So yesterday while going over “With our thoughts we make the world“ by I mentioned that I tend to look “underneath the underneath,” when it comes to perceiving reality. Well, having a few hours after I wrote that post I looked “underneath” a bit more and figured I’d make a post about that.
One of the things that struck me as interesting about Yvonne’s post, and of course the “Confronting” post she referenced too was the fact that both of them attacked three ideas: Sacral Kingship, Divine communication, and Folkishness. Yvonne’s was in exactly that order, but as I mulled it around in my head, getting the feel of it, I realized that they really should be inverted.
Folkishness, Divine Communication, Sacral Kingship. I’ll get to this in a second. First we have to look at why it is that Yvonne decided to try and attack and discredit these things.
Paganisms are counter-cultural, like most religions. They present a critique of the status quo, and some alternative visions of how the world might be if it was re-enchanted; and they offer a variety of methods for bringing about the desired change.” – With our Thoughts, Yvonne 2016
Paganism as a “counter cultural movement.” That’s her starting point. She even makes the rather blanket statement that most religions are counter cultural in nature. This is however…simply not true.
Religions, as a rule, are not counter-cultural in nature, but culture formative. During it’s height, Christianity was not the “counter-culture” but rather the “over-culture” which bound disparate peoples together. Islam is not a “counter-culture” in the Middle East, it is the dominant culture providing the totality of their laws, morals, and most of their cultural beliefs. In ancient Rome, the Cultus was not a counter culture, but the source of much of Roman culture and daily life. Same with the Heathen religions of the Germanics, or the Druidic religions of the Celts, and so forth.
But Yvonne wishes Paganism to be counter cultural because being a “counter culture” means Paganism is more open to ideas from other “counter cultures” such as Marxism. However, if Pagan religions are not “counter cultures” but rather just “cultures” this present a problem to “cross pollination” if you will. I said this yesterday and I’ll say it again today.
Counter cultures are against things…but cultures are for things.
Which brings us to the third issue for Yvonne, which is really the first issue: Folkishness.
Folkishness, at it’s heart, is about the creation and maintenance of a culture by it’s people. While “outsiders” can worship in a folkish culture, they must assimilate into that culture…not insist on adding in their own morals and not insist on taking things away and denying them to the originating culture. In a folkish society, the ideas and attitudes of the tribe are preserved and affirmed, often at the expediency of blocking outside ideas that run counter to their culture’s norms.
If a Pagan religion is Folkish, then it affirms the culture of it’s Pagan heritage. The ideals and morals of that heritage are preserved and given a primacy of importance in daily life. The ideas and ideals of that culture are held up as the standards of morally good or bad behavior.
This presents a problem to Marxism. If, for example, you have a Pagan culture that prides itself on hard work and self-sufficiency, and you try to come in and argue that people who are not self sufficient and possibly aren’t working hard deserve some of the rewards of those hard-working people…you will be mocked and the position derided. Because the morally good thing is to work hard, and the morally bad thing is to take from someone what they have worked hard for. And if this Pagan culture is Folkish, they will band together and say “no, these are our ways and we shall not change them for you, Outsider.”
Which is what large portions of the Pagan community did after Rhyd posted his “confronting” rant. “No,” said many Pagans, “These are our ways, sacred and ancient, we shall not give them up for you.” Which reflects a lot of language from say Native American tribes who literally tell outsiders to go fuck themselves. Hence why Yvonne and others claim the folkish are “appropriating the language” of such other groups.
But it isn’t just the tribalness of the Folkish which makes them resistant to Marxist influence, it’s also the Gods themselves via Divine Communication.
When the Gods speak to the tribe personally (or via mediums, priest, divination, etc) the Will of the Gods is made known unto the Tribe. As the Gods are the basis of religion, religion is the basis of a Pagan culture, and a culture is what makes up and defines a Tribe, the Gods are the source of all that is the Tribe, the root of the Tree that grows.
