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Death and Loss: Creating the Tribal Cult of the Dead

Yesterday morning as I walked into my home gym area, I noticed that something was out of place. A wooden plaque, carved for me many years ago by my friend, that has made many journeys with me, lay there on the floor- quite a ways from where it should have been hanging across the room on the wall.

Picking it up, I turned it over in my hands, as I had done a hundred times before, and read its hand-painted face.

“Whereupon a river of everything-ness and nothing-ness flowed forth from my skull
bathing me in Pain and Wonder.
The screaming of silent songs unto a pale, morose, celestial orb:
Tide of time and way of world. :ALU ALU ALU:
Rending and ascension of mournful mind,
weighted heavily by bitter thoughts- signs to darkness and flesh.”

The whole piece is shot through with symbols and bindrunes, and refers to a shared experience the two of us had years ago, one I will never forget. The friend who made this gift for me died January 7th, 2016. I had known him since he was 15, and watched him grow up around the Wolves, prospect, patch in to our organization.

His death had a hard impact on all of my friends- we all had known him for a long time, and loved him very much. Seeing a young man who all considered to be a brother, as close as blood, die- life unrealized, full of potential that would never be made manifest, is a difficult thing.

He had done so much, but there was so much more undone.

A select few of us were allowed to view the body, to say words to him, and place a few items with him for his cremation. That day, and those moments are burned into my brain forever. The way his body looked, so unlike him, solemn, something not quite “right” about the way he was positioned.

I shed a lot of tears with my brothers that day, and exchanged stories, and stayed at the wake to play his favorite songs on the guitar for his mom and dad, and extended family.

At the wake. January 2016. At the wake. January 2016.

Some time later, we threw a show in his memory at Ulfheim, the Appalachian Wolves’ tribal property. His father attended, drank with us, and gave us ash and bone from the cremation to place inside a stone cairn at the foot of our altar- a piece of our little brother there, where he liked to be the most.

My brother Coyote and I began a tradition, to go down there in the dark when we spend time at the land together- we take down a drink for Njal, or some smoke, and we sit together and tell stories and play songs that he loved, and converse with him, because we know that in some way, he is there.

Easing sorrow with songs.    Easing sorrow with songs.

During one of these conversations, with my brothers Hjalti, Galdr, and Coyote, we discussed death, loss, grief and tradition within our tribe. Njal is the first of the Wolves to die in our time as a tribe, but we know there will be more.

The feeling of loss is sharp, and the grief at first is overwhelming. For the first few weeks after he died, there was a feeling of such unbelievable sorrow that had settled over the tribe, it was hard to see moving past it.

Slowly, as stories were told, toasts made at our ritual drinking rounds in his honor, and traditions began to spring up around his death, we could see that organically, the way we dealt with death and loss was making itself ritualized, and becoming part of the greater expression of tribal life. His name became a thing that meant something more than it did in life, and in many ways, his death had brought the brotherhood together closer than it was before.

Through this painful experience, the group of men who went through it together were different than they had been. We have laughed and cried together telling stories, and we imagine our brother there with us still, painted in the ritual ash, walking with his strange, crooked-footed walk, his big, larger than life presence there at the edge of the firelight.

The grief is now a “sweet sorrow,” softened by time, but despite the modern admonition, we have not “let go.” We choose to believe he is there with us- that he followed the silver sun placed in his coffin back home, so that he can sing those songs in the woods with us, and be spoken of as something more than a man. Through death, my brother has become an ideal, a concept of togetherness and shared pain, and fellowship so strong that it often hurts.

I paraphrase my brother Galdr, saying that, Valhalla and immortality are just a man’s greatest stories being told by the voices of his sons and brothers after his death.

Tribes like ours, and yours, who are reading this, owe it to their brothers to make a better thing of a man’s death than the modern world- tearful men and women around an expensive casket as it is lowered into the earth. Hushed voices at a wake, and a few stories over the years.

The cult of the dead should be alive in our tribes, vital and strong- because our friends, our brothers, fathers and sons will die. When they do, what will we make of them? Corpses in the earth, or legends? We should light the fires for them each year on the anniversary of their death, and sing their songs, tell their stories, laugh and cry for their passing- celebrate them as gone beyond a mere life and become a tribal hero, eternal.

What should the hero cult look like, when it honors those who have died? What will your rituals and traditions be surrounding these concepts? How will you ensure that these names live forever?

What better place to die than within a cult who holds the dead as living among them?

What better way to live than to make certain there are more stories about your life than can be easily be told?

Hail the dead, who have lived a life worth telling of.

-PW 92

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Jealousy and Envy

Here’s a friendly heads up and a reminder for all of you reading this right now who are taking no prisoners on your way to living a strength-filled life of purpose:

When you start to get stronger, more successful, wealthier, healthier, or better in any way- there is a certain type of individual who can’t stand it.

Any positive change you make, there is going to be someone who hates you for it. These people are ruled by resentment, jealousy and anger. Their life is driven by a feeling inadequacy, so their ego creates an external enemy in order to insulate them from the truth:

their only real enemy is THEM.

When they see someone doing more than they are, it creates a venom-release within them. This bile rises up and they spew their vitriolic poison anywhere they can do so, as long as they can do it safely and anonymously.

These people have many terms attributed to them- you’ve all seen them, right?

Internet warriors, keyboard cowboys. Trolls.

What they really are, though, truly, at their core- are cowards. Failures.

These are people who have not been able to succeed on their own at whatever it is they wanted to do in life, whoever they wanted to be, down in those places they were too embarrassed tell anyone about, and too pathetic to go out and achieve: Leaders. Ladies men. Charismatic. Wealthy. Successful. Muscular.

They couldn’t become this, because they are their own worst enemies. They couldn’t get it together enough to make it happen, for whatever reason. Lack of willpower, dedication, or intelligence.

They see others receiving praise that they want for themselves. Others leading people that they wished they could have led. Giving up habits that they never had the strength or determination to give up. Putting in sweat equity to look and feel the way they can only imagine. Making the money they desperately wish they had- and the venom rises, and they lash out.

With words.

They use the weakest possible formats available to them. Safe, anonymous, protected places in order to work their weak will from behind a mask against those who wear no such protection against the world, because they do not require it.

Their arguments against strength are always the same, and make their resentment transparent every time. If you are muscular and fit, they will call you vain, or vapid. If you are charismatic, they will call you a conman. If you are financially successful, they will call you greedy and unscrupulous. They will more than likely not use terms like this- their reckless anger and feelings of inferiority manifest in drooling, wild condemnations, and long, rambling outlines of all ways they feel you live life wrong.

Somehow they imagine that their petty words and verbal stone-throwing will result in some kind of change. They imagine that you, like them, are a coward, and that you will be swayed by their poorly spelled rhetoric. They think that those who support you will see their evidence, and come over to their side of things.

In reality, they don’t believe any of these things, truly. They know that their words are hollow. They know that no matter what they do, they cannot stop your meteoric rise to meeting challenge and overcoming it. Those who must crawl will always despise those with wings- this knowing of their own impotence is the very thing that makes them hate you so much in the first place.

You have, and are doing, everything they want to have and do. So they will hate.

