Posted on

5/3/1 and Operation Werewolf

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Jim Wendler and am not receiving payment or other compensation for this article. I just like the guys writing and programming.

When it comes to training programs, there are really only two things I look for:
simplicity and effectiveness.

I have been running Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program for the better part of a year (with a few forays here and there into simple “powerbuilding” splits for variation), and it more than meets these requirements, while at the same time allowing for the individual to find a specific template that works for his set of goals and lifestyle. There are programs for everything from MMA to football, with the focus of Wendler’s philosophy being slow, steady (and injury free!) strength gains, combined with solid conditioning and mobility work.

Although I love weightlifting, and it is a very important part of my life, I am also a busy person with many other interests outside the gym. 5/3/1 allows me to get in, get the work done and get out in a reasonable time, while still making excellent progress over the span of the year.

I started 5/3/1 for a straightforward way to maintain strength while getting my body acclimated to jiu jitsu and kickboxing again after a shoulder injury last year took me out of lifting heavy for a bit. I wanted to stay away from anything with gimmicky or esoteric exercises, or anything that would require much equipment outside of a barbell and squat rack.

As I became accustomed to the workload, I would run a few cycles of one Wendler program, then another, all following his basic 5/3/1 template, but adding in one of his many plug-ins, seeing what I liked and what worked for me.

I went from being down around a 290 bench, 345 squat, 400 deadlift to 350, 405 and 445, respectively at 175-180 pound bodyweight (my deadlift is a definite weak point and should not reflect poorly on the programming) over the course of the year, all while maintaining several days a week of martial arts, lots of travel, motorcycles, a demanding “club life,” running my growing brand and so on.

The programming operates around the concept of working at a “training max” that is lower than your actual 1 rep maximum on any given lift, and working to build strength via “rep PRs” more often than hitting single repetitions at maximum weight, which leads to good strength gain and solid volume without breaking the body or risking injury. Never fear- this program is still very challenging, and with tweaks like “joker sets,” “first set last,” and so on, the high weight and ball-busting volume desired by the most hardcore of iron addicts can still be achieved. However, for the majority of folks who are looking for a training regimen that doesn’t require you to have a NASA level comprehension of advanced calculus, a gym full of medieval torture equipment and rubber bands, and more chains than a True Norwegian black metal show- this is for you.

I get a lot of messages from people asking what training programs I run or recommend, and the volume of these messages always ramps up in a staggering way toward the beginning of the year. Consider this my recommendation across the board- go check out jimwendler.com, and get a copy of the latest version of 5/3/1, get started on it, and stick with it. I think you’ll find the programming to be intelligent, doable but challenging, and extremely rewarding.

92.
-PW

Posted on

The Crooked Road

Written for Operation Werewolf by Craig Williams.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Bruce Lee

The coming year holds infinite potential for growth and self-development. At times this can seem overwhelming. Making lists of new goals, short term and long term, our minds can soar to great heights seeking to reach lofty heroic accomplishments. But the opposite can also occur. We can reflect back upon the year and focus on our mistakes, our mishaps, our failures. This can be discouraging for many and even sabotage future successes in the coming year. Why did we not reach our goals?  Why did we lose interest or become sidetracked? The monkey mind can go round and round in infinite circles leading us into a downward spiral of negative thoughts and for some, even depression. When this occurs, I always open up my fight training journal for inspiration. Yes this journal is filled with clinical training data: how many miles run, how many hours spent sparring, how many weeks spent on specific punching drills, etc. But each page also contains important inspirational ideas and quotes from mentors, teachers and Sifus, many I know personally and many I will never meet. Yet in this sweat soaked journal, these figures are always alive, always present and ready to remind me of why I sweat and bleed in the hope for the taste of the intoxicating fleeting moments of self-awareness and self-realization born from the womb of hard physical training.

“Give up excessive ideals”

Wing Chun Kung Fu legend Wong Shun Leung would often say “Having excessive ideals with regard to fighting will cause one to be far too nervous….give up excessive ideals. It would be a far better idea to prepare the student both mentally and physically before fighting, informing them of the realities of fighting, especially that one may have to in fact take one or more blows upon one’s own body in the course of the fight. Thus, when engaged in fighting, you will not be full of misgivings and be at a loss for what to do.”

It is so common to see two seemingly equally matched fighters engage in combat and when the first two or three strikes hit, one of the fighters starts to shut down mentally. You can see it in the body movements, in the changing of the breath patterns. Fear takes over, mistakes are made, the fight is lost. This is a powerful metaphor for life and the predictable blows we will sure accrue over a lifetime of pushing ourselves and seeking a hero’s path. We must not expect to never be hit, we must not shut down at the first blow, or the second, or the third. We must prepare ourselves mentally and physically for what some may term “failure.” We can’t expect any or all of our goals to be easily attainable or the road to goals without mishap or “hits”. This is just basic rules of engagement. Too often individuals shut down at the first hit, or second hit, maybe the third. But we must remember that we are still standing, still engaged in the fight. We must not let our emotions or excessive ideals on what “should be happening” derail the actual event we are experiencing. I have seen fighters pummeled round after round only to land ONE single effective blow which instantly changes the outcome of the fight. Our lives are often like this. We must stay engaged and not shut down mentally, emotionally or physically when experiencing the blows of life. Rather we must expect them and prepare for them. Then and only then can we walk the road of heroes and warriors with our heads held high in victory and defeat.

“Avoid Hesitation At All Costs”

Wong Shun Leung also frequently stated this idea. “Only those who hesitate will be punched. One must retreat or advance as the situation dictates, or else the chance to control the situation will disappear in the twinkle of an eye.”

Just as the previous quote prepared us for the hits of life or the sting of a punch, this quote also warns us of why we must not allow ourselves to be stunned into inaction by the first mishap on the road to our accomplishments. When we shut down at the first, second or any punch for that matter, we lose precious time. We lose any opportunity to regain our balance in the fight of life and will surely lose. We must stay on guard and be ready for any and every chance which comes our way, especially during times of trial and discomfort! A smart savvy fighter, even when being physically dominated, will not shut down but will rather hold his ground and patiently wait for the exact moment to take a chance. We must use this metaphor in our lives and not only prepare ourselves for the inevitable blows and failures on the road to glory but also prepare ourselves to remove fear and doubt from our minds and be ready for that one moment, that one single chance for recovery. If we let uncertainty and doubt take over our minds, we will certainly lose all chance for recovery in a fight or in the attainment of our goals. Prepare to take the hits but also prepare to instantly react and adapt when the door of opportunity opens, even if just for a second!

