Lonnie and Andrew explore the how reconstruction and revisioning of heathen traditions plays out in Lonnie’s life and the world. Going from both the inspiration in Lonnie’s life to the racism and problems that also exist in some adherents. The also talk about chaos magic and finding your own path.
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Andrew: Welcome to another installment of the Hermit’s Lamp Podcast. I am hanging out today with Lonnie Scott. And I know Lonnie from the internet, from tarot community, from all sorts of different places. And not that long ago, for me, even being a guest on his show, Weird Web Radio. But for folks who don’t know who you are, Lonnie, what are you up to you? What are you doing spiritually these days?
Lonnie: Oh, boy. What am I not doing spiritually these days? For most people who may not know that personal side of me, I’m a heathen, I generally practice within reconstructed, reidealized paganism practices inspired by Northern Europe and ancient Northern European practices. But more of if you want to call it, what we call the down and dirty title, chaos heathen. Chaos heathenry is something that was started by the guys at the Elhaz Ablaze website and blog many years ago. I found my way to them just trying to navigate to something within heathenry that wasn’t just religious. I don’t feel like I have this strict sort of religious practice. I’m more interested in magic and sorcery and how those things work, but within frameworks that resonate to me. And heathenry’s always spoken to me that way.
Essentially, we are chaos magicians who found a spiritual home in heathenry. Jason Miller coined something not too long ago called chaonimism. When I read that, I thought, this is the term that applies really well to the way we think, especially myself, within that chaos heathen sort of framework. We’re seeking the real results of practice and trying to find what it is that works and the sort of tech that we can plug into and apply to our lives. At the same time, recognizing that spirit is real and it doesn’t require my permission or my belief to exist. It’s really there if that makes sense.
Andrew: Does for sure. I’m just pulled up the thing from Jason, chaonimism now. Approach that combines the wild freedom focused on results and non-hierarchical view of reality inherent in chaos magic with a belief in spirits as organized consciousness not dependent on belief. Yeah, you know, I mean, I think that, I think that’s such an interesting distinction, this question of, I actually have no question about it but I think that the dialogue about it has been interesting and it’s always interesting when people come to it, which is, are spirits real? Where do they exist? How do they exist?
And for me, I’ve pretty much always approached them as discrete entities with no reliance on me. They have a life of some sort extraneous to me entirely and we just bump into each other if I’m lucky at the appointed times, you know, when I make the appropriate phone call, you know. In a sense, we are that spiritual being, we’re embodied as spirits, if you buy into that framework.
So, you’re a spirit too just as long with all these other spirits that are surrounding us. We’re not better or worse than any of those that exist, we’re just existing on sort of a different framework or different vibrations, I guess, if you want to take it that way.
So, why is the nonreligious side of that important to you or what does that mean in terms of your practice in your life?
Lonnie: Yeah. My practice isn’t centered around devotions, I guess is the really, the only distinction I can come up with that makes any sort of sense. I’m not setting up permanent altar, temple structure type relationships to any deities or trying to come up with specific philosophies or dictate practice or anything around particular god size spirits, if you will. In that light, I’m not the religious, but I do on the same token have these relationships with different gods and goddesses within the heathen framework and without. Go ahead.
Andrew: Heathen is always a word that people, I see around, and I feel like I sometimes struggle to articulate what it means clearly though myself. What does heathenism mean to you or how would you define that word?
Lonnie: Sure. Heathenry is just kind of a general umbrella kind of term. It’s similar to pagan in that fashion, they can cover a lot of different styles and approaches and practices that fall under that category. Heathen is a more specific general term that, again, it covers things that are being reconstructed or inspired by ancient Northern European practices, going out through Germanic lands, Scandinavia, Iceland, Anglo Saxon sort of practices. And there are different specific religions fall under that umbrella depending on what area and region people are being inspired by.
Andrew: So it’s more of these, for you, about the geography where it comes from or the collection of spirits where it comes from?
Lonnie: I guess by sheer accident, it’s associated with the geography because that’s where the ideas come from. But for me, it’s more about the ideas. It’s not about the land or the places that these original ideas sort of sprung up. My interest-
Andrew: I was going to say, your accent doesn’t sound Northern European to me.
