I was reading book three of Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum and came across this delightful tale:
For he said that the sacred strength of Balder’s body was proof even against steel; adding, however, that he knew of a sword which could deal him his death, which was fastened up in the closest bonds; this was in the keeping of Miming, the Satyr of the woods, who also had a bracelet of a secret and marvellous virtue, that used to increase the wealth of the owner. Moreover, the way to these regions was impassable and filled with obstacles, and therefore hard for mortal men to travel. For the greater part of the road was perpetually beset with extraordinary cold. So he advised him to harness a car with reindeer, by means of whose great speed he could cross the hard-frozen ridges. And when he had got to the place, he should set up his tent away from the sun in such wise that it should catch the shadow of the cave where Miming was wont to be; while he should not in return cast a shade upon Miming, so that no unaccustomed darkness might be thrown and prevent the Satyr from going out. Thus both the bracelet and the sword would be ready to his hand, one being attended by fortune in wealth and the other by fortune in war, and each of them thus bringing a great prize to the owner. Thus much said Gewar; and Hother was not slow to carry out his instructions. Planting his tent in the manner aforesaid, he passed the nights in anxieties and the days in hunting. But through either season he remained very wakeful and sleepless, allotting the divisions of night and day so as to devote the one to reflection on events, and to spend the other in providing food for his body. Once as he watched all night, his spirit was drooping and dazed with anxiety, when the Satyr cast a shadow on his tent. Aiming a spear at him, he brought him down with the blow, stopped him, and bound him, while he could not make his escape. Then in the most dreadful words he threatened him with the worst, and demanded the sword and bracelets. The Satyr was not slow to tender him the ransom of his life for which he was asked. So surely do all prize life beyond wealth; for nothing is ever cherished more among mortals than the breath of their own life. Hother, exulting in the treasure he had gained, went home enriched with trophies which, though few, were noble.
I’m working through some shit, and probably won’t be doing much writing until the process is complete. Until then, here are some articles of possible interest:
- Horned Figures and Weapon Dancers: Enduring Symbols in Prehistoric Scandinavian Religion by Timmis Maddox
- Lycanthropy in Sarmatian Warrior Societies: The Kobyakovo Torque by Yulia Ustinova
- The Dog; a Dionysiac Animal? by Mario Iozza
- The realm of Hades and its symbols in Mandel’štam’s Tristia: a transparent path to redemption by Jesús Ángel Espinós
- The Invocation of the Black Sun: Alchemy and Sexuality in the Work of Coil by Hayes Hampton
- Situationist Margins: The Situationist Times, King Mob, Black Mask, and S.NOB Magazines (1962-1970) by David A J Murrieta Flores
The Vine engrafted me,
And I clung to the tree,
And the Blood gave life,
To the branches of the Tree,
And the Blood was the price,
That set the captives free,
And the numbers that came,
Through the fire and the flood clung to the Tree,
And were redeemed … by the Blood.
Over the last couple months: the Black Sun has manifested. There has been an increase in volcanic and tectonic activity in Italy, especially around Etna and Vesuvius. A bunch of churches in France and the American South have suffered attacks and blasphemous defilement. On the same day as the Notre Dame conflagration Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque burned. Mainstream media, big tech and big government are conspiring to suppress political dissenters in the United States, Europe, China and Latin America even as riots, coups and violent clashes are taking place throughout much of the world. Societal norms are dissolving and divisive politics are rampant. Diseases long vanquished are returning and new highly resistant viruses are emerging. Coulrophobia has reached record levels.
Why, it’s almost as if we’re living through one of my poetry books.
Porphyry, fragment of On the Philosophy to be derived from Oracles preserved in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 4.22
Among the Egyptians also, and the Phoenicians, and generally among those who are wise in divine things, thongs are violently cracked in the temples, and animals are dashed against the ground before worshipping the Gods, the priests thus driving away these daemons by giving them the breath or blood of animals, and by the beating of the air, in order that on their departure the presence of the God may be granted.
Every house also is full of them, and on this account, when they are going to call down (katakalôsin) the Gods, they purify the house first (prokathairousin), and cast these daemons out (ekballousi). Our bodies also are full of them, for they especially delight in certain kinds of food. So when we are eating they approach and sit close to our body; and this is the reason of the purifications (haigneiai), not chiefly on account of the Gods, but in order that these evil daemons may depart. But most of all they delight in blood and in impure meats, and enjoy these by entering into those who use them.
For universally the vehemence of the desire towards anything, and the impulse of the lust of the spirit, is intensified from no other cause than their presence: and they also force men to fall into inarticulate noises and flatulence by sharing the same enjoyment with them.
For where there is a drawing in of much breath, either because the stomach has been inflated by indulgence, or because eagerness from the intensity of pleasure breathes much out and draws in much of the outer air, let this be a clear proof to you of the presence of such spirits (pneumatôn) there. So far human nature ventures to investigate the snares that are set about it: for when the deity (ho theos) enters in, the breathing (pneuma) is much increased.