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Turning Routine into Ritual

Written for Operation Werewolf by Operative 413

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Ritual is universal.

A materialist would say this is because of the human desire for control over an uncontrollable reality. Men turn to rituals when confronted with illness, danger, and above all, death.

Soldiers, sailors, and those in other dangerous professions have intricate rituals and codes of behavior that novices defy at their peril. Yet people also use ritual in less existential situations, especially in athletics. 

Anyone who has played any sport knows some of these petty rituals. If you were in Little League, you remember turning your hat inside out to form “rally caps.” If you played basketball, you had a set routine before you shot a free throw, usually a certain number of dribbles before you lined up your shot. If you played football, you doubtless knew someone on the team who had a shirt or some token he would only wear on game day. 

The great American distance runner Steve Prefontaine famously said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” It’s something custom made for T-shirts or posters in college dorm rooms. Yet in the eponymous 1997 film about “Pre,” I thought a quote from discus thrower Mac Wilkins, 1976 Olympic gold medalist, was more inspirational. 

“I live and breathe the discus, Pre,” he says. “I mean, I hate Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter and anything that disrupts my routine.” Anyone training for a fight or trying to hit a PR feels the same way. 

Diet, training regimens, sleep schedules–all of that can be destroyed by a holiday, a child’s sickness, an “emergency” at work, some trip you just can’t get out of. And you find yourself resenting the people around you who are taking you out of the reality you’ve constructed and forcing you back into theirs. 

Worse, when one routine is upset, others follow. When you miss workouts, you tend to stray from your diet plan. On the road, you suddenly start eating junk food from convenience stores or whatever artificial crap you wouldn’t touch while at home. 

“Routine” is a word that makes us think of the banal and boring. But routine becomes ritual when it serves a higher end–when it is the tool you use to craft your reality. 

Going to work at a job you hate is routine. Using powerful concepts, symbols, and exercises to walk a path of ascent is ritual. 

Every athlete uses some sort of ritual. Powerlifter Kirk Karwoski says that before he “goes to work,” everything is “exactly the same, every time,” including which hand he places on the bar first. The purpose is to ensure that both mechanics and mindset are correct during the lift. Once this is done, all you must do is “not fuck up for 20 seconds,” as he puts it. 

Sometimes athletes use a different kind of ritual, to break out of a failing routine. In life, these are the rituals of “rebirth” or “cleansing” you see in various faith traditions. In sports, this is when you see people engaging in bizarre behavior to break a slump or a losing streak. You’re readjusting your mindset, shocking your consciousness out of destructive practices.

Both have the same end, to unite mindset with action. Yet at the same time, you are also trying to separate consciousness from the action. In work and in athletic performance, you are at your best when you are “in the zone,” the state described by psychologists as “flow.” 

When you begin rationalizing, questioning, or doubting what you are doing, you fail. 

Think of a compound lift like a squat clean. Often, beginners fail because they pull the bar too early, trying to muscle up the weight with their arms instead of using proper technique to use momentum and the strength of their body. Even experienced lifters may “fuck up within 20 seconds” if they are attempting a new weight. 

At lower weights, the athlete will use proper technique because he knows there’s almost no possibility of failure. At higher weights, he begins to think about all the things he needs to do to execute the lift correctly; popping the hip, not pulling too early, getting under the bar…

By trying to deconstruct the lift, he ends up performing it all wrong and it all falls apart. “Stop thinking about it,” a coach will often tell you.

In a jiu-jitsu match, at the gym, or even in a street fight, self-awareness, rationalization and doubt are the enemies of success. 

To put it another way, you are at your best self when you are not aware of yourself. 

This even applies in longer activities where you can’t help thinking to yourself, like running a marathon or using a rowing machine. A new study, the first of its kind, found that “self-distancing” increases performance in endurance events. Telling yourself “you will win” is more effective than saying “I will win.” 

Even more striking, other research shows that this “distancing” language helps in other stressful activities, like public speaking or meeting a new group of people. “You’ve got this” is better than “I’ve got this.”

Of course, when people use this kind of talk, who is doing the talking? That higher consciousness, that best self, is the expression of your True Will. And you know what it means when that Highest Self takes over. 

Think of any accomplishment in your life–winning a boxing match, getting a PR, hitting a home run or draining a critical three-pointer. Or think of a moment of danger–whether you saw combat overseas or were attacked at a bar and fought back. 

You weren’t aware of yourself while it was happening. Training took over. It was just happening, and somehow, you were looking at yourself from the outside. And yet, at that moment, you probably felt more alive than you ever had before. You were able to respond effectively, even to something unexpected.

Ritual can serve as a mental short cut to that state. It lets you travel between the worlds, so to speak, between your banal existence and your highest self. 

A small ritual, like gripping the bar in a certain way or a mantra before you attempt a lift, prepares you for success. Something greater can allow you to break through barriers, to transcend what you think is possible. 

For example, in “On Magic,” Paul Waggener writes of how he prepares a special chalk in a bag painted with blood, liquid testosterone, plant elements, and other ingredients. He only uses this when he attempts a deadlift record. 

“This is a physical object that is capable of changing my mindset,” he writes. “It alters reality for me in a very real way. When I use that chalk, I fuck shit up. I lose my mind in the act of savagely using heavy shit. It moves me from a normal mind into an animal… it really, really works. Go try it.”

The greatest rite is to make of your entire life a grand ritual. Each act becomes sacred and each object used infused with meaning and purpose. Sigils, a personal mantra, even the clothes you wear and the food you eat are all ways of keeping your mind in the proper place. 

Ritual is a tool that allows us to “return home” when we are displaced mentally or physically. It prevents us from losing our way when we are on the road. It paves the way for continuous Victorious Action. 

By losing ourselves in ritual, we gain self-mastery. We can unite everyday action with our True Will. Ultimately, the operative can’t live a life of mere routine.

He should make of his life a Grand Ritual, a Great Work that will outlast his time on Earth.

 

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The Revolution Isn’t Online

Written for Operation Werewolf by Operative 413

Operatives from around the country and the world gathered at the second Lupine Equinox Conclave.  

They trained. They fought. They learned. 

They received words of fury and inspiration over blood and fire. They heard artists sing of death and revolt. They formed bonds of friendship and brotherhood that may last the rest of their lives. 

There were also many things they did not do.

They did not talk shit. They did not idly boast. They did not pretend to be someone other than who they were. 

You don’t see this often. It’s true that technology enables us to spread a message to the world… for now at least. We can find those of like mind wherever they reside. 

But only in theory. We don’t really know who the person is on the other side of that bluescreen. We don’t even know if it’s a person capable of understanding. It could just be a tourist, a snitch, or a consumer looking for a cheap dopamine fix while he or she’s at work or on the subway. 

There’s something inherently degrading about online text. It lacks handwriting’s vitality or even the mechanical precision of a typewriter. Even the most profound thoughts become pixels. It risks becoming just a collection of dots you look at while you’re bored. 

Instead of meaningful communication, we get visual noise. Praise and insults are cheap because we don’t know if the avatar we see on the screen is real. In some ways, everyone is equal online, which means everyone is worthless.

“Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood,” said Nietzsche. How can one do this online?

We look to an older wisdom. “Each word led me on to another word, Each deed to another deed” were the words of the High One. To write with blood online, we must accomplish the most difficult of all things. Word must lead to deed.

Tribe is not online. Nor is honor, nor brotherhood. These things can only be found in the real world. 

More than that, they can only be found in a group context. You can tell yourself you are a warrior, a hero, or a magician. You can lie to yourself. But you can’t lie to your brothers and sisters. They see you for what you are. 

Each word written here is meaningless unless it leads to action. More than that, these words, no matter how perfectly expressed or presented, will not reach everyone. They aren’t meant for everyone. They are for a minority of a minority. 

An even smaller elite within that group will act.  Few indeed will do what Needs to be done without cowering from the resentful judgment of a decaying world.

Some of these few came to the home of the Wolves just days ago. They acted. Suddenly, they found that together, they were many. 

Just by doing this, they separated themselves from the herd. They may not all make it to the end of the path. But they have at least begun the journey. 

