So there was this lady who joined one of the Facebook groups I haunt, and she identified herself as a folkish Heathen. I think she lasted for a few months and then left, stating “I’ll never understand universalists, never have, never will.”
Well, I’ll never understand folkish Heathens.
You see, I find this whole insistence that “you must have X percentage of Northern European Blood (hereafter abbreviated NEB) to worship these deities” to not only be ahistorical, but, well, completely nonsensical. (I’m certain they feel the same about me.)
For starters, how much NEB do I need to qualify for a chance to speak to one of the deities? My grandmother was German, is that enough? I mean, my biological parents were born and raised in Romania, my adoptive parents are Irish and First Nations. I have a cousin who has traced the genealogy of my a-family all the way back to Ireland. Obviously my godphone will have static due to all these non-NE influences, right?
In the event that I don’t meet the qualifications for the amazing privilege of being allowed to worship these deities. Which pantheon should I direct my attention to? Irish? Daceo-Thracian? Roman? Oh, my biomom thinks my dad has some Eurasian ancestry (though I can’t tell you exactly where). Seriously, I could really use some guidance here!
Also, could you please explain why honest-to-goodness Northern European people allowed an Arab and a Roman to get close enough to observe their rites? I wasn’t aware that these people were Northern European.
Also, I’m kind of confused by this notion that one’s gods are “in the blood”. If this is true, should I be honoring all the deities of my ancestors? Also, are blood transfusions and donating blood out? I can’t lose my precious connection to my deities by letting
vampires other people have my precious vitae!
Oh wait, I think you mean this in a spiritual sense, right? Phew, I was really worried there for a second, but seriously, look at how many different ancestors I have. Oh but, why should I stop at this group of ancestors? Why can’t I practice Proto-Indo European religion? Those deities are even older than the ones I currently honor. After all, if the ancestors are so important to you, why stop at the tenth century? Why not go aaaaalllll the way back to prehistory? Don’t worry about there not being any written records from that time, it’s only slightly worse than what you’re working with now, after all!
You know, I’m kind of concerned for other Pagans out there. I’ve known Kemetic recons who aren’t Egyptian, Hellenic recons who aren’t Greek (or from areas the Greeks colonized), Roman recons who aren’t from Italy (much less Rome), Vodouissants who aren’t originally from Haiti (or even African-American, much less West African), Canaanite and Sumerian recons who aren’t from the Middle East, Celtic recons who aren’t from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and other places most lump together under the name ‘Celtic’ (which is actually a misnomer), Mesoamerican recons (of various types) who aren’t from Central America, and I’m kind of wondering why the Norse/Germanic/whatever-you-wish-to-call-it pantheon seems to be the only hardassed pantheon in the room? I can name a couple of traditions in that list who have equally strong traditions of ancestor reverence, and none of their deities really seem to give a fuck if their adherents don’t have ties to them from the nth generation.
Oh, and regarding race and all that, I’m assuming you’re aware that race is a social construct that emerged somewhere between the 17th and 19th centuries and so really has nothing to do with what heathens were doing in the tenth century and before? If (as many Heathens tell me, not just folkish Heathens) you’re supposed to be focusing on reconstructing a ‘worldview’, then why the Hel do you insist on incorporating this very unHeathen (so unHeathen they didn’t even have a concept of it) idea of race into your theology?
Finally, I was led to believe that hard polytheists (such as the majority of Heathens in North America) believe that deities are individuals who are capable of independent action. If this is so, please do tell Freyja that she was wrong in choosing someone like me, who likely does not have enough NEB to qualify to join your “Persons of Northern European descent only” club. Please inform Freyr as well, and Njord. Don’t forget Skadi and Gerda. They all need to know that they made a mistake. While you’re at it, I think the other deities need to know as well, so they don’t make the same mistake, so when you’re finished talking to the others, might as well go talk to Odin, Frigga, Thor, Tyr, Bragi, Idunna, they ALL need to know that they keep making mistakes! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
Seriously, I’ll be sitting on the sidelines eating popcorn when/if that conversation ever happens. Who wants to join me?