Notes on the Way: The Paths of the Right and Left within Odinism

Liber I.I

There is no path to truth. Truth must be discovered…”[1]

What is a Path? In relation to Native Faith, these are ways in which we approach the Gods, internally and externally; as archetypes, beings, or aspects of nature, etc. It is how we come to know, and understand them, and thus in turn understand ourselves and the Divine which resides in and around us. The way in which we embark on our journey of spiritual acceptance, transference, and transcendence is dependent on which Path we choose to take, or more accurately, which Path chooses us. But no Path has a concrete formula, and neither do they have steel guiderails. That is not to say that accepted forms of observance and ritual expression are not intrinsic to each individual Path in the Way, as each has its own standard base system of praxis in regard to form, expression and intent both within the community or individual state, but that they are two completely and categorically different ways of spiritual devotion, exploration and intent.

If you walk down a road it is inevitable that obstacles appear in your way or something catches your eye, and whilst you are still walking the same route you may be forced to step to the side and carry on but on a different section of the same road. Any journey that you take has a gap either side of you on the road, wide or otherwise, and you are not required to walk in a straight line, and it may not even be possible to do so. But nevertheless you are following the same trail albeit from different angles and lines of sight depending on where on that trail you are standing and moving forward. If, that is, you are moving forward!

Liber I.II

It has been asked whether the goal of the separate Paths are the same. Each Path has totally different routes leading up a mountain, but even though the routes are leading up the mountain, with the summit in sight, are the peaks that we seek upon the same or separate mountains? Are different goals being looked for, or can the same goal be achieved on either Path? Is the purpose of each Path as different as the expressions of the Way itself? Are there any crossovers, totally separate, or both leading to the same end result that we are searching?

When we look up the mountain, we can see many routes, and even if you arrive at the same peak on the same mountain, your view, even looking out from the same point in the same direction, will be that of yours alone. But then, are we looking from the point of view from the self, or the Self in the Abyss – the shadow-Self?

When all is stripped away, all illusion, we are then in union with that which we seek, in the eternal Abyss, and thus no differences in the Paths can be seen which at this point cease to exist. But as separate definitions of the Right and Left Paths, they have separate goals, or rather, reasons for being – differing purposes.

The Left Path, in simple terms is the realisation of the Self, the «I» behind the «I», the death of Demiurge, destruction of the ego — the false masks that we wear. Immersion into the primordial Abyss of essence. But this is not so with the Right Path.

The way of the Right-Hand Path can be described in brief as the ritual performance, observance, development and continuation of the ancestral spiritual folkways in honouring the Gods and ancestors of the folk within and of the Germanic Native Faith of Odinism.

As Volhv Veleslav has stated, ‘The Path is real… It is not a tool. Not a panacea. It is not an option. It is a way and a way to achieve goals… That goal is to reach the top of the mountain… One takes a rope and climbs, another takes a hollowing step… but they all reach the same goal… the purpose of a way is different, and how you come to it is personal — it is your choice and no one elses.’
To realise the Self beyond all form in One, you cannot take either the Right or Left, only the Left. The Right has a different goal altogether. It is only at the point of immersion into the Abyss that we see nothing of the Paths and thus the same goal.

Liber I.III

There is a lot of confusion as to what the distinctions of the Paths of the Left and Right Hand are in relation to Odinism. The most common misconception is that the Right-Hand Path is “good” and that the Left-Hand Path is somehow “evil”. But genuine practitioners or explorers of the Left-Hand Path are not subject to such moral constraints, and limited ethical definitions. Who is to set the ethics and morals of one above the other? The Right-Hand is not good, or right — in the sense of correctness and the Left-Hand is not bad, or wrong — in the sense of being incorrect. The confusion arises from a number of areas.

Firstly, it must be understood that the Paths should not be seen from the perspective of the definitions from that of the Western tradition, especially anything in line remotely with Satanism, Setianism, Crowleyism, or Wicca. Whilst there may very well be overlaps, it would be a mistake to define the Paths by this Western interpretation.

