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Thread: Why Are You a Heathen?

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    I'm sympathetic to the old religion, as it's known to us, but I don't follow it. My own ancestry is Anglo and I've seen more than a few heathens chomping at the bit about how the Christians did this and that to the old heathens, such as forcing them to convert to an "alien" religion, pillaging sacred sites (Thor's Oak), calling the old gods "devils," and so forth.

    Yet, prior to Alfred of Wessex there was no England and hence no English people, and Alfred was a very devoted Christian. There were plenty of kings and kinglets but it was Alfred who fought the Danelaw and became the first King of the Anglo-Saxons. It isn't even as if Alfred was against dealing with heathens- he dealt with heathen Danes fairly often enough, often insisting that they swear their oath on an oath-ring (dedicated to Thor, I believe).

    I see it as heathenism simply being grown out of, just as Christianity itself has been grown out of. My opinions of the divine are rather the opinions of a deist or soft agnostic; I enjoy the old tales like Beowulf, Hrolf Kraki's Saga, but I also enjoy the literature that emerged from Christian England on down to the King James, especially the parts of it that deal with the "Lord of Hosts."

    These parts of the Bible, where Yahweh is presented as a war-god, probably appealed to the warrior sensibilities of more than a few heathens. I'm sure that they came to see him in much the same manner as, say, Tyr: a celestial war-chief or somesuch. As the influence of the old religion waned the warriors turned to a new heavenly patron.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_literature

    Not every heathen-turned-Christian did so because he or she was forced to. A variety of reasons are possible: a change of heart and the heathen legitimately felt that the new religion was better than the old; marriage-related reasons, one's spouse was a Christian; false conversion for the obvious benefits of being affiliated with the Church (and to avoid persecution; you might liken it to the Founding Fathers, many of whom were only peripherally Christian while privately holding to some form of skepticism or even infidel belief). Etc.

    The transition period between the old religion and Christianity must've been a very interesting time period indeed. A good book on this is Branston's The Lost Gods of England.

  2. #42
    Senior Member TheStormer's Avatar
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    I would add another reason, but I feel this quote sums it up perfectly.

    From the "88 Precepts":

    "Religion in its most beneficial form is the symbology of a People and their culture. A multi-racial religion destroys the senses of uniqueness, exclusivity and value necessary to the survival of a race."
    "So long as you are a slave to the opinions of the many you have not yet approached freedom or tasted its nectar."
    -Emperor Julian the Apostate

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    Senior Member Kauz R. Waldher's Avatar
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    I am Germanic and I was born a Heathen. I didn't always know what it was ... I thought it was Satanism. I have amazing stories pertaining to some tattoos that I have. I'll share sometime ... I got Heathen tattoos before I even knew what it was to be Heathen. Very, very odd. I was answering my ancestors in my youth, not even being aware of it at all.
    "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 Wulfsige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus View Post

    Yet, prior to Alfred of Wessex there was no England and hence no English people, and Alfred was a very devoted Christian. There were plenty of kings and kinglets but it was Alfred who fought the Danelaw and became the first King of the Anglo-Saxons.
    King Alfred may have united England to a certain degree but not as we know it today hence the danelaw, but there were many anglo-saxon kings before him that were heathens. Offa, Egbert, Ethelwulf,Ethelbald, Ethelbert,Ethelred and many before that, they had been here since the 5th century.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfsige View Post
    King Alfred may have united England to a certain degree but not as we know it today hence the danelaw, but there were many anglo-saxon kings before him that were heathens. Offa, Egbert, Ethelwulf,Ethelbald, Ethelbert,Ethelred and many before that, they had been here since the 5th century.
    I regard these as kinglets, sort of like how you might call the feudal lords of pre-imperial China by the same term. I regard Alfred very highly as a matter-of-fact. Like Ying Zheng (who united the petty fuedal kingdoms of China; China comes from the name of his own kingdom of Qin, pronounced "chin"), there would be no England without Alfred (who was the first King of the Anglo-Saxons).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primus
    Yet, prior to Alfred of Wessex there was no England and hence no English people, and Alfred was a very devoted Christian. There were plenty of kings and kinglets but it was Alfred who fought the Danelaw and became the first King of the Anglo-Saxons. It isn't even as if Alfred was against dealing with heathens- he dealt with heathen Danes fairly often enough, often insisting that they swear their oath on an oath-ring (dedicated to Thor, I believe).

    I see it as heathenism simply being grown out of, just as Christianity itself has been grown out of. My opinions of the divine are rather the opinions of a deist or soft agnostic; I enjoy the old tales like Beowulf, Hrolf Kraki's Saga, but I also enjoy the literature that emerged from Christian England on down to the King James, especially the parts of it that deal with the "Lord of Hosts."