The first step from theory to practice is the most difficult. I salute them for the courage they showed. 

It takes courage because action marks the departure from the ideal. Online, you can have some perfect theory. You can confidently declare the way things ought to be. You can decide how people should conduct themselves. If things don’t work out the way you predicted, it’s not your fault. It’s because people didn’t live up to your perfect theory.

You can critique. You can complain. You can hold yourself above the fray, never taking the risk of action, congratulating yourself on your own superiority. You can keep the illusion that you are better than everyone else… until that terrible moment of action.

You either lift that bar or you don’t. You get the girl or you don’t. You win the fight or you stare at your blackened eyes and swollen face in the mirror, meditating on your defeat and humiliation for days afterward. 

If an action is hard, walking a path to the end is harder. Injuries and illness take their toll. Friends and lovers can betray you. The world throws obstacles in your path, demanding you fall to your knees and be weak, defeated, and submissive. That’s what this System wants you to be. 

And yet we must accept the price for achievement. We must rise with holy defiance in our hearts and strength in our limbs. We must endure to the end. We must fight to bring that ideal into reality, not because it is easy, but because everything worthwhile is hard.

It is hard, but not impossible. I know it is not impossible because I see glimpses of the world that could be. I see it here, now, in this world. I saw it at Conclave. 

This was not theory, or gossip, or wishes. These were people bringing the world they wanted into reality. For one day, in one place, it reigned. It existed. It was the rest of the world that was fake.

Operation Werewolf is not about vaguely motivating you. It’s not about making you work harder or get stronger. These aren’t bad things to do, but they won’t transform you. They won’t transform the world. 

Operation Werewolf is a challenge for Total Life Reform. It’s an alchemical process with the goal of remaking yourself, and by so doing this, remaking the world. 

This requires that you do more than read. It requires you act, and after that first awful step, continue to act, each deed to another deed. 

It may seem intimidating. It is intimidating.  We have all been on that precipice between thought and action. We who bear the Wolf’s head or the banner of the operation took that first step into the unknown darkness, searching for that fire.

Then you find that fire. There is a moment when you realize that out of that primal Need, you have created something. You’ve built a tribe. You’ve remade yourself. You slowly see that Ideal — battered, beaten but not broken — taking shape in the real world.

The most important things happening today are not online. They aren’t being covered by journalists, chronicled on social media, or tracked by Silicon Valley. Art and ritual, ecstasy and madness, struggle and victory… these things are outside the realm of the blue screen. They are beyond the reach of the Lords of Lies.

The words we speak at ritual and the oaths we take have more impact than anything ever written, or that ever could be written. The tribes we build exist here, now, and are creating a new world over the decaying ruins of the old. Not even death can separate the bonds we are forging. 

The only thing that is holding us back from returning the Golden Age is fear. I know you have that fear. I had it too. Don’t let it define you.

If you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear this message, I urge you to act. To take the risk, to justify your existence, to move into the world of blood and iron and away from the fantasy of pixels and illusion. For everything written here is just a means to end. 

What is the end? Realizing the Ideal we hold in our hearts and in our blood. I can see glimpses of it, advancing, taking shape, materializing in response to our grand evocation. Look closely in the shadows, in the flames, and on the banners of the divisions. 

Perhaps you can see it too. 

If you can, step forward.

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Honor Culture

Written for Operation Werewolf by Operative 413

There have been three great revolutions in history. You’re living in the last one. 

From the dawn of history until only a few  centuries ago, most people lived in an Honor Culture. Some people still do. Maybe you’re one of them. 

In an Honor Culture, reputation is supreme. If you are hit, you hit back or look weak. If you are weak, your property, family, and life can be taken. If insulted, you confront. If threatened, you protect.

It’s on you to protect yourself and those you care about. It’s on you to act in a way that those in your tribe, your gang, your army, your empire, your village, think you someone worthy of respect. 

An Honor Culture builds great men. It also creates killers. 

An Honor Culture means constant grudges, feuds, and vendettas. If you tolerate a slight, you may lose everything. Entire communities are gutted by conflicts that never end, blood for blood, life for life. 

Elaborate rituals and codes of respect and hospitality arise to regulate the carnage. 

It’s something that was universal—the Icelandic Sagas are filled with tales of wars between families that go on for generations. In some places, probably still in most places, this is the way of the world. Sometimes, it’s fought within limits. Sometimes, it’s war to the knife. 

And though this culture seems so foreign to us, it wasn’t that long ago that this country’s Vice President shot dead the former Secretary of the Treasury over words. 

The face that stares at you from the twenty-dollar bill is that of a killer who took a bullet to the chest, then calmly murdered his helpless opponent. 

But the state grew, courts spawned, laws proliferated. Honor retreated. It wasn’t needed anymore. A new culture developed—a culture of dignity. 

A Dignity Culture values the individual. Everyone has inherent “rights,” and everyone acts accordingly. This is what took root in the West in the last few centuries. 

If someone damages your property, you call the police. If cheated, you sue. If you work with someone, you demand a contract, backed by law. 

But you don’t do it all time. Mostly, you can figure out things on your own. You practice restraint. You can afford to. The State, the “coldest of all cold monsters,” is always there. 

You expect safety, so you stop being dangerous. But you also don’t become reliant or submissive. You accept an insult, lest you be arrested if you turn to violence. But if attacked first, you retaliate. Even in this culture, you can push a man too far. 

Heroes arise when “dignified” men are placed in extraordinary situations—wars, criminal attacks, a sudden natural disaster. Yet by its nature, Dignity Culture can’t produce a king, a conqueror, a Myth. The hero, in this culture, returns to the “normal” world after his extraordinary deed. 

The Dignity Culture produces “good” men, not great men. Something is lost, but physical safety is gained. Instead of commanders, you get CEOs. Instead of vicious knifemen operating in the shadows, you get lawyers. 

This moral culture only lasted a brief time in history. It could only have been created because some remnants of Honor Culture restrained people from becoming entirely dependent on the State or from completely giving up their pride or idenities. 

You live in this world now. But it’s decaying. Something new is replacing it. In many places, it already has. 

A 2014 paper called “Microaggression and Moral Cultures” defines an ascendant “A Culture of Victimhood.” Like an Honor Culture, it is extremely attentive to slights. Unlike in an Honor Culture, the “victim” seeks the help of third parties to avenge them. This system doesn’t produce men—just consumers. 

“People increasingly demand help from others, and advertise their oppression as evidence that they deserve respect and assistance,” write Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning. “Thus we might call this culture a culture of victimhood because the moral status of the victim, at its nadir in honor cultures, has risen to new heights.”

They argue this culture is already ascendant on many college campuses. And you’ve seen it in the larger culture too. People brag about their mental problems, their disabilities, their depression, their newly invented sexual identities. 

These aren’t cries for help or self-affirmation. These are weapons wielded against targets. Weakness is strength. If your words, your actions, or your existence makes someone feel uncomfortable, they can use corporate media or state action against you. At the least, they get the System to try to shut you up. 

The weakest person, the most unstable, the most hysterical, is the one with all the power in such a System. Worst of all, without mind-reading, there’s no way to tell whether such a person is being sincere or just claiming victimhood to gain power.

Equality isn’t just undesirable, it’s impossible. Hierarchy is constant. It is eternal. Under any system, under any conditions, it will emerge in new forms. Even in a system dedicated to “equality,” someone has power over you. Instead of the strong, it’s the cynical who rule over the herd in this System. 

When someone preaches “equality,” it’s because that person wants to be in charge. None possess more “privilege” than those who speak about “privilege.” 

Disagree? Speak back at them. 

See how long you keep your social media, your business, or your job. 

See what the media has to say about you. See where your “rights” go. 

You can bench 400 pounds but if you say “gendered language” in the wrong setting, you’re their bitch. 

Pissed? Good. It shows you have some shred of honor. It’s time to rediscover that essential virtue. 

Like we are learning with our food, our physical activity, and our whole way of life, we weren’t meant to fucking exist under this kind of a moral culture. It’s driving both men and women crazy. 

