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Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:05 am
Posts: 98
This was a really interesting post and the comments are definitely good and truthful. Hail to all of you!

Sometimes, not often, but sometimes I feel a well of fury inside me and especially when threatened, I can react in such a way. There once was a man at a 4th of July party who was acting the fool, being rude to my family and insulting me and my girlfriend. I ignored the insults to me, but when he referred to my girlfriend as a racial slur, I reacted almost immediately. I took an empty bottle and hit him hard over the head with it, then again in the chest. Unlike in films, glass bottles are actually quite tough, I found. But there was something strange about that night. Everything else was lost away, the explosions from the fireworks in the background...everything. I felt an unusual strength and power in my movements that I have never felt before. I don't think that I'm a berserker, but I certainly made him regret his comments.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:59 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:44 pm
Posts: 1546
Greetings Ragnvold. I have a great amount of respect for anybody who has walked their path for as long as you have but I think differences in definitions can cause confusion. There are two in particular that you have used that make it difficult for me to adequately comprehend your disagreement.

Ragnvold wrote:
First what is the wilderness? The wilderness is the raw environment. It can be the city or the forest any raw environment can suffice for the wilderness. I spent the first 19 years of my life living in the wooded seacoast running the woodlands and in the sea. When I became a man I moved to the city where i became attune with the wilderness of the city.
Being from the western US, I have a very different definition of "wilderness". To me, you can not have the influence of man and have wilderness. If you can see another person, a building, or a road (paved or unpaved) then you are NOT in the wilderness. There is no doubt in my mind that certain urban environments have a "rawness" all of their own but in my opinion they are a poor substitute for a purely natural wilderness. I know that this is a fairly minor thing and I certainly do not want to come across as confrontational but being what could probably be called a wilderness addict, I tend to be a little touchy about what that label is applied to.

The next point of confusion (for me at least) is, for lack of a better term, the berserkergang "phenomenon".
Ragnvold wrote:
Berserkergang is the practice of controlling uncontrollable rage and using it when needed. It is a discipline that cannot be mastered by many. The ability to control the berserkergang and use it when called is a most difficult task.

it took me many years of trouble to control and understand my rage. When i was young i struggled with it and was always in trouble with authority. Once i was struck by another I flew into berserkergang rage and fought without control until several of my allies pulled me from my bloodied enemy. My rage was worse on my loved ones because I could not control it, though I never struck them I would smash furniture and punch holes in walls. It was not until a few years ago i discovered the ritual to control berserkergang.
I will admit that I have not extensively studied it but it has been my understanding that the extent of any control those who have this gift (and I do feel it is a gift, and also a burden) are able to exercise over it is limited to unlocking it when needed. Historically, berserkers fought separate from their comrades, either alone or in small groups of fellow berserks because one they were "switched on" they were as much a danger to their colleagues as they were to their enemies. I hope that you might be willing to elaborate on the ritual you mentioned, I would be very interested in learning more about it.

I hope that this does not come across as criticism, it certainly is not intended as such. Rather I simply seek a better understanding of your point of view.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:52 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:51 pm
Posts: 6

First I value your ideas and opinions. Others insight is always welcome.

What I was trying to convey was that as our worlds change and evolve phenomenons like Berserkergang do not go away they change. We are all influenced by our surroundings. In a modern society were we must live and work in a society we conform, or struggle to conform, in order to survive. Having internal primal rage that erupts outwardly can cause one great troubles. Left uncontrolled it can lead to imprisonment or deemed a mental illness which will get you medicated into submission. Therefore concepts like "wilderness" take on different meanings as our world changes and grows.

We all have a different definition of wilderness based upon our surroundings. I have found that the city can be a raw and primal as the forest or the desert. I have spent much time alone in all three of these places and felt their power. The city is different, it has a different feel and power than other types of wilderness. In the city one can feel as the buildings and structures are mountains or vast expanses of trees and that the people wild beasts. I realize that this may seem a stretch of the imagination for some, but it is how I have always felt in the city.

Personally I feel alone or detached from the influence of man no matter where I am or who I am with. This detachment is like a force or energy that makes me feel as if I am always on the outside of society looking in. It is difficult to fully explain this feeling beyond this.

This is ritual to both control and release of gangr. They can be as simple as galdr mediation or as complex as full blót. One needs to find his own path in controlling and releasing gangr. It can take along time to fully understand. I have studied Berserkergang for sometime and do not fully understand it, nor can I fully control it.

Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:18 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:44 pm
Posts: 1546
Thank you for elaborating Ragnvold, I now understand that we do not have a difference of opinions, rather we have had different experiences that have led us to see the same thing from different vantage points.

Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:38 am
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