Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

The Bear - Symbology During the Middle-Ages

A video a little bit different than usual. The symbology of the bear during the Middle-Ages. How it turned from a pagan symbol to a christian symbol of evil and the representation of the victory of the divine forces over chaos, in the early European medieval times. Enjoy! :D

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Summer Solstice - The Celebration of Fire

Whatever it is you want to call it, Midsummer, Litha, Midsummerblót, Saint John's Day and so on, the Summer Solstice is the celebration of the sun and the fire element. Never forget your ancestors and how important fire was to them. There were times when fire was the only ally our ancestors had, which helped them to get warm and to survive. Great celebration to all of you and may the sun bring you happiness and spiritual strength.

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Werewolves in Norse Mythology

You can watch the video about this subject in here: [Werewolves in Norse Mythology]

There is this idea that werewolves are exclusively from eastern Europe, but I’ve collected a lot of tales about werewolves from places I wouldn’t even imagine that such tales were part of the local folklore. But then again, it’s not surprising, because at some point in prehistoric times, our ancestors’ spiritual practices were very much connected to animal totems, the power of animals. As I’ve said before, in Europe, the animals connected to royalty, courage, the warrior spirit and such, were the bear and the boar. These two animals were the most representative creatures of every European culture. And then there was the wolf. The wolf was something else entirely. 
Beyond the borders of the villages and the boundaries of our familiar world, there lies vast, wild and solitary landscapes. When night comes, those places become a scenery of dark and gloomy shadows. In the deep forests the famished wolves roam and hunt, howling in the cold winter nights. Howling at the moonless sky. Their eyes glitter in the dark as if they burned with a foul fire. 
The human being has always feared the unknown, and in ancient times, these landscapes beyond their villages, were terrible places of both mystery and death, few were those who dared to venture into those places, so such places became the scenery of many fantastic tales and the wolves became a symbol of terror and power. These animals were considered to be the wildest beings on earth, always searching for the kill, so it is perfectly natural that these natural facts led to so many folktales about werewolves and other mythical creatures. 

Now, let’s focus on werewolves for Northern Europe. We have many mythological accounts about werewolves in ancient Scandinavia. Let's start with one of the most famous tales. The tale of two men, Sigmund and Sinfjötli, who one day find a house in the middle of the woods with men under a sleeping spell. These men had enchanted wolf-skins. Sigmund and Sinfjötli steal their wolf skins and put them on. The moment they do this, they transform themselves into wolves and can even understand the wolf language. Then, after a few adventures and killing other men, things go wrong and one wounds the other, apparently a mortal wound. But things turn out for the best and the two men survive and take off the wolf-skins and destroy them. 
First of all, these two men were in the woods because they were outlaws and lived from robbery and other activities against the law. They were outlaws. In ancient Scandinavian societies, the outlaws, murderers, defilers of temples and thieves, were given the name of Vargr - they were the Vargar - which means wolves. Such people weren't killed by their actions or arrested, they had a worse fate. They were expelled from the community or the tribe and were left in the wild landscapes, as an animal who now needed to survive alone or in a group of people in equal circumstances, just as wolves do. Everyone could kill them, hunt them on sight, with no penalty nor punishment, because the Vargar were animals now. No one considered them as humans; they were mere beasts. 
Another aspect, they came upon other men in a remote area, in the wilds, away from civilisation, who possessed enchanted wolf-skins. Now, we might be in the presence of individuals who are also outlaws, and as such, they are Vargar, or we are in the presence of shamans. Shamans also lived outside the communities, far away in the wilds. But they didn’t live as beasts. They had their own dwellings and most survived because of the offerings the community gave to them in exchange for their power, their assistance in a variety of fields, from healing, to divination, and so on. In the history of shamanism we see many parallels with this aspect. Shamans living outside the communities, being both feared and revered; no one wants them close, but at the same time they need them. There are other tales similar to this one in the northern European countries. In Finland for instance, there are tales about men stumbling upon other men under a sleeping spell. Men with great spiritual power and can even turn into animals, mostly wolves. 
So the two men stole these enchanted wolf-skins and turned into wolves. They either accepted their condition as outlaws, or precisely due to the fact that they lived in the wilds, they encountered a spiritual path, they had contact with a shamanic perspective of life. To our ancestors, spiritual power came from the wilds, away from civilization, going out these to seek knowledge and power. We see this in shamanism, isolation as a shamanic technique to induce trace. The boundary between civilization and the wilds is a parallel to the boundary between sanity and madness, and it’s precisely with that balanced state that shamans do what they do. 
There were also tribes of shaman warriors, which could take the form of wolves in their trance journeys, and they acted like wolves, these shamanic mysteries were preserved as hereditary traditions among some families. These shamans at their initiation rites to become wolf-warriors, would go into the swamps, the most dangerous and wild places of the world, and left their clothes behind, symbolically this is the abandonment of the human form and the identity as a member of a community. These people would live their lives out of the civilized world and learning from the wilds. These people were called wolfmen or werewolves. 

