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Thread: The Historical Failure of Germanic Heathenism

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    The historical failure of Germanic Heathenism and its usurpation by Christianity may have been due to its adherence to Flux and its lack of Fixity.
    Isn't it rather shameful that German Heathenism evaporated while something like Judaism has survived through much greater perils?

    The question is, did Germanic Heathenism need to make the the Philosophical step towards Fixity, but was unable to as it it hadn't found its own Plato, and therefore was swept away in the Fluxions of history?
    Last edited by Moody; Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 at 07:20 AM. Reason: split from 'Flux or Fixity' thread in Philosophy forum
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    A

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody
    Isn't it rather shameful that German Heathenism evaporated while something like Judaism has survived through much greater perils?
    This is an interesting point. The answer of this question is not an easy one, of course, but we can try to make some basic approaches.

    We have to know that the germanic world never was a separated one. There were many different tribes with there one history and there one own way of religious life.
    I think that this is really important to understand. The tribes influenced each other and were influenced by movements from outside.

    The Jews were always nomads in heart and brain, although they built states for a short time. They were never influenced by someone else, because it was not necessary: They are "the chosen ones, the chosen folk".

    The Germanics lost their belief in Asen and Wanen in that moment when they lost their relationship to nature and to their roots.

    The old gods did not have answers to there questions any more. The beliefs of the Germanics know (of) no endlessness or otherworldlineness.
    The Germanics became christians, but in an different way than the christians in Greece or in the Middle East. It was a "germanic" way of practice this religion.
    Oswald Spengler wrote that this was the first point where the occidental culture changed. From regional to international.

    Furthermore he wrote that the Germanics save basic myths or traditions. Nothing else than this applied to there lifestyle.

    It's also clear to me, that christianity is not auxiliary to mankind.

    The question is, did Germanic Heathenism need to make the the Philosophical step towards Fixity, but was unable to as it it hadn't found its own Plato, and therefore was swept away in the Fluxions of history?
    The Germanic religion was never based on dogmas and suchlike. It was based only on lifestyle , on the "Being and Becoming".
    The distress of the big religions in these days is the question, if the are still up-to-date. Religions in there old dogmas lost influence and so they were compelled to construe thereself new in this world (like "Modern" christianity") or construe the world new in there dogmas (like the Islam in many cases).

    I think a religious spirit, immaterial how undifferentiated it may be, is more helpful than a fix religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moody
    ... the failure of Germanic Heathenism to survive may have been due to its adherence to Flux and its lack of Fixity.
    Isn't it rather shameful that German Heathenism evaporated while something like Judaism has survived through much greater perils?
    I certainly lament the fact that Heathenism was replaced with gradients of Middle Eastern thought. However, I would rather a faith die with honesty than cling to life unnaturally. Also, we are making a bit of a come back; in time we shall see if Heathenry truely died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody
    The question is, did Germanic Heathenism need to make the the Philosophical step towards Fixity, but was unable to as it it hadn't found its own Plato, and therefore was swept away in the Fluxions of history?
    That's an entirely possible explanation, but I think that forced and coerced conversion had more to do with it than any type of philosophical instability. After all, it is much easier to rally disparate groups under the banner of one God than under many competing banners. It is a logical choice for would be conquerors and kings to adopt a monotheistic system when it presents itself, but that doesn't make it any more true. I don't really think that the 'might makes right' principle applies to philosophy.
    Last edited by Moody; Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 08:36 AM. Reason: portion of post split from 'Flux or Fixity' thread in Philosophy forum
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    In a sense Thzamus is right. The old German tribes themselves did not have a united faith. If we return to the classical texts - Tacitus par excellence perhaps , who had a great and famous respect for the ancient tribes and for their virtues, it is clear that there were various divinities to be seen at work within the diversity of their beliefs.
    In the earliest times there is even some confusion over the principal God..... Wodenaz versus Tiwaz versus various other cult figureheads. It doesn't really matter; within the ultimate Northern Germanic complex, they were finally united into a single Pantheon along with the RuneLore and other aspects of the older Germanic belief system. That is perhaps then the ultimate historical expression of a long history of pantheism and unified henotheism. All folk now know of the northern AllFather and his long and complex search for Wisdom and victory.

