Blog Archives

Universities Attack the Classics

Today I learned that Princeton University is no longer requiring Greek and Latin of its CLASSICS majors. Why? To combat racism.  See here and here.

Well, all hail the racism of low expectations. This is a travesty. Classics is one of the key disciplines in a proper education in the humanities and if one doesn’t have Latin and Greek, then one should not major in Classics. Better yet, instead of gutting this discipline, maybe Princeton should do the sensible thing and offer classes in Latin and Greek for ALL incoming students: four years of learning these key languages won’t hurt anyone. Better yet, maybe stop catering to woke-ness and start doing what the students pay you to do: focus on education. 

What you will have now, in your “Classics” students, are ill-educated kids who are dependent on other people’s opinions i.e. translations for access to the key texts that helped to shape the Western world. Instead of educating, Princeton is crippling them.  It makes me sick. I taught myself Latin and Greek. My Greek isn’t great but it’s passable. Was this difficult? Yes. Was it doable? Also yes. Cutting Classics programs doesn’t do a damned thing to combat racism. What it does is tear apart those disciplines that offer students a window into the building blocks of Western Civilization, into literature and cultures that valued the cultivation of virtue, character, courage, and heroism. Of course the new religion of woke-ism wants to do away with those things. It offends their sense of degeneracy. If you have students who can only approach key texts via translation, then they are at the mercy of whoever is doing the translations. 

Princeton is not the only university to destroy its Classics program in the name of saving the student body from imagined racism. Howard University, one of the oldest historically black colleges in the US, and the only with a Classics program, recently announced its decision to close its Classics program too – something the student body is thankfully protesting because they at least, know the value of this field. Last year, there was a similar decision to remove certain key texts in Classics at Oxford too. 

Classics is for everyone and everyone can benefit from its study. In the perfect world, we’d be studying Latin from first grade and Greek from middle school and regardless of major, both would be required (at the very least) throughout undergraduate study. I’m still too stunned on learning of Princeton’s decision to comment further. Farewell to the Ivy league. 

Major Win in the EU Court of Human Rights for Romuva

The Wild Hunt recently posted this article. It is a very important ruling by the ECHR re. the status of Romuva (Lithuanian indigenous polytheism) in Lithuania. The Lithuanian parliament, under pressure from Catholic Bishops, denied legal recognition to Romuva (and the rights and protections that entails), despite the fact that Romuva meets all requisite legal requirements. The Church was afraid of the competition — seriously, that was one of the concerns. Adherents of Romuva are growing significantly (a thing that fills me with joy). The head of modern Romuva, high priestess Inija Trinkūnienė, took their case to the EU, which issued an unanimous decision condemning the actions of Lithuania’s parliament. It’s a complicated case and you can read the link on your own, and there are also links in that article, which I encourage folks to follow.

Of course now it remains to be seen what the parliament is going to do, but if they refuse legal recognition it opens up the way for significant sanctions. Had the Church not interfered, it looks like the initial parliamentary vote would have come down on the side of granting recognition to Romuva.

The

above symbol is the Romuva flag. Don’t worry. It’s not a Nazi symbol. The other common symbol is a very stylized World Tree.

(This is rather personal to me. I am half Lithuanian. My original last name was Dabravalskas (for any Lithuanians reading this, in America, we don’t have the option for taking the proper gendered/married/unmarried forms of Lithuanian last names. We all use the male version. For Americans who may not know, traditional Lithuanian surnames differ depending on whether one is a guy, married to that guy, or a daughter. Had we been living in Lithuania, my bio mom’s last name would have been Dabravalskane, and mine Dabravalskuite). I don’t practice Romuva, but I do honor certain Lithuanian Gods as part of my personal practice — I felt many years ago a certain press from my paternal ancestors to do this. It’s not a huge part of my practice but it is a very personal one. I am overjoyed to know that the religion of my ancestors is growing in Lithuania. This country was the last in Europe to bend the knee to the yoke of Christianity (converting only in the fifteenth century — later even than Iceland) and people began returning to their traditional polytheism as soon as they gained their independence from communist Russia. It’s been growing ever since. May it continue to do so. I’ll post updates here as I find them).

For Shame

Boniface Chopping Down Thor’s Oak

A friend sent me a video today by a woman who claims devotion to Odin. I’ve known this person for years, and actually had her in a clergy training program decades ago — she was the only person I ever had to expel (she never quite warmed up to the idea that devotion would occasionally be inconvenient). Well, in this video, this woman – and I’m not sharing the video. It’s such polluted garbage I can’t—has announced that she is no longer wearing any Heathen sacred symbol (Mjolnir, valknot, runes, etc.) because she doesn’t want anyone to think she’s a white supremacist. She’s also strongly encouraging other people to throw away our sacred symbols. 

