This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but it needs to be said:

We don’t have to agree politically. I’m seeing a lot of articles espousing the idea that all Heathens have to be leftist to be Heathen, that if one doesn’t replace devotion with politics, one can’t call oneself Heathen. On both counts, this is utter, unmitigated garbage. A religion is a space wherein one learns to properly honor the Gods. Period. You can hold whatever political opinions you want and still be Heathen. Why? Because your religious identity is not defined by your political position. It’s defined solely by whether or not you venerate your Gods and ancestors. 

I’m not surprised to see leftists trying to take advantage of recent events to force their political narrative into Heathenry. People are scared. We’re seeing our religion dragged through the mud and many of us are afraid that this is the first in what will turn into a crusade against Heathenry in the near future. I am afraid though that there are those who are taking advantage of that fear and anxiety to push a particular political position. While I agree we should be calling out white supremacists in our midst – because that garbage does not need to be the face of Heathenry (aside from being complete and utter bullshit too)—I likewise think we should be resisting radicalization by the left. Both are evil. 

Moreover, you do not have to be active politically to be a good Heathen. Heathenry is about ONE thing: venerating the Germanic Gods, one’s ancestors, and the land. Of course, that bleeds out into other ways that one lives one’s life: cultivating family, civic engagement, etc. but politics is not religion and one should never, ever be mistaken for the other. This is yet another attempt by those with no piety to destroy our traditions, and shame on them. It’s a pretty pitiful and pathetic thing to do. 

I hate seeing our religion equated with white supremacy. I find it disgusting. I hate seeing our sacred symbols used by Neo-nazis. I find that revolting and nauseating. However, and it kills me to say this because I really, really want to follow the herd on this one and espouse the opposite: one can be deeply religious and politically wrong. Their political identity, as much as we may wish it otherwise, doesn’t rule out possible Heathenry, as comforting as it might be for us to say it does. Now, I’ve been Heathen for thirty years and I know that the white supremacy problem is not as pandemic in Heathenry as the media thinks it is. We’re just a juicy target (probably more because of our family values and piety than the symbols we use, or any particular politics, to be honest). It is, however there on the fringes. I would like to see more work done to educate those in our community who hold those views, to help them move away from the hate. It’s not that difficult to make a theological argument countering such prejudice. Since this is a religion and not a political party, it’s to the theological we should turn. 

I suppose when one’s political identity is all one has, when one hasn’t bothered cultivating any type of devotion to the Holy Powers, it must really seem like everything is political. It’s certainly less frightening to twist Heathenry into a political movement than to sit at the feet of our Gods in awe and terror. Cowards. That’s what so many of you are. You pander to whatever is easiest. That’s what these incessant calls to politicize Heathenry are all about. Never a thought to religion, piety, or the Gods, just human bullshit. Because we never cease to try to pull the holy down to our level so we can drag it through the shit and justify our own laziness. Cowards. If white supremacy is wrong – and it IS—call it out. Don’t pollute our religion by pretending it’s all about politics though. Devotion is already an uphill battle for most people – and a far more valuable one than all the politicking in the world.  Maybe reorder your priorities. 

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 January 9, 2021, in Heathenry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Good for you for speaking sense! Keep it up! We need voices of reason to ring loud and clear for all to hear!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is called entryism. The political far left have come into Pagan/Polytheist spaces to remake the religions in their their political images. Their politics are their religion, not the Gods.

    I have read the articles over at various blogging sites which keep pushing a particular political point of view. They have hollowed out the religions and are left with ashes. I do believe that sooner than later, the Neo-Pagans will decrease in numbers as their politics cease to satisfy their longings.

    The new religion of social justice, with rituals of denouncing bigots, and chest beating etc is now the religion of Neo-Pagans.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Heathens have never really considered themselves Neo-Pagans –after all, we have piety, ethics, etc. that is so often lacking in the Neo-Pagan umbrella. I figure it was just a matter of time till this poison started seeping in though.

      “They have hollowed out the religions and are left with ashes.” yes and then they wonder why their religions are so empty.

      We must resist this with every fibre of our beings if we want to have traditions with any integrity at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Left has infiltrated Hellenismos as well!

    Recently I was on the Hellenion website and they have an Official Statement in support of Black Lives Matter….a Black Marxist origination (which was on the BLM website until it was taken down, but if you read their manifesto, it screams Marxism and you can find videos of two of their founders stating they are “trained Marxists”).

    I wanted to tell Hellenion this and say that Marxism has nothing to do with honoring the Gods and Marxism seeks to eliminate all religion.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      I consider BLM a terrorist organization. They’re trained Marxists. you know who trained them? Members of the weather underground. I’m sure a lot of people reading this don’t know about the weather underground, but they were domestic terrorists in the seventies. and I think it’s a sign of poor historical training that anyone thinks communism and marxism are good things but one cannot reason with these folks. it’s a mental contagion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s no such thing as “white supremacy” anything. The phrase is a frame invented by the left so when you use it your are inadvertently accepting their premise and worldview. I don’t think I’ve ever met a heathen with rightist views who could ever be described as a supremacist, and I’m a heathen who’s been immersed in the far-right milieu for over a decade now. I’ve met a few oddballs but they’re mostly harmless fringe types who could barely be called heathens anyway thanks to their strange beliefs.