Secondly, it is down to our own Semitic-dualistic view of the world, conscious or unconscious, stemming from monotheistic conditioning, whether realised and acknowledged or not.

These concepts must be completely extirpated and one needs to look again with clear vision, and from a Traditional perspective, if you will. Indeed, one could say that far more can be compared to, and drawn from the East (The Aryo-Vedic traditions of Advaita Vedanta, Sanatana Dharma, Tantra, Yoga but also Aghora) rather than the West in this regard.

When reading about the distinction between the Right-Hand Path and Left-Hand Path in the Western tradition, you often come across the terms «objective universe» and «subjective universe», but don’t read about this in other traditions regarding the Paths. So the question has to be asked, do these play a part in our interpretation of the Paths from an Odinic perspective?

These terms are the subject of a modern philosophy expressing the dualistic view between nature and the mind. They are to be found in the Western Left-Hand Path traditions of the above four which are monotheistic schools of thought that are rooted in monotheistic ontology.

With regard to Tradition, we know that the subjective and objective are the same with regard to the holistic worldview, which is Odinic – disappearing into the One[2] — the Abyss.

Liber I.IV

We find in all traditions that there are two directions one can take – two differing paths which in themselves even differ from each school of thought in their respective tradition. It is to be understood also that even on the separate paths that certain ways in which we approach them have crossovers but that even these differ. But such is the way of non-conformity and the dissolution of rigidity which is the hallmark of stagnation and attachment — that which we wish to dissolve.

The Path you choose to take is a personal matter, and you can even follow the Way in accordance with both hands in your life in regard to exoteric and esoteric practices — from a community based level to that of an individual exploratory level. One is free to participate in both community or solitary based forms of celebrations and rites to Gods and ancestors (Right), and that of an idiosyncratic pursuit of spiritual Self-knowledge and Self-discovery (Left), or one or the other. Your spiritual undertaking is just that, yours and yours alone – no right, no wrong, and neither Path is better or worse than the other.

Liber II.I

The Right-Hand Path

Path of creation, life, of the Bright Gods. Path of Departure from nature of the Self to nature of the World. This is an exoteric path of and for the people; a way to preserve and continue the customs of devotion and honour to the Gods and ancestors in Native Faith to present and future folk generations – to adapt in a spiritual sense to the World. A path of righteousness. Whilst it is a wide and open path to follow, it is limited in its formalism, but this doesn’t mean negativity on its part, but simply that it is focused, consciously or unconsciously, with the outward flow of Spirit to Matter – that of the core (centre) to the periphery (border). This is the way of safety and protection, of family and tradition, dogma and comfort, of cultural conformity and collective custom. The Path of accepted values, genericism, norms and traditions in religion and for the greater community – preservation and transmission. This Path is that of exhalation: from the centre outwards, from the source; the flow from inner to outer, an external way – Spirit to Matter.

In this sense, it can be understood also that the Path of the Right-Hand is a dualistic view of the world, a path of unification, of the creation of an Image of the World. As Volhv Veleslav puts it, through the ‘prosopopoeia of the mind, in which the individual or community is similar to that of the Demiurge — the potter of consciousness — that creates not the clay itself as matter, but only the form in which this clay acquires.’[3]

It is the way of attachment, adherence to cyclic law, and restriction. This Path is of adoption, continuation, utilisation of accepted norms, understanding and unity of and with Order. It is the Path of the creation of the idealistic man, the higher or God-man, where the ultimate responsibility for perpetuation, continuity and lucidity and purity are on the shoulders of the community rather than the individual – the transference of the Spirit into the World, the vital breath of spiritual fire from the White flame to the folk. It is the understanding of us and the Gods – unity in duality.

Elementally: The Right-Hand Path is the ritual performance, observance, development and continuation of the ancestral spiritual folkways in honouring the Gods and ancestors of the folk within and of the Germanic Native Faith of Odinism.