    These parts of the Bible, where Yahweh is presented as a war-god, probably appealed to the warrior sensibilities of more than a few heathens. I'm sure that they came to see him in much the same manner as, say, Tyr: a celestial war-chief or somesuch. As the influence of the old religion waned the warriors turned to a new heavenly patron.
    The new English literature that you find so interesting should be looked at with source criticism, as many of that Literature was written by Christians (which were mostly of the leading caste which in turn, specially in Britain, was of Roman stock) with the intent to reconcile "English" myths and legends with the bible, two things fundamantally incompatible and the result is a fantasy product that intended to govern the newly created "English" people.

    But that aside, as you said, we grew out of Christianity, for the same reason why it became the ruling religion. The leading caste used it (yes, a tool, not more) to "unite" Europe. In 1500 years, Christianity could not deliver that promise, not least because Christianity has more opposing sects under its umbrella than there are heathen religions worldwide, and every few years another sect pops up that claims to have found "the truth" and declares all other heretics, which in turn used in the past to lead to another war over religious matters, neighboring city against neighboring city.

    And to return to the literature critique above, unlike its claims, Christianity could not develop any form of tradition, it could only hijack already existing traditions. Christianity in Russia, China, India, Africa whatever is fundamentally different from European Christianity, which is because it always had to adopt the local traditions. Those few aspects of "genuine christian tradition" are Semitic, and that despite the fact that Jesus allegedly broke with the Semitic traditions and brought something new, which obviously isnt the case either. But just some details of how much Christianity depends and hijacked to built upon the original religious traditions of Europe to get a foot on the ground in the first place. The word god is Germanic, and it can be argued that it comes from (ags) Geát, (ahd) Gôz, which is the first ancestor known in our myths, much older than Wodan/Odhinn, who gave himself in turn birth to the founding fathers of the regional people (Ingvaeonics (Ingvi), Istvaeonics (Tuisco/Tuisto) etc) from which many more tribes in the genealogy down derive. Without that already existing genealogy, there would have been no base for the founding of England.

    Before England became England, btw, the people of England were called Gevis/Gewisse, which derives from another ancestor in the line between Odin and Geát, so in fact, there were an "English" people already. Of course, the Christian leaders had to make claims about how great they united and created this and that, because they were not rarely Roman hijackers of the Throne, and as such, brought dreams of empire with them that went fundamentally opposed to what the people knew and wanted. So there needed to be a catchy myth attached to it in order to make the people accept and follow that dream. This, btw, is also how the Arthus myth came to be. The historical figure behind the mythological Arthur is a Roman commander who came when Rome already ceased to exist (somewhen 5th century) and who dreamed of resurrecting the crumbling dream of empire. Interestingly, the Merlin bit was added much later (7th or 8th century), with Merlin being an echo of the Druidic, by that time allegedly already "rotted out", Pagan belief, Merlin is a title of the high-seer who communicated with the Gods of the Germanic pantheon in service of the Druids, not with Jesus or YHWE.

    Unlike the Druids who had adopted Arianism by themselves on their travels to the east and incorporated the New Testament teachings (entirely stripped off their Semitic roots btw and without the baggage of the OT) into the Druidic tradition, with "Jesus" being a mere addition to the pantheon (forgot the name, but they even stripped the latin-root word Jesus of its origin and gave him a Gallic name), the Romans (rather the Vatikan already who had more or less entirely grabbed all power from the Roman emperors by that time) resisted in that regard all attempts to assimilate those roots. And so people still today pray to "god" (Geát), a word that only became late in the mythological genealogies the common word for "god" - the divine - in general, and YHWE still being YHWE, the (only one of many!) "god" of the Hebrew tribe.

    This maintained alienness and the resistence to assimilate the teachings into a Germanic framework of myths and legends (which btw are what gives ethnic identity; the lack of that knowledge is one of the fundamental problems of our times btw) surely is one reason why Christianity only "ruled" when it was enforced (as you mentioned) and as soon as this force vanished, Christianity crumbled and became what it always was, a sect for a handful people who for some reason think a foreign god could bring them salvation (when the teachings of that god are very clear about that all others, who are not of 'his' tribe, arent even humans and must be eradicated from the face of the earth in order that 'his' people can rule supreme). And there's another problem in the "West", it is not only christian, it is Judeo-christian. When you break it down you have Jewish hijackers (or at least their ideas, although lots of physically real Jews can be found too in Europe's history) and Roman (christian) hijackers who claim to have the right to define Germanic culture and philosophy, and all you ever got was mental masturbation that may have some literary value, but never became a governing factor for the people. In addition, we should be glad about the fact that our culture never was infected so deeply with Roman culture as is always claimed. The Roman empire made barbarism and indeed sadism part of their public social life, they institutionalised it into public rituals; just imagine what a Germanic, thorough spirit would have made of it (we'd call Japanese POW treatment a fluffy joke). However.

