One with Nature, Silence
Natural Law and Life
as an Egalitarian Community
This website is dedicated to one of my heavenly lineages – the Ancient Spartans and to one of my earthly lineages - the Ancient Vikings of Norway and Iceland. Since I was a young teenager, I’ve always considered the Spartans and Vikings (and throw in the Zulus) as the ultimate warrior cultures. The Spartans and Vikings were different in only one way – the Spartans stayed in their homeland for the most part while the Vikings explored and traveled. Both embraced a high level of regard for family, equality of men and women, a deep spirituality and warrior rituals and brotherhood in battle.
The Lacedemonians, more commonly known as the Spartans, have been idealized and demonized down through the centuries. The truth of the Spartan culture seems to be as difficult to grasp as an early morning mist swirling around our ankles. It seems that the total paradigm of Spartan culture and history has been pigeonholed into a society exclusively of warriors exemplified by the heroic story and legend of Thermopylae. It has focused solely on the 300 Spartans and their warrior-philosopher king, Leonidas—the Lion.
There are no other cultures and societies closer to my heart than the Spartans and the Vikings.
On the day of my 60thbirthday, I walked barefoot the sun-soaked crusty soil of the field of battle of Thermopylae. The sparsely treed ground was hard and scorching as if the memory of that time 2500 years ago was imbedded in the cracked earth beneath my feet. As well, the purified waters of the flowing volcanic sulphurous springs that I dipped my feet into were indescribably hot. Memories flowed within me as red-hot lava, which finally erupted in a mass of tears as I cried and spoke from my heart to the warrior ancestors of a time long gone. My salty waters purified the mound of the last stand. A place not of defeat but one of victory—a victory in defeat.
Four years later I led two of my martial-spiritual students on a warrior pilgrimage that took us from the sacred site of Herakles First Labor to Sparta (Sparti), Olympia and finally to Delphi. In Sparta we trained in the Acropolis of Sparta and on the ridge-top site of the Menelaion. It was a bitter/sweet journey for me. The sweetness of the journey was being able to physically and mentally train on the hallowed ground of the Lacedemonians. This brought both beauty and joy to my heart and mind.
Our training on the Menelaion was a further taste of heaven for my body and soul. The Menelaion is the hilltop site of the legendary King Menelaus, Helen (of Troy) and the Dioscuri, the twin heroic brothers of Helen—Castor and Polydeuces.
Castor, the mortal one of the twins, was a martial artist and a teacher of swordsmanship to Herakles. Both were Spartan heroes, Polydeuces being an unbeatable boxer, while Castor was the fearless warrior. How appropriate for us to train on the sacred ground of the Dioscuri and to honor them and Herakles with prayers, meditation and martial activity. It was due to this myth of the Dioscuri that the ancient Spartans had two kings. Keep in mind that the most important priests in Sparta were the kings.
Our training was only a slight healing salve for my anger and bitterness. You may ask what was the root cause of my emotions—the indignation within me?
Dis-respect and Dis-honor
Arriving in Sparti the most important thing that I noticed was the absence of any sense of the warrior spirit that was and still is Sparta’s historical birthright. Not that I would want to see workers of the Municipality of Sparta walking around dressed as ancient Spartan Knights, but I would love to see a shift in the consciousness. This would be a shift from the purely mundane materialistic to a sense of spirit, honor and pride in their warrior philosophical ancestral heritage and a reinstatement of the equality of men and women.
If you have never been to Sparti, you may question this statement about spirit, honor, pride and equality. For one thing when historical ruins are left to linger as an afterthought or absence of thought of ‘glory days gone by,’ this act alone paints a vivid picture of an absolute rejection of ones ancestral heritage. This is the case with Sparti/Sparta. And for the inequality, just spend one day in Sparti and you would discover this for yourself.
The Good News
The short time we were in Sparta, we trained, honored and blessed the land and the Spartan ancestors—the Spirit of the Warrior Philosophers. And the Good News—you may also physically and mentally train in Sparta, while blessing and honoring their spirit.
It is possible that my ancestors inhabited Scandinavia in the Stone Age. Investigations have in every case proved as most probable and reasonable that people of the Bronze Age, both before and after the year 1000 BCE, belonged to the same race as the North-men of the Iron Age.