Lonnie: Right. My appeal to heathenry is more about the concepts that are inherent inside of it. Things like hospitality and reciprocity being important, the land spirits being an important part of honoring them, honoring your ancestors. And then going at a deeper more mystical level, talking about the norms at the center of all things. The tree and the well being central elements of the cosmology. The more I dig into it, the more I go about the list. It’s less and less and less and less about gods and goddesses to me, and it’s more about these concepts and how I relate to the world and my relationship with the people, the land, the spirits that I work with.
Andrew: It’s more of a philosophy and a theology and a worldview in that sense?
Lonnie: Yeah, I think that’s more accurate. It’s more of a mindset and a worldview than it is a religion at least in my practice.
Andrew: Sure. So, how did you find your way to the Norse or Northern European deities and world view then?
Lonnie: Oh, by accident, like all things. You had your accident, I had mine. When I was a teenager, I started exploring into different parts of paganism and the occult. I tell people I wasn’t raised to be anything. My parents weren’t religious, they weren’t forcing me to attend any churches on Sundays. My sister and I weren’t baptized. We were just left to be whatever it is we were going to be. But sometime around the age of 12 or 13, I got interested in all things spiritual and I started checking out books in the library, asking questions to people who were around. By the time I’m 15 or 16, I’ve probably read most of what Scott Cunningham stuff was on the book shelves, started digging into Crowley’s different material he provided. There really wasn’t much available when I was a teenager in the 90s, early 90s.
But then I meet some friends and all in one swoop, it’s funny, one friend on one hand says, I think I found the perfect book for you and he hands me, Liber Null & Psychonaut. He says, I’ve read through this, I think it’s crazy, I can’t even wrap my head around it but I think it’s definitely for you. And he was right. It was definitely for me, is exactly what I was looking for. All in the same time, another friend, within a day or two of this incident is really getting interested in runes. And he’s got Futhark by Edred Thorsson. He’s got some of Kveldulf Gundarsson’s early stuff, Teutonic religion, Teutonic magic. And he’s got this big goal in mind, he wants to end up on the high read of The Troth. And he starts studying this stuff. I’m just borrowing books from him.
So I sort of find my way to modern esoteric rune practices through Futhark, and then I’ve got Liber Null & Psychonaut in my other hand. These two books sort of form the foundational practice of what propelled me forward into heathenry and the occult both.
Andrew: It’s fascinating. Yeah. I went through a period of time where I was very interested in runes. I was in art school, so like, back in the early 90-ish, you know, I was very interested in them and so on, and was doing a lot of, using them for a lot of magic. I even made some brands and did some branding work on myself as part of creating permanent protection work and stuff like that. So, it was very, back in my body modification piercing interested days and stuff like that. So yeah, very much I get that, that kind of chaotic like, not chaotic in the sense of like on structure, but like that open-ended like, what can I do with this stuff? Where can I put it to work? How can I work this in a way that makes sense to my whole self?
Lonnie: Well, sure, that’s right. I’m looking at the back over time at this, I’ve got, in Liber Null, you’ve got the instruction manual for creating sigils, starting to work sigil magic, and how to adopt different mindsets, to apply magic, to get results. On the other hand, I’ve got a book about runes and these really angular shapes, they look like they want to do something more than just write. Inherently, the aesthetic of them appeal. When you start creating bind runes, bringing different runic forces together, they’re a much more magical looking thing to me than just creating a sigil, the way it’s taught in chaos magic. I think they’re working on the same principle.
Andrew: For sure, yeah. I think it’s kind of like, you can have a bunch of wood and some nails and some hammer and you can make anything you want. Have some Lego that locks together in a really easy structure, right? Both ways you make a thing, you know, and I think that the bind runes and the runes themselves have that sort of ease of interconnection that really does lend itself to that kind of process, right?
