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Tag: Catholicism

“Vikings” and the Pagan-Christian Synthesis

“In the gentle fall of rain from Heaven I hear my God. But in the thunder I still hear Thor.” (Brother Athelstan)

Ragnar: So have you returned to your faith, renounced ours? Athelstan: I wish it was so simple. In the gentle fall of rain from Heaven I hear my God. But in the thunder I still hear Thor. That is my agony. Ragnar: I hope that some day our Gods can become friends. Ragnar: So have you returned to your faith, renounced ours? Athelstan: I wish it was so simple. In the gentle fall of rain from Heaven I hear my God. But in the thunder I still hear Thor. That is my agony. Ragnar: I hope that some day our Gods can become friends.

Whenever political activists talk about culture, they need to be careful about not over-reading the artist’s intent.

Rather than guessing what he meant politics-wise, activists have to look for the influences, heretical or mainstream, he drew upon. Unlike the intended message, which is subject to interpretation, cultural influences can be identified with sufficient likelihood.

Though it cannot be proven—and culture industry creators would likely deny it—it is more than plausible that James C. Russell’s The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity has had an important influence on popular culture.

In Canadian-Irish TV series Vikings, this influence is close to obvious. Though the show’s screenwriters may not have read it—I would be very surprised they haven’t at least heard of it—they seem to have been influenced by it at least through an intermediary text, or person, which/who conveyed Russell’s message.

Russell established in his book that the Christianization of Germanic Europe (in the broad sense, including Scandinavia) was two-sided: the indigenous Pagan faith was replaced, by fair means or foul, by an exogenous one; and in doing so, Christianity was altered by its prey, a process which had actually already begun in the Roman empire.

The ubiquity of Pagan symbols and rituals in European Christianity

This is a reality that is hard to talk about with Christians—and the more conservative, the harder. It is like Edgar Poe’s Purloined Letter: what is right before one’s eyes is what they cannot see. The omnipresence of Pagan rituals and symbols in European Christianity is such that many Christians see them as having always belonged to their faith, even in its first stages, when it was still a markedly Oriental religion.

In some countries, “king cakes” are baked for the celebration of the Epiphany, and crepes are cooked for the day of Candlemas. Both symbolize a Sun disk, and these two Winter feasts were, before Christianity phagocytated them, meant to prepare the return of the Sun.

Of course, we also know that the Christmas holiday was established to replace the celebration of the Winter Solstice, which was a solar cult in various European indigenous religions, most notably in Rome (Sol Invictus).

Interestingly, since the fracture between Catholicism and Protestantism roughly corresponds to that between Latin and Germanic Europe (please note my emphasis on “roughly” before mentioning Catholic Flanders or Calvinist Romandy), Protestants are usually more aware of this unholy origin. As Richard Rives at WND proudly reminded us, Christmas used to be illegal in many Protestant countries. Below is a screenshot from Rives’s video:

That Rome has influenced Christianity is made evident by the fact that the Catholic Church is established in the Eternal City, that the Pope is called “Pontifex Maximus” as the Roman Emperors used to be, and of course that Latin is the main liturgic language. But do all Catholics know that cardinals wear purple cassocks just like Roman senators used to? That priests (in Western churches) are clean-shaven and keep their hair short like the Romans? And that nuns cover their hair as Roman free women did, to distinguish themselves from slaves?

Christianity didn’t merely conquer the Indo-European world. It was also molded by it, almost beyond recognition after centuries of reciprocal acculturation.

This is chiefly what the two first seasons of TV series Vikings are about.


Ragnar (left) hands his plunder over to Jarl Haraldson. Ragnar (left) hands his plunder over to Jarl Haraldson.

When the story begins, Ragnar Lothbrok is an under-achieving farmer, who occasionnaly goes raiding with other Norsemen in the Baltic lands. He resents the authority of Jarl Haraldson, who is a generation older than he.