There is a direct connection between the Greeks and the Norse. The Northern nations, like the Greeks, imagined that the world rose out of chaos; and while the latter described it as a vapory, formless mass, the former, influenced by their immediate surroundings, depicted it as a chaos of fire and ice—a combination which is only too comprehensible to any one who has visited Iceland and seen the wild, peculiar contrast between its volcanic soil, spouting geysers, and the great icebergs which hedge it round during the long, dark winter season.
From these opposing elements, fire and ice, were born the first divinities, who like the first gods of the Greeks, were gigantic in stature and uncouth in appearance.
ZESUS and ÓĐINN
ZESUS, like ÓĐINN, was the father of the gods, the god of victory, and a personification of the universe. Hlidskialf, Allfather’s lofty throne, was no less exalted than Olympus or Ida, whence the Thunderer could observe all that was taking place; and ÓĐINN’s invincible spear Gungnir was as terror-inspiring as the thunderbolts brandished by his Greek prototype. The Northern deities feasted continually upon mead and boar’s flesh, the drink and meat most suitable to the inhabitants of a Northern climate, while the gods of Olympus preferred the nectar and ambrosia which formed their only sustenance.
Twelve Æsir sat in ÓĐINN’s council hall to deliberate over the wisest measures for the world and humans, and an equal number of gods assembled on the cloudy peak of Mount Olympus for a similar purpose. The Golden Age in Greece was a period of idyllic happiness, amid ever-flowering groves and under balmy skies, while the Northern age of bliss was also a time when peace and innocence flourished on the earth, and when evil deeds were as yet entirely unknown.
ÓĐINN, Allfather, is the Germanic (WODAN) and Norse god of wisdom and the magical arts of speech—poetry and chant (galdur). As Allfather, ÓĐINN’s essential nature is threefold. This took the form of ÓĐINN himself and his two companions: Lodhur and Hoenir. ÓĐINN represented the gift of breath—spirit/soul; Lodhur the gifts of movement and physical things—body; Hoenir the gift of consciousness —mind. In other words, “as Allfather he is the divine root of every being in all the worlds, the essence of divinity present in all life forms, in the smallest particle as well as in the cosmos itself.” Thus ÓĐINN would represent Divine Humanity’s* concept of the reflective absolute that interpenetrates the relativeness of the universe.
ÓĐINN’s gift of breath identifies him as a wind god and a god of inspiration. He is a seeker of knowledge and wisdom.ÓĐINN, as the wandering truth seeker and walker between worlds, is recognizable as a shaman. He possesses the attributes that identify a person as a shaman such as being a shape-shifter, psychopomp and having four guardians spirits—two wolves and two ravens. As a person of power, ÓĐINN could furthermore be considered a wizard, sorcerer (one who influences fate) and a warrior philosopher.
But what stands out more than any of these labels is his willingness to sacrifice self for knowledge and wisdom. It makes sense then that ÓĐINN’s essential sacrifice may be an example and as guide for us to follow.
The Holy Grail
Any discussion of the warrior philosopher paradigm would not be complete without the mention and inclusion of the magical cauldron/chalice known as the Holy Grail. And we must not forget the Quest to achieve this talisman of power and immortality.
There are many shades of the Grail quest and of the knights and others that were involved in this most sacred journey of seeking truth. As with all Quests, deserts and rivers are to be crossed, jungles and caves to explore and mountains to climb, it is a time of sacrifice facing our fears and doubts; but the wonder of it all fills our soul with the magic of the stars. Quest with us and discover your authentic self and the magic of the heavens and the earth.
If you are adventurous with a Viking spirit, homesteaders they were not, make a small sacrifice of time and money and join us in our once in a lifetime experiences.
Rev. Dr. JC Húsfelt, Writer and Philosopher, Visionary, Poet and Martial Artist, pursues and relishes the clarity of firsthand and experiential knowledge. Since 1964 he has been on a journey, both literally and metaphorically, to touch the mystical and practical side of the martial arts and the mystery and myth, the spiritual and healing lore of indigenous cultures throughout the world. His adventures have taken him from his present home on the edge of a fjord in Western Washington through the Americas, to the icy plateaus and volcanos of Iceland and through the windswept barrens of the British Isles, onward across continental Europe and the Mediterranean, to Asia and Polynesia. Since receiving his Doctorate in Divinity, Dr. Húsfelt has authored six books, two of which are currently available. Dr. Húsfelt’s teachings are based on his first-hand experience of the lands and cultures that are an opus of his knowledge and wisdom.