And the Stupidity Begins…

Following on the heels of his disgusting article equating Loki with Trump, would be Heathen “scholar” Karl Siegfried (PhD in double bass) has written this article for the wild hunt. A bigger load of horse shit I could not have imagined, even from them. According to Siegfried, we should abandon our traditions of ancestor veneration, beliefs about the afterlife, and our sacred symbols. We should gut our traditions because vile groups have begun to appropriate our symbols. We should do this, rather than standing up and fighting such disgusting appropriation.  Way to go, Karl.

Well this is what happens when we bow our heads to popular culture. Instead of protesting the misuse of our Gods and Their symbols, and the erasure of our traditions early on, our communities bitch and whine and moan because they like their popular culture (probably more than their traditions) and can’t draw the line from point A to B to C when it comes to potential problems such things may cause. So here we are, where the Gods have largely been stripped away from Their symbols in mainstream consciousness rendering those symbols easy pickings for white supremacists. Shame on them, but shame on us too. We should have been up in arms well before this.

Karl goes on about positive deeds that our communities desperately need in the wake of the Christchurch attack. The only positive deeds that our traditions need is for people to defend them, in their full integrity, for people to refuse to water them down, refuse to tear out their heart, and most of all refuse to sacrifice them on the dubious altar of political correctness.

We do not, as Siegfried suggests, need to bow down to the SPLC, which demonizes Heathenry folkish and otherwise across the board and is far from objective. Even liberals have serious problems with how they report on these issues (and Folkish Heathenry, Karl, really does not equal racist Heathenry automatically. You should educate yourself). They’re hardly a respectable source for unbiased information.

Most of all, we certainly shouldn’t abandon ancestor practices. This is, perhaps the most disgusting suggestion Karl has made, one that I’ve also seen Troth groups flirt with. Honoring the dead is essential to any viable polytheism. It may include those not related to us by blood, but it absolutely does include blood ancestors. We are each honoring our own relations, and as a community we come together in our rituals to honor our community’s ancestors. Yes, Karl, that means recognizing borders and nationalities, and ethnicities. It need not mean excluding any particular ethnicity. It means honoring the ancestors of those present, spiritual ancestors yes, but most of all our blood ancestors because they are the reason we are here. Must I really discuss something so simple, so foundational, so remedial? You might as well suggest we stop acknowledging that the sky is blue.

Nor do I think we should be obsessed with diversity. What makes a Heathen kindred solid is not the diversity of its folk but their commitment. We should be raising up a generation of Heathens committed to their Gods and ancestors, regardless of what their racial make-up is. I don’t want someone black or Latina/o, or LGBTQ coming into our traditions just to make them colorful. I want people coming in who love the Gods and want to grow these traditions into the next generation and if they happen to be black or latino/a, or LGBTQ, etc. then that’s fine. Seeking people out for their color or orientation, Karl, is no better than denying someone entry because of those things. These traditions are, at their core, Northern European traditions. It should not be surprising that the majority of practitioners are also of that ancestry. Honor those ancestors. Shame on you for trying to erase them and dear, dear Karl, bless your heart, stop trying to insert your own pseudo-progressive politics into Heathenry under the cover of helping. Your attack on the second amendment in this country is proof enough of where your true loyalties lie, especially since historically that has been used to oppress minority communities.

Neither should we be silencing Heathens at panels and workshops because they are white. Really, Karl? Really? Spitting on your traditions and ancestors that much? Why instead, don’t we have the best and most experienced presenters regardless of color? Hmm? Meritocracy is a wonderful thing, one well in line with Heathen values, after all.

Nor do I think we should oppose “rants” about Abrahamic religions. Monotheism is a huge part of the problem and if anyone thinks that we should forget what was done to our ancestors and our traditions, should pretend that these things did not occur, could not again occur, do not occur in large parts of the world today,  and do not continue to affect us, and that we can all be friends, is deluded. They also don’t understand wyrd and ancestor obligation in the least.  We should never forget. At least, Karl, we’re not asking for reparations. Nor are those of us who love our Gods and traditions willing to turn a blind eye to the damage monotheism has done to them. This is where Heathenry’s traditional warrior ethic is most needed: to combat bullshit like this, garbage that will lead our traditions into a morass of identitarian chaos and groundless pabulum.

