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Thread: Iceland Is Officially Worshiping Norse Gods Again

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    In America there are those who and made the Norse gods equal opportunity and opened up their worship to all ethnicities and races. Then there are those who have not.

    One such group in the America South was heavily influenced by a Baltic former SS soldier who immigrated after the war. This soldier learned esoteric Nazi lore and paganism while lounging around in a post-war American concentration camp for SS men. He taught this in the South along with a method of self-defense and some yoga-like postures for heath purposes. But at his core he was a soldier and actually enlisted in the US military, just making the age cut for the Vietnam War and participating in a rather famous radio conversation within the military involving an enemy tank. He finally returned home after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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    I wouldn't say that Asatru is particularly new age, at least not in the same manner as say Wicca. Wicca is purely manufactured, created in the 60s borrowing terms from old celtic and germanic religious elements but by in large completely manufactured. It seems alot more tolerant and accepting of feminists and gays. Asatru is more of a reconstruction based on historical source material, ie the eddas, sagas, roman accounts etc. But like everything else, it is all open to interpretation. I'm a practicing Asuatruar though I don't literally believe in any gods or religions as truth. Parts of them may contain truth, but none of them are all true. I do it as a connection with ancestors and to continue our native culture.

    Also, in my experience, American Asatruars are typically the most conservative of the conservative, often far right libertarians and such. The only the "liberal" about many of them is that they practice a niche religion. Of the few kindreds I've been involved with, I've seen one transgender person and maybe one or two non pure white people. Love them all dearly, they are great people and dedicated to the faith. But this is not the norm and tolerance isn't necessarily universally extended to them amongst other groups.

    I'm fine with heathens of other races or backgrounds. As we say, the gods choose who they will. But I can't understand why someone of a different race would want to practice Asatru as its not their heritage.
    I'm a rover, seldom sober. I'm a rover of high degree. And when I'm drinking I'm always thinking of how to gain my love's company.

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    Senior Member Plantagenet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hornedhelm View Post
    I'm a practicing Asuatruar though I don't literally believe in any gods or religions as truth. Parts of them may contain truth, but none of them are all true. I do it as a connection with ancestors and to continue our native culture.
    Since Germanic paganism was a religious tradition (it had priests, rites, a pantheon of gods, spirits, a cosmology, eschatology, spiritual practices, ethics, laws, was entwined in notions of sacred kingship, etc.) what is the point of practicing if you don't truly believe in it? If it is to connect with one's ancestors and native culture as you say, how can you connect to it when you don't believe in it as your ancestors actually did? In other words, in the eyes of your ancestors who truly believed in it, what would they think of you trying to establish a connection to them via not actually believing?

    Furthermore how do you connect to your Christian ancestors, or namely all your ancestors for at least the past millennium or more? Do you consider your Christian heritage to be part of your native culture?

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    Senior Member Englisc's Avatar
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    In the United Kingdom, I've only seen the old English gods worshipped by nationalists on forums. I dont think it's broken out into anything like the mainstream.

    On the other hand, Druids seem to me to be associated with the left-wing New Age movement. I see such types often in my local leftist colony Hebden Bridge.

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    That is most certainly the case ^, I have noticed that 'comedy' pagans are those who essentially like some memes about battle on FB, a bit of folk metal and/or have watched 'Vikings' on TV or else the even more repulsive 'Celtic' Wiccan sort who smoke green, wear tye dye and have dreads going to shitty hippy music festivals..

    I really don't think I've ever met an English heathen who isn't folkish. I suppose that because it's a niche within a niche based on actual ancestral links, rather than the 'herp derp we wuz vikings' stuff most of the retards are filtered out into that comic book Odin and Thor stuff.