“The Conditions of Progress”

The occultist and philosopher Aleister Crowley, when asked what the most favorable “conditions of progress” were, stated the following characteristics: “Irregularity, eccentricity, disorder, the Revolutionary Spirit, Experiment…..progress demands Anarchy tempered by Common Sense.” This quote is perhaps one of the most important ones to read and meditate on unendingly. In the pursuit of goals and accomplishments, it is very easy to get caught up in the spell of organization and linear progress. If I do this and this, I am doing the “right things” to achieve my goals. This can often be the case but many times we must be prepared to change plans, adapt, embrace the chaos of life and forge ahead with the revolutionary spirit of a true warrior. We must be ready to become comfortable with chaos, pain and uncertainty at times to reach our deepest dreams and aspirations. Just as some fighters can shut down at the first hint of defeat and lose the ability to react to opportunity, so too can individuals remove themselves from the game of life at the first sign of chaos or unexpected outcomes. Life can be random and bad things will happen to good people. Get over it. Adapt and embrace the randomness and often chaotic expressions of life! Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something unconventional regardless of what the “experts” teach or preach! “Progress demands Anarchy tempered by Common Sense.” Don’t be afraid of being the Anarch at times in your life and break out of the limitations of fear, expectation and predictability. Be a Heretic! Only the ones who can train hard, suffer, and quickly adapt will truly walk the road of heroes. Create your own myth and make it an unconventional and unpredictable story! Use your goals as inspiration but don’t become possessed and swallowed by them. Light the flame inside your heart and mind and let it guide you down the unique and mysterious path of YOUR life. Don’t be afraid of roadblocks, mishaps and randomness. Remember the words of William Blake:

“Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement, are roads of Genius.”

Posted on

January Challenge

JANUARY CHALLENGE

The public Werewolf Challenge for the month of January focuses heavily on the alchemical concept of Nigredo: a burning away to make room for the process of new creation.

As such, we will firstly identify where we are looking to take our physical form in the coming year by setting aside the time to consider and map out our goals. What are we training our bodies for? What are our goals for strength, conditioning, body composition? Through what methods will we achieve this? In what time frame? This document that you create is one part of what we will call the Heroic Blueprint, and it will be built upon and expanded during this entire year as we explore other areas of the personal alchemical transformation. For now, keep it simple, a basic and brutal manifesto of your training goals. This will undergo some changes throughout the year, but it will act as an anchor to remind us why we are training, and a guideline for how we are training throughout the year.

This document is for you, and you alone- not to be posted on Instagram or flaunted on social media. This is your edict of strength, your touchstone of power, personal and living, maintaining its might in part through its secrecy and private nature. Too often, we leak our power by revealing its source, through our desire for recognition in all areas. Let your success speak to the strength of your conviction and hidden plans- let your actions ring out as you crush PR’s, burn adipose tissue and annihilate the competition via a fanatical dedication to your own command.

Second, we will embrace the simplicity of our existence and remove obstacle from our true goals by physically removing clutter from our lives. Throughout the month, we will walk through our abodes and headquarters with a critical and unmerciful eye, examining and evaluating the material objects we have accumulated.

Do they serve us? Do they provide a regular and steady benefit in our lives that is consonant with where we say we are trying to go? Or do they act as useless clutter, littering our physical space and our head space with their vestigial presence? Can it be done away with? Will we even miss it? You are the surgeon holding the scalpel, and often will find that there is a blurred line between process of elimination and the process of illumination.

Don’t fall into the trap of accumulating bullshit. In simplicity we find the burning truth. In deprivation, we find what really defines us- all the rest is merely detritus, slowly rotting on the garbage heap of the Great Modern Distraction. Over-consumption and the desire to fill every corner of our existence with comfort and distraction and trinket and toy is a dangerous and cancerous trap. Burn it all away and leave what is essential to your fiery being- all tools and weapons on the road of becoming.

Third, we will add a second page to the Heroic Blueprint, one we have discussed before. A simple list. On the left, we will jot down all those traits and characteristics that we view as essential to our understanding of the heroic archetype that we are seeking to embody. On the right, we will, with honesty and brutality, inscribe all those traits we currently contain within ourselves that we believe to be negative, unproductive, undesirable.

For the month of January, we will research this trait or characteristic, understand it, and attack it with precision and focus, using all resources and strategies available to us to overcome it. If we are having trouble controlling our temper, we will look to available resources to find strategies and techniques to master it, bring it under our control, make it work for us. If we lack discipline, we will discover tried and true methods to create habit, and use them in tandem with our Training Protocols in order to build a foundation for better discipline in the future.

It is step by step and deed by deed that we will build this Blueprint, and thereby, ourselves. I invite you to begin this alchemical process with us, and to join our efforts to constantly challenge and recreate ourselves as more complete individuals, engaging in the Total War to annihilate ourselves and reforge our stories and selves on the anvil of trial and ordeal. We call this alchemy Operation Werewolf!

92.

Posted on

Memento Mori

This article was written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

“Cattle die and kinsmen die,

thyself eke soon wilt die;

but fair fame will fade never,

I ween, for him who wins it.”

—“The Sayings of Hár,” stanza 76, Hollander translation

For those who fear it, the Death Wolf banner is a grim provocation and a bearer of ill intent. But for those who choose it as their standard, or even emblazon its image into their skin, it has a very different meaning. It is first and foremost a memento mori, a reminder that we all bear within us the heavy burden of our own mortality. This is a tradition that is often associated with world-rejecting religions, where the memento mori symbolizes the futility of earthly things and the transience of the flesh. More importantly, in the context of the Abrahamic faiths, it directs the seeker’s eyes to Heaven and to God, a reality that supersedes—but also de-values—the contingent world of mere matter. This is the significance of sites like the Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic, or the Capela dos Ossos in Portugal. One is also reminded of the Hermits of St. Paul (the “Brothers of Death”) or the ahl al-qubur (the “people of the graves”) in Islamic Sufism. In Buddhism, and especially Tibetan Buddhism with its magnificent kapalas and kanglings, ritual implements and imagery connected with death are used to suggest that this world is nothing more than māyā, an illusion. For us, however, the symbol of the death’s head inspires reflection of a different sort altogether. We do not seek a release from the striving and the struggles of existence, nor are we entranced by the promise of a Heavenly afterlife. On the contrary, death represents the outer limit that imbues this life with meaning. Like the anonymous author of the “Hávamál,” it is “the fame of a dead man’s deeds” that matter, and those deeds can only be achieved in the here and now. Because—as the silent testimony of the Totenwolf reminds us—death is coming.