What we should be doing is speaking up every time we see our sacred symbols misused. Challenge that loudly and clearly and educate where you can.

We need more emphasis on our warrior ethos, developing men and women of honor, integrity, courage, and a willingness to act for the good of their Traditions. Let us raise Heathens unafraid to speak out.

We should not (as I recently saw in a pathetic…i mean a patheos article) abandon othala and other runes because it might hurt people’s feelings. These are ours. They belong to our Gods and our Traditions. Hate groups’ use of them is appropriation and must be resisted.  Have a little spine, people.

People like Karl and the author of that patheos post are the reasons we need to start thinking of our traditions first, because when they think of them, they don’t think of the glory of the Gods, they don’t think of the power of our ancestors, they don’t think of our pious obligations to these Powers, no. They think only of how to strip mine all the good out of them and savage them for their own pseudo-progresive purpose. It’s every bit as disgusting as a Neo-Nazi using othala on their flag.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on March 23, 2019, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. A powerful post. This division among American Heathens is only natural because of recent Nazi (and colonial) history. The separation from Germanic homelands in Europe is likewise a concern: As long as the broad term “white” rather than proven “Germanic ancestry” will qualify people to become Heathens, there will be a problem. The irony is that most “white” Americans are actually of Celtic origins (including continental Celts). Most migrations came from the more Western, Central and Northern parts of the British Isles (because those areas were poorer). Even the Germans who came mostly from the South and West of Germany have partly Celtic origins. American “whites” (at least the pagans among them) need to break themselves up somehow into distinct Europeanized groups before others break them up in the wrong (political) manner.

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    • Having to prove Germanic ancestry would also be a problem. They would be screaming about Nazis even more loudly over that.

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      • On the contrary, I think not. Proving Germanic ancestry (let’s suppose a minimum of 50%) would defeat the argument of white supremacy immediately, because now all other non-German “whites” are not qualified. I’m willing to bet on that.

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  2. My reading of the article is that Heathenry is a big tent religion and a religion with a problem. Unfortunately, Heathenry will be associated with White Supremacy since Stephen MacFallon started the first Heathen groups in the U.S. The problem will continue with the people coming and staying in Heathenry are from opposite ends of political thoughts. I am finding that people are leaving Heathen Polytheism and going into the Religio Romana.

    Reading the FB comments, the people have equated people who are Heathens and Conservatives to be White Supremacists. They are calling them Nazis and Fascists. I believe that articles like what is featured on the Wild Hunt are more virtual virtue signaling than actual work. I would like to see people stop conflating conservatism with white supremacy. I think that what is happening is that a group of people are hijacking Heathenry to be some sort of social justice group.

    This is happening in real life. I know a Seidrworker who is being drummed out of various groups because they will not disown conservative friends. They are beside themselves in wondering why. I believe that Heathenry is in for a bigger split, and that the social justice group will eventually be a single note group.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Reblogged this on Nornir's Corner and commented:
    Well said! The Runes have been wrongly appropriated by hate groups, and disloyalty to the Traditions under the guise of “mainstreaming” anything – stand up as Tyr stood up to chain the Wolf to support the Gods who support us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I honor my ancestors. I honor ALL my ancestors. I have mostly White ancestors, but I also have Native American ancestors and I honor them too. Ancestor veneration is about family, not race. My ancestors are not better than yours, but they are my family, and I will show them proper respect. And any “Heathen” who thinks the Runes are racist symbols is not only wrong, they’re stupid. Racists can try to pollute Them all they want, but the Holy Powers are beyond their ability to corrupt.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. When did anyone ever ask the Muslims to abandon their religion (in whole or part) over one of their massacres of infidels or each other? I can’t remember any such demand made of them. Maybe they can start by abandoning the belief(from the Quran and Sunnah) that those who die fighting for Islam get a top seat in Jannah. Muslims so far have gotten away with many attacks and other things like sex trafficking with no mass condemnation from the media or establishment. No one gets banned from social media for posting Quran quotes or Arabic. We are repeatedly told it “has nothing to do with Islam” when they do something. It is so often now that people are numb to it. I have never had much regard for Karl Siegfried, now I am in the negatives as far as my opinion of him. This kind of article is sometimes called virtue signaling nowadays. I can’t determine what virtue is actually being displayed here.