Every year, after the harvest, Haraldson orders his men to raid East. The plunder is meager, since Balts are not really richer than Vikings. But even though their farms are hardly sufficient to support their families, Ragnar and the other young raiders have to hand over all the booty to Haraldson, who comfortably stays home. If the story was taking place in today’s West, Haraldson would likely be a baby-boomer expecting his children to pay for his retirement pension after a pat on the back, and then wonder why they, unlike him, cannot make both ends meet. But I digress (or do I?).

Ragnar has enough, and so does his brother Rollo (not to be confused with the founder of the Duchy of Normandy; the story is contemporary to Charlemagne, over a century before the Norsemen’s settlement in France).

Ragnar buys a sun compass to a merchant, which enables him to find his way West, beyond the strait that separates the Baltic Sea from the North Sea. There, the merchant told Ragnar, fabulous riches await him in a place named England. Further South is the even-richer “Frankia” (the Kingdom of the Franks).

Since all the ships belong to Haraldson, Ragnar needs a new boat. He asks his friend Floki (reminiscent of the God Loki), to build a flat-bottomed one, that can both navigate on rivers and high seas. The Scandinavian drakkar is born. Floki’s odd appearance and erratic behavior are a nod to Heath Ledger’s Joker (Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight), as illustrated by a scene in the second season when Floki tells Ragnar’s son that he’s “just a joker”.

“All things begin and end as stories”

Compass, boat… Ragnar now needs a crew. Rollo gathers the region’s best warriors and sets up a meeting. Wary of Ragnar’s intentions at first, and afraid that Haraldson might punish them for disobeying him, the men are, one by one, taken by Ragnar’s Tyler Durden-like speech. Ragnar doesn’t try to convince his audience by way of factual arguments or logical demonstrations. Rather, he inspires them with a dream, a story they’ll tell their children. As Ragnar puts it, “all things begin and end as stories”:

As could be expected, Ragnar’s raids on Northumbria (one of England’s seven kingdoms at the time) significantly increase his prestige and power in Kattegat, still under Haraldson’s rule. This inevitably leads to a conflict between the two men. Being hunted down by Haraldson’s men, Ragnar challenges Haraldson in combat and, predictably, kills him and becomes Jarl.

“Why are we not looking outwards to the West?”

Being now an important ruler, Ragnar will try to unify the Vikings, still spending most of their formidable energy fighting each other (something Madison Grant lamented). After an epic battle leaving no victor between two Viking armies, one led by Ragnar, the other led by his brother Rollo, Ragnar delivers a speech in which he urges all men to “look outwards to the West:”

During his first raid on Northumbria, Ragnar met with a Saxon monk, named Athelstan. He spared his life not out of mercy, but because, Athelstan speaking Norse in addition to Old Saxon, Ragnar thought (rightly) that he’d be of great use to him.

At first a hostage and then a slave, Athelstan soon became Ragnar’s protégé, and even his main advisor, due to his cleverness, courage, and wits.

This symbolizes the encounter between Nordic Paganism and Christianity. At first disgusted by the Pagans’ uncouth manners, Athelstan will more and more forget his Christian faith and convert to the Vikings’ Pagan religion (or maybe I should say “revert,” since continental Saxons had only recently been Christianized under the iron fist of Charlemagne, who was not always the gentle-hearted, loving king both popular and elite culture have pictured along the centuries).

Of course, the acculturation goes both ways: Ragnar is impressed by the Christians’ ability to build wealthy, efficient societies, while his people are still wasting their tremendous strength in suicidal, internecine berserk.

Christianization, a “come-together” moment for Europeans

For all the legitimate criticisms that Pagan or Nietzschean alt-righters can have about Christianity (especially today’s Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant), they souldn’t forget that it was the first religion that gave a feeling of kinship and a common purpose to Europeans.

Descendants of the long-forgotten Indo-European people, Europeans had scattered across the heterogeneous continent they conquered and branched off into a number of peoples, speaking many different languages, to the point where they saw each other as foreigners, and even “Barbarians.”

(And it happened again during the first half of the 20th century. Then, Europeans worldwide nearly annihilated each other in wars driven by petty nationalisms that were wrong on all counts: genetic, cultural, moral.)