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger is notoriously difficult to read. However, for those willing to make the effort, his writing serves as a sweeping critique of Western metaphysics, as well as providing a framework for understanding the decline of European civilization in terms that rival anything found in the works of Oswald Spengler or René Guénon. For readers who want to delve deeper into Heidegger’s ideas, Collin Cleary’s “Heidegger: An Introduction for Anti-Modernists” provides an excellent jumping-off point. Here, I will merely try to sketch out the significance of death for Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, and what this might mean for us.

In philosophical terms, ontology is the branch of metaphysics that deals with the question of Being-as-such. For Heidegger, the question concerning Being is the most important question of all. But what, exactly, does Heidegger mean when he talks about “Being?” We all encounter beings constantly (a chair, a man, a picture hanging on a wall); in fact, everything we experience in our everyday existence is a being that contains within itself the quality of Being. But Being itself cannot be a being (such as “God”), since Being necessarily precedes beings. Being, in Heidegger’s terms, is literally no-thing. All of this might seem hopelessly obscure, but what Heidegger really means when he talks about the Being of things is their meaningfulness. Heidegger does not deny that there is a reality that exists independently of human consciousness (Kant famously defined this as the noumenon or the thing-in-itself). But human beings (who are referred to as Dasein in Heidegger-ese) bestow Being on things by bringing them into presence meaningfully. In Heidegger’s terms, human beings are “the clearing” where the Being (or meaningfulness) of beings reveals itself.

For Heidegger, the error of Western metaphysics has been to paper over Dasein’s true role as “the clearing” or the “opened-ness” where Being comes to presence. In our own lives, we lose ourselves in idle chatter, mindless consumerism, and Facebook posts with our virtual friends, which all distract us from confronting this aspect (which is really the essence) of ourselves. But death is the force that can direct us back towards living in a more authentic manner. In the confrontation with death, and in the anxiety that this inspires, we are forced to experience our own groundless finitude. This, in turn, can compel us to live lives in which we resolutely embrace our nature as the clearing where meaning enters the world. It should be noted that Heidegger is not implying that living authentically means that we can make up “meanings” out of thin air (as a relativist might interpret him). In fact, it is our very nature as beings who will die that situates us within a world of specific possibilities, bounded by the horizon of our own mortality. These possibilities might include the situation of our birth, our family, our language, and our heritage as a part of a people (Volk). They will invariably color the way we bring Being into presence. Therefore, the summons to authenticity can be seen—in part—as an appeal to become who we are.

When Heidegger first published Being and Time in 1927, the idea that the confrontation with death is what can compel us to live authentically would have had a special resonance for his readers. Many were men who had survived the unparalleled brutality of World War I, and who were forever changed by the experience. Like the character Krebs in Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Soldier’s Home,” simply getting on with the hum-drum routines of work, friends, and family life was no longer an option after the violent upheavals of Soissons and the Argonne. But we do not necessarily need the experience of trench warfare to confront our own mortality (although to live fully, one must sometimes also live dangerously). In some cases, simple mindfulness of death may be enough. A recent article in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology by researchers who study Terror Management Theory (this is apparently a real thing, and not the name of a heavy metal band) found that when athletes were subjected to thoughts and images of death, their performance in competition measurably improved. Even subconsciously, this study seems to suggest, the realization that we are radically finite beings who will one day cease to exist is not just a cause for despair. It is the very impetus that can push us towards the things that matter most: engaging with our world in a meaningful way and building a legacy that will survive us.

Winter is an ideal time to reflect on these themes. In the north, the earth lies frozen under snow and ice and even here, below the Mason-Dixon line, the leaves have fallen from the trees and the foliage stands withered in the barren ground. The days grow short, and the nights grow long. In the starlit sky, one might even see Woden’s ghostly procession, the Wildes Heer, as it charges across the heavens. According to medieval folklore, witnessing this terrible spectacle was said to portend war, plague, or one’s own death. The truth, however, is that we hardly need a portent to tell us that we are all—sooner or later—going to die. Yet it is undoubtedly significant that Woden is not only a god of death, but also a god of inspiration. This is the mythic paradox that the memento mori might be said to invoke: death is a force that gives us meaning.

—Joshua Buckley

Posted on

The Techno-God

Written for Operation Werewolf by Paul Begadon/Megas Begadonos, author of “Unchaining the Titan.”

In his guest post  to the Operation Werewolf War Journal, Craig Williams talks about the modern tendency to spend huge amounts of our valuable time staring into the screens of our computers and smartphones, often to the detriment of the real personal relationships that we would be better off investing in. He says:

“One of the most common traits of modern times is the obsession with virtual “reality.” It’s not uncommon to see individuals grouped together ignoring one another gazing into their phones or laptops in a somnambulistic state blindly ignoring their surroundings, or one can even see individuals walking or driving while gazing into their phones in literal technological possession. What is it about the modern mind-set which seems obsessed with worshipping the Techno-God and ignoring vital human interaction?  Humans are literally willing to risk losing their lives as well as take the lives of others in order to gaze into a screen of virtual “reality.”  Is it any wonder that the harsh often brutal truths of life are feared, hidden or ignored?”

That phrase, “the Techno-God”, struck me as being a perfectly succinct description of our relationship to modern technology. We worship technology, and the convenience that it provides us, above all else. Modern humans will spend an hour or more texting someone or sending stupid videos on Snapchat, but they won’t walk (or even drive) twenty minutes down the road to actually meet that person face to face. We eagerly await the newest edition of the iPhone, knowing full well that it’s the same bullshit as the last edition. We gorge ourselves on box-sets and Netflix marathons, watching TV shows on our asses while we get fat and stupid. When I walk through any city or large town, I see gangs of young people with their heads dropped and their necks distorted into unnatural positions as they stare empty-eyed into the screens of their smartphones. When a new release of Call Of Duty comes out, people wait up all night to get into the stores early to buy it. Then they lock themselves away in their houses and pretend to be some kind of badass by diving into a virtual reality. A false reality.

The funny thing is; this is the new norm. What I’ve described is now so commonplace that even when I read it back to myself I am reminded of times where I have been sucked into the wasting rituals of techno-worship. The Cult of the Computer is now so prevalent that it transcends culture, nationality, race, religion, and age. You can walk through New York on a busy Saturday afternoon, or stroll through some shithole village in a supposedly impoverished Third World nation, and somebody there will be Instagramming pictures of their outfit. Old, young, brown, white, Jew, Gentile. Everyone is caught on The Web.