None of this is negative. The Right-Hand Path is not a false or wrong path – it is a choice, and serves a purpose. There is nothing wrong with being on this Path, and following this way – it is a righteous and worthy Path!

Liber II.II

“We behold all things through the human head and cannot cut off this head; while the question nonetheless remains what of the world would still be there if one had cut it off.”[4]

The Left-Hand Path

Path of destruction, death, of the Dark Gods — the Dark Goddess Hela and Allfather Odin – Goddess of the underworld and God of healing, death, and knowledge. Path of Return from worldly outer nature to that of the true inner nature of the Self. A distinct esoteric approach of spiritual tradition and personal development of the individual towards liberation and illumination — the search and way of spiritual Self-knowledge, being that of liberation from worldly constraints and mechanisms to that of a non-identification, non-attachment perception of the world — self-realisation and consciousness — illumination. It is the Path of Return, to the source – the burning of the ties which bind the Spirit to Matter to the release from Matter to the return to Spirit.

A narrow Path consciously focused on the journey to your own death – deliverance through the destruction of illusion – attachments, false masks, artificial Self, and Return to the source: Self-knowledge and Self-realisation (the authentic essence of Being: inner true nature through the Return to the primordial Black Abyss of Ginnungagap, or yawning void). The understanding of the «I», or the «I» behind the «I» — the True Self and Divine Spirit within. A non-dualistic Path and realisation of the inner Chaos, into Order, into Chaos, back into the natural state. It is a path of the removal of false masks and constructed «I» — the destruction of the Demiurge and ego – the false Self. What is more, it is an antinomian path that only the true seekers will understand.

This Path is that of inhalation: the inward flow from the periphery to the core — the flow from outer to inner, an internal way – Matter to Spirit. This is the way of danger and insecurity; contrary in the extreme and at ultimate odds with the accepted forms of morality and behaviour. The Path of confrontation, decay, death, and darkness; of liberation and the illumination through sacrifice of the  self to Self — of the spirit to the naked flame — the stripping away of false perception through the removal of the earthly flesh to witness bloodied bone and corpse — true nature visualisation through the Black Flame.

This Path of destruction and darkness within Odinism is one where there is no gain. Ultimately, everything is lost – that being the Return to the Source of things – the Return to the True Self, the “I” behind the “I” — the Abyss.

Elementally: The Left-Hand Path in Odinism is the realisation of the Self, the «I» behind the «I», the death of Demiurge, destruction of the ego — the false masks that we wear. Immersion into the primordial Abyss of essence – the divine nature and true Self .

Liber III.I

The wisdom that can be gained on this Path is based on a particular understanding of the Gods and myths in the tradition of Germanic Native Faith. The descriptions of the Paths within Odinism are nothing new. Many before have given depictions through analogy and terminology in varying ways and degrees but ultimately the Truth lies Within, as the descriptions are not the Paths themselves, but a way of understanding. This is but one characterisation, if rather enigmatic and traumatic, but not unique nor new. And it must be understood and accepted that more will follow. Do not blindly pursue, but lead! Do not adopt and imitate, animate and create!

Liber III.II

Any path can be the path of illusion for the one that is deceived, and many a traveller is walking blind or under the belief he has clear vision. We are but fragments of being in the search for the whole. Light doesn’t mean right, as we are not talking true or false here, just different approaches. Nor is it dualistic to think in terms of different paths but to understand that there are different approaches to things. Understanding that there are different methods to getting to the top of a mountain isn’t dualistic, but in essence a basic reality. You can peel a banana from either end, neither is better or worse than the other, as it is subjective. But again understanding doesn’t denote a dualistic principle.

Liber III.III

To descend into the Black Abyss is not to embrace darkness in the sense of being against the Light, or entertaining the modern monotheistic concept of evil over good. Least of all because these concepts are against our understanding of Being and the dualistic nature of this thought. But more that in the transcendental state of witnessing the Black Flame from Within, one can truly see that which is hidden from the outer realms to that of the inner true nature of the Self.

