In the article entitled Fénidecht I explain that the fiana are part of an Indo-European cultural phenomenon that have been associated with wolves and werewolves, also called ‘wolf warriors’ (McCone, Werewolves, Cyclopes, Diberga, and Fianna: Juvenile Delinquency in Early Ireland, 1986, p. 16). If you do a search for other examples of this institution you will find warrior hunter gods to which these groups were associated, but not for the fiana. This could be due to the fact the Irish had an oral tradition, and stories of their gods did not start to get written down until the 5th century by Christian scribes who altered and hid the mythologies while other Indo European people were writing down their stories or would be writing them down before Christianity could fully take hold of the culture. It could be that the Irish did not have a deity associated with the wolf warriors, but that is unlikely given that hunting and warrior bands were a core part of Irish culture and other Indo European (IE) cultures have stories of such gods. No, I suspect the truth is that the Irish god of the ‘wolf warriors’, the hunt, and wild places is the well-known deity turned hero, Finn mac Cumall.
Most of these can be found on this blog dating back 4 years. I am consolidating and re-sharing them now to kick-start the year with something on topic.
Warrior, hunter, poet, seer, outsider, I am what is feared by the ‘things that go bump in the night.’ With truth in my heart, strength of my arms, and constancy of my tongue, I walk the boundary between worlds and stand at the borders guarding against the unknown. Armed against those who wish to harm; I am the wolf, I am the prey, I am the wild hunt. I am a guardian between the realms, a wild beast in the wood, a féinnid defending my people.
Pre training devotional
As I prepare my mind, body and spirit for the stresses of combat I call on Scáthach, teacher of Cuchulain to guide me.
I offer the pain to be felt, sweat to be dropped and blood to be spilt to you as my sacrifice in payment for your guidance.
A Processional Prayer– Written for use at Public events in which I remained outside of the ritual.
Finn, Chieftain of the Fiana hear our call.
For we stand at the boundary between Order and Chaos, the civilized and the wild.
As the tribe gathers we come to observe and protect.
We shall fear no man, nor beast, and nor spirit.
We shall challenge any who come to do the people ill.
Gods and ungods of the people, know that we are here and we are allies.
With spear and shield we will protect the people, aid the people and sacrifice ourselves for the people.
We stand at the boundary between Order and Chaos, the civilized and the wild.
Warning and offering to the undesired. – When I was working on my initial ADF rituals I was prepared to include a section for the Outsiders, I took the aggressive approach.
Spirits of ill intent, dare not approach for I will bar your way.
Unwanted guests, I am steeled against you and will bar your way.
Dare not approach and an offering will be made.
Accept this bargain and peace there shall be.
If you enjoy reading my musings and writing, please share my blog on your social media outlets – John
Yesterday I announced on Facebook that my ADF grove is dissolving. Specifically, as of January 31, 2017 the ADF Protogrove called Five Rivers is dissolving. I am also allowing my membership in ADF to lapse for reasons that are not earth shattering nor to be made public. Sometimes, relationships just don’t work.
As part of the prepping exercise in 2014, I built myself a “get-home-bag” to keep in my car in case something occurred while I was at away from home that required me to either shelter in my car for a period of time, or hike home. No part of this planning included bugging out of the area so the resulting pack was small. In the past two years I have reviewed backpacking blogs and site, mapped out my various routes home, and had some experiences that have changed my perceptions. While my initial attempt was solid for what I knew, I see the pack now as wishful thinking and probably would not have helped me as much as I would hope.
Back in 2014 I completed an exercise in preparedness and created a Zombie Apocalypse Go-Bag and then shared my results. Since then I have taken the bag with me whenever I have gone on over-night travel more than 60 miles from home. In doing so I realized the bag I chose was a poor choice, that I didn’t have any idea how to pack such a bag, and that I may not have made the best choice in the items I chose to pack. So I took to the web and read what the experts had to say; not preppers but recreational backpackers. The folks who know how to pack, hike, and survive for 5+ days in the bush. What I learned forced me to make some changes, and now I share what I have learned with you.