If you find yourself falling into this trap of envy and jealousy and resentment, take a moment and consider:

Would you be better served by being jealous of someone with an enviable life, or viewing them as a teacher and yourself as a student who could be learning? Every successful person’s rise to where they are now can be seen as a puzzle, a narrative to untangle in order to see the patterns and steps that they took to get where they are now.

When I spend time with someone who has more success in the gym than I do, or has a business plan that I admire, or is a high level martial artist- it doesn’t evoke resentment from me. It evokes respect. Admiration. It makes me want to emulate whatever character trait they possessed or unlocked within themselves in order to be more like them in the ways that I wish I was.

I have taken to using the phrase “None Ascend Alone.” What I mean by this is that somewhere along the way, all of us modeled ourselves after someone else that we admired, or took advice from someone smarter than we were, or emulated an individual who had already achieved what we were looking for. Success and achievement does not happen in a vacuum, and within Operation Werewolf, I believe it is fostered through challenge and networking with people who are accomplished and live lives worthy of emulation.

Strong people admire and emulate, until they are admired and emulated.

Cowards resent, sabotage, and ultimately- fail.

View every day as an opportunity to learn, to improve, to succeed. Against the reckless hatred of lesser men, your success is the boiling oil poured down on their heads, from the high walls of the castle that is your utter indifference to their very existence.

Always remember: I’m pulling for you.


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The Golden Mean

Written for Operation Werewolf by Joshua Buckley

The Golden Mean

From Stoic philosophers like Epictetus to the Nordic wisdom-tradition embodied by the Hávamál, moderation has always been regarded as one of the pre-eminent virtues. This is also one of the main strands informing the modern American political tradition, as the talking heads never tire of reminding us. In U. S. elections, or so the popular narrative goes, the deciding votes will be cast by the “moderates,” while any form of “extremism” is to be avoided at all costs. The one exception seems to be the marketing industry, where everything apparently keeps getting more extreme, from extreme snack chips to extreme laundry detergents, to lite beer for people who engage in extreme sports like rollerblading and “freestyle scootering.” (Somehow, these activities are more extreme than conventional sports like football or boxing, where men routinely suffer traumatic brain injuries and are occasionally killed.)

Now it shouldn’t be surprising that the people in power like the idea of the political moderate, and are quick to condemn anything that might be construed as just a tad too far left or right of center. Their job security—and possibly their lives—depend on the idea that we will continue to be satisfied with the choices that they give us, and won’t get any uppity ideas about blowing up government buildings or murdering politicians Hamas-style. If you were part of the Establishment, I’m sure you’d feel the same way.

Moderation is also an ideal that many people try to live by in their personal lives, but this can be harder to achieve than one might expect. Recently, an overweight acquaintance told me about his efforts to lose weight while mindlessly nursing a soda. I gently suggested that drinking carbonated sugar-water might be part of his problem. On the contrary, he informed me, he’d reduced his soda consumption down to just a few cans per day, rather than drinking the stuff continuously like he had done since he was a kid. So, in effect, he was being moderate. This is like someone who prides himself on watching only a few hours of television at a time, since the average American adult watches almost forty hours each week (while simultaneously drinking Big Gulps, no doubt). By comparison, it’s a moderate amount of viewing. But if you contrast this with someone living in a traditional society, or to our ancestors—who managed to thrive in a completely unplugged and off-line world—it’s a staggering amount of wasted time. And wasted time = wasted life.

There are similar problems with trying to be politically moderate, since the goal-posts of political acceptability keep moving around, and anyone can find themselves “on the wrong side of history” in a matter of a few years or even weeks. Just a decade ago, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton opposed gay marriage, supporting some type of legally-recognized “domestic partnership” as an alternative. At the time, this seemed like a moderate position. Gay couples would get most of the legal benefits of traditional marriage, without violating what religious conservatives view as the sanctity of the institution. Today, anyone who opposes gay marriage for any reason will be shunned and ostracized from polite society. They will be branded an “extremist,” and, if they belong to a club or other civic organization that espouses similar views, they might even find themselves placed on a “Hate Map.” What might seem politically moderate today, could make you a Nazi tomorrow.

However, my point is not to argue against the idea that practicing moderation has value. As I mentioned at the outset, this is an idea with venerable roots, even if its true meaning has been obscured over time. The problem is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that is “moderate” about the modern world. It’s a comforting delusion to tell ourselves that “things have always been this way.” They haven’t. Modernity is unique. Much of this is attributable to the technological upheaval which began with the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century (or maybe even with the advent of agriculture, if you follow the anarcho-primitivist line of thinking espoused by men like John Zerzan), and has built upon itself exponentially ever since. This has radically changed every aspect of human life, from the way we eat, to the way we work, to the way we interact with one another. Cultural theorists like Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio have written extensively on how technology has colonized our capacities to think and imagine, and has re-shaped almost every facet of how we see and understand our world. Our ancestors may have faced more uncertainty about their health, or where their next meal was coming from. But they could be certain about one thing: that in its fundamental outlines, the life they were passing on to their children would be very much like the lives they had led themselves. For us, this is not the case. Somebody somewhere once made the point that we have less in common today with someone who lived a hundred years ago, than someone a hundred years ago had with someone who lived a thousand years before them. This “generation gap” is widening all the time, to the point where it might now more accurately be described as a generational chasm.

Moderation is conventionally defined as something like the median option between two extremes. But in the modern world, which is characterized by its hyper-extremity, what can this even mean? Is there a “moderate” position on replacing human beings with machines, or the complete extinction of the natural world, or the global displacement of human populations, or the erasure of every meaningful distinction of gender, and culture, and ethnicity?

We can still cultivate the virtue of moderation, but only if we take a long historical view. In practical terms, this means that we must become traditionalists. We don’t have to ride around in buggies like the Amish, or grow ZZ Top beards like the Taliban. Nor does being a traditionalist necessarily imply a fascination with folk costumes, or fiddle music, or growing your own food, or drinking mead (although these are all good things). For me, being a traditionalist means trying to think about things the way our ancestors did for thousands uponthousands of years, before the aberrant historical disruption that is modernity. Just as proponents of the Paleo Diet will tell you that our bodies have evolved to eat a certain way, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that our minds have evolved to think a certain way. And just as the modern diet creates men whose bodies are fat and flabby and weak, the modern way of thinking produces men with psyches similarly malformed. To be moderate in the modern world means that we must ignore the opinions and passing fancies of our contemporaries, and should look instead to the accumulated wisdom of the past. This is the only way to determine what “normal” really looks like. Edmund Burke described this traditional way of thinking—which represents true moderation—as “the democracy of the dead.”

Of course, none of this will gain you any friends among the living. Modernity is both a phenomenon and an ideology, and it brooks no dissent. Ironically, the man who tries to live according to principles which would have been considered timeless in any other historical epoch, may well find himself labelled an extremist by the standards (such as they are) of today. In the modern world, the wise man may appear as a thought criminal, the warrior will be branded an outlaw, and the shaman-priest will be counted among the mentally ill. Remember this when they chastise you for not being “moderate”—according to the terms that modernity itself has dictated. In the eyes of our ancestors, we are the moderate ones. It is everyone else who has gone insane.

