Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Ancestral Day


October 31st is known today as 'Halloween' and is associated with witches, but through its trappings we can still see that it had a different meaning to this. The skeletons and death's heads tell us that its original form centred around the ancient Germanic Mannerbunde which was an age-set where the young Cultic-Warriors were 'possessed' by The Ancestors - they actually became The Ancestors through the type of 'possession' attributed to the god Woden, the Leader of the Mannerbunde. I have been over this long ago so I'll not go through the symbolism, which can be found in earlier posts. 

In Folkish Wodenism we honour The Ancestors with our Ancestral Rite held on November 11th; this is the same celebration as that held on October 31st, since the change is merely due to an alteration of the calendar of 11 days. To be true to our Folk-Tradition this celebration should be, like Yuletide, held over a longer period of time, and should encompass the following Holy Days -

  • Halloween - October 31st.
  • Bonfire Night - November 5th (which we would dedicate to Ingwe - the Fire-God and Divine Ancestor).
  • Ancestral Day - November 11th.

The celebration of November 11th is used in Odinism as the Einheriar Day, which clearly tells us that when we refer to The Ancestors this is more restricted to the Fallen Heroes who have been granted immortality in Valhalla. These 'immortals' are the Shining Ones who are Light-Beings who have achieved a higher vibratory level due to their heroic deeds and their honouring the Sacred Blood Struggle, fighting beside the Gods. It is these Fallen Heroes who possess the young warriors when they are in cultic-union through their Sacred Rites. 

The Ancestral God is Woden who is the One-Eyed Wolf-God and Raven-God who 'possesses' his Woden Initiates, who then become one with The Ancestors at this time of the year especially, as well as at the Yuletide (but we shall not develop that here). He is the God of the Ahnenkult and the God of the Totenkult - both of these referring to the Dead Heroes. At this time of the year the Dead Heroes can become one with the living heroes as the veil between the worlds lifts. 

'Bonfire Night' has been linked to Heimdall through a prominent Odinist, but for Folkish Wodenists we would link this to Ingwe who is not only a Fire-God but is also the Divine Ancestor of the English Folk, and to add weight to this idea he is also the Lord of the Elves - The Shining Ones. I think that this should be made clear, that we talk of 'The Immortals' when speaking of The Ancestors, and to the Way of the Gods where the Fallen Heroes achieve fame and glory in fighting beside the Gods, and thus claim a place in Valhalla with the Gods. The fires lit on November 5th are symbolic of the Inga-Fire (Agni-Fire) which is that of Ingwe. The later idea connected with 'Guy Fawkes' is merely connecting the original and ancient Fire-Festival to a later historical figure. 

It is such a pity that today we find 'Bonfire Night' celebrated over a longer period of time than just the one day celebration which it had been. This, in my opinion, does little for the day except frighten domesticated animals, in particular some dogs, as well no doubt as wild animals. The Sacred Fires are fine but loud bangs do little to help and are no doubt only there to celebrate Guy Fawkes who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. (*) We should celebrate the Sacred Fire of Ingwe in my own opinion, and link this day to the other two days that celebrate The Ancestors. 

On October 31st 1993 the new updated version of The Hooded Man Prophecy was dictated to me in a dream, and the specific date cannot be a coincidence - October 31st. This was when I lived in Horam, East Sussex, and the numerology of the prophecy was proof that it had great significance to our struggle. In fact, this prophecy was far more than that, since within the words this held the whole of our weltanshauung in a simple form - the Balance of the Power of Light and the Power of Darkness. This refers to that period of time between the world-ages, when The Hooded Man Current takes form here in Midgard. 

Ingwe, in the form of Scef (Sheaf), is sent by the Gods as a 'messenger-god' who incarnates in human form to bring -

  • Agriculture - a Sheaf of Corn.
  • Hunting for Food - weapons (also used for defence in such a time of great change). 
  • Fire - A Fire-Taper used to kindle fire for cooking and for warmth in the colder times.

We have no record that Scef descends to Earth to create the Divine Order of Caste, as does the god Heimdall, but Scef and Heimdall are similar archetypes, though maybe incarnating at different times of the Cycle of the Ages. We can link Heimdall-Agni-Ingwe-Scef as similar archetypes, since there are so many similarities between these gods. Since I have linked Ingwe to the figure of Ratatosk as the 'Messenger-God' who carries the messages between the Serpent and the Eagle on Iggdrasil then, through the names of Heimdall, we can also link Heimdall to this 'squirrel'. It was also Heimdall (Rati) who helped Woden bore into Knit Mountain. We find Agni performing much the same deed in the Vedas.

Woden is well known as the Ancestral God but the Divine Ancestor of the English is clearly Ingwe, who gave his name to our Folk (English) and our Land (England). England is Albion, is the Land of the Elves (alb is High German for 'elf'). It is also the White Island well known in ancient legends. It is thus clear that both these gods are connected to the Ancestral Festival held from October 31st to November 11th. November 11th is still celebrated in honour of the war-dead ('Fallen Heroes'), and its now not being recognised as one and the same as 'Halloween' (Festival of the Dead) has distorted the image of this ancient festival. They are both one and the same festivals, and it would be best to celebrate them as such, bringing into this November 5th as part of the 'Fire-Festival'. 

