The Hex Factory

Heiden Hexology

Troy Wisehart Interview

The following interview is an excerpt from the book, by Hunter M. Yoder, Heiden Hexology, Essays and Interviews, 2012 

Hunter Yoder:

Today I have the pleasure of talking with Troy Wisehart, a Germanic Heathen who is the leader of the Falcon Kindred based out of Olympia, Washington State. Troy is currently featured in the Journal of Contemporary Heathen Thought, Volume One with a beautiful poem entitled, “Baldr's Temple”

 

Heil Troy, can you give us a synopsis of your personal background, place or places of origin prior to your discovery of Asatru' and the formation of the Falcon Kindred?

 

Troy Wisehart:

I was born in Arizona in 1962 and lived in that state until my mother moved to Oregon with my sister and I when I was four. At the age of eleven my mother re-married and we all moved to Northern Idaho where I spent most of my teenage years. At fifteen I left on a hitch-hiking excursion to Southern California thinking to live with my father. That did not work out quite like I had envisioned and I ended up back in North Idaho where I finished High School. After graduation I joined the Air Force and went to Germany where I discovered real beer as well as other European pleasures.

In 1984 I separated from the Air Force with an honorable discharge and returned to Idaho where I worked as a laborer for my step-father’s masonry company. I eventually migrated back to Arizona where I met Dave Taggart and discovered Asatru. It was there in Mesa at a house on Raven St. that Falcon Kindred was founded. In 2005 I relocated to the Pacific Northwest where I currently reside in the Olympia area of Western Washington State.

 

Hunter Yoder:

There is a trend amongst the Folk to take on the study of the Runes, why do you suppose that is? Any thoughts on joining a Rune School or Rune Schools in general? Many, or most Folk take up the study of the Runes...do you think this is for everyone?  Should there be degrees of knowledge?

 

Troy Wisehart

In my experience, the runes are of great interest to most people who end up embracing the religion of their ancestors. I believe this is because the minni within us recognizes the runes on a subconscious level and we are instinctively drawn to them. The runes call to us. We somehow know that there is information to be got through them that is available nowhere else. Once we hear the call our thirst for knowledge is never quenched and so we inquire and search.

Rune schools can be valuable learning tools. I think it is wise to seek out those with more knowledge and experience. I try to make a point of associating with people who know more than I do. They challenge me and offer me perspectives that I might not have considered otherwise. For now however I am content to continue with my current course of runic study and meditation on my own. Falcon Kindred often has a runic discussion at our events. Even though I lead those sessions I end up learning something from everyone there. The perspective of others is always very interesting. I also have conversations with several of my friends who study the runes. But I find that reading and talking are only part of the runic journey. The most important element for me is the time I spend alone singing the galdr of the runes and meditating on those energies. Once the mind has been cleared of mental clutter and the way has been opened to the abyss connection to the runes might be established. That is when the “knowing” becomes. 

There are degrees of knowledge with the runes to be sure. Those degrees can be earned and bestowed in a structured curriculum or a person can simply study on their own. Just like any other form of knowledge, there will some who are further down the road than others. It is a journey that cannot be hurried. The information will come when it does and only if fervently sought. We must persistently seek it. It requires dedication. It is not for everyone.      

 

Hunter Yoder:

I recall engaging in an online thread with you regarding animal sacrifice which I suppose is a controversial subject fraught with emotion, but my interest in bringing it up is nonjudgmental. Animal sacrifice is very ancient and is common among all ancient cultures. What is the basic mechanism at play in this rite between the gods and goddesses, the folk and the sacrifice?

 

Troy Wisehart:

The basic mechanism at play between the gods, the folk, and the sacrificial animal is the shared energy of life. In all things there is Sol. It is released upon the death of the lyke. It is my belief that the Sol resides in the blood. Our ancestors knew this and that is why they offered blood sacrifice. For the gods and goddesses that energy is received when the blood is caught in the bowli and offered on the horg. The Folk are besprinkled with the blood and receive a portion of that energy as well. Then at feast the first and best is set aside and offered to the god or goddess through fire. The sustenance got by consuming the flesh of the blot animal is pure and sacred.