Lonnie: Right. Yeah. And this goes back to like, you were talking about how did I get into heathenry, how do I explore it further into heathenry. The more you study the runes, in a modern esoteric framework, you’re essentially looking at what do these runes mean, and most of that modern framework is based on The Elder Futhark. We know what they mean because of the diligent work of academics who have reconstructed proto-Germanic so we can have an idea of what these runes all say on rune stones that dot the landscape. But for you, if you’re a practicing heathen or you’re trying to use runes for magic or divination, what does Fehu actually mean for you on a magical or divinatory purpose. It can mean fee, cattle, money. And you can leave it at that.
But if you really want to dig deeper into runes, you can’t help but sort of fall into these deeper heathen ideas because you ask yourself, well, what did cattle mean to the people who came up with this symbol? What was the concept of money and this idea of fees? And then you find your way to the rune poems and you start finding your way to the Eddas and the stories that hold the mythic tale of the people who came up with this whole symbol set to begin with. It enriches what you can do with the runes on one hand, but like I said, you just kind of fall into these ideologies and worldviews if you’re willing to actually look deeper into what these things are.
Andrew: So, I’m certainly not going to ask you to stand for everybody who uses these things. But, I’ve also seen a lot of stuff kind of creeping in around some kind of more extreme people who are using runes and Norse stuff for racist ideas and stuff like that. I don’t even know what the question I have for you around that is. I guess I’ll go, what do you think about that? Do you think that that’s in any way inherent in the structure? What do we do about this, you know, where people are, you know, from my point of view as someone outside of those kinds of traditions, co-opting something? Yeah.
Lonnie: Let’s dig in. I’m on the high read of The Troth. It’s an international inclusive heathen organization and also the steward of Illinois for the same organization. We make inclusive a distinction because it’s necessary. When modern heathenry was reborn in the minds of people in America, it’d gotten its rebirth in a way earlier in Iceland. But when it relaunched itself somehow in America, it came with a stain from the very beginning. This sort of romantic notion of the viking as this sort of road warrior today. This idea that this is somehow a tradition or a religion that should only be ethnically attached to European descendants.
So, you’ll start to see different factions split over time over how deeply they adhere to those ideas. So, on one hand, you’ve got people like me and The Troth, who are what we call inclusive, meaning that regardless of your sexuality, your gender, your ethnicity, your physical, mental abilities, your economic status even, none of these things are important for you to enter a heathen practice or get to know more about heathen worldviews or join The Troth or any of that. On the other hand, you have other organizations who say it’s for, they call themselves folkish. And usually, that means that they want you to be descended from Northern European countries. And what they mean by that is they want you to be white. I don’t know how else just to spin that other than they just want you to be white.
Andrew: And folkish as in the word like folk, which means people. Like from the people as opposed to like folk practice?
Lonnie: Yes. They’re usually when they’re saying folk, they’re talking about of the people, these specific sorts of people, trying to set it up in a more tribal sort of, and have boundaries is their argument. When you see, like you’re saying, you see these people who are using runes and other heathen ideas that are occupying some pretty far right not so good ideas, at least as far as I’m concerned, it’s all not, let me stutter over my words, none of this comes from a culture in history that was closed off to welcoming the stranger or the other into their communities. We come back to those ideals of hospitality and being both a good guest and a good host in a climate where you had to have those sorts of ideas for people to survive.
But even then, we have evidence and stories of people who are, where they freely adopt others into their tribes or their families. None of that comes up as an issue, they’re not really part of this family, they’re not really part of this tribe. Once you’re adopted, you’re in. It’s a matter of what you can do, not what you look like, not even probably what you believe. It just comes down again to one of those classic heathen sort of phrases, you know, we are our deeds, you are what you do, and nothing else should really matter, the least of which the color of your skin, which is one of the most ridiculous notions that I think should be attached anything heathen.
Andrew: Yeah. Is there an effort or is there a consideration or does this even make sense as a question like within the group, like, because I’ve seen people, people I know, like avoid posting and being involved in runic stuff because of its association with some of these far right people. And they’re like, I just don’t even, I don’t even want to be associated with it. I might have a personal practice but I don’t even bring that out because I don’t even want people to misunderstand where I’m at or what I’m about with this. In your organization or from your point of view, is there something to be done to sort of delineate these things, to sort of, I don’t know, re-reclaim, you know, organize away from these sort of pieces?
