The Role of Filippo Vadi in the dei Liberi Tradition, Pt. I

Galina Krasskove recently responded to my post on patronage. You can read her response at You can read my post at I am not going to address her post here as I have already done that in the comments section of her blog. What I want to do here is clear up a misunderstanding. A few people took it to mean from my post on patronage that I do not believe the gods interact with us. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I do think the gods interact with us on rare and special occasions sometimes in big ways. Let me share an experience with you. Many, many years ago, longer than some of you have been alive when I had not been Heathen very long I was still unsure if Heathenry was for me. I could not sleep one night, so I left my bed and laid down on the couch as I would often do when I could not sleep. I fell asleep rather quickly. Next thing I knew I was face to face with a large man with one eye. I knew instinctively that he was Woden. He then took me up on the back of his horse, and gave me a tour of the World Tree. I saw the gates of Osgeard (Asgard), the gates of Hel, the edge of Wanaham (Vanaheim), and many other places. He never spoke a word. I then awoke. It was all so vivid, so real. Ever since I have never questioned being Heathen. Was it real? Was it just a dream? I do not know and feel I am not in a position to say. I do know it set me firmly on the path of Heathenry. There are other times I feel I have felt the hands of the gods and goddesses. I was almost killed in a head on collision once at night about twelve years ago. I pulled out in the left lane to pass a car when headlights came on not more than fifty to seventy feet in front of me. Some idiot had been running dark. The car I was passing pulled onto the shoulder. The fool took the other shoulder. I passed safely between the two. I cannot credit my survival to the other drivers or to myself. I feel the gods were with me that night. I feel the gods and goddesses have gifted me in other ways. I feel I met my ex-wife because of the gods (my ruining our marriage was all my doing), and I feel being blessed with the son of my dreams was too a gift from the gods. My books stem from gifts the gods have given me. I feel the gods have interacted with me.

However, that does not mean I think I was chosen by Woden. I do not see myself as unique amongst Heathens. Indeed, I think most Heathens have had such experiences. So much so that it is nothing really special to say the gods did this or that for me when something important happens. I think it is not an everyday thing. I do not think Woden guides my every move. Indeed, one I think can go years between truly special experiences. But it does happen. The gods do interact with us. That said, I do not think there is anyone alive today that has been especially chosen by the gods. I see no one like Starkad or Sigurd. I see no one who is so blessed that it is clear they have a god as a patron. And that is where I stand. That is not to say that someday Woden or some other god or goddess will not choose someone for something special. We know from the lore, that some people were chosen by the gods and enjoyed their blessings as well as suffered their curses. It is to say that time is not now.

Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

Part of Vadi’s goal may have been to show his art as unique, which is certainly how he promoted his work to the court of Urbino. Another possibility is that all of these guards likely originated from older sources. The Bolognese masters also used coda longa (or properly, coda longa e distessa),dente di chinghiale and porta di ferro (but these two terms mean an entire class of guards).Eisenpforte (“iron gate”) and Kron (“crown” – corona) are old German guard names, for the same positions Fiore shows as porta di ferro mezzana (“middle iron gate”) and posta frontale o corona(“frontal guard, called crown”). We have to remember that what we have is a snapshot in time of how the guards look c.1409 in Ferrara, c.1482 in Urbino, and c.1500 – 1570 in Bologna. We have no linking information per se, nor anything on their origin.


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