Originally posted on Tumblr – here for posterity:
was your culture/ethnicity any inspiration to your path in heathenry?
Bluntly? Nope. Not at all.
I’ve repeatedly commented that the Lwa told me my ancestors were waiting for me, but that’s nothing so crude as culture or ethnicity. These are modern ideas, to my eyes.
My ancestors are those who lived in this land before me, the living interplay of environment and conciousness which connects us to the living wholism within the kosmos.
I keep using the word living, because that’s the truth. Those who came before me are dead-but-live-through-me. They walked the land I roll along in my wheelchair, drank the water, felt the wind on their faces and the cold nights.
I live in a place where the Norse folk came and settled. It’s where I’ve made my home, though I am forever a Cornishman. A place where the Brigante lived, and forty miles down the road there lies a place where Sarmatian (a Scythian tribe with links to Iran) cavalry came with the Romans and are on historical and archaeologic al record as settling down with the locals and having descendants.
I don’t believe in anything as ridiculous as ‘White culture’ precisely because it’s so ridiculous – real culture is local. It’s formed by the folk who live in a particular place,their thoughts, their dreams and their very particular notions of social cohesion and methodology of survival.
No, for me, if anything, it was spirit-contact, the spirit of place and gods and the dreaming heart of Albion as expressed around me. My folk have lived on this island since long before we had records. Which means I’m a mongrel. I’ve got Scottish blood (Great grandfather was a Highlander, and his son born in Scotland) English blood and Cornish blood – the latter going back at least 500 years.
These islands are full of immigrants who settled here and were folded into the land, whether that be 5000 years ago, 50, or 5.
There is a reason I am [on Tumblr] as coldalbion – why my main blog is Cold Albion also. I live in the North, though was born in the West. The old gods of the North called my name and I answered, felt them stir my blood. These immigrant gods who’ve been here over a thousand years spoke the words to draw me, an immigrant to these hills.
But there are links and ties which bear no name, no human tongue. Things I found carved on the inside of my bones, only discovered when I came here and let the black birds call. Things you can see in the rain.
I’ve met a grey god on my way to the pub, real as flesh and blood, broad-brimmed hat slung low against the rainfall. I’ve been given the nod that sent me to the bar to knock back whisky to calm my nerves.
I’m a Heathen – the barbarian cripple with the long hair and the beard he’ll not cut because his gut says there’s power there. The uncivilised, bearded frothing madman who can feel and see the wildwood in between the angles of city streets, who greets magpies and calls crows brother. I howl in rooms of smoke and bleed over bone in darkness.
I do this because there are certain elder paths; ways and means of Being, ways of heart’s-blood that light the way that have little to do with what we would call human. Ways and means for which there can be no logocentric label, where such categories as race and ethnicity are rendered as pale attempts to confine living existence to comfortable, palatable chunks for dusty rooms and ivory towers.
So I’ll not tell you that these pale imitations were what brought me here – they’ll pass; barely two hundred years old these ideas are, piss poor attempts to bind the unbindable, to reduce the vastness to some strait-jacketed superstition, some quaint whistling against the bright, burnished darkness from which emerges the root and branch which coil around bone and breath.
No, indeed not. The shining salt-sea, the mirrored surface of the Azoth, the swirling Soul-ferment of the ambient, rushing roaring torrent, the living dreaming ancestors which well up from the chthonic depths, singing their songs in the labyrinths of the cold earth?
The elemental, gigantic presence of Albion Hirself, that bubbles up from every phenomenon, avatar of the living kosmos as a whole?
These are what brought me here. In all the terrible, awful sublime wonder. I am not the first, nor shall I be the last to be brought here, this way.
Not by a long chalk. Not half.