The Nature of the Powers

“Do you view the Powers of Waincraft as distinct beings, or simply as “ideas” or archetypes. For example, is the Lord of the Green literally a god sovereign over growing things, or is he just the personification of growings things?”

Short answer is both.

Literally, the Lord of the Green is the Power of life in all its forms, but most particularly cyclical life, of which vegetation is the most abundant. Symbolically, he personifies the cycle of life that grows and falls and rises again.

The Powers of Waincraft are fully immanent and integrated with the physical realm. Thus they are both spiritual beings that control and direct natural and cultural forces, and the impetus behind and manifestation of those very natural and cultural forces. Orthopsychy applies to all of existence, the Powers included.

A true archetype can exist in its own distinction as well as echo itself in other distinct beings. There is nothing simple about either an idea or an archetype – they are both powerful, complex, and utterly fascinating creatures.

Is a Mother not a distinct being from all other Mothers, while still sharing an essential commonality that differs only in its particulars? A Teacher can teach history or common sense or magic, and the style of that teaching can and will differ depending on subject and personality, but they are still a Teacher.

It is a poor tribute to Jung that one of his finest achievements has been so twisted by pop psychology as to completely change its meaning.

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Getting to Know the Powers: Wildness

A basic introduction of the deity
Wildness is the Second God, slightly older than his twin brother, Time, firstborn children of Night. He is the force of wildness, wilderness, desolation, ferity, madness, chaos, and everything that is ambivalent or hostile to humanity. At the same time, he is the power of and behind witchcraft, initiation, ecstasy and wild, uninhibited sex and sexuality. In a sense, he is the power of transgression, breaking boundaries and expectations, and ultimate and true authenticity in the face of conformity.
The Wild Father is often clothed in the skins and forms of animals, and is one of the least anthropomorphic of the Powers, more animal than human – and yet he is, also, the First Ancestor of humanity. He and his realm are what birthed us, and though we now fall under the influence of his twin, he is always calling us back to him. He is the White Stag leading us into Reality, which often has a strange resemblance to the Otherworld.

Symbols and icons of this deity
Skulls, hides and fur, antlers, trees, mushrooms, horned figures, bones, wilderness landscapes, zoomorphic figures, deer, snakes, phalluses.

A favorite myth or myths of this deity
Creation of humanity

At the beginning time, the worlds were created by the Divine Twins, the powers of earth and air and fire and water and spirit, and filled with all manner of life. And in the joining and unjoining of their strengths and powers, a figure was formed, of earth and fire, of water and air, living, but thoughtless and without spirit. The Spirit Twins, Dark and Light, Order and Chaos, came upon this figure, and wondered at it. Then, the Mother told them of its purpose, and showed them a vision, and the holy brothers fell in love with it. When they returned to the figure, they laid their hands upon it, and blessed it, and made love together and anointed it with their conjoined seed, and breathed a portion of their own spirit into it. And the figure shook, and the fire rose in her cheeks, and the water flowed through her limbs, and the air wove in and out between her lips, and the earth itself knitted her bones, and she Was, because she was filled with spirit. And they named her a child of the Mother, and of the Twins, and in turn, she herself gave birth to the children of the Twins, who arose and spread across the face of the earth.
And thus was humanity born – ever torn between light and darkness, unity and diversity, order and chaos, wild and tamed, for we carry each of us the power of the Dark Twin and the Light Twin.

