WTF Heathenry???

I just got an email informing me that that there is a kindred not only with an atheist godhi but now an atheist volva (seeress). Really? What is she doing? Communicating with the mental sock puppets of those in her group? It’s really just quite obscene.  It’s also impious as hell. If you’re an atheist, you have no business taking a leadership position in our religious community. None. You have no business serving as a religious specialist in any religious community. You may be welcome to share in the ritual and the socializing that occurs after, but no religious group of any integrity would allow more than that and I personally, wouldn’t even permit you at the ritual. This isn’t play acting after all and if you don’t actually believe in and more importantly venerate the Gods with a full heart, mind, and spirit, then you have no business in our sacred spaces.

That I have to say this is fucking appalling. It shows not only the tremendous lack of sense in some dark corners of our community but also the tremendous lack of piety. It is so offensive for these people to appropriate the term volva considering all the effort, pain, and sacrifice that goes into making one a competent seeress. If you don’t have relationships with spirits and Gods, you’re not a volva. You’re not a godhi. You’re nothing at all insofar as our communities go.(1)

It is well beyond the time when our community should stop accepting this. Better to worship alone than in such polluted spaces. Better still to drive such people out. Most atheists don’t behave like this. They’re decent people who work hard to live good, moral lives. They have zero interest in being involved in someone else’s religious traditions. They want to be left alone and since they don’t want to have religion forced on them, they usually don’t harass and force their atheism on others. People who do what we’re seeing describe above …there’s something wrong with them.  It’s gross; it’s polluted; it’s impious; it’s obscene and we need to stand up strong and united against it.  

Notes

  1. Go be a happy atheist in happy atheist spaces. Gods know, you have enough of them. Go participate, if you want the experience, in cultural things like the SCA or reenactment groups. All respect to that, but that’s not religion. If you have any integrity at all, you will not force your way in to religious communities demanding primacy of position.

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 December 22, 2019, in Heathenry, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. I’m reminded of a guy in my old Dungeons and Dragons group who was an atheist, but always played a Cleric because he thought channeling the power of the Gods was cool. That’s basically what these people are doing. They aren’t real godhis or volvas, they’re roleplayers pretending to be holy because they think it’s cool. Playing a game of make believe with friends is fine, but taking a leadership position in a religion you don’t believe in is a terrible violation. It shows the sorry state of our religion that a Heathen kindred would allow such a thing to happen. Some kindreds are so tepid and worried about hurting feelings that they won’t consider kicking someone out even if they are unwilling to meet the minimum standard of belonging to the religion. After all, having rules, standards, and dogma would be acting too much like those mean old Christians! They are so obsessed with being open minded that they’ve let their brains fall out.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I think that describes so many today: so open minded their brains have fallen out.

      We need boundaries, strict walls or we’re not going to have a tradition. I can well understand the hunger for something sacred, even if it’s an unconscious hunger, that might drive the unbelieving to a ritual. But most atheists that I know wouldn’t dream of co opting leadership roles in a real religion. The problem is, those who do don’t see Heathenry as a real religion and meanwhile, neither do many so-called heathens. In no other tradition would this bullshit be tolerated.

      there is no room for moral cowardice or even courtesy here. When people intent on violating our sacred ways come into our holy spaces drive them out. period. This is the slow creep of a pollution that is intended, at its core, to destroy our restoration. We are going to see it every time we delineate holy things and holy spaces. We need to be ready. We need to be strong. We need to be vicious in denying it access.

      Any Heathen, any kindred who would allow this type of incursion isn’t Heathen. They are cowards who have set themselves the goal of poisoning our traditions from within. We should act accordingly.

      Liked by 4 people

    • I think you put it in a few words perfectly. It is exactly this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. and throw them out? I don’t let them in the door if they don’t meet minimum standards.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ….an…Atheist godhi…and an Atheist volva…

    ..now…I’m rather new to Heathenry in general…but I know enough to be able to respond to this….

    But seriously,

    And as a friend of mine put it…

    “That would be No to Fuckthatville”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. that’s how I end up driving someone out of the sacred space with a stick (and i’m not joking in the least).

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      • Oh I don’t doubt it in the slightest! Moral of the story…Never piss off an Odin’s Woman. It would be pissing off the Old Man Himself! And Odin *is* Fury.

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  4. I’d love to build a mental map of these kinds of people to see where these ideas stem from. What kinds of people become atheist priests in a Polytheistic religion? This is becoming such a common thing that I’m genuinely intrigued by this trend. My hypothesis is that the “mental exercise” of their practices is therapeutic to them and joining these groups is their way of having a social life. They are most likely very shy people who don’t interact much outside their interests and hobbies. They might find the more fast and loose traditions like Discordianism intellectually stimulating because it allows them to have structure while fitting these niches. They probably also are big fans of Terence McKenna, Alan Watts, and Robert Anton Wilson for for expressing these ideas in ways consistent with the “non-threatening” quasi-spirituality that one develops when your entire spiritual path is based on New Age platitudes and ahistorical notions of the ubiquity of mushrooms. I’m basing this on experience as opposed to any hard data

    Liked by 1 person

    • The ones into Heathenry are probably medievalists as opposed to New Age hippies. Probably would get the same hit off of Dungeons and Dragons as they do Heathenry

      Liked by 2 people

      • My father was an atheist who was active in the United Methodist church for years. He even taught Sunday School. He left or was thrown out by a minister who asked him point blank if he believe in the Resurrection of Christ. I wasn’t around but my father seemed both proud of leaving and mad at the intolerance of the minister.

