Bear versus the armchair viking association

Where to start? LOL Anyone who’s investigated Heathenism or Asatru is probably aware that there are small pockets of white supremacists using Asatru and Odinism and Heathen as cover for their retrograde attitudes. It’s a real problem in Australia, they seem to control all the mailing lists.*

A while ago I was joining up and sussing them out. Left most of them because I don’t enjoy constantly engaging homophobic he-man armchair vikings. I want to join a Heathen or Asatru discussion list to hear opinions about Heathen spirituality. In Australia you get some nutter quoting conservative christians or muslims to support homophobia. Great.

Last night I was having another wee tantrum and mentally composing a “fuck you all, see you in Hel” email that I was going to retire on, and return to my Solitary practice.

“That’s it! I’m now officially Agnostic!” I bawled as I stamped my widdle tooties and pouted. “To Hel with these white supremacist neanderthals!”

I could almost feel Thor huffing at me. “Oh really? After all this time needing my help and protection, now you don’t believe in me?” Freya for her part was somehow giving me a big warm hug. I’m a bit bi so a warm hug from a wonderful Goddess like Freya is all the more welcome for the innuendo. The night before I’d felt something similar. An encouragement to trust in the Universe, trust in the Aesir and Vanir. They’ve led me well so far…

This morning it occurred to me that the Aesir and Vanir probably don’t want their followers stuck in the past recreating and repeating the same old mistakes. Why should there not be room for us to grow, learn and evolve? It’s not as if there’s enough info to comprehensively recreated ancient Saxon or Norse culture anyway, the christians did too much damage when they forcibly converted the North. And that’s a whole ‘nother post in itself, the internal incongruity of christianism.

It pisses me off when people act as if we should be as true as possible to bronze age society, as a cover for being homophobic and conservative. When they quote brutal religions to support their ideas it seems simply ridiculous. Why would you leave christendom for something you think is better, only to bring along so much harmful cultural baggage? Surely if you’re going to go to the trouble of redefining your spiritual perspective, you’d go the last few steps of reviewing the effects such religious pathology has had on your understanding and values? Why use ancient Greco-Roman purity codes and household codes if you’ve swapped to Heathen or Paganism? Jordsvin has a fantastic article discussing all this, btw.

Another problem is that with these throwback ideas is that the same post-christian anglo social construct, which rejects homosexuals and defines masculinity as violent and militaristic, subverts women. He-men are often defined in contrast to sex class women who serve only as disposable incubators for the next generation of “warriors”. Any trait or expression culturally defined as feminine or effeminate is rejected as being unworthy.

Considering there’s quite a bit of evidence for cross-dressing and other “effeminate” behaviour in cultic worship of deities like Odin and Ingvi-Freyr, and stories of Loki and Thor cross-dressing, not to mention the sense of humour the ancient Saxons and Norse seem to have had, it’s a wonder anyone who’s seriously homophobic or misogynist would even consider Heathenism.

Well anyways. There are plenty of others out there who want to deepen their experience and understanding of Heathen spirituality without resorting to retrograde neo-nazi bullshit. You can’t always walk away from discussion groups that are dominated by such lunatics, where would you end up?

*Possibly because Australian culture is still so androcentric. You know, home of “Damned whores and God’s police”.

Bath day kittens update.

Hehe. It’s a reference to some history I came across during the week… though for someone with a reputation as a bit of a hippie it may be relevant. =D And it’s still raining!! Hail Thorr!! This is fantastic. If it keeps up we’ll get a crop of cucumbers afterall. Lying awake listening to the sound of rain on the roof is truly one of the most exquisite experiences of life. Even if the wind is giving the roses a hiding.

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Some photos of my gorgeous tom Mephistopheles. He was one of the kittens that was dumped down the drain out front of our house last xmas. The other one went to a new home, but this little guy stayed. Despite having him fixed when he was 4 months old he’s still managed to grow into quite a tom. He brought his first dead sparrow into the house last week (Grrr…) and has a voice on him like that guy from System of a Down.

When he was dumped he was so young that his eyes were still blue and he could barely walk, though that may have also been because he was skin and bones. Poor little bugger. His first birthday is considered to be next Thursday, roughly. Partly decided upon because that would make him a Sagittarius which rather suits him. He’s a real knockabout kind of character and athletic, as well as being the only cat I’ve ever seen fail to land on his feet after rolling off my lap one day LOL. He can, however, jump off the roof quite effectively.

But he loves a smooch. Any time I sit still for more than 5 minutes he appears from nowhere, purring like a four stroke, and wants a cuddle. (Sitting on my lap as I type…) How delightful. Eats like nobody’s business too of course.

There are two black cats sharing the house, Desdemona Crowfeather and this bloke Mephistopheles. When they were registered the council clerk had to ring us to check the names LOL. In case we get any more black cats I have names up my sleeve, fairly predictable things like Beelzebub and Lilith, but two are enough especially when they’re moulting.

