I’ll Never Understand Folkish Heathens….

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?

31 thoughts on “I’ll Never Understand Folkish Heathens….

  1. I’ll join you, with the popcorn, & a camera. Thinking that the reactions of the Gods would go over well on YouTube.

    • I don’t know if I want to see Loki’s response, seems like it would be messy and interesting.
      I would love to see a one-on-one fight against Ullr, though. That would be awesome!

  2. W0rd. As a multiracial person I’ve had this happen time and time again – the good news? I can actually recite back into my heritage – the “bad” news is it’s never good enough for the folkies. It’s a good thing I don’t have to impress them, however.

    • They have the right to hold those beliefs, of course, but they don’t have the right to be free from criticism.

      It’s funny, no one seemed to mind when I criticized the New Age movement or feminist Goddess worship, but oooooh, don’t touch folkish Heathenry! It’s our own personal brand of hallowed bovine!

    • No, someone else’s religious views should be tolerated, as in not writing laws against their faith or discriminating against their freedom to practice or express their faith. Respect is another matter entirely.

  3. Technically, my family and I have been in the US and Christian for so long why would the god’s call on me when there are perfectly good actual German practitioners in Germany. It’s hard enough in the US to be open about being pagan to have those who work with your gods tell you your not welcome is just wrong.

  4. You are…an idiot. You stay in your viking decorated playground, your lack of critical thinking is useless to those in our faith. Folkish pagans exist all over the world. The Native Americans are very exclusive and protective of their faith. It is sacred to them. The Folkish assertion is very much valid and quite a majority in Asatru. It is communicated quite widely within organizations like the AFA that Asatru is for ALL europeans and european-descended peoples. Worship of the “norse” gods has been cited in many regions of the continent and it is beleived the gods of many later european cultures(celtic. greek. etc..) are influenced by the germanic gods.

    As for all your other “recons”, I can only be amused. These are not pagans, and you are not pagan, Your problem is that you still see pagan gods in the same way christians see their own god. You are stuck. And good for you. First you are going to need to understand how our ancestors understood their gods. Quite and adventure. Then you are going to have to give up your neurotic PCness and Marxist womanism, with all that bullshit clouding your mind you will have a real hard time seeing clearly how our the spirit of our culture works.

    Asatru is for european descended people and ONLY european descended people. Non-european descendants can worship the gods all they want. It does not make you Asatru to simply worship gods. The gods are part of our PEOPLE. Our community and our folk. THis is more than simply blood. http://www.runestone.org/about-asatru/articles-a-essays/138-in-defense-of-the-folkish-view.html Mr McNallen can put it in more eloquent wording than I.

    • Just an observation, but I’ve noticed a strange correlation between the strength of one’s argument and how quickly they resort to insults. You resorted to insults in your very first sentence.

      By contrast, I just read over my entire post and I can’t find one instance where I called folkish Heathens idiots (except by inference).

      Using this gauge, I can determine exactly how much time I should devote to unpacking your comments, that is, none at all.

      Thank you for playing. Come back when you can resort to more than petty insults. I’ll be sitting here eating popcorn.

  5. *starts making popcorn*

    I’d love to see Set or Sekhmet’s reaction. From a safe distance, of course.

  6. I’d love to see how Lugh or Dagda would reply to this.
    While I think it’s best to worship the gods of your ancestors, if another deity comes a calling, you better listen. Trust me, I speak from experience.

  7. I’m a Folkish Heathen and will attempt to unpick your fluffytru bullshit.. and please don’t take that as an insult, I just see you’re quite fond of the word “bullshit” on your blog.

    The Folkish stance is that you only need to have Germanic ancestry in order to follow your ancestral path, it would appear you have German ancestry through your Grandmother, so this is quite simple and straightforward. Given your Irish roots you may also have Norse ancestry since it well known the Vikings raided and settled in Ireland, but you also have significant Celtic ancestry and therefore you could apply Folkish logic and follow an Irish pagan path. In a way you have a choice in this, although I would think one calls you more than the other.

