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Taras Bulba
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 06:36 PM
I'm sure the Odinists here will find this interesting......

“Pagan beliefs and rituals must have been affected by contact with Christianity. It is likely, for example, that the concept of Valhalla, first evidenced in the mid-tenth century, was shaped under Christian influence. Poetry and pictures provide good evidence for some Scandinavian myths and the attributes of a few of their gods, but most of that evidence is not early enough to escaped the risk of some Christian contamination….Pagan rituals were originally conducted in the open air or in houses of rulers and chieftains, but pagans may have been influenced by the example of Christian churches to build a temple in Scandinavia’s most important cult centers, if nowhere else(O. Olsen).”
--Birgit and Peter Sawyer Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation circa 800-1500 pg.104;105



So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting.

AryanKrieger
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 07:29 PM
I'm sure the Odinists here will find this interesting......

“Pagan beliefs and rituals must have been affected by contact with Christianity. It is likely, for example, that the concept of Valhalla, first evidenced in the mid-tenth century, was shaped under Christian influence. Poetry and pictures provide good evidence for some Scandinavian myths and the attributes of a few of their gods, but most of that evidence is not early enough to escaped the risk of some Christian contamination….Pagan rituals were originally conducted in the open air or in houses of rulers and chieftains, but pagans may have been influenced by the example of Christian churches to build a temple in Scandinavia’s most important cult centers, if nowhere else(O. Olsen).”
--Birgit and Peter Sawyer Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation circa 800-1500 pg.104;105



So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting.

Perhaps you ought to balance this by quoting from the book "The Germanisation Of Early Medieval Christianity" by James C.Russell?
It states the case very well for modern European xtianity being influenced as heavily by Germanic heathenism as the other way around.

Taras Bulba
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Perhaps you ought to balance this by quoting from the book "The Germanisation Of Early Medieval Christianity" by James C.Russell?

Ok, care to post any quotes from your source, cause Im certainly not doing your homework for you!



It states the case very well for modern European xtianity being influenced as heavily by Germanic heathenism as the other way around.

I'd like to see how he makes that argument. Considering that Richard Fletcher in his The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity, notes that we know very little about Germanic paganism(or paganism in general outside the Greeco-Roman religion) and thus its hard to tell what exactly the pagans converted from. He makes this argument repeatedly. He notes that anykind of argument for "pagan" influence on Christianity can only be made on flimsy grounds(cause after all, we know very little about pre-christian religions, largely because the pagans forget to invent something called writing).

It is interesting how Fletcher along with Birgit and Peter Sawyer note about how the notion of the Germanics(or more specifically the Vikings) as being staunchly anti-Christian is a total myth. In fact worship of Christ was quite common and well respected among the Germanics. Fletcher, Birgit and Peter Sawyer also refute many of the arguments concerning how Viking merchants only converted to Christianity just to make it easier to trade with other Europeans, for they eagerly brought the worship of Christ back to their homelands and spread it among their communities. No, it wasnt worshipping Christ that was the problem, it was worshiping Christ ALONE that was the problem.

Agrippa
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 07:47 PM
No, it wasnt worshipping Christ that was the problem, it was worshiping Christ ALONE that was the problem.

Afaik Hindus think the same way today. Sounds just logical and not that new. In fact even the Romans would have been tolerant as long as Christian would have accepted and tolerated other gods as well, which they dont...

Taras Bulba
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 07:53 PM
Afaik Hindus think the same way today. Sounds just logical and not that new. In fact even the Romans would have been tolerant as long as Christian would have accepted and tolerated other gods as well, which they dont...
Thats also what prevented the Romans from worshipping the Jewish god.The Romans were more than willing to worship the Jewish god(and Kirsch notes a 2nd century "craze for judaism" among pagans where synagouges were so filled with pagan visitors special quarters had to be built for them), but since the Jewish god demanded hes the ONLY god, the Romans became supicisious of them(only for a while).

“We’re alike in all of our religious practices, except you worship one God and we worship many gods. In all other ways we’re alike.”
-- Julian the Apostate comparing paganism to Judaism

Japetos
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 08:30 PM
I'm sure the Odinists here will find this interesting......

“Pagan beliefs and rituals must have been affected by contact with Christianity. It is likely, for example, that the concept of Valhalla, first evidenced in the mid-tenth century, was shaped under Christian influence. Poetry and pictures provide good evidence for some Scandinavian myths and the attributes of a few of their gods, but most of that evidence is not early enough to escaped the risk of some Christian contamination….Pagan rituals were originally conducted in the open air or in houses of rulers and chieftains, but pagans may have been influenced by the example of Christian churches to build a temple in Scandinavia’s most important cult centers, if nowhere else(O. Olsen).”
--Birgit and Peter Sawyer Medieval Scandinavia: From Conversion to Reformation circa 800-1500 pg.104;105



So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting.Ι know some views like this and I believe that present-day Odinism is not really pagan.
"Ragnarok" is also a myth which is influenced by the last book of New Testament.

Taras Bulba
Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 10:25 PM
Ι know some views like this and I believe that present-day Odinism is not really pagan.

Well the truth is we dont know what "paganism" really was. It had no consistent doctrine, it changed constantly generation after generation. Greeco-Roman Paganism by the fourth century AD was completely different from paganism of Classical times, in fact it was heavily Christianized.

As for non-Classical paganism, we know little. Almost everything we know about non-Classical paganism is based on what Christian writers wrote often generations after conversion. As Fletcher said, we dont really know for sure what the pagans converted from. As for pagan "survivals", Fletcher deals with that brilliantly, saying that the Church often allowed them so as to make the transition for the pagans easier.



"Ragnarok" is also a myth which is influenced by the last book of New Testament.

Exactly, I cant believe somebody(not here, but elsewhere) actually claimed Revelation is based on Ragnarok. How is that possible? Revelation was written in the first century, and was officially added to the canon at Nicea. This just doesnt make sense.

morfrain_encilgar
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 01:48 AM
I'd like to see how he makes that argument. Considering that Richard Fletcher in his The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity, notes that we know very little about Germanic paganism(or paganism in general outside the Greeco-Roman religion) and thus its hard to tell what exactly the pagans converted from. He makes this argument repeatedly. He notes that anykind of argument for "pagan" influence on Christianity can only be made on flimsy grounds(cause after all, we know very little about pre-christian religions, largely because the pagans forget to invent something called writing).

But from the survival of its elements in folk religion, which can be compared to similar survivals in Celtic, Baltic, and Slavic religion, especially among the Balts who were Christianised the last, there are common themes in northern culture which are distinct from those anywhere in the Mediterranean, but which tie Europe to the cultures of the shaman belt, which mostly speak Uralic and Altaic languages, as well as to the Americas. Even in Britain shaman belt elements survived until after the Reformation, which can be shown by the account of Robert Kirk in Scotland.

Although the majority of people in the Christian north would have considered themselves to be Christians, the religious situation was like the one in Mexico or Peru, where the local folk Christianity has mostly pre-Christian elements, and at least in the rural communities it probably wouldn't be recognised by outsiders as Christianity.

morfrain_encilgar
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 01:53 AM
Thats also what prevented the Romans from worshipping the Jewish god.The Romans were more than willing to worship the Jewish god(and Kirsch notes a 2nd century "craze for judaism" among pagans where synagouges were so filled with pagan visitors special quarters had to be built for them), but since the Jewish god demanded hes the ONLY god, the Romans became supicisious of them(only for a while).

“We’re alike in all of our religious practices, except you worship one God and we worship many gods. In all other ways we’re alike.”
-- Julian the Apostate comparing paganism to Judaism

Don't forget there were other exclusively monolatrous cults, like Sol Invictus, which were tolerated by the Romans, and that some other imported cults like the cult around Isis were sometimes disfavoured as much as early Christianity. Its also almost certain that the so-called persecutions by the pagans were exaggerated by the literalist Christians.

Taras Bulba
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 04:55 PM
But from the survival of its elements in folk religion, which can be compared to similar survivals in Celtic, Baltic, and Slavic religion, especially among the Balts who were Christianised the last, there are common themes in northern culture which are distinct from those anywhere in the Mediterranean,

I dont know what this has to do with the topic. Im arguing that we know very little about pre-Christian religions outside the Greeco-Roman religion. Im not debating the cultural differences between Celts, Balts, and Slavs.



Even in Britain shaman belt elements survived until after the Reformation, which can be shown by the account of Robert Kirk in Scotland.

So shaman belts prove paganism survived? I consider this irrelevant.



Although the majority of people in the Christian north would have considered themselves to be Christians, the religious situation was like the one in Mexico or Peru, where the local folk Christianity has mostly pre-Christian elements, and at least in the rural communities it probably wouldn't be recognised by outsiders as Christianity.


Ok this doesnt really refute what I said. I've even addressed that even if this was true, so what.

Taras Bulba
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 04:58 PM
Don't forget there were other exclusively monolatrous cults, like Sol Invictus, which were tolerated by the Romans,

True....I've noted the Romans were quite tolerant when it came to religion. I also argue this helped bring about their downfall as well.



and that some other imported cults like the cult around Isis were sometimes disfavoured as much as early Christianity.

Ive never disputed this. In fact mathematicians were often persecuted for religious reasons as well.



Its also almost certain that the so-called persecutions by the pagans were exaggerated by the literalist Christians.

No I doubt it, the Romans were capable of staunch brutality in suppressing religions they didnt like. The Druids are perhaps the greatest example of this.

Allenson
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 09:25 PM
It should be obvious to anyone not blinded by dogma that Earth-based Heathenism (of whatever ethno-linguistic affiliation) is far older than Christianity. The fact that we don't know as much about it (no thanks to early Christians and their destruction of Heathen artifacts) as we do Chritianity, in no way makes European Heathenism irrelevent, not worthy of study or any type of reconstruction in modern times a foolish thing.


As for the notion that Chritianity influenced later Heathenisms--I'm sure it did to some extent. I have no examples on hand at the moment but I'm sure that a little research could yield some results.

Equally though, Heathensim surely influenced advancing Christianity at some levels and it is fruitless to refute this. I've read many examples of such a thing and would be happy to post some should you so wish to read them.

Northern Paladin
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 10:46 PM
Paganism is far older than Christianity. But I don't think that neccearly means Christianity doesn't belong in Europe. It has in many ways become Europeanized.

Evolved
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 10:53 PM
The concept of Valhalla and the Christian Heaven have almost nothing in common apart from being a form of afterlife (which is found in thousands of other faiths). Valhalla is Odin's hall in Asgard, the home for those slain gloriously in battle, who are welcomed by Bragi and escorted to Valhalla by the Valkyries to wait there until Ragnarok. They continued to fight battles in Valhalla to make sure they were fit for Ragnarok.

Christian Heaven is a peaceful, perfect place for anyone who obeys the Bible and accepts Jesus as their saviour. The Christian faith recognizes 3 realms: the earth, heaven and hell (though some sects preach a "purgatory" and different levels of hell/heaven). The Norse have a totally different system of realms found under the roots of Yggdrasil.

Here are pre-Christian images depicting Vahalla:

Here is an image of Odin and Valhalla on the largest of the image stones from the parish of Ardre, Gotland, ca 750 AD:
http://forums.skadi.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=25315

Picture stone found at Tjängvide on the Swedish island of Gotland. This stone is now kept at the Statens Historiska Museet at Navavagen, Sweden. The top scene shows Odin astride his eight-legged horse Sleipnir approaching Valhalla. The bottom scene depicts a Viking warship. It is dated to 700-800 AD.
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/stone743.jpg

Summarized timeline of Nordic conversion:
Conversion to Christianity in Denmark: Late 10th century by King Harald Bluetooth
Conversion to Christianity in Norway: Late 10th - early 11th century by Olaf Tryggvason
Conversion to Christianity in Iceland: Late 10th - early 11th century by Olaf Tryggvason
Conversion to Christianity in Sweden: 11th-12th centuries

And these conversions were by no means complete conversions.

morfrain_encilgar
Tuesday, November 9th, 2004, 12:47 AM
I dont know what this has to do with the topic. Im arguing that we know very little about pre-Christian religions outside the Greeco-Roman religion. Im not debating the cultural differences between Celts, Balts, and Slavs.

But from the similarities between the of pre-Christian survivals among the Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic speakers, we can tell that they shared a heritage and especially when they are compared to the beliefs of other northern peoples who were never Christian, its possible to reconstruct some of these religions. So your belief that we know very little about indigenous northern religion is only partly true, more is known about them than you think.


So shaman belts prove paganism survived? I consider this irrelevant.

The shaman belt of Eurasia is the area above 50 degrees latitude where true shamanism is best known, and the folk religion in the Christian countries of norhern Europe, was also shamanic. This means that even though the region was officially Christian and not practicing a pre-Christian religion, northern Europe continued to be shamanic.