Yet far too many think the solution is to double down on the System that’s failing them. They want more controls, more catering to their “victimhood,” more programs, more censorship, more safe spaces and pretty lies. 

The solution is simpler. Fuck the System. Fuck Systems entirely. Fuck the Vote. In this world, you’re a cog and you’re expendable. Your worth is what little you can contribute to keep the Beast staggering along, and how can you can give what little you earn right back to it. When you die, you’re no longer an economic input or output. You’re forgotten. 

How do you rebel? The vulnerability of Victim Culture is that it depends on third parties. The “rulers” in such a system are the most enslaved of all. 

Instead of dependence, you prize self-reliance. In an age of total disintegration, you build a new Order from the ground up.

The System won’t be salvaged from within. It can only be undermined from without. Wolves in the shadows of empire, in the darkness out of reach of the Masters of Lies and their bluescreens. 

It’s time for tribes, cults, and warbands to return. It’s time for Honor to return. 

How do we define Honor? It can only be defined within a group context. It is defined by keeping one’s oaths to those bound to you, and bringing glory, wealth and strength to your tribe. You don’t give yourself Honor. Those in your group give you Honor. 

Does modern Honor Culture lead us down the same path of pointless feuds and vendettas? It doesn’t. Creation, not destruction, is what we do. We worship strength. We build shrines in the forests and temples of our bodies. We write new Myths and live our own Sagas. We defeat the Empire by ignoring it. 

Yet even if it did, what matter? We’re already in the world of pointless feuds of vendettas. Say the wrong word, look at the wrong person, or even just be caught in a random “viral” controversy and it’s all over for you in today’s culture. Even if you play by the rules, that’s no guarantee of safety. 

The difference is that in an Honor Culture you take responsibility for your own safety and reputation. In Victim Culture, you trust someone else to do it for you, usually the automatons of Media or Law. 

Why try to live up to the standards of those without Honor? Better to build your own group and live up to each other’s standards. Better to create sparks among the kindling  of this gray world, until they spread to form a conflagration. We can build our own Honor Cultures without anyone’s permission. 

And when we do that, the Age of Heroes will return. 

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Alexander – Living the Myth

Alexander: Living The Myth by Operative 413

Few bridged the gap between man and god like Alexander the Great.

Caesar’s very name was a title of lordship for centuries, but he “became a god” after he died. Alexander was thought of as a god even while alive. Unlike in the case of crazed despots like Caligula, even some of Alexander’s closest companions thought it might be true. 

F.S. Naiden’s “Soldier, Priest and God” is a religious biography of the conqueror. It reveals a lesson we can use today – you can live your own Myth. You become legend by becoming aware that you are already in one. Whether you actually believe in “gods” or spirits is largely irrelevant. However, a Cult, männerbund, a ritualized order that binds your best people together, can bind your tribe together and lead you to victory. 

Of course, Alexander’s world was very different than ours. “Atheism” was basically unknown. Moreover, as king, it was his job not just to rule, but to offer sacrifice and serve as intermediary between his people and the gods. “We may think of him as the Pope, the Holy Roman Emperor, and the head of the Church of England, all in one,” says Naiden. 

“When Alexander used religion astutely, he and his army prospered… when Alexander neglected or mismanaged religion, he and his army suffered,” he notes, essentially summarizing the whole book. Significantly, he writes, “The farther he got from the Mediterranean, where he knew some of the gods and had a feel for others, the less skill he displayed, the more men he killed or lost.” Adopting a foreign or unknown tradition is inauthentic; you can’t immerse yourself in the Myth.

Macedonia was a backwater compared to mighty Greek city-states like Athens, Sparta, and Thebes. The Macedonians, to some horrified Greeks, appeared like Homeric characters that the civilized city-states had left behind. But the urbanites submitted all the same. 

What allowed Alexander’s father, Philip II, to turn Macedonia into a great power? “He gave them a cult,” said Naiden. The king’s “Companions,” a quasi-official title designating membership in the cult, “worshipped together, hunted together, and fought together.” “Their leader, the king,” he writes, “was priest, master of the hunt, and commander.” Membership was irrevocable, for life, and bound by the “most sacred oath” to Zeus, the “patron” of the cult. Each Companion, before joining, had to “kill a boar without a net.” 

Philip II didn’t invent this institution, but transformed it. At first, it had just been a kind of status symbol for courtiers, presumably not taken very seriously. Philip II turned it into a “sort of religious guild for officers,” increasing the number by hundreds. Companions that fought and hunted together would battle ferociously to save a wounded fellow member, regarding their own lives as secondary. They would compete in bravery and to prove loyalty. Instead of the king simply giving orders, he would, as one of the Companions, seek consensus with his officers. Though there was an idea of an afterlife, it was not “Zeus’s business”; victory and valor in this life was the point. 

Later, as he grew in power, Philip II expanded the idea, extending membership to the leaders of the low-born infantry commanders as “foot companions.” He also expanded this honor to members of other local tribes that acknowledged his kingship after alliance or conquest. He had created a revolutionary new army where commoners and nobles were bound together by sacred commitment.  

When Philip II was assassinated, Alexander legitimized his claim to the throne by leading the Companions in sacrifice and ritual. His war against the Persian Empire wasn’t just revenge, or a quest for glory, but something of a Crusade. Zeus was thought to rule Asia and Africa. Alexander would win by killing the emperor Darius or forcing him to supplicate, thus making Alexander King of Asia. Individual victory by the spear wasn’t “might makes right,” it conferred divine legitimacy. 

The first thing Alexander did upon crossing into Asia was thrust his spear into the Earth. “The Zeus of the Macedonians let the king keep any land he conquered, provided that he plunged his spear into land to be invaded and then captured it,” Namian writes. Other cultures had similar practices. In Germanic mythology, the first war in history began when Óðinn threw his spear into the ranks of the enemy. Later Germanic armies would begin battle by throwing a spear at the enemy and crying, “Odin owns you all” symbolically sacrificing the enemies to their god, but also justifying the slaughter to come. Livy chronicles an elaborate method the ancient Romans used to declare war. They explained to the gods why their actions were just and then plunged a javelin tipped with steel or blood into enemy soil. This done, the gods presumably justified the war.

Once in Asia, Alexander didn’t immediately pursue a military objective. Instead, he made a pilgrimage to the ruins of Troy and offered sacrifice. Alexander thought he was descended from Hercules but also from Achilles, and so he felt he must appease the spirit of King Priam, Achilles’s enemy. He vowed to build a new shrine. Before he first confronted the Persian Army, Alexander waited to make sure his actions were in alignment with the “sacred calendar.” He also prayed in a way Namian calls a “legal brief,” justifying his actions. Instead of bringing gods along, the way a modern army brings chaplains, the Macedonians appeased the spirits already there. The world was sacred, and each place had its gods. More importantly, Zeus was still present.

In the Battle of the Grancius, Alexander led his Companion cavalry from the front. After the victory, he built statues to the fallen Companions at Troy (as well as one of himself). He also portrayed this victory, which gave him half of Asia Minor, as a victory for “the Greeks,” even though more Greeks fought against him (as mercenaries) then for him. Alexander didn’t just consider himself a champion of divine justice on a religious pilgrimage, but the legitimate leader of an entire people, the Greek nation. When his army moved through the newly conquered territory, Alexander rebuilt shrines, spoke to priests, and participated in local rituals—occasionally reshaping them to his own ends, like when he cut the famous Gordian Knot. 

Sometimes, though they recognized the gods, his Macedonians viewed lordship differently than Middle Eastern kings who had ruled before. One inscription from Nebuchadnezzar brags Marduk (whom the Greeks associated with Zeus) gave him people to rule that he let “lie in safe pastures.” “The Macedonians would not have understood this image of a human flock,” Naiden writes. “Sheep were offerings, not human beings.” Still, what allowed the Macedonians to conquer and rule was that they associated local deities as simply different forms of their own gods. Even in far away places, psychologically, their gods were with them. 

The second great victory of Alexander over the Persians was at Issus. After the battle, as was customary, the king presided over cremating the dead. Then, he ordered funeral games held to honor them. Finally, he built altars to Zeus, Athena, and Hercules at the place where he had sacrificed before the battle. They endured for centuries; Cicero visited about 200 years later. 

