ARCHIVE

Looking for our articles?

Hi!

This is a brief reminder that Gods&Radicals has moved to a new hosting service, and we no longer update this site.

If you were a subscriber to our WordPress site, that means you’re no longer receiving updates. 😦

But! There are several ways to follow us instead.

You can now find us at ABEAUTIFULRESISTANCE.ORG.

You can also follow our new site on:

Site updates!

Hi!

We’d like to remind you that Gods&Radicals has moved from WordPress to another hosting site, and has a new url: ABEAUTIFULRESISTANCE.ORG.

If you’re currently following us through WordPress, you may be missing out on our latest articles! Here’s how to follow us on our new site:

Be well!

Attack Of The Karmic Nazi Cancer Shits

We, all of us, need irresponsible partying, within a bound length of time. We already have this in the form of Christmas. I argue that time is wasted getting people to call it Saturnalia and aping some lame reconstruction of Roman partying.

From Patacelsus

download (2).jpg

(Gods&Radicals is moving! Please click here to read this full article on our new site, and remember to change your bookmarks!)

Land, Home, and the Gods

(Gods&Radicals is moving! Please click here to read this full article on our new site, and remember to change your bookmarks!)

48421576_1095382674001328_2500712152243896320_n

To Frigg, I address these words.

Beloved, Who Suffered Two Griefs,

Whose ashen box and secrets are tended by Volla,

In Whose Name Hlin brings peace and rest,

At Whose command Gna flies upon the Hoof-Kicker,

By Whose grace gentle Lofn brings union,

By Whose good counsel the women of the Winnili

Put their hair down in the likeness of beards and were thus rewarded with victory.

Receive these words

And grant that my hearthfire always burns brightly.

“When going back makes sense, you are going ahead.”

— Wendell Berry

Make the home the center of your life. For so many, home is lost in memory and dream. Nostalgia, a devastating longing. A force beyond our ken. What is it about the idea of home that is at once so comforting and so uncanny? It is precisely that link with those subterranean currents within us. The notion of home, so often retreating from us, brings us back to long forgotten memories. Not of our own childhoods, necessarily, although of course, the dollhouse world of the child is the model for the great world beyond. But the life of meaning and connection severed by industrial society. For where else is the power of the pre modern world felt more strongly than in the home and in the idea of the home. We cannot return to our home, any more than we can return to the wholeness that was taken from us. But we can reclaim something of our inheritance. We may light the fire in the hearth, call the gods and spirits to us, and make a new home for ourselves.

If we do not make a space within us and our lives for the gods and spirits to dwell, can we be surprised when we do not find them? Home is where the gods are. Home is not where the bones of ancestors lie, for the greater part of them dwells within us. We have all been driven hence, a vagabond humanity, and there is none who can find his home without seeking. Come upon your gods and you will need to build them a home. Gods and memories need a home with shadowy corners, nooks and crannies, garrets, attics, and cellars. They are tired and worn and are in need of refuge. They need places to sink down and sleep among the cobwebs and dust. And we will keep the fire burning on the hearth and fill the rooms with good smells and laughter and light. This is what Jung meant when he said that the spirits of the home loved old iron pots and pans. So much so was the divine alive in these simple old tools, that Jung developed friendships with the pots and pans at Bollingen Tower.

What kinship can the gods claim with things of steel and silicon? Veins of iron pulse in the earth, such things are known to gods and spirits.  The home binds us to the earth and through it, to the gods. Agrarian philosopher Wendell Berry writes: “The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life.” In other words, the gods dwell in the soil and we find our home in the soil. The pagan is the country dweller. The godly world is not to be found in the cities. Home cannot be made of concrete and asphalt. After all, if we are made by the place that we come from, what manner of thing shall we be when we live and die in cities that stretch to the horizon? Sure enough, we are become things that do not need soil, do not need home, do not need gods. Not soul and blood, but machine. And the logic of the machine is war against life. Berry: “It is easy for me to imagine that the next great division of the world will be between people who wish to live as creatures and people who wish to live as machines.” Declare for the creature within! For land, home, and the gods!

As Wendell Berry and many others have observed, the modern industrial home is little more than a site of consumption. It is not a place for creation, for production. There is no joy in it, only distraction, which passes for entertainment. The energy of life is expended outside the home. The business of living, we pay experts to manage for us. To grow and cook our food. To build what we require. To create what we desire. The home, understood as a place of creative energies, on the other hand, necessarily connects us to the earth and to the divine. Hands plunged into soil, planting seeds. Hands bathed in blood, slaughtering livestock. Creation and destruction are alive inside of us. We have sacrificed everything to escape struggle, never understanding that struggle is what gives us meaning. It is struggle that connects us to the earth and gods.

Modernity and industrialism, we believe, frees us from work but in truth, all it does is deprive our work of any meaning. There has never been a more overworked human being than the industrialized one. Work becomes labor, crushing the body and soul. The idea of the home retreats into the world of dreams, while we are bled dry to pay for the meanest and most squalid tenements. Let the home and the idea of the home become a pillar of strength. Let the home become a site of defiance, a bold denial of industrial society. Let the home be made into a bulwark against the modern world.

Make the home the center of your life. Economy, of course, originally referred to the management of the household. The global market, inseparable from industrialism, in this regard, is opposed by the agricultural home. Home work does not occur in the marketplace. Nobody is making money or profiting by your work except for yourself and your family and kin. Cooking, growing food, cleaning, chopping wood, raising children, arts and crafts. Industrial society shifts this work away from the home. But when we work where we live, we become more profoundly connected to both our work and the place we inhabit. Such work, the work of the home, is rooted in the cycles of the natural world, and as such honors the gods.

