Sieg wrote: ↑Fri Oct 14, 2022 11:55 amIf I may, I realize that as a non-member, my views don't precisely align with Cosmotheism, but a few thoughts on this:RCavallius wrote: ↑Thu Oct 13, 2022 3:31 pmFor one thing, I was curious about the Cosmotheist perspective on indigenous Aryan religions. Obviously, Dr. Pierce adapted some things from the pre-Christian religion of the Northern Europeans, and there are some allusions to it in his essays in the first part of the book. But, what Kevin Strom wrote on page 254 really stood out to me:
A return to European paganism or neo-paganism is appealing in many respects, even though, as with Christianity, many of our best minds cannot literally believe in its gods and myths..... As these faiths are tribal faiths, racial faiths really, it can plausibly be inferred from them that we ought to survive. And there are innumerable gems of wisdom and healthy morality to be found in their stories, precepts, and lessons. But the body of European pagan works is somewhat amorphous, is not systematic or unified, and is ill-suited to serve as a guide to action today. .... But in our times, as we face racial annihilation, we need a faith which places racialism in the foreground.
Now, there's a lot that I could respond to here in this passage, beginning with the fact that very few practitioners of folkish pagan religions believe in the literal existence of Gods and Goddesses (in fact, the Odinic Rite explicitly teaches as part of its doctrine that they do not literally exist), but that is a subject for a separate discussion. Suffice it say here that I understand his point of view and recognize that there is a good deal of validity to it.
Certainly, Sieg. My responses are in red.
Many, if not most, actual adherents to the Old Ways, call it Asatru, Wotanism, Odinism, as you like, most of them do believe, literally, in the Pantheon. Really? My reading and experience has shown the opposite. Now, how the Gods and Goddesses manifest within that Pantheon is a matter of personal beliefs. Some believe in a literal interpretation of the Pantheon, whilst others believe that the Gods and Goddess' are actually forces of nature, if you will, or manifestations of natural occurrences, seasons, etc. Exactly, and the overwhelming majority take the latter position - at least, in the circles with which I am acquainted.
While the OR is a fine org, it does not speak for the majority of Heathens. There are many other groupings, particularly in the United States. The OR does not have deep roots here. As a practicing Wotanist for many decades, I can say that pretty much ALL of the Heathens I know believe literally in the Pantheon. Fair enough. Although, I would point out to you that it is not only the OR which teaches that the Gods and Goddesses do not actually exist as depicted in the lore. In my opinion, the Heathens who believe literally in the Pantheon are babes who have not yet advanced very far along the road to an adequate spiritual understanding. I don't mean this as disrespect; I'm just being frank. I don't think a deep study of the myths or the runes supports such an interpretation.
Further, the claim that Heathenism "...is somewhat amorphous, is not systematic or unified, and is ill-suited to serve as a guide to action today." is incorrect. Folkish Heathenism is no more 'amorphous' than any other major religion or belief system. There exist standard, accepted, and clearly defined rites, actions, beliefs, standards, and practices to guide Heathens throughout their lives. I agree, but I would point out that much of what you describe has been added in during modern times, when Heathens were kind of updating the old ways to fit our era and give more codification to the old, more "amorphous" faiths. Should you doubt this, I would only refer you to the works of Steven McNallen, David Lane, or Ron McVan. These men are giants in the world of Heathenism, and have given us a large body of practical works concerning it. I don't doubt this. I have read books by all three of the authors you named, and while I'm not sure David Lane should be considered an authority on the matter, the other two certainly should. However, while they would agree that the way one views the Gods and Goddesses is largely a matter of personal choice, none of those authors advance the notion that the deities exist "literally," as depicted in lore.
Folkish-Paganism, or if you prefer, Folkish-Heathenism, is an explicitly racial structure. There is no room within it for anyone but Descendants of the Original European Peoples, no place for homosexuality of any description, and no use for any of those who would support the current laissez-faire ideas about mixing with the skraelings. Correct.
So. I believe, based on what I have read, and on what I have been told, that there is no real conflict between Cosmotheism and Heathenism, both insist on the separation and survival of our race. I agree with this as well. I also have a suspicion that there is no fundamental philosophical or spiritual conflict between the two, but as I am still somewhat new to Cosmotheism, I can't say for sure.
Just my opinions, mean nothing to anyone but me.They mean something to me. Thanks for your input!
That may well be, but without knowing what those circles are, I can't speak to it.
Frankly, you can't say to someone; "no disrespect, but I think you're ..." and think they will take it as anything BUT disrespect.
Well, I have no control over that, but I think it's unreasonable.
"The Lore". Again, I have no way of knowing of what you speak, you may have read things I haven't, I may have read things you haven't. I can only reiterate that most of those I know are literalists when it comes to the Gods and Goddess'. As far as their 'development' within Heathenry, you do realize that by far the vast majority of those who are actual, practicing Heathens, not just 'fashionistas', are graduates of the prison-systems, in particular the Feds, right? They have had years, in many instances decades, to study and meditate. Personally, I wouldn't have the stones to tell one of them to their face that they only have a baby's understanding of their Weltanschauung. There are many orgs within Heathenry, certainly, and their teachings vary considerably. Their credibility varies considerably, as well.
By "the lore" I mean the Eddas and Sagas, which contain stories about Gods, Goddesses, giants, heroes, etc. Modern retellings of the lore would include books like Nordic Gods and Heroes by Padraic Colum, Myths of the Norsemen by H. A. Guerber, etc.
And yes, I do know that there are many practicing Heathens in the prison system; not only in the Feds, but also the State. Not all of them are veritable experts on these matters, by any means, but there certainly are some who I would consider quite well-read, and I do not discount their years of meditating, practicing galdor, holding blots, etc. Nevertheless - and to repeat what I already wrote - the idea that the Gods and Goddesses exist literally as depicted in the lore simply does not hold water. For example, Thor is known in the mythology to be a burly fellow with a long, red beard, who rides in a chariot pulled by goats. Yet, it is patently obvious that this is only an anthropomorphism which came from the Northern European culture and shared experience. He does not literally exist in that way. Such a depiction refers to certain natural or spiritual processes of which Thor is merely a symbolic representation - and there is nothing wrong with that. But, of course, I have to add, again, the caveat that one's understanding of the Gods and Goddesses is largely rooted in subjectivity, so obviously I cannot tell anyone that their understanding of Thor is "wrong" in a strict sense. They are welcome to believe it - and such a believe is relatively harmless - but I don't think holding fast to such a notion is indicative of any real intellectual or spiritual growth.
What you said about the different organizations with varying teachings and credibility is spot-on, and I definitely wouldn't say that we should blindly believe any of them.
AS far as the 'notion' that the Pantheon exists, I'd suggest you speak with Ron or Steven, you just might get an answer that would surprise you.
Perhaps so, but I would be very surprised indeed.