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.
Preparedness for anything is a key feature of the modern féinnid, and to be prepared you have to train. Working with the ADF training material with additional material specific to the féinnid, I have put together a training program for a proposed Order within ADF. While this Order is being discussed by the leadership I can’t share the training material but with a select few who have influenced its development. However being a blog about being a féinnid, I think it important to share training material with the readers and I have just learned that another féinnid has just posted her training outline.
I invite my readers to head over to the website Shadow of the Hooded Crow and check out the training program written by Saigh Kym Lambert, “Outlaw Warrior Path Training“. If you do like her work let her know, make a donation, and please respect her intellectual property.
The following article has been published in “Oak Leaves – The Quarterly Journal of Ár nDraíocht Féin” Spring 2014 Issue No. 64
If you attend Neopagan festivals or belong to a public Neopagan group, you have likely encountered individuals who, while willing to participate in social activities, for specific and often spiritually-based reasons they are unwilling or unable to take part in the religious aspects. As Neopagans, we generally accept that from outside the community many of us appear different from the norm or don’t seem to fit easily into mainstream culture. It’s often this “otherness” that brings us together, despite the variety of our beliefs and practices. So it’s understandable that when our members seem committed to remaining apart from our most central religious activities, we may react with disdain, discomfort, or simply not know what to do with them. After all, what’s the point of belonging to a community if you don’t actually want to belong?
the Gaelic Narrative Tradition 48-51). Living outside of established communities, these men formed an ancient counterculture; existing beyond the bounds and protections of their villages laws, they had their own rules and values.
and worshipped their gods on their own. (Nagy, The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in the Gaelic Narrative Tradition 50; McCone, The Celtic and Indo-European Origins of the Fian 20).
Narrative Tradition 54-55). To join a warrior-band or fían required one to give up all claims to hearth and home and complete legendary feats requiring mental and physical discipline (Keating 349-350). Separate from their society, they had to fulfill the most crucial and highly valued roles for themselves, including those of hunter, warrior, poet, and seer. As he excelled in all these things, Finn mac Cumaill was often considered the epitome of the accomplished warrior outsider.
living next door, the outlaw motorcycle club you saw on the highway and the loner kid who seems slightly off to classmates and parents alike, modern life affords the intentional and unintentional outsiders many different lifestyles and expressions, and unlike in the past, they may or may not come together in counterculture groups. The hermit isolates himself voluntarily much like some ancient seers and poets while the soldier, also a volunteer (at least in the U.S.), is involved in a military lifestyle not so different from the warriors of old, and that is separated from regular society by the tasks they are asked
to perform. Some outlaw motorcycle clubs may be involved in criminal activity, while the loner kid is intellectually or socially in conflict with his peers. These are all examples of modern situations and lifestyles that can set people apart from their societies of origin.
capability occasionally. An authentic practice of Fénidecht also requires that the warrior/hunter aspect of the path be sustained through non-combative physical training.
memorization and recitation of poetry comes to us from the stories of Finn and the initiation requirements to join his fían (Keating 349-350; Nagy, The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn inthe Gaelic Narrative Tradition 248). Today, this requirement could be expanded to include the writing of rituals and liturgy that they share with their communities.
and seek aid for ourselves or our community.
old men (Nagy, The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in the Gaelic Narrative Tradition 51; McCone, The Celtic and Indo-European Origins of the Fian 20). Because modern fénidecht
mostly live in communities rather than remaining camped in the wild, this defensive role must evolve slightly. Serving in the national or local defense industries, working with or on the police and firefighting forces, working in the personal or self-defense industry, doing festival and event security, and even participating in activism to protect your community’s interests are all ways in which the “defense of the people” can manifest.
deities but there are also “outsider” deities, such as Manannan, Finn, and Brig Ambue.
kind of ceremony may be best uncomfortable, and at worst in direct conflict with his oaths.
depiction of one of these rituals and is described by McCone in detail (McCone, The Celtic and Indo-European Origins of the Fian 28-29). But groups of féinnidi can do more than facilitate these rituals and transitions for their own as members go through phases of being within the community and without—they can provide such work as a service to the broader community as well, facilitating rituals of ‘cleansing’ and ‘purification’ for others, such as the aforementioned soldier. (Lupus).
can support the Neopagan community, this article may inspire more groups to provide for the inclusion and spiritual development of these individuals in their organizations. As knowledge of this path spreads, I look forward to seeing the community learn how to acknowledge and accept the outsiders, and
give them a place and a voice, which is, ultimately, what all human beings—even self-described outsiders—desire.
Féinnidi should make attempts to be physically fit and prepared to defend themselves and others. For me this meant joining a local Krav Maga studio, running at least 20 miles per week and a heavy bag.
I used to belong to a gym and I went nearly every day, but only because it was next to my house. I hated it. When I moved I stopped all training and continued to expand the waistline. Sometime in April 2012 I decided to take control and manage my diet. This kind of worked in that I stopped gaining weight and even began to lose a little. It wasn’t enough though, I need to either lose 40 pounds are convert it to muscle and make it worth having..
Since then I have taken up running with a goal of 20 miles per week (have not met this goal). This will grow as my stamina and speed improves…about 30 minutes of running to increase my heart rate is my goal for now. My real change is Krav Maga. For those who do not know this is the hand-to-hand combat system used by the Israeli Defense Forces. My studio is part of the Krav Maga Worldwide and is the version taught by Darren Levine. These classes are simply fun, and each class is 1 full hour full of cardio, strength building, toning, fighting and if its a rough day…puking. I have yet to the last but I have come close. I call this having fun, since for the first time I have enjoyed training.
As a member of ADF I am also a member of the Warriors Guild and working on the training program they offer. It requires keeping a journal, so I thought to share the to-date journal here:
April 2012 I woke up and started to change my diet to 1700 calories a day with minimal exercise, starting at 250 pounds I dropped to 219 by the time I got married in October. By April I was back up to 240 due to not sticking to the calorie counting. So in May 2013 I started eating about 1900 – 2100 calories a day and using my elliptical to hit 3 miles about 3 times a week.
Monthly weigh in brings me to 231.8 pounds. I have introduced actually running outside using an application called “Zombie Run.” I don’t have much stamina to actually run the entire distance but I am hitting 2 miles walking/jogging 4-5 days a week.
Monthly weigh in brings me to 228.6 pounds. For both self-defense and the training I am now part of a Krav Maga studio. The classes I take focus on teaching the offensive and defensive techniques of Krav Maga along with some core and strength training. Coupled with the cardio I am now hitting the triad of physical improvement. By the end of the month I felt compelled to do something every day. The last week of July was spent resting from an injury and preparing to go to a weeklong festival in Canada. NOT doing some sort of exercise made me feel lazy and kinda depressed. So I would say by this point physical activity has become a habit and a necessity to well being. During the month of July I trained at the Krav studio for 8 hours (thats an average of twice a week) and ran/walked a little over 32 miles.
Monthly weigh in is 226.6 pounds. The month started out poorly with a trip to Canada followed by three weeks with poison ivy that prevented me from being able to train at the studio. That was followed by a week long trip to Atlanta.
Monthly weigh in is 229 pounds. Expected some weight gain with the lack of exercise, not as bad as I expected. Got started on my program again by walking/jogging 3.81 miles on the 8th followed by Krava Maga on the 9th.
Fail month. I did not weigh in and I attended the studio just once. However, I did get a heavy bag and started training on that to practice various assault techniques. I also ran my longest distance of 4.23 miles in a single go using Zombie Run.
Monthly weigh in is 232 pounds