Tribal Markings pt. 1: I Live in the Zone All the Time

Paul Waggener

I had my knuckles tattooed by my brother Coyote, somewhere around 7 or 8 years ago. 

The right hand said “Wolf,” the left one “Kvlt,” signifying the most important aspect of my life, as a founding member of the Wolves.

At the time we created it, some 13 years ago, there was nothing like it that we were aware of in any country on earth. It was our destiny, we felt, to bring back the ancient wolf-cult, and spread it, living again, to every corner of the world.

There’s a great deal to say regarding that journey, and the many experiences that came along with it so far, but that is a story for another time. Within the tattoo, I hid a few concepts that had special meaning to me, both on the right and left hand. 


On the middle finger of the right hand, beneath the “L,” I first branded a bind-rune of the Elder Futhark “Algiz,” one ascending, the other descending, representative of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, its roots and branches. The symbol also stood for the Younger Futhark runes “Man” and “Yew,” which have at times been used  in Europe on grave stones to represent “Birth” and “Death,” and I wear them as a kind of memento mori, to remind myself every day that what man creates is bound by time and death, and that we always have less time than we think. 

Since then, and before, my knuckles have been marked with the natural signs of a life that was no stranger to violence, and the bones and skin on right and left have been broken and healed and re-broken again many times. I consider all of these markings in the same way I consider the tattoos I have collected- way-marks of experience, mistakes, victories, and stories I have lived. Good or bad, positive or negative, all experience is ultimately distilled, transmuted into gold.

The O in the tattoo was made as a “circumpunct,” a circle with a dot inside. 


This is a symbol that is very old, and has been used many times in many different cultures to signify a variety of meanings, so I will stick to the reasoning behind mine. 

First, it is representative of the the beginning of creation- the moment that all that is came into being. The first spark of the big bang, if you will, or the flame of Muspel meeting the frost of Niflheim. It is the alchemical sign for “gold,” as well, and as such for me represents the concept of the Great Work of transformation that begins as soon as we are born, and continues throughout our lives, and possibly beyond. 

The beginning of creation is the beginning of consciousness, and so indicates the mind, and reality, and our connective tissue between the two, that is, how we interact and approach the world. 

Second, it is a symbol of the solar system, with the sun central, and a dual meaning of “man in the middle.” For me, the circle is the blank canvas of reality, with the dot as the individual central to his own myth, prepared to create upon that canvas as he can, as he sees fit. 

The idea of creating, of seeing the world as your own place to experiment, to grow, to change, and to make those things manifest that you wish to bring forth into it, is an idea very important to me, and absolutely central to my personal philosophy, so you could say the symbol represents the heart of my personal ideology, too. 

The individual is an alchemist, and reality, the cosmos, his laboratory, or he is the magician, and this existence is the circle of art within which he conjures and evokes. 

Finally, it has a connection to an old Russian convict tattoo that I saw as a teenager that meant “trust only yourself,” or, “I am alone in this world,” or could mean “I am in the zone all the time,” the zone in Russia referring to the barbaric Communist Gulag system. 


This idea of “trust only yourself” indicates a caution when dealing with others, but also a sort of “to thine own self be true” admonishment, meaning to not forget who you are, what you are, what you are trying to accomplish in the face of all the distractions and pitfalls of this life. 

The “I am in the zone” portion for me is representative of my status as an outcast from the mainstream society, and the constant “doxxing,” media hit-pieces, and accusations that I and my brothers in the Wolves have experienced and continue to deal with on a regular basis. 

When you declare yourself an outlaw from their world, simply by choosing to believe something that is no longer resonant with the popular narrative, and not abandoning those beliefs, choices and convictions, friends and so on, you will live in this place “without” all the time. Hunted and reviled, like the wolves of old, the enemy sets snares for you, and sends its poisoned darts at you- but your armor is this same conviction, these same beliefs, and your fury is antidote to their poison.

I cannot be fired from my job because I work for myself. I cannot have my social standing destroyed because it is held with other outlaws, and zealots, whose minds are not controlled by media and madness. I cannot be threatened with various sanctions, because I already operate by broadcasting a pirate signal, and when one is threatened or attacked, I move to another and continue my work. 

This is my life.

I live in the zone all the time.