Cry Of The SavageI had always been haunted by the images of the barbarian. Savages of the cold snowy places, hunting and surviving. A theme in my life was imagining myself as one of these primitives... Wolves were always a theme. Dreaming of not being a wolf, but being a man who lives among them, co-existing with them, even being friendly with them and hunting with them side by side. I often felt an intense pride at imagining the savage climbing a great rock and yelling out like a wild man. This thoughts filled my daydreams and sometimes ... my dreams.
When I was a young man I was raised in christian school. I had been raised in a Lutheran school system from toddler to highschool. I aspired to be a pastor and studied world religions and history. My schools focused mainly on western civilization. They did so to put the history of the christian church into context for us... it was all encompassing, our art history classes were the histories of western art. History classes were synced in time with biblical history and religion classes. I gained a growing index-like understanding of The Roman Empire. Particularly from 1 AD forward. Rome was the obsession, Roman god's and goddesses were interesting but it was the meat of the christian faith that I was fed.
Growing up christian I began to feel like there was something terribly unnatural about it. Particularly the brand of Evangelical Kristjan that was growing in popularity in the early 2000s. I watched people shuved into boxes bound and chained by authority and arbitrary morality. I felt it was necessary but watching it happen was draining. After I left the faith around 2007-2008, I did so because I felt Christianity had stolen something from me. It had been planted as a weed and destroyed a potential garden. Becoming atheist didn't fix this void that had always been. I felt like something somewhere in the past had been taken... and Christianity was to blame.
I began to study ancestry. Ancestry was an intoxicating past-time- it was the idea that in the past couple of centuries, quite a few stories lead to you being you. I was adopted so building my family tree with what little information I had became the goal. I began building family trees for my friends and for my family. Finding my Dutch and English roots was interesting. Nothing however prepared me for doing my Father's family tree.
My father is a strong, kind, quiet, solitary sort of man. He speaks little and does much, putting everyone else first. He is an individual with his own opinions that are never cookie cutter, though he nearly never expresses them. I've always idolized him in so many was. He's an older man in his 70s , the generation gap between us is huge. Doing his family tree meant doing the tree of the whole family on his side. Attempts to do so had been done by cousins. First thing I noticed is in the 1700s , all sides of his tree are people who fought in the revolutionary war.
Building this tree, I thought, would be a one night project. However, one night turned into weeks, multiple websites and archives, and about $150 dollars later, I'd built a tree that traced back to "Æþelræd Unræd" and interestingly back through the house of Wessex. I did the work of buying a copy of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle to trace them the rest of the way. I found from the Chronicle as well as other documents that Saxon kings who lived in the hearth, claimed decent from gods... and some one at some point in history created a lineage that united many saxon tribes under a patriarch called "Woden". I recognized this quickly as Wotan/ Odin and set about looking at this lineage.
The lineage is flimsy and still very uncertain, but I suddenly became interested.... how DID my father's ancestors live, what DID they believe. An intense pride and an intellectually arbitrary obsession developed. It didn't take me long to re-discover the god's of the Hearth. It was only a matter of time till I began to hear about Asatru.
The old dreams of the savage calling out a war cry that echos through the forest began to fill my heart once again