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Thread: How 'Pagan' Was Norse Paganism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    If these are not an option, why don't start something on your own?
    That's exactly what we have in mind.

    The current organisations available are either too loose in their mission statements (Åsatro groups, KultOrg, a.s.o.), and are practically absent in socio-political activism, while organisations like Motstandsbevegelsen have a far too rigid and limited political sphere to function as a unifying movement among the majority of Nationalists. They certainly serve their own, respective purposes, but they are not fully sufficient outputs to fulfill the needs of our crumbling Nation.
    A nation is an organic thing, historically defined.
    A wave of passionate energy which unites past, present and future generations

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    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taras Bulba View Post

    “We tend to think only in terms of ‘pagan survivals’ within the Church. We do not often give attention to the adaptation, by non-Christians, of Christian rituals….A lively process of the borrowing of rituals between pagans and Christians appears to have taken place in both directions. Pagan communities borrowed Christian signs and rites. The sign of the Cross would be made sacrificial banquets. The names of Christian angels and saints would be shouted at the solemn toasts around the table. Above all, monks and clergymen came to offer services which non-Christian ritual specialists had previously provided.”
    --Peter Brown The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity AD 200-1000 Pg.153
    This is obvious. Anyone who knows anything about pre-Christian polytheism knows that most people would have had no problem incorporating Christian figures into their paganism. Of course, figures such as the "Christian God" couldn't be incorporated, because the Christian God is a "jealous God", a monotheistic, omnipotent God. However, the Christ figure could, so long as his Holy Father was not seen as the monotheistic God he is, but rather just a God. The result is something far short of Christianity. Some might say that's a misunderstanding of Christianity on the part of pagans. But, of course, pagans might say that Christianity is a misunderstanding of divinity.



    Yes Fletcher notes how at least the Baltic pagans tried to build an organized religion around their paganism, but in the end they failed. And this may get back to what Jonathan Kirsch noted that a "Pagan church" is a contradiction in terms. The union and discipline of organized religion is alien to paganism, and Kirsch was noting about classical paganism not Northern paganism. Julian the Apostate tried to build a pagan church, yet that didnt go far even among fellow pagans. So I dont think the argument of Christianity being a Mediterranean religion really stands much.
    I am a little surprised that someone could say this bolded part. Sure, perhaps there has never been anything approximating a pagan church or organized religion IF the ruler used is the Medieval Catholic Church. But that's a strange (and certainly biased) way of looking at religions. The Greeks and Romans had temples, complete with priests and priestesses, teachings, morals and ethics, rituals and ways of correctly performing those rituals, etc. The North had all of these things as well, though to a lesser degree as one would expect from a place with a smaller population that was still largely organized into clans.

    The best I can make sense of it, the definition being used for "organized religion" here is stating that an "organized religion" must have ONE central authority to which all others professing the same broad religious identity are subordinate. Clearly this is heavily biased in favor of the Catholic Church.

    Furthermore, since this is a discussion on the borrowings between Christianity and pre-Christian European polytheism, I must admit that I think the Church gained most of its hierarchical structure, the very same structure which was used above to define "organized religion", from Roman polytheism. I know that Taras Bulba had scoffed at it earlier in the thread but it is very true that Paul made a Christian sect of Judaism into universal Christianity by fully immersing it in the religious environment in which he found himself. Namely, he used Greek philosophy and Roman mystery cults to enact this transformation.

    The question of "folk Paganism" (which Taras Bulba indicates to mean ALL of paganism to him) versus "folk Christianity" is a very interesting one. I am not entirely willing to say that all of "folk Christianity" can find its basis in pre-Christian beliefs, though I think the amount of evidence for that would be enough to convince anyone that much of it DID happen that way. More interesting to me is finding "Christian folk beliefs" that have NO origin in pre-Christian beliefs. I may be wrong, and I would love to see more evidence for it, but I think that folk beliefs of a fully Christian nature are far fewer and far between than pre-Christian influenced ones. We must remember that Christianity was brought to the North by priests and missionaries acting in accord with the Church. The faith most often did not simply rub off on the natives through close contact with Christian populations (when it did we would get more things like the quote above about incorporating Christ, etc.)