Members of the family – genealogical connections
Mother – Night
Twin/Brother – Lord of Plenty
Children – Earth Twins and Fire Twins (progenitors of the Vanir, Jotnar, Tuatha Dé Danann, Fir Bolg, Formorii, and elemental giants; as well as the Tribes and the Fair Folk within the Waincraft cosmology); Witcher and Watcher; humanity (with the Lord of Plenty and Night)
Consort – Night, Witcher, Lord of Plenty

Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
Night
Lord of Plenty
Witcher
Lord of the Green
Guardian
Fairy Queen
Lady of Shadows
Deer (Tribe)
Serpent (Tribe)

Names and epithets
Wild God, Green God, Black God, Lord of Animals, Old Horny, Horned Hunter, White Stag, Stag of the Otherworld, Father God, God of Riches, God of the Between Places, Lord of the Forest, Great Serpent, Sorcerer, Deer-King, Lord of Death, Lord of Darkness, Witchfather, He Who Calls From the Wild
Cernunnos, Herne the Hunter, Woden, Odin, Gwydion, Pan, Faunus/Inuus, Csodaszarvas, Czernobog, and the Black or Red Serpent (one of Feri’s Divine Twins) are all extant Euro-American deities that can potentially work in this slot, for those pursuing specific cultures and mythologies.
A European (Sámi) deity that fits the slot, but should not be used due to appropriation/oppression issues, is Lieaibolmmai.

Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
There are three major aspects to this deity – the Lord of Animals, the Witchfather, and the Liminal God
The Lord of Animals is the horned god, who rules over the wilderness, taking the form and nature of the White Stag. This face is the power of sex, of wildness, and instinct and intuition, and is the least anthropomorphic of the three.
The Witchfather or Sorceror is the great magician who uses all the power of darkness, nature, animals, plants and stones in his magic, as well as the magic of sex, trance, and any other form of magic that requires letting go of rules, expectations, and inhibitions. This face is the most anthropomorphic of the three, however if you look closely, the eyes are slitted, the teeth a bit too long and sharp, the hands claw-like, and just a hint of hooves. He wields and is the source of “low”/folk magic and witchcraft.
The Liminal God rides between the other two, both guarding and breaking the boundaries. He is the Initiator, the original Trickster, the god of madness, fury, ferity, and everything that doesn’t fit into neat boxes. He is the Untamer, the Wild-Maker, the one who rides the whirlwind and leaves nothing but destruction and desolation behind. But this is necessary, for we cannot become who we are meant to be as long as we cling to what we were before.

Common mistakes about this deity
The Wild Father is not the same as the NeoWiccan Horned God, though they share many similarities in symbolism. He is similar enough to the traditional witchcraft Witchfather/God that they might be the same essence.

Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
Un-times: eclipses, intercalary days, all occasions that lie outside the progress of standard time.
Feast of the Dead
Feast of the Fathers
Feast of Transition
Dusk to dawn, particularly midnight

Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
Hunting
Dancing
Sex
Entheogens
Wilderness-walking
Nature immersion
Ancestry research
Soul-centered practices

How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
Father/ancestor.

How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality?
He is the wild potency of masculinity, and the male gender descends through his union with his brother. He and his twin are multisexual, as they ritually join in union with each other, and with their Mother, as well as with other Powers. And as they represent polarity, they actually contain within themselves all genders, and can present as male/male, male/female, female/female, male/other, female/other, or other/other.

What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?
I admire his fierce authenticity, his overwhelming call, his rootedness in Reality. But these are the very same qualities that, if not balanced by those of his brother, can lead to madness, utter dissolution, and inability to function in society.

Art that reminds you of this deity

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Pintura_Trois_Freres.jpg

http://image.hotdog.hu/user/goagirl1/magazin/csodaszarvas_1.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ecQct8XzD94/TT9Kppy5K4I/AAAAAAAAADQ/3Jsh7P1LzTQ/s400/Kernunos%255B2%255D.jpg

http://pctrs.network.hu/picture/1/1/9/3/_/csodaszarvas_1193751_6840.jpg

http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/242/c/4/chernobog_by_soleibee-d5cz246.jpg

http://www.druides.fr/altitona/images/kernunos.jpg

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lquql84CVJ1qap2xr.jpg

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/031/6/c/zbrush_concept___cernunnos_by_orientalisdraco-d38hj7f.jpg

http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/data/media/23/CERNUNNOS-port.jpg

