Old ways, New Beginnings

By Jack Wolf


As the modern day calendar comes to a close I thought I’d leave you all with a few things that I found particular interesting during 2015.

When I was young I had the privilege of being in the presence of some pretty amazing people, some of them Elders who hailed from different traditions. Interestingly enough from my first real mentor, Joseph Woo, a Chinese healer and sorcerer who I met in my early teens, to my Native relations and my Thornish ones – all the way through to the present; the wise ones all seemed to agree that my generation would live to see profound changes for the good of this planet. At first I wondered; “Why us?” or “Why were we somehow so special?” Of course later I realized that we were probably not all that special – it seems that it was simply our destiny to be in this place at this time.

In the early years things seemed pretty much status quo, but as the years went by we who were paying attention could see the coming of the changes. At first these were small things but as time passed the changes and currents in everything from social interaction to media to culture and religion – to the very essence of our planet herself – all became quite obvious.

To people like me, who had been shaken awake since the 1980s and were somewhat more watchful than the average human being, these changes were anything but uplifting.

They were downright scary.

I found myself once again questioning the wisdom of the ancestors, the Elder Kin and even the one we call Wyrdamör (the Thornish personification of destiny – the Fate Mother) as to why people like me were cast into an age that could easily end up as an apocalyptic nightmare. I could see no benefit in this save for the experience which we would carry with us to the next world, and as a parent, I had no wish to see my child (or anyone else’s children for that matter) go through what I suspected would be very grim times.

But once more I fell back on my understandings of the multiverse and of course of the many teachings I have been lucky enough to receive over the years. I remembered the Elders I have known and how they all agreed on one thing: There would be a branch in our collective path as human beings and as we approached this fork in the road we would see that there could be only two possible outcomes to the decisions we would make when we got there. One branch of this powerful crossroads would see us regain our wisdom as a species (after all homo Sapiens means ‘wise person(s)’ in some translations), take back our role as stewards of the land and usher in a new era of enlightenment.

The other path, that of continued consumption, materialism and resource misuse; that of insane religious behavior and outrageous arrogance – would lead to decay, terror and ultimately the extinction of not only the human species on this world, but also to the annihilation of many other species as well.

The Elders are quite clear on this and I will tell you that even the Thornish teachings, which are relatively young, yet inspired by older wisdom – also tell us that this choice for our world is upon us.

Looking back on the Common Era year 2015 I must say that although it still contains the insanity of those who cannot or do not wish to change, the greater mass of humanity has been awakening with an almost frightening rate of speed. More and more humans are rising up and saying NO to the status quo. More and more are speaking through their votes and their ideas/opinions on social media for instance, are turning into a cultural juggernaut. For instance, in my own homeland of Canada, our last federal election heralded in truly massive, positive change.

Change is actually happening. Everywhere.

In the face of many things, such as climate change, social upheaval and the continued decadence of corporate and political culture it would seem that the final straw has been cast – that people are sick and tired of the feudal dark ages that never really ended. They seek and end to the thing Thornish people have long referred to as the LIE – that long age of decadence that has sucked our planet and our species nearly dry.

Those who do not wish to leave this hoary world of unparalleled decadence don’t seem to realize that they are on the cusp of an extinction event: Their own. Those who for some reason cannot grasp that nature – and evolutionary principles – don’t apply to them are, it would seem, rapidly approaching a very rude and potentially fatal awakening.

It is coming down to an us-or-them situation, with the awakened/awakening ones on one side and the ‘old guard’ of corruption, disparity and elitism on the other. Those who are standing for the Earth are growing stronger every minute and it would seem that eventually the ideas espoused by the corrupted ones will perish along with them.

It is time for those following the old ways of materialism and corruption to walk away from their old habits. There is still time for all but the most decadent to change.

This battle is in the works right now, as we speak, and I believe that it will continue to grow until a new kind of human being emerges; one that will return to the sacred role of caring for the world we were given. This change has been a long time coming and indeed I am reminded of the adage which tells us that we often shine the brightest in times which are most grim. The circumstances are exigent and we who are awakened must rise to the challenge. The reward for failure shall be nightmare and death but the rewards for success will be beyond our imaginings.

It would seem that the Elders, after all, were right – not only in that these things would occur but also that those of us here right now are present for good reason.  We may not be able to fathom exactly what those reasons are at this time, but I think that in the end we shall witness something extraordinary.

Perhaps 2016 will be the year we truly take back our sacred planet and deal with those systems that have harmed her – once and for all.

It is time to become stewards again and re-green our world; heal our species and all upon our wonderful planet.

Progress begins in a single step and I am happy to see we are moving forward well.


Best regards to all in the New Year. Don’t give up the fight!




About Jack Wolf

Canadian author Jack Wolf has been a practicing Pagan for over 30 years, walking a path that encompasses both his Northern European and Native American heritage. He counts the late Heathen Goði and writer E. Max Hyatt, Professor Mark Mirabello, Dakota tribal Chief William Hoff and American author Allan Cole among his mentors. An avid outdoorsman, Jack has spent a considerable portion of his life exploring the deep wilds of British Columbia, a vast province on Canada’s west coast. He brings a great deal of his wilderness experience to his spiritual path. Over the past 15 years Jack has studied and written about a number of northern pagan traditions, having published for the most part independently or in small journals, blogs or websites. His recent works for Mandrake of Oxford Have certainly opened up his writing to a larger audience. Jack is also the author of several other books, including Circle of Bones (2012), The Way of the Odin Brotherhood (2013), Blood and Stone (2014) co-author of Tales from the Red Moon Lodge (2014) and co-editor of A Voice from the Thornwood (winter 2014). Forthcoming works include The Thornish Path, Ullr’s Road and The Urban Tribalist, all of which are planned for a mid-2015 and early 2016 release respectively. Spiritually, Jack identifies himself generally as a Deep Tribalist and more specifically as Thornish. He is a member of a primal pagan tradition whose spiritual path involves questing for the First Knowledge – that held by our most ancient ancestors whose hearts and spirits were deeply connected to the land. The Thornish path is the way of the warrior-steward; a Deep Tribal tradition which Jack has practiced since the late 1980’s Jack holds a degree in anthropology from the world renowned University of British Columbia and has long held an avid interest in history, tribal peoples, spirituality and the reawakening of pagan peoples worldwide. He currently resides with his wife and co-author Cassandra Wolf and their daughter, in Squamish, British Columbia.
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