Wes þu hal, and welcome!
This first article as explained previously will explore Germanic culture. But what do I mean by "Germanic"? I don't just mean "of Germany" but all the known Germanic tribes such as the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Franks, Cherusci and Hermunduri to name but a few. These tribes or confederations of tribes shared similar languages, myths and cultures. And to a large extent still do.
Just as one has an immediate family of siblings, parents and grandparents then a wider family of cousins, there is a national family which expands into the family of your race. So an Englishman is near kin to all other Englishmen and also kin to the other Germanic nations. For our survival we must become aware of our kinship and stand firm to preserve our identity. One means to this end is to embrace our pre-Christian faith, often called Heathenism.
What is Heathenism?
Who are the Gods?
|God or Goddess||Area of responsibility|
|Odin: Óðinn (North Germanic), Wōden (West Germanic),||War, Poetry, Patron of Nobles|
|Thor: Þórr (North Germanic), Þunor (Old English), Thunaer (Old Saxon), Donar (Southern Germanic areas)||Storms, protector of Asgard and Midgard/Middle-Earth. Patron of the common man.|
|Týr (Old Norse), Tīw, Tīg (both Old English), Ziu (Old High German)||Justice, law|
|Heimdallr (Old Norse)||Watchman of Asgard at Bifrost|
|Freyr (Old Norse), Frea (Old English), Yngvi (Old Norse), Ing (Old English)||Male fertility God, virility,prosperity, sunshine and fair weather.|
|Baldr (Old Norse), Bældæg (Old English)||Light and purity|
|Freyja (Old Norse)||Love, beauty, gold, seiðr, war, and death.|
|Hel (Old Norse)||Ruler of the realm of the same name where those who die of sickness or old age go.|
|Sif (Old Norse)||Earth|
|Ēostre (Old English) (Northumbrian Old English: Ēostre; West Saxon Old English: Ēastre; Old High German: *Ôstara)||The East (which is her name) the dawn, Harvest.|
|Rán (Old Norse)||The sea, ocean storms|
- 1.Aesir (Gods): Ásgarðr.
- 2. Álfar (elves): Álfheimr.
- 3.Menn (humans): Miðgarðr.
- 4.Vanir (Gods): Vanaheimr.
- 5.Jötnar (Giants): Jötunheimr.
- 6.Náir (corpses, the other world of the dead): Hel.
- 7. Dvergar (dwarves): Svartálfaheimr.
- 8. Primordial element of Ice: Niflheimr.
- 9. Primordial element of Fire: Muspellsheimr.
Why be a Heathen?
You may ask - not unreasonably, why one should be heathen rather than Christian, for if it was so integral to their identity, why did our ancestors become Christians?
As much as I admire all the positive aspects of a Christian Europe, and all that European Christians achieved and continue to achieve I cannot overlook the harm that it has done. Formerly our people were very individualistic, whilst at the same time having absolute loyalty to ones kin. We as White Nationalists say that we too love our people above all else, and I don't dispute this. But many White Nationalists adhere to a religion whose founder is recorded as having said:
"35 For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; "
How were the Germanic peoples converted?The Christian missionaries used several tactics in their efforts to convert the various peoples of Europe.
1. They told the natives that their Gods were false and/or demons.
2. They targeted leaders, so that once they had converted, they'd be able to order their subjects to convert.
3. Economic threats. i.e. "If you don't become Christian, no-one will trade with you." As effective a threat then as it is now.
4.Naked aggression as with Charlemagne. His massacre at Verden of 4,500 unarmed Saxons who refused to be converted was followed by a law decreeing: " If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished by death."
5.To prevent re-lapses, (or sometimes to encourage conversions) they would destroy or Christianize pagan sites of worship.
"So when almighty God has led you to the most reverend man our brother Bishop Augustine, tell him what I have long gone over in my mind concerning the matter of the English: that is, that the shrines of idols amongst that people should be destroyed as little as possible, but that the idols themselves that are inside them should be destroyed. Let blessed water be made and sprinkled in these shrines, let altars be constructed and relics placed there: since if the shrines are well built it is necessary that they should be converted from the worship of demons to the service of the true God, so that as long as that people do not see their very shrines being destroyed they may put out error from their hearts and in knowledge and adoration of the true God they may gather at their accustomed places more readily. " 2
|Boniface destroys Donar's (Thor's) Oak, a sacred tree. Work title "Boniface chops down a cult tree in Hessen" engraving by Bernhard Rode, 1781|
As time went on, nation after nation was converted with Iceland being considered the last to convert. Ancient Gods & Goddesses were demonised or made into saints. Timeless festivals, such as Easter and Yule (re-named/merged with Christmas) were either banned or stripped of the true meaning and given a Christian one.
As for why I am a Heathen, I just feel drawn to the Germanic Gods, particularly Þunor. I have always loved thunderstorms, I recall when I was a young boy, and there was a thunderstorm one night. I knew it was there, but it seemed soothing, non-threatening. My poor auntie came to check I wasn't frightened, only to be told grumpily that she'd woken me up! I feel that maybe Þunor has been calling me to the worship of the old Gods my whole life.
Morality in Asatru/Heathenism
Rites of Passage & Rituals in Heathenism
Baby naming ceremony
Often held nine days after a child is born, a naming ceremony is when a baby officially is accepted into the folk. During the nine days, the parents should watch the child carefully, and see if any traits become apparent that may hint as to a suitable name. Such things as reminding them of an ancestor* or personality quirks. Where possible, Christian names ought to be avoided (unless the child seems to recall an ancestor with such a name). The nine days reflect both the nine months the baby grew in the mothers' womb and the nine realms.