Entire military operations centered on what we might think of as religious technicalities. The siege of Tyre took place because the city’s rulers refused to let Alexander sacrifice at a temple to Melkart, whom Alexander identified with Hercules. They knew that if he did that at a certain time, Alexander would become king. It seems crazy to modern people, but Alexander’s war in Asia was a war about securing religious legitimacy. Similarly, in Egypt, Alexander became Pharaoh. He identified Amon with Zeus.

Was this all just cynical nonsense? It’s true that Alexander would offer priests financial help and they, in turn, might tell them what he wanted to hear. 

Yet then it’s hard to explain the dangerous pilgrimage to Siwah, an isolated shrine. Alexander and some of his top generals traveled there, almost getting killed in the process. They got lost and almost starved until, according to court historians, snakes or crows intervened and led them to safety. From a modern perspective, Alexander’s actions make no sense. They were counter-productive militarily. Today, they might seem completely insane. 

But they make sense from the perspective of a man who thought he was on a religious mission. His officers evidently thought it was important enough for them to join too. Alexander heard at Siwah what he wanted—he was the son of Zeus. While in Egypt, he also built the great city of Alexandria—and a cult for himself as founder. 

Alexander’s greatest victory was at Gaugamela. Before this battle he sacrificed to the god Panic, asking him to visit the enemy. Panic evidently did. After the victory, Alexander moved to Babylon, legitimizing his rule by becoming king and aligning himself with the local priests.  Yet the farther away he moved from home, the harder it became for him to reconcile all these idiosyncratic religious traditions. He was paying homage to gods that sometimes warred with each other. 

He also couldn’t simultaneously be the warrior king of the Macedonians and head of the Companions while adopting Persian trappings. Tensions rose even within the Companions after a brutal military campaign against Central Asian steppe tribes, a form of a war the Macedonians weren’t accustomed to. This unrest culminated when a drunken Alexander, enraged by the taunts of one of his closest friends, Clitus, stabbed him to death. Ultimately, the only way the army and officers reconciled themselves to going on was by blaming the entire incident on Dionysus. 

The problems got worse when the army pushed into India, where Alexander desperately tried to relate local gods to ones the Macedonians knew, usually unsuccessfully. He even initiated a defeated Indian king into the Companions. 

Eventually, Alexander’s army eventually refused to go further. Like Achilles, Alexander sulked in his tent, to no avail. He took omens three times—the maximum allowed—and every time they were bad. Had they been good, he might well have ordered the army onward. The fighting wasn’t over; Alexander was almost killed in a battle over an Indian city. Thinking their king was dead, his men wept and strained to touch him when they learned he was alive. His person had become sacred. 

After a difficult march back east, Alexander organized a huge sacrifice and himself imitated Dionysus. This delighted his men; “they had recovered their king.” Later, when he was again faced with unrest with from within the Macedonian camp, Alexander used his usual tactic of withdrawing from the men. He later emerged to shame his men, declaring he had shared all their sacrifices and paid their debts. He also didn’t refer to Zeus-Amon as his father, but Philip. Mortified, his men begged forgiveness. 

The idea that Alexander dreamed of “uniting all the races of the world in a Universal Empire” is not true; he was building a Macedonian/Persian ruling class, and even this was proving difficult because of cultural and religious barriers. The Macedonians wanted a Homeric hero as their war chief, not an Eastern potentate. Naiden judges that near the end, “Alexander had forsaken the cult that helped the king and his companions share risk and rewards.”

We will never know if Alexander could have successfully solved the contradictions of his governing his polyglot empire. He died at age 32 after days of drinking in the Macedonian fashion, and his death was proceeded by bad omens and warnings from priests. His last act was to rise from his sickbed and make sacrifice in Babylon. After death, even many of those who doubted his divinity embraced his godhood. Even his body became something of a relic—Ptolemy essentially stole it during its funeral procession and housed it in a sarcophagus in Alexandria, legitimizing his own dynasty, which would endure until Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Augustus. 

The dead Alexander was given homage by great men for centuries afterward, including Augustus. His empire fragmented; the wars of the Diadochi lasted for centuries, with everyone claiming Alexander’s legacy. “The cult of the Companions,” Namian writes, “was broken.” The Romans would eventually claim most of Alexander’s empire. Ultimately, he faced the same problem of any effective conqueror or religious leader; the very qualities that make an empire or religion able to spread are undermined once it spreads too far. Had Alexander not died when he did, he likely would have faced rebellions for the rest of his reign, probably (maybe even especially) in Greece. It’s ironic today he is celebrated as a Greek hero, because many Greek cities at the time thought him a tyrant.

What lessons can we learn from this man who conquered the known world while barely an adult? The key to his victories was not just the professional army he inherited from his father and his own innate genius. There was also the institution of the Companions, the cult that drove the army forward, mitigated disputes, and created a culture of fanatic devotion between officers and the “foot companions” of the infantry. Most importantly, Alexander was conscious of himself as participating in sacred events. The Homeric heroes were not of scholarly interest; they were his ancestors, people to emulate, people he could emulate and maybe even surpass. At his best, he acted in unison with his gods, his cult, and his army. 

The greatest lesson Alexander the Great teaches is to Live The Myth. Act in such a way that you are aligned with your spirituality, your true will, and what you see as the heroes of your culture. Live in such a way that your life is a work of art—or a saga. 

What separates “living the myth” from simply LARPing? The answer is danger. A LARPer can walk away from whatever story he’s telling himself and go back into modernity. One who Lives The Myth lets it define him. The tribes and orders springing up across the Hollow Empire are real, because those who have joined them believe in them and will fight for them.  

Sadly, it’s no longer possible to join with a few hundred of your best friends and conquer the known world. Or is it?

Achieving great deeds, testing yourself daily, building a tribe (or joining one), and creating something that can endure against this shit world of concrete and lies—these are all things that can be done today. The world does not have to be this way—and if the life of Alexander shows anything, it’s the impact one man can have. 

Create your own saga with your own Companions. Plant your spear into the Earth. It is yours by right of conquest—if you have the courage to do what is necessary. 

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Of Wolf Heads and Black Banners

 

Recently, social media has decided that the white wolf head on a sea of black, the emblem worn on my tribe, the Wolves, back patch, is officially a “hate symbol.”

This week, images in which it appears have begun to be purged from their various platforms.

 

I’m sure it won’t be long before they follow suit with the Totenwolf, a symbol which at this point is recognizable around the world by those in the know as the banner under which this Operation marches.

 

Often times in situations like these, people seem to react with a sort of victimized indignance, a kind of “how dare they?!” or “we did nothing wrong!” approach, but this is incorrect.

 

We did do something “wrong.” Everything that we do is “wrong” to this world, this age in which we live.

 

The training of our bodies and minds, the rejection of the values embraced by the current popular agendas of the day, the clanning together in small intentional communities in order to foster pressure and support one another’s endeavors- all of these things exist on the fringe, somewhere out on the perimeter of accepted behavior by today’s power structure and social narratives.

 

Anyone living by the tenets of Operation Werewolf, truly embracing the simple philosophy put forth in the Manifesto and elsewhere, is someone who is “not of this world,” or a voluntary outlaw from polite society and the current virtue signaling police state.

 

This is the very reason our tribe, the Wolves, chose the white wolf’s head on a black banner to represent our stance, and why Operatives world wide wear the wolf skull, surrounded by Jormungandr, the world serpent.

 

The two are connected- and though the Wolves came first, Operation Werewolf has fed and bolstered it, and has also been instrumental in the creation of other “wolf cults” around the world, and the spark that the Wolves rekindled has since become a series of beacons, brightly burning around the world. 

 

We choose to be in the “woods,” both literally and figuratively, taking our “forest passage” away from the grey banality of modern monoculture and its suffocating walls.

 

I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating- being an outlaw in this day and age has nothing to do with wearing black clothes and getting lots of tattoos, or embracing a “hard” image- that is a simple aesthetic choice.

 

It is about a wholehearted rejection of what this world has to offer- their comfortable goals and vain virtues, their pre-packaged dinners and dreams, their call to “Fill the Void With Luxury.” 

