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    Convert Me!

    The somewhat tongue-in-cheek title aside, I do find myself in need of spiritual guidance, if you will. I find myself in a sort of religious limbo, uncertain where exactly I should be going from here. The fact that I know where I'm not going (e.g. Christianity, Judaism, Islam) is of little help.

    Let me elaborate. I was baptised in the Roman Catholic fashion, but after that I managed to evade all frankincense-wielding professionals. Instead, my mother taught me a sort of little man's Christianity, the only aspects of which I retained where those of a benevolent God with a flowing white beard and of Saint Peter, who apparently guards the pearly gates and makes it rain when I don't eat up. I did read a few children's versions of some biblical tales back in the day, but I also read some Greek and Roman mythology, and didn't perceive any real differences between them. They were stories based loosely in historical reality, but that was it. It took me quite some time before I got my head around the strange idea of the Trinity that "those Catholics" had - I never really thought of myself as Catholic, and as soon as I was legally able I followed my father's example and bailed. The fact that the remainder of my family followed suit should illustrate that I was never very Christian to begin with.

    Now while both the Semitic religions with their insane rituals and the Oriental ones with their crazy notions may seem entirely alien to me, spirituality itself is not. I'm certain that "the truth is out there", I just don't know how to get to it. Being a student of history, I know that Christianity is, in essence, an amalgamation of both earlier religions and those encountered locally by missionaries. So it would appear logical, to me, to take my cue from the beliefs that came before, i.e. Germanic paganism, especially considering that I've always perceived the major Gods of so-called monotheistic religions to be obviously distinct deities.

    This does pose another problem, namely that Odin, Thor and all the rest simply don't sound right, to my German ears. Wotan and Donar are more like it, but I feel that merely equating the one set of Gods with the other is an oversimplification. And while there is (at least in comparison) an abundance of sources on which to base a belief system in the Norse versions, their German counterparts are apparently all but forgotten. I do hope that this last observation is completely and utterly wrong, however.

    But even with lots of sources, I'm still unsure whether I could adopt a system of beliefs written down centuries ago and now reconstructed by historians and the like. One's belief is, after all, handed down from one's parents and forefathers... right?

    Maybe some of the resident pagans can shed some light on their own conversion process.

    In closing, while I may have implied that Catholics and the like are all nutters, it's not my intent to insult anyone's beliefs. Apart from Muslims, maybe.

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    I just don't know how to get to it. Being a student of history, I know that Christianity is, in essence, an amalgamation of both earlier religions and those encountered locally by missionaries.
    I'm Lutheran and all, aspiring to perhaps be a pastor if the Christian cosmic deity calls me, but I think if you aren't ignorant on the history of Christianity (a Semitic religion packaged for us Europeans) then why should the knowledgeable Germanics give anymore ear to Christianity?

    Jesus in many aspects shared the same life as Odin, because just like Odin, Jesus was hung on a "tree" (the Cross) and was stabbed by a spear, and offered himself up as a sacrifice to God the Father, who he is in essence in unity and the same with. Odin sacrificed himself to himself, being the All-Father and all. The only theological difference in the story is that Odin sacrificed himself for more wisdom, while Jesus sacrificed himself to save the human race from spiritual death.

    Yeah, knowledgeable Christians just gotta fess up to the fact that their religion has archetypes in it.

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    Its not the heathen way to convert and missonare

    "Make strong old dreams lest our world lose heart." -Ezra Pound



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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    Its not the heathen way to convert and missonare
    Do you think Odinism would go mainstream in its religion if it took on an aggressive converting policy like our good ol' Christianity and Islam?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josef View Post
    Wotan and Donar are more like it, but I feel that merely equating the one set of Gods with the other is an oversimplification.
    The difference between Wotan (< *Wodanaz) and Óšinn can be explained by phonetic shifts and processes alone. /a/ > /i/ is a matter of fronting and raising. Other than that, /d/ > /š/ in Icelandic --- whilst it is /d/ > /t/ in Upper German (observe German Tag vs. Dutch Dag) by virtue of the High German consonant shift.

    The same goes for Thor and Donar. Thor is contracted from Žonarr, and the rest is again, High German consonant shift. Whilst the fricative remained unchanged in several other German languages (including English, where the equivalent is Žunor/Thunor), in German both /Ž/ > /d/ and /š/ > /d/.

    Unlike in comparison with other IE cultures, we don't actually have to leave the realm of the simplest rules of linguistics to establish correlation.

    And while there is (at least in comparison) an abundance of sources on which to base a belief system in the Norse versions, their German counterparts are apparently all but forgotten. I do hope that this last observation is completely and utterly wrong, however.
    Jakob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie (translated IIRC as Teutonic Mythology) might be a good starting point. He lists many German customs and beliefs from various perspectives and moreover compares them frequently with their Scandinavian counterparts.

    Even those it's been some 150-odd years since its publication, much of what he says, especially as far as the mythological sphere is considered, is still very much of relevance. And certainly a starting point for anyone interested specifically in the Heathen traditions of the wider German cultural area.