In the end, all fire burns out and leaves the ashes of what once was. Or so it is believed. The ashes are not remnants of that which used to be, but are the inner nature of that which is only viewed externally — the hidden state of existence, and thus truth for the one willing to sacrifice the self to the Self and set alight the constructed view of this world for knowledge beyond.

“For us, the Left Hand Path — it’s not black magic, it is not Satanism and original way to obtain wealth. This is not the syncretism and liberalism in the spiritual realm. Left Hand Path in Odinism — it’s fast, radical non-conformist way of disclosure of the divine world. The path of the Dark Side is clear — this is the way, do not deny the common understanding of the bright tradition of Odin, customs of the North. We do not oppose themselves to the traditional interpretation Odinism. We, in some way, it opens in a new depth, a different dimension. As One — God of travelers, and we follow his example, and go to a new path, which no one went. But hints of this Let there around heritage of the North. Therefore, Left Hand Path — this is primarily a mystical, philosophical path of transformation of human self-knowledge and the disclosure of the Spirit through the most radical, terrible, horrible with ordinary point of view, the images and practices. Because Odin the Allfather, he is everywhere and in everything.

Therefore, we emphasize that we take for samples of our glorious Gods and Sacred Origin. The townsfolk believe that the Gods are bright, kind, and all over the dreadful and terrible there is no Gods, there’s demons, jotuns and evil. This interpretation is only partially true. Therefore, in our texts can meet certain convergence of images of Gods with the titans figures, demons and monsters. And this is a very delicate moment in which it is important to always remain faithful to the Gods and not to succumb to the mixing of images, not to become a praise of the titans, giants, jotuns as Gods. Such a substitution is fraught with falling away from the spiritual path in the material dimension. Failure on the Left Hand Path is expressed in spiritual betrayal in favor of the material. Horrific images and radical practices cease to be tools and become objective forms outrageous and achieve their own selfish purposes. What does the primitive black magic, necromancy, Satanism, etc. ideologies to which we have no relationship. Therefore, we urge to be extremely careful during the dive into the Abyss (Ginnungagap). Gods and titans may seem one, and this is a dangerous illusion, a difficult test on the Left Hand Path. It should go, and we just pointed to the existence of such convergence in our texts.”[5]

Liber IV.I

So you ask, who and what are the Gods? What is the nature of god? I only ask in answer, what is the nature of the Self. This is the truth. Further, to find the answer as to who and what are the gods, to seek and to know the truth and to understand this, simply search within. Reality can be found in the darkest depths of your own being, so search and discover inwards to find god, and cease to lavish through a delusive perquisition from without. Archetypes, aspects of the mind and of nature? Truly, this is a reality from within, for god is nature and god is the ‘I’ behind the ‘I’, and the Self behind the Self. We are and always will be connected to Mother Earth. We are a part of Nature and therefore subject to Natures eternal laws. So, continue your search for god, but remember to not stray too far from the Self on your journey.

This is the Path of Odin – not to worship him as such, but to become him!

As Collin Clearly comments on Edred Thorssons view[6], the Odinist, the seeker on the Path of illumination and liberation, is not one which seeks to worship Odin as an external being as such, or to seek some sort of union with him or the other Gods, but moreover one whom engages in exploration with the goal of the union of that with which Odin himself sacrificed himself – knowledge of the true Self through the decent into Hel. He is one in which sacrifice is made to become Odin – that eternal seeker of Self-realisation, and ultimately realisation of the All – to the Odinic-Self which Odin sacrificed himself. Indeed, Odin sacrificed himself to Himself to learn deeper understanding, knowledge held within, knowledge of the All – All which is thus internal, within, which incorporates all that which is without, but not separate – One – the Abyss – as above, so below. This is the Path of Odin, the Left-Hand Path, the Dark Path, the Road to Hel – Helwegr.