 

We have seen what the crumbling cities of men have to offer, heard the hiss of politician and celebrity “tastemaker,” prophets of the New Babylon disguised as harmless comedians or talking heads- and we have seen it for what it is.

 

A handful of dust.

 

We have cast our eyes back on this world as we walk from it, seeing the glittering lights and the warm hearth fires, illusion and comfort beckoning us back from a cold and often lonesome path, but we remain resolute in our direction- steadfast in our choices to widen the gap between wolf and man. 

 

We spit on our hands and raise the black flag in the wilderness, and build fires of our own.

 

We assemble, and gather, and out in the forest, a whisper is slowly rising to a roaring.

 

Raise the banner. Stoke the flame. Be a wolf.

 

Wargus Esto!

Due to the constant censorship and bans we have incurred on Instagram, we have shifted our main broadcast format to Telegram. 

Simply download the app, and click the link below to subscribe– our Channel is sort of like our new Instagram, where content is posted, and our Group is a group message where myself and hundreds of Operatives around the world converse and share information- you’ll be given the option and instructions to sign up for whichever you like, or both.

No contract or hidden fees, subscription drops unless you manually resub each month, or choose yearly for a discount and reduced hassle. 

Looking forward to seeing some of you there.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

XCII

 

PW MMXIX

 

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Ships on Fire

(photo by Peter Beste)

The Wolves funeral rite for Baldr is about beginnings and endings.

It’s about the circular nature of time, and the placing of oneself into a mythological timeframe by enacting the age-old rituals of the dying sun/son.

It’s also about time invested.

Who made the time? Who took the time? Who said, “next time?”

Although everything in the myths is cyclical, circular, and returning, there are things that come to an end, at least, for a while.

For us, this was the last Baldr’s Funeral that will be “open” to outsiders.

Those who witnessed our funeral rites this year held the special honor of being men and women at the end of an era for the Wolves, as we move into our next becoming, which will be one of inward focus, rather than outward.

It has been our honor to assist in something greater than ourselves.

For the last 15 years, we have focused on bringing back the mystery cult of the wolf- and creating new mythologies surrounding it, making it vital, powerful, and strong in this world once again.

All those now around the globe who call themselves “wolf cults” have heard that calling, and have answered it, and many who were called have stood at our fires to see the way we pour hot blood into those old channels.

They have taken our ritual fires back to theirs, and used our voice to help them find their own, and have remained allies, welcome at our land and in our homes, while others have “gone their own way,” and pretend to be self-made creations.

Now, it is time for the Wolves to close what was once open, and to generate internal growth and power once again, turning the open :JERA: rune of plenty and harvest back into the sealed container of :ING: where force and expansion is gestated in the seed. 

This is not a withdrawal from the world, or a flight to some hidden haven, but the beginning of a long and personal ritual of power for us.

To those who have have shared these moments: spilled blood with us, stood awe-struck and in ecstasy around ships on fire…sacred blood of the covenant burning within them, eyes glittering in the dark and cast toward an endless future of conviction and legend- thank you, from the bottom of our blazing hearts.

Keep that fire burning- forever.

We are just getting started.

-Paul

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Eight Righteous Practices

For those who might have missed my earlier piece “Five Ways to Move Mountains,” you can check it out HERE.

In a moment I’m going to outline eight more habits I adhere to in order to maintain productivity, staying power, and relationships.

Anyone interested in joining our Werewolf Operatives discussion group, or subscribing to our Telegram broadcast can do so by downloading the Telegram app then clicking HERE, where a robot named Alt Cunningham will walk you through the process.

Hundreds of Operatives world wide are signed up there, and thriving discussion rooms have been created to organize conversations on training, ritual and spiritual practice, a reading group, business and networking and more.

The broadcast is similar to an Instagram feed, but uncensored, and in longer content format with extras not seen anywhere else. Sign up now and join the conversation: SUBSCRIBE

EIGHT RIGHTEOUS PRACTICES

What follows is another set of simple observations that I consider foundational to my lifestyle and approach to pretty much everything.

These carry across the board for me, and can be applied in any and every situation.

Show up on time. 

If you’ve agreed to be somewhere or do something at a certain agreed on time, be there, or be early. 

There’s nothing that makes someone feel more disrespected as making something a priority and having you show them with your actions that you think your time means more than theirs.

This also goes for your own scheduling- if you’ve painstakingly set a timeframe for yourself to wake up, work out, meditate, whatever it is…then adhere to it.

It takes discipline to hit the mark on this kind of stuff, and its the sort of discipline that breeds more of itself and makes it easier each time to do things correctly.

I’ve dropped countless gym partners over this one, and absolutely refuse to work with anyone who is late more than a few times, no matter how many times their “alarm didn’t go off.”

Be a self starter. 

If you need someone always holding your hand or being an overseer, you’re automatically relinquishing your chance to be given more responsibilities or more trust.

If you need to be babied, don’t be surprised when you’re treated like one.

Individuals who are able to do for themselves, and be sharp enough and pay enough attention to get things going on their own will usually be successful in all areas they apply themselves.

Perhaps the biggest disparity between those who are productive and those who are not is this ability to see what needs to be done and then just…doing it. What a concept.

Maintain a high level of energy and effort.

You’ve heard the phrase “objects which are in motion tend to stay that way?” 

This holds true for people too.

If you’re remaining active, and staying on a roll, it is easy to stay that way. It’s much simpler to keep a heavy rock rolling than it is to get it started again. Just ask Sisyphus.

I’ve seen guys with brands or businesses “take a break” or set them down for a while, and it resulting in their never returning because they were too overwhelmed. Ditto for working out and exercising- plenty of dust on that home gym set-up, there, dad-bod.

You have to maintain conscious, sustained effort in all areas that are important to you. Your fitness, your relationships, your business- everything. 

Keep a good attitude.

This one pretty much goes without saying, but attitude and approach to things, especially the negative things that happen, determines a lot.

If there’s one factor you can control in any situation in life, it’s your attitude.

Keeping a stiff upper lip and handling tough shit with a tougher mentality will take you a long way in life. When everyone else is whimpering over the hard hand they’ve gotten dealt, you’ll be too busy figuring out how best to play the cards you’ve got to join them. 

Which reminds me: Develop staying power.

There’s plenty of people out there who can generate a lot of force one time, like a hail Mary pass, or a quick explosion.

The greats are those who can create energy that doesn’t dissipate rapidly, but begins to become a self sustaining dynamo. Burnout, quitting, “getting sick of things” and so on are all products of a lack of ability to stay at it.

Those who cannot find that calm, deep resonance within themselves that allows them to continue moving forward when others are falling by the wayside will fall themselves as soon as the going gets tough.

The key to this is to know when to push yourself and when to conserve your energy, and to keep a continual forward movement at a steady pace rather than working in cycles of action/inaction.

Be open to correction or teaching.

Often times in Jiu Jitsu, I’ve heard coaches talk about how someone could’ve been great at the sport if they were just “a little more coachable.”

We all like to think we’ve got it all figured out and know everything, but the fact is, there’s always someone who knows more than we do, or who we can learn something from.

This carries over to the idea of being confrontable as well, something I’ve talked about in the past as a critical factor in maintaining groups/tribes/organizations. 

If you refuse to be confronted about potential mistakes or shortcomings, you’ll never learn, and eventually, people will stop even trying to teach you. 

Exceed expectations, always.

Whatever you promised you’d do, do more. Again, this carries over to marriages, friendships, business exchanges, workouts, everything.

Get a reputation as someone who will not only never drop the ball, but will constantly go above and beyond the call of duty every time you undertake something.

It’s good sense, and it sets a precedent for you to continually look to outdo yourself in every arena you enter, which should be one of the points of a powerful existence.

Finally, that boy scout motto comes to mind: always be prepared.

It doesn’t take much to make sure you’ve looked over the information pertinent to the meeting, checked your gear and toolbar before a motorcycle run, or ensured you had what you needed for your gym session.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and not only will you save yourself a lot of time and frustration this way, you’ll maintain a sharpness and reliability among friends and associates as the guy or gal who is “always ready for anything.”