At the ceremony, the mother affirms that the child is hers and that she presents him/her to be accepted by the family. The father then takes the child, examines him/her and affirms that he accepts it as his and likewise presents it to be accepted into the family.
The child is then laid on the altar and by the laying on of the parents hands is named. Then blessed by the sign of the hammer. After which the baby is taken up again and is wet with a trickle of water to recall the Norns who water the roots of Yggdrasill. Finally, the child is encouraged to be brave, true and honourable in a tough world. A party follows with offerings left to the Norn who are said to attend baby namings.
* With regards to why it may be appropriate to give a child the Christian name of a forebear, it was traditionally believed that a person may send a portion of their soul to be reborn into their family. This would be the part of themselves that contained their personalty, their drive and skills. Therefore if a child seems to be like or to have a connection to old great uncle Joseph, then it may be that the child is him re-born.
Man/Woman making ceremonyThese are the ceremonies by which a person becomes a full member of the folk, taking on adult duties and privileges.
The young person is first given a variety of "life lessons" by people close to them. A boy will have the men closest to him give advice and teach him some basic skills that he will need to be a good man, and a girl will have women do likewise to enable her to be a good woman. By tradition, the last person to meet with them will be their father or mother as the case may be.
The child will be asked if they have learnt the lessons needed to be an adult, and on their affirmation are presented with suitable gifts. A boy will receive weapons of some sort and a girl will be given a key ring with a key as a symbol of her future duties as the mistress of a house - keys being a symbol of her authority.She will also be given a weapon, because every adult must defend themselves, not rely on others to do it for them. The appropriate Gods/Goddesses are invoked and asked to bless them as they take on their new responsibilities
MarriageMarriage in Germanic culture was a sacred event, a union of two people physically and spiritually. When a man wished to marry a woman he had to go to her parents and offer a bride price for her. This was not him "buying" her, but rather compensating the family for the loss of a daughter, as women performed many valuable tasks, and having one less woman would mean that the rest would have to take up her share.
Once a Bride price had been agreed to a wedding would be arranged.
At the wedding, a man must have two swords, the first is an ancestral sword that he swears he will leave to his eldest son. The second is the sword with which he vows to protect his family. He presents a gift of money equal to the bride price to his bride for her to keep in the event of his death or their separation. He also presents her with a set of keys to the house that they will live in as a sign of her authority in that house.
The Bride and Groom exchange vows declaring that they will love, honour and treasure one another for the rest of their lives.
Blót is a ritual to honour the Gods and land Wights (spirits of the environment) It can take any form, but the basics of it include praising of the God(s) and/or Goddess(s) you're honouring, offerings of mead and other items and shared drinking of mead. Sometimes, as in times past an animal is sacrificed, but this must be done as quickly and painlessly as possible both for the animals' sake and because a slow death is an ill omen.
Traditionally held in the hall of a Lord, symbel is the second most common ritual of Heathenism.
Stemming from Old English symbel, Old Saxon symbal, sumbal (Old High German *sumbal) and Old Norse sumbl, all these names translate roughly as "feast, banquet, (social) gathering", and come from a common Germanic *sumlan "banquet", which possibly descends from a PIE *sṃ-lo- "joint meal" or "congregation" (literally, symposium or assembly).
At a symbel, the focus is on the relationship between people,as opposed to that between Man & Gods, therefore no offerings are made.
It is a formulaic ritual which is more solemn and serious than just getting together for a drinking session. The primary elements of symbel are the drinking of ale or mead from a drinking horn, speeches are made and often include formulaic boasting and oaths. Gifts are given between all gathered and particularly from the Lord of the hall.
Why Heathenism is Folkish
Often we are called racist for this belief, but it is no different to other native religions - if that term is proper to what they are. Shinto, Judaism, Hinduism and various other systems of spiritual beliefs are strongly resistant to "outsiders" practising it. These faiths are considered to be only for those who are from the ethnicity that it arose from.
No doubt you have heard of slogans such as "Race is just a social construct!" and "There's only one race, the Human race!" Well in recent years, these building blocks of Cultural Marxist doctrine on Humanity, formed through shoddy or outright falsified scientific data have begun to crumble. More and more experiments are beginning to show that race is very real, and that some races are - from a scientific standpoint more evolved than others.
This, naturally has the race-deniers worried and they have begun a campaign to suppress findings of racial differences out of fears that if people know the facts, they will all become racists.
More that the purely scientific proof of racial differences, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that there may be some connections between people of the same blood that cannot be explained fully by science.
One of the foremost leaders of Heathenism, Steven McNallen of the Asatru Folk Assembly calls this growing field "meta-genetics". He writes
"The idea of meta-genetics may be threatening to many who have been taught that there are no differences between the branches of humanity. We of Asatru are concerned about our ancestral heritage, and we consider our religion to be an expression of the whole of what we are, not something that we arbitrarily assume from without. It also explains why those who do not understand us accuse us of extreme ethnocentrism or even racism- for it is clear from meta-genetics that if we, as a people, cease to exist, then Asatru also dies forever. We are intimately tied up with the fate of our whole people, for Asatru is an expression of the soul of our race.
Apart from practising the faith of our ancestors, how else might we demonstrate our love for our heritage?
One way might be to learn an ancient language of your forebears. As you saw, I opened this article with a few simple words of Old English. Hwæt, meaning Lo, listen or pay attention is the ancestor of the modern "what" and is pronounced in a similar way. Wes þu hal is a greeting and literally means "be you hale (well)". Here are some words/phrases you might like to try out.
Hopefully this article has tought something of what Heathenism is, and how it is integral to who we are as a people. Perhaps it may even begin you on your journey to following the ways of your ancestors.
Hail to each and every one of you, and Hail the Æsir, Vanir and the all Holy powers!