And that’s the perfect way to describe it. Like any web, the Internet traps those who are not resilient to its power, whilst some spindly predator waits in the shadows to devour you like the prey you are. The Internet, like any Web, is a tool. It connects, but it also binds. When its power is underestimated it binds you to itself and refuses to set you free. It is also so addictive that it only requires a very brief amount of exposure to get you hooked. I am not old, but I remember when nobody my own age had access to the Internet. I think I was 20 when I bought my first smartphone and I, like anyone else, was amazed at its power. Suddenly the collective knowledge of the entire human race was available to me through this tiny window that I could carry in my pocket. In the few years between then and now I have definitely noticed an increasing dependency on technology in my own thought processes. And I don’t like it.

Smartphone Addiction sounds absurd when you say the words. What normal human being would possibly allow themselves to become dependent on the dim blue light of a computer screen, right? But as absurd as it may sound, smartphone addiction is a real problem, and it’s a problem that we are probably all affected by. That seemingly innocent but slightly reassuring blue light from the screen of your phone, a window into the unlimited realms of knowledge available online, wields more power over your subconscious mind than you might realize. On a very basic level, we find the blue and white light of the screen to be immediately satisfying because of its resemblance to a clear sky. Prolonged exposure to the light of a smartphone screen fools your brain into releasing the same hormones that it releases on a beautiful clear day. The kind of day that we can no longer truly appreciate because we are too busy Instagramming about it.

I am acutely aware of the issues that can arise from overuse of technology, but even I sometimes find myself being sucked into the destructive cycle. This is how compelling it can be; that you fall for it even though you know it’s a problem. I often find myself wasting time doing pointless or procrastinating tasks online when I should be doing something better. An example of such an occasion for me might go something like this:

I’ve got an email. Better respond to it.

Done, one more task completed.

Better check my Facebook for any updates.

A comment on my latest article, better respond.

Done, another task completed.

Better check my Instagram while I’m at it.

Nothing new there, better get back to work.

Wait, have I got enough cash on hand for that thing this weekend?

Better check my bank balance.

Done, no problems with money.

Ok, back to work.

Wait, just got a killer idea for a new essay.

Better make a note of it.

Ok, I wrote six pages, I really should get back to work.

Wait, I’ve got another email…

It’s a strange feeling, when you catch yourself being drawn towards a shiny piece of elaborately constructed metal and plastic unknown to yourself. Whatever the psychological explanation might be, these trinkets of the Techno-God have the power to hook their tendrils into the soft pink matter of our brains and draw our attention away from what it should be focused upon.

Who is this “Techno-God” that undeniably wields such power over us? If you’ve read my work before you will know that I like to deal in archetypes. It’s a word that recurs throughout almost all of my writing. Personifying an important concept in the form of a well-constructed mytho-poetical metaphor, then using that personification to illustrate some valuable point, is essentially what I do every-time I write one of these essays. Where no readily formed archetype exists to serve as a symbolic representation of that important idea, I will create an archetype that fits my needs by welding together relevant symbols that have served my people well for centuries. As such, the Techno-God that Craig Williams and Paul Waggener have referred to in the past has both a name and a character in my mind, and that character is based on the Irish legend of Mogh Roth.

Mogh Roth was a powerful one-eyed (some say blind) druidic figure in Irish myth who could command some impressive powers. His name is roughly translated as meaning “Slave of the Wheel” and he was allegedly trained in the arts of Magic by none other than Simon Magus, rival of Saint Peter himself. From Simon he learned many mysteries which allowed him to manipulate lesser men as he saw fit. He possessed many technological marvels that would amaze even a modern engineer such as a Flying Chariot called Roath Ràmach, an ox-driven chariot which emitted its own light in darkness, and an indestructible shield that was star-speckled black with a shining silver rim. Almost like an iPhone in appearance. With the help of his daughter Tlachtga he also developed a number of artifacts which rendered anyone who touched them dead, anyone who saw them was blinded, and anyone who heard them was deafened.

We are told a number of impressive stories that solidify Mogh Roth’s status as someone who is better left alone rather than provoked. During the battle of Druim Dàmhgaire he causes a dried up river to burst its banks and overflow. He summons venomous serpents and eels to bind the limbs of his enemies, breaking their arms and biting their heads. He materializes howling dogs to distract or slay the opposing druids. He coughs up a turbulent black cloud which covers the battlefield to blind and confuse the warriors. Finally, he turns the enemies druids to stone. The king of the invading army, none other than Cormac Mac Art himself, is forced to surrender in the face of Mogh Roth’s overwhelming power.

“Tellers of tales shall relate

The woes of those whom it strikes;

Prostrate, it shall prostrate them;

In bonds it will bind them;

The bonds that it binds with

Like honeysuckle-twined tree.

Their assaults shall be stayed,

Their deeds shall all fail,

Their bodies shall be fodder for wolves

At the great ford of slaughter.

Even children will be able to take

Without combat, without conflict,

Their trophies and their heads.”

You might say “Yeah it’s a good story but what the hell has it got to do with technology?”

Mogh Roth is the personification of advanced knowledge and power. He is a druid, a worker of magic, which means he possesses understanding of forces that lesser men are amazed and confounded by. If we examine his characteristics we quickly realize that the powers he commands are essentially the same as the power that technology holds over us today. He causes dried up rivers to overflow and burst their banks. He summons venomous serpents and eels to bind the limbs of his enemies, breaking their arms and biting their heads. He materializes howling dogs to distract or slay the opposing druids. He coughs up a turbulent black cloud which covers the battlefield to blind and confuse the Warriors. He turns the enemy druids to stone.

