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Finngerth is a complete neopagan, magical and occult tradition based on tenants from Finnish folklore, culture, and scandinavian mentality. It might seem like mishmash, but hey, what are you going to do? Intuitive development of faith systems can result in things that can be somewhat confusing at first glance, but that is part of the fun of it.
A distinction should be made between shamanism and paganism. Shamanism was way ancient, did not necessarily have any specific gods, and was definitely local. Paganism might have developed during a more agrarian society, and the remnants that are recorded definitely indicate this. Therefore, any pagan tradition that claims to trace roots further than written sources will end up with a pseudo- system that never really existed. Even going only that far back raises the critique that people were different, the mentality was different, and customs and times were different. We may never understand them fully. On that note, realize that modern systems mirror, filter, and repackage thoughts to be compatible in the modern world. Any claim to the contrary is silly.
So sit down, grab your pipe, and read the words that are written here.
The name Finngerth is derived from the old icelandic words finn, meaning Finns (usually the early non-Aryan inhabitants of Norway and Sweden; not entirely identical with the modern Lapps or Finns, although the exact definition is vague, it could mean any paleoeuropean people living in the area.), and gÃ¸rÃ°, which means doing, making, and building.
The Finngerth logo contains a Fehu and Gebo rune. Fehu is interpreted as wealth and Gebo as a gift. Thus, Finngerth gives you the gift of spiritual wealth, if you want to take it. It is at the same time simple yet beautiful as all of Finnish Work is.
Ancient Finns had no writing and passed on songs, spells, and stories by word of mouth. In modern days we have progressed a bit, and have found that writing is useful. That is why using runes can be construed as a fine addition to Finngerth magickal workings.
It can be contended that one of the Kalevala passages does actually mention VäinämÃ¶inen, a spell singer, divining with the use of runes (see below). Although it is more likely that the actual practice involved only placing light objects such as rings or small pieces of wood on a drum that would jump around on the surface along with the beating of the drum. Depending on where they fell a shaman could divine their meaning. It is also possible that the passage refers merely to the tossing of chips (or bones, or stones) onto a surface in the manner of many other ancient divinatory practices.
|Itse vanha VäinämÃ¶inen,||He, the old VäinämÃ¶inen,|
|tietäjä iän-ikuinen,||the everlasting wise man,|
|leikkasi lepästä lastut,||from an alder cut slivers,|
|laittoi lastut laaullensa,||laid the slivers out,|
|kävi arvat kääntämähän,||set about turning the lots,|
|sormin arvat suortamahan.||his fingers arranging them,|
The above text is also very similar to the description of divinatory practice with other northern peoples as described by Roman historian Tacitus in Germania:
- A little bough is lopped off a fruit-bearing tree, and cut into small pieces; these are distinguished by certain marks, and thrown carelessly and at random over a white garment. — Tacitus, Germania
One concept that is often addressed by faiths is the end of the world, or Ragnarok in Scandinavian folklore. A modern variation of that is TEOTWAWKI, meditating on the implications of that might help you lead a fuller life now, and be consequently more prepared for it.
Initiation can be undertaken in the comfort of your own home and it is all official. A Finngerth practitioner pledges to uphold true values, personal and family honor against all adversity, and to do the Right Thing™ at all times.
Alternatively you can hold a mass initiation for large groups of people. The sky is the limit, anything is possible.
After inititiation, preferably even earlier, spend multiple days and nights hiking and camping outdoors, away from any possible source of human interference. The reason for this should be obvious since many of the energies described by the system manifest themselves in nature. Without experiencing contact in their bosom, it will be more complicated to ascertain what you are calling in the city as being the same. Besides, a dark night in the forest with no artificial lights will heighten your senses to new found levels of detection. Every sound and silence will sound like a gong in your head.
Core tenents of Finngerth might be summarized in the following three points (because remembering more than that is a bore):
- True values
- Personal and family honor
- Doing The Right Thing™
Notice that the above will mean different things to different people in different situations in life. To someone who is content with their existence, they will seem like noble virtues. However, to someone who is struggling with life, the tenents will serve as a focus for their pent up anger and rage. Both directions are admirable in their own way and will most likely develop from one to the other as the persons situation changes. Morphism and flow is the key.
The thoughtforms and entities represented by the deities in the classical Finnish pantheon, and specifically their different aspects, cater to every instance. They have both dark and benign sides that can be felt according to the situation. They may also behave, or seem to behave, differently from day to day. Which is of course entirely due to the fact that a human can hardly begin to understand the entire existence of a higher being, and will therefore see and feel, at most, some aspects of the deity at a time.
Truthfulness, self-reliance, and hospitality are important moral values, which are reflected by the first and second tenent. Creative, productive, and intellectual pursuits are well regarded, as are physical skills as defined by the third tenent.
