Orthopraxy, Living Custom And The Non Nordic Born Heathen


In Sweden Heathenry is sometimes referred to as “en levande sed” (“a living custom).

I have often emphasized how Nordic cultures, having only been officially Christian for less than a 1000 years, are ripe with Heathenry, how our hollidays and celebrations (perhaps especially Yule and Midsummer), our names and folklore and even our Christianity, not to mention our mentality is colored by it.

This is often taken up when Scandinavians are irritated by some form of American or other non Nordic Heathenry that takes on forms that feels very incompatible to our ways to us.

I would like to make clear that this is usually not a sentiment towards the majority of American Heathenry.

One of the most creative (in every sense of the word) kindreds i know off is the “Jotun Bane Kindred” who have taken orthopraxy and put it in a place that feels like exactly the point with it (they have a community spirit that is incedible by any standards as far as i can see).

Now, ortghopraxy does not only have to do with cult acts, blots and worship of the Divine, or even with virtues and conduct, but, as i´m sure practitioners of Romuva (Lithuanian Paganism),  Suomenusko (Finnish Paganism)

and many other indigenos customs would agree , folklore and tradition as a whole plays a big role. Dances, songs, sayings, all of it is a part of the custom.

So, now i was thinking i should turn my whole argument on its head (or at least so it might seem at a quick glanze).

Most Heathens and Pagans i know off internationally seem to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and so on, in part to be with their (extended) families, partly to be part of community as a whole and because it feels nice.

Many might privately see the celebration in another light than those around them (“we sit at the same table, we  celebrate together but as you comemorate the birth of Jesus, i give thanks to Saturn”).

Now, imagine if you will (and this probably happens) a group of Americans, gathering at a house or in a grove at Veterans Day and / or 4:th of July, giving blot to Odin and thanks for victory, freedom and the rights they enjoy. Following with a blot to the ancestors who made this possable and boasting about relatives and ancestors that made this possable and perhaps giving vows to deserve this gift to the best of their abilites.

It would look similar to the Sigr blot (Victory blot at spring), but be connected to culture, history and nationality close to the participants and probably striking a chord.

One might say that this is a new invention but actually it is MORE traditional than dressing up in viking age clothes (wich is not “wrong”).

After all, festivals and cultic celebrations where always connected to local cicumstances.

Things where not done in Iceland as they where in Sweden.

These celebrations are secular in nature and thus highly adaptable.

A Swedish Christmas table would make sense to someone living in Canada or Alaska (from a nutrition / survival standpoint) in another way than it would to a Heathen in Hawaii or Northern Australia.

Why stuff your face with fat, alcohol (well, there´s always a reason for mead) and slaughter a lot of animals at the hottest part of the year?

And why give thanks to Freyr for grain that we recieved in the North (not that we mind   😉   )?

I have eaten bananas at Christmas in Africa. In my fathers homeland a blot of chicken, beans, bread, rice and fish would make sense as well as a strong cult for Njordr and Aegir (since it is a country of islands with much fishing and marine culture) for a Heathen.

It is not a matter of abandoning traditional cult acts or their ingredients (pigs and pork still has meaning symbolically for instance). Neither is it a matter of declaring it “wrong” to dress in viking age clothes, eating traditional Swedish smorgosboard or wearing Noerwiegian folk costume ( to celebrate heritage or simply because one likes it for that matter).

Rather, it is a matter of bringing the orthoprax thought into the society , place and time in wich you live.

You have blessings from the Gods to give thanks for unique to your life and region as well as ancestors closer than the vikings, but no less heroic, that ensured that you could enjoy those gifts.

I think the LEAST you owe those that died (or even survived) 9 / 11, or WWI and WWII is a beer and some boasting.

Your tribal elders  and ancestors that built the country you live in, dont they deserve a mention and a bit of respect?

Your ancestors that fought in the ghetto, died in camps, defended the Alamo, where in the French resistance where imprisoned at Robben Island feels natural as guests by the Hof to me (and they would to pre Christian Norse people too).

The Vaettir of your lands, unique to them, deserve consideration, blot  and respect. The land vaettir of Minnesota are the land vaettir of Minnesota, the vaettir of Manitoba are the vaettir of Manitoba.