    And in regards to Nietzsche, and I think he is perfectly right with that assessment, he called Christianity (and Buddhism as well) "religions for dying civilisations". The problem with this is that Germanics never were allowed to become living and vibrant civilisations. We have a conglomerate of all sorts of philosophical ideas, many of them foreign to us, that governed us through the proxy of our leaders and made us "great" already (I'd dispute that in many many details, we're far from great, what we were is only a shade of what we could have been), we've been thrown from the state of an immature civilisation right into the state of a dying civilisation, including all the degeneracy prevalent today and recent centuries already. But in fact, I dont think our people and our culture is yet ready to die. We need to break with the road we're on and start all over. And in this start all over Christianity cannot have a place. It may be tolerated (in limits, for those who cling to it), but it certainly can have no governing place.

    Hrmpf, that was longer than intended
    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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    1. Because its the logic of my ancestors and race.
    2. Because it is anchored in the nature that I am part of
    3. Because it is good morals and it is in my blood.
    4. Because I don't want to end up like poor Biorn:

    The Saga Of Biorn

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    I embraced Heathenry out of historical interest and genealogy, a thriving fantasy life (but with a search for something more real), and an understanding on its contribution to Christianity via the philosophers and rituals (contrary to libels and slanders, Christianity's sacerdotalism is not a rehash of Leviticus, but an adaptation of pagan Roman ecclesiastics, replete with virgin sacrifices to the Divine and quasi-polytheism afforded saints). I cherish what is in Christianity because of its Heathen roots. My knowledge of the Hellenistic world informs my biases in this regard, and so, I see Germanic Heathenry, for instance, to be the ultimate basis behind Arianism and Protestantism, the same as the pagan ancestry behind Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. There is a demographic origin to each latter day faith with the one in existence before it; neither is bad, and both are good because of continuity.

    It is ignorant to claim that Protestantism is foreign if it is the invention of Germanics, and has the character of Germanic Heathenry. Because of relative demographics, so too would the Mediterranean paganisms be foreign as Mediterranean Christianity would later become. Nevertheless, there is a general relationship one can appreciate over time and space. To believe in Christianity is to believe in the child of Heathenry, and to spite Christianity in favor of Heathenry, is to do some kind of retro-active abortion.

  9. #49
    Senior Member TheStormer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimston View Post
    I embraced Heathenry out of historical interest and genealogy, a thriving fantasy life (but with a search for something more real), and an understanding on its contribution to Christianity via the philosophers and rituals (contrary to libels and slanders, Christianity's sacerdotalism is not a rehash of Leviticus, but an adaptation of pagan Roman ecclesiastics, replete with virgin sacrifices to the Divine and quasi-polytheism afforded saints). I cherish what is in Christianity because of its Heathen roots. My knowledge of the Hellenistic world informs my biases in this regard, and so, I see Germanic Heathenry, for instance, to be the ultimate basis behind Arianism and Protestantism, the same as the pagan ancestry behind Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. There is a demographic origin to each latter day faith with the one in existence before it; neither is bad, and both are good because of continuity.
    It is ignorant to claim that Protestantism is foreign if it is the invention of Germanics, and has the character of Germanic Heathenry. Because of relative demographics, so too would the Mediterranean paganisms be foreign as Mediterranean Christianity would later become. Nevertheless, there is a general relationship one can appreciate over time and space. To believe in Christianity is to believe in the child of Heathenry, and to spite Christianity in favor of Heathenry, is to do some kind of retro-active abortion.
    I apologise for my late post.

    With that said, I actually agree. As much as I disagree with Christianity, I do have an appreciation for Protestantnism, since it does not bow down to the foreign pinheads at the Vatican. It is nearly impossible for me to understand how one can be both a Catholic and a nationalist. It seems that even the most conservative traditional Catholic cares less about multiculturalism, as long as Catholic "values" reign supreme. Of course, there is Adolf Hitler, but that is a subject for another thread.

    As for another reason why I am a pagan, it is a little hard to explain. To put it laymen's terms, I often feel the presence of a deity when I am enaging in a ritual and I love it. The atmosphere is very comforting and all the problems of the outside seem to dissapear for a brief moment. I also find that the mention of Odin in my head boosts my confidence and lessens my stress.

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    I am a heathen because that is what makes sense for me. I didn't start out that way, and it has been a tumultuous, lengthy journey to get here, but here am I.

    Probably the core reason is the simple accord that the gods make with us. We give them our faith in their existance and they give us favour in return. We acknowledge their presence and power in the world we live in, and through blot and veizla invite them to accept their just due. Through sumble we invite them to share the mead-horn in the togetherness of ritual drinking, and more than once I have felt the presence of the Shining Ones enter the gathering. I pray to them for success in my crops, fruitfulness in my bees, and they respond with favour in abundance at harvest. When I or my girlfriend go off to work on out of town field projects, we ask for victory and a safe return to our home.

    That's why I am a heathen; because it works. The gods, and goddesses, are real, every bit as real as you or I or any of the other participants in this forum. It is a good life, for me and my fellow believers, and we see no reason to change it.

    In Frith,
    Anleifr

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