Mittwoch, 14. Februar 2018
So I am glad that only recently I mustered some resolve to get something done. Since my forge time is very limited, I resolved to get myself a weekend project blade, just for motivation and for testing. It is a Roselli, the UHC version of one of my favourite whittling knives, the carpenter. It is said to be Wootz and Roselli claims it coming in an extreme hardness of 66-67 HRC. Now I know how 67 HRC shall feel: At this hardness a blade scrapes glass. I know, because file steel blades do have this hardness after a non-tempering quench, before the temper in an oven. Now do not get me wrong: The carpenter UHC is a very, very fine knife. It is sharp, and has a decent hardness. But fact is, it quite certainly has not a hardness of 67HRC as is. I would estimate it to a 61-62 max. This is well hard enough for me. Most of my knives have a hardness of 58-60HRC and this works best for a backwoods knife. I would say Roselli tricks you a bit by naming the hardness before the tempering process. As I said, it is a very, very fine knife, but this policy sucks a bit. The truth would be well enough. I also got myself a complete knife for horsing around with, and with this knife, just when whittling the ditch on a spoon, the first 2 mm of the tip broke off (no levering). Now you get a complete knife for 120 €, and this is an absolute bargain price for a Wootz blade, and I daresay it really is Wootz, for it shows the characteristical dendritic pattern, together with a simple, but well-made and effective leather sheath. But why the hell does soemone who makes decent knives spend time and energy to make up something that just cannot be achieved technically? Anyway, I already fitted a handle of reindeer antler, which will see some zoomorphic ornament carving as well as some adornments.
The other work in progress is a bushcraft blade I forged myself (120x4mm, convex bevel to zero, handle is 115mm long ), out of a piece of some mystery stainless steel, presumeably 440C or Niolox, a steel comparable to 440C but with a high content of Niobium, making for a finer grain. I am a bit proud that I achieved a complete annealing with an open forge and a fridge, as well as a selective temper. Some first testing shows a good flexibility and a hardness of about 58-61HRC. The holes in the tang are hot - punched through. I daresay it will get either the birchwood burr scales on the picture or some elk, reindeer or sambar stag antler scales... I will keep you posted. ;-)
Mittwoch, 7. Februar 2018
But I always did so with a sense of guilt and shame. It did not feel right to lose oneself in tales and dreams, when there where actual creatures of Evil roaming the Earth. Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, that Turkish fucker, that North Korean fucker and all the other fuckers who deserve more than death. Yes, that´s Fimbulmyrk ranting. Yes, that´s Fimbulmyrk hate-mongering. Yes, and Fimbulmyrk hates those fuckers even more so because those fuckers brought him that far. There are about one thousand methods of torture I would inflict on, say Donald Trump if it made any sense. But it does not make any sense. Because all hope for a better world is lost for good and there will be ever worse tyrants. It makes no sense to kill the tyrants or even hate them, because the next ones in line will be even madder and far worse. I would gladly kill myself, but what for? Even suicide would not make any sense any more.
Enter the grand old dame of fantasy. Ursula K. Le Guin, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ursula_K._Le_Guin) who died on January, the 22nd, said the following:
So many things are deemed escapist. My colleague at work says blacksmithing with children is escapist. Bushcraft is deemed escapist. Walking through nature is escapist. Spirituality is escapist, as is fantasy and literature and striving for an education that is not "push that button and shut up".
People tell me that blogging is dead, and I was asking why. Because noone has time to read anymore and many people do not have the ability to follow articles that are longer than five lines, because they lack the span of attention required for more, they keep saying.
Many of the people in my acquaintance suffer from one or the other form of depression, most of them, to be exact. One of my friends who is in therapy right now, said she did not know the many things that are wrong with her before therapy, that she did not know exactly how deficient she actually was. So much for succesful therapy, by the way. Many of them cannot cope with the lack of any perspective in our world, with the ongoing warmongering, with the increasing pressure on the individual´s life, with the perverted turns of everyday life where nutrition is the new religion, and any other spirituality is absent and escapist and deficient.
Madmen are heads of corporation, and of city, and of state. Big-term business corporation own us all and do not even try to conceal the fact that they are the one who rule us. It´s not that they would kill you in case you don´t obey... you just do not belong any more if you do not play the game according to their rules. And the rules change like the weather and after unconceivable and absurd fashions.
That sheds an intersting light on the term "deficient perception of reality", innit?
And if you do not belong at all anymore, and feel left alone in the dark, then this post is for you. Because I want to tell you a secret.
They fear you.
They fear the archaic threat you pose.
They fear the twilight of murky woods. They can drive off darkness with the flick of a switch, everywhere, they can control nature to a frightening degree... but they cannot control the wilderness in your mind.
They fear the other world. They fear God and the Gods and what is lurking beneath. And by belittling everything of real substance, crafts and art and fantasy, spirituality and belief, they hope to free themselves from the nagging doubts that grow like a cancer and grow and spread. They fear the werewolves and the spirits of the dark as well as the light. They are by definition, grey and Evil. They are the worsest of the worst.