As Veleslav has stated, “Unity with the great abyss is the foundation of all things, which is completely different in relation to everything that we see through the eyes of the flesh and know separating the mind.»[7]

He states also that, «Wisdom is of two types: Life, which is based on a wealth of life experience and vast knowledge, and Spiritual, which is not based on knowledge of external objects, but on the discovery of one’s true spiritual nature through self-knowledge. The first is the property of the masses, the second — a rare gift, the acquisition of which makes a person actually VEDA or a true magician.»[8]

It is with the death of the false Self, the severing of the false masks that we wear, and the bathing in the ashes of the Demiurge, that we can truly learn the meaning of life and, ultimately, come to know the «I» that is the true Self.

Liber IV.II

In the sacrifice of the flesh and of the bone that we see as necessary it is that in order to germinate, the seed of truth that exists beyond the shadows of the deep within our very being, needs to soak up the spilt blood of the body in order to take root and manifest itself to us within the mind. Which, through meditation and contemplation, will then lead to greater understanding and clarity to the one treading the Dark Path, the Road to Hel, ensuring this Path is followed in modesty, humility, and candour, and wholeheartedly in step with sincerity and dedication

Liber IV.III

Images on this Path are dark, vulgar, horrific, and often grotesque, such as the stripping away of the flesh to expose the bloodied bone beneath — true Being. It is a path that is not for the timid. But these images serve a purpose, and are not the Path itself, but tools along the way. These images are NOT the Path itself, but mere illustrations on the Path — tools – a perspective and reading of the tradition from a specific and particular point of view.

Confront that which you fear and fear will cease to be. But note that it is a mistake to become attached to that which you use to destroy those fears. The antinomian concept is a tool and not a goal and many fall on the Path of Return only to become at one with their own delusion, thinking that they are free.

There is no right or wrong path, and each is free to choose the road to take for the goal that they seek. But followers of the Road to Hel understand that it is a dangerous path, where one will lose everything, even the «Self.» So if you want to retain that which you have gained, or attached to yourself throughout your life, it is advised that this Path is not for you.

But note, whilst there are great misconceptions of this particular approach on the path of the Left-Hand within Odinism and its imagery, this also serves to separate the chaff from the wheat.

Blindness does not only affect the eyes, but the mind also. Those who suffer from physical blindness often have highly tuned minds, but those that are spiritually blind suffer far many more obstacles in this world, and thus are unable to see the forest for the trees.

«Many people believe that they are what they see in the mirror, a mask of flesh and a social role, and most people are afraid of death, skulls and bones. But the point is that in the flesh and blood of every person lies a skull and for each «false ego» hides the true nature of man, his Self. These symbols of death underline the traumatic stress of this experience, this is the final exposure.»[9]

Only those that truly embrace the darkness will be able to see the light from a whole new perspective.

Only those that sink to the depths of our inner nature will be able to remove the false masks of the ego and transcend consciousness.

Only those that seek the mysteries of the Abyss can hope to have revealed to them that which was once hidden in the shadows.

Remember, content above form!

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.»[10]

Liber IV:IV

The ego is much like a whirlwind that, over time, whips up a storm of apocryphal self-aggrandisement and narcissism. This casuistic self, this deceitful and false self-imposed mask that we wear is something that we must, on a daily basis, strive to remove and detach ourselves from. Unabated it will inevitably rain down upon us all that which is lethiferous to our true inner natures, that natural state of which we must endeavour, through spiritual practice, contemplation and meditation, to be awakened, or re-awakened to.

Liber IV.V

Attachment to this life and its material distractions is like an infected splinter that is never treated. Once it takes hold, and if no treatment is sought, there is severe risk of it spreading and a fateful sickness ensuing. And much like the purpose of life, the spiritual journey of the self, and the seeking of the true nature and raison d’être, it can be that this journey of enlightenment and discovery of the self, the shadow-Self, whose path if not travelled can grow over thick with weed, will sadly never be witness to the first step of the heart seeking with the hope and goal of realizing truth in inner beauty, but rather the outer illusion and false self. Seek out the light from the inner darkness, for in the shadows of your own depths can truth be found.

