in parts of his physicality, this connection is also the source of the confusion we experience in our lives. If we were entirely separate, everything would be molded to our will with thoughts alone. To organize this confusion into something tangible we use concepts. We call something with a name to identify it. It can even be nameless, that is not the point as long as we recognize it’s form as something predictable. We create a separation that we can readily grasp rationally.

If we because of this can accept that our world is an illusion on a higher level, or a dimension, and not necessarily the only one, it is possible to accept that our subconscious (Or unconscious for that matter. The distinction is irrelevant for what I am talking about here.) is also connected. This is where I place the “spiritual world”, although I have seen this also to exist on many levels, all interacting more or less seamlessly. I look upon the physical world as a mirror, a manifestation of will in the collective subconscious and that ALL change happens there before it comes on “earth”.

So the question is then: Why don’t we just wish up new things to come to earth? Why is it stable?

My answer to this is: Because the will is not uni-directional and the illusion we experience is so strong that we are always manifesting what we already experience. So greater manifestations becomes like a compromise of all will, including that of animals, rocks and whatever else there is. It is extremely difficult to manipulate will on a very high level instantaneously, because so many other wills are acting against yours. This is where marketing, domestication and religion comes in. Here the subconscious of other beings is being manipulated to conform with the will of the people with the original intention. No sorcerer can change the world alone, only the smaller things he can normally negotiate into his favour. A clever sorcerer lies and deceives to make people believe in him so his powers to do his work is greater. This sorcerer can be an inspired businessman, inventor or politician for instance.

In an other article I will go through the concept of free will and possessions, which can also be relevant to this discussion. There is also the trouble of cause and effect: Are you reading the future or are you creating it?

Understanding manifestation, it is possible to learn how to create what you want in your life. I’m by no means an expert in that, but I’m getting better at it…

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May 05 2014

Shamanism Can Never Die

Why are we here? Am I only my physical body? Why do events happen in my life that are unexpected and uncontrollable?

All of these existential¬† questions and many more trouble us from time to time in our lives. Most of the time they are suppressed because of distractions in your daily life, however if not dealt with they’ll always be there. The answers can not be found in our present science, but are found in the spiritual. If you don’t believe in spiritual effects on your life, you’ll live in confusion and fear for the rest of your life.

I haven’t written much on this subject before, but it’s a subject close to my heart, essential to sustainable living in any form. I will present my views on how the spiritual world is connected to physical experience as well as how in my experience it is possible to use these realizations to materially change your physical experience.

My subjectivity is a matter that needs addressing from the start. Experiences of any kind, whether visual, audible or in any of your other senses (which could be more than the classically assumed number), will be different from person to person. Using extremes to illustrate; some people are colourblind, some are deaf, some are hypersensitive to light. On top of this, interpreting the inputs will be made through a cultural filter of stories, morals and dogmas. Simply speaking: One man’s demon can therefore be another’s guardian angel.

In my way of thinking, the various levels of manifestation (physical, dreams, visions, imagination) are personal interpretations of what is happening. The wavelengths or energies are seen and sorted by your physical apparatus, such as through sight, and further filtered through your cultural framework. To illustrate the sensory subjectivity bats are a good example. They send out sound signals that aren’t audible to us and they also use this sense in a completely different way than us, by creating a 3D map out of the sounds for navigation.

The sheer subjectivity in everything, makes it clear to me that as an understanding of our connection to the whole, shamanism can never die. The only thing that can can succumb to time are the sensory and cultural filters with which we interpret the connections.

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May 04 2014

Clearing Windfall

The recent years have been very windy and some badly located clear-cuts have made the forests even more prone to wind damage. This winter a lot of trees fell in our area. Some species love windfall, the woodpeckers can find a lot of grubs in the dead trees and the moose eats their foliage while it’s still fresh, but to most animals too much of them can be a problem. The trees restricts movement for large herbivores and shades out a lot of the underbrush. The dead needles (if the tree is conifer) acidifies the soil, increasing the likelihood of a lot of spruce colonizing where the tree is laying, creating a long term problem of less sunlight reaching the forest floor.

Native Americans in parts of Canada used to burn areas with a lot of windfall, since they didn’t need that much timber and didn’t necessarily have the tools for taking care of the quantity. They burnt the area 2-3 years in a row and then let it either regenerate naturally into woodland or they’d keep it open as a meadow by burning it every year.

We normally can’t take the luxury or risk of burning windfall areas. If taken the same year the timber is just as good as if conventionally harvested. My brother does carpentry and traditional log cabin building and saws his own materials, making this source of timber very welcome. Usually we avoid cutting large trees, in particular Scotch pine, which can live for centuries. Windfall is fairly random in what kind of sized timber it provides, but enough of the big ones comes down to cover his need.

As we are working in the area, we also thin/remove small spruces and birches, making sure to save rarer species like alder or rowan. All the branches and saplings are piled into heaps. Left over the winter they provide excellent habitat for mice and other small animals. In following spring we burn the heaps.

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