Taras Bulba
Tuesday, November 9th, 2004, 02:35 AM
It should be obvious to anyone not blinded by dogma that Earth-based Heathenism (of whatever ethno-linguistic affiliation) is far older than Christianity.

It should be obvious to anybody that I never made such an argument.



The fact that we don't know as much about it (no thanks to early Christians and their destruction of Heathen artifacts)

Yes, blame everything on the Christians. Nevermind we know little of paganism because the pagans lacked writing systems, yet it was we bad old Christians who wrote these pagans myths down. In this case, The Poetic Edda is our main source on Norse paganism, yet it was written by Christian monks.

I've already posted about how Christian poets in Ireland preserved the memory of many pagan sacred places, long after they were abandonded by the pagans themselves.



as we do Chritianity, in no way makes European Heathenism irrelevent, not worthy of study or any type of reconstruction in modern times a foolish thing.

Kinda hard to reconstruct something we know little about, dont you think? May explain why neo-paganism is filled with all sorts of garbage.




As for the notion that Chritianity influenced later Heathenisms--I'm sure it did to some extent. I have no examples on hand at the moment but I'm sure that a little research could yield some results.

I've already posted examples of how Christianity influenced heathenism.



Equally though, Heathensim surely influenced advancing Christianity at some levels and it is fruitless to refute this.

No, but as Fletcher explains it is a moot point.



I've read many examples of such a thing and would be happy to post some should you so wish to read them.

Hopefully its something more than just "Pagans used easter eggs, therefore Christianity is paganized. Pagans decorated trees, Christianity was paganized" type stuff.

Taras Bulba
Tuesday, November 9th, 2004, 02:45 AM
The concept of Valhalla and the Christian Heaven have almost nothing in common apart from being a form of afterlife (which is found in thousands of other faiths). Valhalla is Odin's hall in Asgard, the home for those slain gloriously in battle, who are welcomed by Bragi and escorted to Valhalla by the Valkyries to wait there until Ragnarok. They continued to fight battles in Valhalla to make sure they were fit for Ragnarok.

Ragnarok, a concept that most scholars on the issue believe was a Christian influence.



Summarized timeline of Nordic conversion:
Conversion to Christianity in Denmark: Late 10th century by King Harald Bluetooth
Conversion to Christianity in Norway: Late 10th - early 11th century by Olaf Tryggvason
Conversion to Christianity in Iceland: Late 10th - early 11th century by Olaf Tryggvason
Conversion to Christianity in Sweden: 11th-12th centuries

And these conversions were by no means complete conversions.

Indeed they werent. In fact as Peter Sawyer explain, worship of Christ is first evidenced by Vikings in the 800's. Contrary to popular myth, Vikings were not staunch anti-Christians....worship of Christ was popular and respected among them. Although in truth it was more Christo-Pagan in nature, but nevertheless by the 800's we're already seeing some Christian influence in Viking society and thought. As for conversion, its interesting that the

Sawyers note that the official conversions may have occured sooner than it commonly recorded. Sweeden supposedly officially converted in the 11th century, yet the Kings were printing Christianized currency for the kingdom during the late 10th century. So theres much confusion on when the Vikings actually officially converted.

As for your "pictures", many of those dated to around when Christian influence was first starting to be noticed in Scandinavia. Need we forget at Fletcher explains, Vikings were actually trading and being in contact with other Europeans just before the collaspe of the Western Roman Empire. So even the earliest picture you posted(assuming it actually depicts valhalla, which it could posssibly not) would still be a few centuries after Vikings were coming into contact with other Europeans who were already on their way towards Christianization.

Hagalaz
Tuesday, November 9th, 2004, 03:30 AM
It should be obvious to anybody that I never made such an argument.



Yes, blame everything on the Christians. Nevermind we know little of paganism because the pagans lacked writing systems, yet it was we bad old Christians who wrote these pagans myths down. In this case, The Poetic Edda is our main source on Norse paganism, yet it was written by Christian monks.

LOL. In other words "hey, you owe us thanks for preserving a rather diminutive portion of your heritage... afterall, WE were the ones who destroyed it in the first place!" Yes, thank you Christians for destroying my heritage and at least writting down the last bit of poems you spared of destruction, from the kindness of your blessed hearts!

Fact is, we heathens didn't need to write anything down because tradition and religion were passed down orally and culturally. The "We today" you speak of (Christians today), would be the same "we" as the times of old, and we'd know just as much today as we did back then WITHOUT Christianity. There was no posed threat ready to take that away, so there was no need to worry about keeping it 'safe'. Christianity soon changed that.

Allenson
Tuesday, November 9th, 2004, 03:44 PM
[QUOTE=Taras Bulba]It should be obvious to anybody that I never made such an argument.

I didn't say that you did. What I meant was--that complex concepts such as Valhalla, Ragnorak, etc. don't just 'come to be'. They take generations to evolve, even as Christian tales do. So, it is my thought that these notions, or at least their foundations are more deeply rooted in time than the overlap time between Christianity reaching northern Europe and any blending that may have occurred. In fact, it is likely that such entities share common origins in the thoughts of man from very remote times--long before Jesus or Wotan ever joined the crew...



Yes, blame everything on the Christians. Nevermind we know little of paganism because the pagans lacked writing systems, yet it was we bad old Christians who wrote these pagans myths down. In this case, The Poetic Edda is our main source on Norse paganism, yet it was written by Christian monks.

Well, it's pretty well-known that much (though by no means all) of the Christianizing took place at the sword's tip and that sacred Heathen sites were altered (no pun intended) or destroyed. I don't "blame" Christians for anything. I just stick with the facts of the matter.

As for writing--what of the Runes? Was this not a system of writing? Also, again, I refer to the loss of Heathen "material" at the hands of the Christianizers as partly the reason for any lack of knowledge.




I've already posted about how Christian poets in Ireland preserved the memory of many pagan sacred places, long after they were abandonded by the pagans themselves.

I remember the thread and I am glad that some material survived--regardless of who wrote it.



Kinda hard to reconstruct something we know little about, dont you think? May explain why neo-paganism is filled with all sorts of garbage.

Well sure. But, does that make any attempt invalid? Surely not. If anthropologist had this attitude of yours, we would be sorely lacking in our reconstructed views of human evolution. Oh but that's right--humans are only 6000 years old or something like that, right? ;) Talk about garbage!






I've already posted examples of how Christianity influenced heathenism.

Well, I read the one mentioned at the beginning of this thread--but I don't think I've seen any others. Please share.


No, but as Fletcher explains it is a moot point.

Yes, you wrote: "He notes that anykind of argument for "pagan" influence on Christianity can only be made on flimsy grounds"

Why is this any more "flimsy" than the visa-versa?




Hopefully its something more than just "Pagans used easter eggs, therefore Christianity is paganized. Pagans decorated trees, Christianity was paganized" type stuff.


I'm glad that you know of two of the more glaring examples. ;)

I would never be so pig-headed as to say that Christianity had zero influence on the various Heathen pantheons/belief systems. Frankly I do now know one way or the other as I have not looked into the matter deeply enough. Conversely, I also would not be so stubborn to say that Heathenisms had no influence on Christianity. Surely they did and it is well known and documented. So, basically, my stance is that there was a period in history where there was some overlap and some blending between the two and that during this period, it would be absurd to think that they were insular from each other and that there was no mutual influence. Pretty straight forward, really.

I do take some issue with your apparent attempt at diminishing Heathenism both historically and in modern times. It seems that you wish that it never existed and that it had not made its moderate resurgence in more recent years. If this is not the case, then I apologize for my misinterpretation. But if indeed, I am somewhat near to the truth, then I don't understand. Why berate those in modern times who wish to seek a deep and organic spirituality? Frankly, I could care less what faith you follow. That is your own business. If only your spiritual ancestors felt the same toward mine--we would likely not be having this conversation.

Taras Bulba
Wednesday, November 10th, 2004, 05:26 PM
I will go more in depth into this topic as time goes by. I also recieved a pm from Wintermute on this question, which I will also deal with. Apparently people are setting up strawmen arguments, or even simply misunderstanding what my argument is.




I didn't say that you did. What I meant was--that complex concepts such as Valhalla, Ragnorak, etc. don't just 'come to be'.

I agree with you, I never said anything contrary to this. What I am arguing(along with my sources) that Ragnorak and Valhallha were possibly Christian influences. Now, did this happen overnight? Absolutely not, Birgit and Peter Sawyer both note that Christianization was a slow process. Basically at first you had a period of I guess we could call "Christo-Paganism" where paganism and Christianity coexisted and even mixed together. However, this phase was soon followed by a thorough Christianization of the Northern Peoples.


So, it is my thought that these notions, or at least their foundations are more deeply rooted in time than the overlap time between Christianity reaching northern Europe and any blending that may have occurred.

Ok I never denied this either. Of course in order for Valhalla to have a pitch with the Vikings, some kind of preliminary belief of such a place would have been there. Just like Classical pagans were somewhat already aware of notions of savior gods before Christianity came along. So Valhalla probably was not created in a vaccuum. But the earliest we know of Valhalla as we are familar doesnt occur in the tenth century AD



Well, it's pretty well-known that much (though by no means all) of the Christianizing took place at the sword's tip and that sacred Heathen sites were altered (no pun intended) or destroyed. I don't "blame" Christians for anything. I just stick with the facts of the matter.

Of course, all religions have blood on their hands, including paganism.



As for writing--what of the Runes? Was this not a system of writing?

If it I was, Im suggesting for the time being it was not one that could support a fully literate culture.....but again Im suggesting this possibily since I havent read about the rune system for several years.



Also, again, I refer to the loss of Heathen "material" at the hands of the Christianizers as partly the reason for any lack of knowledge.

Of course, Fletcher even notes this as part of the picture. But the fact the pagans were not very literate or kept extensive records is probably a bigger reason. Which in that case it'd extremely hard to destroy as much.




Well sure. But, does that make any attempt invalid?

Because we dont know for sure what the pagans converted from. I've never said we dont anything about paganism, but most of it is largely a generalized view. Fletcher makes this clear.



Surely not. If anthropologist had this attitude of yours, we would be sorely lacking in our reconstructed views of human evolution. Oh but that's right--humans are only 6000 years old or something like that, right? ;) Talk about garbage!

[quote]
Yes, you wrote: "He notes that anykind of argument for "pagan" influence on Christianity can only be made on flimsy grounds"

Why is this any more "flimsy" than the visa-versa?

Because the Christian kept extensive records while the pagans did not.



I'm glad that you know of two of the more glaring examples. ;)

Well this was presented to me as evidence of pagan influence on Christianity. From the big picture, I find that irrelevant.



I would never be so pig-headed as to say that Christianity had zero influence on the various Heathen pantheons/belief systems.

Well Im glad you dont deny the obvious like other pagans do.


Conversely, I also would not be so stubborn to say that Heathenisms had no influence on Christianity. Surely they did and it is well known and documented.

Yes and Wintermute presented "evidence" of this with a quote from Sam Francis' review of "the Germanization of Christianity". Of course this quote(and I will post it but right now Im short on time) didnt really refute my argument, instead it proved a process we Christians like to call "inculturation"(that is Christianity absorbs the local customs of a people), but it didnt prove a "heathenization" of Christianity.

See Christianity adopting itself to local customs is not heathenization but localization. The two are not really the same, and often heathens make this mistake(to be fair for understandable reasons).

I will pick up "the Germanization of Early Christianity" later....but for now I'll rely on information I have on the Christianization of the Celts, which theories concerning that process are similar(if not almost exact) to what we're discussing with the German conversion to Christianity.

I've posted quotes from Ted Olsen's book on Celtic Christianity, and he notes how in recent times the theories concering syncretism have been made as a way to de-emphasize the Christianity of the Celts, that the localised Christianity in many ways a mere gloss over their original paganism. Ted Olsen argues this when concerning the Celts, as do I but on a larger scale.

This is perhaps what Im mainly arguing against, that somehow Christianity adopting itself to native customs(including religious customs) somehow equals a "heathenization" per se or rather a "de-Christianization". De-Christianization would actually have to involve a theological element, but often it didnt. It was largely cultural, not theological.

So in this case particularly the "Germanization" was cultural not theological; and sadly people lose sight of this. This is largely what I have seen with the evidence pointing to heathen influence on Christianity, it seems largely cultural not theological for the most part.



So, basically, my stance is that there was a period in history where there was some overlap and some blending between the two and that during this period, it would be absurd to think that they were insular from each other and that there was no mutual influence. Pretty straight forward, really.

