Gothenburg, Urban Magic And History Bombing


One thing that bacame even more clear to me as i travelled to my hometown was that a town , or rather, city, has its own magic.

At least to those who come from it.

 

The Magic

 

Shock, Södra Hamngatan 49, Great place for all kinds of alernative clothing, shoes, jewlery.

One thing that hit me as i browsed my favorite clothes shop “Shock”, is that in a city of some relatively significant size and with an urban culture, being cool is something that you do for you.

Here in yokl town i can do my utmost to look ….even acceptably good, but always end up looking like a forest troll.

Clothes look less like cool vintage and more like left over hand me downs and container cases.

Long story short, in Gothenburg you look cool not to impress a girl, not to be the tough guy, not to emulate some favorite artist.

You look cool because you do.

It comes as naturally as the landscape of concrete and trams around you.

You are urban.

Obviously what looks cool or good is subjective but thats just part of the equation.

In a city people are not homgenous. People look different, behave different and not only get away with it, but are considered more interesting than any clone project.

Anyone from from a scruffy beard guy to Barney Stinson can walk the streets feeling like he both belongs and like an anomaly at the same time.

Somehow this uban atmosphere fills me with a kind of magic.

Somehow it makes me someone with a personality, empowers me.

When i flirt, I get cooler.

It is not as much  an act of admiration, at least not in one direction, as a form of communication.

I´m not trying to get attention, i already have it.

It´s just…life.

Living, breathing.

It is like all the life and slight chaos around me feeds something.

 

 

Places

 

I did finally get to drink beer at an outdoor serving bar….several actually, and the sun WAS shining, even if it was not the tropics.

I weant with one of those few friends who “stick around” regardless and with whom years can pass and it still feels like yesterday when you last did something.

I also weant with my mother for Chinese food, again at an outdoor serving (yeah, i´ve been longing).

My birthday happens to fall on the summer solstice so it was a celebration dual in nature.

Sweden actually celebrates midsummer a day after the solstice (i know,i know) so…..some nice days.

There is no doubt i should move back there.

Or at least a similar place.

 

The Temple Pub at Linnégatan 42-44 http://infogoteborg.se/sv/company/840.html

 

History Bombing

 

I slept at my gandmoms for efficiancy and she has like a myriad photos of me, my relatives (whole extended family) and even exés.

Seeing pictures of oneself going further back than i can remember while celebrating being somewhat older than Stonehenge can mess with your mind.

Seeing the whole family at different ages, through generations back to the early 20´th century and at the same time being in the city where so many things have been experienced gave a feeling almost like being high.

A bit Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

A sudden influx of Chi, Prana, Mana or whatever term you prefer, coupled with a whole lot of Jing and Zhen….or Megin to use a Norse term fitting a feeling of personal power and determination.

With this there was angst and fear. Have i wasted my life? Should i have chosen differently?

The stars of Nuit hammering away at my cerebral cortex refusing me any sleep.

 

Prisoner of Superstitio

 

Where i live i am a bit over devout so to speak.

I just dont have much else here.

A critic might argue that i have created make belief friends and meaning in lack of any real ones, and to a part i would be inclined to agree.

On the other hand i was always rather disciplined with spiritual stuff.

One might argue that this is a major role of religion, creating or defining a place, a center, meaning.

Being overly devout was called “Superstitio” by the Romans.

The term includes to much cult acts, fear of the Gods, grovelling and anything else that took away from life rather than added to it.

In an orthoprax religion (such as most pre Christian European religions) there is no real difference or boundry between cult acts like sacrifices and prayers and more mundane things like chopping wood or washing your pits.

Actually there was often not even a term for “religion” as such.

Thus, to follow one of those religions, or rather the modern adaptations of them, one would have to have a life too.

A social , proffesional, love, sex, artistic, physical life.

Spending all the time over an altar was (for most people) not a vitue but the sign of an idiot (there where priestly classes that where exeptions to this rule).

I was once thinking that i seemed more Heathen in rural areas and more Thelemic in urban areas.

I´m not sure if that is true but i felt like there was much more to life when in Gothenburg.

A bit like “applying the customs to something  by actually living wouldnt hurt”.

Convictions well ingrained will stay at the back of the head wether constantly contemplated on or not.

 

 

…..oh, and one of the guys i found at my grandmoms was me, wondering where the hell i´ve been.

looking at those old pictures even i thought i was cool.

So this is where my Mojo has been!

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Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley


Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley.

 

If you go to the the Lötschental Valley‘s Carnival parade in WilderSwitzerland, be ready for Tschäggättä to surprise and scare you.  Tschäggättä roam the streets for days before and after the parades creating mischief and scaring unsuspecting victims.

