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Thread: Belief or Cultural Heathenry

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    Belief or Cultural Heathenry

    Hi.

    I feel that Germanic heathenry and our ancient myths (this has nowadays sadly become a derogatory term) can teach us a great deal, and that learning about and respecting your ancestors' beliefs is of great importance, both for the society and for the individual. But I must say, I have a strictly mechanical world view. I do not believe that Thor actually travel our skies, or that there are trolls in the forest, etc.

    These myths have evolved over thousands of years, and is a part of who I am, both culturally & "biologically". To dismiss them would be an insult to my ancestors and my people, but the role I think they play is more of a psychological nature. Belief influences how people act, rather than in a vitalist(?) way where mythical figures directly influence the world.

    In my own life, I try to incorporate some ancestral traditions, I celebrate solstice and other holidays, read sagas.. So.. what am I? Definitely not an atheist, in my own opinion, but calling myself a heathen just because I'm interested in and practice some heathen customs doesn't feel entirely right. Maybe a Cultural Heathen?

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    Senior Member Kith of woden's Avatar
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    I think our myths symbolise a primal truth. Myth is told to the people of that paticular time in a language they understand. If you were to try to explain to a Germanic tribesman a couple of millenia ago about atomic particles and micro bacteria, he wouldnt be able to comprehend what you were talking about. Those terms were'nt even in his vocabulary.so if for example you take the story of creation in our myth, the fact is the story is trying to make sense of the unknown,the beginning of our world. The fact that it is explaining "a big bang theory is staggering But it does so in the language of the day. The same as Ragnorok explains the death of the Sun. The creation myth is still not fully understood even now, so we explain it the best we can, using words of our day, thus making that explanation also a myth. In two thousand years time, people may mock us for our beliefs now about such things,because science will have proved much more by then.

    Our Ancestors where much closer to nature and the Gods and godesses than we are today. They knew so much without all todays scientific methods.
    Things that science is continually proving today. Therefore I think we can learn a great deal interpreting what our ancient lore gives to us.That some remains written down, we should be thankful (as heathens) for Waes Hael.

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    Senior Member Kith of woden's Avatar
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    I cant answer your question regarding what you are. I think ultimatley that rests with your good self. Waes Hael and I hope you find the answers your seeking Enlil.

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    Senior Member Edenkoben's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand the difference between the bio-psychological reality you accept and the Thor-in-the-sky reality you don't. Maybe the Thor-as-thunder story is metaphorical, but does that really support a notion that 'there wasn't truly a god Thor'?

    And that our myths evolve isn't really so odd--our culture has evolved and even the earth, sun, moon have evolved. The monolithic idea of reality--the god of Abraham made the world in 7 days--is contrary to fact.

    Odin changed. Changes still. So do we. In a natural worldview (rather than a mechanical one) evolution is reality, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

    Machines don't evolve; they need a supernatural god to fix them, but since that kind of god is perfect (and his creations are perfect) there's nothing to fix--except we all know there's improvement needed in the real world. So our gods are real and the christian's/jew's/muslim's are not.

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