Lonnie: Yeah. Well, I mean, first, the reclaiming, right? The argument usually hinges on this is our culture not theirs. So, the people who would want to bar entry from anyone based on ethnicity are making the argument that there’s this living culture that they’re the descendants of and you, whether you’re black, brown, Chinese or anything else, you have your own traditions to go out and find. That’s the argument that they make. And that you should go out and find those. They’re more about segregation in a way than they are sort of some supremacist idea.
Heathenry is not a cultural inheritance. It’s not a living tradition that came down through the generations. The ancient heathen cultures that inspire modern practices are dead and they’re gone. There’s 1000 years of Christianity and other forms of Abrahamic religions, more than likely, and little folk practices, of course, between us and the last heathen who was living pre-conversion times. There’s nothing there to living inherent, or inherit.
Andrew: It’s like if you want to call up Zeus and do some work with Zeus or whatever, there’s no living legacy of that practice continues to today. There’s the disruption.
Lonnie: Not only is there no like direct line through generations. There are hundreds of years of broken connection there. It’s a revisioning, it’s a reawakening, it’s a rebuilding through different ideas and what’s important. We have that ability to look at it in a sort of bigger picture and take what’s the best of what we can know about their ideas and bring that forward without including any baggage or bullshit that’s unnecessary. But even then, that ethnic closing of a door to people, I just don’t think is something that they would have recognized or accepted as part of their own way. I’m sure they had their own barriers to entry to their families and their clans and their tribes, but I very highly doubt it had a thing to do with skin.
With that said, you asked, are there ways to offer alternatives or combat this. The Troth is an organization that works very, very hard to do that. We do it by providing publications and resources to people who are interested in heathenry that are one, based on real and solid scholarship, two, effective modern practice, and three, inclusive, being honest about what we expect and who we are, that there’s nothing that’s going to bar you from being part of what it is that we do.
And last year, I decided to use social media as a way to put up more of a face on inclusive heathenry. And it’s funny you were talking about, you know, people who are reluctant to publicly say that they use runes or something or get involved in groups that are more akin to runes because of those associations with less desirable people or ideologies.
I had a conversation with a guy who was basically confessing the same things to me, saying, look, I’ve got this deep, passionate relationship with Odin and Freya from the Norse Pantheon and the mysteries that surround them. And in my own trance work, the things that I’m discovering in my own relationship are amazing and I want to write them down, I want to share them with the world. But I’m gay and I’m black and I can’t. I mean, he really felt like because he’s gay and he’s black, he can’t share what he’s discovering in his own journey, in his own path with these two specific divine forces.
Hearing him say that broke my heart because here I’m having a conversation with a guy who is one of the most brilliant occult practitioners I’ve ever had the honor to talk to him my life. And he knows who he is and he knows he inspired this movement even. So I got to thinking about it, how do I work harder to make sure that that door’s open to people like him, that he’s not afraid to walk through that? The fact that he’s scared or reluctant to or anyone else, for that matter, I think weakens and cheapens the growth and the movement of modern heathenry. The more great minds and the more practitioners that we have with these different backgrounds and different ideas that they bring to the table can only enrich our own practice.
So, I started this thing. It’s a hashtag, #knowourheathens, and #inclusiveheathenry attached to it. And you can search those on Facebook is mostly where it’s been happening. And just asking people, to put a picture of yourself up on Facebook or anywhere else on social media, include these hashtags, and tell people that you’re heathen and you’ll accept anyone into heathenry regardless of gender, and race and ethnicity and sexual orientation and so on. And I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by how many people are willing to take that stand and just let people know that the door is not locked, it’s not even closed. And here we are, we’re going to stand here and hold it open for you.
I already know that there’s criticism of this idea even sort of from my own camp, saying, you know, I don’t, you don’t have any divine right to say who can and can’t come to the gods, right? It’s all about honoring the gods properly and so on. But I also think that I can’t pretend that the world isn’t what it is. I’m a straight white man who practices heathenry. I can walk into any heathen gathering in the world and if I don’t open my mouth and share my thoughts or bring that friend who doesn’t fit the straight white man mold, no one’s going to question my presence there. All those heathen doors are open to me, no matter what extremist ideas those groups hold because I look the part.