Christianization, despite Christianity’s extra-European origins and universalistic outlook, was for Europeans a “come-together” moment, and this encounter between two Germanic peoples once separated by faith illustrates it well.


Odin on the Cross

Back to the series, this back-and-forth between Paganism and Christianity reaches a higher level when Athelstan is captured by King Ecbert of Wessex during a new Viking raid. Recognized as a Saxon and thus as an apostate, Athelstan is crucified (see picture on the right) by the local bishop (likely a historical inaccuracy since Emperor Constantine had outlawed crucifixion in the 4th century A.D. and none were documented afterwards).

What struck me when I saw the scene was the way Athelstan was represented. Look at the picture closely. Having been beaten up by the Christian populace, his eye is so black that he looks one-eyed, just like Odin. Given the emphasis on his appearance on the cross, I doubt it is coincidental.

Luckily for Athelstan, King Ecbert arrives just in time. He orders the bishop to cut him down, and once again, Athelstan becomes the ruler’s protégé and counsellor. (Priests advising kings was commonplace then: one of Charlemagne’s main advisors was Alcuin, an English monk.)

Of course, King Ecbert wants to know more about the Vikings to be able to defeat them. He is a symetrical character to Ragnar’s: like the latter, Ecbert rules over a portion of a divided country, and hopes to unify England under his rule. The war with the Vikings must be a way, thinks he, to assert his legitimacy, since he is the only one able to resist them. As we know, however, it is two centuries later a Norseman, William the Conqueror, who will succeed in this endeavor at the Battle of Hastings.

The second reason why King Ecbert takes interest in Athelstan is because as a former monk, he is fluent in Latin. Ecbert wants Athelstan to translate and read him aloud the lives of the Roman emperors (likely Suetonius’s Twelve Caesars), thinking Roman civilization was superior to Early Medieval Europe, which is another historical inaccuracy. The very idea of the “Dark Ages” is a modern fabrication devised by French revolutionaries to justify the Enlightenment’s tabula rasa. Roman basilicas and Gothic cathedrals still stand to testify that the “Dark” Ages were actually bright.

The similarities between Paganism and Christianity

Being forced into returning to Christianity, Athelstan has a hard time forgetting Paganism, as if the latter was a natural faith to him while Christianity necessarily needed constraint. During Mass, he almost falls out when a crucified Christ appears to be bleeding, which reminds him of a Viking, Leif, who was sacrificed at the Pagan temple of Uppsala:

Increasingly, Athelstan is struck by the similarities between Paganism and Christianity. When King Ecbert asks him to tell him more about Odin, Thor, Loki or Freyja, Athelstan responds in a way that both thrills and frightens him:

“Their gods are very old… and sometimes I could not help noticing some similarities with our own God… and His Son.”

Later, when Ragnar and Athelstan meet again (King Ecbert and Ragnar are seeking a truce), Ragnar asks Athelstan whether he has returned to Christianity and abandoned Paganism. But things are not so simple:

Ragnar, who unlike his brother Rollo has not received baptism at this point (this was one of King Alle of Northumbria’s conditions for the peace talks), takes a growing interest in Christianity, which foreshadows the Vikings’ conversion. This of course is a historical short-cut, given that Norsemen would not become Christians before the 10th and 11th centuries.

But religious acculturation is a long march, which proceeds with seemingly benign but, in retrospect, irreversible and accelerating steps. Over three centuries passed between Nero’s persecutions against Christians and Theodosius I turning Christianity into the Roman Empire’s official State religion (380). The latter happened “only” 43 years after Constantine’s conversion on his deathbed (337).

In the series, such benign step is the scene in which both Ragnar and Athelstan recite a Pater Noster before going into battle against King Horik of Denmark. Once victorious, Ragnar becomes the uncontested ruler of the Vikings. A Promethean figure, Ragnar proves that boundaries exist to be tresspassed.

The second season ends on this note (Season 3 will be released in 2015) and I could finish my review here, but I think that beyond the depiction of the Pagan-Christian synthesis, Vikings asks a capital question for us, which is:

Which religion for 21st century Europeans?

