Wednesday, 16 December 2020

JIVE TALK: Rome in Asia / Roman Economy with Dr Raoul Mclaughlin

​Dr Raoul McLaughlin is an expert in Roman economics with a PhD in Roman Economy and Trade beyond Imperial Frontiers. Dr McLaughlin is a founder member of the Classical Association in Northern Ireland, a council member of the Classical Association of Ireland and Associate Editor of their academic journal: ‘Classics Ireland’. He has published three books on the subject of Roman economy in Asia.

Yule and Saturnalia - the pagan Christmas story

 I appeared on History Bro's channel again, this time to discuss Yule!


 The episode is also available as a podcast on Spotify and other platforms.

Survive the Jive accepts Crypto donations

 For years generous patrons have asked if they can donate to STJ using crypto currencies. Well now they can.


ETH / chainlink: 

LBRY/ Odysee credits

Monday, 16 November 2020

Interview with Ian Read of Fire + Ice


Germanic pagan Ian Read is best known for his neofolk project 'Fire + Ice' which “takes the purity and philosophy of early music and melds it into a message redolent with powerful seeds of honour, truth, loyalty and the bond of true friendship.” Ian is also Drihten (lord) and Rune-Master in the Rune-Gild, an initiatory school devoted to the esoteric and exoteric study of the Germanic runes.

Learn more on his blog:

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

The Indo-European Sky Father

The Proto-Indo-Europeans of the Pontic Caspian Steppe and other parts of Eastern Europe in the neolithic worshipped a paternal deity who they called Dyḗus ph₂tḗr “sky father”. With comparative linguistics and comparative mythology we can learn a lot about this ancient god from whom Greek Zeus, Roman Jupiter, Irish Dagda, Vedic Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ and Norse Odin and many others also derive. In this video I explain what we know about the god’s mythic roles relating to cattle, his relationship to other gods in the Indo-European religion and his association with different animals in later pagan religions.

New Art:

Alex Cristi

Andrew Whyte

Johan Jernhed


Anthony, D., ‘The Horse, the Wheel, and Language’ 2007
Dumezil, G., ‘Mythe et Épopée’ 1973
Dumezil, G., ‘Mitra-Varuna: An Essay on Two Indo-European Representations of Sovereignty’, 1988
Kershaw, K., ‘The one-eyed god: Odin and the (Indo-)Germanic Männerbünde’ (Journal of Indo-European studies monograph) 2000
Lincoln, B., ‘THE INDO-EUROPEAN MYTH OF CREATION’ 1975 Matasović, R., ‘A Reader in Comparative Indo-European Religion’ 2010
Mylonas, G. E., ‘The Eagle of Zeus’ 1946
Puhvel, J., ‘Victimal Hierarchies in Indo-European Animal Sacrifice’: The American Journal of Philology , Autumn, 1978, Vol. 99, No. 3 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 354-362
Puhvel, J., ‘Comparative Mythology’ 1987

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

How important is understanding our history? Jellybean Gen meets StJ

I was interviewed by Swedish YouTuber Jellybean Gen about paganism and history

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Pagan Viking Travel Guide to Sweden / History documentary

In this film, i take you on a trip around Sweden's places of power; sacred spaces remaining from the bronze age, iron age and viking times. I travel through central Sweden to show you some of the most fascinating and mysterious archaeological religious sites and, through them, help you to understand a bit more about the ancient religion of the Norse peoples and where you can go in Sweden to see these things for yourself.


