Notice of Disassociation

This post was a difficult one to write, but I’ve been wanting to write it for some time. I wasn’t going to post it outside of tumblr, but you know what? At this point I don’t give a fuck, and if this loses me followers and friends, well, I’m okay with that.

When I first talked about writing a devotional anthology, Raven (Kaldera) was the first person who approached me about it. Others approached me  offering to help with it, but at that point I’d already said I’d go with Asphodel Press. At that point, I genuinely liked the books that he wrote with Galina Krasskova, although, there was a part of me that winced whenever he used the term “shaman” to describe himself, and there is a ton of unmarked UPG everywhere, and something about their writing seemed “gloomy” like serving a deity was all pain and suffering, and any voice that was encouraging was a person’s own sockpuppets.

So, I just wanted to let you know that, despite the fact that I did publish my anthology with Asphodel Press, that is the extent of my dealings with Kaldera, and i will not be publishing again with them in the future. I also no longer identify as Northern Tradition Pagan and would ask that people please not refer to me by that label. I am Vanatru. 

Keep in mind that this was before the big kerfluffle re: Pop Culture Paganism, where the Piety Posse started drawing lines in the sand and saying “no fake polytheists past here”. At this point, I thought about at least pulling Krasskova from the anthology, if not completely cutting ties with Asphodel Press. Maybe I should have, maybe I should have just abandoned the project as a whole, maybe it wasn’t the best decision to keep going in spite of my own misgivings.

On a related but separate subject (as Kaldera generally stays out of Internet debates), I am disgusted by the piety posse’s violent rhetoric and “us vs. them” mentality, and I think they are doing way more harm to polytheism than any of the people that they are complaining about.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done and the assweasels are probably going to lump me in with people I disagree with (sometimes vehemently) regardless of what I say, but I wanted to make it perfectly clear where I stand in the “twu polytheist” thing. Namely, I don’t really care if you’re devotional, soft….or your deity is Superman. I also don’t care for cultural appropriation, including the use of appropriative language like “shaman” to describe someone who wasn’t raised in that culture, especially when there are other, Heathen terms for such people.

11 thoughts on “Notice of Disassociation

  1. I’m sorry that your spirituality has been mistreated. Too many people like to pigeon-hole you by putting a particular title on you. And that’s how you are defined. Please know that your blog followers know that you are a many-faceted spiritual person.

  2. So, I would never say you have to associate where you’re not comfortable, but you seem to be conflating Raven and Galina, who are very different people both in writing and in person. I know Galina is inclined to rant, but Raven is usually pretty moderate, so I’m not sure it’s fair to treat them as equivalent.

    I do understand your wariness, mind you. I, too, am Vanatru, and hard/devotional polytheist, and do not feel combative about it either. I find the discussion fruitful, but the sense of antagonism is not present for me.

    I’m just wondering if you’re lumping people together unfairly in your process of avoiding being lumped.


  3. It’s interesting how so many think it’s up to them to define who is what, like they’re the end all. They’re hostility makes it harder to learn if a person is new to the path and still shy about it. Probably why so many are still quiet about their beliefs. I’m glad you stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

  4. “and something about their writing seemed “gloomy” like serving a deity was all pain and suffering, and any voice that was encouraging was a person’s own sockpuppets”

    OT, but, to be honest this is something that’s been pushing me away from a lot of the recon and reconstructionist-derived paganisms. I assume it’s a reaction against super-fluffy light-and-love paganism, but I can’t help but feel it’s gotten more unpleasant than what it’s reacting against. At least I can understand why someone would want to believe that everything is light and happiness and that they can have anything they want just by thinking it. Anyone would like that to be true. The gloom has really alienated me since it seems to be saying, “You must demonstrate intense piety, but oh, if you do, you’re still just a tool of the Gods; don’t start thinking you matter.” Like, damn, if that’s the truth, shouldn’t we all be working to stay as far away from the Gods as possible? What’s the point in having a religion in the first place?

    • Yeah I don’t get it either, I don’t think either view is really the way to go. Sure, deities aren’t always going to be supportive, but they aren’t necessarily Evil Overlords either (at least, not all the time) and I do think that the Vanir tend to be a bit more relaxed overall (not that Nerthus doesn’t scare the fuck out of me).

      • Nerthus is someone I’m glad I’ve never had anything to do with. Just the thought of Her makes me shiver! Not really sure why, either. It’s just a feeling.

      • That’s my experience with the Vanir as well – They seem to be mellower than the Aesir, who are in turn mellower than the Jotnar apparently.

        Nerthus doesn’t scare me, but that’s less because She’s not terrifying and more because I’m inexplicably not terrified.


    • > I assume it’s a reaction against super-fluffy light-and-love paganism
      I’m pretty sure that is it, yes. I spend enough time with the dark-and-mysterious that I periodically think light-and-love is more transgressive by far, but I’m aware that my perspective has gotten a bit skewed.

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