    But even with lots of sources, I'm still unsure whether I could adopt a system of beliefs written down centuries ago and now reconstructed by historians and the like.
    The poems and stories of the Eddas are guidance, not scripture. Certainly there is much wisdom to be found, but much of it is of course always metaphorical. Heathendom is not dogmatic in the same sense as Christianity, it seeks to provide a base and code for honourable living rather than accusing one's common man of heresy for interpreting things slightly different than a scholar.

    Also, rest assured that there is much dynamic in the "revival", there are several goods works and articles on transferring the timeless wisdom and making them applicable for a more advanced society.

    In the Odinic Rite, for instance, we firmly believe in the idea of "Odinism in the Modern World". We seek to adopt a perspective of "hearts in the past, minds on the present, eyes on the future" rather than engaging in re-enactments of Viking-age culture.

    One's belief is, after all, handed down from one's parents and forefathers... right?
    As far as customs are concerned, you might be surprised just how many customs we now conceive as almost entirely Christian in their origin, date and even detail actually date back to pre-Christian society.

    It would be too long to detail a long list, I wouldn't be able to stop adding more examples to this non-exhaustive list, but let's just for instance say - don't you find it particularly curious that the Spring Goddess' Ostara's sacred animal was a hare?

    Maybe some of the resident pagans can shed some light on their own conversion process.
    For some people's stories on how they became Heathens, this thread could be useful. Better even if some more people could continue to share their experiences with us.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    You shouldn't want to be "converted", you need to find your own way. I went through a similar religious dilemma, I found my way (Unfortunately) through the Internet, I became fascinated with Norse runes (Elder Futhark), this led me to "Wikipidia", where I saw the word "Asatru" for the fist time, at that point I knew I had found my place. so just keep looking, you will know when you get where you are going. Its all written in the Wyrd.
    The coward believes he will live forever
    If he holds back in the battle,
    But in old age he shall have no peace
    Though spears have spared his limbs

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    Well, I began drifting away from Christianity when it began to forsake the proper role of religion, which is as a unifying force in a homogeneous community. Anglicans were once Anglo-Saxons, Lutherans were German and Scandinavian, and that was that. Wars were fought and millions died for the principle of having a church more fitting the sensibilities of its members. Now, the Anglicans are a bunch of homosexual negro worshipers and the Lutherans actively import Somalians into small Germanic towns in Minnesota, where liberal idiots take over the destruction of our people:

    http://www.startribune.com/local/70580252.html

    Here's the addle-brained "love the world and to hell with your own" mentality in print:

    http://www.amazon.com/They-Are-Us-Lu.../dp/0806657634

    These traitors were entrusted with the safekeeping of morality, and promoted amorality in the persons of their bishops. They were entrusted with creating a sense of community but instead took an active role in destroying it. They speak of Judaism in the same breath with Christianity. They have become corrupted by jewish cultural marxism, and are minions of the enemy now. I cannot support any church that does not support my people or my values.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josef
    This does pose another problem, namely that Odin, Thor and all the rest simply don't sound right, to my German ears. Wotan and Donar are more like it, but I feel that merely equating the one set of Gods with the other is an oversimplification. And while there is (at least in comparison) an abundance of sources on which to base a belief system in the Norse versions, their German counterparts are apparently all but forgotten. I do hope that this last observation is completely and utterly wrong, however.
    As Sigurd pointed out, there are a lot of sources also for the German counterparts, Grimm is a good source, also Wolfgang Golther's "Germanische Mythologie", which is a bit newer than Grimm's collection, especially points out the differencies between the earlier vanished German paganism and the longer surviving one in Scandinavia.

    Unlike christianity, which tries to keep up some weird sort of tradition born two thousand years ago and rejects all development, Heathenism always was in constant change and development - around a backbone of virtues and cosmic/spiritual knowledge which offer guidance. It is just important to understand that the differencies between the mainland European version and the Norse version are only because of the longer time it survived. It is not that the mainland version would be more 'true' or something.

    Like you, I have gone through several stadiums of development in my search for spiritual 'enlightenment'. But I was pretty sure that christianity cannot be an option for me from a very early stage on. Never been a fan of it when I was a child and when I was forced to visit a confirmation course I turned indeed pretty anti-christian. So I was a fierce atheist from when I was 13,14 or so. However, the spiritual option remained, even if I abandoned that path for decades and only recently came back to this, to fill the void.

    But I believe that there is a time and day for everything, you cannot enforce this development. I have started to engage with heathen lore (The Edda and Golther and other books) some 15 years ago, but to see myself in a heathen context is a fairly new thing, maybe two, three years. As you may notice, my profile still says Heathen Atheist, but this would take far too long to explain that now.

    However, the period of atheism helped to get rid off any christian thinking, which might be somehow important, because the religious aspects of Heathenism and Christianity are in no way comparable. To enter the heathen sphere with more or less strong remnants of christian thinking, doctrine and imagination about what a religion is might diffuse and disturb the perception of what Heathenism is or its spiritual core.

    I might add that only very recently I had some sort of experience of enlightenment, but since I think it still needs digestion, I dont want to go into details now.

