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Thread: Can Norse Mythology Be Reinterpreted for the Future?

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    Can Norse Mythology Be Reinterpreted for the Future?

    Can Norse mythology be reinterpreted for the future?

    i put this in the philosophy forums because its about reinterpreting ancient norse culture and religion, or maybe understanding it in a new way.

    I don’t buy the abrahamic religions, but the original interpretations of norse/Germanic myth/‘religion’ seams to pose a problem in the modern thinkers mind. As a druid I find there are many correlations between druidry and the norse myths, I can reinterpret druidry easily enough so I am wondering if norse mythology can offer us a way to understand spirituality and replace the abrahamic religions?

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    I'm a strong supporter of the reconstruction of a solely European religion as an alternative to the Abrahamic religions, but Norse mythology, by itself, comes off to modern day people as too mystical and hard to grasp. When I see people putting on Norse ceremonies and worshiping the old gods I'm proud to see people taking an interest but it just comes off like hippies wanting to worship nature, or nerdy kids playing dungeons and dragons. I hate to say that but it just doesn't seem as organized or as professionally presented as Christianity. There's a couple problems which include:

    No clear and concise work to base faith off of
    Sure, there is the poetic and prose eddas, but the writing is archaic and comes off more as entertainment rather than a book of standards to live your life by. Even the Havamal, which is the only book that really suggests moral guidelines, isn't relevant to today's times, runs around in circles repeating itself, and doesn't say much that is interesting.

    The panethon creates a monolithic learning curve
    The norse panethon has so many gods, goddesses, and giants that the average person would give up in frustration trying to remember them all and their importance. Even I have trouble from time to time and I've been going over it for years.

    The gods have very little interaction with humans
    The Old Testament is probably the greatest religious book ever written. It is the central reason for the Jews tight knit ethnocentrism lasting all these years. It is a book in which the Creator has a distinct and personal relationship with one race, whom he singles out as his "chosen people" and makes multiple "covenants" with them which are basically promises that they will flourish and prosper as long as they keep his laws. Stories of Jewish oppression at the hands of the Egyptians and Gods direct involvement in ending that oppression is the cornerstone of the Jewish faith.

    Watch the film "The Prince of Egypt" and you will see how powerful that imagery and message can be. It'll give you goosebumps.

    Prince of Egypt
    /\ Example of the Creator having a personal relationship with a human, calling a single race his people, and promising them wonderful things.

    Norse mythology has nothing like that. All of the stories center around the exploits of the Gods and their dealings with other gods and giants, not humans. The stories of Germanic heroes at least pertain to humans, but they are merely entertaining and don't give a lot of advice on how to live, nor do they give the impression that the Gods really care about us.

    Another problem is that Norse mythology, as a folkish religion, would only appeal to Germanic people. It would leave people wondering why Celtic, Roman, Slavic, or Greek mythology wasn't chosen as the "true" religion, and in the case of the Greeks and it's very detailed and large record of documentation, they'd have a strong case.

    I think a merger of the European mythologies as well as new material needs to be created which does a better job of establishing a holy relationship between the Creator(/s) and our people. Furthermore, it must be explained that our people, not Jews, were chosen as the divine people. I'm actually working on something that I hope will address these problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
    ...
    Good post, but why do you propose a pan-European religion? Why can't Germanics have their religion, Celts their own, Greeks their own etc. I really don't see why they'd have to be merged, we would only lose on that. And even though there are many similarities between Greek, Roman, Norse mythologies, we can't know for sure that the followers of them had the same ideals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Méldmir View Post
    Good post, but why do you propose a pan-European religion? Why can't Germanics have their religion, Celts their own, Greeks their own etc. I really don't see why they'd have to be merged, we would only lose on that. And even though there are many similarities between Greek, Roman, Norse mythologies, we can't know for sure that the followers of them had the same ideals.
    They can, I just don't think that it will be as effective as creating a single banner in which all of our European brothers and sisters can be a part of. If all we want to do is make little sects that preserve the old ways, then we already have that, you can find kindreds in every major city in the Western world. But if we're going to offer an alternative to Christianity, a religion written only for Jews in the Old Testament, and preaches the slave morality through the New Testament, we have to have something all of our people can embrace. I consider Germanic people to be my immediate family, but consider all the other European peoples to be my extended family. The whole purpose of a religion, I feel, is to bond us all together, helps us understand why we are specialize and why we must isolate ourselves from those that aren't of our kind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
    They can, I just don't think that it will be as effective as creating a single banner in which all of our European brothers and sisters can be a part of. If all we want to do is make little sects that preserve the old ways, then we already have that, you can find kindreds in every major city in the Western world. But if we're going to offer an alternative to Christianity, a religion written only for Jews in the Old Testament, and preaches the slave morality through the New Testament, we have to have something all of our people can embrace. I consider Germanic people to be my immediate family, but consider all the other European peoples to be my extended family. The whole purpose of a religion, I feel, is to bond us all together, helps us understand why we are specialize and why we must isolate ourselves from those that aren't of our kind.
    Oh, well it's here you and I differ. I don't consider someone my kin just because they happen to be from the continent of Europe. Germanics and other N-W Europeans are the only people I can consider my kin, "Europe" does not mean much to me. I believe Europe only exists due to Christendom, and replacing it by a pan-European "Heathendom" would be odd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Méldmir View Post
    I believe Europe only exists due to Christendom, and replacing it by a pan-European "Heathendom" would be odd.
    Can you elaborate on this?

