Seriously?

Several people have asked me why I shared a post supporting the AFA (Helson’s post from yesterday). Well, I want to briefly address that because it isn’t a post supporting the AFA. It’s a post criticizing a double standard that’s being applied to our communities. 

We have people telling us that we have no right to restore our traditions *because* they were destroyed a thousand years ago (and we can’t claim direct descent). 

Think about that. Think really, really hard and take all the time you need. 

We have people condemning the restoration of our tribes and traditions on the basis that we are in a position to restore them. On top of that, they’re doing so for their own political — not spiritual but political–ends. 

We need a true liberation movement, one that gives the individual the liberty to honor the Gods and spirits and work within their traditional ways, not a false substitute that only enslaves further. I stand by *everyone* who is actively engaged in the restoration and preservation of their ancestral folkways and sacred traditions regardless of what I think of them personally.*

Think long and hard about where you stand on this issue because if you’re not actively supporting the restoration and preservation of tradition, then you’re on the side of those who want to dismantle them. If that’s the case, maybe you need to think about exactly what it is you’re prioritizing and why. 

 

 

 

 

  • there’s plenty of times when I do agree with Helson but check out his latest. I could not disagree more with his lumping animal sacrifice into a list of deplorables. Sacrifice is essential to our traditions, and it is good and holy. It’s a hell of a lot more humane than factory farming that is standard here in our culture. This is a trick employed by monotheists and secularists and all those employed in trying to dismantle our traditions: they want to make this most sacred of sacraments appear primitive, vile, etc. etc. because that is the foundation of our connection with the Gods. We should be very careful not to play into that and give them ammunition. So even though I may agree with some of the broad points of that particular post, I cannot support it because of the inclusion of that. This doesn’t mean I don’t support him on other issues and I think it’s really absurd that people expect because we may sometimes agree, that we will inevitably and necessarily agree on every single point. He is a colleague and i have no problem calling him out when I think he’s wrong, as he would me. We don’t all have to think exactly alike in order to work toward the same sacred goal.
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Posted on September 29, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I think what is occurring is that white people are determining who can or cannot be tribal or whatever. I haven’t heard voices from anyone else on the matter. I think that the long-standing feud in Heathenism has spilled over as certain people gain victories over others.

    Do people have ethnicity any more? Do the loudest proponents against white racialism, themselves claim any ethnicity like Italian, etc? I see Italian communities maintaining their Italianess such as having Italian Community Centers.

    Do people protest organisations like the Ancient Order of Hibernians – who are Irish and Catholic? Whose membership criteria states: TO BE A MEMBER YOU MUST BE A PRACTICING CATHOLIC AND BE OF IRISH HERITAGE BY BIRTH OR DESCENT. (Only Exception: Clergy need not be Irish.) (From their site.) Where is the outcry about the AOH and racialism?

    Why is the AFA signaled out? Does it have to do with personalities and power?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess the only opinion that you’re allowed to have, is one pre-approved by certain people. Careful, next you’ll be labeled,boxed, and condemned, too.

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  3. To be fair, I included “animal sacrifice” in that list not because I find it “deplorable” (honestly, I’m amoral and don’t find much of anything deplorable except oath breaking…and maybe furries). I put it on that list because those ‘protesting’ for glbt+ and cross-ethnic relationships find it ‘deplorable’.

    As I said in that post, I’m pretty much fine if we bring those things I listed back (well, maybe not the emotional abuse bit). But I’m not here to legislate morality, so people can do what they like…so long as they do it consistently.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I apologise in advance, because I know you’re busy, but since I haven’t been able to find a post in which you’ve called out the AFA, any other Heathen organization, or individual blogger on the matter of who should properly worship the Norse pantheon, could you please link me to a prior post stating your personal opinion on whether ancestry, gender and sexual preference are limiting factors in worshipping the Norse gods? Or, if you haven’t yet stated your position on that issue, would you please consider doing so?

    Making public your stance in this regard isn’t merely a matter of satisfying idle curiosity; not everyone who follows you is familiar with all of your beliefs, and it would help to decide those considering taking one of your classes, supporting your prayer cards, or purchasing your books. Thank you.