The mist fell on ancient hills. After work, I set out for a bimble. So, you say, are you not afraid of wild pigs or wolves or racoons or foxes? No, I say. I am afraid of bankers and economists and politicians. No wolf could do that much harm to me. No wild pig would want to tear my soul apart and leave it throbbing with pain in a darkness that is no darkness but an abyss that defies definition. Then, you ask, are you not afraid, at least, if you are such a superstitious guy, of the spirits of the dark? Of what is lurking in the realm of twilight behind the threshold you so often mention?
But, in a world where light is only neon, and neon alone and thou shalt not relish in the warm flicker of the golden light of a candle, I have no shame anymore of unbecoming human, but something deeper and darker, with gnarled roots in the rock of the other world. I am a teller of secrets untold and unborn. I am the whisperer in the twilight. I am unbecoming human, and I am walking the masked path of twilight fury. I mean no bodily harm to anyone... but I know not shame anymore in telling the tales of the murky woods.
I have no shame in becoming the violent twilight. I have no mercy anymore. I have no guilt in killing with a word of power, a song of insanity, a sword I found in the other world, of killing the souls of the grey ones once and for good. For they fear, and I feed on their wrath and their fear to become even stronger. Yes, fear shall follow them, fear of the murky woods. Yes, peaceless by restlessness they shall become. Yes, they shall have no respite anymore, anywhere. I am a part of the darkness, I walk the masked path through the thicket of my fantasies... in stealth I tread to find a path into their dreams. There, at the threshold between wake and sleep, I will be lurking to ravage their soul. Care to join me?
And the most powerful weapon I have is being myself. A dreamer. A teller of tales, a whisperer of secrets, a part of the woods they so much fear.
Try it. Sit by a stream in the murky woods. Listen to its song. And unbecome human. become the wildness of your mind instead, the clawed and horned animal that thrives in the deepest of the woods of your mind, the sorcerer, the maiden, the warrior, the mother, the child, and man and woman and beast alike. Scream the love of your live into the raging, ravaging storm - and become the storm, laughing as the absurdity of their ways is tattered by your breath.
Find the words that are the weapon of these songs, find the blade that is silence, find the tales it sings and tells. Do not harm their bodies - but strike back with the hardest force when they attack you. Escape from a reality that is not real, escape from a tyranny that is more than a tyranny of the body, but a prison for your soul. And fight. Always guard your dreams and never feel ashamed of your soul.
Make it your sword, and always keep it shaving sharp. And protect your like and kind with every living breath and strive to take as many with you as you can.
No, it is not a hardcore tactical or bushcraft knife, but as a secondary carry for processing food and snacking, it is one of the best knives I own. The Yatagan blade is reminiscent of a Laguiole design, but the handle gives far more support to the had than a Laguiole, as good as this style of knife generally is.
You can get this style of knife from many makers in Hungary-go get yourself one and enjoy! ;-)
Labels: Hungarian Knifemaking, Hungarian Shepherd´s knife, Knifemaking Tribal Smithing Bushcraft Survival Mushroom Hunting
On the Jagd und Hund expo, which took place last weekend, I bought a bold copy of oe of my favourite bushcraft folders of all time, the EKA Swede 90. It is made by a corporation named "Ed Mahony" and produced in China. I got it way cheap, of course, and with a blade out of 440C it is not THAT bad, and the culprit is, EKA has stopped production of this knife. Might be it was too durable... mine now has some 15 years upon its edge. Anyway, the knife is beautiful with a handle which is made from Olive wood with next to no grain, unfortunately.
What you cannot see is that there are steel liners set into the wooden scales, somewhat recessed, other than the original, which has bronze liners. Both knives have a very sturdy lockback locking mechanism and a Scandi grind, which is modified by a secondary bevel on the Ed Mahony. The latter came "ouuta the box" hair-poppingly shharp.
An issue was that I had to adjust the screws on the Ed, which are made from stainless steel. A big bonus is that you can adjust them with but a coin. Adjustment was not that easy, because of bigger tolerances on the Ed which made for less of a smooth action and less room for errors. I will have to use Loctite blue on the screws to ensure a lasting performance.
Donnerstag, 21. Dezember 2017
At https://i.pinimg.com/564x/c7/47/1e/c7471eb86ac0c940ddbece82760daf6b.jpg I found an image of the insigns of a Saturnic grade of the Mithraic mysteries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraism)
The Saturnalia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia) in ancient Rome was a festival taking part from 17th of December to 23rd of December. Gifts were given to the rich and poor alike, and the toga, a symbol of Roman citizendom, was set aside in favor of more colourful festival clothes (or none at all ;-)). During this time, Saturnus or Dith Pater, reigned supreme, one of his attributes being a scythe or a sickle which bore a close resemblance to the Sica or Falx Dacica (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falx)
According to Plinius the elder the Celtic druids cut the mistletoe with a golden sickle. So, in fact the Sica does have a lot to do with Chrismas or Yuletide. The fool king had to die, Uranos was emasculated by his son Kronos (the titan of time), presumeably with a sickle (this is a speculation, of course).