    Most serious rightist heathens I’ve met just just want to be left alone to build they’re own communities and associate with whom they want.

    But anyway, I fully expect the left to attack heathens even more in future, with or without clowns parading themselves around in “viking” gear sporting hammer tatts. Everything traditional and old is suspect to these people. I shouldn’t have to tell you, Galina because I’ve seen them attack you over that sonnenrad thing. Identifying with your ancestors is suspect because kith and kin inadvertently competes with their insane ideology for loyalty. They also have this insane belief that none of our ancestors ever identified themselves as a people. The very idea sends them into a rage whereupon they launch into deconstruction of history and culture. It’s a challenge to their anti-human ideology.

    It will get worse in future and your defence of heathens will matter little, in fact it will make you more suspect. So I guess if I was going to give advice it would be to keep your head down, avoid these freak’s like the plague and concentrate on building real and local community.

    Blessings and be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tracy G., I think white supremacy exists — I’ve encountered that type of racism but living in NY, it’s not something that I see in the Heathen communities here. Really, I just don’t see it as much in Heathenry as a whole as the left seems to (like around every corner, lurking behind every valknot *rolls eyes*). And as I said, just because someone may hold those views, well, they can do that and be Heathen too. For a lot of people, that’s an uncomfortable reality. I’ll stand by what I said though: there is no political litmus test for who can be Heathen. Heathenry is a religion and I think it’s a really gross thing to try to block someone from honoring the Gods because you hate their politics.

      I think that a lot of people on the left really do think that what they’re doing is making the world better. they want to fight the good fight and just lack the perspective to see that the end result is anything but what they intend. Road to hell and all that. I said to a Hindu follower on twitter recently that I hate leftist “progressivism” but I also hate the corporatocracy. Both attack piety and our humanity in different ways. Personally, I think if we focused on the little things: Not being complete assholes to our neighbor, tending to our devotional commitments to Gods, ancestors, and land, educating our children properly if one has children, trying to be good, decent, honorable human beings and taking responsibility for our fuck ups when we make them as we inevitably will, many of these problems that the left sees would solve themselves. Whereas they look to critical race theory and scream about it. I see the real problem as having fallen away from the sacred obligations that sustained our ancestors, all of our ancestors.

      and make no mistake, I’m no fan of the alt-right, but what does that mean these days? Do you know how many people I know who up until recently were 1990s liberals? Now it’s the liberals wanting to ban books and the conservatives trying to stop them. it’s confusing as hell. I’ve decided I’m conservative because I value our traditions, and the cultivation of virtue, and family values, and honor, and respect and I don’t like what I see coming out of the left, long term I don’t like it. Also, I’m trained as an historian and marxism and communism are never good things. They are every bit as evil and destructive and dehumanizing as nazism. The woke brigade won’t hear that though, not even with all the facts and bodies in the world to back it up. They’re so sure of their own moral high ground that they are incapable of hearing actual facts. I feel really bad for them. I think we have a group of people who want to change the world, people who see suffering and want to address it and have been so poorly served by the educational system and their political leaders that they lack the historicity, knowledge, and common sense to see that they’re being deluded. The alt-right is a direct response to the growth of marxism on the left and seeing how deeply that is becoming embedded in media and politics — at least that’s how it seems to me. I mostly wish people cared as much about their Gods as they do about the latest cause celebre.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Also, I just don’t ever, EVER think it’s ok to ban books, to ban someone from speaking, to “cancel” people from all media bc one doesn’t like what they say. who was it who said, the cure for speech you dislike is more speech? But I don’t think either side has the intellectual acumen to engage in that type of debate (and they always bitch and whine and moan about giving x a platform. Well, that’s what having a right to free speech means).

        Liked by 1 person

      • someone I just read, who grew up under communism, put it this way and I think it’s absolutely brilliant: it’s easy to be a communist in a free society but try being free in a communist one.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I think in the days and weeks ahead Heathens should be going out of our way to make it clear that Heathenry is not a racist religion. Ignorant people are trying to vilify us and bigots are trying to steal our holy symbols. We should do everything we can to prevent both. We need to show that most of us are as disgusted by White Supremacy (and every other form of bigotry for that matter) as everyone else with a functional moral compass and will happily welcome anyone who desires to worship our Gods into our religion regardless of race, gender, politics, sexual orientation, and the numerous other petty differences humans love to squabble over. I pray that the need to make these facts obvious to those unfamiliar with our religion is temporary.

    We cannot, however, let politics replace devotion to the Gods, Land, and Ancestors. Heathenry is a RELIGION, not a political movement. I am a White man who leans to the Left, and I would be happy to stand side by side with a Right leaning person of color to worship the Holy Powers. Because the Gods are more important than our petty differences. They always have been and always will be.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As I’m reading this, ravens are croaking overhead. I’m not a heathen, but that seems like a good omen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. DecemberFBryant

    Well said, as usual. Sadly…as so so usual that we cannot seem to go a quarter without saying it…its exhausting that half of Heathenry living is telling people we’re not racist and most of the time people not believing us anyways

    Like

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