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Discomfort Inoculation: Igniting the Inner Fire

In Yoga, there are 8 different pathways, or “limbs” that make up the various elements the yogi believes to be necessary for a strong practice. Within this eightfold blueprint of transformation, these limbs have their own branches, twigs and leaves that grow from them and hone down these bigger concepts into smaller sub-groups. Of these greater limbs, one is called Niyama, a sanskrit word that means “observance.” The five Niyamas are all connected in their own way, and of these, one is called Tapas- austerity.

The philosophy behind tapas is simple, minimalist, and beautiful- just like the lifestyle it calls for. At its core, tapas is about doing things that you don’t want to do, or not doing things that you do want to do, in order to create a positive impact on your life through the consistent practice of self discipline. It is not about torturing or harming oneself, but exercising control over ourselves, our habits and our desires in order to create a more highly functioning individual through mastering our relationship to passion, desire, and comfort.

I have adopted and adapted many elements of this concept into my life and utilize a three-fold method that I have taken to calling “Discomfort Inoculation.” One of my brothers has semi-joked with me before that I have the tendency to fetishize discomfort. In a way, he is not incorrect- for me, deliberately choosing minimalism, simplicity, and forcing myself to do things that I don’t necessarily want to do, but know will make me stronger or more focused, makes up a large part of the bedrock of my personal philosophy.

I have isolated and identified in this article three of the structures that form the architecture of my method: Solitude, Austerity and Trial. Together, they make up a foundation that I believe is crucial to the formation of a powerful, self controlled and self reliant individual.


“Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”

― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.”

― Aristotle

The importance of time spent alone cannot be overstated. In this day and age, we are constantly under bombardment from a thousand sources of stimulation at all times, and if one considers the elements of social media and technology use, we are almost never truly “alone.”

One of the reasons for this constant noise is for the individual to avoid this very thing- most people are both uncomfortable and disinterested in this solitary state, as there is nothing to do when we are in it but to explore the self and face the vast, tangled wilderness of the within.

The exploration of this wild frontier is a daunting and dangerous one, and its pay-off is not immediately visible or “shareable,” making it of seemingly limited value in this age of oversharing and premature enlightenment. It is easier to just quickly share a “meme” of the Buddha or the Dalai Llama with a quote beneath it, so that people know you are already enlightened.

For the intrepid, the internal exploration is a dark and endless journey and requires consistency and will. This makes time spent in solitude crucial, in order to become familiar with those deep, unknown places of ourselves, and to be able to take a critical and unattached look at our weaknesses, fears, inconsistencies and illusions- we absolutely cannot improve ourselves if we do not take the time to do this, and it must be done alone, in silence.

This involves taking the time to create a regular practice of meditation- my suggestions is to start simply, by waking up 5 minutes earlier than normal and starting the day in a quiet place of contemplation. Even this 5 minutes of self exploration and quiet before the madness of the day begins will have a positive impact on you as a human being, and allow you to build up a more in depth practice from there. Remember that starting is the important thing- we can always innovate later. Just pick a time and place an start doing it. Worry about the details as you go.

Solitude for longer periods of time has the other benefit of reducing chatter. The famous magician Aleister Crowley once said “The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter.” From the newspaper to the “newsfeed,” many of us have the bad habit of beginning our day by feeding the brain a mainline of sewage, chatter, useless words, garbage thoughts. Like a diet of sugar and trash, this will serve to make the mind sluggish, fat, weak and unhealthy. What we put into our brains matters, and when we open up the floodgates to the lowest common denominator of humanity in the form of too much social media, comments threads, television, or otherwise, we are washing the walls of the inner temple with the excrement of the masses. Instead of opening your day with this storm of negativity and chatter, take the time to instead create silence. To establish calm and inviolability. To strengthen the walls that keep out negative thoughts and patterns, and to give power to your own mantras and prayers instead.

Extended periods of solitude in the form of days, weeks, or months spent in retreat should be sought out as well, when possible, but even a weekend camping trip by oneself with the phone turned off can be a massive current of clean energy reintroduced into one’s life.


“You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

The word austerity derives from the Latin “austerus,” which translates as “severe.” It refers, in this case, to the concept outlined earlier, of self-discipline in the form of both living without the unnecessary and choosing those things which make us uncomfortable as a dedication to strength and self-mastery.

The meaning of austerity or tapas is not simply “discipline,” but “to burn.” It is a fervor for transcendence and transformation, quite literally a burning need to become more than we were. It becomes a conscious choice to limit ourselves or undergo some deprivation or hardship without complaint, emotion, or attachment in order to see what we are made of- how much control and mastery we have, and where our priorities lie.

We are offering something up as a blood sacrifice, a prayer to our higher selves in order to become that which we are meant to be, rather than what we exist as in the present time. We are acknowledging and giving ourselves wholly over to improving, to strengthening, and to overcoming our fear of discomfort, difficulty, pain, and adversity. Each time we undergo one of these austerities, we become more able to operate under stress, more capable of functioning at a high level in less than optimal conditions, and more in control of our selves- the masters of the temple.

This “severity” of praxis makes itself known even in our aesthetic and surroundings. Austerity includes the way we approach our personal possessions- a discarding of the unnecessary and the cluttered in favor of a streamlined, simple and minimal style. However, this severity does not mean we must be humorless and grim at all times- far from it! When we can strip away that which is not needed and that which does not add value to our lives, and isolate those things that truly matter to us, we can laugh easily, free from the stress of distraction and overstimulation, the jumble and disorder of too much everything. We remove this bedlam from our lives with the scalpel of austerity and create a singularity of existence and experience which allows us to live in the most effective way. Right action does not mean more effort in more directions- it means quality of effort in the correct direction.

Each day, we must ask ourselves, what is necessary for our highest value, and what is detracting from it? Both in our physical surroundings and the mental and emotional landscape, we are ready with torch in hand to create the fires of tapas and burn away the things that keep us bound to dissatisfaction and distraction.

We can begin with basic austerities- whether that means consistency in the gym, waking earlier for meditation, ice baths and cold water plunges, whatever- these discomfort inoculations lay the groundwork for other acts of devotion and fire, and allow us to start on the road to the high mountain of self mastery.


“War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free.” – Heraclitus

What follows in this section is taken from the working manuscript of my “Werewolf Method,” and appeared for the first time in the Reaver Training Protocol, available in e-book format on this website under the Equipment tab.

This life is war.

The entirety of an individual’s progression to the higher levels of self is based on the twin pillars of Trial and Ordeal.  It is from these principles that the triad of Physical, Mental and Spiritual strength are created.

These towering and awful monoliths are the altar upon which we sacrifice our lower self daily, in order to give everything we are now for everything we know we can become.

Without the trial of our developing abilities through resistance, experienced both internally and externally, there can be no honest assessment of ourselves and our progress, and without true ordeal, we cannot know how hot the inner fire burns, or if there is ash in a hearth that we thought burned brightly.

What differentiates the two is that a trial is something to be looked forward to, a real chance to pit oneself against some kind of resistance or opposition and overcome it. If he fails, he must reapply himself to his training and attain victory when his next opportunity arises. Trials come in a variety of forms and can be anything from a powerlifting meet to a street fight, a public dissertation or performance to martial arts competition. They are not to be confused simply with training, as all training and practice is, by its nature, done in preparation for trials or ordeals. Let’s clear something up now, while we are on the subject: physical training does not make you a martyr or a “lion”- just showing up to lift weights in order to look better naked is not some towering accomplishment. All across the world right now, soccer moms are waking up in the pre-dawn hours to run through a workout before loading the kids up for school. Your participation in what is for most essentially a hobby does not land you in the ranks of the immortals.