Access to the internet, especially the omnipresence of internet access through mobile smartphones, has flooded us with more information than our tiny ape-brains can handle. Where once an education was reserved only for the elite and information was jealously guarded, it now washes over us in constant waves to the point that we are stupefied by it. Our awe in the face of what technology has to offer us often causes us to sink into degenerative cycles of indolence and inactivity. Much like the serpents (totems of dangerous knowledge in almost every tradition) that bind and break the limbs of Mogh Roth’s enemies, Facebook and Google and online gaming have distracted us to the point that we exist now as though we had no control of our bodies. Techno-worship leads to inactivity and inactivity makes us fat and weak and lazy, to the point that our limbs are essentially bound by serpentine bonds of indolence. Another hot topic in any discussion about The Web these days is Cyber-Bullying. The younger generation have become so crippled by the wasting influence of the Internet that they are emotionally and psychologically damaged by the words of total strangers that they have never met in person. Like the howling dogs of Mogh Roth, strangers from across the world now have a voice and the means to direct their whining opinions at us directly. Many men who should know better now find themselves being baited into emotionally charged arguments in online forums about trivial bullshit that serves only to distract and weaken us. After prolonged exposure to the draining effect of the so-called “Dark Side” of the Internet we may find our senses dulled and our psyche darkened, as though a black cloud has descended on us to blind and confuse us into a constant state of nothingness.

It’s clear to see that our love and dependency for the Techno-God’s trinkets have caused us to swell our minds with unimportant information, but also to ignore the demands of our bodies so that we exist now as over-informed docile infants. Mogh Roth’s magic has affected us so completely that we are now, like he is, Slaves of the Wheel.

Many of us walk around almost every day of our lives with a smartphone in our pocket or in a bag or somewhere within arms reach, and we often find ourselves drawn towards this small object. When you think about it, the smartphone is a magical object. It allows you access to potentially unlimited sources of information, and potentially unlimited sources of entertainment. But the downside of this magical object is that it also offers you potentially unlimited sources of distraction, and because we are subconsciously prone to distraction we find ourselves drawn towards the smartphone very often. You might find yourself checking Facebook on your phone every few minutes or every hour, or your emails or Instagram or whatever. But every moment that you spend staring into that screen is a moment that you have not invested in living a real life. If we assume that the key to living the most complete life possible is to be conscious and present in the moment whilst working towards some noble and fulfilling goal, then every moment that is spent distracted by your phone or computer is a bane to your existence and draws you away from pursuing the tasks that you should be pursuing. I would say if you find yourself checking your phone every few minutes or every hour, limit the time that you invest in Facebook and Instagram and other social media or email or looking up random bullshit. Limit the amount of the day that you invest into these distractions and do not useyour phone outside of those hours, except in case of some important task like looking up essential information. Curtail the amount of time you spend staring into that hollow blue light that emerges from your phone and spend more time enjoying your life, developing real relationships with real people in the real world, people that you can actually meet.

Pursue your goals, whatever they may be, with rabid unyielding dynamism, and invest your limited time into living a real human existence rather than a convenient but false technological cyber-existence. Technology, like Magic, exists as a useful but dangerous tool. If you keep your focus and avoid falling prey to its negative aspects, technology will revolutionize your work process and help you get to where you really want to be. But to truly make use of its power we must first shield ourselves against its poison.

December, 2016. Dublin.

Posted on

Who We Are

Operation Werewolf is made up of artists and rebels, outlaws, outcasts, free thinkers and fiery creators- big personalities, larger than life characters. Legends in the making. Those not content with scraps handed down to us from the tables of their corrupt masters, ravenous wolves looking to make their own kill, to feed ourselves fully on our own actions.

Wanderers and adventure seekers, looking to get at the marrow of life through experiencing all that this existence has to offer- lovers of travel and dialogue with the Self in the secret places of the world, throwing our shadow on the wall of some hidden cave, or hitting the throttle on a beat up and well used old motorcycle to see what’s over the next rise.

Deaf to the admonitions of those trapped in the grey world of shades, with their endless mantra of “be careful” and “you have to think realistically,” unaffected by the screaming and howling of those hungry dead who claw at the foundations of the structures the strong are building- fear of the unknown written all over their twisted faces.

Consumed by the NEED to make ourselves strong in the threefold way of body, mind and spirit, we hurl ourselves into this work with ferocity and fury, knowing that we are making ourselves ready for an age that is yet to come. It does not matter to us if this day comes while we are alive, or after our deaths, because we know that those who have made legends of themselves never truly die.

Most of all, we seek freedom. We know that in this world freedom comes at a price, and that price must be paid in green paper, or numbers scrolling down a digital readout. We understand that in this time and place, we have to re-imagine what our concept of freedom is-

it is the ability to have enough by your own hand that you do not need to be consumed by the concept of slaving for more from another’s.

In order to achieve this, we create things of value- art, ideas, writings, information, whatever our sharpened minds gravitate toward, and that value brings us value in return by those looking to see more of it. The men and women of Operation Werewolf are seeking this kind of freedom because they are creators- they are not looking to become creators in order to find this freedom.

We can see this backward attempt more than ever today, with everyone on social media posturing as an expert, each of them with some start-up business or another, looking to make their own fortune working for themselves, with one fatal flaw: they are only looking to make money, and avoid work, and they are producing nothing of true value.

The impassioned creator simply creates, and knows that his work has value and will bring him value back, in time. He has a fanatical devotion to the work itself, because he has no choice- it is who he is, and he is a vessel for the fire he channels in his work. Tattoo artists, strength coaches, custom car and motorcycle mechanics, painters, writers, teachers, even CEOs of large business- they can all be found in the ranks of Operation Werewolf. The thread common amongst them is they are their own master, and they became this way by being creators of honest and heartfelt work.

Each must find his own life’s work. The attainment of this knowledge is like a lightning bolt from heaven. From there, one must be a vessel for the work- like a prophet, speaking with the voice of God, for the fire that we speak of is the God of this Werewolf Legion. Pure flame, burning away all of our other distractions, all those things that don’t matter and never will.

Work is still ongoing on “The Werewolf Method.”
This alchemical treatise is a visual and verbal work designed to both stimulate the process of self-overcoming, as well as acting as map and compass for the dedicated seeker. A date cannot yet be set for release, but it is expected to be completed by Spring 2017.

Posted on

Not One Skin

Written by Paul Waggener

“In Norway and Iceland certain men were said to be eigi einhamir, not of one skin, an idea which had its roots in paganism. The full form of this strange superstition was, that men could take upon them other bodies, and the natures of those beings whose bodies they assumed. The second adopted shape was called by the same name as the original shape, hamr, and the expression made use of to designate the transition from one body to another, was at skipta hömum, or at hamaz; whilst the expedition made in the second form, was the hamför. By this transfiguration extraordinary powers were acquired; the natural strength of the individual was doubled, or quadrupled; he acquired the strengthof the beast in whose body he travelled, in addition to his own, and a man thus invigorated was called hamrammr…

Having assumed some bestial shape, the man who is eigi einhammr is only to be recognized by his eyes, which by no power can be changed. He then pursues his course, follows the instincts of the beast whose body he has taken, yet without quenching his own intelligence. He is able to do what the body of the animal can do, and do what he, as man, can do as well.” -Sabine Baring-Gould

The idea of transforming from man into beast is one that has held a deep place in the psyche of humanity worldwide since the dawn of time. Some of the oldest cave paintings in existence show animal-human hybrids, and the myths and stories of diverse peoples have told of men who could change their form, “leaping” from one to the next.