These are not an exhaustive list, and are in no way some kind of esoteric hidden wisdom, but I remain mildly surprised to see how many do not adhere to these fundamental practices- and find myself, at times, slipping on them.

Regardless, we all could use a reminder sometimes, and I’m no exception. 

I’m pulling for you.

XCII- PW

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No Bullshit Nutrition Guide

No Bullshit Nutrition Guide

Meal planning can seem like an intimidating task, so I’m going to break it down for you as simply as possible- calorie counts, macros, supplements, meal timing, the whole nine yards.

 

It isn’t as difficult as it seems at first, but I know there is a massive amount of information out there that can seem daunting at first, especially to those who are new to the nutrition world.

Like most things, the major difficulty is not in the information gathering but in the application, especially consistently, over long periods of time. None of the info here is going to help you out if you won’t use it to sculpt a better, more fit body and life for yourself.

 

I promise, it’s worth it.

 

Read on.

 

Calories

 

Typically people associate bodybuilding or weightlifting with massive calorie intake, but your actual calorie count will depend on your goal.

Usually someone is trying to accomplish one of two things with a nutrition plan: bulking or cutting, or, put in simpler terms, gaining size or losing it.

-Bulking, in the most basic of terms, will require a calorie intake that exceeds the amount of calories your body is burning up during training and daily activity so that your body has extra nutrients to grow.

 

Protein plays a particularly vital role in this. Your muscles will synthesize it after a workout to repair the microtears they’ve accumulated over the course of your training session and grow larger.

 

The need to maintain a caloric excess not mean that you should set out on a campaign to consume everything in sight regardless of nutritional content – eating 7,500 calories worth of cake will definitely make you larger, but that’s not the type of mass you want to cultivate.

 

The goal is to gain muscle without gaining an excess amount of fat in the process.

Conversely, when you’re cutting, you’re looking to lower your overall body fat percentage while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible.

This is a common need for fighters and competitive athletes preparing for competitions as well as those who’ve succumbed to the temptation of the “dirty bulk” described above, or those who have lived a sedentary lifestyle and become overweight.

 

This is often done by lowering carbohydrate or fat intake while keeping a high protein intake, but at day’s end, it is simply the opposite of massing.

 

You will take in less calories than what your body needs to remain at its current size, and, subsequently, will lose fat as the body burns what is onboard for the energy it isn’t getting through a fuel source.

To get started with either process, you’ll first need to calculate what’s called your “maintainence level” – that is, the daily calorie intake that you would allow you to remain at your current weight, neither gaining nor losing.

 

There are many “maintenance level” calorie calculators online, but the only way to do it correctly, for you and your individual level of intake, activity, and so on, is to log everything that goes in your mouth religiously for a week or two.

 

Many will bail out right here, but for those who actually do it, you will have a perfectly accurate representation of your maintenance level by taking an average of your total calorie count each week to determine a daily maintenance level.

 

Simply tally the total amount of calories you took in during the week and divide by 7. Doing this for two weeks should give you a very accurate maintenance calorie number, assuming that during those two weeks you follow your general eating habits that have you at your current weight.

After establishing your maintainence level, the easy way to start your weight gain or reduction is simply to add or subtract 500 calories a day from your current maintenance number. For example, if you’re currently averaging 1800 calories a day, your new target will be 2300 calories daily in order to mass up.

If you’re looking to cut and you’re not competing in anything that demands you immediately drop a significant amount of weight, I recommend dropping 50-100 calories a day for the first week, then another 50-100 and so on until reaching your target number rather than a drastic adjustment.

 

For bulking, ease in the same way instead of putting 500 extra calories on your plate on day one.

Gradual adjustments will naturally take more time, but it’s far easier to make small changes to your diet over the course of a few weeks than make radical changes overnight, and will give you a better idea where your ideal number will be.

 

I also recommend maintaining a nutrition log book religiously, especially for the first several months to a year, as you will learn a great deal about this process if you pay attention to the small incremental changes made and what happens to your body composition over time.

Macros

As important as the amount of calories you take in, is what those calories consist of.

Your three macronutrients are: protein, carbohydrates and fat – each contains a certain amount of calories per gram:

protein and carbs contain 4 calories per gram, and fat contains 9 calories per gram.

 

A proper macronutrient ratio plays a key role in developing an ideal body composition.

Someone training at a moderate to high level of intensity with weights is ideally going to take in 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, with 15-30% of your calories coming from fat, and the rest from carbs.

Let’s say you weight 200 pounds, have a 2500 calorie a day maintenance level, and a desire to put on weight, so you set your target at 3,000 calories a day.

 

At 1.25g of protein per pound, you’ll be eating 250 grams of protein daily, which translates to 1000 calories (remember, each gram is 4 calories).

Now that you’ve got your protein level, it’s time to divide up the rest of your calories between fat and carbohydrates.

 

Start by having 20% of your calories come from fat sources, then make the rest up from carbs.

 

So, if you were our 200lb bulking example above, you’d be taking in:

Protein: 250g (1000 calories)

Fat: 66g (600 calories)

Carbs: 350g (1400 calories)

That’s a ratio of about 33% protein, 20% fat, and 47% carbohydrates. Apply this split with your own calorie count,and observe your body – if you’re gaining too much fat, lower your carb intake.

 

Another, even easier way to go about it, is to take your target calorie count, and make it up from 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat- a classic bodybuilding macro split that worked pretty damn well for guys like Arnold, Franco, and Platz.

 

Supplements

After addressing dietary needs, people usually ask “what about supplements?” There’s a million of them on the market right now, most of which are trash, as the supplement industry is filled with snake oil and garbage, but focus on the three that actually work, and are trusted by some of the biggest and strongest in the world:

Protein Powder:

 

Protein shakes (there are a plethora of different kinds, so some experimentation will be necessary to see what works best for you) are a quick and easy way to increase your protein intake while keeping your overall calorie and macro count in line with your program.

 

One scoop usually contains 25-30 grams of protein.

Creatine

 

Creatine is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the muscle cells that can be taken as a supplement and has been proven to increase strength performance, while helping to encourage muscle growth.

 

Although some people have considered it unsafe, there is no evidence to support this and it is one of the most studied and tested supplements in the world.

Caffeine

 

As long as you don’t take it in excess (avoid high-caffeine pre-workout supplements in favor of black coffee), caffeine will boost your metabolism and fat loss, and generally improve your performance in the gym.

 

I advise against becoming overly reliant on any kind of “supplement,” including protein. It is always best to get your nutrition from good food sources, and I definitely think people shouldn’t have to take caffeine or another kind of stimulant just to have a good work out.

 

Used in moderation, however, they can definitely provide an edge when needed.

Meal Timing

Many people will tell you how often you should eat, what time you should eat, how much you should eat per sitting.

Ignore them. Eat when you want.

It’s all a matter of personal preference. As long as you’re hitting your daily macronutrient goals, then you’re on the right track.

It used to be a common idea that the human body was only capable of absorbing 30 grams of protein at a time, which resulted in people eating numerous small and meticulously scheduled meals throughout the day to hit their goals.

This is absolutely not proven, and you can eat any sized meal at whatever time suits your schedule.

As you adjust to your new diet, experiment with different sized meals at different times and see what works best for you – with some exceptions, as long as you’re hitting your macros, the timing doesn’t matter much.

 

“What foods should I eat?”

I could fill a book’s worth of pages discussing all of the different types of foods that you could effectively incorporate into a healthy muscle building diet, but if you’re just starting out, keep it simple.

The following are all common options among the pros, and those of us who have been at it for a good while, and most of them can be prepared in enough ways to keep you from being getting sick of them too quickly.

Dairy

Eggs, cheese, milk, greek yogurt

Meat

Turkey, chicken, bacon, ground beef (not all beef is created equal – the high fat options will tank your macros quickly, go for the lean beef unless that matches your dietary goals)

Carbs

sweet potatoes, rice, whole grain bread, pasta, fruit & vegetables.

Fish

Tuna is extremely popular for its high protein and low fat content, as well as being relatively inexpensive.