    I am not advocating that Muslims give up their beliefs. It would be pointless, and would only make them as spineless as most Europeans nowadays are. There is a core problem here. The problem is that heathenism is just a term for folk religion from parts of Europe. People like Karl don’t like that because they hate Europeans, particularly the German and Nordic ones. They want to detach the set of beliefs, traditions, myths, and worldview from its historical people. I asked one of these heathens similar to Karl if they would do the same to something like Shinto. Deny its Japanese roots and worldview, and detach it from its history and people. They called me a racist for even suggesting that. It has nothing to do with “inclusiveness”, as I have seen it. It has everything to do with the problem that heathenry originates with the hated “white man”.

    It might be an unpopular opinion, but I think that any real heathen revival(or folk religion revival in general) will be impossible without ditching or reevaluating the host of values that are taken as a given in modern Western society. So many treat modern assumptions as if they were unassailable.

    Liked by 5 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      K., i have often said that there comes a time when devout polytheists will realize that the values of modernity are not compatible with devout polytheism. One has to go and for anyone who cares about their Gods and traditions, it’s modern values that get shown the door. At some point, we have to make hard choices. IN Siegfried’s piece of shit article, some of the comments talk about forcing Heathenry to adhere to modern values, etc. etc. never considering that modern “values” such as they are, are the problem. we should never butcher our traditions to fit in with them. not ever.

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      • I don’t understand why Karl Siegfried and those like him even want to be involved in heathenry. If they hate us so much, why bother? If they have contempt for the runes or Valhalla, why bother? If they want to redefine what an ancestor is, why bother? They would be better off in a liberal Protestant denomination, or in secular humanism, or maybe they can convert to Islam. Of course, Muhammad and his followers were violent slavers and patriarchal religious supremacists, but that does not matter because they were not European.

        Those of the leftist or social justice political persuasion are obsessed with white supremacy. I have confronted enough of them on this subject using various approaches to find an interesting trend. They are fixated on white supremacy because they fear it is true but don’t want it to be. They actually have attitudes that are similar to any stereotypical white supremacist conjured up by their minds.

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  6. “There comes a time when devout polytheists will realize that the values of modernity are not compatible with devout polytheism.” Galina trust me I have realized this through life experience -not theory- and it is exactly as you said. It is a hard lesson, though. It has hit me hard but it made me understand that I won´t give up my Gods and my Godesses, no matter what. They sustain me. I love Them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Melas, the Gods will call who that will call. To insist They will only call someone who meets a human defined blood percentage is absolute hubris. Otherwise, I am glad to see so many others have reacted to that drivel on the Wild Hunt as they have. At some point enough is enough, while Karl might well honor the same Gods as some of us…in his own twisted way…he does not speak for us and what he says is an utter condemnation of our traditions which the Gods helped build up so we could be in right relationship with Them.

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    • I believe the Gods don’t call us but rather the ancestors. The ancestors act as media between us and the Gods they worshipped. Being called by a God is a monotheistic concept that doesn’t have a precedent in ancient tradition. Socrates was visited by a personal daimon, not by a major God like Zeus or Athena. Since you mention hubris, for me it is expressed when people think a God would bend to call on them in particular or worse, when they call themselves sons or daughters of Gods. I use the verb “bend” because it’s the equivalent of a God asking for a favor and risking rejection. I would never do that if I were a God. When ancestors do it, it becomes more personal. Now this may be an unpopular opinion but I advance it with fairness and consistency, and moreover I can back it with reason. In any case, I would say here as I would say with the Wild Hunt, there should be room for discussion/engagement rather than hostility within an environment that is naturally and inevitably pluralistic. So, if we must disagree, we can do so with mutual respect.

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      • Perhaps throwing hubris around was over hasty, though I deeply doubt that we will agree I appreciate a commitment to respectful disagreement. Let us assume for the sake of argument that you are correct in your idea that the ancestors act as media between us and the Gods. Who is to say which ancestors then will be connecting us to their Gods? Presumably as polytheists it would be unlikely to be any recent ancestors, and the farther back in our genetic history you reach the larger variance in peoples over time you are likely to get. As such, while your percentages idea holds a certain amount of water over the short term, it would seem to at least fray badly when you look across the span of any individual’s blood ancestry as a whole.