What utter cowardice. And if you read that as contemptuous, you would be reading it rightly. Now is precisely the time we should be wearing our symbols proudly and having those difficult conversations with people who would misunderstand their meaning. To put aside our holiest of symbols is to say that we care more for what strangers may think of us than for our Gods. There’s no integrity in it. Fucking Christians became martyrs for their faith and we have people like this woman who won’t even wear a necklace or be bothered to clear up misunderstandings about our Gods, spirits, and symbols. 

 What kind of person claims to love the Gods and yet acts as though everything associated with those Gods shameful?  What kind of person claims to love the Gods and is unwilling to attempt to clear up blatant lies about those Gods, or to have uncomfortable conversations that cost nothing but our willingness to be present? Runes for instance are mysteries. Odin suffered on the Tree to bring them forth and this worthless creature won’t even stand up and challenge the lies that have been spread about the runes, particularly othala? It’s one thing to be a coward oneself, but to actively encourage other people to also throw away their religious symbols just to make your own choice seem as though it has merit, is so much worse. 

People like this bury their heads in the sand which only guarantees the white supremacists win, because white supremacists don’t have a problem speaking up and taking what isn’t theirs to take. 

If that’s too much, then you really have to ask yourself why you’re doing this? Why are you here? Why are you wasting the time and resources of devout people who love their Gods and are willing to stand by that love publicly and no matter how much it causes inconvenience? Why are you actively seeking to damage the tradition? After all, when you are actively encouraging others to put aside their sacred symbols, the corollary is that you’re encouraging them to turn away from their Gods. You’re participating in gutting a tradition. Good job.  Here’s some advice that I oh, so sincerely hope you’ll take: maybe stick to Dr. Who fandom but leave religion alone.   

Police Break up Church Services Over Easter

I rarely find myself in agreement with Christian clergy on many points, but today has proven an unexpected exception. I woke up to several articles and videos of pastors/priests in Canada, Ireland, and England having had their Easter weekend services broken up by police, in at least one case, mid-service. This, despite the fact that interfering with a religious service is against the law in Canada, and in many of the cases (though not all) congregations were properly masked and distancing. The police thought nothing of attempting to break up services, or actually doing so, on what for Western Christians is their holiest time of the year (1). 

I may be all for most Covid restrictions, but let’s apply them consistently. When government is breaking up BLM and Antifa riots with as much alacrity as they’re interfering in people’s religious obligations, I’ll step back from my position here, namely that I don’t think the government should EVER interfere with religious services (2). 

I worry about the long-term precedent being set. If a government, be it federal or local, is willing to disrupt Christian religious services (and so far, I’ve only seen this happening to Christians, with one exception here in NY of an Orthodox Jewish funeral), without a doubt, those self-same government bodies would be more than willing to disrupt ours. I really don’t want to be in the position of holding a blót and having the police show up to profane it – of course, I suppose we could all dress in black, set something on fire, and claim to be protesting “oppression” and maybe then we’d get a pass but who wants to bring that type of pollution into the space of one’s Gods? 

Notes: 

  1. Many Orthodox Christians, adhere to the Julian calendar and thus celebrate Easter later than Catholics and Protestants. See here for more info.
  2. Now, I think clergy have an obligation to their parishioners to be flexible and to comply with guidelines as much as possible and for the most part, clergy have been quite creative in dealing with restrictions. I think my favorite that I’ve heard about so far is a Catholic priest who used a water gun filled with holy water to bless and/or baptize via drive by. Lol  

A Massachussetts School Bans the “Odyssey”

The woke brigade strikes again. To preserve their precious feelings and further indoctrinate children with their utter lack of values and virtue, a group #distrupttexts has successfully gotten one of the cornerstones of Western literature banned from a school in MA. Read the full story here


I read an article earlier about this and “teachers” were proud of this ban. Personally, it would be better if they closed the school, and any teacher that advocates for banning books isn’t fit to teach. They’re so eager to virtue signal their “wokeness” *gags* that they are denying this generation’s children a proper education. Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” are core texts for understanding pretty much all of the literature that came after it. I suppose these woke “teachers” don’t want to have to be bothered to explain different values and customs or, you know, do their jobs and teach. 


I suppose stories about heroism, cleverness, virtue, and fidelity (especially in women) are difficult to teach when the people teaching it have none of those qualities. Those pushing this ban referred to the “Odyssey” as “trash.” I have yet to see their accomplishments, other than denying the children placed in their care a proper education. 


Personally, if you haven’t read the “Odyssey” and the “Iliad” by the time you graduate high school, you’re not ready for college. I only lament that high schoolers aren’t reading them in the original Greek these days.  

The only way these days to guarantee that your children are getting a decent education, one that will render them thinking, literate, historically aware adults is to homeschool. This trend toward banning the best books of world literature, of classic literature is a perfect example of where public education is going. Object to this, parents. Object strongly and never, ever apologize for challenging this censorship. Your children deserve at least that. 

