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Thread: Are all Heathen Religions the Same?

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    Senior Member jcs's Avatar
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    Question Are all Heathen Religions the Same?

    A question that has come up often at odinist.com is whether or not a Celt can practice Germanic heathenry, whether a German can practice Norse heathenry, and most recently whether a Finn can practice Norse heathenry.

    Here are a couple of my responses:
    Wotan, Odin (and Woden, for that matter) are not the same guy.
    A brief look into the myths, worshiping practices, and even meanings of names of these figures in their respective cultures reveals that they are rather different.
    There is as much similarity between these gods as there is between Wotan and Tiw: their domains are similar, as are a number of aspects of their personality, and the myths about the figures blend a little (just as Wotan "evolved" into Odin, it is suspected by some that some aspects of Tiw "evolved" into Wotan)--but they are different, and I might add, for a reason!.

    I know that our gods are similar in many areas and, for the most part, represent the same thing. Teutonic religions are also similar to Graeco-Roman beliefs and, more distantly, to Indo-Aryan Vedic beliefs.
    Yes, all of these faiths are very similar, but our various peoples have their own unique gods to help them in their lives. It does no justice to tradition if one preaches the blending of practices and faiths.

    The gods do not develop multiple personalities; they adapt themselves to the folk.
    If our modern folk wants to adapt our gods into universalist beings, I find that sad. I will never worship a Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, nor German god, but will stick to the Norse tradition as practiced by the Swedes--because to do otherwise would be to insult my religion and the others mentioned.
    All religions offer exoteric and esoteric aspects. All religions offer a lot of mythology for one to explore. One does not choose to follow a folkish tradition because they cannot find religion elsewhere--you follow the path of your ancestors because you desire to be connected to your heritage. Celts shoud follow their Celtic religion, descendents of the Goths should follow their Gothic religion, Swedes should follow their Swedish religion--and Finns should follow their Finnish religion.

    Unless, of course, you don't mind adhering to a religion that speaks constantly of the importance of heritage and the faith of our ancestors while knowing that none of your ancestors believed what you do.
    Also, from a thread here (Schwarze Sonnen and a New Thulean Mythos):
    I also think that the "Thulean" or Hyperborean faith has changed over the years for a reason as various folks have emerged, died, and evolved. All religions descended from the primordial tradition have a transcendental unity: that is, the esoteric aspect of these faiths leads toward the same thing. The difference between traditions serves to connect an individual with their folk and give them a "path" that they find easy to follow as it originated from their folk. This is the reason that I do not follow Vedantic Hinduism--it does not connect me to my folk nor communicate to me as do the Norse Traditions.
    What are others' opinions on this issue? Are all of the traditions of Northern Europe the same? Are the differences merely (as one person said on odinist.com) due to the fact that the various tribes and peoples recalled the gods differently? Or are these differences what give our traditions their unique character and something to be cherished?
    Out of life's school of war...

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    I think the Gods are very similar in all of the pantheons of Northern Europe and descend from an ancient common source. But to mix them or try to claim they are interchangeable is unacceptable. They are mostly similar only a general level because once you start getting into folklore, the years of seperation (from the indo europeans) becomea much clearer. I really don't see a point in following a culture your ancestors most likely never encountered. It makes it far less spiritual.

  3. #3
    Stig NHF
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    Well, as ForMyFatherland says, they are of course similar and derived from the same source. But that doesn't mean we should mix them all together like some new-age hippiemongo. They represent the race of their followers, and should be kept separated. In addition if we were to "allow" this, (not that this is going to happen because it is so dumb and meaningless) then we would soon see Brazilians and whatnot dancing around on their silly "evil" blackmetalstage "worshipping" Odin and whatnot.

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    Senior Member Gustavus Magnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcs
    A question that has come up often at odinist.com is whether or not a Celt can practice Germanic heathenry, whether a German can practice Norse heathenry
    Germans can practice Norse heathenry, in fact many of them did.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcs
    and most recently whether a Finn can practice Norse heathenry.
    I see why some would consider that a loaded question, but why would they? Don't they have heathen gods of their own?

  5. #5
    Stig NHF
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    All germans "practiced" heathenry. And yes, the Finns have gods of their own. Just like every other Indo-European people they have their own ethnic gods and culture, to try to be a part of a foreign culture is nothing but dumb and meaningless.

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    What type of beliefs should one follow if descended from more than one European culture? I am partly Irish and partly Polish. Do I choose which type of heathenism I feel most comfortable with?

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    Stig NHF
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    I guess you "choose" the part of your heritage which you feel is the strongest.

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    Senior Member jcs's Avatar
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    I guess you "choose" the part of your heritage which you feel is the strongest.
    I agree. Mixing the two aspects of your ancestry would, IMO, do disservice to both. You should choose which tradition appeals most to you and practice that, but do not neglect the other aspect of your heritage--study (but, as I said, do not mix-and-match) those as well.
    Out of life's school of war...

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