    Except that, the time of the narrative is not simply linear at all; there is on the one hand a detailed history to be explored and understood - yet there is also within the apparent fixity of this historical narrative, a recurrence of events , a recurrence of predicaments into which the present is endlessly thrown and made to suffer. The river flows ever onward and is always new - and yet, the water is still water, and the eddies and currents thrown up have qualities and characteristics which history and the river have seen before. It is new, it is in endless flux---- and yet, there, in the very heart of the onflowingness of the river of time and being , there repeats all the forces and factors that belong, of its very nature, to the old river.

    So who are we? Who were we? Are we really these others who have come to be ... who now appear within the very flow? who bring (in) new and distant things which we know are not any part of the deepest history of our place? Once one sees that the things that were - are still - one soon grows tired of that which does not belong. It soon looses all sense that it alone is somehow sacred, that it alone commands respect. Once that which was - is again called forth, that which does not belong of right soon falls away from the thinking which must now be once more and hencefore...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    The historical failure of Germanic Heathenism and its usurpation by Christianity may have been due to its adherence to Flux and its lack of Fixity.
    Which may well place Germanic Heathenism, itself, in a quandry with respect to its own immune system, if you will: Already alluded to, there was something of a dead halt, and staring contest, betwixt equal - yet seemingly antithetical - potencies. Fixity, doused in the appelative; rinsed in the cerebral; and, Universal in its applicative spiritual usury, roused an indefinable interest... and animated the inquisitiveness of the Beast.

    "Surely we are facing a God. But what was this God....what is this God......" - "I've no point of reference. I shall then listen."


    The Heathen blinked.

    Isn't it rather shameful that German[ic] Heathenism evaporated while something like Judaism has survived through much greater perils?
    Heathenism might be viewed as a tonic, in contradistinction to Judaism which is not a curative of life force; but, a life force in and of itself.

    Germanic Heathenism = the parabolical/the mystery/the question/ - the apologue of Germanic nature.

    Judaism = the rites/the way/the answer/ - the decalogue of, ultimately, Human nature.



    The Genesis, Anagenesis, and Ethnogenesis of Judaism is the architectonic history of what survival-ism is.
    Last edited by SuuT; Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 01:51 PM. Reason: spelling/accentuation
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    I would like to paste here an interesting writing from Varg Vikernes.

    Why Did Paganism Fail?

    We can glorify our Pagan forefathers and their religion, culture and worldview as much as we want to, but all this sounds rather silly the moment somebody asks us the simply question: "If Paganism was such a marvelous religion, then why was it replaced by Christianity?" Christianity prevailed through treachery? Deceit and lies? Violent oppression? Sure, but that is not the main reason Christianity prevailed.

    The Pagans of Southern Europe will probably not like to hear what I am about to say, but it is a fact that our European religion had become effete in Southern Europe as early as in the first couple of centuries before our time of reckoning. If we read some of the ancient literature we can see that even the ancient Greeks - including Homer - were puzzled by certain facts in their stories. They were not always familiar with the customs of the people they wrote about, because the ancient Greek society had already become decadent by then. The Pagan religion no longer worked like it was supposed to do in Southern Europe, and the explanation to this is actually population growth!

    This point about population growth is very important, because the Pagan religion is a mystery religion, with complex rituals and a vast array of symbols and deities. Only the initiates really knew what was going on and understood the liturgy. The enlightenment achieved through participation in these mysteries was achieved step by step, over time. In a large congregation only a small percentage could be initiated, because only one person at the time could be initiated in each mystery. Further, this had to be done on a certain day of the week, month or year, when the candidate was at a certain age, and the uninitiated individuals of the congregation would then in effect remain outsiders or at best ignorant spectators not knowing what was going on even in the public religious rites. When the congregations grew into a huge crowd, like they did in Southern Europe because of population growth, the result was that eventually most of the people in the South-European communities would be ignorant to the purpose of the whole Pagan religion. Even in the early Iron Age the public rituals would serve only as theatre to most of them, as some sort of incomprehensible entertainment. "Nice music, spectacular show, but what is the purpose?" If the priests unveiled the secrets of the mysteries to the uninitiated, just to let them know what was going on and keep them interested, that would also ruin the whole experience for them, because the enlightenment only comes if the content of each mystery is unknown to the candidate beforehand. They had to keep it a secret, or else the mysteries would serve no purpose.

