Further reading on Heathenism.

Last night I wandered back into usenet after gods know how many years. It’s even worse of a mess, if that’s possible. The Pagan and witchy newsgroups are a lot of fun if only for the disparaging of all the xian trolls in there. I was laughing with tears in my eyes. Perhaps I should get out more ;-)

Anyways, further in this reading about ancient Saxon history and contemporary Heathenism… The various groups seem pretty certain that the current Heathen groups… (Heathen being a Germanic reference similar to the Latin Pagan, meaning people in rural areas who adhere to the old (pre xian) religions) are not reconstructionist like 19th century witchcraft but maintain an unbroken line of historical continuity. Experience has taught me to do my own research, so I’ll reserve comment on that one for now… with the exception that it seems possible, not necessarily probable or even plausible, that in some rural areas in Scandinavia elder traditions may have continued like herb lore and folk beliefs did in other areas of Europe hiding under the skirts as it were, of enforced christendom.

What’s important for me at the moment is finding a mythology that works. This doesn’t mean I’m intending to throw into it balls and all as if it were scientific rational reality. Mythology is the stories we tell ourselves that couch our understanding of the universe in which we live. In other posts I’ve mentioned ideas like the Jungian collective unconscious or developmental ideas about the nature of quantum consciousness. Most of humanity seems pretty simply explained in terms of animal behaviour qualified by the development of the frontal lobe and opposable thumbs. Our need for stories and understanding is a result of us living in tribal groups for most of 6 million years and having the capability of imagination and verbal language. Simple. (;-))

But as I posted yesterday, it doesn’t give me much shape for the emotional attachments I have to the natural world in which I live or some of the stranger experiences I’ve had.

So. Bring on some more reading.

Fortunately this morning I came across an ostensibly Heathen web site which includes some blogs. The writer of Henry’s journal is a psychologist as well as a Heathen, and has a curious way of mixing his world views in a way that rings a few bells for me. Here’s someone who’s doing some critical thinking within his spirituality and talks about not being “lore-locked”.

And that’s probably the main issue I’m having with this field of enquiry right now. Having escaped xian dogma I have no intention of falling for another one. I’d much prefer to go into it with my eyes open. The other problem is of course the links in a few areas with Asatru and white supremacists. Not to mention that it seems terribly male dominant. Fortunately there’s the archetype of Freya… That’s worthy of a bit more research before I discuss her, but she’s a bit of a saving grace for someone like me.

So I shall continue to follow Woden’s trail of feathers and see what the mailing lists & ors turn up. Now I’m wondering if I should enrol in that Psych degree or opt for history and archaeology instead LOL. And go buy some runes. Just what I needed, another “new-age” consumerist spending spree. Gear Aquisition Syndrome sets in again. *sigh* ;-)

The local Hindu temple near where I live has occasionally put out the following slogan: “God Is One, Though The Wise Call Him By Various Names”. Now that’s a subtle and very interesting point of view to hold. Viva the pan-Indo-European connection!

This slogan recognises the ultimate interconnectedness of everything (which is the spiritual truth of monotheism at its best), but also the significance of individual beings’ unique spirit (which is the spiritual truth of polytheism and animism at their best).


One Response to “Further reading on Heathenism.”

  1. Henry Says:

    Hi Crowlie,

    Goodness I’m a bit shy to receive such praise :-) I totally dig what you are saying, having had many disappointing experiences with idiot heathens over the years. There are a few who are very cool, but many do little more than bring the Germanic gods into disrepute with their pig-headedness and narrowness of vision. Fighting words! :-)

    I should clarify that I’m actually a psychotherapist, not a psychologist, although I will being going back to study in order to add the latter string to my bow next year…

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments!


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