Viking warriors by Christian Sloan Hall
Treudd by Ryan Murray
Animated god pole and ship by Christopher Steininger



Monday, 3 August 2020

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Megalithic 'God-Kings' of the Megalith Culture - History Documentary

New discoveries in archaeology and ancient DNA have provided fascinating insights into the mysterious people who built Newgrange and Stonehenge. 2020 has seen the discovery of the world's largest prehistoric monument, a massive Mega-henge right next to Stonehenge at Durrington. At the same time, scientists have looked at the DNA of dozens of skeletons from Neolithic people of Britain and Ireland and realised that, far from being egalitarian, these megalith building societies had an elite caste comprised of what appear to be closely related, and in one case severely inbred, god-kings. Whilst looking through the new data, I came to realise that there was an interesting correlation among the phenotypes of this Neolithic elite - and I have a theory that the inbreeding may be related to a deliberate attempt to preserve archaic phenotypes from Mesolithic hunter gatherers, who the Neolithic invaders intermixed with when they first arrived in Britain and Ireland. In this new documentary you will learn all about megalithic people and their monuments; from passage tombs, to long barrows, dolmens and stone circles. Never before has such revealing light been shone into the darkness of this mysterious stone age culture.


-Cassidy el al (2016)|
-Cassidy et al (2020)

-Horton’s Neolithic houses (2014)

-Olalde et al (2018)

-Paulsson, B. S., (2018)

-Rivolatt et al (2020)

-Rivollat et al (2015) 

- Shennan, S. “The First Farmers of Europe” (2018)

- Info on SUERC-9172


Bell beaker people by Christian Sloan Hall

Inbred god king by Alex Cristi

WHG by Ryan Murray

View this post on Instagram

"Is she really going out with him?" It is surprising to learn that the Neolithic colonisation of Britian and Ireland did not follow the familiar course which is usually repeated throughout history when advanced sedentary agricultural cultures encroach on the lands of indigenous hunter gatherers. Although most were replaced, they also intermixed. But it wasn't the farmer men who took native wives, it was the other way around! All of the paternal lineages of Neolithic Britain and Ireland came not from the Neolithic race themselves but from the smaller minority of native WHG men! This beautiful artwork by @artofryanmurray was created for my new video on the subject of the megalith builders and their DNA. It will be live tonight! #WHG #westernhuntergatherer #megalithicmarvels #megalith #neolithic #mesolithic #stonecircle #ancientbritain #ancientireland #newgrange #eef #huntergatherer #earlyfarming #ancienthistory

A post shared by Survive the Jive (@survivethejive) on

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Is Devon Celtic? What's the difference between Devon and Cornwall?

There are some people who erroneously insist that Devon, like Cornwall, was founded on a Celtic rather than English identity. One such individual is attempting to rewrite local history on Wikipedia to claim that Devon is not English. That is simply not the case. Devon has more Anglo-Saxon DNA than Cornwall does, and has not preserved any Celtic language at all. In fact the Devon dialect uniquely preserves some archaic Old English elements which have been lost elsewhere, about which you can learn in the video below.

Monday, 22 June 2020

When is a beggar a god?

    In traditions around the world we see the same mythic trope of a god disguised as a beggar so that he can test mortals. Very often this is based on a moral that one should uphold the ancient tradition of honouring the guest in one's home. The myths usually show the god, who can be Zeus, Shiva, or Odin, punishing the mortals who fail to show them proper hospitality when they visit. What lessons can pagans learn from these myths
Baucis and Philemon by Ryan Murray

The Chandala by Christopher Steininger

Homer, The Odyssey
Ovid, Metamorphoses
Orchard, A., (trans) The Elder Edda (2011)
The Rigveda
Sturluson, S., The Prose Edda
Togail Bruidne Dá Derga
Vidyaranya Swami, Shankara Digvijaya

von Glinski, M. L., Simile and Identity in Ovid's Metamorphoses
Murnaghan, S., Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

From Runes to Ruins (2014) / Watch Online

Watch From Runes to Ruins (2014) online for free.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

What is Survive the Jive?

Channel trailer for Survive the Jive

Monday, 4 May 2020

Death & Burial in Vedic India

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Odin and the Horned Spear-Dancer

Viking and Anglo-Saxon artwork often includes a man with bird shaped horns. This mysterious figure is known as the horned man or the weapon dancer. The motif shows up in various different contexts and over a huge geographic range and timeframe - from early Anglo-Saxon England to Viking age Russia. It is commonly associated with the cult of the Nordic god Odin or the Anglo-Saxon god Woden and with extraordinary shamanic rituals as I shall explain in this video.