Three questions seem to arise here. Should we return to the faith of our ancestors? Should we save Christianity from itself? Or should we overcome both Paganism and Christianity with a futuristic religion that would set space conquest as our “Manifest Destiny?” (I’m leaving aside the question whether we should stick to materialistic Modernity. The absence of Transcendence of the latter obviously argues against such an option. If the status quo was a viable one, our legacy would be guaranteed.)

Returning to Paganism poses a major problem. As Karl Marx famously put it, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” And I fear a return to Paganism would be such a farce, from what I can judge when I take a look at recent forms of Paganism. Pagans can’t act as if Christianity hadn’t vanquished their faith. I hear the argument that Paganism was just in a state of dormition, and that for most of European history (including when Europeans had no consciousnness of being one people), Europeans were Pagans.

But then, how would it not contradict the imperious necessity of a European Brotherhood? The absence thereof was arguably Paganism’s main flaw, and Christianity, for all its vices, allowed Europeans to get together.

Most readers of this article would return to Germanic and Nordic religions, while the author would have to choose between Gallic and Roman ones (the latter would be more to my liking, by the way; I consider myself a Roman rather than a Gaul). Slavs would be separated from the rest of us. Again.

The same argument works for Christianity. Once united by faith, Christendom has been torn apart by the wars between Catholics and Protestants. These Wars of Religion ended on a “draw,” leading to the triumph of the secular State, which paved the way towards Modernity. That’s where we are now.

Critics of Christianity on the Alternative Right usually blame it for its universalism, but I think the main problem with Christianity is the belief in the Apocalypse. Whether we precipitate the End of the World or wait for it, we can’t have a future (a future far beyond the death and rebirth of our own individual souls, a selfish concern if there ever was one) if we don’t believe that something awaits us (“us” being the long chain linking our ancestors to our descendants) after the Earth has become inhospitable for human life.

Enter this futuristic religion I was mentioning as the third option. The main trap for it would be to amount to “Modernity on life support,” with the West, now encompassing all of Mankind, escaping to new worlds after having made the original one unwelcoming. This would happen only if Europeans keep refusing to drink at Tradition’s rejuvenating spring.

Tradition that comprises both Paganism and Christianity as sucessive, necessary steps in European Man’s upward journey. Yes, that presupposes a belief in linear time. For our mortal planet’s lifespan is linear, too.

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Vatican Ups The Tolerance

In the latest episode of Pope Francis trying to prove that he is the Spiritual Bolshevik-in-Chief, the Vatican permitted the performance of Jewish and Muslim prayers within its sacred sphere today.

 

In the latest episode of Pope Francis trying to prove that he is the Spiritual Bolshevik-in-Chief, the Vatican permitted the performance of Jewish and Muslim prayers within its sacred sphere today.

While the Church would never allow traditionalists to lead Masses in the Vatican, they’ll let people who don’t accept even the basic tenets of its religion to rent out the city for a day to make a meaningless gesture “for peace” in a land that will never know peace.

Put aside the religion debates within our circles for a moment and realize that this is a perfect symbol of the new faith of the Western world. A faith that treats every belief system as equal (unless they express White Identitarianism and condemn modernity), only stipulates that you be a “good” person (meaning following every guideline of the pervading politically correct dogma), orgasms to equality, demands tolerance for all (except certain evil White people and Boko Haram), opens up their sacred halls to foreign peoples, and celebrates the culture of the stranger while denigrating their own.

All the while knowing that these alien people would never extend the same generosity to Western religions.

In any case, it’s just another Monday in Pope Francis’ mission to spread egalitarianism to every corner of his Church.

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What Is Identitarian Religion?

A long-standing “Trad Catholic” I know told recently me that he had left the Church.  He, in essence, said that his “conservative” priest had become obsessed with promoting mass Third World immigration, peddling interracial adoption, speaking incessantly about various forms of “social justice” such as opposition to non-white abortions, and of course denouncing evolution because it’s “racist.”  Contemporary Western Christianity, even in its so-called “conservative” guises, has become indistinguishable from the central values of Cultural Marxism. 

