Thursday, January 31, 2008


Disting is here. What used to be an ancient gathering of kings and people at holy Uppsala eventually evolved into a market festival, and to this day, its final echoes can be seen in the marketplace of northern countries around this time of year. Disting, for us (and in common with its roots) is "The Assembly of the Disir", the Assembly of all the Ancestral Feminine Spirits that accompany us through our lives, and act as our protectors and true judges.

For my kindred, it's also a time to get together and recharge our bonds in the first really powerful manner in the new year; we call this early time of the year "winter sheltering", and its usually a tough time for most people. The Disir know that we have had our own challenges in the leap from last year to this one.

At this time, along with the Disir our Ancestresses, we blot to Frey, the lord of light and the life-force in the land and sky, to make the ground of our minds fertile for the seeds of the new year to blossom into good fruit, once we've made it further into the procession of days and nights, under the growing sun. It's a good time for eating together and celebrating our friendship in the long cold.

And so many changes have lashed us since Yule! Strong Wyrd powers were at work even before Yule, but things finally came clear, and a new order of things began- for the world, and for our tiny kindred. For each of us, in our lives, a new order began. Our struggle now is to integrate the ideal of "kindred" into the new lives we lead; the new arrangement of forces requires us to redefine our thinking regarding one another, and ourselves. This is life; this is the flux of Wyrd; this is the task of each human being- finding peace while riding the waves of fate.

The art of Wyrd-working requires all of one's attention; if you take even a moment's rest, the great chain of forces that we call "life" rapidly creates so many things you never would have expected, and the shape of life thereafter is filled with many surprises- some good, some not so good. Maybe surprises and variety is the spice of life; at least, that's how some old saying goes. We can't guess life out fully because we are all too intimately woven into it, and the system itself is rather immense. But we can endure the bad and celebrate the good, and we can do that as long as we don't lose heart.

Disting gives us a chance to establish ourselves in the peace of the Mothers and the Lord of Alfheim, enlisting their subtle aid in our road ahead, through the last of the cold. Peace- what a concept! It runs alongside Frith, inseparably. Peace is truly being who you are, and letting the world be what it is, both of you joined in the great ambiance of things working out as they must. Peace and freedom are cousins in this manner; when you can truly just "Let Be", then no force rises to thwart your will, because your will is the same as the working out of things, the flow of life.

It's hard to believe what changes take place sometimes, in life, in relationships, anywhere. Hard to believe. But disbelief- an inability to fully align oneself to the overpowering and undeniable evidence of the senses and the mind- is a rejection of the world, a rejection of wisdom and a rejection of responsibility. It is the last vestige of the dream-life that all Heathens (especially those who enmesh themselves in the mystery of Wyrd) have pledged to leave behind.

Where's real strength? It's found in immediately allying oneself with the reality of Wyrd the moment it strikes and reveals itself, which is of course every moment that arises. You're weak in denial, but strong in acceptance. Disting is a good time to accept what was, what is, and what may be- no matter how strange it may seem, or contrary to our wishes.

Change we can count on occurring, no matter what; this moment doesn't need our strategies and excuses; it only needs the full weight of our awareness and honesty. It's easy to fall asleep in the winter; retreat into the warmth of the covers, covering the eyes, covering the good senses while you fade into comfort. But the light is coming, longer days are coming, and a need to go back out into the world, to re-engage. We've had rest and sleep; we have no wish to sleep too long. Disting is the time to accept things that you've been sleeping to avoid.

Time's gone. Time's here. Times are coming. If you drop the foolish word-hoard bits, drop the labels, then time becomes one... and then it becomes nothing. We're not having an experience of days and hours; we are experiencing a majestic mystery, and butchering it with the need of our minds to create labels. Back away; re-enter the stream of organic power which is timeless. This is a way to peace, and wisdom.

I'm not saying that I sit around in full awareness of the timeless at every moment. I'm not saying that I'm 100% free of labels and words; no, I'm as human as the next person; I'm just a human who has seen the face of a certain sort of wisdom that directs me to occasions wherein I may escape the tyranny of "concept" and "word", and live freely.

That wisdom and that sort of freedom has a way of shining out into your so-called "everyday" life which lies supposedly "outside" of your practice and beliefs and spiritual aspirations. It shines into my life, and even here, to this blog, and it leads me to preach the good word of the Heathen witchery and mysticism that I preach. It's worked for me; It worked for many before me; I know it can work for many others, though whether anyone else will dance to my tune, I have no idea. What matters for me is that I sit in the corner and sing the tune. That is the "shape of things" for me; that is part of my fate.

So here we sit, the world turning as always, fate spinning, and the "things happening" all hammering us and caressing us by turns. That is the way of things, but the way of wisdom is deeper still. Wisdom's reality is not the same as those "things that happen", and yet, it's not different from them, not separate from them. Wisdom is the ultimate truthful perspective on what we've come to call "common things".

Disting is the time of renewal of strength amid the winter-cold. Frey quickens the land to get it ready; the secret heart of hidden seeds begin to radiate warmth. I'm not talking about just the seeds in the ground; I mean the seeds in our minds, whose every moment of growth and bloom is what we call our "thoughts" and our "feelings" and our "ideas" and our "urges".

I hope that the Good Lord of the World will warm the ground within each of you with good life-force, so that nourishing and helpful fruits grow, and I hope that the Disir will protect you. While you sit safely in your dreams, I hope they will come and serve you the mead of inspiration.

May our bonds with the Gods and one another never fail, no matter how cold it becomes. In the dark land is the hidden seed of life, which can sleep for ages before rising in strength.