    It might take years of contemplating about the religious and spiritual values of Heathenism, to penetrate the mysteries and secrets. But dont worry, as said, you cannot enforce your enlightenment, it will come to you when the time is ripe.

    You can of course actively help to create an environment within you for it to come to, with reading the lore we have (I cant count the times I have read the Eddas for example, and each time I did I found a new aspect to 'understand', to take into heart), and to contemplate about its values and guidances, the cosmic truths hidden in there to understand. And while you go through this phases, learn to listen to your soul (not your mind!), it will tell you when you're ready for the next step, to open up to the spiritual core.

    I for myself found the books by Edred Thorsson quite helpful to penetrate the inner core and the mysteries. The secrets are encoded in the Runes, and while the lore can give you hints how to perceive them or in which context to see, it cannot replace the time you spend contemplating or even meditating about their inner meaning. There is no 'common' way, it is all about you and the cosmos and you must find your way through the Web of Wyrd yourself. Books and other people can help you, of course, but noone is going to (actively) 'enlighten you'.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

    my signature

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    My version of Asatru is not about historical reconstruction. It is about a living religion based on my own intellect and experience in the here and now. Yes historical Aryo-Germanic culture is used as a basis for such as is the general Asatru community at large. But I'm not a 14th century Viking- exactly as you said your religion should be passed down to you by your parents and your folk (your immediate tribe/church/community). Mostly though the religion focuses on practical philosophy, day to day living etc. The spiritual is more personal, not well described, something you experience yourself. The religion can only help point the way in that regard.

    Primarily one should honor their own ancestors. Thor, Odin etc. are mainly symbols of astrological forces and cultural forces. My book is also heavily centered on Aristotle and Plato's philosophy which basically have been the cornerstone of European civilization up until the Marxist and Liberal revolutions. It's amazing how much of our own heritage we've been desprived of. It's taken me a lot of learning to gain a basic understanding of European values and beliefs which I put in the book. The reason being we have been brought up on Jew based Christianity, Marxism, and modern Liberalism- all basically similar philosophies- the same at their core.

    The main argument for those who want to convert to my religion-

    There are two types of religions in this world. 1) the slave religion. It is based on blind faith. You do what you are told, you believe what you are told, you trust authority, whether that authority be the "bible" or your church or whoever. If they tell you God exists you believe it on blind faith. If they tell you the moon is made out of cheese it is. You are their slave and you live by faith.

    My religion by contrast is about being responsible for yourself, improving yourself and improving your environment. You live by your own intellect and instinct. You act civil and obey social rules, respect authority etc. but you hold that authority up to the scrutiny of your own logic and experience. The religion is based largely on suggestions and information rather than commandments.

    If being responsible for yourself and using your brain appeals to you as well as things like seeking power, self improvement, responsibility, education etc. seek out a religion like my version of Asatru. Many modern Asatruar are stuck in slave mindsets. That's why they must recreate a historical religion. They need some form of authority to guide them rather than rely on their own intellect. Edred Thorson's books are also based on a philosophy like mine (spiritual satanism). Satanism may interest you as well (well some of the non-retarded forms). Basically Satanism is about self empowerment and rejecting authority. The Catholic church is run by Satanists for example (think about it- Christianity teaches you to be an unedcuated slave that obeys- naturally people in authority must reject this ideology in some form).

    Anyway I'm always changing and editing and reworking my book and uploading new versions. I accept any criticism of it and will try to improve it where practical.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainman View Post
    Primarily one should honor their own ancestors. Thor, Odin etc. are mainly symbols of astrological forces and cultural forces. My book is also heavily centered on Aristotle and Plato's philosophy which basically have been the cornerstone of European civilization up until the Marxist and Liberal revolutions.

    There are two types of religions in this world. 1) the slave religion. It is based on blind faith. You do what you are told, you believe what you are told, you trust authority, whether that authority be the "bible" or your church or whoever. If they tell you God exists you believe it on blind faith. If they tell you the moon is made out of cheese it is. You are their slave and you live by faith.

    My religion by contrast is about being responsible for yourself, improving yourself and improving your environment. You live by your own intellect and instinct. You act civil and obey social rules, respect authority etc. but you hold that authority up to the scrutiny of your own logic and experience.
    Rainman - enjoyed reading these comments above and is logically articulated... First, I believe that Plato and Aristotle are pervasive in our modern democratic society (as are the philosophers of the Enlightenment) - more so than most people think or believe; however, I understand your point about philosophical dillusion as a result of the espoused political theories of the 19th Century; which, subsequently, had such profound effects in the majority of the 20th Century (Facism, Nazism, and Communism) on so many folks. Secondly, I am a Protestant Christian and, yet, live my life daily in the vain of your description of self-reliance. Believe that my God has endowed me with certain attributes of self-determination - don't feel or act with a "slave-ish" complex; at all! I define myself through free-will and self-determinism - all Protestant Christian concepts exercised through a one on one relationship with God. Guess that is why I tend to be hideously schizophrenic when I discuss theology and religion... Christ's Cross around my neck and Thor's Hammer in my pocket on a chain - redundancy at it's best. Thanks.

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