The advice and help from these mights are closer to you too (the vaettir being of your region and your close ancestors being closer to your own circumstances).

In Scandinavia Heathenry, like folklore in general differs by region.It always did (there are clear attestations) and probably always will.

The orthoprax idea is to bond YOUR life to the divine, not sombody elses.

This is not new, it is the very nature of the beast.

Óðrœrir- reconstructionist journal


http://odroerirjournal.com/

 

few things fail the wise;
for Odhrærir
is now come up
to men’s earthly dwellings
-Hávamál (108), Thorpe’s Translation

Óðrœrir is a fully downloadable journal dedicated to developing, fostering, and distributing scholastic literature solely regarding the reconstruction of the various pre-Christian religious traditions and cultures of Northern Europe.

It is our firm belief that while much of these traditions are completely viable in a modern setting, understanding and implementing them must be achieved through a thorough understanding of their original context.  We also believe that there is too much literature available that falls very short of this mark.  Thus, Óðrœrir is intended to serve as a bastion of literature that is evidence based and consistent with modern standards of academic accuracy and quality.  Articles are peer reviewed by a board ranging of individuals with over forty years of experience in reconstructing “heathen” traditions, to scholars who are currently leaders in the fields of Old Nordic Religion, and Old Nordic Culture.  It is our hope that with these high standards, and with the range of experience that exists on our board, thatÓðrœrir will be able to bridge the gap between scholastic wisdom of ancient heathen traditions and the implementation and practice of ongoing ones today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theodism and Sacral Kingship


Pagan ‘King’ Has Council GOP Nod

Dan Halloran performs a ceremony with other members of his faith.


By Brian M. Rafferty
Dan Halloran, the Republican candidate for City Council facing primary winner Kevin Kim in the 19th District, already has a leadership role in a vast community that very few people know about – or understand.

Halloran is the “First Atheling,” or King, of Normandy, a branch of the Theod faith of pre-Christian Heathen religions assembled in the Greater New York area. A group of dedicated fellow pagans swear their allegiance to him through oaths of fidelity, allowing luck from a series of ancient gods – specifically the “Norse” or “Germanic” gods Odin, Tyr and Freyr – to pass through the King to his kinsmen.

“It is our hope to reconstruct the pre-Christian religion of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European peoples, within a cultural framework and community environment,” Halloran – who in many circumstances surrounding his religion goes by his ancestral name O’Halloran – wrote on his tribe’s Web site.

“We believe in and honor the Gods and Goddesses of the North, spirits of the land, and the memories of our ancestors,” he wrote.

Within minutes of speaking with the Tribune Wednesday, Halloran’s site was listed as “under construction.”

When asked Wednesday about his faith, Halloran was uneasy. “I am not comfortable with injecting my religion into my politics,” he said. “I grew up born and raised Roman Catholic. I went to Jesuit schools. Most of my life has been in traditional Irish household.”

He added, “I don’t think any of this is really relevant to the City Council race. It’s like talking about what church you pray at. That you understand the divine is the most important part.”

Theodism relies upon an interlocking ring of honor, wisdom and generosity to motivate the individual members to achieve a spiritual evolution. “Any earthly life that a man doesn’t die out of as a better and worthier man than he was born into it is seen, in these terms, as a wasted life, ultimately bound for Hel [sic] after death,” Halloran wrote on his Web site. He also is listed on at least one Web site as a “Pagan Attorney” and served as legal counsel and incorporating attorney for the New York City Pagan Pride Project.

“Theodism is… an entirely kin and oath-bound community, operating by certain set standards to which the important business of oath-swearing is regularly and officially held,” Halloran’s site reads. “This has the effect of creating a vast web of social and personal connections high and low, weaving together the doom (fate) of those in the web. It is through this web of oaths that the beneficence of the Gods filters down to the individual members of the tribe, through a mechanism called luck.”

Halloran said that his leadership position in his faith is not simple to explain. “Things in non-mainstream religions are not as clear cut and obvious as in mainstream.” Just like Mormons, he said, the hierarchy, roles and responsibilities of members are difficult for somebody outside the faith to comprehend. “It’s different than being a bishop in a Catholic church.”