A long-standing “Trad Catholic” I know told recently me that he had left the Church. He, in essence, said that his “conservative” priest had become obsessed with promoting mass Third World immigration, peddling interracial adoption, speaking incessantly about various forms of “social justice” such as opposition to non-White abortions, and, of course, denouncing evolution because it’s “racist”. Contemporary Western Christianity, even in its so-called “conservative” guises, has become indistinguishable from the central values of Cultural Marxism.

As other commentators have already noted, two things are happening to Christianity today:

First, outside the West, Christianity is rapidly becoming a non-Western religion (e.g. African Christianity in Africa, Mestizo Christianity in Latin America, etc.). As noted by many scholars, a new, non-Western form of Christianity is being born, unlike anything preceding it. It has been estimated that within 50 years, Christianity will overwhelmingly be a non-Western religion, both demographically and theologically.

Second, inside the West, Christianity is becoming more universalized than ever—often substantially no different from the major tenets of Cultural Marxism. You currently have mainstream Christian leaders (both Catholic and Protestant) supporting the Third World immigration invasion of the West and cajoling White couples into adopting unwanted African or Haitian babies instead of birthing White babies. Pathological altruism and ethnomasochism rule the roost; in short, Western Christian leaders today are a bunch of girly men. Such maladaptive trends cannot last indefinitely.

Evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson and science journalist Nicholas Wade have both argued that religion, by and large, is adaptive, in that religion increases one’s inclusive fitness. In short, religion provides group cohesion and, when overlapped with ethnicity or race, religion maintains strong group identity, which assists in group survival. A textbook example of the success of ethno-religion would be Ashkenazi Jews.

What is happening with Christianity in the West today, however, is arguably maladaptive. This extremely universalized girly-man form of Christianity (unlike the more manly earlier Germanic form) seems to be an unholy suicide pact. Not only does it lack any grounding in biological reality but it seems to be hostile toward it.

And what is grounding in biological reality? When religion overlaps with and reinforces racial identity, it is at its strongest. In fact, ethno-religion might be the strongest group identity known to man. Religious identity and racial identity can be strong by themselves, but combine the two and you are in a different league. It’s little wonder that throughout human history ethno-religion has been the norm. The more extreme, deracinated and universalized religion of the past century is the historical aberration.

And that is the gist of identitarian religion, as I understand it: it’s ethno-religion, a rejection of universalism, a return to human normalcy. So, identitarian religion is something “new” in that it’s juxtaposed to our current universalized suicide pact, but it’s also “old” as it’s a return to older norms.

What forms can identitarian religion take? Is it exclusive to a particular religion? Short answer: No.

While Christianity has become nearly synonymous with Cultural Marxism in the West, it must not necessarily be so. Identitarian Christianity is a possibility, and one certainly sees instances of it, ranging from Pro-Western Christianity to the Anglo paleoconservatives, to Kinist Protestantism, to forms of ethnonationalist Slavic Orthodox Christianity. But since Christianity has recently taken on an extremely universalist trajectory, any battle for Identitarian Christianity will be an uphill battle, but nonetheless perhaps a battle worth waging.

Another option one sees is a return to Paganism, ranging from Asatru in North America to other forms of Germanic Paganism, Celtic Paganism, Roman Paganism, Greek Paganism, and Slavic Paganism throughout Europe. Paganism properly understood, i.e. historically and accurately understood, is a blood-and-soil religion, an ancestral religion, an ethno-religion, the very antithesis to deracinated universalist religion.

And, of course, there are other forms of Non-Western identitarian religion that would be appropriate for Non-Westerners. But the question here is whether competing forms of Western identitarian religion can get along. Within the larger framework of Western identitarian religion, can, for example, Identitarian Christians and Pagans coexist?

I don’t see why not.

And what of identitarian atheists and agnostics? Can they co-exist with identitarian religion? Since identitarian religion is not at odds with nature, and thus not at odds with evolutionary science, it does not threaten secular knowledge but offers itself as an additional societal glue. And perhaps a necessary glue at that, as it is unclear that society can survive, long-term, without religion. While some individuals can function without religion, can society as a whole? Has it ever?

