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cartoonmayhem @ : Has anyone heard of the term Asagnostic?
I don't know because as far as I know I just made it up. But in the spirit of the phrase "if you see Buddha on the road, kill him" I would rather err on the side of supreme skepticism than fundamentalism.
I have seen a lot of watering down of a lot of Heathen groups lately. Many of the multitrad variety are coming in and arguing for some of the really flakier "crystals, candles and incense, oh my" variety.
But not just that but people coming onto Heathen sites and arguing for hailing Jesus and Moses as well as Thor and Odin at a sumbel. I almost became bald from pulling my hair out on that one.
And everytime I point that out that we're losing sight of heathens for our Northern Gods and our Gods only, I get shouted down or ignored. What's the point of even having a religion at all if we don't put our pantheon first? We might as well become Universalist Unitarians.
I knew it was getting bad when Asatru was becoming a bad word, when the 9 virtues were ejected. What do we have to build on if our blocks are taken away?
I believe in the Gods. I am not sure about the religion. I'd rather keep my brain.The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers
|Date:||June 29th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)|| |
I think that I've been fortunate in my experiences - I'm one of three Asatruar I know and, to my knowledge, the only one who maintains the Nine Nobles as a matter of principle and religious pride as opposed to societal obligation. That, and I'm the only one to only honour the Aesir and Vanir when I blot - one of the practitioners infuses Celtic/Druidic paganism with Asatru and the other is very much of the omnitheistic mindset.
I don't think that it's a matter of the religion changing, but rather the religious changing. It's easy to go along with other religions, it's tough to maintain your religious individuality, especially when your religion is neither well-known nor widely dispersed.
That being said, though, remaining true to the Aesir and Vanir - to the exclusion of worship/honouring of other gods - and upholding the Nine Noble Virtues is all that I have ever considered to be necessary to being Asatruar.
Yes, yes, YES! I don't know what people had to complicate it by bringing in all these other elements thereby watering down our traditions. Honestly, the moment people started getting pusillanimous and wanting to appeal to the larger pagan world to boost our numbers, it became just another joke of a religion.
|Date:||June 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)|| |
It's the problem all organizations face when trying to expand, though. The people who would be interested in the original format of the group have either already joined or have looked at it and decided it wasn't for them, so to gain a larger membership, they begin to compromise to include a wider variety and appeal to everyone, as opposed to a specific group.
Now, because Asatru is a religion - and, by extension, a philosophical discipline - the problem arises when one begins to 'water down' the core elements in order to appeal to a larger group. Adherence (or, at least trying to adhere) to the Nine Noble Virtues and faith in the Aesir and Vanir are, in my mind, the only two things an Asatruar need concern themselves with. It does not matter if ones genealogy, orientation or political views differs from the median of the Asatruar community, what matters most - and this applies to all situations - is the way which a man or woman conducts themselves in regards to their principles and faith. Personally, I don't care if someone is a gay Pakistani Communist, if they act according to the Nine Nobles and have their faith solely in the Aesir and Vanir, then I will welcome them at my blot or sumbel any day of the year.
The problem with Asatruar getting a bad rep arises, I think, when certain people wish to make the religion expansionist but only to a selective group; that patently does not work. It disenfranchises others who might be interested and people who meet the criterion for the selective expansionism may not be possessed of the depth of character required to participate in or uphold the traditions of our faith. But I digress there, my apologies.
The best - and only, in my opinion - way to expand our religion is to not actively do it. If others ask, inform them truthfully but do not seek out converts actively, not even from other pagan groups. When I first began practising eight years ago, part of the appeal of Asatru was that it was not a religion which engaged in proselytizing, nor - from what I saw - did it allow for cross-religious worship. As an historian, it has always irked me to see - in media or in life - cultural juxtaposition where there should be none.*
To sum up, my point, though, I will say this: What you are describing is endemic of large organizations attempting to expand as they must, by necessity, become either totally inclusive and neglect certain aspects of their tradition or become exclusive and face the ire of the general public who are not allowed access.
*Examples like the King Arthur movie, the Pathfinder movie, bits of The 13th Warrior, and foremost in my mind. Alternate History novels and games, Robert E. Howard stories and obvious fantasy are exceptions, though. When something purports to be authentic/historically accurate and messes up key elements, though, I scream "Check your facts! Read a book!"
You have no idea how much that made me cringe when I read of hailing the abrahamic gods during sumbel. I went to a heathen memorial service held to honor two children whose parents were devout xians. Other family members were heathen and held their own service, hence the one I went to. They did hail the xian god because he was beloved by the deceased but it made me about ill.
I don't want to get along with other religions. Their adherants as long as they let me go my own way, ok. But I don't want to see the havita krist taking over yet again. We let it happen once. Let's not be stupid and let it happen again.
Myself, I would have left the sumbel and never returned. No wonder people are balkanizing.
Should have maybe, but it was my shield sister's nephews and I had to stand beside her. They were 13 and 11. One shot the other and then himself. It was devastating for the family.
Oh, my sympathies, dear. That's awful.
It's the main reason I don't consider myself Heathen anymore. What is considered "Heathen" nowadays is not only nothing like when I "Came Home", it's truly ALien to what my ANcestors Followed. It doesn't even come close to the "Spirit" of their Ways....
Me? I Follow the Regin as the Lore presents them, nothing more...or less. No "neato" outfits, rituals, aliens, etc. Just historical "boring" stuff....
…Watching 13th Warrior and LOTR and thinking that counts…
Not even that. Sadly, I think a lot of folks who come to ANY alt religion but esp Heathenry are still in the Adolescent stage of Emotional developement. "Freaking the Mundanes", family, etc is the real point, not an actual religious experience. And yes, I mean the "R" word. I'm religious not "spiritual". I Follow the Regin. I seek to Understand and help Them acomplish Their Goals. So far that seems to me to be Honorable, Decent and to do One's Best to fight Chaos(which I see as disruption and desctruction without purpose...). I'm not here to puff up my own sense of self-importance. I'm alive to make things better for me and mine which almost always is best for all Humanity...
That is so true, though. Many have come out of a sense of anger and defiance out of finding out the monotheistic tales of lightning coming down and striking them down are just not true. But being stuck in that mode. Our religion should not be a depository of those whose sole aim is to FTW.