    Also, what do you think about Christianity's role today in disarming Germanics from the evils of miscegenation and intermarrying people of different races?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
    Can you elaborate on this?

    Also, what do you think about Christianity's role today in disarming Germanics from the evils of miscegenation and intermarrying people of different races?
    Well, what I meant was, that European countries have during the last 1000 years created strong bonds to each other, politically and culturally. However, I believe the reason these bonds were created was not due to a natural/racial connection between the peoples of various parts of Europe, instead I believe it was due to the strong force of the Church that forcefully bonded Europe together as an entity. And then having this entity, created by Christianity, simply replaced by a pan-European Heathen equalient, may not be the way I personally would want to see it.

    Christianity today, at least the Christianity in Germanic countries, is very liberal, and will not stop anything the negative changes that have happened to us. The Protestant Church is a strong ally to the establishments and governments of Germanic countries.

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    Timberwolf

    Norse mythology, by itself, comes off to modern day people as too mystical and hard to grasp.
    Personally I think that’s a good thing, abrahamic religions try to be literal and do everything they can against the mysteries and those who do try to understand them.

    I agree it shouldn’t be hippy tree hugging, I have had some very strong words about these things in druidic circles, the old religions were very much realists in how they deal with worldly problems.

    the average person would give up in frustration trying to remember them all and their importance.
    True, but ancients tended to worship local deities, or joined cults of particular ones. There is/was no need to know it all.

    Stories of Jewish oppression at the hands of the Egyptians and Gods direct involvement in ending that oppression is the cornerstone of the Jewish faith.
    I have been talking to people about this and the common view is that the exodus never happened.

    I don’t know norse myths so well, but I gather the basic religion is similar to druidry. The celtic myths tell us that the spirit transmigrates worlds, and can utilise the same essences [awens] as the gods do. From what I can tell the norse religion tells warriors to be fierce in battle and not to fear death I.e. they tell of the ‘disposability of self‘, and that honour is greater than suffering and dying dishonourable deaths. You have a different outlook on life if the body is disposable.

    Another problem is that Norse mythology, as a folkish religion, would only appeal to Germanic people. It would leave people wondering why Celtic, Roman, Slavic, or Greek mythology wasn't chosen as the "true" religion, and in the case of the Greeks and it's very detailed and large record of documentation, they'd have a strong case.
    I don’t understand? Celts and Germanics are very similar esp the further back you go. In fact there was a circular temple found in southern germany that wouldn’t be out of place in England. In s Oxfordshire there is waylands smithy, which is a saxon name for the temple denoted to blacksmiths, it would seam our ancestors had no problem making such correlations.


    Méldmir

    why do you propose a pan-European religion?
    I agree in part with what you say, I do think there are similarities in the old barbarian cultures, and they stretch from Lithuania to Ireland, maybe further. The greeks and romans had a different way of seeing religion, so perhaps belongs in a different sphere.

    I think its an important distinction, the classical ‘civilisations’ thought of us as barbarians, but that because we didn’t like living the way they do, we are more rural and earthly, less urban etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Méldmir View Post
    And then having this entity, created by Christianity, simply replaced by a pan-European Heathen equalient, may not be the way I personally would want to see it.
    I agree that Christianity's ideas of universalism had its use in the past, but now it's used to create "strong bonds" between people of all ethnic backgrounds, and that's why I feel it's lost it's use.

