This summer a prisoner in Virginia, Michael Lenz, was executed for murdering a fellow inmate in the name of Asatru, his adopted religion. Though most adherents of the pre-Christian, earth- and heritage-based faith are honorable, law-abiding citizens who don't advocate random violence, a small (about five percent) but media-magnetic group of them are white supremacists, many of them prisoners.Asatruar worship a pantheon of Norse gods like Odin and Thor and goddesses like Freya and Idun. The warrior archetype is honored, but in no way defines the religion, says Stephen McNallen, 57, founder of the Asatru Folk Assembly, a leading Asatru group.McNallen recently set the Asatru record straight, speaking to Beliefnet from hisCalifornia home about respecting our ancestors, balancing the warrior with the Mother, and how he starts everyday with a pot of tea and a well-fed cat in his lap.
What does "Asatru" mean?
I usually say that Asatru means, "Those true to the gods" or "The belief in the gods."
How would you sum up the core beliefs of Asatru?
Well, people are going to
give you different answers on that.
I believe that the core of Asatru
comes down to about three or four main points. First, we are related to
the holy powers [gods and goddesses], and our task is to evolve to
become more like them. Second, we are specially connected to our
ancestors, to our living kin, and to our descendants yet tocome—the
family line is a continuity that transcends time and space, and even
mortality. Third, by leading lives of power and wisdom, we evolve to a
higher level and this evolution gives us more choices in regards to an
afterlife. And finally, the way of our ancestors is the best way for
us, because we are the representatives of those ancestors in this
little slice of space and time.
How many Asatruars would you estimate there are in the U.S.?
Well, obviously no one
really knows because we’re not a very centralized outfit. There is no
Pope of Asatru and no Vatican. The estimate that I have heard is 10,000
What does a day in the life of an Asatruar look like? Are there daily or weekly rituals?
I can really only speakto
my personal pract......
Mr Kenneth U. Idiodi, Grand Regional Administrator of the Rosicrucian Order of Africa, on Friday explained that Rosicrucian teachings of mysticism had nothing to do with the mysterious, weird or the occult. He said the teachings were rather a transparent and precise that brought deep understanding to the hidden laws of nature as well as a close attuning to ones inner self.Mr Idiodi was speaking at the opening of the Rosicrucian Order Convention 2006 in Accra which is on theme: "Mysticism in daily life" would delve into the hidden meaning of life and the feeling of those, who seek direct communion with God or the Divine.He explained: Mysticism is notmystery.
The two words have different connotation. A mystery is something beyond man's understanding and knowledge, unavailable for his scrutiny.
differently, mysticism, on the other hand comes from a Greek root
Mystes which means one initiated, and has always meant the opening up
of the individual to knowledge and the attainment of wisdom.
Mr Idiodi told the
Convention, which attracted participants from all the Anglophone and
Francophone countries in the West African Sub-Region, the Order is not
a sect and does not require its members to behave, act or think in a
specific way contrary to their beliefs.
The Order, which is "The
Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis" (AMORC) is the world's
foremost system of instruction and guidance for the exploration of the
inner nature of the humanbeing.
Members were free to retain
all they value and what they cherished in life and were encouraged to
nurture and develop all those things that brought peace, happiness and
fulfilment in their lives, Mr Idiodi said. "True Rosicrucian seeks to
enhance all that is good and constructive in life, regardless of creed
or culture," he said.
Mr Idiodi said the teaching
of mysticism provided full and satisfying understating of many
phenomena, which for the present remained beyond the realms of modern
science and religion that were often accepted as mere faith.
He said even though the
study of mysticism did not require any arduous academic training, it,
however, demanded sincere and dedicated work upon the improvement of
one's inner self. Mr Idiodi said the benefits of mysticism and inner
enlightenment was the awakening of theintuitive sense to solv......
Matt Feshbach believes he has super powers. He senses danger faster than most people. He appreciates beauty more deeply than he used to. He says he outperforms his peers in the money management industry.He heightened his powers of perception in 1995 when he went to Los Angeles and became the first and so far only "public" Scientologist to take a highly classified Scientology program called Super Power. Where in L.A. did he do this?"Just in Los Angeles," is all Feshbach will say. Super Power is that secret. Under wraps for decades, Super Power now is being prepped for its eventual rollout in Scientology's massivebuilding in downtown Clearwater.
That will be the only place worldwide where the program, much anticipated by Scientologists, will be offered.
A key aim of
Super Power is to enhance one's perceptions - and not just the five
senses we all know - hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell.
Scientology founder L. Ron
Hubbard taught that people have 57 "perceptics." They include an
ability to discern relative sizes, blood circulation, balance, compass
direction, temperature, gravity and an "awareness of importance,
Church officials won't
discuss specifics of Super Power. But Feshbach and another prominent
Clearwater Scientologist who, like Feshbach, is a major donor to Super
Power's building fund, provided some details in interviews with the St.
Petersburg Times. A group offormer Scientologists who worked for the
church on a campus in California where the program was in development
also described elements of it.
Super Power uses machines,
apparatus and specially designed rooms to exercise and enhance a
person's so-called perceptics. Those machines include an antigravity
simulator and a gyroscope-like apparatus that spins a person around
while blindfolded to improve perception of compass direction, said the
A video screen that moves
forward and backward while flashing images is used to hone a viewer's
ability to identify subliminal messages, they said.
Hubbard promised Super
Power would improve perceptions and "put the person into a new realm of
ability." He believed it would unlock abilities needed to spread
Scientology across the planet.
If one had asked me 20 years ago if "we are alone", my answer would have been definitely "yes." Today, I am not sure. My research into the phenomena known as alien abductions began 13 years ago, in my home on a farm in Rockwood, between Guelph and Acton Ontario.At that time, my husband, myself and daughter (with her young son of 2 years old) all worked for the Ontario Government. Our ritual was to get up each morning before 6 a.m. and leave for work in downtown Toronto, dropping the infant off at the babysitters. This particular morning, we all slept in until 10 a.m.Our first instinct on waking so late, as if we all had hangovers,' was of a power cut causing the alarms to not gooff.
But what most caught our attention was a two-year-old telling us that he had met "God" during the night. His description of "God," and of being taken up through his bedroom window in a blue light to a space ship, certainly woke us quickly. Of course, our natural instinct was to put it down to a dream.
I remember asking my daughter what on Earth he'd been watching on television. Remarkably, the two-year-old turned to me and said "they said you would not believe me Nanna." Not wishing to call the child a liar, I instinctively said "of course I believe you." His next words sent a chill down my spine. "They told me to tell you to find the book that grandpa Lennie gave you in England, and read the last two lines on page.." (I cannot remember the page number now). I had to think what book he was talking about; then I remembered thaton my last visit a few months earlier to England, my father had given me a book to read on the plane back to Canada. Because it dealt with a form of spiritualism, which I could not understand, I didn't bother to read it. On my return, it had been thrown in the junk drawer. My daughter and I turned the house upside-down searching for this book. On turning to the page indicated by my grandson, I read out loud the two lines he told me to read "there are more things in heaven and earth than what any of us understand"..What is so extraordinary about this, is that my two-year-old grandson, who could not possibly read, or have known about this book, was able to tell me about two unusual lines contained in it.. This started me wondering about what he was telling us, and if it could have some truth to it. He also told us, quite in detail, about the 'children on the space ship' who werechildr......