So I’ll take that sort of privilege of looking the part and open the doors as wide as I can, to make sure that people who don’t look the part the way these more extremist factions want can find their way to it as well.
Andrew: That’s great. I think that that falls to all of us, right? And the more privilege we have, the more it falls to us to make sure that we do what we can to take steps in those directions for sure. So, I think that’s fantastic. I hope people continue in that direction, lots of people continue in that direction, and in whatever other ways makes sense to continue to open those doors, because it’s always been my experience that, I’m sure there are spirits that care a lot about place or family lines or other things.
But it’s never been my experience that I’ve run into a spirit who’s like, run into like traditional practitioners even in sort of living lineages who are like, oh, you’re not from here or you’re not from my group, therefore, you can’t be involved. I’ve never run into that anywhere. And so I think these these other people who are fronting that, it’s not coming from the spirit sides, it’s coming from all the crappy, horrible things that that comes from.
Lonnie: Yeah. Oh, I agree. It gets to the idea of ancestry as well. A core concept of heathenry is honoring and venerating your ancestors. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a laser focused microscope on a specific region of the world within a specific set of decades and say, those are my ancestors. Sure, but have you ever looked at a family tree? Have you done the sheer math on how many people resulted in you that you had a whole lot more ancestry covering a lot more territory. And not just from that region. It backs up into previous ages and people move and they migrate. cultures blend and mix. And even religions are much more syncretic in ancient times than they are these dogmatic solid approaches.
I mean, even today, Christianity, you’ve got a 2000 year unbroken lineage, something that all pagans would love to have, right? But there’s, I can look out my window, there’s a Catholic Church three blocks away that direction. There’s a Baptist Church four blocks away in that direction. Neither of them agree on a lot of principles of their own religion but they use the same holy text. The idea that there’s this unbroken sure way to do it is funny to me. And at the same time, that thing about ancestors. If that’s your sole argument for being part of heathenry, as an example, just be honest and say you have this super hyper focused love of a specific place in time because it’s a poor representation of ancestors as a whole.
Andrew: Well, you know, so in my tradition, we have, our notion of ancestors a [inaudible 00:33:00]. It includes your bloodline, for sure. The people who actually genetically contributed to your presence on the earth. But it also includes your initiatory lines. And the word means both. I mean, I think that there are different ways to have familial bonds. You talked about hospitality and so on, and to be welcomed into that family, you know, because I think that that’s one of the things when we find our group of spirits or our group of ancestors or whatever, in that broader sense, we become ideally a part of that connection both in terms of receiving the blessings and owing obligations and all of that. I think it’s important.
Lonnie: I think it’s important. You know, you talked about family, bloodlines are important, sure, you know, you honor the ancestors of, I call it the ancestors of blood and bone, those people who literally genetically results in you. But again, you’re talking about thousands of people throughout time, and various traditions and various cultures and different values all throughout the generations. And family’s bigger than blood. I would wager most people listening to this are closer to some of their friends than they are some of their own siblings and would give more to them for that.
Andrew: I’m sure almost everybody has that aunt or uncle who’s not actually related but who’s just so close to the family, right?
Lonnie: Yeah. And then, you know, if you research your ancestry like I have, you’re inevitably going to find someone who is adopted or something of that fashion, isn’t actually someone of blood and bone coming down generation to generation to you. They were adopted into the family or they came into the family by some other means that still results in you somehow, but they’re not actually blood related. In my practice, ancestors are an even bigger scope than that. You have ancestors of place and the people who are important to the history of where you actually live and do your work. Ancestors of tradition, like you were talking about, who have made your practices possible today in some way or form. It’s so much more than what, than what some of those folkish type heathens would like to box it into.
Andrew: So, is the idea of, because, maybe because I’ve watched too many movies or like HBO specials or whatever, but like, is the idea of like being a warrior relevant to heathenism? Or is that just again, a pocket that like a limited number of people have sort of emphasized?