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs40/i/2009/046/1/4/Cernunnos_by_axelAmnon.jpg

http://d2tq98mqfjyz2l.cloudfront.net/image_cache/1335222298819461.jpg

and pretty much everything in the “wilderness” search on Google Images

Music that makes you think of this deity
Hymn to Herne, SJ Tucker
Wild, Inkubus Sukkubus
Old Hornie, Inkubus Sukkubus
Song to Pan, Inkubus Sukkubus
Wild Hunt, Inkubus Sukkubus
Serpent Trance, Mother Destruction
Summoning Pan, Daemonia Nymphe
All ecstatic trance drumming, dance music, etc.
Indigenous music (e.g., yoik, Tuvan throat singing, Native American chant and instrumentals, etc.)

A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
[…]Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

“Sweet Darkness” – David Whyte

You are not surprised at the force of the storm—
you have seen it growing.
The trees flee. Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward. All your senses
sing him, as you stand at the window.

The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees’ blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit;
now it becomes a riddle again,
and you again a stranger.

Summer was like your house: you knew
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered
leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing

ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
Same as Night

Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?
Adopt a wild place and take care of it, be yourself free of expectations, nurture the wildness/innocence within, hunt an animal you would use for food, perform an animal dance, learn the local ecosystem (particularly arboreal ones), explore the wilderness, learn wild-harvesting or other forms of foraging, honor your ancestors, practice traditional folk magic or witchcraft.

Getting to Know the Powers Series

Over the next month or so, this blog will feature a special feature on each of the 24 Powers featured in the book. Once again, as I have stated elsewhere, these are not the only Powers that can exist in Waincraft, nor must all 24 be present to have a valid Waincraft practice; these are just the 24 typically most common natural and cultural phenomena in the large majority of human-livable biomes, particularly Europe and much of North America.

The format of this series is borrowed and adapted from the 30 Days of Devotion meme; irrelevant or non-applicable questions will be skipped.

What is Waincraft?

Could you explain Waincraft, please? Like, what is it?

Well the short version is that Waincraft is a New Religious Movement (NRM) derived from the melding between neopaganism, animism, bioregionalism and depth psychology, focusing on a portable, adaptable cosmology that still carries meaning and relevance across multiple landscapes and biomes, as well as helping create an ecocentric worldview (à la Plotkin) for the future by encouraging people to find and manifest their unique gifts and deepest calling – the power, identity and actions that make their soul sing, which I have termed orthopsychy as a counter to the typical religious foci on orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

The cosmology features 6 distinct-ish (there’s a great deal of overlap in practice) categories of other-than-human beings that inhabit existence with us – the Powers, the Tribes, the Fair Folk, the Relations, the Elemental or Nature Spirits, and the Dead.

The Powers is a pantheon of variably 24 personified natural and/or conceptual phenomena (variable because some biomes do not contain certain elements/forces, others may need more or different than the “standard” 24) that, by and large, can also be found in most or all European/IE mythologies and occasionally in neighboring non-IE ones (Finno-Ugric, Magyar, Basque, Kartvelian, frex), mostly because they’re common across the world (i.e., the sun shines everywhere, night comes everywhere, etc., not counting the polar extremes during the solstices).

The Tribes are denizens of the Otherworld that represent and embody specific mysteries of life and development – e.g., Birth, Memory, Initiation, Magic, etc. Waincraft works with 23 of these Tribes, each associated with a particular animal or animal type. (For those interested, yes, these are the same Tribes as those of the Vanir/Eshnahai as elicudated here.*). Their main focus as far as the [Waincraft Training Program] goes, to which I’ve gotten agreements for, is “adopting” participants during phase 2 to help them with finding and embodying their orthopsychy; however, for general practitioners, they are still approachable and well worth the time of cultivating a relationship with even outside of the program.