Ok I agree with you. However I pointing to things in perspective.....the "pagan"(I prefer local but I'll go along for now) influence on Christianity was largely cultural not theological. Christianity, unlike Islam, does not impose one culture's values on another. In fact the Apostles determined early on that a christian could celebrate the faith within their own local customs, the idea of imposing Hebrew customs like circumcision on non-Hebrew Christians was rejected.

However it seem the Christian influence on paganism was more theological, like as my sources above stating that the concepts of valhalla and many attributes of the Gods were influenced by Christian concepts.

So Im denying a two-way influence, Im denying they were of the same nature and impact.



I do take some issue with your apparent attempt at diminishing Heathenism both historically and in modern times.

I take offense at attempts by Heathens to diminish Christianity both historically and in modern times, so this feeling appears to be mutual.



It seems that you wish that it never existed and that it had not made its moderate resurgence in more recent years.

No I do not believe that. I have stated many times Im willing to cooperate with pagans, on the condition they respect my faith(Christianity) as a legitimate part of Europe's heritage as well. I feel the pagan heritage as pre-Christian not necessarily anti-Christian. Ted Olsen explains this well when concerning Patrick's attempt at explaining the trinity using the shamrock(Olsen saids this never happened for Patrick had no need to explain the trinity to the Celts), and I'll post what he has to say.

I dont disrespect the pagan heritage, I view the Christian heritage took the beauty and glory of it and improved upon it. The Christian heritage is built on top the pagan one.

As for its modern resurgence...although I admit I laugh at some attempts(and how it bears little resemblence to historical paganism), my big problem is how neo-paganism seems to be built more on anti-Christianity than actually respecting the old pagan heritage. Thats my problem....not that people wish to worship Odin, etc. thats your free choice before God. My problem is that somehow worshipping Odin equals the destruction of Christianity and destroying churches. And many pagans themselves are getting tired of these types as well.

It's really the anti-Christian fanatics among pagans that really hurt what respect I have for the pagan heritage. Of course much shit comes from my side as well, and I often argue with those Christians. I've even defended Christo-Paganism, the attempt to synthesis Christianity and paganism as a noble effort, as long as the Christian element is geniune(often it is, often it's not). Personally Im not going down that path, but I'll respect those who do.

Im not anti-pagan, at least outside of theology Im not.




If this is not the case, then I apologize for my misinterpretation.

I accept.



Why berate those in modern times who wish to seek a deep and organic spirituality?

I dont, I just argue against the view that Christianity isnt a deep and organic spirituality as well.



Frankly, I could care less what faith you follow. That is your own business.

I agree....thats your choice before God. Im definately not going to tell others they're going to Hell, when my I know my own fate is not certain. All I ask is that people respect my faith, and I will respect theirs.

Well I have to go, I'll post more on this later.

Taras Bulba
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 01:09 AM
Despite the fact this is largely pertaining to Germanic paganism, theories concerning the Christianization of Celtic pagans follow similar lines and I've already addressed those issues here:

http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=179476&postcount=7

I just purchased Ted Olsen's Christianity and the Celts and I must say its a very good book. It mostly addresses the historical context of Celtic Christianity rather than dealing with its actual teachings. One good thing about this book is that it refutes many of the New Age myths about it and even exposes how many people who glorify Celtic Christianity are not even Celtic! Apparently many have tried to literally de-Christianize Celtic Christianity.

This is what he had to say about that.

"Romanticists were quick to assert that Celtic Christianity has much in common with pre-Christian Celtic beliefs. This belief actually began with the assertion that Celtic pagans 'had a religion so extremely like Christianity that in effect it differed from it only in this: they believe in a Messiah who was to come into the world, as we believe in him that is to come'. Modelled on Christian priests, the druids became described as the white-robed peacemongers so recognizable today.

By the end of the 1800's, the Romanticists had switched the order - Christianity was a mere gloss on Celtic paganism. In a movement that WB Yeats called the "Celtic Twilight", writers emphasized the Celts' love of nature over their love of Christ. Pantheism, not Christianity, was the true Celtic creed. Bradley notes that when George Russell wrote of Ireland 'long ago known as the sacred isle', he was not referring to the works of Patrick but to the fact that 'the gods lived there'....The Celtic Twilight movement influenced the world's view of Celtic Christianity, but not everybody bought into its pantheistic views. What stuck were notions that the Celts had been ecologically minded, gentle, and at least friendly to the pagans they encountered....The Celtic Twilight movement's pro-pagan and syncretistic attitues never set. Instead, many of today's books on the Celts - even ones focusing on Celtic spirituality after the acceptance of Christianity - can be found in the neo-pagan, mythology, or New Age sections of bookstores. It it rarely these books have been wrongly shelved. 'Far from rejecting their old religion, the Christian Celts continuned to hold it in the deepest respect, absorbing many of its ideals and attitudes, symbols and rituals, into their new faith', wrote Anglican priest Robert Van de Weyer in Celtic Fire....De-emphasizing the Christianity of Christian Celts has allowed these recent writers, like so many of their past revivalists, to emphasize their own agendas."
--pg.173;178


So, yes as we have already established in this debate; much discussion about Celtic Christianity is nonsense and often guided by Neo-Pagans with an agenda. Indeed, this is not only true for Celtic Christianity but European Christianity in general. Neo-Pagans(and we have seen this argument here plenty of times) try to de-emphasize the Christianity of our ancestors and try to protray it merely as a gloss for the "secret paganism" that Europeans truely adhered to. Yes many elements of paganism were carried over into the Christian era, but I think this fact is highly overblowned by neo-pagans. THIS DID NOT MAKE THEM PAGANS OR "SECRET" PAGANS! They were Christians who followed a Europeanized Christianity. Most of what Christianity absorbed from paganism was more cultural than theological when one looks at it closely.

So this attempt at de-emphasizing Christianity really doesnt go far when one looks at the facts. Indeed Olsen talks about how the syncretistic viewpoint has been overemphasized in recent years in order to show Celtic Christianity as pratically pagan(although this certainly applies to European Christianity in general). Now Olsen does mention that yes indeed Christianity and paganism did co-exist at times and even mentions of many temples/churches were statues of Christ and Mary stood next to those of pagan deities; but he makes clear this fact has been highly overblowned by New Agers/Neo-Pagans with an agenda for de-emphasizing the Christian faith of the Celts(or Europeans in general).

Anyways, despite all the New Age BS there is hope for the revival of Celtic Christianity. :)

"Theologically conservative Christians began reclaiming the Celtic saints as their own in the early 1990s. Leaders of the Church of England's charaismatic movement were among the first to counter the neo-pagan and syncretistic approaches of their contempories and to encourage their evengelical comrades in drawing inspiration from the Celtic Christians....As interest in Celtic Christianity grew, Christians also began creating works 'in the Celtic tradition'."
--inbid pg.178

So the neo-pagan/new age stranglehold on Celtic Christianity may soon pass as Christians begin to assert their positions. Already now the New Age monopoly on Celtic "spritual music" is already being challanged by overt Christian Celtic bands.

Another that is good about this book, it totally debunks the notion that Celtic Christianity was a tradition distinct from the continent.

"'Far from being different, Celtic Christianity was very much like the faith of the church elsewhere', says Dominican friar and scholar Gilbert Markus: There were differences in detail between the Celtic Christians and their continental neighbors: church architecture, Easter dates, inheritance laws, and local traditions. But almost all the main features of early Celtic Christianity could be found anywhere in Catholic Europe, where every tribe and tongue and nation made the gospel their own. The Celts found their own way of retelling the old story all the while sharing one recognizable faith."
--inbid pp.182-3

And as Peter Brown in his Rise of Western Christendom states that the Celts were not alone in adapting Christianity to their local traditions; this was widespread throughout the Christian world during the early Middle Ages(aka 'Dark Ages'). We see signs of this in Ireland, Spain, Syria, Egypt, etc. Bronw even coins the term 'micro-Christendom' to describe these local cultural-religious entities within the wider universal Christendom.

So yes, anybody interested in Celtic Christianity mainly in its historical context should read this book. :)

morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 02:36 AM
See Christianity adopting itself to local customs is not heathenization but localization. The two are not really the same, and often heathens make this mistake(to be fair for understandable reasons).

I will pick up "the Germanization of Early Christianity" later....but for now I'll rely on information I have on the Christianization of the Celts, which theories concerning that process are similar(if not almost exact) to what we're discussing with the German conversion to Christianity.

I've posted quotes from Ted Olsen's book on Celtic Christianity, and he notes how in recent times the theories concering syncretism have been made as a way to de-emphasize the Christianity of the Celts, that the localised Christianity in many ways a mere gloss over their original paganism. Ted Olsen argues this when concerning the Celts, as do I but on a larger scale.

This is perhaps what Im mainly arguing against, that somehow Christianity adopting itself to native customs(including religious customs) somehow equals a "heathenization" per se or rather a "de-Christianization". De-Christianization would actually have to involve a theological element, but often it didnt. It was largely cultural, not theological.

The issue here is the contrast between oganised religion and folk religion, and folk religions are always pagan in the sense the ancient writers used it to refer to rural beliefs and rituals that are outside official organisation.

The localisation on the other hand is the aspect of traditional Christianity, where regional deities became Christian saints, and not to the beliefs that were outside centralised control.


Ok I agree with you. However I pointing to things in perspective.....the "pagan"(I prefer local but I'll go along for now) influence on Christianity was largely cultural not theological. Christianity, unlike Islam, does not impose one culture's values on another. In fact the Apostles determined early on that a christian could celebrate the faith within their own local customs, the idea of imposing Hebrew customs like circumcision on non-Hebrew Christians was rejected.

I wouldnt say that Islam imposes one culture's values onto another, even though I think it has less ability to syncretise pre-Islamic cults into organised Islam. as folk religions still exist in Islamic cultures.

Taras Bulba
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 02:53 AM
The issue here is the contrast between oganised religion and folk religion

Alright.....I can accept this distinction.



, and folk religions are always pagan in the sense the ancient writers used it to refer to rural beliefs and rituals that are outside official organisation.

Not true, Peter Brown in his Rise of Western Christendom refers to Christianity taking form as a "folk religion" throughout Europe. Theres even a quote of his I saved about how Christianity survived as a folk religion in Britain when the natives were dominated by then still-pagan Saxons. When Christian missionaries came to revert the natives, they were suprised as to how much Christianity survived in this folk religion nature.

Paganism and folk religion are not the same, although paganism is a form of folk religion but is not the only form. Christianity on the other hand combines organized religion with folk religion(theres elements of both within it). As Fletcher and others explain, this was one advantage Christianity had over paganism.



The localisation on the other hand is the aspect of traditional Christianity, where regional deities became Christian saints

This is an oversimplification of the facts. I'll deal more later.

I do know in Russian folkore, theres stories of Saints taking on the old pagan deities and defeating them(for example St. Andrew, the patron of sailors taking on the old pagan god of the seas), thus proving the superiority of the Christian faith. Im sure these kinds of stories were not restricted to Russia. This does in a way weaken the argument the people just simply adopted Christianized versions of their old gods.




, and not to the beliefs that were outside centralised control.

This is also a simplification of the facts.....I'll deal with this later.




I wouldnt say that Islam imposes one culture's values onto another, even though I think it has less ability to syncretise pre-Islamic cults into organised Islam. as folk religions still exist in Islamic cultures.

Actually Adrian Hastings disputes this when he compares the Christian and Islamic attitudes towards local customs. Christianity seeks to Christianize the local culture, Islam often results in Arabising it as well. This certainly happened in Egypt, where the remanents of the old culture of Pharonic times was preserved by the Coptic Church, which is Egypt's native Christian church. In fact the church to this day both preserves the customs of mummification and the old Pharonic language in its liturgy.

There is folk religion in Islam, but its often Arabic in nature especially in the Middle East. In other regions where it exist, its probably due to the fact the Arab armies didnt conquer and arabised the societies. But Hastings also notes another exception in Turkey. So yes, as Aristotle said, a rule is always defined by its exceptions.

Taras Bulba
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 03:06 AM
Upon reading this thread over again and getting more insight into what
atlanto-med is arguing here, I'd like to apologize for this post I made:
http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=218471&postcount=10

I apparently misread what atlanto-med was trying argue.

Apparently he was trying to argue the existance of folk religion during the Christian era proved somekind of connection to the old pagan ways. I misread him of trying to argue that different ethnic groups(Slavs, Balts, Celts, etc) had different customs and that alone proved some survival of paganism. And I had a little cocky attitude since I though he was trying to throw this debate off course.

Sorry for the confusion, like anybody I have my faults. :)

morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 05:27 AM
Paganism and folk religion are not the same, although paganism is a form of folk religion but is not the only form. Christianity on the other hand combines organized religion with folk religion(theres elements of both within it). As Fletcher and others explain, this was one advantage Christianity had over paganism.

