Friday, 29 March 2013

My Unconquerable Soul

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be, 
For my unconquerable soul."

-Invictus, W.E Henley

Invictus is a favourite poem of mine, it is certainly one of few poems I know that has really inspired my own work. Today, after the realisation that in order to keep this blog going, I am going to have to pay more than lip service to it, I have decided to start posting regardless. What brought me to this conclusion is the subject of today's article.

I was born prematurely, in the cold month of Aquarius, allied to the element of air through classical astrology and tied to the suit of Swords (conflict, physical, mental and spiritual) in the standard Tarot deck. I was born to a poor family in a rough area, weaker than your average, skinny, pale and sickly, but with gifts that took years for me to discover.

The gifts I was given allowed me to learn all I could about the world I was born into, what had brought it to this point and why obsessed my young mind and continue to do so. I was gifted at playing with words, making jokes and became popular with my school mates regardless of my advanced intelligence and weakly build. I strived constantly to become better, to learn more for myself and to overcome what the gods had allotted me.
By the time I had grown into an adult I had become a loner, a deep-thinker, an ideological rebel who retained few of his friends from childhood. I discovered the truth behind Adolf Hitler's warnings of a dreadful force threatening to envelop the world, a twist in the tale of time that had so engulfed my mind. I drifted, in an attempt to find purpose and belonging, comrades with whom I could resist what the world had become. I had hoped to find people with the same insatiable fire for overcoming the odds that I always had, I hoped to find the same spirit encapsulated within the poem, to find men and women driven by the pull of adversity.

But find them I did not, and I grew disillusioned with the self-proclaimed standard-bearers of National Socialism. They lacked any true sense of vision or any strong plan or means to put their will into effect, they were not prepared the mammoth task they felt was their job to do.

Feeling that all was lost in politics I instead embarked upon an attempt to join the Army, to turn myself into the warrior I felt I needed to become. It was a sincere effort spurred by a lack of anything to fill the void in my life. It was not to be, my self improvement had never taken the form of physical exercise and though my training made me fitter and stronger, I was attempting to join at a time of peak interest in the forces, and places were limited, standards were raised to a point that this once wimpy nerd felt that he faced a mountain. I resigned my efforts.

Then a twist of fate happened, at some point I must have sent a text message detailing my interest in a patriotic political party, because sometime after the European elections I found my door knocked upon by two of it's activists. I became heavily involved, convinced that this party would chase the moneylenders from the temple. The people contained within it were less distanced from society than the other groups I had aligned myself to but they seemed to know what they were doing. It was an honour to stand in that metaphorical shieldwall with them.

By this point I had resigned myself to the idea that I was on my own in my outlook, that men who grapple with fate and forge their own destiny through the power of their own will were long since a memory. I believed that I must bend that party to my own will, over many years and eventually lead it against the forces of Globalism, with the British people marching proudly behind me.

But, revelations abound, as that party sunk I grew closer to a party-comrade who had always fascinated me. A man of mystery, of few words but with a profound understanding of everything he spoke. A man loyal to the ideas of National Socialism, who revered Hitler every bit as I did. He was intelligent, well spoken, but never one to seek the limelight. I always felt like this man was watching me for something, some quality he was desperate to find there.

This man last year, borrowed me a book. It's name was "The Forgotten Soldier", in this book I saw untold horrors and hardship, my mind hardened. I saw proud men ravaged by war, for four years standing proud against a materially and numerically superior enemy on their home turf. I accepted that I myself, despite being working class and unemployed, was living a life of luxury, a life of scarce meaning.

At the end of last year this same comrade arranged for me to be present on a trip to the war graves of Ypres as part of a delegation to the European parliament. The first night I spent in the pleasant and very European market town of Ostend, chatting up lovely women and becoming insanely drunk to the point of sickness, the next morning could not have been more sobering. Having had little sleep, the overcast day I spent staring at multitudes of graves of brave British and German soldiers, lost to the inhumanity of war, felt like a dream. Drifting around the endless stones marking the boys and men slain in the muddy flat plains of Belgium (all too obvious on that rainy day) I was filled with an empty feeling.