In Germany, there is a Chrismas demon named "Bluadige Luzie" (Bloody Lucy) playing a role in Bavarian Catholic folk customs (http://www.ausflugszielebayerischerwald.de/wo-kann-ich-eine-rauhnachtfeier-live-erleben/). It is a witch cutting open the bellies of naughty kids with a sickle or scythe and filling them with stones. The scythe of Death ends life; and the life of the year is ritually ended with the solstice: With the longest night the year ends to be born anew. The sickle or Sica plays an important role in the harvest / death myths all over Europe. The myth has thusly survived from the iron age on to modern times.
I wish you all a good Yuletide, Chrismas, or whatever it is that you celebrate. The year will die on the darkest night, and in the darkest night it will be born again and hopefully be prosperous and fertile for you all. May a light be with you always, especially in the darkest hours. And may a Sica be by your side to end what is dying.
Sól invictus esse!
All the best to y´all.
Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2017
(source: Mörk djevels, Ennstal, Steiermark, Austria)
While in Christian times everything with horns on is evil, the Krampus actually acts as a bringer of morale, even in a Christian sense. Krampus is a part of St. Nicolas host, something like the minion who takes the evil children to hell. Krampus was said to be a descendant of Loki, son of Hel, but also derives from the horned Gods of nature. One aspect is the holly king.
The holly king is the "green man" of English folklore and shares a lot of similarities to Cernunnos, the horned god, Herne the hunter, Robin Goodfellow and others.
(image source: Wikipedia)
Back to the figure of Krampus. He is never depicted as outright evil, but as a kind of negative psychopomp and acting as a cautionary mythological figure. The Krampus is a wood sprite (said to live in the deepest woods) in some traditions, and stands for the violent forces of nature. In a different place on this blog I have already referred to my presumption or theory that the Norwegian "Trolls" might have something to do with the "skóggángr mannar", the wood-walking men, people who had been banished from society due to a sentence, denying them the privilege to be a part of human society any longer. With the Krampus, however, I found a striking example of a Mongolian shaman costume:
(image source: pinterest)
This costume shares a lot of similarities to the Krampus costume. These are: Horned mask, sound-producing implements, a "shaman´s whip" (in the case of Krampus the bundle of birch twigs serves the same purpose besides being used to punish nasty children), staff (often a Krampus also holds a staff with bells on), shaman´s sword:
(image source: pinterest)
bells and drum. The shaman in Mongolian society, while being called a holy man, often came to shamanism via a mental illness or any other character trait that distinguishes him from the norm. He is ab - normal in a purely descriptive sense. Often he is a person of higher intellect and education, but not necessarily so. In most cases he lives away from the community of other men. Robinson (1985) postulated a correlation between introversion and emotional intelligence, just to mention it along. In any way, the shaman is seen as someone sitting on the hedge between the worlds. Having had the privilege to converse and make closer acquaintance with a genuine Mongolian shaman several years ago I can say that this quite certainly distinguishes a genuine shaman from all those self-entitled morons running around selling their so-called dream-travels. That gentleman was extremely practical-minded and saw his spirituality in much the same way in which he put up to everyday tasks. He was actually quite down-to-earth, but also had the capacity of having "one foot in the spirit world", as he put it.
In Mongolian society, the shaman is living apart from human society, not because he is despised or in any way banished, but because he is dangerous in a sense, dangerous because of a power that elevates him from human society. He is not entirely human, but able to share characteristics with spirit and animal. He is the one who talks to the world of spirits. In Saami culture, there are stories of shamans you could only look at through an iron ring to be able to survive their gaze.
The Krampus is something that lurks in the darkness and stands for the dark half of the year. Like trolls and dwarves, like elves and dragons, like white women and death itself, he stands for the uncivilized, for the woods, for the counterworld of civilization. In Arthurian romance we find the hero venturing into the woods where adventures, monsters and fair maiden dwell, to test his fortitude and then return as initiated to the court. It is a rite of initiation.
Now our society puts a lot of emphasis on stating that we are the good ones. We are praying to the forces of light, we bring other cultures the "light of civilization", the enlightenment movement has convinced us finally that there are no gods and no god at all.
Let me put it this way: St. Nicholas and Krampus do not agree at all. ;-) What we have done to nature and our fellow human beings, and what we are doing even now as I write, is worthy of the worst of the bad guys. We do not need to fear any devil anymore; we were better to fear ourselves.
But there are good news-or bad, that depends on your perspective. The old myths currently somehow rewrite themselves. Somehow old Krampus jumped out of the box this year, being all the rage (pun intended). If you listen, he might have a message for you.
Become a creature of the wildwood. And walk the world of man to remind them that you´re dangerous, not because you mean harm to anyone, but because it is your very personality and character. Become dangerous not like a mass - murderer or lunatic is. But because you are one with a wolf, an owl, or winter. Be Yule, and Yule will reward you with the gift of light in the darkest hour.
And remember to fill your boots with leftovers from the feast for Krampus and put them outside! You never know... ;-)
Donnerstag, 23. November 2017
Did not work that well.
But there´s a learning effect involved.
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