In the sagas and lore of the Germanic peoples, this was often accomplished with the aid of some kind of garment or skin, worn by men who were considered “shape changers,” sometimes synonymous with the overused term “berserker.”

It seems that nowadays everyone is a “viking,” and the use of symbols and terminologies has become nothing more than a cheap way to move product. I see endless graphics of sword wielding warriors and mead horns, branded with slogans like “DIE IN BATTLE AND GO TO VALHALLA,” often posted by individuals who look more ready to die of aggressive diabetes and go into a very large casket.

Because of this, I often wonder how deeply these myths and concepts are considered by the rank and file who are “culturally enriched,” it would seem, by a combination of bad heavy metal and a certain television show featuring male models swinging swords at one another.

At times, I have nearly succumbed to the desire to abandon any personal use of the myths and symbols of Northern Europe, due to their constant connection with groups that seem to oscillate only between the twinkie-feasting, “Odin came to me in a dream,” body acceptance, “all are one” crowd, and the “viking warlord,” Phil Anselmo lookalike types, throwing up their Sieg Heils to Odin.

At these times, it is important to remember: these symbols, myths and ideas do not belong to either crowd. They belong to those who are truly on the road of heroes, in any epoch or age. Glory hounds, warmongers, ecstatic creators of art and new legend. Those who identify with the Father of Runes not as a kindly, benevolent father in the sky nor as some hypostatic union of Hitler and Amon Amarth, but as a path to awe, a contract of fire and blood, a never-ending river of madness and inspiration that flows from someplace unseen, but felt.

To these few, the concept of hamramr can make itself clear as a shift, not in physical form, but in operating mode. It must be understood that the mythology is not to be taken literally, but to hint at greater truths that can be utilized by those with the eyes to see.

The ability to be whoever or whatever you need to be in any given situation is a powerful one. To shed one “skin” in favor of another when need arises, meeting the world with whatever mode best serves you at present, knowing your true self always, but flowing like water in action and methodology.

In the Poetic Edda, one of the many names by which Odin is known is Svipall, which has the meaning of “Ever-changing One,” or “Shape shifter.” In many of the surviving stories of him, we see him alter himself in character and seeming in order to have an advantage over others who are only able to simply “be themselves.”

How can we take this ancient myth of transformation and apply it to our lives ina vital way, and make the words “Eigi Einhamr” a powerful formula of strategy in this modern world?

Firstly, we empower ourselves in a massive way by understanding the simple and brutal truth that our honor binds us only within our peer group. That those without are not to be dealt with by the same rules as those on the “inner circle,” and can be met on the playing field with many different strategies that twist and undermine what our competitors believe the “rules” to be.

It is the height of naïveté to believe that others will operate under the same conception of honor and fair dealing that you do on a day to day level with those you have respect for. Whether we are talking about the ridiculous idea of a “fair fight” (which should only be engaged in during sport competition), social maneuvering, business dealings, or any other sort of “war” we wage, it must be known that rules are for breaking. The unexpected strike stabs deepest into the opponent’s vitals. War is for winning, and at the end of the day, it is victory that matters- all that surrounds it should be left to songs and stories, idealized or villainized by men who likely took no part in the winning or losing.

Secondly, we empower ourselves by casting aside the notion that we must remain unchanging: a pillar of stone, like a man with his feet encased in concrete block. Standing there against the ages, pitted and cragged by the winds of time, unwilling or unable to effectively flow and move with the situation.

We must be much more than this. Wanderers among the streams of consciousness, intrepid explorers on the frontier of the spiritual wilderness- one eye on our Wyrd at all times, seeing the weave made plain, each thread standing out to us as a potential cause or effect.

If we choose to meet each situation that may arise in our lives in exactly the same fashion, we will soon find ourselves outdone, outwitted and outmoded by better and smarter men. A simple example of how this “shift” can be seen in its everyday form: does one act and interact in the same fashion with competitive and brutal men as he does at home with his wife? At his son’s birthday party?
More than likely, you are already implementing this strategy on a basic level each and every day, as you slightly adjust your temperament, humor, emotional walls and so on as you flow between social groups both within and without your peer circle.

What we are talking about here is something like this, but on a more drastic and intentional scale. Being aware of these changes as they occur is the first step to understanding how they can be utilized to greater success in every area of life. Developing these different areas of self so that each one is as strong, as real, and as natural to you as the other, while retaining the sense of self identity that lies beneath is the path towards mastery.

By delving deeper into these concepts, we build a framework within which we can move and shift from one archetype to the next, with fluidity and artfulness. Who do we need to be, and why? Can we call up the beast when he is needed, and put him to rest when we are required to act as the tactful diplomat? Are we capable of moving from the violent savage to the loving husband, father, or son?

The road of the hero is one of mastery- of ourselves, of our surroundings, and of our methods and movements to achieve this. No stone should be left unturned in our search for greatness.

Posted on

Jiu Jitsu for the Kali Yuga

This article was written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

“Jiu-jitsu is a game of death.”—Eddie Bravo

The Kali Yuga is the age of dissolution. Whether or not you accept this as a higher truth, or simply as a mythic framework for understanding our existential situation, it would be difficult not to acknowledge that our current epoch is one in which the center no longer holds. The effects can be seen in the breakdown of every social, cultural, and political institution, and in the seeming impossibility of reversing the decay. On a deeper level, one senses that something far deeper has shifted; that we have become unmoored from the higher principles that provided sustenance to our ancestors. And indeed, the Kali Yuga can be seen as a time of godlessness. Perhaps, per Nietzsche, we have murdered God, or perhaps the gods have simply turned their backs and fled. Either way, the traditional routes to transcendence that worked for our ancestors may no longer work for us. We cannot turn away from this world when the gods have already turned away from us. Instead, we must dive down deep into the depths, to harness the spiritual energies hidden within the body. The martial arts provide an ideal vehicle to achieve this—to forge our Higher Selves with the tools appropriate for the Age of Iron.