Via divine communication, the ideas and ideals of the Gods flow to the Tribe. These ideas are fresh, they are kept consistent, and they work to wash away ideas that run counter to the Will of the Gods and which run counter to the base ideals upon which the Tribe was founded upon. Because while Marxists like to insist that “folkism” is about genetics, lineage is but the road upon which ideals were passed down.
With a constant river of Divine responses to political, ethical, and legal questions, however, it is hard for Marxism to take root. It’s one thing if the Tribe says “your ideas run counter to our culture,” when a Marxist shows up and tries to reshape the tribe’s culture to the Marxist’s liking. It’s quite another if one of the Gods shows up and says “get the Hel away from my people with your terrible ideals.”
That’s one of the reasons Yvonne took a shot at the idea of “Deus Vult” or “God Will” and said it was a terrible reason for doing things. If God Wills that there be no Marxism, and people obey the Will of God, then there will be no Marxism. It’s an automatic loss that cannot be argued against. God has spoken, heed now the words of God (Or Goddess, as the case may be).
But so long as Deus Vult is on the Pagan table, I do think the vast majority of Pagans are willing to go by the Vult Deus. Because we all signed up for our religions, at least those of us who could be classified as “Devotional” or “folkish” regardless of particular religion because we liked what the Gods preached was their will. And as long as Pagans are willing to follow their Gods…they are much less likely to follow Marx when Marx says something counter to the words of the Gods.
Which brings us to the third point: Sacral Kings
One of the ultimate expression of “God Wills” would be the idea of the Sacral King.
I.e. a King who Rules via Divine Right. The Gods have Willed that this person should be King. As king, this person serves both the Gods and the People, charged with the sacred duty to uphold the will of the Gods and what they define as sacred, and to keep the people protected and true to their culture, free from the outside forces of others who might seek to redefine or even destroy their culture.
Now, it seeks odd that the Marxists would attack the idea of Sacral Kings. After all…we don’t have any Sacral Kings at the moment. According to Joe’s post, there maybe three “Heathen” groups who have such a position as a mostly honorary title thing. There’s that Druid dude, but even with those that are “sacral kings” their more “Sacral” and much less “King” at the moment.
So why attack something that doesn’t exist when clearly most Pagans live in a democratic society and don’t really have a King. It seems like the ultimate strawman “You might one day have a sacred king, so we have to destroy it now so there can never be a sacred king!”
Well, one of the things I love doing with my studying of history is project it. Based on how things worked in the Past, can we predict how things might work in the future. This isn’t a great way to pick out who’s going to win the next war or even presidential election, but it is good for something else.
What if there’s already a “Sacral King.”
Let’s look at one of the favorite targets of the Marxists, Steven McNallen and the Asatru Folk Assembly. Now, as of today they’re merely a religious organization and McNallen was the founder and long time leader of it. The most exciting thing about them is they’ve got some kindreds scattered about and they’re putting the final touches on their first hof (temple.”
But that’s now…what about three hundred years from now, assuming Paganism keeps going?
In three hundred years, the AFA might well not be a “religious organization.” After all, they’ve codified their beliefs and practices pretty well, they’re training priests, forming councils. Given say Six or Seven Generations…they will be a fully functioning Tribe, with their own unique AFA culture. And they will look back at the founder of the AFA, the man who led them for decades and how do you think they will consider him?
A man, chosen by the Gods to lead his people? To gather and form them into a tribe, a tribe which has existed for hundreds of years and many generations? What is that…if not a King, a King Chosen by the Gods? A Sacral King.
Now I’m sure McNallen would laugh and say I’m being silly, and I’m sure that Joe’s eyes probably boggled a bit there. But think about it honestly. Three hundred years from now. Six hundred. A Thousand. What will the descendants of today’s AFA think of the origins? What will they call themselves? How many of them will there be? What will Steven McNallen, founder and leader of the AFA, be to them?
After all, look at King Arthur, the archetypal Sacral King. What can be gathered of historical fact says he was just one King of many, with a kingdom not overly large. Maybe even just a Roman commander to start with. But now, thousands of years later, he’s Arthur, King of the Britons, who wielded the sword Excalibur, given to mortals by the lady of the lake and pulled from a stone that only he was worthy to draw it from and will one day return in England’s time of greatest need.