        I believe that what he wanted was the social structure of the church and power in the community. Once he retired from being a town official, he didn’t need or want the church anymore. Then he became active in the local boat club.

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      • That’s exactly it. I think it’s because they want social structure and they’re too idiosyncratic to just join a DnD club or something. All we got to do is get these kids to socialize more and maybe get them laid and our atheist problem will be behind us!

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      • The problem isn’t actually the atheists. The problem is that the Heathen communities allow it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think they go hand in hand. One happens and people enable them and then it allows to more enablers

        Liked by 1 person

      • As I like to say, if you want to be a Viking, or have the structure without the religion there’s the SCA.

        But a religion is just that, a religion. Where Gods are venerated, sacrifices and offerings and prayers are made to Them. There’s no business for an atheist to be a volva, or godhi, or gythia… and I concur with Galina, for a group to allow that is on fucking them. Shame on them.

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      • Oh believe you me! I agree with you guys 110%! An atheist godhi or gythia is just wasting everyone’s time. Including their own! What does that even look like? Do they pour offerings to nothing? With all the money I spend on food, drink, incense, oils, art supplies, and other costly stuff, I think it would just be an absolute waste if it was all just for something I considered to be at most a literary reference or psychological metaphor

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  5. I don’t understand the draw of leadership in a religious organization to an atheist other than on some level they feel they are destroying the religion on some level. Shame on those who follow them.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My reply to tetradactyl explains the mindset.

    What I believe in Pagan/Heathen circles that is going on is the lack of boundaries or belief or both. It seems more and more, that Paganism/Heathenism (Universal) mistake boundaries for being doctrinaire. They are allergic to any doctrine, and instead opt for the loosest boundaries possible.

    I believe that many people mistake religion and religious doctrines for oppression. They have a dogma – of a peculiar tolerance that excludes anyone who have boundaries (i.e. no Nazis, AFA, etc need apply). Their religion centers on Progressive politics and not on theology.

    Liked by 5 people

    • for heathens i think it’s just general lack of piety. Way too many of them just don’t care about their Gods. This is one of so many reasons we need hard boundaries.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for writing all of this. I wrote and re-wrote a few responses on my blog since we discussed the matter and finally, after discussing it with the people that are now my kindred, came up with this blog post response http://teaandpumpkins.com/heathen-impiety-a-virus-with-toxic-symptoms/ and will have a few more blog posts on some basic shit we should be practicing and believing to call ourselves Heathen coming soon.

    Liked by 3 people

    • and you know, we really should be beyond basic shit like “believe in the Gods or get the fuck out, you’re not Heathen” by now. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

    • This issue is widespread though not just in polytheisms either. Last year, a Jesuit friend told me of a case in Canada where a minister (I don’t recall the protestant denom) was defrocked and asked to leave her church. Why? Because she was a hard line atheist and was teaching that instead of doctrine, yet masquerading as a priest. Her public response was to complain that the Church cared more about doctrine than ethics. Mine to respond in a piece I did on fb about it: yes, because it’s a religion and we already know the bitch has no ethics. She’s pretending to be a priest. So the upshot here is that this is a creeping virus of impiety and modernity and isn’t restricted to Heathenry alone….and I don’t know if that makes the whole situation better or worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow yea I hadn’t seen this in the Christian community but not surprised at all. I am still amazed at the gall

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    • “these are symptoms. The virus causing this is Impiety.”

      YES YES and YES and we must treat it just like a doctor would a virus: quarantine it and wipe it out. Let our piety and reverence and refusal to be silenced be the cure.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never understood the idea of people who claim to be ‘atheist pagans’, I mean isn’t that an oxymoron?

    The idea of someone who basically scorns the idea of the gods and thinks it to be fantasy and fairytale being in a position of authority in any polytheistic space is highly offensive.

    I’ve always wondered why those atheists that just want to ‘play viking’ don’t just join an rpg group or something. Seems like that’s what they actually want.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh well… If they do not believe in Gods, they might believe in spirits, entities, ghosts, goblins or other spiritual creatures of another kind… On a personal not, I won’t condemn anyone just because of that, anyone – surely – is entitled to believe what they wish, just as you are entitled to disagree with them.. However, I’m not going to jump on somebody’s bandwagon for another “moral crusade” here. There are so many of them, these days…

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    • They are entitled to believe what they wish. They are not entitled to bring their corruption into our communities by taking leadership positions in our communities. This isn’t about simple disagreement, it’s actually about giving a shit about our traditions. Obviously you don’t, when the chips are down, and actual belief in the Gods are on the table.

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    • Also, you’re no longer welcome on my site. Anyone who thinks it’s ok for leaders in our community to have such disregard and disrespect for our traditions that they mock our Gods is not ok here. Spread the pollution elsewhere.

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