I felt like the hardship I had previously known paled in comparison to the suffering of these men and men like them in Europe's other bloody wars and massacres of the twentieth century. That night was far less exuberant than the last, I spent it under the bridge at Ypres town centre, under the arches marked with the names of those whose bodies were lost to the mud of Flanders, watching with hundreds of others as the nightly remembrance ceremony took place before me.

This experience changed me more than any other experience had ever managed. I became more sombre, outwardly I was still the same witty and silly character but much more serious in my outlook of the world. My school friends who I had retained due to close bonds began to seem ever more distant, more alien, as if they had not grown and yet they were tied down by the trappings of adult life in a Globalised world. I grew apart from them more and more as the months grew on and my mind hardened more and more.

Atop Bleaklow Moor
This year something interesting happened, the prior mentioned comrade who I shall refer to as 'Kenobi' for the remainder of this article, invited me for a hike in the Peak District. My first hike, to Black Hill, was on my 23rd Birthday, there I experienced my first true taste of wilderness and the possibility of a simpler living, seeing the abandoned quarry in the hills made me think of Edoras, and the other towns of Rohan from the Lord of the Rings. My Pagan soul burned bright with the idea of living apart from civilisation.

My next trip took me up the cliff face of Bleaklow Moor, with lingering ice. That day I truly conquered the elements, stared death in the face and resolved to carry on. I had thought Kenobi to have gone mad, to have lost control of his senses, my mind narrowed by the impossible rock face of ice and loose rock that I had not expected to be climbing that day, in fact it was a test of my resolve.
I faced a sheer cliff, hundreds of feet from the ground, covered in ice and terror gripped me.
It took all my resolve to keep calm and slowly find the slivers of solidrock that I could hold onto.
After we reached the top, we walked for miles through dense moor covered in deep peat and animal traps. We crossed icy streams and hopped from hill to hill. I had invoked the gods that day, specificly might Thunor, to keep me strong.

Some time later, the All-Father came to me, not in a dream but in person, in the dark hours I saw his face, fatherly watching over me as I had slept and disappearing in the seconds after waking. I began to understand fully what had been guiding me, and to what purpose Kenobi guided me. Coincidentally, not many days after this I was asked back to Black hill by Kenobi, even snowier than before and deliberately taking the harder and steeper path to the top. I found myself cat crawling at fast pace up snowy hills and deliberately sliding hundreds of feet on my frozen arse for the pure joy of it!

During this trip something finally 'clicked' inside me, as I marched down hill, feet sodden and legs aching in the afternoon sun I finally felt like a warrior. What about this walk compared to, say Bleaklow, that changed me I do not know. Perhaps the bus ride home, reading poetry and exchanging smiles with a long-legged chestnut-haired goddess in a mini skirt also had an effect but ever since I seem less hesitant, more confident. In the past I had been wary of water on my face, squeemish about heights and generally a wimp, I had shirked my writing and found other things to do, I had found excuses not to exercise, where there was no good reason not to.

These past two days since I have found myself able to write at will, to the highest of my standards and with no fear of writer's block spoiling my efforts, I had found myself able to do things, hard things, with barely a protest in my mind against them.
I even wrote a ten page guide to writing poetry that I will further expand upon and perhaps eventually publish!

I feel that have truly become a man, that the disparate and conflicting threads of my mind have found common cause and created a greater being. I have many to thank for this, most of all myself, the gods and 'Kenobi', who I would like to give my thanks to especially.

I hope this article inspires you all to embark on a quest to conquer yourself, mine continues still, one can never fully delve into the reserves of your own self.

To conquer our foe, we must first become ourselves unconquerable. As our souls are the only permanent part of us, that remains consistent throughout our lives we must exercise it first and foremost.

Until all our souls are unconquerable.



  1. Beautifully written. Your style reminds me of Mike James.

  2. Thanks greatly. I've never had any journalistic education but I do seem to have a knack for writing such things. Do be sure to tell your friends about thus blog, it is a quiet one.