No, it is trial that makes legends of men. If you use that time spent in the gym to compete, to push yourself, break records held by those who exemplify the sport, and bring glory to yourself and those bound to you- then you are beginning to understand the great divide between entertainment and real trial. An amateur performs something, whether a writer or a martial artist, out of pleasure- he shows up and does the work when he “feels like it,” and does so largely out of a lesser form of self gratification that is not in itself a bad thing. Trial, however, is sought out by the strong for a satisfying feeling of true power when it is overcome. Those who seek trial put in the work day after day, with consistency and focus, in order to achieve greatness in their chosen fields. Not to simply write for enjoyment, but because he wants to master the craft and change lives. Not to carve wood or stone from a distracted place of occasional dabbling, but to bring images forth from the raw material that will outlive generations to come.

An ordeal, in contrast, is some heavy and almost always extremely painful experience, something that will push the individual to his absolute limit, where he will either endure the pressure to the end, coming through invariably transformed- or it will break him, possibly for good. No one necessarily goes looking for Ordeal- they will find you at various times throughout your life in diverse forms and threaten to crush you beneath their weight.

When they do so, it will be our fire built up from overcoming trial after trial that will save us from being extinguished. Our personal force has to become strong as we would build up a bonfire- from small stick to entire tree, one piece at a time until that fire is capable of consuming anything placed within its roaring heat. This fire, when it exists, is recognizable even to those who do not understand its source. For those who are initiated, and hear the call of this path themselves- they will know when they are in the presence of greatness.

Oftentimes, an inexperienced individual will mistake a trial for an ordeal. This usually comes from what has been termed a “victim mindset,” one of the greatest enemies of personal overcoming and empowerment that exists. A victim mindset always seeks to tell us that any resistance in our path, no matter how mundane, is “out to get us,” that the universe is somehow slanted against us. Usually, these same people exhibit poor decision making and extremely unproductive behavior with an emphasis on a lack of discipline and foresight, but blame all this on “bad luck,” or some other vague force that is holding them under its weight.

We see this in present day humans chronically blaming others for their lot in life due to oppression based on race, creed, orientation or otherwise, to the always popular “economic environment” argument for an individual’s poor decisions or ineffective lifestyle. These same individuals are the ones constantly shouting for equality, as though by throwing enough tantrums they will miraculously become “equals” in the eyes of those they believe to be oppressing them. Only the inferior strive for equality- those seeking to make more of themselves are not interested in the concept of egalitarianism or “fairness,” and reject that as a childish notion. In this life, we will have either what we can attain and hold for ourselves, or what those stronger than we are decide to allow us.

Getting caught up in victimization is something that we should be incredibly wary of and never tolerate in ourselves or those with whom we keep company. If we believe that we shape our own lives, as both the hammer, the anvil, and the material that lies on it, we have no time for such luxurious and poisonous self delusions. This is a way of sight and truth, and has no desire to assign blame elsewhere for our own failures. They belong to us and us alone, and should all be seen as either learning experiences to build from in the future, or false paths we have taken but are now wise enough to see for what they are.

Every individual who is working through this manual must absorb the concept that Trial and Ordeal are holy to us- sacred rituals that are also landmarks in this wild frontier of self creation. They are precious to us, both our victories and our failures, our great moments of pride and our depths of pain and suffering. These are the tools we hold dear, and our embrace of them is what ultimately will set us apart from the hollow ghosts who are content to live as slaves and victims.


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Porn and Football

Back by popular demand, this essay can be found in “The Complete Transmissions Volume 1” by Paul Waggener, available on this site.

Millions of people right now are glued to a screen watching their fantasies play out in front of them; toned, muscled bodies on camera performing just for them – sweating and grunting with exertion. The viewers are totally invested in the action, waiting with baited breath, their sweaty hands moist with anticipation of the main star making penetration…into the endzone.

This similarity between professional sports and porn does not end there – both take in billions of dollars each year, both create celebrity status for their participants which they use to market product, and both contribute to a sickness that is weakening (predominantly) males across the world. That sickness is mediation.

With sports, this is seen even in the language fans use to refer to their chosen team – “we,” “us,” words of identity, grouping themselves in with a team of humans they have never, and likely will never meet, who they roar support for in the coliseum, wear jerseys branded with their favorite players name and number, and debate endlessly with other fans about how good “our program is this year.” Sports fans participate in trivia nights at their local bars, citing endless statistic and minutiae – here’s a statistic: studies show that self-identifying sports fans are on average more unhealthy and in worse shape than those who are not.

The answer for this? Mediation. So much time spent sitting and watching others perform leads to a lack of desire to perform oneself. So too, with pornography – statistically, habitual pornography viewers are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction like ED, and have less grey matter in the brain areas related to sexual stimulation – like any drug, its continued use demands more and higher levels of stimulation in order to achieve the same levels of interest.

Observation instead of participation is the name of the game in the modern world. Video games, sports, pornography, movies, reality television, even the news – it can all lead systematically to becoming a “receiver” instead of a “sender,” which is, of course, what the leaders of Empire have in mind for you. If your switch is constantly set to “receive,” your brain becomes open, malleable, like a spongy mush ready to mop up and dribble out every bit of sewage they spill into it, an invertebrate fit only for couch-ridden outbursts of approval or dismay at “your” team’s escapades, “your” representatives political decisions, or to weakly leak out your pathetic seed as you savage yourself to another false representation of sexual contact between two slabs of painted meat slamming their surgically altered bodies together in feigned ecstasy.

This is not the life we were meant for: to wither or bloat like drowned corpses as the over-minds dangle pretty distractions in front of our milky eyes, working for our whip-holders for a pitiful wage or a massive sum, either way to be spent on frivolous trinkets or bourgeois comforts. We were meant to bite that hand that seeks to distract us! To tear free of that leash of mediation and docility, to rend the throats of those who would keep us in thrall!

Next time you sit down to play-off or jerk-off, consider what that time might be better spent doing – are you content to live in the cage that they’ve constructed for you, or would you rather bed down tonight after a real fight and a real fuck, with blood in your mouth, rebellion in your mind, and glory in your heart?

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This Is Only Temporary

All photos by Andrea Pagan

This weekend I had the honor of attending an Operation Werewolf event hosted by Leonardo of the “Dire Dogs” in the Venetian countryside. This was my second time as a guest in Europe, and just as before, every single mile and moment spent was one I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

To be present at the beginning of a new legend is a true privilege, and this is what I believe I was witness to in my time there. As someone who has been a member of a tribal organization for over a decade now, seeing these sparks roar to life as new tribes are built, new traditions are founded, and new members howl out their oaths to crew, gang and tribe around the fire beneath the bright moon takes me back to the beginnings of my own.

When the four founders of the Wolves (myself, my brother Matthias, and the Carnes brothers Sam and Nathan) decided to form our tribe some 11 years ago, it started from a tiny seed within which dwelt a vast and eternal need- to form a brotherhood that went beyond the bonds of the families we had been born into and to extend outward to men who we found worthy to speak an oath to. We wanted to create something legendary. For us, the need arose from its lack of existence- there was nothing in this world that we knew of that was like what we wanted to build.