    Seriously though if you think that anything is to be taken absolutely literally then you will be in for a rough ride, just the same as if you don't believe there is any reality at all to the Gods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Englisc View Post
    On the other hand, Druids seem to me to be associated with the left-wing New Age movement. I see such types often in my local leftist colony Hebden Bridge.
    I've noticed this trend as well, which is a bit odd when you consider that the Celts were a patriarchal, hierarchical, war-like people and the Druids were one of the main agitators for violent resistance to Roman incursions and that one of the few Druidic passages to come down to us is something like, "Honor the gods, do nothing ignoble (or evil, etc.), and practice manliness."

    It's a shame too because I believe there are some neat insights to be had from specifically Celtic paganism. Two examples are some articles I read a while back that I would heartily recommend anyone interested in these topics, namely John Carey's "Time, Space, and the Otherworld" and Brent R. Doran's "Mathematical Sophistication of the Insular Celts: Spirals, Symmetries, and Knots as a Window onto Their World View."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plantagenet View Post
    Since Germanic paganism was a religious tradition (it had priests, rites, a pantheon of gods, spirits, a cosmology, eschatology, spiritual practices, ethics, laws, was entwined in notions of sacred kingship, etc.) what is the point of practicing if you don't truly believe in it? If it is to connect with one's ancestors and native culture as you say, how can you connect to it when you don't believe in it as your ancestors actually did? In other words, in the eyes of your ancestors who truly believed in it, what would they think of you trying to establish a connection to them via not actually believing?

    Furthermore how do you connect to your Christian ancestors, or namely all your ancestors for at least the past millennium or more? Do you consider your Christian heritage to be part of your native culture?
    Many people practice religions that they don't wholeheartedly believe in. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe its a sense of their culture or belonging. Maybe it provides a structure for them. I don't feel like that is uncommon at all and people have been the same way since the beginning of time. Some take things as literal truth. Others feel things are more figurative and allegorical. As I said, I feel a cultural connection with Asatru and am trying to help preserve native beliefs.

    With that, I wouldn't claim to be agnostic. Agnostics acknowledge the possibility of other spiritual beings. I fully believe that there are god like figures, spiritual others etc out there. I just don't believe in any religion. Though many religions may have some truth to them, I feel most of them are riddled with dogma and derive from campfire tales that were then passed around as truth.

    And I honor my christian ancestors as well. Most of my family is christian and devoutly so. I have done quite a bit of bible study in the past and church attendance growing up. I will still go to mass at times with catholic family, church on occasion with protestant branches, bow my head at prayer, just whatever the situation calls for. Its important to them so its important to me. I wouldn't turn my back on christian ancestors either and am proud of their contributions to my line and people. With age I just came to realize that there were irreconcilable differences in belief between me and the church or bible. Things I didn't feel were true, or if they were should not be so. So I'd say I left the faith but on good terms. Unlike many heathens I am not antichristian. There seems to be a strong anti christian sentiment among modern pagans that I've never quite understood. I guess they blame all christians for the loss of our indo european beliefs. But we can't blame modern christians for that. They weren't alive at the time of conversion. They weren't on top or on bottom, its not their baby so to speak.

    That may not make much sense to you. Its a complicated matter and Im actually having trouble communicating this much. The more I think, the more my mind trails off down rabbit holes. But that's fine. Everyone has their own unique set of beliefs, shaped by their needs and experiences. Just question everything before you accept it and try to become a better person. What else can you ask in a person?
    I'm a rover, seldom sober. I'm a rover of high degree. And when I'm drinking I'm always thinking of how to gain my love's company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hornedhelm View Post
    I'm fine with heathens of other races or backgrounds. As we say, the gods choose who they will. But I can't understand why someone of a different race would want to practice Asatru as its not their heritage.
    Lack of connection to one's own culture and history, a sad by-product of the post-modern age. A black follower of Asatru makes as much sense as a white person following Shintoism. The old religion of Northern Europe and its modern continuation like Shinto are folk religions, literally religions spring forth from a particular folk: Germanic and Japanese respectively. This is even true in my own creed with the so-called Folk Catholicism as the Wikipedia page says within the first paragraph:

    'Folk Catholicism is any of various ethnic expressions of Catholicism as practiced in Catholic communities, typically in developing nations. Practices identified by outside observers as "folk Catholicism" vary from place to place and sometimes contradict the official teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.'