If you have the wallet for it, salmon is an equally solid choice.

Beverages

 

Black coffee (an excellent way to suppress your appetite, especially if you’re cutting), water, protein shakes.

For the most part, this is all common-sense stuff: focus on whole, quality foods, avoid fast-food garbage, takeout and sugary carbohydrate-rich sodas.

All you have to do to get your nutrition in check is:

-Find your maintenance level

 

-Set your ratio

(an easy starting point is 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat)

 

-Watch your body fat, drop your carbs/calories if you’re gaining too much

 

Ultimately, the hardest part is staying consistent and starting now – The most effective meal plan in the world won’t be effective unless you’re sticking to your macros, nor will it help you if you’re perpetually waiting for “next week” or “after the holidays.”

 

Start now. Do the work. Get the results.

I’m pulling for you.

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The Custer Wolf

During the late 1800’s and into the mid 1900’s, mankind was engaged in a war on wolves. 

At first sought after for its pelt, and later targeted as a threat to farmers and ranchers, this creature has at times been nearly extinct from the North American landmass. 

During these purges over the course of nearly 100 years, hundreds of thousands of wolves were trapped, shot and poisoned. The number of wolves killed in the latter half of the 19th century is not known, but some experts have speculated that the figure could be in the millions.

By the time the federal government joined the war in 1919 to its official “cessation” in 1942, over 25,000 more wolves had been killed by the government alone.

The reason the wolf became an official enemy of the state was due largely in part to the fact that man had hunted out much of the game that wolves relied upon for their survival, and the creature turned to easier and more plentiful prey- livestock. Ranchers complained, and the government stepped in on behalf of its loyal tax payers.

As with any war, popular opinion needed to be won and maintained, so while this war was active, the US government would release actual “anti-wolf propaganda”- press releases that used colorful language and descriptions of the wolf as a bloodthirsty, nearly supernatural monster to be hated and feared, paired, of course, with stories of government funded trappers and hunters triumphing over “evil,” and scoring victories for the common man by expunging this grey devil.

One of the most common ways the wolf was killed was through the technique of poisoning a big game carcass like an elk or buffalo and leaving it as a deadly “free meal” for any scavenger passing by, be it wolf or otherwise. 

This poison killed slowly and painfully, and did not discriminate between those wolves who had killed livestock or simply happened upon it- there was no choosing of sides. There was simply the wolf, and those who had declared war against it, and its way of life. 

In some circumstances, the cleverest of wolves would become legendary outlaws, like the so-called “Custer Wolf,” who terrorized South Dakota for nearly a decade in the early 1900’s.  His uncanny ability to evade traps, poison and the hunter’s rifle created a mythology around him, until he was seen as some kind of spirit, a ghost haunting the prairie, forest, or desert.

These “outlaw” wolves would use techniques that baffled and amazed even seasoned hunters, backtracking after a kill to stalk their hunters, or even occasionally enlisting the aid of coyotes to warn them against hunters and allowing the lesser canine access to their leavings in payment. 

In the end, the government simply placed high bounties on these outlaws, or sent in hunters on the federal payroll to stay on the job until the beast was dead, and all the coyotes in its service and association were killed as well. 

From all this, we can take away a few things.

First, that we should “despise the free lunch.” What is offered to us for free often bears the taint of poison. This poison can take many forms, but manifests itself sometimes as debt, obligation or deceit- what is worth having is worth paying the price for. 

The free lunch can also represent the “easy kill,” getting sidetracked on the way to glory by what comes easily to us, instead of going after the trophy game. All too often, we see people looking for shortcuts in their training or study, but experience cannot be rushed. It must be explored, given time to internalize, and in some cases, endured. Often those things which bear an awful price are the ones most worth having. 

Secondly, that as “wolves,” we will be reviled and hated by many. 

Our existence will be seen as a threat to the common order- a dissonant signal that disrupts the usual programming. Our search for strength, authenticity and “the struggle to retain one’s humanity in an increasingly artificial world” will set us apart and our feet will tread an often lonesome path.

Take responsibility for the life you have chosen and ownership of the hardships that come along with it.

Do not complain or play the victim. 

Thirdly, that in this world, the interplay between wolves, peasants, and hunters can still be seen, albeit in a slightly more complex way. We must be like the outlaw wolves, but exercising more caution than they were capable of. 

We still feed ourselves from the spoils of what can be taken from the citizens of Empire, just as they did, but we must do so without needlessly or foolishly attracting the deadly attention of the hunter’s precise rifle. 

Our mission to remain wolves in a world that hates us is a sacred one, but a mission that the elite will accomplish with skill and cunning, manipulation and trickery- baffling the servants of the established order with strategies they are ill-equipped to defy, or have never seen us use before.

In many cases, we will use their own strategies against them, leveraging propaganda, financial power, and business strategies to strengthen our position.

We fortify ourselves by creating and maintaining networks of trustworthy individuals, and combining efforts when and where possible in order to further our interests and spread our ideologies far and wide.

By walking a line between man and wolf, utilizing the mysteries of the werewolf archetype, we are mistaken for men- and this is perhaps the greatest trick we can use.

XCII
PW

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30 Days on CBD

 

Following the article regarding my month long test training on CBD, I have written out a comprehensive FAQ section that might be of interest. It answers questions like “is it legal?” or “will I fail a drug test,” as well as outlining in plain English just what Cannabidiol is, and how it affects the body. 

Like many, I have been hearing about CBD pretty much non stop over the last couple years.
Everybody from Instagram celebrities to fitness models have touted it as a wonder drug, and since getting into copywriting last year, almost 80% of my pieces have been on companies involved in some aspect of the cannabis industry.

Although I have used marijuana before as a sedative or healthier alternative to painkillers when training or injury had me feeling especially beaten down, as an adult, I don’t really like the “high” it produces, nor the feeling of lethargy that most strains of cannabis come along with for me in a state where I can’t exactly “pick and choose.”

The idea of CBD had me curious enough to try it a few times, with varying results. At a training facility in Arcata, California doing a seminar with Wolf Brigade Gym, I had some in the form of CBD infused water that I could definitely feel. A perceptible decrease in the anxiety and stress levels, and a calm ability to focus on the task at hand, combined with a relaxed but alert body and a drop in the ache and pain level of a long weekend riding motorcycles and lifting weights. 

Other times, I would try an oil, or an edible and feel absolutely nothing.

The irregularity of results was frustrating, and I pretty much forgot about using it until my brother started sending me samples from his company’s supplier, a 99% pure isolate powder boasting a 3rd party testing system on every batch.

I decided I would use it every day (except on deliberate “test” days) of the month of January, and during that time, I would train as hard as I ever have on a schedule that would see me lifting almost every day, and doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at least 3 days a week. In this way, I would create an environment to really put the CBD to the test and see whether it was something I would add into my daily regimen, or if it was just another snake oil.

In the first week of using the isolate (which I much prefer to vaporizing, smoking, etc. since it is flavorless and tasteless and can be added to anything), the first thing I noticed was how it affected my sleep. I would take between 25-30mg in the morning or before my first training session of the day, and again about 30-45 minutes before I went to bed at night at the same dose. 

I have always had trouble sleeping, even following all the usual protocols, no smart phone, cold room, etc. Sometimes I am just too sore to sleep well, and moving around creates all those aches and pains to flare up and keep quality rest from happening. This is of course a vicious cycle, as bad sleep imbalances the hormones, creates stress and inflammation, and does nothing to mitigate these things, often meaning my trips to the gym or the mats are preceded by “talking myself into it” through the stiffness and soreness.

Several nights of decent sleep in a row. What was this dark sorcery? 

On the sixth and seventh, I didn’t take CBD, and felt the usual restlessness, especially on the second night.

The second week, a combination of better sleep and the anti-inflammatory nature of CBD had my tendinitis feeling a lot more under control, meaning I could train a little harder on the grappling end of things without grenading my weight training for the week and vice versa.