Liber V.I

This Path is not for you if you glorify form above content

This Path is not for you if you witness desire above discovery

This Path is not for you if you embrace darkness for entertainment

This Path is not for you if you revel in the shock of others

This Path is not for you if you value image above truth

This Path is not for you if you mould ego over Self

This Path is not for you if you allow in your heart trend above modesty

This Path is not for you if you wish to be perceived as evil

This Path is not for you if you think of appearance as something cool

This Path is not for you if you are weak of mind

This Path is not for you if you have psychological shortcomings

This Path is not for you!

Liber VI.II

To know truth is to find god, yet truth lies behind the veil of the false self, that mask that is the ego that we all wear that one should ceaselessly strive to remove. Though only a part, it is but a fundamental step on the spiritual journey of self-discovery, to knowing the gods, to returning and ultimately knowing your true Self – the God-within. If this part of the Path in your spiritual peregrination is sidestepped then truth, the Gods, the Self, can never be truly known, and you will forever be destined to live in a world of illusion — maya. So, sever the flesh and remove your head, stare into the abyss of your rotting eyes, and kiss the bloody lips so that you may overcome and taste the sacrosanct within.

Liber VI.III

We come into this world empty, with nothing. Everything of which we perceive ourselves to be is illusion, mere attachments which we pick up along the way. We do not understand at this early stage why we are here, and one may never learn or even enquire. We are born, and we just ‘are’. But if that is all, that we just ‘are’, then the natural question should arise — what ‘are’ we? and who am ‘I’? This should then naturally lead to the search for the ‘I’, the ‘what am’.

Liber VI.IV

My gift to you is death, so embrace it and know thy true Self. Only by the stripping away of the false masks that we wear, deceiving ourselves, can we truly know who is standing in front of the mirror. To stand on the edge of the Black Abyss and not step forward is a deception. So, sever your head with the sickle, tear away Maya, spill your blood to drown the Demiurge of false perception and know the ‘I’.

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”[11]

Sapienti sat!

N. Leshy Sanghrajkara

References

1 — “There is no path to truth. Truth must be discovered, but there is no formula for its discovery. What is formulated is not true. You must set out on the uncharted sea, and the uncharted sea is yourself. You must set out to discover yourself, but not according to any plan or pattern, for then there is no discovery. Discovery brings joy — not the remembered, comparative joy but joy that is ever new. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom in whose tranquillity and silence there is the immeasurable.” — Krishnamurti, Jiddu; ‘Commentaries on Living: From the Notebooks of J. Krishnamurti (Series One)’, New York: Harper, 1956. Ed. Rajagopal Desikacharya.

2 — See the concept of ‘Nirguna Brahman’ or Plato’s concept of the ‘One’ in his Parmenides dialogue.

3 — Влх. Велеслав, “Книга Великой Нави: Хаософия и Русское Навославие”, 2011, p. 46.

4 — Nietzsche, Friedrich; “Menschliches, Allzumenschliches: Ein Buch für freie Geister ”, Ch.1.S.9 (1878).

5 — Nechkasov, Evgeny; Preface, Gap, 2015, p. 7-8.

6 – Cleary, Collin; ‘What is Odinism?’, Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition. Vol. 4, Ultra, 2014, p. 24. For further insight into this see also Cleary, Collin; ‘What God Did Odin Worship?’, Summoning the Gods, Counter-Currents Publishing, 2011, p. 81-92 and McNallen, Stephen A.; ‘A Method of Transcendence in the Germanic Tradition’.

7 — Влх. Велеслав, «Книги Внутреннего Покоя”, I: Истинный Учитель

8 — Влх. Велеслав, January 2013 interview with German magazine ‘По свету.’

9 — Nechkasov, Evgeny; Interview with N. Leshy, Appendix, Gap, 2015, p. 126.

10 — Jung, Carl Gustav; The Philosophical Tree, 1945, (Collected Works 13: Alchemical Studies Paragraph 335).

11 — Attributed to the classical Greek philosopher, Socrates.