In case you’re wondering that’s the beanbag we’re sitting on at 2 in the afternoon on Saturday. I’ve discovered IM, and spent Friday night sitting up way too late chatting and drinking beer, as you do.

While I’m waffling I’ll link a plug for the Nine Worlds Asatru forum over on Delphi. It’s pretty quiet at the moment but there’s a history there and some interesting discussions… perhaps it can be resurrected?

After reading about Norse poetry protocols yesterday, I noticed with interest that someone suggested erotic poetry as an offering to Freya. Don’t panic, I’m not going to subject you to any examples… but doesn’t it sound like a great idea!

New references for contacting other Asatruar:

Melbourne Heathen Moot though they have links with the Odinist group that I’m not really part of…

and the FaceBook Australian Heathen group.

Now for that bath… :D With sage and marjoram from the garden I think, since it’s Spring.

Home

It would be neat to have a photo of a redhead to go in here. Edit: Found one! LOL Since I’ve been doing Blot for Thorr I keep seeing redheads everywhere. Wonderful! Going from monotheism, though it be some time ago now, to polytheism is an interesting move. For one thing, there are plenty of Heathens (Heidhni?) who feel a strong affiliation for one Goddess or God… Yet almost everyone worships all the Aesir and Vanir at appropriate times, not to mention respect for landwights and ancestors. All of elohim seems to be well covered. ;-)

Currently I’m feeling this great affinity with Thorr. He’s a protective influence but without being smothering or dominating. Feels wonderful. The situation raises some questions about whom I’m following or who is doing the directing of all the little coincidences that are piling up in my life. Getting to know the Goddesses is also worthwhile, though admittedly I haven’t been doing as much of that consciously.

Most Heathens write about their Goddesses and Gods being ‘elder kin’ rather than slave drivers. They’re not jealous, controlling or foul tempered. Nor is one expected to give up control of one’s own life in service to them or for any other reason. The connection feels much more like a partnership relationship. This approach reminds me of the subject of process theology, whereby the will of the individual was theoretically rehabilitated and seen as useful, to be engaged in the development of spirituality as distinct from the ‘I am an unworthy worm and I submit unquestioningly’ school of worship. If you’ve read any of Aleister Crowley’s thoughts you’ll recognise an ironic influence here.

At this point it should be mentioned that there were a variety of views on God in christendom, there were plenty of sources to point to Jesus’ God being Fatherlike, with the unfortunate shift in practise toward him appearing more as an abusive father… There’s such difference between what I was studying in theology at Whitley and what seems to pass for popular belief in xianity. All up I spent 9 1/2 years in that study, and I can tell you I saw an enormous diversity! I have no regrets regarding dumping christendom, however I feel obliged to acknowledge the open mindedness and hard work of the professors at Whitley. Embracing Heathendom is probably not the outcome they expect for most students, however, if you’re analysing faith and belief, why remain subject to a faith that was forced on you if it isn’t working for you and has been quite harmful?

Getting to know the Aesir and Vanir is not as much of a challenge as it would seem without the kind of authority that ‘scripture’ is touted to be. There’s plenty of scope for one’s own experience and development in relationship and as mentioned above they aren’t jealous about these things. This is rather something new for me, the realisation that although I’m currently feeling this great sense of Thorr’s presence, it doesn’t infringe on my awareness of Odin or Freya at work in my life. And Odin is very much at work!

Last night after all the family related stuff came up again, specifically thinking about adoption and life on the margins, I went to bed in something of a temper. Feeling rather despondent… Funny how that seems to be becoming a sore point. When I was younger it was simply a fact of life. Now it bothers me when people are discussing family and origins. I’m more and more reluctant to have the subject arise in conversation. Anyways, I went to bed early and was feeling considerably unhappy about my circumstances. The conversations about family and origins had lifted the lid on a whole seething mass of unresolved issues. Odin seemed to say to me that this would be something to deal with. I was not happy and laughed at him sourly “I deal with this every damn day!” Then in Terry Pratchett’s Witches Abroad which I was re-reading for about the fourth time, the page opened to a mention that witches never run away from things they fear. Pffft. Synchronous events can be confronting at times.

Today while reading further on runes and runelore, I dived into an essay about Othala, the rune of inheritance, family connections, lands… All the background of humanity that comes to you down through the generations. Needless to say it felt rather like I was having my nose rubbed in it. Meditating on this rune and exploring it’s importance in my life should be fun… for a given value of fun. LOL. Probably connects substantially with the experience of the land claiming me that I was recounting in yesterday’s post.

Suffice it to say that if any information about my origins comes to light now, after years of searching and invariably heartbreaking dead ends, it would be a bloody miracle. I’m not sure if that’s what the Allfather has up his sleeve, is anyone, ever? Anyways, it’s certainly an intense journey.