Lonnie: I think it’s a pocket that a limited number of people have emphasized. It’s easy to do that when you, the most of the surviving lore that we have comes from the sagas and the Eddas that were written down post-conversion near the viking period. There’s an awful lot of conflict going on back in time that these written down or the time that the stories come from, of course. People are moving all over the world, tribal conflict is occurring. One local chieftain becomes bigger chieftain, scoops up everybody on the farms and they go raiding and he wants to be bigger king, and so on, and so on, and so on. This isn’t something that’s even restricted to just heathen areas, that’s just how the world worked, and I can even argue still works that way, we just don’t call it the same things.
So no, I just, there are people who are, of course, who are inspired I guess to be soldiers or pursue a life in the military because of heathenry. It’s certainly not frowned upon. It fits into some of the mold. You have gods and goddesses that are associated with war and victory. So why not have people who inspired by that, pursue that? But that is certainly not all that these gods, goddesses, the worldview is associated with.
Again, I would point to ideas of the tree, the world tree that’s connecting all the worlds and the mysteries that you can explore there in. The well that holds all that is and was and ever will be, and explore the mysteries therein. What are the norms, what do they really mean? How can I apply hospitality to my life? What does reciprocity mean? What is a right relationship with the world around me? And none of that has to do with, has to be anything at all about war or fighting?
Andrew: Yeah, it’s interesting how there’re all these different ideas. It’s like so many ideas around my tradition, people, especially people who hear about Santeria, and they just think of it as, like witchcraft that’s going to help them get their lover back or whatever, when in fact, there’s whole religious living tradition around everything to do with life as opposed to just sort of this one very particular sort of limited notion about it, right?
Lonnie: There are. In a tradition, I guess in traditions such as heathenry where everything that we’re building on even to get our inspiration for what we’re going to do today comes from things that were written down by Christians well after conversion, inspired, of course, by their ancestors wanting to share those stories, the surviving oral traditions for whatever reason that make it into whatever we have left. But still, ultimately, were written down post-conversion by Christians. So, you have to sort of take an honest view of those things and explore everything. Archeology and what are the latest academics and scholars discovering on there. And of course, balance that out with your own personal practices and how you transform that into a living tradition.
Just a random thought, yeah, talking about those sagas and Eddas and everything that was written down by this Christian hands, every American knows the story of Paul Revere, right? I’m guessing a lot of people do, the midnight night of Paul Revere, one of by land, two of by sea, during the Revolutionary War. That’s how they were going to let them know the British are coming. And he’s this revered folk hero from a couple hundred years ago, the early formation of the United States in the war against Britain for independence. But what people don’t realize is, here’s a story in a living culture that everything is written down. There’s no oral block of hundreds of years which you’ve got to worry about what gets remembered properly and putting your own twist on it and everything, everything is written down. And growing up as a kid, everybody was told the story of Paul Revere.
What people don’t realize, though, is Paul Revere sort of falls into this cultural memory because his name rhymed best with the story, the poet who was telling his story came up with. There were many more writers that were out to notify all the villages, the town that British were coming. In fact, Paul Revere, according to the sources I’ve read was actually captured and was the worst one at his job at notifying everyone the British were coming.
So, you take that as an example of again, that living culture, a folk hero even, legend, everything is written down generation to generation and even taught in schools when you’re young. And the story is not true.
Andrew: If his name had been Paul McGregor, he wouldn’t have [inaudible 00:42:24]
Lonnie: Yeah, Paul McGregor was probably better at it than he was.
Andrew: He was done his work and own the pub enjoying a pint, you know.
Lonnie: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That is why I just don’t take a hard line approach to any of this. Ultimately, because we can’t always be sure about how much, one, how much we actually received that’s accurate, and two, even on the things that are accurate and we can verify that are accurate, it’s so little of it that you can’t rebuild a real thing out of just that. You have to do comparative work with other mythology and other traditions and so on to put it all together. And my own practice is more focused on magic and sorcery. I want to do trance work and I want to do divination and I want to use magic to get results in my life or the things that I need in the world right now and I want to communicate with spirits. I’m telling you, right now, the instructions for all of that are pretty non existent in a heathen framework. Yeah.