    Just because Tacitus wrote about observations doesn’t mean he observed them first hand and if he did then it certainly doesn’t mean he was part of their tribe. The Romans had dealings with the Germanic tribes, observations were made and written down. This really is a mute point.

    You can practice Proto-Indo European religion if you want, although good luck. It’s a complete reconstruction and isn’t based on a single reliable source of information, it’s assumption and guesswork. Germanic Heathenism has a rich historical and archaeological record for us to reconstruct the Germanic tribal beliefs, so there is a big difference there.

    As for me personally, I’m going back as far as the late Nordic Stone Age which started around the same time as our Germanic “Most Recent Common Ancestor” lived. This ancestor is the single male that everyone who shares the Germanic YNDA haplogroup I1 can trace their linage back to. Traces of this lineage appear in the areas the Germanic tribes were recorded as having invaded or migrated to.

    Call it a blood-tie, call it DNA call it whatever you like. We are simply taking about ancestral lineage.

    Any indigenous ancestral folkway worth its salt, from Shinto to Native American to the Maori are all insular and ethno-centric when it comes to how they view their fellow people, community and faith. The reason for this is just the same as for Folkish Heathens, they have an ancestral link through the ages that bonds the tribe together. I do not doubt you know many people who choose to follow foreign paths, but it doesn’t mean that it’s their ancestral path, being part of an indigenous faith it’s a birthright not a universal right.

    I totally agree with you regarding race, it is indeed a social construct that bridges many different peoples. But race isn’t really a part of Folkish theology or worldview, ethnicity and lineage is what is important. Our ancestors would have understood ethnicity just like we do as being a social group of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural and religious beliefs. Our ancestors would have understood the meaning of “our people” or “our tribe”. They had a firm concept of this and tribal Kinship and blood bonds actually make up a central pillar of our heathen ancestors beliefs.

    Now finally to your last point about “please tell Freya she was wrong in choosing someone like me”. We have already established you have Germanic ancestors, so it’s another mute point. But let us just theorise for a second that you do not have Germanic ancestors, well why would our Gods be interested in you? I mean really, our Gods shared a sacrificial bond with the Germanic tribes specifically, they aren’t interested in calling the whole of humanity back into their fold, they are only interested in their people. It may have been over 1000 years but WE are still their people and theirs alone. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

    Enjoy the popcorn.

    • I wasn’t going to respond to this because I figure if you’re going to paint an argument as “fluffytru bullshit” right off the bat you don’t have any interest in a civil discussion, then again, if I’ve annoyed you that much that means I’m doing something right.

      Firstly, I find it saddening that you’re willing to accept that I have a claim to worship these deities based on, at best, a tenuous blood connection to a Northern nation. My great grandmother could have been born somewhere else and immigrated to Germany, she could have been adopted by a German family. Most importantly, I have little to no cultural ties with either Germany or Ireland. But besides that, plenty of people have ancestry that is so mixed you can’t tell where one culture ends and where one began. Some people have family lines that just vanish at a certain point in time, and, for the love of gods, you’re taking about people who traveled all over the place (including Africa) and I highly doubt they kept it in their pants the whole time.

      You are seriously willing to accept someone into the fold over some nebulous claim of blood ancestry but literally no connection to those cultures over someone whose family comes from say, Kenya, but has lived and studied in Sweden for decades? Over someone who is Swedish by blood but doesn’t look white enough for a folkish Heathen’s taste, because I hear tell of folkish Heathens looking at a black person and saying “go back to your ancestors” based on skin alone, i would think everyone’s entitled to a DNA test regardless of skin colour, sadly, the term “Northern European blood” seems to be folkish code for “white”.

      Also there’s no such thing as one universal “Germanic” belief. There was not one Germanic tribe, there were a multitude of tribes with their own beliefs and we aren’t even sure which beliefs were shared or what was local to their area. A Germanic Heathen is different from an Anglo-Saxon Heathen is different from a Frankish Heathen is different from an Asatruar. There is no one “Germanic people” that has exclusive ownership of the deities, and they didn’t seem too concerned about adopting “foreign” deities into their pantheon either. One example is Radbod of Frisia, who was all ready to be baptized until someone told him his ancestors were in Hell.