    Sects like Positive Christianity and Christian Identity are better, and I have no problem with Christians as long as they hold views compatible with the survival of our people. I just don't understand how Christians can rationalize the belief with themselves. The Old Testament is clearly a book written for Jews by Jews. God makes no covenants with our people. And the New Testament is centered around a Jewish Messiah, who, even if you argue his Jewishness, was clearly not so much as White, let alone Germanic.

    It's a powerful religion, I just don't see it serving us anymore. We need something rooted in our homeland. It might not be a Pan-European religion but it shouldn't be something "borrowed" from non-Europeans.

    Also, which groups of Europeans do you not view as being your fellow brethren. Italians? Greeks? Spaniards? Russians?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tirannis View Post
    TimberwolfPersonally I think that’s a good thing, abrahamic religions try to be literal and do everything they can against the mysteries and those who do try to understand them.
    I think the "mysteries" will only ever appeal to a niche group of people. It was much easier to get away with supernatural religions in the days when science wasn't as developed as it is now. These days, everything is put under the microscope, so the less fantasty-like the religion is, the more likely people will not brush it off instantly as "nonsense". I think the presentation needs to be modernized with the more eccentric aspects being introduced slowly.

    True, but ancients tended to worship local deities, or joined cults of particular ones. There is/was no need to know it all.
    Go up to someone and ask if they would like to join a cult. I'm sure you understand that they would be taken aback. The word "cult" has too many negative connotations, just like the word "nazi", and so shouldn't be used if you're trying to awaken the masses. In small sects it's obviously fine though. I think we need one central belief and from that things can branch off just like Christianity.

    I have been talking to people about this and the common view is that the exodus never happened.
    Yea, that's why I called it a story, but it didn't need to be true, enough people believed it was, and still do, that it has great power in Jewish circles. The idea that God singled out your people gives one a huge sense of ethnic pride. It certainly helped the Jews, they basically rule the world now.

    I don’t know norse myths so well, but I gather the basic religion is similar to druidry.
    It's basically nature worship. All of the gods represent something, usually aspects of nature or life. It's like deified naturalism. There's also a strong heroic ethic and, in some interpretations, folkish views.

    The celtic myths tell us that the spirit transmigrates worlds, and can utilise the same essences [awens] as the gods do.
    Never heard of that, but it's an attractive idea.

    I don’t understand? Celts and Germanics are very similar esp the further back you go. In fact there was a circular temple found in southern germany that wouldn’t be out of place in England. In s Oxfordshire there is waylands smithy, which is a saxon name for the temple denoted to blacksmiths, it would seam our ancestors had no problem making such correlations.
    It depends where your views fall. Many people here believe only in Germanic preservation and unity. They don't see people outside of the Germanic circles as their blood (folk). I do. I believe Germanic is our subrace but we belong to a much larger family of relatives. I consider all Europeans as being part of this group and would love to see a religion come along that could unite us all. As an American I've see things first hand. I've always been able to feel right at home with non-Germanics of European descent but as soon as you step outside of that you instantly find incompatibility. Asians, and ancient Egyptians, are the only non-European peoples who produced worthwhile societies that I can find at least somewhat tolerable.

    I agree in part with what you say, I do think there are similarities in the old barbarian cultures, and they stretch from Lithuania to Ireland, maybe further. The greeks and romans had a different way of seeing religion, so perhaps belongs in a different sphere.
    Greek and Roman mythology isn't that different from what I know. To me, there are two contrasts, slave religions like Christianity, and Heroic religions. All of the religions native to Europe fall into the latter. The Greek myths are, in my opinion, far better prose than the Norse. The Ring of the Niebeljungs, while a wonderful story, pales in comparison to Homers Illiad and the Odyssey. But as European descendants ALL of these tales belong to us. I don't see why we would exclude them when they were written by our ancestors. I don't see an Italian, or a Spaniard, or someone from Portugal embracing Norse mythology. It's not about them, it's about Germanics, it needs to be about all of our kind as one. That's why Jews succeed, even though there are Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews they both worship the same text and God.

    I think its an important distinction, the classical ‘civilisations’ thought of us as barbarians, but that because we didn’t like living the way they do, we are more rural and earthly, less urban etc.
    I think the "barbarism" gave the Norse a better understanding and appreciate for Nature. I think the classical civilizations had a better understand a human beings. Why not have the best of both worlds?

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