McNallen is just the easiest example, but it runs true for nearly every Pagan path out there, especially the folkish ones in Heathenism, Roman or Greek Paganism, Khemeticism, etc. Any group that is folkish or tribal in its practice may one day view their founders as their original kings.
Yvonne’s pretty right when she says “our thought make the world.” What we do today, who we are, what we stand for, is going to define what comes after. Hopefully for the rest of human history.
Imagine, if you will, that the struggle with Marxism in Paganism is still happening three hundred years from now. After all, Marxism’s been around for almost two hundred, and despite a body count in the hundreds of millions and being proven physically and politically impossible, there’s plenty of people still advocating for it. So it’s not a great leap to think that my great, great grandchildren, should I have any, might well have to fight off Marxist ideals trying to corrupt and overtake the Paganism I hand down to them.
But if “Sacral Kings” do appear as the generations move on…they will provide a strong example against Marxist thinking. Many laugh at me and my statements that I am married to Hela, her husband, a God in my own right. But as tales are told, passed down from parent to child, the words I speak here may well be passed on, or at least how I fought the Marxists without mercy or hesitation up on this great field of ideological warfare.
Three hundred years from now? Steven McNallen might be considered the first King of the Afar. And Parents may well tell their children of Svartwufl, Hela’s husband, who did great battles with Halstead, a man who sought to drive us from our homes and rightful places, to deny us the ability to call ourselves Pagan, or Rhyd Wildermuth who sought to make Paganism Marxist.
And in a thousand years? Who knows what the stories would be?
King McNallen, who drew the lost peoples together and restored to them their Heritage, who bore the hammer Mjolnir about his neck as a sign of Thor’s favor. A king who fought in many battles before he became leader to the Afr.
Or Svartwulf, King with Hela, who battled the wicked Halstead that sought to unmake the peoples and driven them from their homes, and who did lay low the Wildermuth, a foul monster created by the evil God, Marx, that sought to kill the kings of all peoples and make men slaves to his God?
A man who is mortal today can become a God in the future. A man who forms a group today can become the king who founded a people and nation. Depending on their deeds, depending on who those deed effect or inspire. But if you “kill the kings” and “silence the gods” then there are no gods…not kings. And that’s when it is easy for there to be only Marx.
It’s about Power. Who has the power to shape the future. Who has the power to make tribes or destroy them before they ever exist. Who has the power to inspire myths and who has the power to silence that inspiration.
Me? I’ll take kings and gods and tribes any day of the week. After all…that’s why I became a Pagan.
Virginia Carper said:
Several things struck me about her posting.
First: We don’t imagine the world into being. That is supposes that humans have all the power to create and dismiss Gods. It comes out of Pop Culture and Atheist Paganism where the human will is the most important. Humans create Gods through their thoughts. You will find the poster tends to try to being softer voice between Atheists and Polytheists. She seems to want to smooth the waters with strange combinations of both.
Second. Worlding the Gods tells me that the people who believe this do not have a domestic cultus. Any Roman Polytheist will tell you that piety and devotion begins at home. The Gods are present when I cook and when I make offerings. They prefer it that way, instead of being removed from humanity.
Worlding also implies again human thoughts bring forth the Gods. That the human is the apex, and the Gods are distant and secondary. That speaks volumes about the people who agree with Worlding and their relations with the world and the Gods. That is they have a thin relationship or have a human-centric world.
Three. G&R seems to attract writers who put themselves in the centre of the world. Everything flows from them and their thoughts.
Four. When you receive what you think are callings from Gods, you go to your community and discuss it. Raven Kaldera writes extensively about how to determine if the Voice is you, a non-God or a God. He stresses consulting third parties who divine for you. Divination is the communication between people and the Gods. You get four separate readings from various people. In other words, you just don’t determine it all by yourself, but you seek counsel both human and Divine.
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