Andrew: So, where are you borrowing those instructions from? Is it from Peter Carol? Is it from, you know, where are you pulling those instructional pieces in to create that for yourself in this heathen framework?
Lonnie: Excellent question. It starts with Peter Carol, Liber Null, of course, and working through all of that material. I approach that like a kid who is starving and I just discovered McDonald’s for the first time. It was wonderful. And that led to Phil Hine in his early work, which was fun. It took a much less serious approach to chaos magic than Carol was taking, which was a nice balance with that. And then, you know, in that time, you’d get online and there’s different Yahoo groups, like the X, that was one of my favorites. And then the Chaos Matrix is still online today, deposit of articles to help the budding chaos magician get their start. You just experiment and you explore. Like I said, you explore outside of other traditions and other things.
I found my way to Tarot and becoming, falling in love with tarot and enriching myself spiritual practice with that helps inform everything that I do. It has this rippling effect across all of it. And I get better at divination in general and my intuition develops stronger. You learn different things. I don’t know, over time, honestly, by the time I got to Elhaz Ablaze, finding that website around 2007, I was sort of frustrated, I kept running into too many of those sort of heathen groups or people that held those folkish ideas and I just didn’t resonate with them. They weren’t my kind of people. Until I found Elhaz Ablaze, I didn’t even know for sure if there were heathens out there who were super involved in magic and trying to do things with it.
And about that same time, I started finding Jason Miller stuff, and found my way into strategic sorcery and took his course. And again, it has this profound rippling effect across my personal life and my practice. I go where, I try to focus all of my pursuits in the places where I see people getting the results.
Andrew: I think that’s a really important thing. If we’re going to bother to do magic, then we really need to, need to really get results, like otherwise, why bother? It’s a lot of work most of the time [inaudible 00:46:42] something from it.
Lonnie: One thing I know true about magic, it works. The other thing I know true about magic is it doesn’t work the way I want it exactly or even most of the time. So either, it’s not like electricity, you can’t just plug into it and get everything that you want out of it, or I’m a shit magician. And I choose to believe in myself. I’m going to go with, it’s a much more subtle sort of thing that we tap into, and our influence probably plays with probabilities more than it produces profound effects. Although, I can’t help but wonder sometimes if those profound effects are available to us, we just haven’t figured it out. I know I haven’t.
Andrew: I think it was in one of Peter Carol’s books where he talks about sort of divine over the short term on a shorter term and magic on a longer term to get the best combination of results.
Lonnie: Yeah. I saw one time, I’m pretty sure it was Peter Carol from years ago who suggested that you should do divination and try to communicate with yourself in the future. See if you’re going to get the results from the work before you do the work. It’s not my thing but it’s similar sort of idea.
Andrew: I’m so curious, which runes your future self would send you in divination to indicate the success on a particular work, you know? How’d you know that it was a correct, you know? When you work with manual divination cards, runes, whatever, they have no choice but to answer. So we can’t assume that there is an actual connection going on, right? Even when I divine with coconut with Orishas, unless I’m feeding them certain things, you always have to ask if they’re actually there first, right? But I’m like, what would you set up as your own kind of like thumbs up. It’s like people when they know they’re going to die, they’d be like, if I come back and speak to a medium, if they don’t say this word, it’s not me. That’s some of those things. How do you set that up with yourself?
Lonnie: Yeah, that’s a good question. You do bring up an important point there. I often have this conversation with people in paranormal investigations. I’m really happy to see more people using runes and tarot especially in paranormal investigations and trying to communicate with spirits just like the rest of us. But the minute you get those runes out or you pull a tarot card, you will have an answer, but that doesn’t mean you’re communicating with something. There has to be some sort of established thumbs up, some pre-game decision, this is how I know I’m really talking to something. Otherwise, that fool card doesn’t mean anything other than I pulled a card.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s like when I’m, divining people coming in they’re asking if they’ve been cursed. As somebody who reads to the public it’s a question that I run across a lot. And I’m not dismissive of that question, I think that it’s a valid question. I think that the answer is generally a lot less than than many people would think. But nonetheless, it can happen. But like, for me, there are only two cards in the deck that I will take as an affirmative answer to that question when that question is asked. So that’s two out of 78. And one of them has to show up in a certain position for me to be like, okay, yes. They’re actually saying, yes, this is real.