  • Mortimer, Paul, 'What Colour a God's Eyes' (2018)
  • Oehrl, Sigmund, 'Horned ship-guide – an unnoticed picture stone fragment from Stora Valle, Gotland' (2016)


The following paintings of the horned spear dancer are by Hungerstein.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Jive Book Review: Odin's Wife (Frigg and Jord)

Is Odin's wife Frigg the same as his lover Jord the Earth goddess? William P. Reaves thinks they are the same figure and that her cult survived in to recent times among German peasants who called her Frau Holda. I will briefly review his book on the subject here.

Friday, 10 April 2020

The Huntshaw dagger and barrows of Darracott moor

In this video I explore the Bronze Age burial ground of Darracott moor in Huntshaw, Devon. The largest barrow has a road going straight over it. One of the barrows excavated in 1875 contained a dagger known as the Huntshaw dagger which is in the museum in Exeter. Below I have included the original lecture notes regarding the excavations in the 19th century.

Date of Huntshaw barrow excavations mapped

Location of barrows superimposed on Google map

Arial view of barrow 1 and 2 

Dissection of barrow and cist

Display cabinet at Museum of Barnstaple & North Devon

Information sign with details of Huntshaw barrows at Berry Castle

the Huntshaw dagger

DOE, G.M. Examination of a Barrow in the Parish of Great Torrington. Trans. Dev. Assoc., 31,99-100 (1899).

EIGHTEENTH REPORT of the Committee, consisting of Mr. P. F. S. Amery, Rev. S. Baring-Gould, Dr. Brushl Mr. R. Burnard, Mr, Cecil M. Firth, Mr. J. Brosling Rowe, and Mr. R. Hansford Worth (Secretary), appointed to collect and record facts relating to Barrows in Devonshire, and to take steps, where possible, for their investigation. 

Edited by R. H. WORTH, Hon. Secretary. (Read at Great Torrington, August, 1899) 

Your Committee's Report this year deals with the exploration of certain barrows on Broad Down, near Honiton; the exploration of barrows on Raddick Hill by Mr. Barnard; and of a barrow at Torrington by Mr. G. M. Doe. 

EXAMINATION OF A BARROW IN THE PARISH OF GREAT TORRINGTON. This barrow is one of a series of five, two of which were opened in 1875, and were made the subject of a paper by my late father, read by him at the meeting of this Association here in that year. The one in question is much larger than any of the others, being from 70 to 80 feet in diameter, and from 4 to 5 feet high. As, however, the highway passes over it, it has probably been considerably lowered. The accompanying plan will show the relative position of this barrow to its companions. The exploration was commenced on the 26th June last by digging a trench on the north-west side at right angles to the road. In a very short time the workmen came on a mass of whitish grey clay with irregular layers of charcoal, in some places more than an inch in thickness, with here and there a stone which appeared to have been subjected to the action of fire. This lay on the natural clay of the surrounding land. On getting near the centre of the barrow a layer of very different character was discovered. This extended for about 24 feet, and was of varying thickness, from 3 to 14 inches. A thin layer of the greyish white clay with the streaks of charcoal was spread under it, and it was capped over with the same, the streaks and masses of charcoal in this capping of clay being very distinct, and appearing to follow the curve of the barrow. The layer in question consisted of fine reddish earth mixed with burnt matter of a totally different composition from that of the charcoal in the clay. A few small stones which seemed to have been burnt, together with small pieces of quartz, were interspersed in this mass, one being a good-sized rock crystal, and in places pieces of blackened burnt bones were embedded. Parallel. with the road, and at the foot of its boundary hedge, was a perfectly straight line of loose "acre stones," a foot in width and height, which ran through about the centre of the barrow for a length of 60 feet, and on the level of the ground. These stones may have been placed for drainage purposes when the road was made, as they passed through the clay, etc., of the barrow, the layers of which were continued on each side of the stones. On reaching the hedge the trench was discontinued, and the centre of the barrow was cleared away to the ground level, which was carefully examined, but without finding any traces of its having been previously disturbed. After working for a week lack of funds prevented further exploration, but it appears not improbable that the actual interment consisted of the mass of burnt matter and bones. It may be, too, that at the making of the road the barrow was disturbed; nevertheless it has only been very partially explored. There was no indication of a capping of stones around this barrow, as in those previously opened in 1875. A piece of rusted iron 3 inches long, 1 inch wide, and about inch thick was found imbedded in the clay, etc., in the centre of the barrow, but as it was very near the line of stones before mentioned, it may have got there when the road was: made. (GEORGE M. DOE.) 

