So “What is Heathenism Missing?” over at polytheist.com. I’ve glanced through it a few times, wanting to write a response/breakdown of it. I haven’t though, because while I think he’s got some good points, I think there’s a few obvious things he’s missing which I’ve touched on in the past (and will probably touch on here), and…he gives me a run for dense, verbose prose. I would literally have to take his paragraphs apart, and he writes more than I do in a post.wrote an article called
Regular readers will realize how much that is.
Instead, I’m going to pull some key points here and there that I want to address. I’m also going to be referencing my own stuff, and some stuff that’s come about because of it. Going into this article, I’ve been dealing with rather weaksauce insult from a guy named Höskuld Sigurdsson in my post “And He Says to Me: Don’t Call Me Brother!” XD” which you all can go read at your leisure. But it does perfectly illustrate what that post was about.
But to start this off, I’m going to give you all a little story.
It was an Allthing.
It was not the first Allthing, nor would it be the last. But in many ways, it was the last for them. Christianity had come to their lands, and with it, Christian supremacy by blood, and sword, and serpent. Iceland was the last hope, the last hold out, and the vote was being cast.
“They will keep the faith,” Skadi said, leaning against her bow. “We are their kin, their family, their ancestors. They will not abandon us. The most faithful came here to be the faithful.”
Odin said nothing, merely resting his spear across his shoulders. His blue hat hid his eye. The Allfather could see. So could Tyr, God of Law. The vote was cast. In private, the old gods could be worshiped, but publicly the nation was to be Christian.
Skadi spat in rage. The rest were silent, sorrowful. They mounted their horses and rode away.
This story is based on accounts from the legendary Thing, where it was said witnesses witnessed the Gods ride away from Iceland after they converted their nation to Christianity.
What is missing from Heathenism?
In a real way, I think this is why so many branches of Heathenism do not have a very Theistic focus. I think this is also why most European Heathens are very anti-theistic and make fun of American Theistic Heathens. Ancient Heathens, and this is something none of us really like to talk about…voted to Gods to go away. We can wrap it up in “Christian violence” and “persecution” and for some areas that’s true. But at the end of the day, our ancestors voted to reject the Gods. Freely, and of their own will. They could have fought, they could have died, but in the end…they rejected the Gods.
And so…the Gods reject most Heathens. This is why you have so many talking about how offerings shouldn’t be offered to freely, how it doesn’t matter how much or little you give the Gods won’t give more in turn. This is why so many heathens seem to fail to uphold our own heathen values that we preach.
Look, I’m not going to get any friends by saying this. Admitting this is something No Heathen Does. But it’s something we have to acknowledge before we go on to talk about what else Heathenism is Missing.