There are other accounts of werewolves in the Norse tradition, such as Ulf Bjalfason, a character in the Egil’s Saga. As soon as night approached, his mood would darken and he had to get away from everyone and being isolated. People started to be suspicious and began to wonder that he might be one of those who changes his skin. People started to call him Kveld Ulf (night’s wolf), cool nickname. We can see in here the similarities with the previous account. Isolation and to become a skin-changer. 

I’m sure you were already thinking about this. Obviously, in Norse mythology, we have the Great wolf Fenrir, son of Loki. Fenrir will kill Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Eventually I shall speak about Fenrir in another time. But Fenrir symbolises the wilds, power, chaos, the other side of things that oppose order, but must exist to create a balance. The wild side of nature, its cruelty and destructive power. As we have seen before, people sought knowledge in the wilds, spiritual knowledge, the knowledge that can only come from the dead, from what is chaotic, untameable, and people have always had this need to try to tame the untameable in order to survive. It’s interesting to see that Fenrir will kill Odin. Odin being the personification of wisdom and power, but Fenrir is also power, the other side of power, the wild power. Two opposites against each other and it’s the wild power that will eventually succeed but ultimately be consumed and fail. Just as we have seen with Sigmund and Sinfjötli, they enjoyed their time being wolves, but could not control the power and the wild side took control of them and one ended up killing the other, 
but taking their wolf-skins off, they became men again - civilized. Fenrir might be the remnants of a prehistoric tale about those who are skin-changers that take the form of wolves and live their lives according to their wolf-totem. Every tale has a moral, and this one would probably be that seeking power is healthy and wise, but be careful to not let yourself be consumed by such power and let it control you. Fenrir also has two sons: Sköll and Hati. One chases the sun and the other chases the moon, every day, like a shadow. Darkness seeking to overcome balance and nature itself. We have the same principle as with Fenrir. 

We know of two other wolves. Geri and Freki, the wolves of Odin himself. There is a great possibility that these two wolves are not just pets, two animals akin to dogs and Odin just likes to have them near, pet them and feed them his food under the table. It’s possible that Geri and Freki represent skin-changers, and that in fact these are two people. Maybe Odin’s own bodyguards, or two chosen warriors of his utmost confidence; the best of the best, the perfect loyal soldiers. There are many archaeological finds depicting figures wearing wolf-pelts.  
In Scandinavian societies, the tales of wolves went further than the mythological tales, there was the existence of the elite warriors called Úlfhéðnar (Ulfhednar) people who went to war dressed with the skins of wolves, and were also warriors with immense strength, who sometimes fought naked, without showing that they were uncomfortable with the cold weather, or the landscape itself, adapting perfectly to the harsh environment just like wolves. These warriors went to battle in some kind of a trance and did not have the need for weapons, they could kill with their bare hands or bite just as a wolf does. In fact, that is what they were, people with the shapes of wolves, who thought that they were wolves themselves and acted like the creatures. There is a great possibility that before battle, they consumed some kind of hallucinogenic, entering in a trance-like state, psychologically they could feel the difference. It's just like if someone asks you to lift a table, and you don’t have the strength or the strength fails you and it's hard, but when you are angry, you gain strength and you can lift and throw the table with no problem. People sometimes go beyond the limitations they think they have, when they are physically and psychologically affected, when people are pushed into certain situations, the need to survive comes to the surface and the wild and savage feelings hidden within us appear, almost feral. Of course these accounts may be exaggeration, but the fact is, we find representations in archaeological excavations, so people probably believed in this and these warriors were actually part of a cult which involved hallucinogenic-drugs and pushing people to their limits, inducing rage, anger, inducing a state of uncontrollable mindless violence – being feral. These people were represented as wolves, from a cult which goes far back before recorded history. To the prehistoric shamanistic communities of wolf-men, or werewolves. 