There is a long tradition of imparting various spiritual qualities to the martial arts, especially when they are viewed within an initiatory context. This is exemplified by Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery but can be found as far back as Krishna’s exhortations to Arjuna on the battlefield in the Bhagavad Gita. This literature, and the philosophy that it represents, is especially relevant to those attempting to make sense of the Kali Yuga and the limitations and possibilities that it contains. I have been training as a jiu-jitsu practitioner for roughly fourteen years, and so I will limit my discussion to this particular martial art. Although I think jiu-jitsu is an excellent base for individual self-defense, it is not a complete fighting system, and it is not my purpose to argue whether or not it is superior to other styles. Neither is it my intention to tout my own abilities. My objective here is only to share a few of the insights I’ve gained from my training. If there is a specific advantage (in this context) to studying jiu-jitsu, it is that jiu-jitsu allows for consistent, high-intensity sparring against resisting opponents. Whatever lessons can be gleaned from this experience can be put to the test, again and again. The philosophical (and, I would argue, initiatory) aspects of jiu-jitsu are achieved through a synthesis of physical will and energy and what might be described as impersonal forces residing within the individual. This is the essence, or at least the rudimentary beginnings, of an approach to spiritual transformation that is still relevant in the Kali Yuga.

The first thing you will learn from training jiu-jitsu is that you are more, or less, than you think you are. One of the things jiu-jitsu players never get tired of saying is that there’s no place for “ego” in jiu-jitsu. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone who imagines that he’s a “bad ass” getting destroyed the first time he steps on the mat. Some people can’t handle the experience, and will give up almost immediately. Sparring will divest you of whatever illusions you have built up around yourself. (You will also quickly figure out that you can’t really judge other men simply by looking at them.) From this point on, you can begin to develop a renewed self-image that is more in line with reality. Just as you might discover that you aren’t capable of everything that you imagined you were, you will also begin to find that you are capable of things which might not have seemed possible at first. This is an essential aspect of initiation, whether you are seeking some esoteric Mystery or trying to make it through Marine Corps boot camp: you have to tear yourself down, before you can build yourself back up. However, this is a process that has no definite conclusion. No matter how hard you train, and no matter what your innate physical attributes are, there will always be someone better than you. This may be because they are more committed to training, or it might be that they are just more naturally gifted. You might also find yourself limited by factors beyond your control, such as age (at 42, I already find myself faltering against younger guys). For the purposes of self-overcoming and the forging of the Higher Self, none of this matters.

Technique prevails, when art and action are one. Jiu-jitsu (and especially “sport” jiu-jitsu) incorporates a bewildering array of techniques. This has given rise to its reputation as a particularly cerebral martial art, often described as a “game of human chess.” You will learn many, many techniques, and you may even learn them well enough that you can demonstrate them to other practitioners. However, you will find that the repertoire of techniques you can actually use in live sparring is far more limited. Some of this will be due to your own personal strengths and limitations; not every technique is suited to every practitioner. Even the techniques that you are able to make your own will require a huge amount of practice. There are positions and attacks I have drilled for years before I was able to successfully use them in a match. But here is the interesting part. Even if you have tried and failed to implement a technique in the past, the first time you hit it in live sparring, it will be yours, and you will very likely be able to rely on it from that point forward. You will internalize it to the extent that there is no gap between thinking about the technique and actually performing it. There is something truly magical about this. For those who experience its deeper meaning, it suggests the integration of intellect and action that is the hallmark of the fully actualized human being.

Closely related to this last point, but perhaps more difficult to understand, is the idea that you will achieve better results when you stop obsessing over outcomes. Just as your techniques must represent the simultaneous integration of action and will, your best fights will be those where you are able to operate almost unconsciously (readers of Herrigal will recall the Taoist concept of wu wei, or “acting without acting”). This doesn’t mean that you don’t fight to win. But as anyone who has ever tried to shoot a target can attest, the more you concentrate on the bull’s-eye, the harder it is to hit. Other athletes might describe this feeling as “flow” or being “in the zone.” In combat sports, this state is especially hard to achieve, because direct physical conflict is so stressful and emotionally loaded. In fact, it may take years before you can really spar this way, and it won’t happen every time. However, when it does, you may feel as if something beyond yourself is acting through you. This could be seen as a higher level of initiation. When Old Norse accounts describe the “berserker rage,” I believe that they are hinting at something similar. The wolf-warrior fights in a state of trance-like possession, and it is explicitly understood that what possesses him is nothing less than a god. In fact, the very name for this state of possession, wode (óðr), provides us with the name of the Allfather himself: Woden (Óðinn).

These are only a few preliminary remarks: real understanding will come only through putting in the work, and not from reading about it. Of course, similar insights can be gained from practicing other martial arts, or even from other sports requiring a high degree of discipline and sacrifice. The important thing is that we embrace the possibilities still open to us in an essentially fallen world: this is what Julius Evola would call “riding the tiger.” Very often this will involve a renewed emphasis on a conscious physicality. What the Kali Yuga dictates is that transcendence can no longer be consigned to the ethereal realms of pure intellect. The weapons of spiritual transformation must now resemble the weapons of war.

Posted on

The Ancestral Cult of the Dead

Photo by Marla W.

During this time of year, from the ancient pagan holiday of Samhain, now commonly called Halloween, to the celebration of the Wild Hunt and the beginnings of the Yule season in the north, Fall and Winter is a time associated with death.

Obviously, due to the changing of the seasons, such a connection is natural, and its origins can easily be guessed at, as the reaping season begins and harvest time is celebrated along with the shortening of days and the lengthening of the long and cold nights- it is a time of drawing inward, to our own communities and family units- a time for bonfires and feasting on the fruits we have sown earlier in the year, as our plans come into wholeness and produce sustenance.

The bonfire was said to light the pathway for the dead of our families to find their way back to us, to be present there in the shadows at the edges of the firelight, to once again take part in the festivities of their clan and kin.

Like every other holiday, our modern world has sunk its corporate claws deep into any soil it sees profit in, and cheapens it with mass marketing and empty plastic products, turning what was once a meaningful reminder of death and the dead into another vapid celebration of consumerism and mindless intoxication. Pop icons and slutty versions of childhood story characters generally rule the day, with bar and office parties and safe, pre-dusk walks through well policed neighborhoods for the kids to chase a diabetic sugar high have replaced the woodland fire festival and the solemn household remembrance ritual.