And I think that having those clear understandings, what is that card that’s the future Lonnie speaks card, you know, or whatever, right? Or future me speaks card. I think it’s a really exciting idea.
Lonnie: It’s a fun idea to play with. I don’t know how much merit I would give that idea of communicating with future selves. The armchair sort of, I watched a bunch of shows with Michio Kaku and Brian Green so I know something about science idea. I know they suggest that time may not be this arrow, that it could be more of a all time happening now kind of thing in one scenario. So maybe in that situation, if that’s true, you could communicate with the future self. But then you get into all these possibilities and multiple futures. What if you know something too far ahead now, you you just change your mind so that doesn’t matter anymore. How much are we locked into fate? What choices do we have?
Andrew: Tells us a lot about ourselves once we start thinking about it.
Lonnie: Yeah. You want to really hurt your brain.
Andrew: I prefer to kind of go in a different direction generally with the future me stuff, which is, what should I do right now that future me will thank current me for having done. That’s my often mode of operation. And that applies to like magical stuff, for sure, but it also applies to like getting my filing done and being on top of my bookkeeping and like all sorts of things. Because it’s like, there’s nothing like coming up to your thing, something happened recently, I was going to an event and I was like, oh man, I can’t remember if I ever emailed back the person who I was supposed to stay with. And so I sent them a message saying, I hope it’s not too late, I’m really, sorry if I left you hanging. They’re like, no, no, you, like six months ago, you said, absolutely, I will be there. So I was like, oh, thanks past me.
Lonnie: Yeah. Even when I do divination for clients or even myself, I don’t ever look to see what the future is involved in that. That’s not how I read. I’m more of a what’s at play in your life now kind of thing. I even visually represent that, like with tarot, I can do this. When I shuffle the cards, I shuffle them nine times to represent the nine worlds of heathen cosmology. I split the deck three times to represent the three norms. I remove the middle, the middle pile of that as the cards that I’m going to draw for the reading because I think it represents the norm [inaudible 00:53:58], which is the present, the things that are becoming at play in your world now.
I really think ultimately, that’s what’s most important to us. You know where you’ve been and if those things are important, they’ll show up or they’ll become more clear by the things that are happening now. As for what’s going to happen tomorrow, what choices are you going to make? You’re still going to be susceptible to the choices that other people make too.
Andrew: For sure. Well, maybe that’s a good place to leave it. Hey, listeners, go do some magic to mitigate the choices of other people and encourage the choices that you want to happen. One of the things that I would like to encourage for you the magic of my voice is for people to come and find you online where you’re hanging out. You have your podcast and other stuff. Where should people come look for you on the internet?
Lonnie: Well, you can absolutely find me at my own show, Weird Web Radio. Everywhere you get your podcasts. If there’s not someplace you can find it, let me know, I’ll figure out a way to get it on there. Weirdwebradio.com. Offer all my professional divination services at tarotheathen.com. On Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as Weird Web Radio, and also have a special group for Weird Web Radio fans. If you want to get to know me more personally, I’m game. Just Lonnie Scott on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.
Andrew: Beautiful. Well, thank you for making the time to be hanging out for this conversation today. I hope having the table turned on you as the guest versus the interviewer wasn’t too traumatic for you.
Lonnie: No, not a problem at all. And just real quick before we get Out of here, I talked about Elhaz Ablaze quite a bit earlier in the show. And I wanted to let everyone out there know that we released a compendium of chaos heathenry not too long ago, it’s just titled, Elhaz Ablaze: A Compendium of Chaos Heathenry. It’s a collection of essays from those of us who do that and I’ve got an essay in there concerning some of my ancestral practices. So, go out and check that out.
Andrew: Yeah, get your magic on folks.
Lonnie: Yeah, get your magic on.
Andrew: All right, thanks so much, Lonnie.