The Fair Folk are the fairies, pixies, tomte/nissen, brownies, domovoi, elves, dwarves, daoine sidhe, dusii, leszi, vilas, nymphs, satyrs, etc. – those non-corporeal beings that primarily or exclusively reside in the “physical” world but aren’t the spirits of animals, plants, or elemental forces. This category is one of the blurriest, as some of the fair folk are actually Tribes-people, others are larger elementals, and some are active Dead.

The Relations are the bodies and spirits of all the animals, plants, fungi, protozoans, etc., that inhabit or have inhabited the physical world. Basically, if it’s on the Eukaryote family tree, it’s a Relation.

The Elemental or Nature spirits are the personification of actual individual elemental/non-“living” objects – raindrops and swamps and oceans, flames and lightning and volcanoes, breezes and winds and tornadoes, stones and metals and mountains, etc.

The Dead are, of course, those in the Homo family tree that are no longer corporeal, from H. habilis to the approximately 14k who died today and every day.

There is a cosmological orientation of 14 – 7 physical directions and their corresponding mirrors in the Otherworld. Above, Below, North, South, East, West and Center. Each of the cosmological beings is associated with one of the directions – Above is the sky, clouds and mountains, while the Upperworld is associated with the Powers, who represent and embody knowledge, archetype and unities; East is the closest to Above, and is the realm of the Elemental Spirits; South follows the descending spiral and is the realm of the Relations; Below is under the ground, caves, tunnels, all existence that cannot be seen from the surface, and the Underworld is the realm of the Dead; West is the closest to Below, and is the realm of the Tribes, who represent and embody mysteries, wisdom and diversity; North continues the ascent as a double helix, and is the realm of the Fair Folk, intermediaries between Spirit and Soul. And Center, between and touching all, is humanity, because this is a model and cosmology created by humans for humans and human development.

There are only two “worlds” to speak of, this world and the Otherworld. Both are divided into three realms of Under, Upper, Middle or Sea, Sky, and Soil Land (see what I did there? :P)

Religious observances will vary based on both the needs of the practitioner and the cycle of the local bioregion, but the basic solar and lunar events are encouraged (solstices, equinoctes, and dark and full moons). Following common myths, Waincraft typically places the year-shift at the winter solstice, but it could equally be at the vernal or autumnal equinox, summer solstice, or one of the cross-quarter days should those be included (Feast of the Dead is a good candidate). The book included all of the “standard” Wheel of the Year observances with non-culture-specific names, as well as a twelve-day observance for the winter solstice, a Feast of the Dead mirror on May Eve/Walpurgisnacht, and an observance for the Fair Folk which can take place at any point throughout the year (the book places it in late autumn based off the Heathen Álfablót)

The primary focus in regular practice should be on integrating physical and spiritual realities, re-enchanting and re-animating the world. Learn the name and personality of your local mountain, forest, rivers, desert, cliffs, etc. Leave out offerings for the spirits who take the form of ants. Know the signs of the seasons. Be able to converse with the tree in your backyard. Pay reverence to the sun as zie goes through the dance of the year. Do the same for the moon in zir dance. Make new myths about the rain and the sun and the mountains and the birds and the rabbits, based on how they actually act in your bioregion. Praise the light of dawn and embrace the comfort of night. The passage of time is a god, the same god who dances with the bears and has an overflowing cornucopia – time is wealth and abundance. Learn where your food comes from, your water, your air. From what direction the storm? What stars dance solemnly above, and what is the pattern of their dance? How is Hare’s mystery of Renewal echoed in the rabbits in springtime? How is Serpent’s wisdom and magic echoed in a garter snake, or a cobra, or an iguana? How is the Otherworld mirrored in the one that surrounds you, and how does it mirror in turn? What role do you have to play in the dance that goes on around you? Everything is connected, but how have you removed yourself or been removed from the wider pattern?

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*Note: Waincraft is not associated or affiliated with Vanatru or Heathenry, but it does share this particular group of spirits with certain strains of Vanatru and Vanic practice.