The human world is in ruins. It will not get better. The sooner we can withdraw from it, the better. Timothy Leary was right when he urged young people to “drop out” in 1966. His message is all the more profoundly true today. Life in urban, industrial society has no future. The modern world has failed on all levels. Capitalism and industrialism cannot be reformed. The gods have fled. Whether or not we can become completely independent of industrial society is irrelevant. The fact that it is difficult and perhaps impossible to utterly separate should not be used as an argument against withdrawal. Connection to the gods and the land is ultimately more important than material self-sufficiency. To whatever extent you are compelled and able, withdraw from society and make the home the center of your life.


Ramon Elani

Ramon Elani holds a PhD in literature and philosophy. He lives with his family among mountains and rivers in Western New England. He walks with the moon.

More of his writing can be found hereYou can also support him on Patreon.

 

 

I Don’t Remember Being Born to Please You

Politeness isn’t our shield, our unity is. Unity not only between women, but between all of us who are dedicated to destroying White Capitalist Patriarchy.

There is no way to destroy the Patriarchy by being “gezellig”.

From Mirna Wabi-Sabi

download.jpg

(Gods&Radicals is moving! Please click here to read this full article on our new site, and remember to change your bookmarks!)

Yuletide Musings

(Gods&Radicals is moving! Please click here to read this full article on our new site, and remember to change your bookmarks!)

Screenshot_20181213-202148_Gallery

As I write this I’m at work. Gone is the bookshop. Work now is in a big office building on the industrial estate close to my home. People look at me gone out when I tell them I’ve changed jobs, I think because they have a romantic idea of what it was like in the shop. They didn’t see the unpaid overtime or the long hours or the heavy lifting up and down stairs. Or the fact that it’s corporate owned. I think people imagined that it would be like working in ‘Black Books’ (a UK based comedy). But it wasn’t.

So the new job is better but still, it’s work, and not for myself. I keep catching myself daydreaming out of the window. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been gone for hours, though the reality is just minutes. I’ve always been a daydreamer. Perhaps it offers a freedom of sorts.

It takes me around five minutes to walk to work, ten if I linger across the field, wishing that I could just stay there for hours instead. It’s a large stretch of land, the only open green space close to the council estate where I live. Soon the council are going to build on that too. My home is due for demolition as the council plan to ‘regenerate’ the area. Local people don’t care, I think the majority of them have fallen for the council’s lies that the community, one of the poorest in the whole town, will benefit from the plans. How we’ll benefit is beyond me, especially when even more land is taken from us, or when the number of new houses built isn’t enough to cover the number of homes that are due to be demolished. But people don’t want to hear what I have to say on the topic. They look shocked when I say I’m happy where I am. I mean, unless it’s a cottage in the woods, I’m really not interested in going anywhere, least of all to a new built home (they don’t make them like they used to. Instead they are boxy little homes with paper thin walls and small neat lawns).

I’ve taken to spending my lunch break walking around the field, partly because it feels so strange to be sat down for seven hours a day and partly because I just like being outside and every time I do I can’t help but feel sadness to know that it will all change. And not for the better, whatever the council may say.

They’re going to build 300 homes on some of this land. With the rest, or so they claim, they are going to create sports pitches and even a wildlife area. A fecking wildlife area!  As if the wildlife isn’t already there. As if it won’t be displaced by the building work. As if a path through a border of wild flowers is enough.

But I didn’t come here today to bemoan to you all what you already know – that things change, that those in power do not care for the wants or needs of us, the planet nor anything upon it, except for their own greed. You already knew that else you wouldn’t be here, right?

Instead I wanted to tell you a little about this land here. About what it means to connect to a place. About how the wild can be found, even in the most unlikeliest of places.

I always say that nature abhors a vacumn, and as an avid gardener, I know just how easily nature reclaims back what was once taken, if given chance and opportunity, and this field shows that, more than any other place I can think of in the town, perhaps besides down by the scrap yard where wild datura grows.

The field sits between the housing estate and the ever increasing industrial estate. I’ve written a little about this area before, and you can read about that here. I’ve grown up on this land. We played here as kids, all of the kids from the estate. I walk here daily, I train here, how many times I’ve lapped this field! I forage here. The trees here are old, and in the summer there are apples, elderberries and plums to to be foraged, in the autumn cobnots, the wild variety of hazelnuts (delicious pan fried in butter and seasoned with a little black pepper!).

This place is overlooked. People don’t see the wild. Instead they hear and smell the industrial estate, see a huge expanse of land and think of it as a waste. But there is much to be found here, if you look with an eye to see. The same is true of anywhere else. It doesn’t matter where you live.  And from that connection to land, comes connection with others.

Screenshot_20181213-202120_Gallery

The land is where all folkish stuff comes from (and when I say folkish, I mean in the proper sense of the word, to mean encompassing all things folk related, not the other kind, of which we will not speak. I will say we need to start reclaiming back from those who would misuse them, and this is one such instance. ‘Nuff said!).

All folk tales begin with the land, come from the land. Look how many of them connect to specific places, from the people who come into contact with that land, who add to and enhance and take with them those stories. And the land belongs to all, it differentiates between us not.

So if you do anything this Yule, go outside and find the wild where you live. It doesn’t matter what form that takes. Feel that connection between yourself and the land and as the time of balance approaches, take strength and power from it, for the solstices are such times and you can feel it most in the wild!

Whatever you call the festive season, have a good one!


Emma Kathryn

My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magic, of course!You can follow Emma on Facebook.