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    • I don’t think any of those things have one bit of import when it comes to honoring the Gods. I’m very much a tribalist, but I’m not folkish. I don’t think it matters a bit what one’s gender or orientation or ancestry might be when it comes to devotion. might certain ancestry make things easier…maybe but so what? The Gods call whom They call. Now, there may be some restrictions with gender and orientation depending on the tradition and Deity…that’s fine. (only men could become gallae for example in the ancient world; only women can be maenads). That is mystery specific not something within the entire tradition. The only thing, and I mean ONLY thing i care about is serving the Gods and restoring our traditions cleanly, sustainably, and well.

      I fully support the right of the AFA to set whatever limits it wishes for it’s own tribe, organization, group, or tradition. The same goes for Dianic Wiccans. (the kerfuffle of two years ago I believe). I do not think we have a right to take a tradition and try to twist it into something that makes us more comfortable or that seems more liberal. If i have issues with the requirements of a trad, I simply don’t join that trad. Note, I’m not a member of the AFA for instance (though more for theological reasons).

      does that clarify for you? Frankly it pisses me off that I should even have to say this. Whatever beliefs I or anyone else hold should be immaterial when it comes to outsiders damning the restoration of our traditions. THAT is the only thing that matters and having someone attempt to condemn that because those traditions are in a position to need restoration is sickening.

      Liked by 5 people

      • i’d rather stand with the AFA than with those so eager to damn them for setting boundaries (even if i dislike the boundaries they’ve set).

        Liked by 4 people

      • Thanks for your reply. Your opinion matters because you are a teacher, an author, and an elder. Knowing your requirements can help someone decide whether to study with you, or if your books would help their worship.

        I agree that the restoration of our traditions is vitally important. I personally feel that welcoming newcomers is crucial in so doing. I remain puzzled why, in the pursuit of such a crucial goal, some organizations and individuals choose to turn away people who have a sincere love and calling to worship our gods because of superficialities. Apparently they consider ancestry and same-sex attraction to be impurities, much like the ancients considered murder to be an impediment to participation in worship.

        So, ironically, it’s not just a matter of the outside culture damning the restoration of our traditions: it’s the exclusionary requirements of some groups and teachers telling people with a sincere call to worship the gods that, no they can’t, that they’re automatically disqualified from joining a group because of innate characteristics that can’t be changed. This puts the newcomer at a double disadvantage of not knowing how to worship, and not knowing who would accept and welcome them. And I think many people who were raised as Christians have the misapprehension that polytheism is tolerant of many of the behaviors considered considered inherently “sinful” by Christianity, and, once having been rebuffed by a teacher or organization, may regard what they felt to be a call to the gods as having been a mistaken, impossible notion. So much for spreading our traditions, and increasing the number of our gods’ worshippers.

        I personally don’t think that humans have the right to turn away people who want to join in the restoration of our religion – but I acknowledge the historical precedent. In ancient Greece, the Eleusinian Mysteries required those seeking initiation to understand Greek, not to have committed murder (or to have been purified of the crime), and to be able to afford travel to Eleusis, the price of a piglet for sacrifice, and the fees.
        I wonder: if the decrees of Theodosius hadn’t prohibited sacrifice to the gods and closed the temples, whether the requirement to understand Greek would have changed over the centuries. Would the Mysteries of Mithras, had they continued, still admit only men, or would the acceptance of women into world armies have changed the gender requirement?

        I suspect that sects and denominations will continue to divide polytheism, just as has been the case with Christianity. I think it’s a shame, too…but other than being welcoming myself, I acknowledge that there isn’t much I can do about the exclusionary groups. If the gods will otherwise, they’ll make it happen.

        Thanks again for your response. I’m sorry to have angered you.

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    • thetinfoilhatsociety

      I think you are likely in the wrong place, so to speak, if you are going to base your educational goals on political persuasions of perfectly competent instructors. I don’t recall any instance of Odin allowing the political, or sexual leanings of those he gained wisdom from preventing him ethically from gaining that wisdom. In fact I seem to recall he used rather (to us) UN ethical methods at times to gain what he desired.

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      • Well, there’s a possibility I must admit I hadn’t previously considered: that a student should resort to subterfuge to gain needed information. Pretty sure the teacher/organization wouldn’t be too happy to learn that had done, though.