As Western Universalist Christianity wanes tepid, and as identitarian ideas continue to spread, now is a good time to outline a larger framework for identitarian religion as a guide for various Western religions. Hopefully this brief outline will help with this endeavor.

Schema of identitarian belief Schema of identitarian belief

Poll:  Is Identitarian Religion the way forward for the West?

Is Identitarian Religion the way forward for the West?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Alfred W. Clark blogs at Occam’s Razor.

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Identity & European Religion

Often, we are unwittingly faced with a strange phenomenon, which incites self-doubt and suspicion, only because we cannot see what is being missed. The question is: how can Indo-Europeans Traditionalists reconcile following foreign monotheistic faiths (the three Abrahamic religions) whilst maintaining their folk traditions and identity?

This article was originally published at Sigurd-Strong.

Often, we are unwittingly faced with a strange phenomenon, which incites self-doubt and suspicion, only because we cannot see what is being missed. The question is: how can Indo-Europeans Traditionalists reconcile following foreign monotheistic faiths (the three Abrahamic religions) whilst maintaining their folk traditions and identity? Somehow, Christianity has gone under the radar and taken upon itself a cloak of assimilation – it seems that many folk I come across, from many parts of Europe, believe it to be somehow intrinsic, a last vestige of morality and proper behaviour and the patron of art and music. Admittedly, Christianity had something to do with the rise in intellectualism, which is positive in some respects, but upon its escalation, the values of strength and individual spirituality suffered deeply, and this is evident in our society. Furthermore, upon the decline of the Roman Empire, ‘intellectualism’ apparently tipped the scales into ‘backwardness’ and hence plunged us into the ‘Dark Ages’, to which Roman Catholicism arguably holds great liability. Perhaps the Roman and Greek gods took their might and vivacity with them upon their eviction.

The ‘Viking Era’ ended with William the Conqueror, and from then it seems a steady global downward slope into a situation where wars are fought with the words of old men in offices and young, strong but apparently expendable men are sent out in their stead to die for those words.

Christianity’s slow seeping invasion began in the 1st century in Greece and Rome; then Britain with Augustine (though it is believed it existed before his political use of the religion); then Scandinavia between the 8th and 12th century and so the pollution spread – through conversions generally established either for political motives or as shameless trends.

Islam’s armies were not as successful, and after invading the Iberian Peninsula, they spent 23 years conquering and expanding into France, other former Roman provinces and the Persian Empire, then began the seven century conquest of the Byzantine Empire. However their crusade ultimately faltered at the hands of Charles Martel in France. Though Martel and apparently everyone else was a raging Christian by now, at least that tidal wave did not manage to settle and integrate so insidiously, that it appears to the naked eye as if it were here all along.

Somehow along the line, “Europe” and “Christianity” have become synonymous; though Islam is evidently ill-fitting to most Europeans, as most of Europe’s Muslim community are migrants, or born of immigrant families, unlike Christians. Is it not a glaring fact that Islam and the Judaic religions were conceived and born to the same desert? Are their attitudes and ethics not uncannily alike?

Firstly, I’d like to draw attention to the attitudes towards non-believers, as written in the sacred texts of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In Matthew 15 of the New Testament, Jesus turns away a ‘Gentile’ (non-Jew) and says:

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

To which the woman replies:

“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.

Secondly, the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament):

Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God – Exodus 34:12-14

And lastly:

Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous. – Quran 9:12

These monotheistic, organised religions with their unique objective (simply, to spread) clearly stem from the same tree, with their unanimous call for ‘submission’ (which ‘Islam’ actually translates as). Any person not of Middle Eastern descent who begs at the table of a master or god who sullies them so, is truly lost. The attitude toward ‘gentiles’ and ‘goyim’ is clear throughout these various texts, they are religions of slavery, the enthralled are kept in spiritual penury, led by gods clawing at power – discouraging any form of passion and self-betterment.