There is still more at play here though. It is not an easy thing to raise an animal. A place must be prepared to keep the animal and it must be cared for every day. For city dwellers it is even more of a challenge because they are not able to keep livestock in town. The logistics get pretty complex. But all that preparation and dedication are as much a part of the offering as the ritual slaughter itself. The gods and goddesses are aware of our actions when it comes to these activities and at times will even assist. A coincidental acquaintance who just happens to have just what you need or a friend dropping by right when you need a hand.  Little things, and big things too, that let you know you are not in it alone. The gods and goddesses have a way of blessing us in advance. When we say we are going to do a thing we are taken at our word and treated as if it is already done. It is very important that we follow through!

 

Hunter Yoder:

I really enjoy the Falcon Kindred's Galdrstafir as you recently explained to me, “The bind rune is Fehu/Kenaz X 8. Falcon Kindred. (8 X 1)+(8X6)=56 or ISA. Fehu= fire, Kenaz = fire, Isa = ice. Fire and ice = creation “ What connection if any does something like that have with the Deitsch Hexology. What are your thoughts on using runes and bindrunes on the Hexology?

 

Troy Wisehart:

To me all these symbols serve the same purpose. They are focal points for the mind of the magician. The runes are keys to the energies of the multi-verse. With them we are able to emulate our gods and divine or affect ourselves and things outside ourselves. The stave shapes of the runes are indicative of their function and the body of lore surrounding them teaches us how best we might employ them for specific purpose. The galdr staves are a type of map for the mind to extend its influence out into the multiverse through conscious act of will. And the Hex’s combine various symbols to bring about the desired effect. It makes perfect sense that these three types of magical symbols would naturally work well in combination. They are all Germanic in origin so nothing would be in conflict. It is the will of the magician expressed skillfully in formali that activates any and all of these magical symbols.  

 

Hunter Yoder:

I see from your description in the contributors section of the 'Journal' Volume One that you cite Freyja as the Goddess who took you and Dave Taggart under her wing in the formation of your Falcon Kindred. What can you say about that and how has that relationship with Freya evolved?

 

Troy Wisehart:

When Dave and I first became involved in Asatru we immediately understood that we were to form a kindred. It was simply a matter of fact. We had been reading and discussing things for several months back in 1999 and had decided to do a blot on Halloween. For some reason it was not clear to us what god or goddess should receive the offering and so we contemplated and considered but remained unsure. Then one evening as we sat in the living room attempting to choose the right deity we heard a meowing outside our front door. It was a pure black male kitten on our door step and it became apparent at that point that Freya had provided the answer for us. And so it was that Falcon Kindred’s first ever blot was to the Queen of the Vanir.

 

Hunter Yoder:

We both share a love for the 'Black Sun' symbol. I've used it in the Hexology as the metaphorical sun that shines for those of Germanic descent, a symbol that is found in the artifacts of the Alemani tribe, 500CE. I have seen it as a Sonne Rod or sun wheel and as the wagon wheel, symbolizing the great migration period of our ancestors. What is your take on this powerful wheel? “Ein prosit auf unserer schwarzen sonne, seinem weissem licht und unserem roten blut!”

 

Der Heidevolksstamm

 

Troy Wisehart:

I have always been drawn to the symbol of the Black Sun. However, I actually know very little about it. My initial investigations through internet searches have brought me mostly Satanic associations but I flatly reject that information as irrelevant for my purposes as a Germanic magician. Of course there are the wretched Nazis and their usurpation of this as well as many other sacred Germanic symbols. We see what the misuse of our holy signs brought that lot. Most of what I think about the Black Sun is subjective. Naturally I see the twelve Sowilo runes as the rays of Sunna. The number twelve is the number of Jera and also of months in the year so the seasons are represented by this symbol as well. But what I mostly feel is that the Black Sun is Mani. It is somehow associated with lunar eclipses as Sunna herself would appear to be black during this event. I like to imagine that in the proper state of mind witnessing an eclipse would be like looking into the eye of Odin. Eclipses have traditionally been powerful times of ritual and so if indeed the Black Sun has something to do with Mani blocking out Sunna it would validate my theory. Perhaps the alignment of Sunna and Mani create some type of gate way. It even seems pro-creational in some way.  I can only speculate and at this point it is only my personal theory.  

