Local Orthopsychy and Manifestation of the Powers

In the summer of 2013 I blogged some about Waincraft as I understood it and one thing I wrote about was bioregion and orthopsychy in relation to the Powers. For example, in the desert, The Lord of the Green might be seen as a little more harsh than in New England. The Lady of the Forest would possibly be the Lady of the Desert. Would this be a proper assumption to make?”

Yes, exactly. Some of the Powers are unlikely to be vastly different across different bioregions (such as Night, which is pretty equal across the board), but ones tied to forces that specifically differ between biomes will definitely manifest differently.

The Lord of the Green in the desert would likely be a harsh, dry-witted, prickly, eminently practical and thrifty personality (though given to occasional exuberant displays of fierce joy and wonder), whereas a rainforest Lord of the Green would be lush and potentially overwhelming in his exuberance and largesse. A wood and fields-land Lord of the Green would likely be very similar to most European manifestations of him, regardless of what continent his worshipers inhabit.

I would probably say that there would be no Maiden of the Woods in a desert, savannah or similarly low-tree or treeless biome. Likely, another predatory and protecting Power (such as your Lady of the Desert) would make itself known, perhaps in the form of a lioness as an example (such as in Egypt, which has few trees and without forests, and gave us several protecting lionesses – Bast, Sekhmet, Mehit and Pakhet).

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Altars and Shrines in a Waincraft style

“How important are altars/shrines to you and your practice of Waincraft? Also, what’s a good example of what could be on a general Waincraft altar/shrine? I know the general answer will probably be that it depends on one’s orthopsychy, but I’m more curious about YOUR opinion.”

Personally, altars and shrines don’t hold a lot of importance in my practice. I have them, but they’re not the main focus, as I am not devotionally-bent, and believe the best altar and shrine is the world around us.

The majority of the items on my altars/shrines are for magical purposes, and most don’t really have anything to do specifically with Waincraft. I do have a statue of Night and the Divine Twins (re-purposed from my CR days) with a circle of stones in front, a space for photos of my family dead, and a space for imagery (including a raven plushie that speaks :3) as remembrance of my membership and initiation into the Raven Tribe, but that is the extent of any specific Waincraft elements to altars and shrines for me.

I think part of it is that altars and shrines, at least as they are commonly used in paganism, are seen as way to commune with and focus worship on beings that are mostly considered purely spirit with little to no presence in the world as it is, or only a partial presence*, whereas Waincraft holds the position that all divinity and spirit is immanent within multiple realms, and thus to commune with and worship Night or Sky or Ocean or Life, all you need to do is be in it, look at it, spend time with it. The Relations are just as divine as gods and humans, and you don’t need to have an altar to Salamander to commune with it – go play by the creek, and Salamander will be there with you. So, in a sense, altars and shrines separate from the world around us is somewhat superfluous.

However, that does not mean that standalone or separate altars and shrines have no place in Waincraft. For example, if one does magical workings with various of the Beings, it can be useful to set up an altar or shrine to concentrate energy, sacralise space, and provide a focal point for will and connection. Or, one could set up a shrine as memory for times when going outside or spending time in the world around are not available options for whatever reason, or a small portable shrine for when you travel outside the limits of your personal bioregion to serve as connection and grounding support.

For instances like that, I would probably suggest some or all of the following: some imagery, perhaps with strong emotional symbolism, of a few of the Powers you most connect with (I would say any altar should include at least Night, since she is the beginning of everything, anything else is personal preference); some imagery or symbols of a Tribe if you have been contacted by/come in contact with one to represent and memorialize that relationship; a place for house-bound Fair Folk with a corresponding place outside for wild ones; a space for the Dead, to remember and commune with if you cannot visit them personally (as is often the case in the US with our culture of mobility); and maybe some figurines or images of Relations and Spirits that you have connected with in your locale, not as sole communion or focal points of worship, but as memory – similar to sharing a photo with family or friends. You should still strive to connect and commune with them where they actually are (and barring pets, that will not be inside)

Of course, all of that is for inside altars. Outside altars would be a bit more practical, at least with regards to those Beings that do not have tactile forms (the Fair Folk, the Dead, the Tribes, some of the Powers), but not everyone has the space to set up on personal land, and public land tends to frown on overt religious displays. That is when you should go to the Beings where they are – stand in the sunlight and receive Zir healing; wander through dark Night’s embrace; share an intimate moment with the creek, touching and being touched; sing with each individual raindrop and shout with each flash of lightning; hold a philosophical debate with the robins, and attend the owl parliament; meditate in the stillness of the mountain’s shadow, melding your quick thoughts with their slower ones and feeling the passage of eons as a single lifetime.