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. 

Question what you read

Rolling Stone just put out an article about the storming of the Capital on Wednesday. They flat out said that Heathenry was code for white supremacy. They are damning an entire religion without knowing what the hell they’re talking about. This is the worst sort of journalism (if one can even call it that). Note, they don’t bother calling out Christianity, despite the numerous crosses in clear view at the riot.

This is what we are now facing.

Speak out. Wear your sacred symbols proudly (mjolnir, valknot, etc.). Do not let ignorant, prejudicial bullshit drive you into a religious closet. Don’t let anyone or anything make you ashamed of your traditions, your Gods, your ancestor practice. These are good and holy things. Our religion is NOT a religion of white supremacy. It’s a religion of family, community, piety, reverence. It’s a religion that anyone can practice if they have reverence for our Gods.

EDIT as of Jan. 10: Rolling Stone issued a piss poor correction of the problematic text. It’s not great, but it’s something.

Election Day 2020

Tomorrow is election day in the US and already, we have seen unrest throughout the country. People are nervous, scared, angry, and a thousand other things. In my lifetime, no other election has been as contested and contentious as this one. Many of us are worried that there will be violence and uprisings in the aftermath.

I urge everyone who is eligible to go out and vote your conscience, if you have not already done so (many states opened up the option for early voting).

My grandmother was born into a world where she was a civic non-person. She had no voice in the election process. Women did not have the legal right to vote (except at that time in Wyoming). Women fought for this right and were imprisoned and often tortured. Even if I don’t like my choices, I always get my butt out there on election day and vote, because I know that it is a privilege, one very hard earned.

For those scared and anxious, ask your ancestors to support and sustain you. Understand that whatever the outcome of the election, our communities will stand strong because ultimately what makes a community viable is not its leadership, it is the care and support we give to each other, even when we disagree. Stand with your family and neighbors and friends and commit to cultivating each other, nourishing each other in the years to come.

Most of all, don’t be afraid. This country is about our voices being counted. It’s only when we give up that right that real, long lasting, harmful change will occur. Go to your Gods, go to your ancestors, and have courage. The changes we want occur within each and every one of us, and in the restoration of those ancient contracts with our Gods, our ancestors, and the land. Everything good and wholesome flows from that and how we nourish those things is fully within our power to control. Lay your anxiety and fear at the feet of your ancestors and go forth tomorrow knowing that whatever happens, you will endure and maybe even thrive.

First Principles and Food for Thought

I recently discovered the following videos on youtube. I’ve only watched these two but I think they are worth watching, and if you do, we can then have a conversation about them here, what we agree on and what we disagree on. I think on first listening, even when the language might make me a tad uncomfortable (I am an academic after all), that I agree with most of what this man suggests, despite the fact he is coming from a Christian perspective.

Here is the first video. In this, I agree with what he says but dislike his attribution to those things of the word ‘cozy.’ The word, to me, is low brow and emotional. I would instead try lineaged, cultured, connected (though he does use the term ‘quality’ at one point). He’s speaking about tradition, civilization, heritage for all people and the way that certain things like art and culture ennoble us and elevate our souls.

(The above video is part of a three part series that you can find on his youtube site). Now, below is the second video. I would offer a caveat that when he mentions ‘ancestor worship,’ given the context, I do not believe he is talking about actual ancestor worship and veneration, but rather about idolizing one’s ancestors to the point of excusing and justifying their every bad action. The man has definitely read his Aristotle too. Some of this is triggering, even to me, but what triggers me is the language, not necessarily the ideas that he is expressing. Even where I disagree or find his approach too facile, I think he is raising questions that we need to consider. I really like his focus on dignity of all persons and peoples, embedded in an awareness that we are one link in a chain stretching back into our ancestral prehistory and forward farther than we can ever see, and that we have the moral and social responsibilities that come with that.

I very much think that the problems in our society that we are seeing will not go away on the basis of any political or riotous action. The only curative as I see it is restoring and nurturing the ancient contracts: honoring our ancestors, respecting the land, and rooting ourselves deeply and purely in our polytheisms and sacred traditions, in our relationship with our Gods, and all the ways that demands we approach the world and each other. I also think we need to be cultivating the dignity of every person and acknowledging their importance and connection to the multiple heritages that make up our world as a fundamental aspect of building a morally just civilization. We should build each other up and assist each other in restoring and redeveloping these sacred bonds, and the only time we should bend the knee is to our Holy Powers.

Statues of Mary Vandalized and Desecrated

This just makes me so sad. At this stage in the game, an attack on any Deity is an attack on all Deities. I”ll be dedicating quite a bit of time tonight to prayer.

 

I bind myself today to the Holy Powers:
Their hands to guide me,
Their wisdom to teach me,
Their ears to hear me,
Their words to give me speech,
my heart always to love Them.