      Universalism doesn’t say the whole world should be Heathen, it says there are no barriers to entry based on things as nebulous as “blood” or “ancestry” both of which are so mixed by now that if they weren’t you would either be insane or inbred with a crapton of genetic problems. (If you want examples, the British monarchy has a few notables.)

      BTW, I’m not interested in reconstruction at all, but even if I was I wouldn’t be interested in promoting concepts inspired by German nationalism that have literally no basis in historical fact, but other people who actually know what they’re doing have explained things better than i ever can: http://grumpylokeanelder.tumblr.com/post/81779824866/we-need-to-have-a-talk-about-folkish-heathenry

  8. One, it seems quite evident that most heathens ignore a crucial piece of lore. The Lay of Rig. Heimdall had children with the Central and Northern European peoples. That the blood of Heimdall and the spark of divinity inherent in our souls come from that moment when Rig/Heimdall came down and shared kinship as we know the Gods as our Elder Kin.

    Should easily boil down to his. Do I as a Folkish Heathen have a problem who is half and half. No. Someone who is a Quarter aka Grandparent? Probably Not. someone Farther than that… Well at that point one should find their closest strongest link. Would I have an aversion to someone joining the folk through marriage or blood sib oath? No. But without one. The claims seem very hollow to me as one doesn’t have that link to Heimdall or the link shouldn’t be as strong as a link to another indigenous ethnic religions’ pantheon.

    Lay of Rig applies to either just the descendants of the Central and Northern European people or to everyone and if it is everyone then those that claim that are no better than the religious imperialism of Christianity and all the other Abrahamic faiths. If it applied to everyone then that would mean It would state that this is the true religion and all other faiths are wrong because we say so. And yet one can choose to ignore the lay of Rig so we can be politically correct. Why not ignore how Odin got knowledge the runes OR how we as humanity got knowledge of the runes? Oh wait that last one is in the lay of Rig too.

    Why would Odin be hesitant to share? Maybe because either A) we didn’t have the divine spark at the time so we couldn’t learn it no matter how hard we tried. or B) we had no blood relation and thus not kin to the Gods at the time, so why empower outsiders? But once Rig created that tie; all of a sudden we started to learn how to use the runes. Folkish Asatru is believing in your culture. Your ethnicity. Your Ancestors. And your divine spark from being in the line of the All-Father Odin.

    • And finally an Arab or a Roman observing our rites is so much different than an Arab or a Roman participating in our rites.

      • Most Heathens ignore the Rigsthula because it’s obvious political propaganda that gives divine justification for (among other things) slavery, and I don’t think you want to touch that argument.

        Secondly, you assume that I care about what Odin does or does not do with the runes, I don’t, as I am Vanatru, Odin has no part in my praxis, Odin can prance around in a dress while drumming and I wouldn’t care.

        Thirdly, you misunderstand the universalist position. The position does not say “everyone *should* become Heathen” it says “everyone *can* become Heathen if they choose to be” there’s a marked difference there, just because a faith doesn’t actively seek converts doesn’t mean that it’s completely closed to outsiders, this is true for many polytheistic traditions in antiquity and it’s equally true for their modern revivals/reconstructions (although it’s not true of all polytheistic traditions, for a variety of reasons).

        • So let’s continue to ignore more lore about how the Vanir got absorbed into the Aesir clan. Oh and your personal feelings aside about slavery. I know quite a few theodsmen who would disagree about your judgements on their legitimate heathen beliefs on sacral kingship.

          This is just de-evolving into stereotypes but well that’s what happens when lore is ignored by an ethnic religion and I never claimed someone from the outside can’t become an Asatruar. I just said marriage or a blood Sib oath or well being born from the European peoples from the line of Rig. Aka the central and northern European peoples.
          And being Vanatru why do you even care to tell others how they should act. Live life and tend your own garden. Let your deeds speak for you because no amount of words will settle this ideological diffetence. Only our deeds and our acts will show the truth on who carries the most favor. I personally know I stand with my kith and kin of the people who claim their birthright as the descendants of Rig with their divine spark in our souls.