Orthopraxy, Living Custom And The Non Nordic Born Heathen


In Sweden Heathenry is sometimes referred to as “en levande sed” (“a living custom).

I have often emphasized how Nordic cultures, having only been officially Christian for less than a 1000 years, are ripe with Heathenry, how our hollidays and celebrations (perhaps especially Yule and Midsummer), our names and folklore and even our Christianity, not to mention our mentality is colored by it.

This is often taken up when Scandinavians are irritated by some form of American or other non Nordic Heathenry that takes on forms that feels very incompatible to our ways to us.

I would like to make clear that this is usually not a sentiment towards the majority of American Heathenry.

One of the most creative (in every sense of the word) kindreds i know off is the “Jotun Bane Kindred” who have taken orthopraxy and put it in a place that feels like exactly the point with it (they have a community spirit that is incedible by any standards as far as i can see).

Now, ortghopraxy does not only have to do with cult acts, blots and worship of the Divine, or even with virtues and conduct, but, as i´m sure practitioners of Romuva (Lithuanian Paganism),  Suomenusko (Finnish Paganism)

and many other indigenos customs would agree , folklore and tradition as a whole plays a big role. Dances, songs, sayings, all of it is a part of the custom.

So, now i was thinking i should turn my whole argument on its head (or at least so it might seem at a quick glanze).

Most Heathens and Pagans i know off internationally seem to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and so on, in part to be with their (extended) families, partly to be part of community as a whole and because it feels nice.

Many might privately see the celebration in another light than those around them (“we sit at the same table, we  celebrate together but as you comemorate the birth of Jesus, i give thanks to Saturn”).

Now, imagine if you will (and this probably happens) a group of Americans, gathering at a house or in a grove at Veterans Day and / or 4:th of July, giving blot to Odin and thanks for victory, freedom and the rights they enjoy. Following with a blot to the ancestors who made this possable and boasting about relatives and ancestors that made this possable and perhaps giving vows to deserve this gift to the best of their abilites.

It would look similar to the Sigr blot (Victory blot at spring), but be connected to culture, history and nationality close to the participants and probably striking a chord.

One might say that this is a new invention but actually it is MORE traditional than dressing up in viking age clothes (wich is not “wrong”).

After all, festivals and cultic celebrations where always connected to local cicumstances.

Things where not done in Iceland as they where in Sweden.

These celebrations are secular in nature and thus highly adaptable.

A Swedish Christmas table would make sense to someone living in Canada or Alaska (from a nutrition / survival standpoint) in another way than it would to a Heathen in Hawaii or Northern Australia.

Why stuff your face with fat, alcohol (well, there´s always a reason for mead) and slaughter a lot of animals at the hottest part of the year?

And why give thanks to Freyr for grain that we recieved in the North (not that we mind   😉   )?

I have eaten bananas at Christmas in Africa. In my fathers homeland a blot of chicken, beans, bread, rice and fish would make sense as well as a strong cult for Njordr and Aegir (since it is a country of islands with much fishing and marine culture) for a Heathen.

It is not a matter of abandoning traditional cult acts or their ingredients (pigs and pork still has meaning symbolically for instance). Neither is it a matter of declaring it “wrong” to dress in viking age clothes, eating traditional Swedish smorgosboard or wearing Noerwiegian folk costume ( to celebrate heritage or simply because one likes it for that matter).

Rather, it is a matter of bringing the orthoprax thought into the society , place and time in wich you live.

You have blessings from the Gods to give thanks for unique to your life and region as well as ancestors closer than the vikings, but no less heroic, that ensured that you could enjoy those gifts.

I think the LEAST you owe those that died (or even survived) 9 / 11, or WWI and WWII is a beer and some boasting.

Your tribal elders  and ancestors that built the country you live in, dont they deserve a mention and a bit of respect?

Your ancestors that fought in the ghetto, died in camps, defended the Alamo, where in the French resistance where imprisoned at Robben Island feels natural as guests by the Hof to me (and they would to pre Christian Norse people too).

The Vaettir of your lands, unique to them, deserve consideration, blot  and respect. The land vaettir of Minnesota are the land vaettir of Minnesota, the vaettir of Manitoba are the vaettir of Manitoba.

The advice and help from these mights are closer to you too (the vaettir being of your region and your close ancestors being closer to your own circumstances).

In Scandinavia Heathenry, like folklore in general differs by region.It always did (there are clear attestations) and probably always will.

The orthoprax idea is to bond YOUR life to the divine, not sombody elses.

This is not new, it is the very nature of the beast.