From motorcycle club to esoteric order, there existed nothing that held both brotherhood and ritual, blood and earth, violence and love, loyalty and myth within its boundaries. Therefore, we set out to create it, and the Wolves were born. Oaths were conceived straight from the heart, and rituals were envisioned and enacted, growing and developing over years of practice and experience. Throughout the years, men have come and gone- those who have left our tribal boundaries have had their names erased from our histories, and those who have remained have grown in strength and character, and have had their actions spoken of and given honor to in countries all over the world by other strong men.

This is the soul of what we do. Our rites and rituals come not from the dusty pages of a book, to reconstruct what our ancestors have done, because we do not need to wonder what they would have done. We know what they would have done, now, here, in our time- because their voices sing and tremble through the blood in our veins, and their words have shattered the silence again. They have seen these new lands and this new age through our eyes, and breathed once more the cold night air with our lungs. There is no division between them, and us- just as there is no division between our gods and us. They are all living, inside our blood and hearts, and only those who have stood with us around the fire and shed their blood with us will ever know these truths.

Our greatest honor is to be remembered. To be spoken of by men who we respect, to have our names shouted to the night sky as others raise hands in salute of our deeds. This is because we know that all life is temporary, but that our deeds can live on forever- through the blood, through the stories of our lives as we weave them into the stories of others- and to do this so strongly and full of vitality that we are never forgotten.

And here’s the thing- those who always stay home are never remembered. As I walked onto the plane in Milan to return home to America, there was this little sticker on the wall, that read “This Is Only Temporary,” and the hairs on my neck stood up.

Images of the weekend flashed back through my mind, and I felt the shock up my arm as I punched Chris, a “Wuduwasa” prospect from England in the face during his “jump in” after ritual, saw the dark blood shining on his teeth in the moonlight. The buzz of the tattoo machine as I made tattoos with Tatiana’s machine, and the sound of laughter and fellowship around us. The overwhelming feeling of pride and honor in my heart to sing the ritual galdr with Marius from Norway’s “Ulvepels,” and Darko, the Serbian cannon-ball. 6 am conversations about truth, honor, and loyalty with Thorwald, Max, Svante.

Every time I see someone make the choice to stay home rather than to do whatever it takes to go forth and seek these experiences, these friendships worth crossing the oceans for, these times that will never be forgotten- I feel a brief and passing pity for them. Time is fleeting, and we will never be here again. This is all temporary. Only our legend will last- and in my life, every action is a prayer to send my names and the names of my brothers into eternity.


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Written for Operation Werewolf by Terence Mitchell

Every single day, throughout the day, we are faced with options; these are either soft options or hard options; and it’s our choice in the matter that determines our trajectory. It’s our choice wether we continue along our evolutionary paths toward a greater knowledge of self and exploration of potential via a revolution of spirit, or if we stagnate and further entrench ourselves within a quagmire of self-sabotage and self-deception, thus culminating in self-loathing.

Soft options are instantaneously gratifying; they petition to our perversities by appealing to our epicurean tastes, our shameless desire for comfort, ease, and first-world convenience. Soft options delay the inevitable; they hold us hostage to an ideal that cannot be maintained; they anchor us to an ideology that will eventually weigh us down and facilitate our demise. Soft options perpetuate that which we wish to overcome: addiction, apathy, obesity, disease, dependency, toxic relationships, eating disorders, and even personality disorders.

Soft options are weekend-long Netflix binges that offer zero value to our lives, and junk food binges that offer zero nutritional value to our bodies; they raise our cortisol levels, increase our estrogen, and lower our testosterone. They render us weak and incapable; they make us less than men by forcing to the surface that which is most deplorable in men.

But there exists another option, albeit a less popular one. An option that demands discipline; an option that is unwavering and thus unwilling to negotiate with resistance- an option whose only desire is to destroy it. One choice at a time. One day at a time. This is the hard option. And this is the option we must choose.

The hard option is choosing to live vigorously while the overwhelming majority live vicariously through the lives of other men and fictional characters. It’s the choice to move daily, without exception. It’s the choice to eat nourishing foods that heal and repair our bodies, despite the preparation required, and inconvenience thereof. It’s the choice to make the time to write down our thoughts and ideas so as to bring them into existence, and to read real books when it would be much easier to watch something mindless on TV.

Men are defined by the options they entertain. Hard options make harder, more resilient men; and it is these options that provide unlimited potential for physical, mental and spiritual growth, along with a deeper knowledge of Self. It is this knowing that leads to further doing; and so we do what we must.

We do this in the seemingly insignificant battles that belong to a greater war, fought in the dark and uncomfortable places- during the lonely hours while our loved ones sleep, and the rest of the world dreams.

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I- What are sigils?

Simply put, a sigil is a representation of a specific intention or concept given form in a symbolic way. This symbol is then used as a focal point for the mental energies, sometimes called the Will, or many other things in various schools of psychology or “magic,” as a kind of mental shorthand for a larger concept. In many ways, if we may use a modern technological term, the sigil is like a “zip file,” a small, condensed container inside which very large and complex information and data can be stored. The sigil helps us “access” these pieces of data through a lengthy process of association, in which we “charge” the sigils by using them for specific purposes and meditating on their given meanings until we begin to grow something from them that could almost be termed a personality. They start to take on a life of their own, in a way, and when we think of them after years of usage and connected experiences, they are heavy, filled with meaning and power, capable of jump starting our brain in certain directions, or pulling us immediately into a set “feeling” or type of perception.

In this way, our own personal sigils can be used for anything from meditation and calmness to summoning up the depths of mental or physical strength from deep within ourselves to apply when the situation calls for something extra. They can help us feel confident, or eliminate fear, bring us to a place of positive mood by connecting the sigil with those neurological pathways that we strengthen through repetitive use. For example, we might create a sigil that we bring into our mind’s eye and hold there every morning when we perform our private rituals of calm and strength- after months or years of this, when we simply bring the symbol into our mind, we are immediately flooded with all the associated time spent using this sigil in the aforementioned way.

I believe that the creation and repeated use of sigils can be used to great effect, and essentially gives us a toolbox of situation specific “gates” or “vehicles” that through continued work with and use of, will eventually act to take us immediately from one “mode” to another. I believe that this type of “magic” is very real, and can be quantified and proven through science, since we know that neurons adjust their activity in response to changes in environment, new situations, and so on, and that new pathways can not only be created in the brain in this way, but strengthened like a muscle. Effectively, I believe that sigils used in the way discussed in this piece can change the interaction in the brain in a real and tangible way, but that it must be done in the same fashion as changes in the musculature. Through dedication, discipline, and the slow and steady building of these “muscles” through correct exercise and proper nutrition, in this case, what we do with the brain, and what we feed the brain, both literally, through what we consume physically and with careful consideration to what we put into it via external stimulation and information.

Using this explanation, we could give modern examples of “profane/mundane” sigils as anything from corporate branding (BlueTooth technology even uses a sigil that is two runes combined together into one symbol, or “bindrune”), band logos, specialized artist signatures and so on. These are the “common,” everyday uses of sigils that we see around us in the world, and perhaps give little thought to- but how powerful or iconic is the Nike symbol, and what images does it convey when you think about it? How about the McDonald’s “M”? Do either of these evoke a feeling in you when you bring the image to mind? If so, it has functioned in some way to act as the sort of mental shorthand we are referring to, a simple set of lines that start a process in the mind in a specific direction- in this case, to concepts of athleticism and competition, or “food,” or whatever. Obviously, some may feel more drawn or repelled from these symbols and what they represent based around our specific and personal relationship to and experience of them- and this is what makes the creation of personal sigils a much “purer” and controllable form of this art.