Though Halloran’s site notes that “Theodism regularly practices blood sacrifice,” he explained that it is similar to the kashrut practices of the Jewish faith.

Active with the Boy Scouts for more than 30 years, Halloran noted that there are existing Scout troops that recognize his faith. “They want you to be cognizant of the divine,” he said.

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), who said he has known Halloran since the candidate made Eagle Scout, said he was not aware of Halloran’s faith, but did not consider it an issue if the practitioners are “an honorable group.”

“We have every religion under the sun in this district,” Padavan said. “It’s all here; so what? As long as everybody is properly motivated, so be it.”

Halloran explained that Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa and the GOP executive committee were aware of his faith.

Ragusa said Wednesday that Halloran’s religion is not an issue.

“If a person performs and does what he has to do for his district, then he will be a welcome breath of fresh air,” Ragusa said.

He described Halloran as “a traditional person.”

“He seems like a regular guy,” Ragusa said.

Halloran maintained that his faith is not an issue when it comes to serving either the people or his party.

“As long as we proceed in our civic lives with dignity and honor, that’s what matters,” Halloran said.

Reach Editor Brian M. Rafferty at brafferty@queenstribune.com, or (718) 357-7400, Ext. 122.

Dan Halloran from his Paganspace Web page.

Polytheism


When i search for polytheism on Tumblr i get a whole lot of not so educated Abrahamic “monotheistic” bullshit, rewriting history and explaining what is wrong with it.

Too bad.

1. To refer to polythistic religions as primitive is not only bigotry but outright stupid.

These are customs and cultures that in many cases where around in one form or another for thousands of years before two guys invented Christianity in Rome (and no, neither was named Jesus and only one of them even met him).

2.Abrahamic “monotheists” (i only consider certain forms of Islam as truly monotheistic. Christianity is a text book case of soft polytheism….just like most forms of Hinduism) like to spell God with a capital “G” when its a monotheistic God, and with a “g” when its a polytheistic God. That says a lot.

3.Romantic shrines to pagan Gods, supposedly Germanic, built in Victorian times or during the nazi romanticism are NOT part of any culture, Germanic or otherwise.

Well. Now there is a post by a polytheist, about polytheism tagged “Polytheism”

Religion as a Christian concept


 Religion as a Christian concept The social constructionists In recent years, some academic writers have described religion according to the theory of social constructionism, which considers how ideas and social phenomena develop in a social context. Among the main proponents of this theory of religion are Timothy Fitzgerald, Daniel Dubuisson and Talad Assad. The social constructionists argue that religion is a modern concept that developed from Christianity and was then applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures and European pre Christian cultures.

The social constructionists

In recent years, some academic writers have described religion according to the theory of social constructionism, which considers how ideas and social phenomena develop in a social context. Among the main proponents of this theory of religion are Timothy Fitzgerald, Daniel Dubuisson and Talad Assad. The social constructionists argue that religion is a modern concept that developed from Christianity and was then applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures and European pre Christian cultures.

Similar views to social constructionism have been put forward by writers who are not social constructionists. George Lindbeck, a Lutheran and a postliberal theologian, says that religion does not refer to belief in “God” or a transcendent Absolute, but rather to “a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought … it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.” Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, says that “The comparative study of religions is an academic discipline which has been developed within Christian theology faculties, and it has a tendency to force widely differing phenomena into a kind of strait-jacket cut to a Christian pattern. The problem is not only that other ‘religions’ may have little or nothing to say about questions which are of burning importance for Christianity, but that they may not even see themselves as religions in precisely the same way in which Christianity sees itself as a religion.”

Similar views to social constructionism have been put forward by writers who are not social constructionists. George Lindbeck, a Lutheran and a postliberal theologian, says that religion does not refer to belief in “God” or a transcendent Absolute, but rather to “a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought … it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.” Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, says that “The comparative study of religions is an academic discipline which has been developed within Christian theology faculties, and it has a tendency to force widely differing phenomena into a kind of strait-jacket cut to a Christian pattern. The problem is not only that other ‘religions’ may have little or nothing to say about questions which are of burning importance for Christianity, but that they may not even see themselves as religions in precisely the same way in which Christianity sees itself as a religion.”