    People find it hard to give up indigenous values even when faced with a monolithic ethos, hence the milk-toasting of traditional religions, be they polytheistic or monotheistic, into the universalist glop of the new age, i.e. all is one, all paths are paths to God, etc.
    'Militia est vita hominis super terram [The life of man upon earth is a warfare] (Job 7:1).'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plantagenet View Post
    Since Germanic paganism was a religious tradition (it had priests, rites, a pantheon of gods, spirits, a cosmology, eschatology, spiritual practices, ethics, laws, was entwined in notions of sacred kingship, etc.) what is the point of practicing if you don't truly believe in it?
    Quote Originally Posted by hornedhelm View Post
    Many people practice religions that they don't wholeheartedly believe in. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe its a sense of their culture or belonging. Maybe it provides a structure for them. I don't feel like that is uncommon at all and people have been the same way since the beginning of time. Some take things as literal truth. Others feel things are more figurative and allegorical. As I said, I feel a cultural connection with Asatru and am trying to help preserve native beliefs.
    Interesting! I can somewhat relate to how Hornedhelm stands in this, although I do not practice anything at all, and do not call upon 'the gods' (or on anything metaphysical for that matter) in times of distress. (I do however sometimes engage in 'thinking sessions' that hold the middle of philosphy, metaphysics, and daydreaming, in which I explore / make up a metaphysical map of the universe, based on Germanic heathenry. It's not really meditation, but I presume it has a similar function.)

    I do think of the gods, and of the heathen lore, like I do of the characters of a well-know story, like Lord of the Ring. Or maybe even, and you must believe me that I do not say this in mockery, a figure like Donald Duck. Gandalf and Donald Duck are both created by an author (J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl Barks) but they became larger than life, archetypes so to speak, that cannot be altered even by those who hold the copyrights to them (Tolkien heirs, the Disney concern). They exists in a similar way that language exists.

    Language is a creation of humans, but none of us 'owns' it (while occasionally new words and epxressions are thought up, these are only considered succesful when they get adapted by those who use the language, i.e. become independent from their inventor).

    In a similar way, the heathen gods (and other beings, realms etc.) exist. They are more a matter of relevance than of truth.

    Monotheist religions are completely different, as they claim to know the truth. And not a subjective truth — the literal, objective truth. In christianity this claim to truth included the entire bible, which was to be taken literally*, and eventually, when people got better in exploration and logic (science) it became more and more obvious that the Bible was not a literal account of prehistory and history. This triggered the secularization, and departure from the christian faith among the European nations.

    *(I'm not convinced that the orginal author(s) of Genesis even intended to be taken litterally. The story of creation might as well have been meant as a poetic account rather than a literal one.)

    That, btw, is why I only find it relevant to identify as an atheist when confronted with the monotheistic (christian-judaic-islamic) god. In relation to Wodan, Donar etc. the question 'whether they are real' does not make sense; I don't think affirming or denying this makes any sense.

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    Great post, Quaestor.

    I've always felt that polytheistic religions were developed out of necessity to explain natural phenomenon, both in nature and human personality. This is why most of the gods serve some function such as providing winds, rain, sunlight etc while also having very human personalities and flaws.

    Monotheistic religions seem to have evolved from polytheistic roots, but I've always wondered why? Where did we get the idea of one all powerful being? Why the shift? I've heard it said that it was easier to consolidate power that way. Maybe the Victor in warring tribes would subjugate the losing tribe into worshipping their cult/ gods.

    Thoughts?
    I'm a rover, seldom sober. I'm a rover of high degree. And when I'm drinking I'm always thinking of how to gain my love's company.

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