So I woke today to news that a prominent leader in Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and Theodism had converted back to Christianity.(1) Knowing what a completely vile and unethical human being this particular person is, part of me was relieved (good riddance to rubbish) and part of me disgusted. It’s not enough that a generation of our ancestors committed apostasy and spat upon our Gods, this asshole has to do it too? Why? Not getting enough pats on the head recently from the community? I think something like this just shows that one was involved in Heathenry not for the Gods but for the indulgence of one’s own ego – nice to be a big fish in a small pond, isn’t it?
Here’s the thing, if one loves the Gods and has a devotional commitment to Them, if one is committed to restoring our traditions, if one is in alignment with one’s ancestors, then abandoning them for the faith of those that conquered our ancestors and crushed our traditions is unthinkable. (2) Devotional work, faith, even praxis can be really difficult, particularly when our communities are spread out across the country, contentious, and often problematic. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to prioritize the Gods and ancestors first and foremost over any reified, fetishized idea of ‘community.’ If one’s faith is based on human concerns then it will crumble eventually, as soon as one isn’t getting one’s ego stroked, or as soon as one encounters the problems that every human group (probably from time immemorial) has had to face. Yes, it’s necessary to build community, but not at the expense of devotional integrity. (And don’t tell me this has anything to do with theology, because there is nothing inherent in Heathenry or any polytheism that says one can’t also venerate Jesus, Mary, etc. while keeping true to our Gods. This is someone who found it too tough and like a coward ran).
Granted, our communities as they are really need to do better. I’ve run across several people who nominally converted (though not in the depth of their hearts) to Christianity so they could have support as they aged. Think about that. This says that our communities aren’t doing anything to help their people, support their people, tend their aging and that is a violation of every ethical standard our ancestors held.
Any Heathenry that isn’t founded on reverence for the Gods, honoring the dead, and respect for our elders is utter shit and isn’t something that will or even should survive. I hope many more in the community follow this guy’s example because if you’re not willing to help, get the fuck out of the way while the rest of us work to restore and perpetuate these traditions. It’s time to choose sides and I know where I stand.
- No, I won’t say whom as I don’t know if this person has gone public yet to the community.
- I read today’s wild hunt article with some concern. Apparently honoring the ancestors is viewed by some Heathens (particularly in the Troth) as a stepping off point for racism. One of the comments mentioned that it was even banned in Heathen groups in Austria. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Ancestor veneration is a core component of every polytheism I can name and if you allow contemporary politics to strip that from your devotional world than you’re a fool and Heathenry is better off without you. If you take it into a racist place, then you’re also a fool. Why is it so difficult for people to get basic concepts through their heads, like you know, maybe honoring (as one commenter also said) those without whom one would not actually BE? I’d like to say this is just more of the Troth making an issue where there isn’t one, but apparently, this is a thing in various groups. Gegen Dummheit kämpfen die Götter selbst vergebens.
This shows everything NOT to do when you want to work effective magic, up to and including insulting the city and land spirits.
How utterly pathetic. If you want to be competent, do the opposite of what you see here.
Kenaz has a new post up here. He points out that John Beckett’s posts on purity, sin, and miasma have spurred many interested discussions in the blogosphere.
It’s certainly sparked amazing examples of poor reasoning and illogic from rhyd wildermuth. i wonder what it is like in his head? i’d love to know how he equates maintaining proper ritual purity before the Gods to genocide against Jews and Romany. I mean, does he look down on Jews and Romany to the point that this is where HE would go, and thus cannot conceive of motivations that focus specifically on the Gods? Or is he rather tryign to bring up a straw argument, to damn those who do care about the Gods, traditions, and keeping themselves clean and in a state of proper receptivity to the Powers?
Apparently basic religious standards are now “oppression.”
To quote Kenaz:
Piety sees the state as an integral part of things. Rhyd and his cabal see the state as a tool of oppression that will ultimately wither away. Piety treasures the things which set you and your people apart. Rhyd and his see those differences as war waiting to happen and want to sand them down.
It’s perhaps time, we considered the full implications of their agenda.
The rumor-mill is in full effect with certain people associated with a certain site implying that I or my husband are responsible for this:
I’m not going to speak for my husband beyond saying that I asked him and he just laughed and said, “Not my style.” We’re different people with different ideas and if he considers this an important enough matter he’ll make his own statement.
But for myself, I would like to emphatically state that I did not do it, I don’t know who did it, and if I did I’d tell them to take that shit down because it’s not funny. (FFS, people. Satire takes subtlety. I’ve been accused of many things in the course of my working life, but that has never been one of them). That’s the kind of thing people try with me all the time so why would I turn around and do that to someone else? Or have you guys forgotten about this sickening site:
I don’t have to resort to such cheap rhetorical tricks – merely holding a mirror up to the horrible things these people say and do is enough. I can read. That is why I always provide links, so you can go and read too and make your own judgments as opposed to just taking my word on something. Maybe you don’t know me well, but I am not a shy and soft-spoken woman. I don’t hide and take pot-shots at people from the sidelines – I wade right into the thick of it. Say what you will of me, you always know where we stand with one another.
So whoever is responsible for these sites – do you honestly think you’re helping? (and as to who might actually be responsible and whether or not they want to ‘help,’ I think we really should be asking the eternal question: cui bono? Because I read the first site, and it was written by an insider, or someone with an insider’s knowledge of Rhyd and his work). This situation has gotten bad enough without you throwing more gas on the fire. If you can’t out-argue the other side using truth and reason, you don’t deserve to win.
Come on people, we can – and should! – be doing better than this.