Yesterday a man died. That man advocated for ritual initation of post-pubescent minors into his brand of Wicca via sexual intercourse. He never backed down from this position. While never charged with a crime, the very advocacy of this particular crime makes him a disgusting individual that should not be honored.
We should not be celebrating this mans life. He died.
Time to forget him.
Good riddence Gavin Frost.
Normally I would spend days and sometimes weeks working on a post so that I can cite all the material needed to convey my point. Today, I am going to write off the cuff and with few references on a topic that I believe should be obvious. Our warriors are coming home stained with the horrors and pain they have witnessed, with little in the way of transitioning from war to peace. This is not how it should be, this is not how it was with our ancestors, and we need to bring back those rituals and social constructs that allow for warriors to truly come home.
The idea that our returning warriors need some sort of ‘home coming’ to help them deal with they have seen is not new, yet our society has totally neglected this aspect of the warriors life. In the article “The Hidden Imbolc” PSV Lupus posits that Imbolc may have been a time when warriors were ritually cleansed and returned to society. Kim McCone presents a theory that the Gundestrop Cauldron depicts such a ritual using Gallic and Thracian imagery in his article “The Celtic and Indo-European origins of the fian” found in The Gaelic Finn Tradition which I summarize in “Synopsis of Kim McCone’s and J. de Vries’ Theory on the Gundestrup Cauldron“. Edward Tick, a leading expert on post conflict treatment of soldiers, has researched and published a book citing instances of how ancient societies may have dealt with issues faced by warriors returning to normal society in the book Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War.
A conversation online produced the idea that being involved in war stains ones soul, and that we need to go through some sort of process to remove the stain. In the hagiographies of Saint Brigid she used milk to remove the “diabolical signs” from the díberga (outlaw warriors) cleansing them and allowing them to return to normal society. So while the mental health community needs to take the lead on the various mental health issues, our religious communities should consider the spiritual harm done by being involved in or even witnessing the horrors of war.
But we can’t limit ourselves to only those who have seen combat. Despite the negative opinions some folks in the ‘warrior’ community have towards military personnel, the reality is everyone who has undergone indoctrination into the life of the professional soldier, has taken on the burden of the outlaw and has some degree of the ‘stain’ upon them. This calls for us to reconstruct the rituals of re-introducing our warriors to normal society and cleansing them of the ‘stain’. We need to do this at the community level, not as individuals. It takes a community to accept the warrior back and provide the support needed to return to society.
I have written articles, and lead presentations on this topic but now I am putting out a challenge. I challenge every community, every faith, every church, to develop some sort of “Warrior Return” ritual, cleansing, class, whatever you want to call it. Something that will aid the warrior spiritually in coming home and aiding them in removing whatever spiritual stains they may have acquired serving in the defense of our communities. It is the least we can do for them.
This is the Gentlidecht na gCuanaigh ritual for Lá Fhéile Oirbsen, usually held around June 29th but this year held June 12th by Five Rivers Protogrove, ADF.
This is the Gentlidecht na gCuanaigh Bealtaine ritual held May 1, 2016 with Five Rivers Protogrove, ADF.
As the title says, it has been two years since I started this blog. During that time I have covered most of the topics that relate to my relationship with the gods, the hows in my worships, some of the whys, and even the whos. As time passes though new research and new experiences change how we do things. Over the next 11 months of 2016, I will be revisiting some of my old posts and updating them, but posting them as new material. I also hope this spurs some original material as well, something that has been lacking on this blog for a while.
I have updated the WordPress site with some new tools as well. Mainly so I can track statistics but I am also hoping to make me more accessible to you. I am doing this because not only do I want to know you, my audience, but I want you to be able to reach me with comments and questions. The purpose of this blog is to share my practice to help you develop yours and one of the best ways to do that is through conversation. So please, as I add features to facilitate communication please use them. Tell me what you think, and if you have a topic you want to no more, then ask I will see what I can do to make it happen.
Thank you for reading, and hope to see more of each other in 2016.
Conchobhar ui Naill