No, youre right they aren't the same as you're using the word. I was referring to the origins of the word "pagan" as referring to the beliefs of rural people. Folk religion is simply these decentralised aspects of spiritual life, which aren't under centralised control. Id argue that Christianity arrived at a period of state formation in the north, where the indigenous, more purely folkish shamanism was developing into a statist, organised religion. (A similar thing happened in Japan, where Shinto developed from shamanic origin.) This was the development of the cult of Gaut.

The Gaut cult is itself a good demonstration of the difference between organised and folk religions, because it was a religious basis for the rule of Kings and exclusive to the ruling class. The folk religion remained the devotion to the old fertility cults. It shows how the Germanic equivalent to the Celtic fairy faith survived the replacement of this organised cult of Gaut by the Christian religion.


I do know in Russian folkore, theres stories of Saints taking on the old pagan deities and defeating them(for example St. Andrew, the patron of sailors taking on the old pagan god of the seas), thus proving the superiority of the Christian faith. Im sure these kinds of stories were not restricted to Russia. This does in a way weaken the argument the people just simply adopted Christianized versions of their old gods.

These stories certainly aren't restricted to the East Slavs, indeed, theyre prominent in Celtic and Germanic folklore. However I don't think the presence of this motif changes the continuity of the localised cults of saints with the older pre-Christian figures.


Actually Adrian Hastings disputes this when he compares the Christian and Islamic attitudes towards local customs. Christianity seeks to Christianize the local culture, Islam often results in Arabising it as well. This certainly happened in Egypt, where the remanents of the old culture of Pharonic times was preserved by the Coptic Church, which is Egypt's native Christian church. In fact the church to this day both preserves the customs of mummification and the old Pharonic language in its liturgy.

There is folk religion in Islam, but its often Arabic in nature especially in the Middle East. In other regions where it exist, its probably due to the fact the Arab armies didnt conquer and arabised the societies. But Hastings also notes another exception in Turkey. So yes, as Aristotle said, a rule is always defined by its exceptions.

Christianity and Islam have different attitudes to folk cultures, but the distinction between folk belief and centralised religion is found in all societies with centralised religion.

In at least some Islamic regions, the old cults were tolerated where they weren't a threat to Islamic rule, including in Egypt. Although Islamic sources didn't write much about folk religions, the worship of the older gods is attested to in Islamic Egypt according to Frew. Its not known what eventually happened to the cults there, but to the west in the Islamic Maghreb, French anthropologists have made attempts to reconstruct the Berber pantheon from Berber folk religion.

I dont know much about folk religion in Turkey, but I imagine a similar folk religion exists to that in Greece where a belief in the Dryads continued at least until the 20th century. The problem is finding the English translations from the foreign languages that the anthropology is usually written in.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 06:50 AM
I am not a religious thinker as you people certainly are but it seems to me that there are two discussions going on here. One is the over, correct religious politics of the state and the other is the folk understanding as expounded by Atlanto-Med.

Mexico is a great example of a nation Roman Catholic on the surface, yet pre-Christian underneath and down deep. Even in America we have Santa Claus (a Sami shaman on a raindeer sled) and the Christmas tree (a rememberance of Germanic or perhaps pre-Germanic forest spirits). Nobody, no offical church, ever scantioned Santa Claus or the Chiristmas tree here in the USA. It just happened as our folk tradition.

In the same way, the Christian church (all of them) have had to accept and incorporate certain pre-christian traditions into their faith to accomodate the local people, where ever they are.

This goes beyond religion. Law is the same way. We have Christian (Jewish) statue law based on the big 10 and we have folk law, (Common Law in Britain and the USA) based on something older.

This goes further. Our morals now come from two directions, the old Indo-European ways as seen in Homer for example and the newer Christian ways.

People of European ancestry have a split personality. Sometimes, this split is apparent and opposite to each other. This creates problems and conflict in laws, morals and cutoms. I say go with the older European ways. It go us this far after 40,000 years.

Taras Bulba
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 05:44 PM
Since I dont have all my sources available, I'll counter what I can at the moment.


No, youre right they aren't the same as you're using the word. I was referring to the origins of the word "pagan" as referring to the beliefs of rural people.

Alright.



Folk religion is simply these decentralised aspects of spiritual life, which aren't under centralised control.
True, such aspects are not the monopoly of paganism however.



These stories certainly aren't restricted to the East Slavs, indeed, theyre prominent in Celtic and Germanic folklore. However I don't think the presence of this motif changes the continuity of the localised cults of saints with the older pre-Christian figures.

Actually it does. I think you're mistaking direct continuity with shift to a parallel belief. Both Christianity and paganism have folk religious elements. Through my studies of folk religions around the world, they bear strong resemblences to each other in many key areas. It would not be hard for say a Mongolian shaman to find similarities among his African counterparts, or even European shamans. Of course there are differences, but they're largely local.

This is related to the issue of similarities between Christianity and many Classicial pagan mystery cults, yet as many scholars we often mistake similarities automatically as one copying the other. Yet this is not exactly the case.

So what we probably saw was the pagans switching from worshipping their local deities to more or less their Christian counter-parts. Does this mean the Christians copied the pagans? No, not exactly. It means the Christians had a belief that paralleled what the pagans already worshipped.

Now I prefer the term localization to paganization, because thats where the real influence took place. Folk Christianity as a folk religion would certainly have similarities with paganism(another form of folk religion), so I think we're mistaking similarities with one copying the other. Rather the local varients of this folk religion influenced how folk Christianity took hold. Timothy Joyce in his book on Celtic Christianity explained this well about the Christianization of the Celts. For example, poets and bards were well respected in pre-Christian Celtic society, this continued into Christian days. Celtic folk religion was very mystical in nature, so Celtic folk Christian would be so as well. This isnt paganization per se, but more localization. Druids were the high spiritual leaders of Celtic society, so under Celtic folk Christianity priests took on the roles previously held by Druids and Christ himself was referred to as the "Chief Druid" of them all. This isnt paganization, its fitting folk Christianity to local customs and traditions.



Christianity and Islam have different attitudes to folk cultures, but the distinction between folk belief and centralised religion is found in all societies with centralised religion.

True, although the more appropiate term would be "organized" religion, for centralization is not necessarily a requirement for organized religion. The Catholic church for example was often very decentralized, as is the Orthodox Church.



In at least some Islamic regions, the old cults were tolerated where they weren't a threat to Islamic rule, including in Egypt.

This was the case with Christianity as well.

“The sense of a pagan past which had been irrevocably defeated led to a certain tolerance of legacies from the classical world. Pagan monuments had lost their power to disturb Christians. To take a small example: the statues of Augustus and Livia continued to stand in the civic center of Ephesus, but they now had the sign of the Cross discreetly carved on their foreheads…..Yet Eastern Christians were undisturbed by the existence in their midst of considerable pockets of paganism.”
--Peter Brown The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity AD 200-1000 Pg.149




Although Islamic sources didn't write much about folk religions, the worship of the older gods is attested to in Islamic Egypt according to Frew. Its not known what eventually happened to the cults there, but to the west in the Islamic Maghreb, French anthropologists have made attempts to reconstruct the Berber pantheon from Berber folk religion.

To be honest, Im not entirely familar with this. Since by the time the Islamic armies arrived in Egypt Christianity was the major faith at the time. There was a thing on the History Channel Egypt: Land of the Gods that was about how the pagan(Pharonic), Christian, and Islamic faiths all interacted in Egypt's history.

It was interesting how the old Pharonic belief in how evil spirits dwelled in the desert possibily lead to how St. Anthony decided to do battle with the Devil in the deserts.

Taras Bulba
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 06:03 PM
I am not a religious thinker as you people certainly are

Well since you're honest in admitting your faults on this questions, for theres much I find problem with.



but it seems to me that there are two discussions going on here. One is the over, correct religious politics of the state and the other is the folk understanding as expounded by Atlanto-Med.

What? As I will explain further, Im as much defending folk religion as Atlanto-Med is. He's defending folk paganism, Im defending folk Christianity.



Mexico is a great example of a nation Roman Catholic on the surface, yet pre-Christian underneath and down deep.

Not true really. What we're seeing is how folk Christianity merged with the already existing folk religion of the natives. I've already argued against this approach when concerning the Celts, about how Christianity was nothing more than a gloss over their paganism.


Nobody, no offical church, ever scantioned Santa Claus or the Chiristmas tree here in the USA. It just happened as our folk tradition.

Yes, and theres nothing wrong with this. St. Paul defended folk traditions within the faith, and the Apostles decided it was wrong to impose the folk customs of one people over another within the Christian community.



In the same way, the Christian church (all of them) have had to accept and incorporate certain pre-christian traditions into their faith to accomodate the local people, where ever they are.

This is where the problem is emerging, that everykind of folk tradition that existed under Christian Europe somehow has some connection to paganism. Thats not necessarily the case. Christianity is both an organised and a folk religion. Its folk religious element certainly had similarities between the folk religion of the pagans, this is true if you compare most folk religions to each other. That doesnt mean one copied the other.

This is one thing I cannot stand, that somehow folk Christianity is not a legitmate folk religion but merely some pathetic copy-cat of paganism. That is not the case. And sadly I(along with other Christians) have to battle a two-front war: one against Christians who are opposed to folk Christianity and pagans who wish to steal our folk religious heritage away and claim it as their own.

In fact the whole notion of Folk Christianity being merely a copy-cat of folk paganism comes from Protestants who sought to destroy the rich heritage of the Catholic Church. Somehow praying to Mary equalled the prayers to mother goddesses. NONSENSE! Devotion to the saints somehow became equalled to the worship of pagan deities. Rubbish! Protestants(and many lackeys of theirs in liberal Catholicism) have for the past few hundred years launched a full frontal assault on the rich heritage of folk Christianity.

And then came the neo-pagans who in order to try to reclaim their heritage came instead to try to steal our heritage. They often repeat the same Protestant lies about how our own folk religious heritage was merely a copy-cat of their previous pagan folk religion. When in fact, its probably they're mistaking similarities as one copying the other. Now was there some pagan(more appropiately local, but oh well) influence? Yes there was, but it was minimal. It was minimal because pagan influence for the most wasnt necessary, folk religions(whether pagan or Christian) bear strong resemblences to each other anyways. The "pagan" influenced was merely to make folk Christianity more localized.

If pagans want to reclaim their heritage, fine. But keep your hands off our folk religious heritage, its legitmately ours not yours! We're not claiming Odin or any of your gods as our own, dont claim our Virgin Mother or our saints as yours!

morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 06:38 PM
Actually it does. I think you're mistaking direct continuity with shift to a parallel belief. Both Christianity and paganism have folk religious elements. Through my studies of folk religions around the world, they bear strong resemblences to each other in many key areas. It would not be hard for say a Mongolian shaman to find similarities among his African counterparts, or even European shamans. Of course there are differences, but they're largely local.

On the contrary the shaman belt is purely of a Eurasian origin, there aren't African shamen because authentic Shamanism is rooted in the northern Eurasian landscape, and then it reached the Americas. In addition, many of the more generally Eurasian motifs are absent from most of subsaharan Africa, as well as Australasia and parts of the Americas.


This is related to the issue of similarities between Christianity and many Classicial pagan mystery cults, yet as many scholars we often mistake similarities automatically as one copying the other. Yet this is not exactly the case.

Im not sure I understand this, because the very origins of Christianity are in the Hellenistic east among the other Mysteries there and sharing the same Eastern Mediterranean themes with the cults.


So what we probably saw was the pagans switching from worshipping their local deities to more or less their Christian counter-parts. Does this mean the Christians copied the pagans? No, not exactly. It means the Christians had a belief that paralleled what the pagans already worshipped.

The most relevent to us of the Christian cults in the north, were the ones of purely local saints, which rules out a foreign introduction and besides the Roman cults hadn't caught on in the north among the local population. In the past the Celts and Germanic subjects of Rome hadn't been responsive to the Mediterranean religions, they was just too foreign to the north.


Now I prefer the term localization to paganization, because thats where the real influence took place. Folk Christianity as a folk religion would certainly have similarities with paganism(another form of folk religion), so I think we're mistaking similarities with one copying the other. Rather the local varients of this folk religion influenced how folk Christianity took hold. Timothy Joyce in his book on Celtic Christianity explained this well about the Christianization of the Celts. For example, poets and bards were well respected in pre-Christian Celtic society, this continued into Christian days. Celtic folk religion was very mystical in nature, so Celtic folk Christian would be so as well. This isnt paganization per se, but more localization. Druids were the high spiritual leaders of Celtic society, so under Celtic folk Christianity priests took on the roles previously held by Druids and Christ himself was referred to as the "Chief Druid" of them all. This isnt paganization, its fitting folk Christianity to local customs and traditions.