In medieval magic, sigils were considered to be the true name of the angels and demons they represented- the knowledge of this true name or “total knowing” of the being in question giving the magician complete control over them. I think there is a truth that can be extracted from this, in that if we use the terms “concept, habit, thought process, mode” instead of “angel, seraphim, demon,” whatever, we can see that a full knowledge of them is needed in order to obtain control over them. We cannot control ourselves without self-knowledge that stems from deep contemplation, meditation, and a dedicated practice to creating ourselves in the image we see fit.

The more time we spend in contemplation of certain ideas with great scope and depth, the more “offshoots” are created, the more complex pathways our brain will go down in connection to them, almost like circuitry- we build these roadways with our thoughts, and connect them through experiencing these inner dialogues or by putting these ideas into practice and having “real life” images and situations plug into the core idea. This is how sigils are made powerful, going above and beyond the simplicity with which they are created and becoming living giants, “archangels” holding a fiery sword at the gates of our consciousness, operating at the speed of thought as our messengers and servants, if we know their true name.

II- The Creation of Sigils

The ways in which sigils can be created are myriad. We have historical examples of magical squares, or kamea, which use a square layout in which letters are paired with numbers in order to create a pattern on the square, then connected by lines which are used as the sigil. Modern so-called “chaos magicians” often use a method in which they spell out a specific intention such as “I AM STRONG AND HEALTHY,” and then remove all vowels from it, in this case forming “MSTRNGNDHLTHY.” They then remove “doubles” or multiples of the same letter, so now this becomes “MSTRNGDHLY.” These letters are finally used to create something similar to a “bindrune,” effectively weaving together the letters in an artistic or pleasing way to the individual and creating the final sigil.

Runic concepts can be used, as well as numeric ones. Other systems of “magic” or science can be pillaged for methods, and complex mathematics or binary could be applied. The point is, it will be personal to you. Your methods should be your own, in whatever way speaks to you the most- these will be your tools, and you want them to fit your hand, so to speak.

Most importantly, one must put in the time. Without time spent meditating on a specific intention before creatingthem, and then countless hours associating practice with the sigil itself, whatever you create will just be lines on paper. Inert, devoid of any true depth or use, no matter how beautiful or complex the art is. Certainly, the creation of nice art is an end goal by itself, but in this case, we are creating something much bigger, and our aim is not “just for nice.” In the words of a heavy hitter, “Success is your only proof.” No matter what, these are intended to do a job. They cannot do the job if you do not grow them through constant use and application.

Provided here are two of my own, which you are welcome to use, as well as dissect in order to better understand my process for creating symbols of specific intent. Understand that you can absolutely use another person’s tools, and use them to great effect, but only if you refer back to the last paragraph, and put in the time to make them your own. No matter how powerful they are to me, or how effective they are, for you, they are only a starting place- lines of potential, connected to some ideas I will share with you in order to begin the germination process. I hope that should you choose to use them, they spread their wings and become mighty, to function one day like the push of a button or the pull of a trigger.

If the following explanations seem “too complex,” or filled with language or references that seem deliberately obstructed, understand that these symbols are created with the entirety of my experience and relationship to runic ideas, numeric concepts, visual representations of ideas, places, times, and “separate realities.” They are provided here as reference material, and for you to get a grasp on how my process works- but also to potentially spur you toward the “unlocking” of them through study and use.


At its core, the Igniter sigil is a spark plug. By design, it looks like a spark plug, even, and this is to reinforce its intended use even on the visual level. The intention of the Igniter Sigil is to act as Day-Opener, Power From Heaven, Expansion of the Holy Fire. It is the spark at the beginning of consciousness, that which awakens and turns the fuel within the mind into the fires of combustion and directed action.

At the top, a stylized :FEHU: rune, the receiver of the spark from our higher consciousness, our higher self, that is, who we are at the peak of our human potential. The concept of our personal god, or God Himself, if you like.

The next line down on the sigil is visual, and represents power drawing down the central axis, or our spine, and being pulled toward the next set of processes, like gasoline moves from the tank to the carburetor to the cylinder.

Following this is an indicator of “expansive expression under load” (from my notes on the sigil), power under pressure going outwards on ahorizontal line which represents the plane of existence, or “that which is becoming.” A concept of will under direction, and active force.

Now comes a numeric cipher, the 2 hashmarks on each side representing :URUZ: numerically, together all 4 indicate :ANSUZ:, and visually, they are bound to the ninth rune :HAGALAZ:, pictured here as a bind rune of :U: and :H: from the younger Futhark. We have here the combined forms of Primal Might, Elevated Consciousness and The Cosmic Seed, taken together to indicate a powerful wholeness, a streamlined process of deep power, understood and applied toward the act of self creation.

Three more smaller “pulling” lines, a refinement, a distillation of what has gone before, 3/:THURISAZ: Focus, making one thing from many- a perfect, monomolecular point of the “thorn.”

At the bottom of the stave/sigil, the triple :TIWAZ:. This is the “crown” of the sigil, and the “root.” Direction, mastery, dedication. All systems go, the direction known, mastery the goal, dedication the only way to achieve.


For me, ritual is an important time to reconnect to not only that which has gone before, but to those things that live inside me, brought out only at times and places when their expression is needful. At ritual for my tribe, I speak words of power and sing songs of strength to make my brothers more powerful- in order to do this without preparation, notes, or memorization of any kind, my mental state must sink into the depths and pull from the source at the heart of all things.

The sigil is, again, visual, and represents the “magician/tribal leader/shaman” whatever word you use. He is standing with his arms extended out from his body, hands describing the :YR: rune, arms the :T:,  the correlation between life, death and sacrifice, with the altar before him. This central, curving line also indicates the burial mound, or the grave stone.

Beneath it is the crossed bones of the mighty dead, all those men of power and legend that have gone before. It is also :GEBO: the X of exchange, the crossroads between this world and the other.

Above us, around us and within us resonates the sacred note of the eternal- that which transcends and calls on us to become the stuff of legend- the sigil’s “head” is a triple :TIWAZ: rune, also indicating direction, vibration, this sacred note moving through the octaves, forever.

Beneath our feet, within our veins, and in the deep recesses of the hidden places are the bones and blood and words of the dead; still there, speaking the sudden intuition, the quick flash of inspiration, the knowledge that we stand on the deeds of dead men. At the bottom of the stave is another :T: rune, bringing the total number in the sigil to 5, :R:, movement in the right direction, but also a quickening, a hint toward the “necromantic” use of the :T: rune, to bring the dead to life and speak with them.

The ritual experience brings our consciousness in line with this resonating note earlier mentioned, and an ecstatic state is reached where those dead ones, not gone, may speak agin with our tongues and see again with our eyes. This experience lights fires, illuminates, and removes the fear of death.




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The Eleven Pathways.

As many of you know, I have spent the last month on the back of a motorcycle, traveling, writing, and absorbing a lot of experiences. During that journey, although much of my writing was aimed at a specific project, I had a great deal of raw time to simply think.