    So unlike in the scarcely populated Northern Europe the Pagan religion only served a purpose to a small part of the populations of Southern Europe. There the ordinary man saw the religion as incomprehensible, the rites were too complex for him or her to understand them, and naturally it gave him or her no spiritual enlightenment. When the Romans a few centuries later created Christianity, a religion tailor-made for the mediocre masses left out by the Pagan cult, it was not very hard to gain supporters to this new religion in Southern Europe. Christianity offered one single symbol, one single deity and one single saviour, and was comprehensible to even the most intellectually inferior individuals. "Kneel in front of the cross, accept Jesus Christ as Your saviour and You are saved!" Why not? At the time the Pagan congregations only let the elite of the society into their cults, and the rest was basically left out, so why would the rest not join a cult - Christianity - where they too could be saved, and where they could even be saved instantly? A lot of people must have thought like that, because the next few hundred years Christianity spread out across Southern Europe. The villages in Southern Europe remained Pagan longer, though, obviously because the Pagan cults in the villages didn't have the problem with too large congregations - and I can add that that is apparently why we call the European religion Paganism in the first place, as paganus means "village dweller" in Latin. Christianity was first and foremost a religion for the uninitiated and ignorant crowds of the larger cities.

    Western and Eastern Europe faced the same problem with population growth, and because of that offered little resistance to Christianity, but Northern Europe remained a scarcely populated area. In the Viking Age there were tens of millions of people living in Western, Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, but only about 250.000 people were living in all of Scandinavia. So while the rest of Europe was Christianized Scandinavia remained a Pagan society first and foremost because of the fact that people were still living in tiny communities, where everybody could participate and be included in the Pagan cult. Scandinavia had never become decadent and there was no vacuum to be filled by Christianity.

    The result of this was, as we know, that Northern Europe defended itself against the cultural and religious imperialism of the Christians, with all the means they possessed. Superior ship technology and contempt for death was not enough, though, when 250.000 Scandinavians had to face the tens of millions of Christians in Europe. However, they burnt the few monasteries already built in Scandinavia, slew or threw out the few Christians already here, and fought courageously against the rest of Europe for about 250 years (!) before the resistance was broken and the Scandinavians finally agreed to pretend they accepted Christianity.

    Paganism didn't fail as a religion. Paganism simply failed to remained the official religion because it is not a religion for the masses. It is a religion for healthy communities made up of a few individuals living in harmony with nature. It is a religion for the strong, the pure, the beautiful and the healthy, and to these people it is still the only religion worth practicing.

    When the rest of the world goes down the drain because of consumerism, capitalism, internationalism and the Judeo-Christian religions it doesn't really matter, because the Pagans will remain uncorrupted and strong, living in their own healthy and self-sufficient societies in the countryside. Nobody and nothing can destroy our culture or race if even only a few of us remain true to our religion, and they cannot pollute our minds with their Asian filth either, if we live in communities where everybody are enlightened - by the Pagan mysteries. If we don't let them they cannot take us down with them when they fall into the abyss and their modern Sodom/Gomorrah destroys itself. The Pagans will survive the downfall of civilization because they don't participate and because of that remain pure.

    Varg "Lífþrasir" Vikernes
    from:http://www.burzum.org/eng/library/paganism07.shtml
    :Überschöpfung:



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    If by fixity you mean a traditional "center" which the people had fallen away from and thus lost direct connection with the gods (intuition) then I would have to agree. Superstition and idolatry is nothing more than the result of a loss of knowledge of symbols, where the gods are symbols representative of intellectual principles. Heathenism, including that found in the classical Greco-Roman period, suffered in its decline from a descent into mere politics. What really qualified as polytheism was a condition in which deities became nothing more than local gods of a certain city-state, representing some authority or another to be held by the political elite. And this was very far from their original meaning. Similarly, the rites were no longer understood, but simply performed as a formalism, and preserved only for their apparent effects on nature (fertility, harvest, etc.) Much of this could also be blamed on the philosophers who hid the mysteries behind an almost impenetrable veil, and did so ever more once the belief in the gods among the people started to decline. After all, it is the primary duty of philosophers to teach the doctrine. However, there was a rebellion against the philosophers and their doctrine by the rulers who were in many ways more concerned with war and conquest. All of these factors taken together could only signal the end for heathenism.