    Saints. There is no thoroughly Christian basis for saints. Certainly not in the way that saints are venerated by the Catholic Church. There is proof in the Bible for considering the dead in Heaven as part of the same community as Christian believers on Earth. However, the veneration in statues, images, icons, feast days, rituals, processions, etc. are not evidenced. The process of becoming a saint involves the official recognition by the Church of a popular figure. The Church began to officialize cults rather than attempt to suppress every non-Christian belief and rite they came across. In this they were also emulating the Romans. The Church attempted to justify these cults by saying that saints are not worshiped directly but rather they are prayed to for intercession to God or Jesus. Anyone who has been to the more conservative Catholic European countries will tell you that these ceremonies and rituals certainly take on the appearance that the saint is being worshiped himself. Couple these things with the fact that so many of the saints are clearly able to be traced back to pre-Christian Gods, demi-Gods, spirits, or folk heroes and I think it all speaks for itself.


    Valhalla. It has recently occurred to me that any notion of an afterlife has (neo)Heathens and Christians alike shouting that it's a clear Christian borrowing. The afterlife is common to nearly all faiths of any age. I think modern Heathens have a dislike of the afterlife because of the fear that this meant that Heathens also considered what happened to people who acted wrongly in this life after death. This idea would sound too Christian to them. Valhalla itself is an afterlife destination where only select people can go (those who died in glorious battle). That historic Heathens believed in this can be seen from the stories of Heathens attempting to make it appear as though they died in battle by piercing themselves with weapons shortly before they died. That being said, nothing about Valhalla sounds like the Christian Heaven to me. You could be a perfect man on earth and still not go to Valhalla when you die because you died of the flu. Valhalla was certainly not peaceful, though it might be argued that it was joyful. Furthermore, even Valhalla was not a salvation of the soul. Don't forget that the Einherjar would fight, and lose, at Ragnarok. There's more to be said about Hel here, but I'll leave it.

    Ragnarok. Someone else mentioned earlier that Ragnarok is not an end to everything, as Armageddon is. I think the cyclical nature itself should verify that Ragnarok is not a Christian borrowing. Similarities of a rather general and vague and nearly universal type between two religions doesn't necessitate that there was borrowing or copying going on.

    Another thought to ponder is that even if Ragnarok and Valhalla were influenced by Christianity (and I just don't see the evidence myself), the differences are so great that we cannot be talking about a wholesale borrowing/copying. Rather, in that case I would suggest something more along the lines of a "Heathen reaction to" or a "Heathen response to" Armegeddon/Heaven.

    I'm pretty sure I had more to say, but can't remember it now. Anyway, could someone give me more information on the "cult of Gaut." I've heard it from time to time and I can't remember much about it.

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    Ah! I remember it now!

    I wanted to say that "Paganism" versus "Christianity" is really a false dichotomy. Christianity itself grew out of Judaism which most certainly had once been polytheistic. Hence, Christianity itself most clearly borrows from Jewish and other Semitic polytheisms. It is an evolution thereof. Jews practiced animal (and perhaps before that, human) sacrifice, baptism, belief in many Gods, etc. Judaism itself eventually removed some of these "Pagan" practices and kept others. By the time Christianity started up, Christianity also kept some and left some...and added others.

    Pair that with the fact that "Paganism" and "Heathenism" was a simply reference by Christians to pre-Christian native beliefs/religions and not any one belief that was used by those pre-Christian peoples themselves and we get a rather messy and often misleading way of talking about these issues.

    So, in a very convoluted way, "Paganism" is just any religious practice that Christianity didn't "un-Paganize" by adopting itself. That leaves us in very odd situation, of course, when we want to say that certain Christian practices are Pagan in origin...because they all are...or then again, they all are not.

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    Great posting Soten. Thank you.