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      • thetinfoilhatsociety

        My point was the political affiliation of the instructor should not influence whether or not the student takes the class that is ridiculous

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      • thetinfoilhatsociety

        My point was the political affiliation of the instructor should not influence whether or not the student takes the class. That is ridiculous. If you live in an echo chamber you can never grow

        Liked by 3 people

  5. “I agree that the restoration of our traditions is vitally important. I personally feel that welcoming newcomers is crucial in so doing. I remain puzzled why, in the pursuit of such a crucial goal, some organizations and individuals choose to turn away people who have a sincere love and calling to worship our gods because of superficialities. Apparently they consider ancestry and same-sex attraction to be impurities, much like the ancients considered murder to be an impediment to participation in worship.”

    well, first of all, traditions aren’t open to everyone. If a newcomer isn’t willing to bend and adapt themselves to the tradition, then they need to go elsewhere. If they expect the tradition to contort itself to accommodate them, then they need to go elsewhere. The integrity of the tradition takes precedence over the newcomers. One doesn’t go to a teacher for instance to learn to do things one’s own way; one goes in order to learn to do things the correct way. So, not everyone is suitable for every tradition. We have to make choices guided by our conscience, our Gods, our ancestors, and our spiritual needs.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I quite agree, Tinfoilhatsociety. (re. political persuasions of instructors)

    Liked by 1 person

    • To thetinfoilhatsociety: I suppose an organization’s or instructor’s policies of permitting only straight white students (which is what I’m talking about) might be considered “political persuasion”, in which case it would be the race of a non-white student that would determine whether the student would be allowed to to take the class, and the organization or instructor who would “live in an echo chamber (where they) can never grow.”

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      • thetinfoilhatsociety

        You should actually read up on the AFA not take someone’s word for it. I happen to know they have an openly lesbian member. And the AFA doesn’t offer classes other than their Gothe program.

        Since you asked about Galina’s political persuasions which you yourself deemed were important to know before a student (you) decided to take one of her classes, then it’s obviously not about the student. So don’t now try to make it about an organization denying students when that was never your contention to begin with. Please keep to the original topic which you yourself brought up.

        Critical thinking. It’s a lost skill.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thetinfoilhatsociety

        Oh, and while I’m at it I have also heard from AFA members that there is at least one transgendered member as well.

        And when it comes to a religious organization deciding who gets to participate in their religion/tradition/sect etc. then yes, if there is an organization that permits only straight white students I will support that. They have that right. It’s their religion, not mine.

        Given that I come from Jewish ancestors on my mother’s side (my great grandfather converted to Catholicism for love of my great grandmother, a scandal that’s still spoken of with horror by relatives on both sides of the religious divide) I feel a little more strongly than most about this. My ancestral people have kept their traditions intact for thousands of years by being selective and separate. If you let anybody in then the traditions get watered down and eventually meaningless.

        And on my father’s side I’m S. Irish. As in off the boat Irish. Same there. Language, culture, they’re a thing. And those people get to be the keepers of their culture, traditions, religions. Not you or anyone else who doesn’t share those things.

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  7. 1- Matt Flavel has blatantly stated that he doesn’t care about History or the Lore. Look up his interview on Red Ice Radio. He and the AFA aren’t restoring ANYTHING.

    2- Racial exclusivism isn’t native to our traditions. Never has been. (Don’t take my word for it, it’s right there in the Lore. And the archaeological record for that matter.) You want to talk about working in personal political agendas? It sounds like you should hate the AFA as much as anyone!

    If you really stand for what you say you stand for, then I think you need to take a close look at who it is your supporting. The AFA is literally the opposite of every value you just claimed to have.

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  8. I don’t think the point here is whether anyone supports or agrees with the AFAs members beliefs or the tenets of their tradition, the point is supporting their right to have them. It’s not a about routing out evil and judging it, it’s a case of live and let live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Precisely this. Nobody says you have to agree with someone in order to support their right to have a particular point of view. What gets a lot of people is a certain cadre of fanatics who are bound and determined to erase everyone with whom they disagree from even having the ability to speak their mind, gather together, or earn a livelihood. It’s the ultimate expression of “If you have an opinion I don’t agree with, I will do everything I can to destroy your life.” And it’s despicable.

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