In a lot of ways, this trip was like a monastic retreat, and on all those thousands of miles, the mind wanders down myriad pathways. As I prepare to put out the Complete Transmissions Volume 2, I wanted to get down on paper some of the thoughts I had while I was out there, although most of this will be contained within what is tentatively being called “Book 4.”

Book 4 will be equal parts travelogue, introspective, and grimoire, and has been one of the most rewarding pieces of writing I have done to date. In the meantime, here is the third installment in an ongoing series of articles I have done for Operation Werewolf. I call the following list,

“The Eleven Pathways,” and I believe that by following these rules, one can avoid many of the pitfalls of modern life, especially the directionless or unmotivated existence that befalls so many.

I hope you will find them useful, and be able to apply them in your own greater mission.


At the end of the day, the only thing that truly belongs to us is us. But what makes us who we are? What is it that defines us as humans? I recently had a long discussion with my friend and brother Jack Donovan regarding this concept, and the idea that only by creating do we actually become.

We can only be known to others by our body of work, and we can only make something of ourselves by making something in general. Those who do not produce merely consume, and those who do not build up are only capable of tearing down.

We must realize this and begin to understand our lives as a cross section of our body of work, whatever that may be. Consider the difference between an artisan who can be known by his blacksmithing, or a carpenter whose houses stand for hundreds of years, as opposed to someone who is known by 16 vapid posts a day on social media. Who is creating something lasting, something of value?

Once we begin to think in this fashion, we can “start the world,” so to speak, and begin cultivating, maintaining, and protecting that body of work which we present to the rest of the world. One of the ways in which this is done is by maintaining dignity. This word is one that I hear very little in this day and age, but its meaning is “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.”

When we engage with the outside world, we should do so with consideration to how we are presenting ourselves at all times, and to ensure we are doing so with dignity. Allowing ourselves to be physically unkempt, lacking discipline, becoming obese or frail, all damages not only our own dignity, but that of our peers and families.

Showing the world the inner workings and problems of your personal relationships, airing dirty laundry on the internet or other public forum, being drunk and obnoxious- all of these sorts of things work against our dignity. That dignity and respect is something that we can only damage so much before it becomes irreparable- we must view it as a priceless thing, to be manicured, upkept, fed, and cared for as we would a prize horse. It is all we have with which to work.


I have heard people say “I don’t have the time,” so many times, I don’t have the time to hear it one more time. Mostly in relation to exercise or some other type of training, but also to many other endeavors, as in, “I’d love to do that one day, but I never have the time.”

Usually, this is complete and total bullshit. In a recent example a friend of mine was encouraging an acquaintance of his to take up jiu jitsu, to which the individual replied with the above excuse. The guy in question is single, works a normal nine to five, and has no children. My friend is a husband, a father, owns his own business, is in the process of building his own house, and still manages to practice “the bloodless art” at 6 am each day, and often makes time in the evening as well, and this is the key: time isn’t infinite, it must be allocated.

Everything we choose to do is at the cost of every other thing we didn’t. This means that all endeavors come at the sacrifice of every single other action that wasn’t performed instead- this makes time a precious resource and one that we must spend wisely and budget with intention and discipline!

Instead of saying we don’t have time, we should be honest and say “I don’t care enough about that or don’t have the discipline required to sacrifice other, more attractive things in order to make the space in my life for it.”

Those who want to conquer the world must first conquer their own schedule. If something is important, sacrifice for it. Cut out things that are less important, and watch the sacrifice “buy you more time.” Understand the meaning of sacrifice in a direct way, and utilize it as a tool to bring more meaning into your life.


When you set sights on your life mission, your Great Work, it must consume you. The mission must be all encompassing, all important. You must love it enough to never burn out or fade away.

In this life, you can either do what you want to do, and follow your dreams, or you can take orders and make someone else’s dreams a reality.

If you choose to be your own master, you can never lose focus of this- all of your actions and decisions must become consonant with this and constant as well. You have to become obsessed with your goals, and reject anything, any relationship, any concept that stands in the way or detracts from this.

To do anything else is to attempt to serve two masters. If you cannot maintain your own mission, at least be a good soldier in a better man’s- I would rather be an excellent second than a terrible first.


Planning is good, overplanning is the worst. Often, I have seen good ideas derailed by two things: overplanning and over-talking. Overplanning becomes a Gordian knot of worry, too much detail and specificity, and ultimately can lead to never beginning the endeavor at all. Best to get started and maintain fluidity than to never start. The best time to do something is always right now.

The second enemy is too much talking. When we talk too much about an action before we have launched into it, we crack open the container- we lose explosive force, like a motor with a crack in the cylinder, there is no compression because we have let it out too early.

Knowing when to keep things to yourself to generate more force and fire, and when to crack it open and unleash it is key to getting things done.


An iron will trumps a brilliant mind. It may be best to have both, but determination and the ability to be tireless is better than a rapid fire intelligence. Both can be cultivated to a degree, but the will is more receptive to improvement than the brain.

Set yourself up for success by taking on challenges both great and small and seeing them through to the end. If you can set this idea of always getting through to the finish line with everything in life, you will be able to outwork those who may be smarter than you but less capable of pursuing the kill over hill and dale, inexhaustible, like a blood hound.

Break habits, work out, get up early, take cold showers, defeat your fears. All these things lead to an increase in the willpower which will serve you time and again. One good idea in the hands of the tireless is better than a thousand million dollar ones in the hands of the chronic quitter.


If you want to be popular, be popular- take care that you say nothing wrong, do nothing wrong, and spend no time with people who say and do things that are “unpopular,” and always be aware of the moving goalposts that determine this.

Cultivate within yourself the thirst for acknowledgement from all and sundry, and make statements often that are applaudable and very safe. Seek out friendships that are based on a mutual need for recognition and acceptance by the largest amount of people, and carefully watch what people are saying about you, in order to apologize or correct your behavior wherever necessary so that it falls in line with what the in crowd wants from you.

Never tie yourself to any belief, but maintain an ironic aloofness from anything too serious- being serious and unironic is a sign of conviction, and conviction is dangerous! Try to change what you do and like and listen to and wear as often as needs be to keep abreast of what new fads are going on around you, and spend a lot of your time on educating yourself on these things by watching TV, listening to popular music and feeling out the current narrative you need to uphold.

Alternatively, you can seek real power.

You can say what you feel, when it is appropriate, or keep your motives hidden, when it serves you best.

Spend time with powerful people who motivate you and educate you.

Disregard the moving goalposts and ever changing scenery and laws of political correctness and blaze your own trail. Associate with outlaws.

Cast aside the need for respect or love from those you do not respect or love.

Ignore what people say about you, and instead, be the best at what you do and allow your work to speak for itself.

Choose your convictions carefully, and then adhere to them with an iron will and a heart of fire. Never let down your peer group, and never surrender to the narrative of the day- create your own mythology and live it.


Place the same attention on the within as the without. We must thoroughly know ourselves honestly, and without guile or self deception. In order to do this, we must make the time for it.

We have to explore our negative attributes and work toward fixing them, or turning our devils into our servants by making our weaknesses into strengths.

Mostly, we must turn a merciless gaze inward and never accept from ourselves what we would not accept from anyone else. Be honest. Be ruthless, and be consistent.