The Boar in Celtic Culture

You can watch the video about this subject in here: [The Boar in Celtic Culture]

There are many mythological accounts concerning boars in a variety of cultures throughout the world. Boar hunt, and all its process – from tracking the animal, chasing it and delivering the final blow at the end – as always been a very ritualistic activity, greatly linked to initiation rites, tests of manhood, strength and an exercise to prepare for war. 
Hercules chased and captured a ferocious and gigantic boar; the goddess Artemis sent a boar to Calydon to ravage, lay waste, create chaos in that region because Oeneus, the king of the city, forgot about the yearly sacrificial rituals to the gods; in Norse mythology we have Gullinbursti – the god Freyr’s mount - a boar; In Hindu mythology, the boar Varaha is the third of the ten avatars of Vishnu and under that form Vishnu defeated the demon Hiranyaksha. Well, it’s not my intention to give you a list of mythological accounts about the boar, I just want you to understand that this was an animal of great importance in many cultures, but let’s focus on the Celtic culture. 

Through archaeology we know our ancestors started the process of domesticating animals during the beginning of the Neolithic period. Of course they domesticated animals before this period, but the Neolithic marks a time when Man’s actions greatly changed the behaviour and the physical appearances of animals. Changes in the animals eating habits, changings in the habitats, inter-breading to enhance certain features of an animal – the earliest genetic changes – well, a variety of factors which contributed to change the physical appearances of animals. Boars were domesticated and we have transformed them into pigs, and for millions of years, in general to us there as always been this idea that boars were just wild pigs and pigs were domesticated wild pigs. So there was no great difference between the two. However, to the Celts, a pig was a pig and a boar was a completely different creature. In the Celtic languages there are different words for a pig and for a boar, I mean, the Celts didn’t just refer to boars as wild pigs. The Celts did not identify the two animals as being from the same species. For instance, he word for Boar in ancient Irish and Gaelic-Scottish is “torc”, in Welsh is “baedd gwyllt” and in Cornish “bath”, this shows us the singularity of the boar in the Celtic cultures.  

Both the bear and the boar were considered to be the most fearsome creatures of the forests in pre-Christian times and throughout the early middle ages. The Celts highly respected and admired the capacity the boar had to defend itself when the creature felt threatened. So the boar became a symbol of courage and bravery, and also ferocity in battle. To the Celts and also among the Anglo-Saxons, the boar assumes the zoomorphic figuration of the Ideal Warrior, which is why the figure of the boar appears in decorations of weapons and in the equipment of warriors, most prominent in helmets and shields.  

When the Celts went to war, one of the most characteristic objects they would take with them was the Carnyx, those long bronze trumpets, with an animal head from where the sound would come, and most of the heads were representations of a boar’s head, of course there were other 
animal representations such as serpents, but the boar was the most used representation for these wind instruments. The boar being an animal linked to courage, bravery and ferocity in battle, it’s really interesting to see this very creature represented in these objects emitting a battle chant from the depths - frightening. 

The boar is also associated with certain Celtic deities, such as Vitiris, a Celtic god who was worshipped in the British Isles, a very popular deity amongst young warriors and even roman warriors who adopted this god. And the god Mogons also associated with the boar and Moccus a deity from Gaul, worshipped by boar-hunters. The goddess Arduinna, also from Gaul, a goddess from a specific forest in ancient Gaul, and she is associated with hunt and the boar, she even rides a boar. And in ancient Lusitania, the cult of the god Endovélico involved sacrificing boars, and also pigs. So the boar was one of the main animals used in the cult of a variety of Celtic deities. And we have other spiritual/religious references to the boar, such as some of the warriors from ancient Celtic Scotland wore wild boar skins, or even a Celtic tribe from northern Britain, whose name was Orci which means “tribe of the boars”. And then a wondrous variety of statuettes and figurines of boars, and boars represented in coins. The boar was one of the most represented animals, second only to the horse. 

In conclusion, the boar is one of the most representative animals of the Celtic culture, as a symbol associated with war, but above all, courage and bravery, ferocity in battle, and in a variety of folktales and Celtic legends, even the ones about King Arthur, the boar is also associated with magic and the other world, in Celtic mythology, especially in Welsh mythology, the boar can speak with humans and the creature is able to lead people into the world of the spirits, linking the animal to initiation rites; rites of passage. 

The Valknut is a "Lie"

A video about the term "Valknut" and how it has been misused, applying it to the wrong symbol. A possible name to the symbol in question is a matter of discussion brought to light by our new studies. I hope you enjoy it friends :D --- Aside from the English subtitles, this video also has subtitles in Portuguese, Spanish (American-latin), French and Italian. My thanks to all the contributors.

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Bealtaine and Friggablót

Well friends, here's a new videos talking about Bealtaine and Friggablót, where you have to suffer a little bit of my silliness at the beginning before the actual content. Enjoy it :D

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Viking Warrior-Women existed?