    All christian scholars want to do is debate the origins, the history, the so-called facts .. and depending on who knows the most historically, which is written by christians, that decides who's religion or spirituality is superior or should I say "correct". That is such bullshit. I don't waste my breath on christians because as you know, they have all the answers. You ask them a serious question about their faith, they answer, you say .. "how do you know? Where's the proof?" And they say "in the bible". What kind of answer is that? To be honest, I already struggle with hatred towards even my own people who are christian, and the arrogance here is appalling. I can see, that even if we did establish our own state, then nation etc. that the christians would try to force us to convert again. I almost want revenge for the past. I can't explain why ... I know it seems ridiculous, but it is what it is. More blood will be shed. And as much as I love my folk, I love spiritual freedom just as much (within reason of course). I will battle whoever might try to take this from me and my Heathen family. Without our spiritual heritage, we are nothing. No one. There is an ancient, arcane, dark and mysterious wisdom encoded in our blood ... we must do what is necessary to unlock it. Tribal life is the only answer, this modern world poisons and inflicts us. Along with the greed and materialism of christianity. The countryside of Scandinavia is our home, and as of right now we have no home. We wander. We are the "odd man out". somewhere between the abrahamic religions and their battle for supremacy and the liberal atheist movement. And these pig christians try to lump us in with those red-atheists. Sorry, but those are fighting words.
    "The mystery and secret of Wotan is not that "knowledge" of him is passed along through clandestine cults or even through the re-discovery of old books and texts--but rather that such knowledge is actually encoded in a mysterious way in the DNA, in the very genetic material, of those who are descended from him." - Secret of the Gothick God of Darkness

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    Senior Member Kauz R. Waldher's Avatar
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    Please read this. I'd love for someone to give me some feedback. You might say "what's this have to do with Heathenism" ... it has alot to do with the future of it.

    http://www.experiencefestival.com/wp...ola-philosophy

    Exerpt: The Italian philosopher of history Giambattista Vico provided Evola with the concepts of primordial heroic law, "natural heroic rights" and the meaning of the Indo-European Latin term ''vir'' as indicative of "wisdom, priesthood and kingship." Crucial to Evola's formulation of the idea of "solar masculinity" versus "chthonic masculinity" and matriarchal regression was the maverick 19th century Swiss scholar Johann Jakob Bachofen. Other prominent, philosophically foundational influences for Evola include the ancient Aryo-Hindu scripture that teaches the concept of "detached violence", the ''Bhagavad Gita'', and the Aryan kshatriya sage Siddartha Gotama, the historical Buddha (Evola, "Il Cammino del Cinabro" 1963).

    Like Guénon, he believed that mankind is living in the Kali Yuga of the Hindu tradition, the Dark Age of unleashed, materialistic appetites. The Kali Yuga is the last of four ages, which form a cycle from the Satya Yuga or Golden Age through the Kali Yuga or the Hesiodic Iron Age. Evola argued that both Italian fascism and National Socialism held hope for a reconstitution of the primordial "celestial race."

    For Evola, the word Tradition had a meaning very similar to that of Truth. The doctrine of the four ages, a broad characterization of the attributes of Tradition and their manifestations in traditional societies makes up the first half of Evola's major work ''Revolt Against the Modern World''. In ''Revolt Against the Modern World'', he expounds according to the ancient texts that there is not one Tradition, but two: An older and degenerate tradition that is feminine, matriarchal, unheroic, associated with the telluric negroid racial remnants of Lemuria; and a higher one that is masculine, heroic, "Uranian" and purely Aryo-Hyperborean in its origin. The latter one later gave rise to an ambiguous Western-Atlantic tradition, which combined aspects of both through the historical Hyperborean migrations and their degenerating assimilation of exotic spiritual influences from the South.

    According to Evola, in the Golden Age there existed in the dominating elites, the "Divine Kings", a convergence of the two powers, namely the spiritual principle and the royal principle. From the Aryo-Hindu tradition, he sees the human type of the Rajarshi as an embodiment of the Golden Age ideal and quotes the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.4.11): "This is why nothing is greater than the warrior nobility; the priests themselves venerate the warrior when the consecration of the king occurs." Evola argues that in the Hindu tradition there are plenty of instances of kings who already possess or eventually achieve a spiritual knowledge greater than that possessed by the later-times degenerated brahmana. This is the case, for instance, of King Jaivala, whose knowledge was not imparted by any priest, but rather reserved to the warrior caste; also, in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.3.1) King Janaka teaches the brahmana Yajnavalkya the doctrine of the transcendent Self. Evola explains that, according to tradition, the primordial gnosis was handed down, starting from Ikshvaku, in regal succession (cf. Bhagavadgita, 4. 1-2); the same Sun Dynasty (''surya-vamsa'') was connected with blue-eyed, fair-skinned Gautama Buddha's aristocratic Aryan family (Sutta Nipata, 3). In the laws of the second or Silver Age, the Laws of Manu, the text states "rulers do not prosper without priests and priests do not thrive without rulers" and that "the priest is said to be the root of the law, and the ruler is the peak" (11.321-2;11.83-4).
    "The mystery and secret of Wotan is not that "knowledge" of him is passed along through clandestine cults or even through the re-discovery of old books and texts--but rather that such knowledge is actually encoded in a mysterious way in the DNA, in the very genetic material, of those who are descended from him." - Secret of the Gothick God of Darkness