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    I think Varg gets off the wall when he says Paganism is a religion only for the strong and healthy. While insightful, the fundamental problem begins, I think, with this talk of "the Pagan religion." If anything, it should be stated the "Pagan religions". There were various mystery cults not just one, and Christianity won out partially from the bottom up among slaves, and then from the top down with the patronage of Constantine, Theodosius etc. Christianity of course blended with pagan traditions with stories like the Virgin Birth, Resurrection, symbols, titles etc. Catholicism for example shows this clearly, after all, it is the Roman church. The leader is Pontifex Maximus, the title now assumed by the Pope. To see the pagan element in Catholicism one must look to the Virgin Mary. (On a tangential note, one of the major cults towards the end of the Roman empire was that of Cybele the Great Mother imported from the East i.e. Anatolia... Her cult involved cross-dressing, begging, and castration... so much for "strong and healthy individuals..." according to Varg's standards. I believe that eunuchs should be allowed to be as they want to be, and they have their own unique role to play in society, so live and let live is what I say to that. The influence of the Great Mother is very powerful, she dwells in the unconscious, and these people hear Her call, and are willing, albeit to an extreme, to heed it.

    Anyhow back to the subject of the Virgin. She absorbed titles once applied to Isis, an Egyptian goddess whose cult became strong in Greece and Rome. Her name in the original Kemetic Egyptian was Aset, a word meaning the throne. She was the throne who suckled the pharaoh i.e. Horus. Images of the Virgin holding the crowned Christ are a direct adaptation of this motif. Isis was patroness of sea-farers, who took on a very Universalist role later on. Maria the Roman adaptation of the Hebrew and etymologically unrelated Miriam means "The Sea", and the Sea is related to the unconscious, and the Mother as it is enveloping, amorphis, and devours the drowned like an individualized ego dissolving and uniting back with its All-Powerful, Nourishing Source.

    The Cult of the Virgin Mother was very strong during the Middle Ages, and excessive popular devotion was discouraged by the Church.

    Depictions of the Virgin are particularly telling. There are images of the Virgin sheltering devotees from the wrath of an angry God. One depiction in Italy is a sculpture of the Virgin with two doors on her chest, and when they are opened they reveal the Trinity.

    One only need to look at titles and epithets of the Virgin, many which were taken directly from pagan epithets, which show the mystical element adopted into Catholicism, which read like a mystery religion liturgy:

    Star of the Sea
    Mystical Rose
    Enclosed Fountain
    Enclosed Garden
    Throne of the Eternal King
    Mediatrix
    Co-Redemptrix (popular, not official)
    Queen of Heaven
    Cause of Our Joy
    Gate of Heaven
    Morning Star (!)
    Queen of Peace
    Tower of Ivory

    Typical Depiction of Mary as Refuge, from Chapel in Orvieto Italy.

    Note the only time the epithet "Queen of Heaven" is used in the Bible, it is in the OT and refers to a near eastern goddess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    I think Varg gets off the wall when he says Paganism is a religion only for the strong and healthy. While insightful, the fundamental problem begins.
    I think that he referred to the fact that pagan\heathen beliefs were present and practiced in societies which were progressing by the course of natural law where the strong survives and the weak dies.
    It is mostly a christian goal to help the poor and the weak, not pagan\heathen.

    I think, with this talk of "the Pagan religion." If anything, it should be stated the "Pagan religions".
    In my opinion he uses the term for a better understanding, I doubt he would personally use and believe the heathen/pagan way to be put under the term of religion.
    :Überschöpfung:



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    We lost the first invasion by a Middle Eastern sect. We must not lose the latest.
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    The worst is not without worth.
    -- The Havamal, #133 (trans. Auden and Taylor)

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