My qualm is that many of those who revere their traditional identity do not look to their history books to delve into that identity. Pre-Christian Europe was writhing with the power of the old gods – the soil, the skies, the sea and the forests were all teeming with power and significance to our ancestors, there were lessons to be heard and fears to be conquered, but now the natural world is either purely for resources or worse ignored, and yet the world is heaving with ‘religion.’

Some may believe that time has certified these religions ‘European’, and the ensuing multiculturalism is respect for all faiths and races, though interestingly with a rather perverse self-loathing attached (in the case of Europeans). However, with a dash of foresight, you may come to see that this merging of every aspect of identity creates a murky identity crisis, where traditions and ancestry are layers down under our feet and often shunned, resulting in the quest for individuality being expressed through hair styles and clothing brands, or further still through sexuality and fantasy. Identity is respecting and being proud of a one’s ancestral history, which is based primarily on native ‘religion’; and this applies to everyone, everywhere.

Native Indo-European religion is ripe with gods and spirits that make sense to us, the beliefs and values that are illustrated in the myths, sagas and poetry of our spiritual culture ring true with us, they are easy to comprehend, and unlike Christianity, it is not a constant battle with your instinct and will. The attraction to organised religion for an adopted ‘moral compass’ and a sense of order is understandable in this era, however this sought after morality is unavoidable with genuine respect for nature and a sense of tribal kinship, and ultimately when your inspiration comes from heroes and legends. The lessons and lore within the Eddas for example, encourage strength, experience and honour – above all, they are inspirational:

The sluggard believes | he shall live forever,
If the fight he faces not;
But age shall not grant him | the gift of peace,
Though spears may spare his life. – 16. Havamal

The innumerable gods and spirits that breathe across Europe are the many faces of nature – the seasons, the animals, the trees, the emotions and lives of her children. Your spiritual journey with these gods and goddesses is entirely yours and your existence is not picking up crumbs, but hunting and fighting for your own livelihood; taking inspiration from the legends and folk tales of your lands. Monotheism lacks all mystery and nature is made plausible through being a creation of ‘God’, these types of religion spread because they neglect the natural environment of the follower, the god is outside of our world, and thus nature is insensate. Modernity and monotheism, being the antithesis of the pre-Christian values of heroism and wildness (see Nietzsche’s ‘Anti-Christ’), work well together in their neglect of nature – existing inside safe, man-made structures and man-made dogmas which are therefore transferable across nations, free of the identity and mystery that your homeland offers, better yet – imposes.

In my experience, attachment to ones heritage within a nation suffering from identity failure is the seed of neo-tribalism – a natural urge to belong and have a rewarding, worthwhile trade and role within your community, a community that shares intrinsic beliefs and worldview. This urge is not being satisfied in modern society, we have become infantile and solitary – alienated from our surroundings and terrified of discomfort. It is a dangerous thing to be united, to have an alliance outside of Government influence where loyalty and brotherhood are principal and the group is impossible to infiltrate, where you rely on each other for support and subsistence. So folk tradition is demonized, identity is pre-packed and our religions are anti-spiritual. Tribalism is a result that our society fears, so our political and social rulers attempt to suck your very individuality from you and create a world community, by encouraging homogeneity and mediocrity through adherence to modern culture.

However, one should take consolation from the words of Julius Evola:

One should not become fixated on the present and on things at hand, but keep in view the conditions that may come about in the future. Thus the principle to follow could be that of letting the forces and processes of this epoch take their own course, while keeping oneself firm and ready to intervene when ‘the tiger, which cannot leap on the person riding it, is tired of running.

By reducing your involvement in modern culture, and stepping out into the wilderness around you, you may begin to nurture an inherent love and relationship with the land, opening yourself to wild and ‘wyrd’ and perhaps realising that the ever unpopular folk culture of your ancestors is an innate paganism. The aforementioned structures, both spiritually and physically that divide us from the natural world will eventually fall, the meek will not inherit the Earth – and you will meet your maker: the wilderness – unflinching and unconcerned by your offence to her natural law; unaffected by the illusory citadel you’ve assembled about yourself forged of social ideals and romanticised concepts of entitlement.

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