Giving Up the Gods?

(warning: I am writing this with a blistering, nauseating migraine. My ‘nice’ filter is officially off).

Someone on twitter just suggested that I ‘explore other gods’ after reading the piece I wrote recently about Sweden’s proposed ban on the runes. Um…I’m not even going to pretend to be polite here. What the fuck kind of suggestion is that? If that’s what you do when your traditions are attacked, then maybe you don’t deserve to have them.

There is no reason to ever abandon our Gods, and the bullshit put forward by other misguided human trash is surely the least reason ever for which to do so. These are commitments, relationships built up over the better part of decades, cultivated, nourished, celebrated. As the commitments to the Gods reflects our commitments to our traditions so the opposite is true as well. We don’t give that up because suddenly it’s inconvenient. Or if we do, that’s pretty much the working definition of a niðling.

Every day I deal with people who are afraid to be outed as polytheists. I deal with timid people, who wonder if this is ok or that is ok, or would it be ok to do this but oh, let’s not rock the boat. Wake up. Time to develop a bit of virtue and a bit of spine. Stand up for your Gods. Stand up, speak out. Wear Their symbols proudly. Stop hiding what is THE most important part of your personhood and identity: your connection with the sacred. Quit being such fucking cowards.

Every time we soften our language, saying “God” when really we mean “Gods” to make monotheists comfortable or to conceal what we are, we contribute further to the erasure of our traditions. Every time we purposely conceal our alliances, we are committing a dishonest act. Every time we excuse the forced attrition of our sacred symbols, our practices, our sacred sites – hell, any sacred site – we are contributing to the destruction of our traditions. Which side do you want to be on? The one that venerates and nourishes the Gods and those gifts They give us or the one that would shit on all of that in the name of modernity and convenience simply because some people are spreading lies and rumors about them.

Grow the fuck up and if you fall into that latter category kindly take yourself off and away from my online world.

This is the time to hold even more closely to our Gods and traditions, to become fierce devotees and protectors of that which is holy. It’s not the time to run like a pack of whipped dogs.

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

Posted on May 31, 2019, in community, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Loyalty is dead with this generation. If someone unjustly attacks your spouse, is your response to “explore other lovers?” No, because that’s insane. You stand by them. For fucks sake.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Very well said, Galina. Now is the time for all of us to stand up for our Gods and for our traditions.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I read in an article for D&D, that a warrior who denied his god, who was pictured on his shield, to get out of a fight with a monster. When he passed by, and looked at his shield to celebrate getting through, he found the portrait of his god that was there, was gone. That always stuck with me, if you expect to receive blessings from the Gods, you can’t deny them at any point, no matter how trivial. I am sometimes guilty of saying “God” instead of Gods or Goddesses. That’s my shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Placating Monotheists and Anti-theists is a fool’s errand. You might as well try to placate cancer. A responsible and pious person shouldn’t roam about looking to press other people’s theological buttons like a cliche angry teen who just discovered Satanism, but we shouldn’t give an inch to our detractors either. Our ancestors can tell us all about the results of giving ground to Monotheists; it generally ends in disaster for our side. Monotheism is HIV of the soul, and even the kindest, most open minded Monotheist is eager to infect others with their disease. The best vaccine against this kind of infection is regular, consistent piety. And you can’t get that if you’re cowering in terror of being outed as a Polytheist.

    Also, the only reasons to “explore other Gods” is if someone is still figuring out where they belong spiritually, or being called to do so by the Holy Powers. There are a few legitimate reasons to change traditions. Inconvenience isn’t one of them.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. No one who says such a thing as this person did could possibly have any significant connection or commitment to any gods…. if they did, they’d realize their suggestion of ‘explore others!’ Is similar to saying ‘why not cut out your lungs and explore other breathing options?’

    It just… does not work that way. You’re still more polite here than I might have been in the heat of the moment.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Yeah, I don’t blame you for your response. Really? You’re going to give up your relationship with your gods simply because some trash is hijacking your symbols, and maybe even other parts of your faith for their own twisted purposes? And you are going to let them? You don’t just hand your enemies anything. And you should never, ever give up your gods just because so many people have so much misunderstanding about them and your faith due to the said trash hijacking said parts of your faith for their own twisted purposes! That kind of weak and cowardly action makes someone just as much as trash as the ones hijacking and abusing parts of your faith…Just in different ways.

    I myself am no longer Heathen, but I didn’t give up my relationship with the Norse gods for such a weak and cowardly reason like that. I had very specific restrictions placed upon me by my primary deity, Brighid, that I’ve been in a relationship for the longest of times. At least for the time period, she only wants me to focus on strengthening and furthering the relationship I have with her and the faith I’ve been practicing the longest, which is Irish Polytheism. Who knows what the future may bring. Hopefully she’ll loosen some of those restrictions, but that’s for her to decide.

    I don’t blame Heathens for being up in arms against people calling for the ban of their sacred symbols, especially their runes. The runes are amazing. And while I never got a chance to explore it as much I do with Ogham, I feel for Norse Polytheists who are dealing with this kind of dirty tactics. I would feel the exact same way if people suddenly started targeting Ogham. I would feel the same exact way if people suddenly started attacking the sacred symbols of my faith and of my ancestors who came before me.

    Never give up what is precious to you and yours. Someone has to fight for what is right. Everyone who truely believes strongly in their gods must strive to protect their practices in whatever shape or form they come in.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. AGREED!!! I was thinking this morning that no matter how much these twits try to control things, they are ever only seeing the outward image, and they cannot know the energetic connections of a Rune like Othila, for instance that links us not only to our distant ancestors, but the land we are working with in this lifetime. These are symbols that have at least 1800 years of congruency and they are not going away just because some Nazi trash misuse them.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. ganglerisgrove

    wonderful comments, folks. Right on all counts,I think. really good to hear from you all. you give me hope.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Reblogged this on Thesseli.


  10. I would never, ever give up my gods. I’m willing to remain open to relationships with new gods, if I feel from them that they want to approach such a thing, because I once swore an oath, long ago, that I was open to connection from any of my ancestors’ gods that indicated they wanted such devotion. But not at the price of giving up my relationships with the gods I already revere, and thankfully, none has ever asked it of me.


  11. This is a big problem with modern thinking. How does one “explore other gods”? They act like they are choosing from a menu, or talking about trying some novelty.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well said. The push from those who do not understand our ways should only strengthen our resolve. Besides how do you give up a part of yourself? I can’t and won’t.


  13. I swore myself to Herne and Rhiannon back in ’91. I didn’t know anything at the time, but I felt them to be “comfortable” to my soul. I have been approached by other deities, Loki, Sygin, Bast, Finn McCool, Lugh, Fuji, Inari, Kannon, Thor, The Morrigan, Sif, The Dagda, and many others. I have learned from each, swore myself to some, but Herne and Rhiannon are still the ones I come “home” to. Spending time with the other Gods is just like taking temporary duty someplace, auditing a course in college, studying with another master in a craft. I have never had any reason to feel abandoned by Herne and Rhiannon, I have never been forsworn with them, and they have told me to my face that they are alright with me associating with and learning from other Gods. So be it. This “leave your gods for others” is more of a *desert religion* mindset.


  14. I refuse to believe the person who suggested that with any serious was a Polytheist. What is there even to say? Anyone who has any kind of integrity would not even think to say that. Plain and simple


  15. The Gods aren’t real beings to folks that suggest that, pure and simple


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