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    Senior Member Olavssønn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    But we do.

    Til Hundens Minne (Tore Hund)
    http://vegtam.info/hundensminne/Hunden.htm

    Bifrost and Forn Sed will accept anyone, I know for a fact they have "baptised" asians into being heathens. One of the leaders in Bifrost used to be the editor of a communist street paper, and they work together with PST. So they are not an option.

    http://nordfront.net/

    KultOrg fits somewhat into your description, some of the writers are even members on skadi.

    If these are not an option, why don't start something on your own?
    Bifrost and Forn Sed are not alternatives for ethnically or nationally aware Norwegians with an interest in the old Nordic faith, that goes without saying.
    Nordfront are self-appointed National Socialists, and as such a too narrow organization for many nationally aware Norwegians, including myself.
    Neither do they have the Germanic Heathen theme that I would like too see featured in an organization not being strictly centered around a political theory, but essentially being a forum for Norwegians/Scandinavians proud of our ethnic cultural Germanic heritage.
    This organization would of course still make room for discussions of a political, social, environmental/ecological nature as well.
    KultOrg looks interesting, but I don't think it fills the same space.

    And yes, I am absolutely up for joining forces in an attempt at starting this kind of organization in the future.
    That's really something I'm going to try and do, but I don't think it will be that easy for me to work actively on the project before in a couple of years.



    Quote Originally Posted by Þoreiðar View Post
    That's exactly what we have in mind.

    The current organisations available are either too loose in their mission statements (Åsatro groups, KultOrg, a.s.o.), and are practically absent in socio-political activism, while organisations like Motstandsbevegelsen have a far too rigid and limited political sphere to function as a unifying movement among the majority of Nationalists. They certainly serve their own, respective purposes, but they are not fully sufficient outputs to fulfill the needs of our crumbling Nation.
    The "åsatro"-groups in Norway are hardly even Folkish. Bifrost is openly "anti-racist" which really means anti-Germanic, and I also think their structure is too unorganized and loose. Folkish Germanic organizations like The Odinic Rite in Britain and Asatru Folk Assembly in the US are far better in this regard, but not entirely the thing I'm thinking about either...
    Vigrid has added some strange kind of Norse pagan-stuff to their group (some rituals and image), but they are far too obsessed with Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich and Holocaust-revisionism to resemble the idea I'm talking about.

    Edit: added something I forgot

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    Senior Member Bearkinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauz R. Waldher View Post
    Please read this. I'd love for someone to give me some feedback. You might say "what's this have to do with Heathenism" ... it has alot to do with the future of it.

    Well, IIRC, the four Yugas descend from 100% virtue down through total depravity, with human health degenerating correspondingly.

    There also seems to correlate a major catastrophe marking the bridge between the Yugas (historically, if not in the texts). I think you'd have to be a fool to think we were in anything but the Kali yuga.

    I however do not follow the timing of the Yugas, I think the number of years in each is either entirely made up as a type of code, or simply a different measure than they are credited to be.

    I think there must be a major cataclysm to transfer from the Kali Yuga to the Satya Yuga. I'd say the last one was the flood (recorded as historical fact by all ancient cultures). The slate has to be wiped nearly clean or otherwise the current degeneracy of the masses will prevent a rule age of virtue to come to fruition.

    I think the time of Ragnarok is the point of the switch from this age to the next. I cannot give a timeline, only to say that it must be close. I know all generations think that, but this one is different simply because of the systemic unsustainability of the way things are done.