DOE, G.M. The Examination of two Barrows near Torrington. Trans. Dev. Assoc., 7,102-105 (1875). THE EXAMINATION OF TWO BARROWS NEAR TORRINGTON. BY GEORGE DOE. (Read at Torrington, July, 1875) 

In the year 1867 a partial examination of two barrows, situated in the parish of Huntshaw, about two and a half miles from the town of Great Torrington, was made by my friends, the late Mr. Henry Fowler and Mr. Samuel Pearce; and an interesting paper, relating chiefly to the eastern barrow, was read by Mr. Fowler at the meeting of the Devonshire Association held at Barnstaple in that year, which concluded thus: "Our want of success in finding any such remains as urns or cists may be attributed to the possible fact, that they were placed in some part of the bed of the barrow out of the centre; for in such a case it is evident that numerous cuttings might be made without coming across them. We have hopes, therefore, that some remains will still be found, and the more so as the perfectly undisturbed state of the portions already examined precludes the idea of the barrow having ever before been opened." Subsequently to the Barnstaple meeting, Mr. Fowler and I had frequent conversations on the subject; and when it became known that the Association would meet at Torrington, we decided on making a thorough examination of the barrows. with a view to the production of a sequel to his paper. Had his life been spared, I should have remained in the background, and an account of the further exploration of the barrows would probably have come from the able pen of Mr. Fowler; but as that could not be, I have felt it an almost religions duty to offer this imperfect effort as my humble tribute to his memory. The necessary permission of the Hon'ble. Mark Rolle, the landowner, and of Mr. Webb, the tenant, having been obtained, workmen were engaged, and operations commenced few weeks since, under the intelligent superintendence of Mr. Alexander McKelvie, the district highway surveyor, at the western extremity of the western mound (into which a short cutting had been made in 1867, as shown by dotted lines on the accompanying plan), and continued for two days, during which rather more than a half of the mass was removed without any further result than a confirmation of Mr. Fowler's statement, that it was composed almost entirely of one homogeneous mass of clay, with occasional streaks of charcoal, covered by a capping of stone. The clay, which could not have been found on or very near the spot, hind evidently been worked or puddled. It could be cut as easily as cheese, being quite free from stones or grit, and varied from a whitish-grey to a bright orange colour; but the streaks of charcoal contained occasional small pieces of brittle red stone, which appeared to have been burnt with the charcoal. On the third day the workmen had not cut far into the eastern half, when they came upon a rounded heap of stones, measuring ten feet from north to south, and twelve feet from east to west at the base, and four feet in height, the top being three feet below the surface of the harrow. A careful removal of these stones-which appeared to have been "acre stones, and were as clean as when first collected-revealed, in the centre of the heap, a small empty chamber, so rudely constructed that it fell in on the displacement of the covering stones. At the west of this, but on a lower level, another chamber was discovered about eighteen inches square, and nearly a foot in depth, covered by a stone of the same kind as, but much larger than those forming the pile. This chamber was nearly filled with fragments of burnt human bones, and decomposed matter, which may perhaps be the remains of a cloth or skin in which they had been wrapped. Nothing else was found in this chamber, which was floored with flat stones placed on the original surface of the land; nor was any further discovery made among the stones, nor in the mound, the outer and less elevated parts of which were carefully probed with an iron bar. The case with which the clay had been pierced suggested that in the exploration of the eastern mound (through which a cutting had been made in 1867, as shown by dotted lines on the plan) considerable labour might be saved; and the iron bar was accordingly sunk again and again into the portion of the mound corresponding with that under which the interment had been made in its western neighbour. After numerous trials, a spot was at length reached where the gentle insinuations of the iron were arrested at a depth of about