 

Here's to our black sun, its white light, and our red blood! "The pagan tribe.”

 

 

Hunter Yoder:

I have a friend here in Philadelphia, 'on the block' so to speak. He asks me why Donar's hammer is worn by Odinists? Furthermore he asks me why is it worn upside down? On that I suggest that its purely a matter of gravity and tradition. On the former, I suggest that Donar is the far older God, the God of Thunder, Odin or Wotan a relatively recent addition.What are your thoughts?

 

 

Troy Wisehart:

Thor’s hammer is the best known symbol of Germanic Heathenry. If someone were to be interested in advertising their religion for whatever reason wearing the hammer of Thor would be the easiest way to do it. It is also regarded as a mighty protective talisman and many may feel that they are warded when they wear it. I always enjoy seeing a hammer around someone’s neck although I seldom wear one myself except for special occasions like ritual. Personally I prefer to keep my religious views to myself. At one time I was pretty militant about being an Asatruar and felt the need to make sure everyone knew that I was a Heathen. But for some reason as I have gone further and further down the Odian path I feel less and less compelled to show anyone anything outside of my own kindred. I feel perfectly comfortable with what I am and certainly have no need for a talisman to feel protected. My protection comes from being allied and aligned with my wyrd and the holy powers.

 

 

Hunter Yoder:

In your poem 'Baldr's Temple' Baldr is reborn or reemerges from Hel anew. This is a very old theme in the Germanic mythologies. Von List describes the Fanisk or Phoenix reemerging from the ashes of the Ar or Urfyr or the placing of fertility cult objects in burial sites. What is your personal take on this and on how many levels does it operate? Would it be mistaken to interpret your poem as a personal transformative process in our own lives today?

 

 

Troy Wisehart:

Actually “Baldr’s Temple” is inspired by the Norwegian shamanic band Wardruna. After watching a series of Youtube videos entitled “True Norwegian Black Metal” in which Gaahl explained that the music was a spell to bring Baldr back from Hel I became fascinated with the concept. The poem “Baldr’s Temple” is the result of that fascination. I have given it some thought as to what it would mean if Baldr did indeed return from Hel. If Baldr were to return from Hel it would mean the prophesy of Voluspa had been fulfilled and Ragnarok had begun. It would be the beginning of the next cycle of being. Let us hope Warduna’s spells are successful!   

 

 

Hunter Yoder:    

There seems to be a great deal of those of Deutsch descent in the Great North West. How Nordic should the Heathenry of those Folk be? Is it time for those of German descent to step up to the plate and be publicly proud of their origins? I foresee a time in the very near future when practicing a Continental German form of Neopaganism will no longer be a stigma in the Asatru' community. How do you see that?

 

 

Troy Wisehart:

I have never personally encountered any stigma associated with being German in the Heathen community. But then I am mostly limited to internet contact with other Heathens and the members of Falcon Kindred. We are a fairly close knit group and have found it prudent to be very selective about with whom we associate. We have a criteria that people must meet before they are even considered for participation in our events. When faced with this most do not contact us a second time.

Although I do know that there are some differences in the practice of our religion between the Scandinavians and the Germans those differences are minimal. I am not able to speak with authority on this topic however because I have almost exclusively pursued the more Nordic route. It seems to be working for me.

 

 

Hunter Yoder:

You and your kindred are very busy with your ministry in the prison system. What can you tell us about that? Any Hexology classes?

 

 

Troy Wisehart:

Falcon Kindred is no longer active in prison ministry. To begin with I was the only one that was doing this ministry but I arranged for several other members of the kindred to go through the orientation and back ground check required to participate. At one point we were able to distribute the prison visits between five of us. With that many volunteers it really was not much of an inconvenience to go to the prison once every few months or so. But then all but me and Godi Herigstad were available to minister at the prisons and it became too much. In addition, the kindred is involved in other projects that we feel are more worthy of our time and resources. Several prisons have contacted me requesting that I sponsor the Asatruar in their facilities but I simply do not have the inclination. 

 

 

 

Hunter Yoder:

Danke und machts gut, Troy!