I dont think theres a difference between paganization and localization here, because both words explain differences between northern and Mediterranean Christianity by reference to existing cultural differences. I feel that almost everyone agrees that organised Christianity wasn't paganised, however people considering themselves to be Christian did continue practices and beliefs outside those of organised religion. Ive explained that I think this is about the different definitions of paganism which were using, and the folk religion was outside both Christianity and the cult of Gaut, and that the nature of folk religion is independent from organised religions.

Taras Bulba
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 06:55 PM
On the contrary the shaman belt is purely of a Eurasian origin, there aren't African shamen because authentic Shamanism is rooted in the northern Eurasian landscape, and then it reached the Americas.

:eyes Are you sure theres no shamanism in Africa?

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/s/shamanism.html

Evidence of shamanism has been found globally in isolated regions of the Americas, Asia, Africa, regions of Europe and Australia.

Vodou and Santeria are considered forms of African shamanism that came to the Americas with slaves. Of course I have an interesting article about the relationship between vodou and catholicism, which is somewhat relevant here.



In addition, many of the more generally Eurasian motifs are absent from most of subsaharan Africa, as well as Australasia and parts of the Americas.

:eyes Nice strawman, I clearly stated there were differences between shamanism based on local cultural traditions.



Im not sure I understand this, because the very origins of Christianity are in the Hellenistic east among the other Mysteries there and sharing the same Eastern Mediterranean themes with the cults.

True, and many in the ancient world mistook Christianity as another mystery cult. But the charge Christianity borrowed elements or is based off these mystery cults is unfounded. Much of what Christianity "borrowed" was more artistic or cultural in nature. Or example, its charged that Christianity took halos and angels from these mystery cults. Not true, both can be found in the Bible. What Christianity did borrowed however, is how angels and halos are artistically depicted. This was not uncommon in the ancient world, however.




The most relevent to us of the Christian cults in the north, were the ones of purely local saints, which rules out a foreign introduction and besides the Roman cults hadn't caught on in the north among the local population. In the past the Celts and Germanic subjects of Rome hadn't been responsive to the Mediterranean religions, they was just too foreign to the north.[

This doesnt refute what I said. I clearly said that folk Christianity adopted itself to the local customs of the people to the north.



I dont think theres a difference between paganization and localization here

Beacause to the pagan there is no difference. Locality and spirituality are one of the same. Christianity on the other hand disagrees, spirituality and locality are not the same although they can be closely related. After all as Paul said "theres neither Greek nor Jew" before Christ; that means Christianity does not restrict its membership(as many mystery cults and other paganisms did) on basis of ethnicity/locality.


I feel that almost everyone agrees that organised Christianity wasn't paganised, however people considering themselves to be Christian did continue practices and beliefs outside those of organised religion.

Indeed, as I keep saying Christianity is both an organized and folk religion. Paganism is largely a folk religion but not organized. Fletcher explains thats one reason why Christianity one, because it had the union and discipline of organized religion to overcome the varied and divided paganisms; yet at the same time incorpated the folk religious elements that were held dear to pagans. They switched from one form of folk religion(paganism) to another (folk Christianity).

I've even dealt with this earlier with Ted Olsen's book on the the Christianization of the Celts.

"Romanticists were quick to assert that Celtic Christianity has much in common with pre-Christian Celtic beliefs. This belief actually began with the assertion that Celtic pagans 'had a religion so extremely like Christianity that in effect it differed from it only in this: they believe in a Messiah who was to come into the world, as we believe in him that is to come'. Modelled on Christian priests, the druids became described as the white-robed peacemongers so recognizable today."
--Ted Olsen Christianity and the Celts pg.173

However, lately the attempt has been to argue the opposite happened.


"By the end of the 1800's, the Romanticists had switched the order - Christianity was a mere gloss on Celtic paganism. In a movement that WB Yeats called the "Celtic Twilight", writers emphasized the Celts' love of nature over their love of Christ. Pantheism, not Christianity, was the true Celtic creed. Bradley notes that when George Russell wrote of Ireland 'long ago known as the sacred isle', he was not referring to the works of Patrick but to the fact that 'the gods lived there'....The Celtic Twilight movement influenced the world's view of Celtic Christianity, but not everybody bought into its pantheistic views. What stuck were notions that the Celts had been ecologically minded, gentle, and at least friendly to the pagans they encountered....The Celtic Twilight movement's pro-pagan and syncretistic attitues never set. Instead, many of today's books on the Celts - even ones focusing on Celtic spirituality after the acceptance of Christianity - can be found in the neo-pagan, mythology, or New Age sections of bookstores. It it rarely these books have been wrongly shelved. 'Far from rejecting their old religion, the Christian Celts continuned to hold it in the deepest respect, absorbing many of its ideals and attitudes, symbols and rituals, into their new faith', wrote Anglican priest Robert Van de Weyer in Celtic Fire....De-emphasizing the Christianity of Christian Celts has allowed these recent writers, like so many of their past revivalists, to emphasize their own agendas."
--inbid pg.173;178

This is not only the case with the Celts, but with European Christianity altogether.

morfrain_encilgar
Thursday, November 11th, 2004, 08:00 PM
Evidence of shamanism has been found globally in isolated regions of the Americas, Asia, Africa, regions of Europe and Australia.[/b]

The word shamanism has been used to describe applied animism (in general) but in the most accurate use, it refers to the northern Eurasian and American cultures and it is found mostly in cold climate lands over 50 degrees latitude. The shamanism of northern Indo-European cultures shares a set of ceremonies and values with Siberia and Hokkaido at the other end of Eurasia which include the bear cult and the use of fly agaric as just two examples of this continuity of beliefs.


True, and many in the ancient world mistook Christianity as another mystery cult. But the charge Christianity borrowed elements or is based off these mystery cults is unfounded. Much of what Christianity "borrowed" was more artistic or cultural in nature. Or example, its charged that Christianity took halos and angels from these mystery cults. Not true, both can be found in the Bible. What Christianity did borrowed however, is how angels and halos are artistically depicted. This was not uncommon in the ancient world, however.

The Mystery cults are known to have shared an Eastern Mediterranean origin with the Bible so I don't understand why the Old Testament changes anything about pre-Christian ideas in Christianity.


Indeed, as I keep saying Christianity is both an organized and folk religion. Paganism is largely a folk religion but not organized. Fletcher explains thats one reason why Christianity one, because it had the union and discipline of organized religion to overcome the varied and divided paganisms; yet at the same time incorpated the folk religious elements that were held dear to pagans. They switched from one form of folk religion(paganism) to another (folk Christianity).

The Northern religion was becoming organised through social evolution at the time when Christianity arrived there, because the presence of religious organisation is associated with social complexity. This is why Christianity, as a Mediterranean religion, was more organised than the cults in the northern societies.

Taras Bulba
Friday, November 12th, 2004, 03:05 AM
I will address at least some of atlanto-med's arguments tommorrow hopefully. This will be a work in progress. :bounce

Taras Bulba
Friday, November 12th, 2004, 05:38 PM
I'll deal with what I can at the moment. Sorry people, as I said in one thread, Im short on time and will not be able to get into much details with discussions.


The word shamanism has been used to describe applied animism (in general) but in the most accurate use, it refers to the northern Eurasian and American cultures and it is found mostly in cold climate lands over 50 degrees latitude. The shamanism of northern Indo-European cultures shares a set of ceremonies and values with Siberia and Hokkaido at the other end of Eurasia which include the bear cult and the use of fly agaric as just two examples of this continuity of beliefs.

Alright.....Im going to have to get back to you on this. I know Im saying this alot...but I will.



The Mystery cults are known to have shared an Eastern Mediterranean origin with the Bible so I don't understand why the Old Testament changes anything about pre-Christian ideas in Christianity.

Well theres already a thread about this that I plan on discussing with Alkman, so I'd prefer we keep it there. Although for now, here's what Peter Brown had to say about this.

“We tend to think only in terms of ‘pagan survivals’ within the Church. We do not often give attention to the adaptation, by non-Christians, of Christian rituals….A lively process of the borrowing of rituals between pagans and Christians appears to have taken place in both directions. Pagan communities borrowed Christian signs and rites. The sign of the Cross would be made sacrificial banquets. The names of Christian angels and saints would be shouted at the solemn toasts around the table. Above all, monks and clergymen came to offer services which non-Christian ritual specialists had previously provided.”
--Peter Brown The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity AD 200-1000 Pg.153




The Northern religion was becoming organised through social evolution at the time when Christianity arrived there, because the presence of religious organisation is associated with social complexity. This is why Christianity, as a Mediterranean religion, was more organised than the cults in the northern societies.

Yes Fletcher notes how at least the Baltic pagans tried to build an organized religion around their paganism, but in the end they failed. And this may get back to what Jonathan Kirsch noted that a "Pagan church" is a contradiction in terms. The union and discipline of organized religion is alien to paganism, and Kirsch was noting about classical paganism not Northern paganism. Julian the Apostate tried to build a pagan church, yet that didnt go far even among fellow pagans. So I dont think the argument of Christianity being a Mediterranean religion really stands much.

As for social evolution, Fletcher noted that conversion to Christianity played a big part in this. Whenever a ruler converted, he soon had access to some of the best political advisors in the world. This was certainly the case with Prince Volodymyr in Kieven Rus, with the help of Byzantine advisors he united the Rus. Volodymyr tried to unite the Rus under the pagan banner of Perun, but that failed.

Oh well hopefully this sunday I'll be able to figure out more and get back to this.

Taras Bulba
Friday, November 12th, 2004, 05:44 PM
Here's another interesting quote from Peter Brown that I mentioned about the presence of folk Christianity existing under pagan domination in Britain. Many people thought Christianity was eliminated under pagan rule, but this was not the case.

“Nor had Christianity vanished entirely from the Saxon areas of Britain. The Saxons of eastern Britain were overtly pagan. But this did not exclude considerable ‘subliminal’ awareness of Christianity. They had ‘Welsh’ slaves, and, in many areas, pagan Saxon lords controlled a peasantry for whom Christianity had survived, even without an organized clergy, as a ‘folk religion’. Such ‘folk Christianity’, practiced by the conquered people, was largely invisible to outsiders. Irish Christians in Iona wrote of the ‘whole of the land of Saxons’ as ‘darkened by the shadow of heathendom and ignorance.’ The monks sent by Gregory evidently felt the same. Yet, when Augustine finally arrived in Kent, in 597, he soon learned that the shrine of a local Christian martyr, called Sixtus, was visited by the Britons of Kent. The shrine dated from Roman times. The Britons themselves knew little about the martyr; but they had continued to worship at his grave. What Augustine encountered was a humbled, but recognizable, remnant of what had once been a community of Romano-British Christians. Such communities must have existed elsewhere, in other parts of ‘Saxon’ Britain.”
--Peter Brown The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity AD 200-1000 pg. 341-2

Whats interesting is that this is direct contradiction of the common stereotype we have of the peasents secretly practicing paganism as a folk religion while under the domination of Christian authorities. And as Brown notes, this folk Christianity existed throughout Europe during this period. So folk religion is not a pagan monolopy.

morfrain_encilgar
Saturday, November 13th, 2004, 05:53 AM
Well theres already a thread about this that I plan on discussing with Alkman, so I'd prefer we keep it there. Although for now, here's what Peter Brown had to say about this.

“We tend to think only in terms of ‘pagan survivals’ within the Church. We do not often give attention to the adaptation, by non-Christians, of Christian rituals….A lively process of the borrowing of rituals between pagans and Christians appears to have taken place in both directions. Pagan communities borrowed Christian signs and rites. The sign of the Cross would be made sacrificial banquets. The names of Christian angels and saints would be shouted at the solemn toasts around the table. Above all, monks and clergymen came to offer services which non-Christian ritual specialists had previously provided.”
--Peter Brown The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity AD 200-1000 Pg.153

I appreciate that youre going to say more about this, but I dont understand what the borrowings from Christianity in other Mediterranean religions, have to do with the origins of Christianity in the Hellenised East. It just agrees with what Im saying about Christianity being a part of the Mediterranean world, like Mithraism was.


Yes Fletcher notes how at least the Baltic pagans tried to build an organized religion around their paganism, but in the end they failed. And this may get back to what Jonathan Kirsch noted that a "Pagan church" is a contradiction in terms. The union and discipline of organized religion is alien to paganism, and Kirsch was noting about classical paganism not Northern paganism. Julian the Apostate tried to build a pagan church, yet that didnt go far even among fellow pagans. So I dont think the argument of Christianity being a Mediterranean religion really stands much.

