As we enter into April, those who are walking this path are already entering into the second quarter of their year, adding discipline to discipline and creating a foundation of solidity from which their own work and myth will spring in time.
This time of year is also symbolic of new endeavors, new vistas to explore, and the time of year that many pagan peoples celebrated the concept of victory and conquest. As such, we will be embracing this idea, and putting some of what we have been focusing on to the test.
Firstly, we will begin by moving forward with our meditation into the practice of “Walking the Pathways of Fire,” Laid out in “Vakandibok.” It is dealt with in depth there, so we will not spend much time re-hashing that information here, except to say that this work will lay the base for what we will be working on with our mediation practices for the remainder of the year following. Practice with as much care and dedication as you would any of your training- benefits are only reaped from proper practice, not poorly executed repetition.
Second, in the spirit of sacrifice made to the gods of our ancestors, to give victory to those who kept faith/friendship, we will choose one of our pleasure habits (that is, activities engaged in specifically for enjoyment’s sake alone), and we will abstain from it for one month. The concept of sacrifice is one that for the modern man is less tied up with plant and livestock, and resonates for many on a deeper level when associated with time, pleasure, or habitual behavior abstained from as a holy act. In a practical sense as it pertains to conquest and victory, it is often the man who is willing to give up more to attain his prize that will win it. If we are unfamiliar with the concept of deliberately suffering for a higher cause, we will never unlock the inner strength that this practice contains. Choose something difficult, and bleed it out on the altar of discipline.
Third, we will choose one thing to compete in, and during the course of April, we will sign on for that competition. This can be anything from writing challenge, powerlifting meet, jiu jitsu tournament, boxing match, or foot-race with a friend. The format does not matter. The reason and intention for this is that too often we practice our skills in a vacuum where they go untested. By choosing to put ourselves on the line in competition, we will find truth and honesty with ourselves, and be better able to understand what we need to focus on.
The competition itself does not have to be done in April, merely signed up for, a concrete date with destiny laid down to inform the training with purpose. If you have become conformable competing in one arena, use this as a challenge to broaden your horizon and put another skill to the test. It is only through resistance that man becomes king, and lord over himself.
We look forward to a prosperous Spring season, and wish one for you all, filled with trial, ordeal, and the enflaming passion that only hard-won victory can produce.
Iron and Blood!