You can watch the video about this subject in here: [Viking Warrior-Women]

As I’ve told you before, there are historical facts and then historical facts proven by sciences. There was always this idea of Viking women fighting alongside men; fearsome female warriors in poetry and in the sagas. For instance, we have the famous Freydís Eiríksdóttir, the daughter of Erik the Red. She appears in the Sagas of the Greenlanders as a fearsome warrior, with masculine physical features, and a lot of people died due to her schemes, and she even fought the North-American natives. But there were no certainties that she even existed. We have always heard about warrior women in the ancient Scandinavian societies, especially during the Viking Age, but the truth is, there were no palpable evidences that they were real, that the women in these societies were warriors or could be warriors, it’s like when you have an idea, you spread it so much that all of a sudden everyone is talking about it as if it were true and becomes a fact. But fortunately nowadays, and this is a recent discovery, there are physical evidences that viking warrior women really existed, all thanks to archaeology, physical anthropology and genetics. So now we can say with certainty that women in ancient Scandinavian societies could be warriors. 

Women were very active within ancient Scandinavian societies. For instance, unlike Iceland where men were more active in activities related to witchcraft, especially Galdr, in mainland Scandinavia, Seidr – witchcraft, rune-magic, divination and so on – was the province of women.  Women also took care of the household and the farmstead when men were away raiding, they could even get divorced, and if their husband was killed they could take their sit in the Thing (the assembly of the community), having a very active role in politics. But when there were kids to take care of, their mothers were in charge of teaching them the arts of war. Mothers would teach their kids how to use the bow and arrow, the shield, sword, axe and spear - so women knew the Scandinavian medieval martial arts. With this knowledge in fighting and using weapons, why not try their luck like men? I’m sure taking care of the farmstead was a dull business, being at the assembly probably quite boring, so why not explore the world, discover new places, meet new people and kill them and rob them of their properties? 

Archaeological evidences of warrior graves are numerous, especially during the Viking Age period of Northern Europe. And in the Viking town of Birka, in nowadays Sweden, was the key centre of trading between the 8th and 10th centuries. There is a great number of graves distributed over large burial grounds encircling the town area. Of course, graves not only for warriors but other town's folk, but there is a specific area just for the garrison of this town, and in this area were found the deceased warriors. The graves in this area contained all manner of objects linked to the activities of warriors. The grave goods included swords, axes, spears, armour-piercing arrows, battle knifes, shields, well . . . the complete equipment of professional warriors. Some graves even had horses, and horses already indicate high-ranking officers. One of these high-ranking officers was a woman, scientists came to the conclusion after osteological and genetic tests. 

Now the question is, do weapons found in graves necessarily determine a warrior? There is a variety of archaeological findings of viking-women buried with weapons and they weren't 
necessarily warriors. But this one not only had all the equipment a warrior needs, also had horses. Two horses, as I've said. Horses weren't easy to come by, and it was extremely expensive to own one horse, let alone two. Horses were also chosen to be the sacrificed animals when it came to funerary rituals for someone of great importance, extreme importance really. But that depends on the context. In this context, these two horses show us that they were worthy of an individual with responsibilities concerning strategy and battle tactics. Of course there is the Oseberg ship case, where two women were buried with a great number of horses, but on that context we are in the presence of something completely different and unique, which I would love to talk about on another video someday.  

And now you ask, what about signs of trauma in the skeleton which indicate that the individual was a warrior? Well I must say that the skeletal remains of this female warrior did not exhibit signs of trauma. But weapon-related wounds are not that common, actually, during the Viking Age, traces of violent trauma are more common in mass burials, so it's more likely to find graves for a single warrior with little or no traces of trauma, and not every weapon hits the bones and leaves a mark, we have to take in mind that there is a lot of flesh and muscle to slice and people can die from it. 

Well, this goes beyond my professional knowledge, as an archaeologist I know a bit of theoretical physical anthropology and a tiny bit of genetics, but that work is left to the scientists who really know about this stuff, and they say this skeleton belonged to a woman and we can be certain it did. Now, is this the only female warrior of the ancient Scandinavian society? Of course not. Till now the idea was that men were the warriors and no one really went to the trouble of properly study the osteological remains to see the gender. This woman was not only a warrior, but a highranking officer, so if women could have such a high statues in the military field, certainly they could be warriors. In conclusion, female Viking warriors were part of a society that dominated from the 8th to the 10th century of northern Europe and now with certainty we can say that women were full members of this society, being very active in every field.