Our ancestors deserve better. We owe them our lives, our genetic makeup, and our unique blend of DNA. Bring back the forest revel, the masking rites of old, the mindful intoxication- drunk on the blood of beast and grape, faces covered in order to make ourselves a willing vessel for those spirits of the dead who would wander back to our fires, and breathe the cold fall air with our lungs- who would speak needful words with our tongues and be warmed with whiskey and music.

Use the day, and the season as one in which to truly give honor to them with your actions. Create household traditions with friends and family, or discover your people’s ancient practices, and make them green and living once more. Feel the power descended through them and into you, and dedicate a corner of the house to them, making offerings weekly or daily to keep them in mind, as you would like to be remembered and honored after your death. They are your strength, and you, the head of a spear, the very front droplet at the head of a rushing river of blood!

Only the obtuse or those without any sense of personal pride would confuse this with a call for some kind of ethnic supremacy or hatred. Just as a mother prefers and loves her own children more than other children, but could not be said to “hate” all other children that are not her own- so, too, our natural preference and pride in our own specific and unique ancestral line should be celebrated and given honor.

Use the day to lift heavy, to train savagely, to eat ferociously, to fuck and frenzy…because this day we also remember that they are dead- but we are not!

Hail the victorious dead.

Posted on

The Cowardice of Optimism

Written for Operation Werewolf by Craig Williams

What if I told you there was no hope, no solution? Would you continue to move forward? Would you continue to give life your all?  The modern world and the machinations of commercialism have trained the mind to expect something, to feel “entitled”, to repeat over and over “what’s in it for ME?” Regardless of what the advertising gods or Men’s Health magazines sell you, you are guaranteed NOTHING. The media-mind tells the exact opposite: everyone deserves everything. Life is marketed and sold as an accountant’s notebook taking inventory of what life is rewarding for all of your hard work; if something or someone is not returning a profit, it’s worthless and must be eliminated and replaced by a more profitable source.  This addiction to results and optimism based upon reward is rampant in the modern era and infects all aspects of life: friendship, spirituality, and physical training to name just a few areas wherein this commodification of life is reflected.

We can see this infection incubating in the environment of friendship. Individuals seek a profit from others, “what can they offer me?” or “if I do this, then they must do this”. We are trained to see friendship on a profit scale. Friendship is treated as a commodity and individuals are discarded if they do not return a profit or “entertain.” Is it any wonder why so few individuals today have true brotherhood? For the mature individual truly seeking to grow, the realm of friendship should be a sanctuary from the infections of the modern world. Ideally what we truly “gain” from the environment of brotherhood is presence, the resonance of another individual walking the path of life. This is not a profit or a gain, rather a rare experience of the Numinous manifesting in the flesh! If you seek true brotherhood and friendship, stop expecting to receive some type of payment from the people in your life. Rather seek to find individuals whose life expression or Elan Vital radiates into your own life expression and the harmonic resonance of this rare experience infuses the flesh and blood with a rare glimpse of the Cosmic Eternity. This reflection of presence can occur due to the environment of two individuals walking the path of life with passion, courage and fearlessness. These qualities become beacons of light in a dark world signaling to others on this unending path to connect and share experiences, the exact opposite of the modern commercial friendship based on gain and profit. Contemplate on this idea and watch your relationships shift and transform, some dying and some growing deeper, some revealing a new unseen depth.

The infection of profit also insidiously seeps into the realm of spirituality reflected in the expectation of results. The realm of the Gods becomes transformed into an ersatz marketplace which must “provide for us.” We can clearly see this disgusting expression with individuals obsessed with “prosperity rituals” and magic spells for money treating the Cosmic Mystery as a bank ignoring the fact that their lack is a result of their own ignorance and sloth. This is also reflected in the modern occult marketplace where “magical grimoires” are bought and sold to the highest bidder in an embarrassing game of spiritual materialism coated with the veneer of elite esoteric impotence. Our relationship to the Numinous is much like our relationship to our true brothers: we seek a shared experience or presence not a profit. The meaning of ritual is the literal creation of a sacred space and a sacred time outside of modernity; a shared experience of something beyond the modern world and modern conception of profit / loss economics. We must protect the environment of our spiritual praxis just as we protect the environment of our true friendships! Seek the Cosmic presence in spiritual experience and allow this to transform perspective and reveal the path of mystery, do not allow the spiritual realm to feed the modern ego in its quest for never-ending profit and gain. The only “thing” we can hope to gain from our spiritual practice is a deeper perspective outside of the influence of modern myopic illusion which can guide us in the often mysterious path of our lives.

We can even see this modern economic virus infect the world of physical expression / training.  Individuals seeking reward shop around for martial arts schools which “guarantee results” or “provide their money’s worth.” Very few individuals truly seek to deeply learn martial arts and allow the nuances and subtleties of traditional martial arts training to transform their minds / body. Some seek competition trophies while others seek belts as bragging rights; neither of these provide any help or assistance in a street fight. It’s not uncommon for students to become frustrated if the teacher or coach asks them to commit to a long-term plan or short-term study of basic ideas. When this occurs instead of an instant “pay off”, the student will often seek another teacher or another school which is more “profitable” or more likely to buffer their weak ego. This is much like seeking out friends who rather than challenge us to grow and transform, reinforce our status quo and become “yes men” to any idea or behavior. While we can be encouraged by seeing results from our hard work in the gym or dojo, we must also realize the subtle changes which happen over years of training without glorious results, without trophies, without rewards.

What if I told you there was no solution? How many times can I tell you to read the important books? To find a mentor?  To Challenge yourself? Few listen. The modern world has created the idea that there is always a solution for our problems, always an option, always a brighter age. I don’t believe there ever was a golden age nor ever will be a golden age. Yet what does this change?  For the average man this idea is depressing or pessimistic. Yet for the Rare Ones, nothing changes. The howling of the Soul echoes eternally within the flesh and blood of the few regardless of the profit of the age. The merciless path continues regardless of the outcome of the battle or the zeitgeist of the age. The Rare Ones play the dice game of Shiva regardless of a win or loss; there is no other choice but to continue the journey, glorious or not. The words of Oswald Spengler call out to us from the eternal past and remind us to continue our journey, seek our brothers and train our minds and bodies regardless of the “payback”:

“Only dreamers believe in ways out. Optimism is cowardice. We are born in this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue. To hold on like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died because they forgot to relieve him when Vesuvius erupted. That is greatness; that is to have race. This honorable end is the one thing that cannot be taken from Man.”

What if I told you there was no hope, no solution? Would you continue to wage the battle?  The Rare Ones are calling…………