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hammer_brain @ : Asatruar or Heathen
what exactly is the deal, I like being called an Asatruar or Asaman, but you all like Heathen, I am unsure of the word, and don't hate me for this, but I had thought the Kristjans used the word heathen as a way to insult us, or is it really what we call ourselves?
weeeeeel, Asatru is frequently seen as meaning "following the Icelandic tradition" or something along those lines. Usually it's used to mean the Icelandic or Norse way. I use heathen. I don't care what everyone else means by it, it really is just the Teutonic version of pagan. It was considered, and I suppose still is, an insult by xians but that's their hangup not mine. I follow a more Anglo-Saxon practice so Asatru really doesn't fit but heathen does. Hope this helps rather than muddies.
What's funny is that which led me away from ASatru was the same that led me away from Wicca: that is....Facts. I've since before Puberty(back when great herds of Polyseters roamed the Earth;>)I've felt "Called" to Follow my Ancestor's God/desses. In the 70's I thought it was Wicca. In the 80's I thought it was CR(that dern Irish thang)and in the 90's, when I learned what Dublin Irish meant...Asatru. The thing was, as I read, studied and Meditated, the more I realised that Modern ASatru as it's generally presented here in the US is nothing close to what my ANcestor's did....and I'm not just talking about symbolic Blots either. Even the Lore only shows 3 Holy Days, not the 8 which was obviously borrowed from WIcca(Understandably. After all, We couldn't be less Devout than the Fluffy-Bunnies:>....). Then there are the Regin. Some are found by Lore and Archeology throughout the Nordic WOrld and others AREN'T. I've friends who're Lokians but there's no evidence that He was Universally ANYTHING. There are a number of others in the same "boat".
Now, there's very little surviving from the Heathen period of the Nordic settlements like Dublin but being Merchantile and Fishing instead of Noble, I doubt their Spiritual WOrld looked the same as that from the Heimskringla and other Court tomes. A major arguement I've had my ENTIRE Heathen life as been, IMO folks who like to think of themselves as Special and therefore obsess about the Practices of Nobles, instead of the majority of the pre-C Nordic FOlk: Farmers, Fisherfolk, Herders and Merchants....not the Nobles and their professional Warrior Hangers-on...
|Date:||June 21st, 2009 07:42 am (UTC)|| |
Oh gods yes - if everyone in a settlement is a Noble Warrior-type, then who is cooking dinner? And who is going to stay around to cook it if by being the person who makes the food you are seen as lesser than someone else?
We all have jobs to do, and a healthy community is not made up of only nobles or only warriors. And what does being noble imply, anyway? It used to mean that they were the managers, the organisers, the planners with social skills who interfaced with all the other people so that everything necessary got done. Sadly, I don't see the people who like to think of themselves as following the noble tradition doing any of this.
Which IMO is why so many groups fail, both Heathen AND Pagan. You have a room full of folks that have an inflated sense of thier own importance. Most of the Heathens see themselves as a Conan-like Warrior Prince(at least the Het guys;>)and the Pagans as knock-off Gandalfs...
It oft Pissed folks off that I make it a point of being Proud that NONE of any ANCESTOR I've discovered(and I have Mormon relatives. You know how they are with Geniology;>)was a Noble....they all Worked for a Living.
So much of both systems are due to the Beleif that the Principal had servants. Nothing can be done by an Individual. And as anyone who's studied religions knows, there are no real religions that only catrer to the Nobility. ALL have Rites and other methods for the Individual to Interact with their God/desses. The Farmer, the Hunter, the Fisherman, the cotholder ALL had ways to Interact wit h the God/desses. How many times have I heard some arse say "You can't be a real Heathen/Pagan Alone?". Total BS.
|Date:||June 21st, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)|| |
On one side of my family, it's only since the Depression that the majority aren't listed on Censuses as the equivalent of farmers (who work for farm owners) and housewives (the few exceptions to farm workers after we moved to Australia are people like a coachman from England who married into the family and one jeweller). My grandfather's family never had the means (spread among so many surviving kids) to send him to university, although he had the brains and drive to do well there, which he passed onto my father who did engineering.
The other side of the family, I don't know as much about, but it's much the same. My parent's generation is the first in a few to have the capacity to go to university (my mother's parents managed to send all six kids there, and that's a feat of hard work in itself, from the parents and the kids :P )
I use the term Heathen because Asatru is a modern term that commonly defines those following the recreation of Stephen McNallen from the 70's. I used to be ASatru and still very much Respect Mr McNallen. However, my Ancestors(from Heathen colony of Dublin) would not have recognised that which is commonly considered Asatru. The Spirit, Yes. The Rites and many of the Regin? No.
|Date:||June 21st, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)|| |
My opinion is that heathen is an umbrella term for a lot of different denominations, of which Asatru is one, just as Christian is an umbrella term for a lot of different denominations, including Catholic and Pentecostal (to give you two examples from my own family).
I am heathen, but not Asatruar; the Ase are not the main focus of my spirituality, certainly not the way that American Asatru has them as a focus. I've also found that American Asatru can be a bit... rabid... by Australian standards of behaviour. Not all Asatruar are like that, and part of it is the cultural differences between all the varied types of American and all the varied types of Australian. Heathen is a neutral term, which does not imply anything about my beliefs except the continent from which they originally sprang (before so very many years of evolution of belief).