I hope that begins to answer your question?

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*For an example, a Pagan prominent in the blogosphere opines that there is no point in worshiping nature, only the spirit within or behind it without allowing for the possibility that the spirit is not separate from the physical in natural persons and phenomena any more than your spirit and soul are “separate” from your body. There are some beings in the Waincraft cosmology that are considered to be mostly non-physical (the Tribes and Fair Folk, to be exact) in that they cannot be sensed with the physical senses, but they still have natural and physical associations and attachments.

What is the difference between Waincraft and Vanatru?

In your own words, I would like you to explain how you think Vanatru and Waincraft are different, because this is a thing that confuses a lot of people.

Certainly!

The original Waincraft was a lot more similar to Vanatru than its current incarnation, which is probably part of the issue.

People who have read the book and conflated Waincraft with their own Heathenry also haven’t helped (I’m specifically thinking of Volmarr, here)

To me, Vanatru as it’s commonly practised is still a specifically Heathen paradigm, using specific Germanic/Nordic (and/or possibly Gallo-Germanic depending on the scope) deities, spirits and cosmology. Vanatru itself ranges from strict recon Heathenry with just a focus on the three specifically-named Vanir to a more mystical and spirit-centered version such as your own.

Waincraft is intentionally not culture specific (except where it tries to be a spiritual resource relevant our modern culture), though its initial phase drew heavily on both Heathenry and Celtic Recon, hence the prevalence of those two influences even still. The material as set forth in the book is almost entirely “lead by example” to show how the model can be frameworked into various pre-existing mythologies and/or cultures, or taken on its own with some additional work. The only “intentional” similarity at this point to any type of Vanatru are the Tribes, but that’s because of certain agreements I made with various spirits while creating the model.

To use an analogy, if Heathenry as a whole is Christianity, and Vanatru is the Unitarians or Quakers, Waincraft is Baha’i or Theosophy (sorry for the really bad analogy, but there really isn’t one that works properly) – common generalities of belief and practice, but rather different in specifics.

Waincraft can be integrated into specific pre-existing mythologies, as I mentioned before, and certainly Heathenry, and thus Vanatru, could be practised in the Waincraft manner, but they are not synonymous by any means. For example, one of my students is working through the program and model from a strictly Celtic basis, and I myself don’t focus on any particular culture at all, but work with the model in the abstract/archetypal.

Waincraft Training Program

How can I join the Waincraft Training Program?

The Waincraft Training Program is a 3-year (can be longer if people want to extend it), 3-phase curriculum designed to do a couple of things:

1. Immerse participants in their bioregion through intensive study, experientials, and contemplation
2. Assist participants in discovering and manifesting their orthopsychy, which is their unique ideal role in the great pattern of existence, typified by a metaphorical “picture” or identity. Frex, mine is the Twilight Spinner, someone who spins tales and songs and paths in the changing time.
3. Educate and enable participants in assisting others with the above two points, as well as providing “clergy” services such as counseling, divination, and support; potentially some magical services as well.

Phase 1 is a minimum yearlong intensive focusing on bioregional orientation, introspection, writings on the Waincraft model including theology and cosmology, establishment of regular practice in meditation, cleansing and warding, and forming relationships with several of the Cosmological Beings categories.

Phase 2 is a time-indefinite journey through shadow work, healing, death/ancestor/Underworld work, intensive work with one of the Tribes and learning their mysteries and practices, and practicing wholeness and integrity.

Phase 3 is roughly equivalent to clergy training in other traditions, including unique-to-Waincraft practices that I’ve developed such as the Council of All Beings oracle, manifestation of their orthopsychy, initiation and counseling training, as well as creation and practice of more advanced magical and ritual and the imparting of certain mysteries.

At this time, the program consists solely of Phase 1 participants working in solitude with myself as the mentor. Should there be an influx of students before we have some complete all three phases, I may set up a forum or similar setting to keep things all together.

Some more, though currently limited, information can be found on the Hall of Ravens website: Waincraft Training Program

Waincraft Wednesdays

As part of the push to get content and material for Waincraft, as well as answer questions people may have, a new series has been started on the official Tumblr, The Compleat Waincraft. Every Wednesday from midnight EST to midnight PST (27 hours), people are encouraged to submit a question or thought, which will be answered/shared either same day or the next.

These questions can be on any aspect of Waincraft, its cosmology, theology, praxis, theory, spirits, history, or anything else related to bioregionalism, animism, religion and transpersonal and eco-psychology.

Questions previously asked and answered will be posted here on the blog over the next few days.