As for social evolution, Fletcher noted that conversion to Christianity played a big part in this. Whenever a ruler converted, he soon had access to some of the best political advisors in the world. This was certainly the case with Prince Volodymyr in Kieven Rus, with the help of Byzantine advisors he united the Rus. Volodymyr tried to unite the Rus under the pagan banner of Perun, but that failed.

Oh well hopefully this sunday I'll be able to figure out more and get back to this.

Unlike the northern cultures, the empire of Julian the Apostate had a state religion for centuries so I dont see why Julian is relevant to the northern evolution towards a state religion. My point was that a pagan state religion was emerging at this time in association with state formation, and with paralells in Koreo-Japan at the same time and from a similar shamanic foundation. I didnt say a state religion had been established in Germanic countries but that one was emerging, the cult of Gaut, and that it contrasted with a folk religion that was associated with fertility. Its this folk religion that survived Christianisation as folk Christianity, because the belief in Elves (a category that overlapped with the Vanir) continued outside the organised aspects of Christian religion.

morfrain_encilgar
Saturday, November 13th, 2004, 06:22 AM
Here's another interesting quote from Peter Brown that I mentioned about the presence of folk Christianity existing under pagan domination in Britain. Many people thought Christianity was eliminated under pagan rule, but this was not the case.

I dont know why anyone would thinf folk Christianity would have been eliminated by the Saxons. The record of sources, shows that it certainly wasn't.

However without a church, Briton folk Christianity would have been close to pre-Christian folk religion.


Whats interesting is that this is direct contradiction of the common stereotype we have of the peasents secretly practicing paganism as a folk religion while under the domination of Christian authorities. And as Brown notes, this folk Christianity existed throughout Europe during this period. So folk religion is not a pagan monolopy.

Folk religion is a concept applied to complex societies. It just relates to the seperation of folkish religion from organised aspects of religion, so naturally theres a folk Christianity as well as a pre-Christian folk religion. Theres continuity between the Christian and pre-Christian folk religions because the folk religion was Christianised, unlike the aristocratic religions, which were replaced.

Earendil
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004, 07:06 PM
I guess the rise of the Saxons under Duke Widukind in 782 was also a pagan reaction against violent christianization an a return to the old gods.
I´m not quite sure how much the ancient norse an saxon worship differt from each other.

Dead Eye
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, 01:50 PM
Well the truth is we dont know what "paganism" really was. It had no consistent doctrine, it changed constantly generation after generation. Greeco-Roman Paganism by the fourth century AD was completely different from paganism of Classical times, in fact it was heavily Christianized.

As for non-Classical paganism, we know little. Almost everything we know about non-Classical paganism is based on what Christian writers wrote often generations after conversion. As Fletcher said, we dont really know for sure what the pagans converted from. As for pagan "survivals", Fletcher deals with that brilliantly, saying that the Church often allowed them so as to make the transition for the pagans easier.



Exactly, I cant believe somebody(not here, but elsewhere) actually claimed Revelation is based on Ragnarok. How is that possible? Revelation was written in the first century, and was officially added to the canon at Nicea. This just doesnt make sense.



Actually a lot what is in the Bible came from Norse mythology and the European pagan religion speaks almost the same as other pagan religions which date back long before the Bible was written so Ragnarok could be the original story.

Olavssønn
Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, 07:32 PM
So what exactly is the argument for Valhalla being some kind of "heathenized" version of the Christian "heaven"?
Just because it can be compared in a way doesn't mean that one has to be copied from the other.
Valhalla isn't the only place in the higher realm of Asgard (at the top-level of Yggdrasil) where dead "spirits" could travel after physical death, according to the lore. Half of those who died a heroic death where taken to Freyja's Folkvangr.
The other alternative were of course the lower, more shadowy realms of Helheim, ruled by the goddess Hel, who was associated with the realm of death itself, it seems - although also other gods such as Odin and Freyja (both having some aspects dealing with war) were associated with the phenomenon of death.
Helheim didn't seem to be a particularly negative place to be, though. Perhaps not the highest and most glorious goal achieveable, but in no way some vengeance or punishment for having been "sinful" or anything like that. Rather it was a place you could rest out and be reunited with many of your dead ancestors.
There's not anything particularly Abrahamic about having concepts of higher realms in the world.
The only Christian thing in this area is the absolute distinction between the "almighty", "only" God on the one side, and the created, physical world on the other (with God being totally separated from the world).
In paganism it seems that the concepts of different realms etc. was of a very interwoven nature, and not absolute opposites.
The same can of course be said about the relationship between man and the Gods/divine forces of the world.

As for Ragnarok, I can't see anything especially Christian/Abrahamic about this either.
What else can this be than the start of a new cycle, and what's more pagan than that?
Ragnarok is not some absolute endpoint at a linear conception of time and history, which takes humanity from point A (banned from the garden of Eden), to point B (Judgement's Day when JHVH again shall rule the world without opposition).
Ragnarok is simply the understanding of the battle-like nature of the universe, and the interplay of chaos and order, unconsciousness and consciousness.

Kauz R. Waldher
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 04:41 AM
So what exactly is the argument for Valhalla being some kind of "heathenized" version of the Christian "heaven"?
Just because it can be compared in a way doesn't mean that one has to be copied from the other.
Valhalla isn't the only place in the higher realm of Asgard (at the top-level of Yggdrasil) where dead "spirits" could travel after physical death, according to the lore. Half of those who died a heroic death where taken to Freyja's Folkvangr.
The other alternative were of course the lower, more shadowy realms of Helheim, ruled by the goddess Hel, who was associated with the realm of death itself, it seems - although also other gods such as Odin and Freyja (both having some aspects dealing with war) were associated with the phenomenon of death.
Helheim didn't seem to be a particularly negative place to be, though. Perhaps not the highest and most glorious goal achieveable, but in no way some vengeance or punishment for having been "sinful" or anything like that. Rather it was a place you could rest out and be reunited with many of your dead ancestors.
There's not anything particularly Abrahamic about having concepts of higher realms in the world.
The only Christian thing in this area is the absolute distinction between the "almighty", "only" God on the one side, and the created, physical world on the other (with God being totally separated from the world).
In paganism it seems that the concepts of different realms etc. was of a very interwoven nature, and not absolute opposites.
The same can of course be said about the relationship between man and the Gods/divine forces of the world.

As for Ragnarok, I can't see anything especially Christian/Abrahamic about this either.
What else can this be than the start of a new cycle, and what's more pagan than that?
Ragnarok is not some absolute endpoint at a linear conception of time and history, which takes humanity from point A (banned from the garden of Eden), to point B (Judgement's Day when JHVH again shall rule the world without opposition).
Ragnarok is simply the understanding of the battle-like nature of the universe, and the interplay of chaos and order, unconsciousness and consciousness.

The absolute best post in this thread;)

And for the record, Heathenism lives inside every single, true Germanic soul. It's in there. You just have to tap it to release it. How do you do that you ask? It's extremely tiresome to try and explain. I think first and foremost we have to relieve the stress of trying to connect the pieces of the past. We are here NOW. And knowing the state of the world I think it is vital that every Heathen be a Traditionalist as well. Especially and specifically because of the current state of the world and our people. All of it is negative and destructive spiritually. Even the toughest and most calloused Germanic gets afflicted by media, sloth, manipulation, depression etc. from time to time. Also, the more you know about your ancestors and how they lived day to day the better. Because through the spirit of the ancient is how you will get reconnected to your true Pagan essence. It sounds like bullshit right? But it's the only way. But only if you're a true Germanic. If you're mixed with this and that and you're awfully materialistic and like "things" you're probably not a Germanic Heathen. All Heathens were born into this modern world with a serious chip on their shoulders from day 1! Like total and absolute rejection of xianity and problem with corrupted authority (schools, laws etc.), felt neglected and unwanted, outcasted ... which only afflicted us when we were young, naive and growing. A fully developed Heathen never feels rejected, we are above that emotion. Naturally born environmentalists. When I was always called a "liberal sympathizer" for being what is considered in america a "left-wing" ideal, environmentally aware. I have always been an environemntalist. In actuality it is a true Pagan and Conservative ideal. A natural connection to nature and a natural repulsion to christ. Do you see how this was conflicted inside of me? Once I turned 30, my eyes, heart, mind and spirit was awakened. WIDE. Heathenry is NOT a trend or a farce or a social club for misfits. We germanics have a natural DNA enforced connection to it. If you can't get connected through deep thought meditation and discipline, then either you are too far brainwashed or you are not Germanic. It is in our BLOOD. I don't have writing and history to prove it, I have zero physical evidence ... but I don't only believe it to be .. I KNOW IT TO BE.

Scario
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 05:48 AM
Something that Kauz said got me to thinking. I always tried to fit in to Christianity. Always thought I was a Christian, but never really went to church or anything. Had my ups and downs through life that soured me on Christianity (I don't mind most Christians). Then I got hurt at work and got laid up with 3 back surgeries. I finally got on this new fangled thing called the internet with AOL. Started researching my family and making a family tree. I learned everything I could find on them. Found some things out that explained my life. Then I started looking into other religions. I knew Christianity wasn't for me. Looked at where my family was from as far back as I could find. All led back to Germany. Read about Germanic Heathenry. I couldn't get enough. Everything I read from the Eddas to the Sagas, everything just felt right. That hole that Christians talk about filling with Christ, never happened for me. But Heathenry filled it completely. One thing I read that made sense, with researching my family, is it is in the blood. Our blood contains the past. It has messages from our ancestors within us. Our ancestors live on through us.

On the issue of Ragnarok. After reading it, and knowing a Christian set it to writing, I saw how Christianity could use it to say 'Look, your Gods died off. The last two humans left were really Adam and Eve.' We have to understand he wrote it out, having to pass reading by his bosses, or be disciplined. This was a time that the Church did not want anything left of Heathens to remind them of their pasts. Our groves were built over with churches or cut down. Now I always believe there is some truth, even in a lie. I believe he tried to pass our stories on to the future, but there may be a Christian twist to some of it, so that it would pass the censors of the time.

Kauz R. Waldher
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 03:22 PM
I think it's obvious who influenced the other more. First of all, jesus was never born. And if he was by chance, he was not divine. But in the folklore they choose to celebrate his birth during the exact same time as a Heathen celebration yule or the "returning of light". This predates xianity by a HUGE margin. How about Easter? Same. How about the days of the week? How about their sunday worship? For us it was "SUN-day" ... and this is the day they choose to congregate in yahweh's name? The list goes on and on ... all their major holidays are right around solstice. Their cross is basically a sun-wheel or swastika (flyfot). Do we really need to do this? I think it's all so obvious who copied who. Xianity copied alot more than just Heathenry.

Bearkinder
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 04:49 PM
Funny thing is, you find NONE of those holidays or images or practices in the bible. I wrote in another thread how I pointed these things out several times and was told to shut up about it. "We've changed the meaning of those" they say.

Hersir asked in my advice thread why not just continue as a post-reformation Christian. Well, if they are going to use practices directly from Germanic (and Celtic) heathenry, then why not just call myself a Germanic heathen and be done with it? The same practices without the self-flagellation.

Scario
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 05:30 PM
I agree. Go back to the source. We don't need anything mixed in that wasn't there before. Makes it more Pure.

Kauz R. Waldher
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 03:50 PM
The weirdest thing is that these "christians" here on Skadi are supposed to be "aware" and "alerted" to the issues concerning our people and our nations. But when they staunchingly defend xianity it seems as though they're actually alot more blinded than they'd have you believe. There is only ONE excuse for this behavior ... denial. And denial is a disease. We must be fearless if we are going to make a comeback. In the spirit of Charles Martel when he faced the horde of Islam, fearless and more brutal than the enemy has ever imagined or is capable of. THIS is the way. You can not accomplish this feat being filled with fear and denial. People think just because we embraced the ideals of xianity at one time, for a long time, that that validates it. It doesn't. Striking an enemy with brute terrifying force is against the christian doctrine. Would you like to live your life being a stupid, weak hypocrite?

Scario
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 03:56 PM
I agree. Christianity taught me to be ashamed of myself, to fear, to regret, to be guilty even if I did nothing wrong. Those are not qualities I ever want to see again in myself, let alone fellow germanics. Why would people want to keep those qualities. Multiculturist use those qualities against everyone to let immigrants into our countries and then wonder why our countries are collapsing in on themselves.

Kauz R. Waldher
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 04:11 PM
Tolerance is lame and is a tool of the incompetent. Our enemies are INTOLERANT of us, and all that is us. We have to be more intolerant than ever before.