        Then there is the issue of knowing who those genetic ancestors even are, which generally requires detailed genealogical records that simply aren’t available to everyone. Genealogical records can also be very misleading, for instance on my mother’s side I am primarily of Portuguese stock. However, as all the ancestors we have records for from Portugal are from the Azores, where they truly come from is entirely unknown for the most part given those islands were (perhaps still are) a melting pot of all kinds of seafaring people.

        Modern genetic testing is horribly incompetent when it comes to discerning between different ethnicities, let alone nationalities. That leaves us with trying to figure out who these ancestors are through direct contact, and I would argue that many of them (assuming your argument where the Gods never directly communicate with us but go through the ancestors) are prone to wearing the mask of gods in order to better facilitate worship.

        All of that doesn’t even touch on how, at least in my tradition, the Gods are regularly seen as direct ancestors of various family lines and it is commonly accepted that They have and may continue to interbreed with humanity for their own purposes.

        Now if I have misunderstood your argument, which is entirely possible, I welcome clarification. May the Gods and indeed your ancestors keep you well.

        Liked by 2 people

      • You raise some valid points about ancestry. If we look at ancestors reductively as individuals, it becomes problematic, as you describe. A more convenient way would be a collective understanding, and one that is bound to the land. In the Old World, ancestries have for the most part remained homogeneous in a regional sense until very recently. There is certainly diversity (as a DNA test would show) from past events but the homogeneity is dominant. This being the case, the “ancestors” collectively represent this dominant genetic/ethnic/native contribution that is tied to the land, even if not all of them were born to it in the same way. No positive genealogy is needed because it would be an impossible, not to mention unnecessary, task to go back 2000 years. Our main genetic contribution comes as far as our great grandparents, and we attempt to follow their ethnic/cultural homogeneity in order to preserve and perpetuate it on behalf of their great grandparents and so on until you reach the ancient tradition with its cultural & religious practices. I agree with you that the Gods did mix with the peoples of the lands they ruled over, and this (I believe) contributes to my argument about the importance of ancestry and kinship in deciding a native tradition and its boundaries in relations to others. Pantheons are tribal associations of related Gods and they deal (in 95% of cases at least) with those they rule over (including some neighbors) and with whom they sometimes mate. Zeus doesn’t rule over America because that’s the province of the native American Gods and peoples. Nor does he rule over Portugal, the area of Celt-Iberian Gods and peoples. Note that I say Gods and peoples because those two are related. Without people, there would be no pantheons; there would be Gods without people but we wouldn’t know them because it is only through ancestral traditions that we can connect culturally and religiously to divinity. Ancestors and their lands (this is called indigenism and has nothing to do with “blood and soil”) are of paramount importance to tradition and ritual and membership. Think of it as collective cultural rights as opposed to property rights. Perhaps one day DNA tests will become more accurate and allow us to construct a more accurate picture, but in the meantime we can use fairness and logic as a guide. I regard today’s globalized society as a danger to polytheism in an indigenous and cultural sense. Even polytheistic societies have had problems with globalization, as with the Roman Empire. By establishing communities with boundaries (as opposed to borders- a materialistic/political term), we allow people to grow up with a healthy identity and distinguish themselves (pun intended). One may also subscribe to multiple pantheons if of mixed ancestry, although (as a person of mixed ancestry myself) there is merit & convenience in choosing a dominant side.

        P.S. When I said the ancestors are media, I did not mean that the Gods speak through them. Rather, the ancestors are a bridge to our connection with particular Gods. It is we who must reach the Gods first and this is most genuinely done by looking into who we are, who we came from and where we originated.

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      • And I thank you for the good wishes. May you be strong through your ancestors and through your Gods, and so for all peoples.

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  8. ganglerisgrove

    i don’t agree that the ancestors mediate contact with the Gods. They CAN and often do, but not always. The Gods have the agency to do what They do directly, and I agree: They call whom They call when They wish. But yes: may the Gods and ancestors keep you and indeed all of us, safe and well.

    Liked by 4 people

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