          Good day to the forum and I wish everyone well. No malice or deceit. I hope our deeds will eventually end this rift as the Gods show who shall have victory.

          • I’d say non-consensual economic exploitation of human beings, which is what slavery is, being wrong and gross is a bit more than just “personal feelings”.

            As for the rest, I care that people are using my deities, and faiths closely related to mine to justify their racism, regardless of its window dressing.

            • And folks take offense to how you tell others how… Amazing the similarities to your previous statement about others misusing “your” gods. For truely no one truely know how heathenry may have evolved if christianity never took root in Europe.

              Thus deeds will win over words.

              • Or what is the correct faith. Is what I meant same judgements that you claim we are misusing your faith while we can say the same thus boils down to deeds and the Gods to choose victory

  9. I’m sad from these replies from this people who believe that blood has anything to do with it. 😦
    oh another thing to other repliers. please stop using the term ‘Norse’ for all the different branches, Norse is just a branch of the Germanic heathen religion group (which had quit fuzzy borders to be honest)
    I consider myself a Germanic heathen, but not a Norse heathen, some gods have different names here, some weren’t worshipped in Norway, others weren’t worshipped here. it varies wildly across the European continent.
    and more, I don’t think Greek/Roman gods came from these Germanic gods, they co-existed and probably had the same bases.

    although I may have the same religion, scratch that, may worship the same gods, I don’t feel any how connected to these people who call them self Folkish and strongly reject it.

    • Personally I find it telling that groups in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe think that folkishness is this really stupid American thing, so much so that when a group was invited to a conference there people were just like “If they’re coming we’re not going to show up….”

      It was McNallen’s group, I think.

  10. No Folkish person should pay attention to this garbage. Universalists are the same cultural parasites that have been left festering in pretty much every corner of Europa and all her tribes. They serve to water down, and slowly erode anything imminent and vital to the survival of our culture and race.

    “Thuh Scandinavians agree with us!!11” Oh yes, the suicidal, mental Scandinavians who are perfectly alright with their female population being raped by immigrants they refuse to deport, with only shreds of value for their own traditions and cultures. Let’s trust their opinion. The people who do not care if our blood survives or not…why would they see the value in keeping our traditions and religious practices sacred to us? If our biological,aesthetic,cultural, spiritual or philosophical identity were completely destroyed, it would mean nothing. The Scandinavians are spoiled materialists at best. Just because they happen to inhabit the place where the majority of Nordish people originated does not give them some kind of primacy.

    These people will never see what tiny, helpless roles they have assumed in life, what pawns they are in an ever-encompassing scam. Their spirits are damaged, sick. Combat them by excluding them. It is really our only hope.

    • Did you just made a separation between people from Norway and people from Scandinavia, LOL! go back to geographic classes please and when you are there go have a peek around the door of the history class too.

    • I see racism, sexism, and ableism, throw in some homophobia and I’ve almost, ALMOST got a bingo.

      Seriously though, your argument is ridiculous, without all the Northern lands (and that includes Scandinavia) we wouldn’t have Heathenry, and the idea that they don’t own it just because you don’t like them is ridiculous, it’s laughable.

      Go away, this blog isn’t your personal platform for your gross shit.

      • Why would they “own” it tho? It’s okay, you pretty much proved my point for me, except you replaced blood with nationality.

        They don’t own in because they are not the only Nordish(is a racial term, Weergang, go back to tumblr where you belong) people on this earth. I am just as related to my Frisian, Nordic, and English ancestors as the current inhabitants of those countries, and do them far more honor..uh, yknow…because I actually want our people’s identity to survive.
        The current inhabitants of the countries are glad to give up any and all those traditions, dismissing them as nonsense and glorifying the culture of their rapist immigrants. In fact, this was recently literally done by a political leader in Sweden. They are sick, backwards people and their opinion on who practices the traditions and spirituality that our ancestors practiced is pretty much moot.

  11. well the UN is making a bigger work of destroying local culture then the locals do with forgetting them.

    and I’ve no idea what the relevance is of the website I put in the information, could have added whitehouse.gov just as easily as funnygames.com , both equally important to this discussion

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