In my last band "Nawiht" I had a bass player from Lithuania who was a devout, life-long christian ... he constantly struggled with depression, anxiety, fear and feelings of worthlessness. He was also isolating himself from other members of the band because he felt that his "faith" made him different. He made a bigger deal out of it than any of us. What i'm getting at here is that if it were me, and I was "different" because I was bearing what I believed to be the truth it would make me "stand above" not below. Why did his supposed "superior faith" isolate him from his peers and make him weak and feeble? That isn't very nice of yahweh to treat his servants like that is it? My spirituality makes me superior, I stand far above average men. I am a leader and a trailblazer. I make people believe what I bvelieve or at least make them curious in the way that I present myself. I'm tall, strong, positive and absolutely convicted in my weltenshuaang. And people want to be herded and want to look at a leader for guidance. Christians cannot offer this leadership. The more they try to convince with words, the more questions and doubts are raised. You lead and live by example, spending very little time trying to convince people to believe a corrupted, hypocritical, shoddy doctrine.

Scario
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 04:14 PM
Kauz, that is exactly what I have seen and found out. I no longer cower to an invisible force. I live my life, my way. I don't feel guilty and made to feel inferior by a religion.

Olavssønn
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 07:13 PM
I'm convinced that our European peoples and societies would be much healthier with a lot more vitality and strength if most people would awaken more of the Indo-European worldview and mentality within themselves.
We know that this spirit can manifest in the modern world and inspire modern Europeans to live more bravely and honorable while providing a greater meaning in a Folkish sense, strengthening connections with the deep origins of our Folk and creating a renewed awareness of our uniqueness as well as strengthening a more organic and wholesome outlook on nature.
The question that remains to be answered is whether it actually can be able to save our Folk from the terrible situation we are in these days.
I don't think the Indo-European or Germanic belief alone can do this, but it can certainly participate in the process among other elements and activities; I think we have a good potential there, but more strong and remarkable activity is needed on our part.
In Norway, I would like to see a group of people establish an organization for the Nordic people and culture, with a rather strong emphasis on Germanic Folkish heathenism.
This would serve to promote this healthy worldview which is enormously needed among todays young Norwegians.
In the future, I would personally like to participate in a project like this, which would not be a strictly political organization, but more of a grass-root approach looking deeper at how we want to live and look at the world, as well as being a platform for social activity spanning from cultural study, ethnic solidarity, environmental and political questions and how these relate to the Nordic-Germanic traditions, and a number of other possibilities.
The thing is, this would absolutely be relevant for the question of our future survival, multiculturalism, globalism etc., but rather than starting with a purely political doctrine, we would start with a cultural approach, including ethnicity and the religious worldview of our ancestors.
This makes room for more political freedom among the members, of course, but just as long as this doesn't go against the best of our Folk, and the ideal future of our Folks own descendants.
In Norway, we don't have anything with the smallest similarity to this idea, as far as I'm informed. (Please, don't mention Vigrid! :P )

Hersir
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 08:04 PM
In Norway, I would like to see a group of people establish an organization for the Nordic people and culture, with a rather strong emphasis on Germanic Folkish heathenism.
This would serve to promote this healthy worldview which is enormously needed among todays young Norwegians.
In the future, I would personally like to participate in a project like this, which would not be a strictly political organization, but more of a grass-root approach looking deeper at how we want to live and look at the world, as well as being a platform for social activity spanning from cultural study, ethnic solidarity, environmental and political questions and how these relate to the Nordic-Germanic traditions, and a number of other possibilities.
The thing is, this would absolutely be relevant for the question of our future survival, multiculturalism, globalism etc., but rather than starting with a purely political doctrine, we would start with a cultural approach, including ethnicity and the religious worldview of our ancestors.
This makes room for more political freedom among the members, of course, but just as long as this doesn't go against the best of our Folk, and the ideal future of our Folks own descendants.
In Norway, we don't have anything with the smallest similarity to this idea, as far as I'm informed. (Please, don't mention Vigrid! :P )

But we do.

Til Hundens Minne (Tore Hund)
http://vegtam.info/hundensminne/Hunden.htm



Bifrost and Forn Sed will accept anyone, I know for a fact they have "baptised" asians into being heathens. One of the leaders in Bifrost used to be the editor of a communist street paper, and they work together with PST. So they are not an option.

http://nordfront.net/

KultOrg fits somewhat into your description, some of the writers are even members on skadi.

If these are not an option, why don't start something on your own?

Þoreiðar
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 08:37 PM
If these are not an option, why don't start something on your own?That's exactly what we have in mind. :)

The current organisations available are either too loose in their mission statements (Åsatro groups, KultOrg, a.s.o.), and are practically absent in socio-political activism, while organisations like Motstandsbevegelsen have a far too rigid and limited political sphere to function as a unifying movement among the majority of Nationalists. They certainly serve their own, respective purposes, but they are not fully sufficient outputs to fulfill the needs of our crumbling Nation.

Soten
Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 11:53 PM
“We tend to think only in terms of ‘pagan survivals’ within the Church. We do not often give attention to the adaptation, by non-Christians, of Christian rituals….A lively process of the borrowing of rituals between pagans and Christians appears to have taken place in both directions. Pagan communities borrowed Christian signs and rites. The sign of the Cross would be made sacrificial banquets. The names of Christian angels and saints would be shouted at the solemn toasts around the table. Above all, monks and clergymen came to offer services which non-Christian ritual specialists had previously provided.”
--Peter Brown The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity AD 200-1000 Pg.153


This is obvious. Anyone who knows anything about pre-Christian polytheism knows that most people would have had no problem incorporating Christian figures into their paganism. Of course, figures such as the "Christian God" couldn't be incorporated, because the Christian God is a "jealous God", a monotheistic, omnipotent God. However, the Christ figure could, so long as his Holy Father was not seen as the monotheistic God he is, but rather just a God. The result is something far short of Christianity. Some might say that's a misunderstanding of Christianity on the part of pagans. But, of course, pagans might say that Christianity is a misunderstanding of divinity.




Yes Fletcher notes how at least the Baltic pagans tried to build an organized religion around their paganism, but in the end they failed. And this may get back to what Jonathan Kirsch noted that a "Pagan church" is a contradiction in terms. The union and discipline of organized religion is alien to paganism, and Kirsch was noting about classical paganism not Northern paganism. Julian the Apostate tried to build a pagan church, yet that didnt go far even among fellow pagans. So I dont think the argument of Christianity being a Mediterranean religion really stands much.

I am a little surprised that someone could say this bolded part. Sure, perhaps there has never been anything approximating a pagan church or organized religion IF the ruler used is the Medieval Catholic Church. But that's a strange (and certainly biased) way of looking at religions. The Greeks and Romans had temples, complete with priests and priestesses, teachings, morals and ethics, rituals and ways of correctly performing those rituals, etc. The North had all of these things as well, though to a lesser degree as one would expect from a place with a smaller population that was still largely organized into clans.

The best I can make sense of it, the definition being used for "organized religion" here is stating that an "organized religion" must have ONE central authority to which all others professing the same broad religious identity are subordinate. Clearly this is heavily biased in favor of the Catholic Church.

Furthermore, since this is a discussion on the borrowings between Christianity and pre-Christian European polytheism, I must admit that I think the Church gained most of its hierarchical structure, the very same structure which was used above to define "organized religion", from Roman polytheism. I know that Taras Bulba had scoffed at it earlier in the thread but it is very true that Paul made a Christian sect of Judaism into universal Christianity by fully immersing it in the religious environment in which he found himself. Namely, he used Greek philosophy and Roman mystery cults to enact this transformation.

The question of "folk Paganism" (which Taras Bulba indicates to mean ALL of paganism to him) versus "folk Christianity" is a very interesting one. I am not entirely willing to say that all of "folk Christianity" can find its basis in pre-Christian beliefs, though I think the amount of evidence for that would be enough to convince anyone that much of it DID happen that way. More interesting to me is finding "Christian folk beliefs" that have NO origin in pre-Christian beliefs. I may be wrong, and I would love to see more evidence for it, but I think that folk beliefs of a fully Christian nature are far fewer and far between than pre-Christian influenced ones. We must remember that Christianity was brought to the North by priests and missionaries acting in accord with the Church. The faith most often did not simply rub off on the natives through close contact with Christian populations (when it did we would get more things like the quote above about incorporating Christ, etc.)

Saints. There is no thoroughly Christian basis for saints. Certainly not in the way that saints are venerated by the Catholic Church. There is proof in the Bible for considering the dead in Heaven as part of the same community as Christian believers on Earth. However, the veneration in statues, images, icons, feast days, rituals, processions, etc. are not evidenced. The process of becoming a saint involves the official recognition by the Church of a popular figure. The Church began to officialize cults rather than attempt to suppress every non-Christian belief and rite they came across. In this they were also emulating the Romans. The Church attempted to justify these cults by saying that saints are not worshiped directly but rather they are prayed to for intercession to God or Jesus. Anyone who has been to the more conservative Catholic European countries will tell you that these ceremonies and rituals certainly take on the appearance that the saint is being worshiped himself. Couple these things with the fact that so many of the saints are clearly able to be traced back to pre-Christian Gods, demi-Gods, spirits, or folk heroes and I think it all speaks for itself.


Valhalla. It has recently occurred to me that any notion of an afterlife has (neo)Heathens and Christians alike shouting that it's a clear Christian borrowing. The afterlife is common to nearly all faiths of any age. I think modern Heathens have a dislike of the afterlife because of the fear that this meant that Heathens also considered what happened to people who acted wrongly in this life after death. This idea would sound too Christian to them. Valhalla itself is an afterlife destination where only select people can go (those who died in glorious battle). That historic Heathens believed in this can be seen from the stories of Heathens attempting to make it appear as though they died in battle by piercing themselves with weapons shortly before they died. That being said, nothing about Valhalla sounds like the Christian Heaven to me. You could be a perfect man on earth and still not go to Valhalla when you die because you died of the flu. Valhalla was certainly not peaceful, though it might be argued that it was joyful. Furthermore, even Valhalla was not a salvation of the soul. Don't forget that the Einherjar would fight, and lose, at Ragnarok. There's more to be said about Hel here, but I'll leave it.

Ragnarok. Someone else mentioned earlier that Ragnarok is not an end to everything, as Armageddon is. I think the cyclical nature itself should verify that Ragnarok is not a Christian borrowing. Similarities of a rather general and vague and nearly universal type between two religions doesn't necessitate that there was borrowing or copying going on.

Another thought to ponder is that even if Ragnarok and Valhalla were influenced by Christianity (and I just don't see the evidence myself), the differences are so great that we cannot be talking about a wholesale borrowing/copying. Rather, in that case I would suggest something more along the lines of a "Heathen reaction to" or a "Heathen response to" Armegeddon/Heaven.

I'm pretty sure I had more to say, but can't remember it now. Anyway, could someone give me more information on the "cult of Gaut." I've heard it from time to time and I can't remember much about it.

Soten
Friday, January 13th, 2012, 12:09 AM
Ah! I remember it now!

I wanted to say that "Paganism" versus "Christianity" is really a false dichotomy. Christianity itself grew out of Judaism which most certainly had once been polytheistic. Hence, Christianity itself most clearly borrows from Jewish and other Semitic polytheisms. It is an evolution thereof. Jews practiced animal (and perhaps before that, human) sacrifice, baptism, belief in many Gods, etc. Judaism itself eventually removed some of these "Pagan" practices and kept others. By the time Christianity started up, Christianity also kept some and left some...and added others.

Pair that with the fact that "Paganism" and "Heathenism" was a simply reference by Christians to pre-Christian native beliefs/religions and not any one belief that was used by those pre-Christian peoples themselves and we get a rather messy and often misleading way of talking about these issues.

So, in a very convoluted way, "Paganism" is just any religious practice that Christianity didn't "un-Paganize" by adopting itself. That leaves us in very odd situation, of course, when we want to say that certain Christian practices are Pagan in origin...because they all are...or then again, they all are not.

Kauz R. Waldher
Friday, January 13th, 2012, 07:12 AM
Great posting Soten. Thank you.

All christian scholars want to do is debate the origins, the history, the so-called facts .. and depending on who knows the most historically, which is written by christians, that decides who's religion or spirituality is superior or should I say "correct". That is such bullshit. I don't waste my breath on christians because as you know, they have all the answers. You ask them a serious question about their faith, they answer, you say .. "how do you know? Where's the proof?" And they say "in the bible". What kind of answer is that? To be honest, I already struggle with hatred towards even my own people who are christian, and the arrogance here is appalling. I can see, that even if we did establish our own state, then nation etc. that the christians would try to force us to convert again. I almost want revenge for the past. I can't explain why ... I know it seems ridiculous, but it is what it is. More blood will be shed. And as much as I love my folk, I love spiritual freedom just as much (within reason of course). I will battle whoever might try to take this from me and my Heathen family. Without our spiritual heritage, we are nothing. No one. There is an ancient, arcane, dark and mysterious wisdom encoded in our blood ... we must do what is necessary to unlock it. Tribal life is the only answer, this modern world poisons and inflicts us. Along with the greed and materialism of christianity. The countryside of Scandinavia is our home, and as of right now we have no home. We wander. We are the "odd man out". somewhere between the abrahamic religions and their battle for supremacy and the liberal atheist movement. And these pig christians try to lump us in with those red-atheists. Sorry, but those are fighting words.