That this is indeed a 'holy' period can be seen in the English name 'Halloween' - 'All Hallows Eve'. The term 'hallow' stems from a Germanic Root meaning 'holy', 'whole', 'hale', 'healthy', from heil or hael. The Germanic Peoples celebrated on the 'eve', hence 'All-Hallows Eve', whilst November 1st is thus 'All-Hallows'. The form used was 'Feast of All Saints' or 'Hallowmass', where the Old English halga is used to mean 'saint'. This actually enforces the idea that this festival is for a specific group, since 'saint' is used for a Christian 'holy figure', usually one of their dead 'heroes' (?). Thus, the original celebration was for the Holy Dead or the Dead Heroes who dwelt with the Gods in Valhalla. That the name refers to 'saints' and not merely to a 'holy day' underlines the idea that this is dedicated to the Fallen Heroes. 

November 5th is  half-way between October 31st and November 11th, and that this is celebrated as a Fire-Festival dedicated to Ingwe is quite apt when we consider that the whole period is dedicated to The Ancestors. It really does not matter if the calendar was changed by 11 days, and that the two festivals are just one, since the whole of this period around November 5th can be used in the same way that we use the 12 Nights of Yule. The dedication to Woden as God of the Dead can thus run beside the dedication to Ingwe as the Divine Ancestor

Perhaps the best places to undertake the Ancestral Rite would be the burial mounds which are clearly associated with the dead -

'Ken (Torch) is known to each living being by fire
radiant and bright, it burns most often
where aethelingas rest within.'

Old English Rune-Poem.

The above is a translation by Stephen Pollington, though I have changed the last line from 'where nobles rest indoors' to what I would consider to be nearer to the esoteric meaning of the verses - 'where aethelingas rest within' being the Burial Mounds. The idea here is that the Sacred Fire burns within the burial mounds where the Dead Heroes dwell. The emphasis here is the use of 'aethelingas' or 'nobles' since this term is used of the 'Fallen Heroes'. 

This festival centres around the idea that those who become 'Immortal' and take a seat with the Gods in Valhalla, fight and train each day in order to prepare themselves for the Ragnarok, when they must fight beside the Gods against the Forces of Darkness and Evil (The Joten). Unlike those who take the Way of the Ancestors they take the Way of the Gods and achieve immortality through their great actions and heroic deeds here on Middle-Earth. 

We can perhaps gain some light on this through the Irish Myth based around the Tuatha de Danaan, where these Gods come to Ireland, and in later times are defeated and driven 'underground'. It seems clear that they become known as the Sidhe who dwell in the burial-mounds, and who are later seen as 'The Fairies', though the use of this term can complicate matters somewhat. As the 'Fair Folk' they would be the 'Shining Ones', thus linked to the Elves of Germanic Mythology, the term 'elf' being related to 'Light' or 'Shining'. 

When undertaking the Fire-Festival associated with November 5th it would be best to use some form of Nyd-Fire ('Fire-by-Friction') since this is the fire that brings to life the god Ingwe. This should be done by wood-on-wood if possible, but there is also no reason why a Ferro-Rod (Steel-Striker) cannot be used, being struck by a Sacred Knife, using the Nyd-Rune shape with the knife crossing the rod.

The Fire Within the burial mounds of the Fallen Heroes is clearly the Kan-Fire symbolised by the Ken-Rune. That this is the 'Torch' that burns within the burial mounds can be seen in the English version of the Ken-Rune. In fact, that this 'fire' is actually associated with Ingwe can be seen on the Holy White Stone of Ing where an alternative Ken-Rune is used -

The stone is linked to Ingwe (Ing) and is the Firestone which tells us the the 'Gift of Ing' is - Fire. This is the Sacred Fire which we know as the 'Divine Spark' which dwells within the Aryan Blood, and is the 'Gift of Ingwe' to our Folk. This is the Sacred Fire that remains with the Dead Heroes (aethelingas) and can be seen around their Burial Mounds. The Ken-Rune, at an exoteric level, certainly means 'A Torch', but at an esoteric level this refers to the Sacred Fire of the Dead Heroes. This is the Fire of Ingwe. 

This time of year is very important to the Germanic Folk since it is the time when we approach the 'Greatest Darkness', when the Powers of Darkness have been triumphant over the Powers of Light. Right at this vital point in time, we kindle the Fire of Cleansing and Creation - the Fire of Ingwe - as we head towards the Darkest Hour at Midwinter. The Midwinter is the turning-point in time when the Sun is reborn and the Light is rekindled, but at this time of the year we are in the darkest times. Thus, the Kindling of Light has to be done in order that the Sun can be reborn at the Yuletide of the Cycle. 

(*) - When I speak of the noise to animals through loud fireworks I am not advocating banning fireworks, nor against the use of the on this one night of the year (nor other nights which are held to be sacred to our Folk. When I mentioned this it was because this is no longer restricted to one night, nor to a weekend near to that night, but goes on for months on end sometimes. There is no doubt that in ancient times our Forefathers made loud noises on such occasions to drive away even spirits, such as at the Wassailing in January (not using gunpowder however). The use of these has now expanded to all sorts of mundane 'festivals' and the original meaning is lost amongst the people, and to be fair in ancient times we are talking of tribal festivals which would not have been that large. What was a small family festival for the children will eventually widen to being only official, organised festivals on a larger scale - the scale of the 'collective'. 

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