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    The slavic veda calculates the end of the darkness to the year 1995.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Senior Member Kauz R. Waldher's Avatar
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    Check this out .. this is what I was alluding to ...
    Books by Evola are VITAL. It seems as though he tailor wrote those for me specifically. And i'm sure many who aren't familiar with his work would feel the same. I'm not saying "this is IT for certain" but this is very exciting to me.

    "Five hundred doors, and forty eke, I think, are in Valhall, Eight hundred Einheriar will at once from each door go when they issue with the wolf to fight."
    [The Lay of Grimnir,Younger Edda, Benjamin Thorpe translation].

    At the time of the final battle Ragnarok 432,000 faithful warriors[540 x 800], dedicated to Woden, bearing the sign of the knot of the slain/chosen which mark them as belonging to Him will march forth to do battle against the forces of the evil desert idol jehovah and his fundamentalist muslim, christian and judaic hordes. This is reflected in the name Ragnarok itself which reading from right to left[the custom of non-Aryan languages] spells Korangar-meaning the spear[gar is Germanic for spear] of the Koran.

    The forces of jehovah are currently divided along the following lines:

    .The `western`, `democratic`, christian/post-christian/humanist, zionist, capitalist world.

    . The eastern, non-democratic, muslim world.

    The latter has for the last 20 years been stirred up by the zionist-western world with the deliberate intention of moving towards an `Armageddon` or what we would term the Ragnarok, the destined end of the Gods, although we know from the Eddas that the Gods will not ultimatley die but will be replaced by a new generation of Gods, which I have thus far found 8 in number-Baldr, Hodr, Hoenir, Magni, Modi, Vidar, Vali and Njord. No Godesses are mentioned. I do not know if this was deliberate or merely an oversight.

    Interestingly the number 432,000 is the number of years that the Kali Yuga will last according to Hindu mythology. Also the figure of 540 is repeated in The Lay of Grimnir at verse 24:

    "Five hundred floors, and forty eke, I think, has Bilskirnir with its windings. Of all the roofed houses that I know, is my son`s the greatest."

    The etymology of Bilskirnir is "the one striking lightning with rays of light".
    Skaldskaparmal 4 says that Bilskirnir belongs to Thunor.

    "It certainly hints vigorously at some common source from which these widely seperated traditions have descended and at some hidden meaning which makes this figure recur in them."[Page 80, The Masks of Odin Wisdom of the Ancient Norse by Elsa-Brita Titchenell.]

    Clearly the composer of the Lay of Grimnir intended to draw a direct link between the 432,000 warriors and the event known as Ragnarok and this in turn is directly linked to the end of the Kali Yuga in the Hindu scriptures. As Elsa-Brita Titchenell rightly concludes they must have a common and thus an Aryan source which has been preserved in these two traditions.
    "The mystery and secret of Wotan is not that "knowledge" of him is passed along through clandestine cults or even through the re-discovery of old books and texts--but rather that such knowledge is actually encoded in a mysterious way in the DNA, in the very genetic material, of those who are descended from him." - Secret of the Gothick God of Darkness

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    Senior Member Olavssønn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauz R. Waldher View Post
    [...]although we know from the Eddas that the Gods will not ultimatley die but will be replaced by a new generation of Gods, which I have thus far found 8 in number-Baldr, Hodr, Hoenir, Magni, Modi, Vidar, Vali and Njord. No Godesses are mentioned. I do not know if this was deliberate or merely an oversight.
    Maybe that is because the goddesses of the Æsir and Vanir are not mentioned particularly among those gods directly fighting in the war? I've also been wondering about what happened to the Goddesses. (I hope we won't lose Freyja).
    I'm sure our forefathers would have offered an explanation to this, but unfortunately everything wasn't written down.

    Very interesting paralells you are mentioning in your post, by the way.
    In the book Tyr Vol. 3 there is an article named 'The End Times According to the Indo-European Worldview: Textual Selections From Four Traditions with Commentary', comparing Indian texts on the Kali Yuga with various textual survivals from the Nordic, Celtic and Greek traditions, showing interesting similarities.

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