Know yourself.


Before you put something into your body or mind, ask “why?”

The things we consume are absorbed into our person, our physical form, our personality- avoid poisoning yourself with useless trash, and put in high octane instead.

The same goes for our output- before we speak, do, or punch the “enter” key on that comment, post, text, whatever- ask yourself WHY? Does this serve a positive function that is consonant with the Mission, or is it a frivolous act with no true purpose or motivation?

Take in quality, become quality, produce quality.


When it comes to figuring out “what you should do with your life,” the most obvious answer is the correct one. Don’t agonize over what the “right thing” is. You already know it, you are more than likely just avoiding it because it seems too obvious.

The same goes for people, places, things. The more you put in quality, the more tight the filter becomes, the more you can trust your worldview and instinct, until you naturally choose the consonant thing every time.

Remember the mission at all times, and act in accordance.


A commonly repeated quote from Bruce Lee, it bears repeating and remembering.

Rigidity doesn’t often work for a battle plan as well as fluidity because it doesn’t account for change in the movements on the battlefield. Strategy leads to success- rigid planning doesn’t.

We have to leave ourselves the option of flow, and to know when to adhere to the plan or to go off course and move like water, acting in the best way possible for the current situation.

What makes or breaks a good leader is their ability to act under pressure in adverse conditions. When water is placed into anything, it flows, it fills, it occupies space, and makes itself fit into the situation, knowing where to go and how.



In your life, you must be the commander of your destiny, not its lieutenant. There are times when the previous rule must be abandoned in favor of a hard approach.

Knowing the difference between the need for flow and the need for violent refusal to go with that flow is crucial. Sometimes we must remain like the oak, and resist with everything we have, in order to not be swept away- our conviction and loyalty to ourselves and our chosen peers must be monolithic, immovable, unbreakable, eternal.



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At times, for many of us, the modern world and its population density, neon trappings and sonic surroundings can leave us cold- feeling empty, “drained,” or beaten down. Even for those who dwell in a rural or semi-rural environment, the stagnation of daily schedule and lack of movement can create and reinforce this same feeling. When we are in stasis, it can be difficult to break out of a static mindset and back into a place where creativity and strength flow from the deepest wells of spirit.

The cure for this is physical motion produced by a journey into the unknown.

These retreats into the wilderness are often necessary for the would-be man of power in this day and age- a medicine journey out on the perimeter of populace and consciousness.
Restoring the strength and energy that has been leeched from him in this world of hungry ghosts. To silence the constant noise of the day to day world around him- his responsibilities to tribe and training can at times overwhelm and require separation- and to disconnect for a while from the constant technological bombardment that assaults his senses and fragments his focus.

In his excellent latest work, “Entering the Desert,” author Craig Williams writes:

“Upon entering the desert, one does not have the luxury of possessions or excuses, the praxis must be efficient and sustained. The modern world prizes the “more,” the desert demands the minimal. The journey into the Soul is a pathway into the Sun, burning away all the dross and obfuscations of the temporary and mundane, in an alchemical combustion. The journey into the inner desert exposes the spiritual nomad to this radioactive black light and demands the abandonment of all except the elemental.”

Mr. Williams is speaking here about a metaphysical journey into the unknown realms of the internal, but his methodology and reason is applicable in the physical world as well. When we take a spiritual expedition in the “real world,” our external actions combine with our internal intention and creates this alchemical process of change, both within and without, on a deeper and more connected level than when we choose one or the other.

It is my suggestion that the physical journey be combined with the metaphysical one in a modern day expression of pilgrimage. We choose our destination (or lack of one) with purpose, and experience each mile not as a simple a distance marker to be rushed through on the way to a definable “end of the trail,” but as a drop of blood in the sacrificial act of ritual motion.

As we move by foot, by motorcycle, vehicle or other means, our souls unshackle the weight of the mundane piece by piece- our daily lives left behind for a time in order to once again discover and feed the burning flames at the center of our being.

A holy wanderlust, a time in the desert, given over to silence and self-examination, punctuated by periods of the Dionysian ecstasy, a re-feeding of our joy to live as we taste from life’s hidden waters and turn it to wine with our will.

This pilgrimage can be done in many ways, but should perhaps follow a few essential rules:

It should be for longer than three days. The weekend camping trip can be enough to top off the energy stores and make one “feel better,” but for it to truly be a withdrawal and a reset, it needs to be longer than that.
One must allow the mind to fully decompress without thinking about the return journey, and embed itself in the present; a long enough timeframe to not think about its own termination. It also requires forethought and planning, a mapping out of both where one will go in this mundane realm, and where he will look to go in the frontiers of the spirit.

It should center around the natural world, or involve another kind of wilderness, that of the      unknown. This can mean a new city, a never before visited country, or simply the green cathedral of the deep woods. I personally prefer a combination of both, and believe that motorcycle camping gives both time and space to effectively isolate the mind and spirit, not to mention the “vehicle zen” that comes from a long time spent on the back of a bike, feeling the strange connection between man and machine, mind and motor. Those who do not ride a motorcycle can just as easily go by vehicle, bicycle, or on foot- there is no one pilgrimage, and there is no one way to set out.

It can certainly be done with friends, fellow pilgrims on the road to salvation, but ideally only a very few, and those companions should be aware of the reasoning behind the journey, so they give enough space and silence especially in the evening to facilitate internal work, and walking the pathways within.

Technologies should be limited to certain times of the day, and otherwise kept off. The distraction produced by mindlessly surfing the internet or social media is anathema to exploring the massive vistas within. External chatter should be reduced and time given over by all pilgrims to reflection during the wayfaring.

Again, from Craig Williams:

“The mind and body are constantly bombarded by external stimuli, which, in the modern world are typically represented by artificiality: artificial light, artificial sound, artificial smell, artificial touch. All of these artificial stimuli feed into the visual cortex, brain and nervous system on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons mystics of the past sought to escape the so-called “civilized” to find solace in the forest or desert. Yet this was not to escape the “human experience,” but rather to enhance it!”

The spiritual pilgrimage will take you through the kaleidoscope of civilization and wilderness; from gas station to ghost town, inner city, open range, concrete chaos to campsite. The roar of the motor or the sound of the wind acts as a relentless mantra of emptiness and openness, driving out thoughts of the mundane and banal, or allowing them to arise and be destroyed by its single heavy note.

On the road, you will meet people and go places that you never would have a reason to otherwise- seeing all those strange lines and legends on the map come to life in the worn out face of a truck driver under the harsh light as you fill up your tank. Exchanging a glance and a look of understanding with another traveler who might be out here for the same reason as you, or having a beer at a nameless campground while you stare up into the stars and let the awe overwhelm you.

The inner terrain, too, will begin to open itself to you as time goes by in stillness and reflection, both during the movement and in the times between, where the engine or the rain can still be heard like a phantom echo. Memories will rise up out of the unconscious sharp and vivid while you rinse off in a mountain stream somewhere, a conversation long forgotten, suddenly remembered and brought back into the present.

At journey’s end, we may find ourselves looking into a dusty mirror and seeing a different set of eyes staring back at us than we are used to. Our long sojourn on the path to awakening never ends, and on the map that shows us the self within, there are no edges. I hope you find what you are looking for- just remember: in order to find it, you have to actually look.