The mythology presents the gods not necessarily as omniscient, omnipotent, immortal, or infallible. Nevertheless, they are wise, powerful, long-lived, and good to know as friends. Furthermore, they are a product of existence, not the other way around. Humanity is seen as an honorable life form, and subject to the same constraints of decision, action, and consequence as the gods. The relationship between gods and humans is something like familial and not subordinative. (Refer to Asatru.)
Tradeoffs between freedom and responsibility are everyday choices. What are you going to do?
Men and women are seen as equals in most regards, and simply different in others.
None of that hippy crap, this is the real deal. Life can be harsh, deal with it.
It would behoove a practitioner of Finngerth to be familiar with the basic texts of Finnish folklore, namely the Kalevala and Kanteletar. However, due to interpretation issues, all initiates are encouraged, nay, required to find their own view of the passage of events. Absolute truth is not the issue here. For example, there are multiple passages that detail the creation of the world, these should probably be analyzed from a symbolical point of view. It would not benefit anyone to just read the words and take them as literal truth. Otherwise this would not be called an occult practice, would it? Besides, interpreting anything from one angle, and particularly preaching any one truth is entirely counterproductive from the practitioners stand point.
If all answers and methods were chewed down, and ready for disposal, it would go against any form of spiritual growth that is a progressive process. One has to start from the beginning, middle, or end, and work one's way towards the enlightened truth, whatever that may be.
Finngerth rituals follow a form that should be familiar from other systems as well. First one must clear the space, then petition the gods, do the workings, thank the gods, and finally disperse or absorb energies.
The order is quite typical and can be used when creating runes, charging sigils, casting spells, initiations, or working on day to day chores. The length and solemnity varies accordingly. Sometimes they are short muttered incantations, during other times they are full blown theatrical happenings.
Meditative, shamanistic, and ritualistic practice exercises can be read in Phil Hine's, Carlos Castaneda's, and Christopher Hyatt's books, just to name a few. The information is out there, just get it and read it.
If rituals and magickal workings are to have a distinct shamanic flavor to them, then the use of various substances might be in order. Even modern Uralic, Tibetan, and Mongolian shamans imbibe alchohol before, and smoke tobacco during ritual. One plant that is readily available in the wild is Juniper. The smoke from the plant pleases the spirits and is mildly hallucinogenic. Amanita muscaria mushrooms might be part of ritual as well, but the dangers inherit in these methods should be understood.
The use of various death postures, inhibitory, and excitatory gnosis should probably be practiced to be used in conjunction with runic or other sigilization and magickal workings.
Rather than doing rituals, a more likely activity are small sacrifices to the spirits of your home, yard, sauna bath, or meadow. Although sacrifices can entail ritualistic elements, and a ritual may contain a sacrifice as well.
Reduction of gods to lists is a blasphemy. Formulation and sanitization of process leaves the impression that the forces at play are conquerable. Finnish gods are elemental and fundamental. A practitioner risks madness, as with Cthulhu, by invoking the wrong ones without adequate preparation, but you can never be ready for it. No amount of strength of will leaves you untouched by the experience. Passing through the storm changes you in ways unimaginable.
Just like the real Necronomicon is best read after passing through madness to get the key , so is the nature of the Sampo hidden from the casual reader of the Kalevala, or the hobbyist invoker of Ukko. Once you call Hiisi and let him guide you through the dark bogs of your mind, the final gate will open to new vistas of existence. Nothing will ever seem the same.
Finnish magick can have much of the same quality as Lovecraftian magick, which "has an immediate presence, and resonates with buried fears, longings, aspirations and dreams. The Great Old Ones and their kin can only ever be fragments of the mysterious, never to be codified or dried out for scholars to pick over."
If you insist on celebrating special holidays, do not forget Lalli's day on the 20th of January, the day on which in the year 1156, peasent Lalli hacked Bishop Henrik in the head with an axe, killing him in the process.
Finngerth is like fingered, but not quite.
There are those who believe that only one method of magic is workable and will argue vehemently to defend their own stance. However, if the mythology does not speak to you, then reaching gnosis, as it were, will be more difficult. The important thing is to study various concepts and understand what in your mind is clearest.
Finally, the initiate would be well advised to meditate on the fifth (5.) holy law of the Discordian Pentabarf:
- A Discordian is Prohibited from Believing What he reads.
This is comparable to the third tenent of Finngerth: Doing The Right Thing™, meaning that you should not be fooled by anything and nothing. It is not as simple as it seems. The thelemaic True Will might come along here somewhere as well.
Remember: Accept no substitutes! And just because you are not paranoid, it does not mean that no one is out to get you.
|Related finnish paganism pages|
|Finnish pantheon | Finnish mythology | Finnish paganism|
|Finnish ritual | Finnish holy places | Finnish magick|
|Finnish paganism links, resources, and references|
|Unique Finnish neopagan systems|