Kauz R. Waldher
Friday, January 13th, 2012, 03:59 PM
Please read this. I'd love for someone to give me some feedback. You might say "what's this have to do with Heathenism" ... it has alot to do with the future of it.

http://www.experiencefestival.com/wp/article/julius-evola-philosophy

Exerpt: The Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico provided Evola with the concepts of primordial heroic law, "natural heroic rights" and the meaning of the Indo-European Latin term ''vir'' as indicative of "wisdom, priesthood and kingship." Crucial to Evola's formulation of the idea of "solar masculinity" versus "chthonic masculinity" and matriarchal regression was the maverick 19th century Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bachofen. Other prominent, philosophically foundational influences for Evola include the ancient Aryo-Hindu scripture that teaches the concept of "detached violence", the ''Bhagavad Gita'', and the Aryan kshatriya sage Siddartha Gotama, the historical Buddha (Evola, "Il Cammino del Cinabro" 1963).

Like Guénon, he believed that mankind is living in the Kali Yuga of the Hindu tradition, the Dark Age of unleashed, materialistic appetites. The Kali Yuga is the last of four ages, which form a cycle from the Satya Yuga or Golden Age through the Kali Yuga or the Hesiodic Iron Age. Evola argued that both Italian fascism and National Socialism held hope for a reconstitution of the primordial "celestial race."

For Evola, the word Tradition had a meaning very similar to that of Truth. The doctrine of the four ages, a broad characterization of the attributes of Tradition and their manifestations in traditional societies makes up the first half of Evola's major work ''Revolt Against the Modern World''. In ''Revolt Against the Modern World'', he expounds according to the ancient texts that there is not one Tradition, but two: An older and degenerate tradition that is feminine, matriarchal, unheroic, associated with the telluric negroid racial remnants of Lemuria; and a higher one that is masculine, heroic, "Uranian" and purely Aryo-Hyperborean in its origin. The latter one later gave rise to an ambiguous Western-Atlantic tradition, which combined aspects of both through the historical Hyperborean migrations and their degenerating assimilation of exotic spiritual influences from the South.

According to Evola, in the Golden Age there existed in the dominating elites, the "Divine Kings", a convergence of the two powers, namely the spiritual principle and the royal principle. From the Aryo-Hindu tradition, he sees the human type of the Rajarshi as an embodiment of the Golden Age ideal and quotes the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.4.11): "This is why nothing is greater than the warrior nobility; the priests themselves venerate the warrior when the consecration of the king occurs." Evola argues that in the Hindu tradition there are plenty of instances of kings who already possess or eventually achieve a spiritual knowledge greater than that possessed by the later-times degenerated brahmana. This is the case, for instance, of King Jaivala, whose knowledge was not imparted by any priest, but rather reserved to the warrior caste; also, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.3.1) King Janaka teaches the brahmana Yajnavalkya the doctrine of the transcendent Self. Evola explains that, according to tradition, the primordial gnosis was handed down, starting from Ikshvaku, in regal succession (cf. Bhagavadgita, 4. 1-2); the same Sun Dynasty (''surya-vamsa'') was connected with blue-eyed, fair-skinned Gautama Buddha's aristocratic Aryan family (Sutta Nipata, 3). In the laws of the second or Silver Age, the Laws of Manu, the text states "rulers do not prosper without priests and priests do not thrive without rulers" and that "the priest is said to be the root of the law, and the ruler is the peak" (11.321-2;11.83-4).

Olavssønn
Friday, January 13th, 2012, 04:41 PM
But we do.

Til Hundens Minne (Tore Hund)
http://vegtam.info/hundensminne/Hunden.htm

Bifrost and Forn Sed will accept anyone, I know for a fact they have "baptised" asians into being heathens. One of the leaders in Bifrost used to be the editor of a communist street paper, and they work together with PST. So they are not an option.

http://nordfront.net/

KultOrg fits somewhat into your description, some of the writers are even members on skadi.

If these are not an option, why don't start something on your own?

Bifrost and Forn Sed are not alternatives for ethnically or nationally aware Norwegians with an interest in the old Nordic faith, that goes without saying.
Nordfront are self-appointed National Socialists, and as such a too narrow organization for many nationally aware Norwegians, including myself.
Neither do they have the Germanic Heathen theme that I would like too see featured in an organization not being strictly centered around a political theory, but essentially being a forum for Norwegians/Scandinavians proud of our ethnic cultural Germanic heritage.
This organization would of course still make room for discussions of a political, social, environmental/ecological nature as well.
KultOrg looks interesting, but I don't think it fills the same space.

And yes, I am absolutely up for joining forces in an attempt at starting this kind of organization in the future. :thumbup
That's really something I'm going to try and do, but I don't think it will be that easy for me to work actively on the project before in a couple of years.




That's exactly what we have in mind. :)

The current organisations available are either too loose in their mission statements (Åsatro groups, KultOrg, a.s.o.), and are practically absent in socio-political activism, while organisations like Motstandsbevegelsen have a far too rigid and limited political sphere to function as a unifying movement among the majority of Nationalists. They certainly serve their own, respective purposes, but they are not fully sufficient outputs to fulfill the needs of our crumbling Nation.

The "åsatro"-groups in Norway are hardly even Folkish. Bifrost is openly "anti-racist" which really means anti-Germanic, and I also think their structure is too unorganized and loose. Folkish Germanic organizations like The Odinic Rite in Britain and Asatru Folk Assembly in the US are far better in this regard, but not entirely the thing I'm thinking about either...
Vigrid has added some strange kind of Norse pagan-stuff to their group (some rituals and image), but they are far too obsessed with Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich and Holocaust-revisionism to resemble the idea I'm talking about.

Edit: added something I forgot

Bearkinder
Friday, January 13th, 2012, 04:48 PM
Please read this. I'd love for someone to give me some feedback. You might say "what's this have to do with Heathenism" ... it has alot to do with the future of it.


Well, IIRC, the four Yugas descend from 100% virtue down through total depravity, with human health degenerating correspondingly.

There also seems to correlate a major catastrophe marking the bridge between the Yugas (historically, if not in the texts). I think you'd have to be a fool to think we were in anything but the Kali yuga.

I however do not follow the timing of the Yugas, I think the number of years in each is either entirely made up as a type of code, or simply a different measure than they are credited to be.

I think there must be a major cataclysm to transfer from the Kali Yuga to the Satya Yuga. I'd say the last one was the flood (recorded as historical fact by all ancient cultures). The slate has to be wiped nearly clean or otherwise the current degeneracy of the masses will prevent a rule age of virtue to come to fruition.

I think the time of Ragnarok is the point of the switch from this age to the next. I cannot give a timeline, only to say that it must be close. I know all generations think that, but this one is different simply because of the systemic unsustainability of the way things are done.

Ocko
Friday, January 13th, 2012, 06:32 PM
The slavic veda calculates the end of the darkness to the year 1995.

Kauz R. Waldher
Sunday, January 15th, 2012, 01:59 AM
Check this out .. this is what I was alluding to ...
Books by Evola are VITAL. It seems as though he tailor wrote those for me specifically. And i'm sure many who aren't familiar with his work would feel the same. I'm not saying "this is IT for certain" but this is very exciting to me.

"Five hundred doors, and forty eke, I think, are in Valhall, Eight hundred Einheriar will at once from each door go when they issue with the wolf to fight."
[The Lay of Grimnir,Younger Edda, Benjamin Thorpe translation].

At the time of the final battle Ragnarok 432,000 faithful warriors[540 x 800], dedicated to Woden, bearing the sign of the knot of the slain/chosen which mark them as belonging to Him will march forth to do battle against the forces of the evil desert idol jehovah and his fundamentalist muslim, christian and judaic hordes. This is reflected in the name Ragnarok itself which reading from right to left[the custom of non-Aryan languages] spells Korangar-meaning the spear[gar is Germanic for spear] of the Koran.

The forces of jehovah are currently divided along the following lines:

.The `western`, `democratic`, christian/post-christian/humanist, zionist, capitalist world.

. The eastern, non-democratic, muslim world.

The latter has for the last 20 years been stirred up by the zionist-western world with the deliberate intention of moving towards an `Armageddon` or what we would term the Ragnarok, the destined end of the Gods, although we know from the Eddas that the Gods will not ultimatley die but will be replaced by a new generation of Gods, which I have thus far found 8 in number-Baldr, Hodr, Hoenir, Magni, Modi, Vidar, Vali and Njord. No Godesses are mentioned. I do not know if this was deliberate or merely an oversight.

Interestingly the number 432,000 is the number of years that the Kali Yuga will last according to Hindu mythology. Also the figure of 540 is repeated in The Lay of Grimnir at verse 24:

"Five hundred floors, and forty eke, I think, has Bilskirnir with its windings. Of all the roofed houses that I know, is my son`s the greatest."

The etymology of Bilskirnir is "the one striking lightning with rays of light".
Skaldskaparmal 4 says that Bilskirnir belongs to Thunor.

"It certainly hints vigorously at some common source from which these widely seperated traditions have descended and at some hidden meaning which makes this figure recur in them."[Page 80, The Masks of Odin Wisdom of the Ancient Norse by Elsa-Brita Titchenell.]

Clearly the composer of the Lay of Grimnir intended to draw a direct link between the 432,000 warriors and the event known as Ragnarok and this in turn is directly linked to the end of the Kali Yuga in the Hindu scriptures. As Elsa-Brita Titchenell rightly concludes they must have a common and thus an Aryan source which has been preserved in these two traditions.

Olavssønn
Sunday, January 15th, 2012, 05:23 PM
[...]although we know from the Eddas that the Gods will not ultimatley die but will be replaced by a new generation of Gods, which I have thus far found 8 in number-Baldr, Hodr, Hoenir, Magni, Modi, Vidar, Vali and Njord. No Godesses are mentioned. I do not know if this was deliberate or merely an oversight.

Maybe that is because the goddesses of the Æsir and Vanir are not mentioned particularly among those gods directly fighting in the war? I've also been wondering about what happened to the Goddesses. (I hope we won't lose Freyja:().
I'm sure our forefathers would have offered an explanation to this, but unfortunately everything wasn't written down.

Very interesting paralells you are mentioning in your post, by the way.
In the book Tyr Vol. 3 (http://www.amazon.com/TYR-Myth-Culture-Tradition-Vol-Joshua-Buckley/dp/0972029230/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326647867&sr=8-1) there is an article named 'The End Times According to the Indo-European Worldview: Textual Selections From Four Traditions with Commentary', comparing Indian texts on the Kali Yuga with various textual survivals from the Nordic, Celtic and Greek traditions, showing interesting similarities.

Kauz R. Waldher
Sunday, January 15th, 2012, 05:34 PM
Maybe that is because the goddesses of the Æsir and Vanir are not mentioned particularly among those gods directly fighting in the war? I've also been wondering about what happened to the Goddesses. (I hope we won't lose Freyja:().
I'm sure our forefathers would have offered an explanation to this, but unfortunately everything wasn't written down.

Very interesting paralells you are mentioning in your post, by the way.
In the book Tyr Vol. 3 (http://www.amazon.com/TYR-Myth-Culture-Tradition-Vol-Joshua-Buckley/dp/0972029230/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326647867&sr=8-1) there is an article named 'The End Times According to the Indo-European Worldview: Textual Selections From Four Traditions with Commentary', comparing Indian texts on the Kali Yuga with various textual survivals from the Nordic, Celtic and Greek traditions, showing interesting similarities.


Absolutely. Those Tyr volumes are awesome. I think they should be read by everyone here. Too bad they don't come out twice a year or so. Traditionalism is a conerstone to preservation. "Ride the Tiger" should be read by all as well as "Revolt Against the Modern World". There are also writings by Alan DeBenoist "On Being a Pagan", vital reading imho. Those publications are just about the best i've seen of this era.

Wolf Wickham
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012, 04:47 AM
"So Valhalla was possibly a Christian influence and many of the myths of Norse paganism were influenced by Christianity as well? Interesting." [/QUOTE]

Norse "Paganism" is the diametrical opposite of Christianity. Take away Snorri and some of the poetic confusion and fragmentation and you have a solid reality that accurately portrays the evolution of the Folkway from prehistory down to the present.

Read the Torah and the New Teatament and the Koran for comparison! Compare the hate filled frozen dogma of these cults with the living evolving Folkway of the Teutonic Nations.