The anxiety, or stress relief elements I had heard of and felt before were much harder to quantify. I live a pretty high-action lifestyle, meaning a certain amount of stress comes with the territory, and I don’t know if anything outside a heavy dose of benzos could really derail that underlying current. I manage that better with meditation and mindset work. Besides, I was training so hard that I was feeling pretty tired and calm for the month anyways- everything happens in an ecosystem of some kind and is all connected.

During the third week, I ran out of my usual supply of isolate and picked up some edibles from a local supplier. In three days, I was back to my usual difficulty sleeping, and felt zero positive result in muscle soreness or inflammation.

After doing some research, I realized that a great deal of the CBD products available come from overseas, cheap Chinese suppliers- and that their testing requirements and so on are basically nil. After getting back to my usual supply, taken from US grown organic hemp and subjected to a high level third part test, the benefits returned.

This led me to believe that while CBD is definitely not “snake oil,” there are definitely CBD products that are. It also solved the question I had of why I would get results at certain times and then feel absolutely nothing at others- in this game, it would appear that quality is everything. 

By the end of the month, I decided to keep CBD in the daily routine, and here’s why:

It definitely seems to increase the amount and the quality of the sleep I get.

More sleep means decreased cortisol, decreased inflammation, better hormone balance, lower stress and anxiety levels, etc.

So even if it just helps me sleep, good sleep helps all these other aspects anyways.

I definitely could feel a difference in soreness and muscle ache on the 2 test days a week during which I would deliberately not take CBD, so I would say there is certainly something to that as well. 

There is a solid body of research toward the effects CBD has on inflammation, and it is currently being used by high profile medical companies to create new innovations in the heart disease field- if award winning medical professionals believe that they can use CBD to decrease inflammation enough to treat heart failure, I’d say there’s a good chance it can help me out in the gym. 

I will keep putting this product to the test and recording my experiences with it, and I hope you’ll consider giving it a shot of your own.

Operation Werewolf now carries the exact same CBD isolate that I used during this 30 day experiment, which can be purchased from our webstore starting Wednesday, 3.6.19, and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. 

If, after trying it out, you don’t think it’s right for you, simply hit the CONTACT tab, and receive a hassle free refund on your purchase, and keep the CBD as a gift. 

Check out the FAQ below if you’re interested in just what CBD is, how it works, legality, and so on. 

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol is one of several “cannabinoids,” chemical substances found in cannabis plants.

Although there are several cannabinoids, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two that are most widely known.

THC is found in large quantities in marijuana plants – it’s the cannabinoid that’s responsible for most of the psychoactive effects that cause marijuana users to get “high.”

Cannabidiol also is found in marijuana plants but only at low levels. The primary source of CBD in nature is the hemp plant, a botanical cousin to marijuana.

How does CBD work?

Many cells in the body have what are called cannabinoid receptors, protein molecules on a cell’s surface that react when they come in contact with certain chemical substances.

Different receptors react with different substances to cause different reactions – for instance, the release of a hormone or other chemical.

The cells that react with cannabinoids comprise what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. When these receptors are activated, they exert an effect on mood, pain sensation, appetite and other biologic responses.

CBD does not interact with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) the same way as THC. It does not produce any psychoactive effects whatsoever. It can provide major relief and medical benefits without the “high” (MUCH more on those benefits later).

Your ECS regulates and is closely tied to your immune system, your central nervous system and interacts with your body to deal with inflammation, stress, anxiety, injuries and can regulate your body’s sleep pattern.

When you see how much your ECS works to deal with these problems – you start to realize why so many people are using it for so many different reasons. Your body produces cannabinoids naturally to help your ECS perform at a high level – introducing cannabinoids from outside your body, can help when your ECS is called to do more, like when you are breaking down your muscles through strength training.

It should be noted, introducing exogenous cannabinoids does NOT shut down your body’s ability to produce them. Cannabinoids are not hormones, so unlike when you take exogenous testosterone and your body stops producing it on its own, your body will still produce cannabinoids if you are taking CBD.

 

What Are the Benefits of Taking CBD?


The various uses of CBD are myriad, and new research is coming out all the time showing its wide applications:

Reduced risk of diabetes and obesity, better cholesterol profiles and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, reduced risk of cancer, helps maintain brain health and increases resistance to mental trauma, protects against broken bones, protects and heals the skin, acts as an excellent and safe anti-inflammatory, reduces anxiety and stress, combats depression, aids in pain relief, and promotes healthy sleep

– this laundry list of benefits are just a few of those that have been backed by research.

Personally, I have used it mainly as an anti-inflammatory and to promote better sleep, and have found it to be invaluable as an aid in my training recovery program.


What’s the difference between CBD from hemp and CBD from marijuana?

First of all, hemp contains naturally high levels of CBD and low levels of THC while marijuana produces low levels of CBD and high levels of THC.

To get CBD isolate from marijuana, special strains must be developed and hybridized, which means the isolate is not being derived from a source that occurs in nature.

Second, CBD isolate from hemp is legal while CBD from marijuana is only legal in specific states and for the treatment of specific disorders – mostly those involving seizures.

That means that in those states where its use is legal, you must have at least one prescription to obtain it.

Third, because hemp contains much higher levels of CBD compared to marijuana, extracting it is much simpler – and much less costly. Therefore, it’s available at a much lower cost.

Finally, while CBD from hemp suffers from some image problems, thanks to its link with marijuana, its use as a supplement is still far more socially acceptable and less controversial than CBD from its cousin.

Can you get high from CBD?

No. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes you high; CBD does not have any psychoactive properties.

While many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, it is not enough to make you “high.”

Is It Legal?

The FDA has made no determination or assertion that CBD products are illegal or in any way run afoul of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). As was established by the Ninth Circuit in 2004, the sale, production and distribution of CBD oils/products derived from imported raw material industrial hemp, such as those produced and sold are not in violation of the CSA.

Will I Fail a Drug Test?

The simple answer is no, however, consuming extremely high amounts of CBD (more than 1,000 to 2,000g a day) could result in a hot urine test based on the fact that hemp plants may legally contain up to .3% THC.

In short, drug tests screen for THC, not CBD- and unless you are taking Herculean amounts of CBD every day, you should be completely in the clear.

However, there are many disreputable companies out there who do not provide third party test results on each batch of their CBD- meaning you could potentially fail a drug test from one of these companies.

Our CBD comes along with third part test results to ensure that you are getting the highest quality product, with the peace of mind that comes with knowing every batch is tested to the same standard.

How Much Should I Be Taking?

This is an oft-debated topic in the industry – and it comes down to the individual.

While you can’t take “too much” CBD, there is some research that shows a point of diminishing returns.

Since good CBD products are not cheap, the last thing you want to be doing is using 150mg of CBD, when 50mg would work just as well.

Size does play a role, but each person should play around with how much they ingest daily. Start with about 40mg per day to gauge the benefits.

If you don’t see an increase in the quality of sleep, a decrease in muscle soreness, fatigue, stress, anxiety etc – try taking between 50-60mg. You will find the sweet spot over the course of your first few weeks of use.

When do I Take It?

Because improved sleep quality is one of the most immediate benefits people see from taking CBD, many new users prefer to take it at night.

However, CBD interacts with your ECS to provide you with what your body needs at any given time. If you take CBD in the morning, you will not notice drowsiness, because your body is getting active and starting the day and your ECS recognizes that you need to be alert, so it uses the exogenous cannabinoids to get you going, because that’s what you need.

When you take it before bed, you’ll notice you will have an easier time “shutting down” so to speak, because that’s what your ECS realizes you need. You truly can take CBD at any time of the day.

Why Get Your CBD From Operation Werewolf?

Our CBD isolate is made from organically grown hemp, and this therapeutic-grade isolate is 99% pure.

Completely tasteless and odorless, our pure CBD isolate is perfect for adding CBD to any of your favorite foods, drinks, or topical applications.

This isolate is separated by molecular weight under laboratory conditions, ensuring the purest possible product.

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD available, and our isolate comes from USDA certified organic hemp. Our supplier, Pure Spectrum CBD, third-party tests all of our isolate to ensure this and results can be found on our supplier’s Test Results page.

On top of this, we throw in an unprecedented 30 day money back guarantee on our product- you can purchase from our webstore here starting on Wednesday, 3.6.19.