two feet, A circular excavation was then made through the capping of clay and the underlying beds of earth and charcoal, which soon brought to light a heap of stones similar to that already described, except that it was circular, with a diameter of eleven feet at the base, and that there was a slight depression or sinkage in its northern half. After the removal of about one half of the heap, pieces of burnt human bones, mixed with ashes and earth, were found between the stones, gradually increasing in number towards the south, where, in a small imperfectly-constructed chamber, was discovered a flat mass of damp leaves, so perfect that they were immediately recognized as oak and beech. Whether they originally formed a chaplet, or in what other form, or for what purpose they were placed there, I will not hazard a speculation. A little further towards the south one of the workmen observed something pointed protruding two or three inches, which he tried to pull out, but fortunately he was unable to do so. The stones above it having been carefully removed, a bronze dagger, which at first sight I mistook for a spear head, was disclosed lying on a flat stone with its point towards the east. Adhering to each side of it were found some very thin pieces of decayed wood, which undoubtedly had formed part of the sheath. They have been preserved; and a more minute inspection of them will, I believe, confirm this view. At the broad end of the blade. are three rivets, by which it had been attached to a wooden handle, the shape and grain of which may be distinctly traced on each side. A small quantity of decomposed wood, in which were found two rivet-heads, extended a few inches over the face of the stone on which the weapon lay; but no trace of a staff could be seen. The dagger is nine and a half inches in length, and two and a quarter inches in width at its broadest part, becoming narrower by a double curve of each edge towards the point. Its present weight is barely eight ounces; but it must have become lighter by the corrosion of its surface, which, however, is still in a wondrously good state of preservation. About a quarter of an inch from the edge two sunk lines, forming a thread, surround the blade, the space between the outer line and the edge being fluted like a modern sword. Similar daggers are figured in Mr. Llewellyn Jewitt's Grave Mounds and their Contents, p. 132, and in Mr. W. Copeland Borlase's Nenia Cornubia, p. 236; both of which appear to be far more imperfect than the one I have attempted to describe As no interment was discovered in 1867, our late operations drew down some contempt and pity from outsiders. The workmen were almost ashamed to undertake the job, because their predecessors had been ridiculed for their pains. One gentleman made the flattering remark, that those who talked of opening the barrows must be either knaves or fools; another attributed the mounds to some enterprising brick maker, who had come to grief, and stopped his works; a third referred them to the old charcoal-burners; another knew that they had been made for a pleasure-ground; whilst one fully charged with English history offered a solution of the mystery by suggesting that they were thrown up during or after a battle in the time of the Great Rebellion. It may be easily imagined, then, how gratifying was the discovery which has thrown some light on what was previously veiled in obscurity. To my mind there is now not a shadow of a doubt that these barrows were erected by our Celtic ancestors before the Roman occupation of Britain, and during the period designated by archeologists as the Bronze Age. Should any doubts, however, be entertained on this point, they will, I believe, be dispelled by a perusal of Sir John Lubbock's learned exposition of the reasons why our bronze weapons cannot be referred to the Romans, in the first chapter of his Pre-historic Times. But the dagger, which as a specimen of art-manufacture would not be discreditable to the present century, was probably the handiwork of a race of higher civilization than the builders of the barrows could lay claim to, and imported by one of the merchant adventurers who in that early age visited the tin-producing counties of Cornwall and Devon. I may add that the investigation of these barrows has afforded another proof of the necessity for examining every part of a sepulchral mound before passing judgment on its character and contents. It is a curious fact that each of the cuttings made in 1867 went within a foot of the interment,