abortion, Asatru, faith, Freya, Freyja's Frenzy, Heathen, Heathenism, Pagan, Paganism, polytheism, Rants, Religion, sex work, Tove
A person called Tove who runs a blog called Frejya’s Frenzy recently responded to my post A Helar’s Thoughts on Texas, OnlyFans, and Afgans. And let’s just say that, in usual form for me, I made them unhappy.
So, in my usual form, I’m going to talk about it. here because its easier to make a post than to respond to comments that get long and involved. Here are the comments.
“Well, if you are trying to say that a fetus is a living child because of your Heathen beliefs, you would be wrong.
We’ll start with this, because right off the bat Tove completely fucks any and every ground they were going to stand on.
“If you believe X because/as a Heathen, then you’re wrong.”
They’ve fucked it for several reasons. One, Heathenism is an “Umbrella” term that covers many Nordic and Germanic faiths, most of which have their disagreements on everything. Asatru, Odinism, Wodanism, Inclusivism, Universalism, Folkish, Helatru, etc, are all branches of the Heathen faith, with some very fundamental differences both from each other, and from ancient practices.
As someone who practices Helatru, as taught to me by my own research into Heathen myth, lore and the Goddess herself, the values, morals, and beliefs of my Heathen faith are going to be different from say an Odinist or Wotanist. This does not make then unHeathen.
Now, do I as a Helar say that a “fetus” is a living child? Yes. Why? Two reasons. One, Hel has told me as such, and two Scientific facts. A “fetus” has a heartbeat, it has thoughts and reactions, it consumes energy to live. The location of its existence doesn’t change the fact of its existence, anymore than say the location of a man being in space, underwater, or in medical intensive care changes the fact he is alive simply because he requires the assistance of a suit to survive in those places.
According to the Heathen beliefs going back to antiquity and so enshrined into the heathen traditions that Chrisitians were forced to adopt as they were not able to eradicate them fully, the child is not alive until up to nine days after its birth, or not until the ritual of vatni ausinn is performed.”
So I looked it up and it would appear the vatni ausinn is a real thing. So I will be generous and say that for at least some heathen paths, Tove here is right. In Heathen faith a child doesn’t have a soul until nine-days after its born so it’s okay to leave it to die.
I suppose Tove then also supports slavery, believes we should strip women of the right to vote, believes in a social cast system of slaves, freemen, and nobles, feels we should bring back human sacrifice, that they are required to go out and kill someone who has insulted them three times, and all of the myriad of other things our ancestors practiced that are no longer generally done by Heathens in the modern era?
I mean, if it is right and just for Heathens to leave the unborn to die (or the born for nine-day) or kill them in the womb because that is what our ancestors did, then they should have no problem with any Heathen practicing the above or more from our ancient ways. Orthopraxy is Orthopraxy, after all.
“In fact, for a number of reasons, from deformity to disagreement between the husband and the wife or simply because the couple was too poor to take care of it, children who did not undergo the rite of vatni ausinn were usually left exposed in the forest to die. They were not considered alive until such acknowledgement was completed. To leave a child exposed after the ritual was considered murder. It then follows that to let a child die – or kill him – before such ritual is performed, was NOT.“
If I recall correctly, the child could be left in the forest, a shrine, or a temple to die. This, however, was not automatically a death sentence as far as I am aware, because the child could still be taken up by another person. Now, you can debate philosophically over if this is more akin to abortion or to dropping the kid off for a chance to be adopted. Any side involved will have its biases and its reasons and insist it is right over the other.
Now, here we come to one of the great issues of being a Heathen in the modern era. Balancing our Religious Beliefs/Practice with Scientific Facts and/or Legal Realities.
Tove says the child is not alive until the Father acknowledges the child, and that this is true Heathenism and to believe/act otherwise is unHeathen.
Science tells us that a “fetus” has a heartbeat around six weeks into its existence, that is has a brain, that it can experience sensations, that it consumes nutrients. That it is a living thing. Many will insist that it is not a “sentient” thing and is little more than a parasite, but they have as much an agenda as anyone who says otherwise, so lets just stick with what we know. Brain, heart, alive.
The Law (along with social norms) tells us that that the Father has no legal rights to the existence of the unborn child while it is in the womb. It also tells us that the father…doesn’t really have any legal rights to the child once it is outside the womb either, though he does have a legal obligation to support its existence for the next eighteen years should the mother decide to keep it, regardless of if he personally acknowledges the child as his or not.
While I am pleased to see that Tove apparently supports the idea of “Financial Abortions” on behalf of the father, the reality is, for the moment, quite different. A Heathen can deny the existence of a child all he likes, but he would still be obligated under the law to pay for it. I wonder then what Tove would say about the “ensoulment” of such a child, one whose birth was acknowledged by force of law rather than in the “traditional” Heathen way.
It certainly does offer a spiritual explanation for all the NPC’s out there these days.
To use another example from my past, I had an Oath-brother whom I considered my best friend. In the end though, he broke his oath to me, took from me the woman I loved, and when I called for him to make redress, spat in my face. By Heathen tradition, I am religiously obligated to kill him. Yet, legally in my country, I am not allowed to do so, and Heathenism teaches us that we should seek to be lawful people.
So, am I unHeathen because I have failed to kill a man? I’m sure there’s someone in Tove’s life who has insulted them multiple times as well, yet I presume they have not slain that person to regain their honor, because to do so would mean going to prison because they broke the law. I’m pretty sure this is true of every single heathen out there, given what a contentious people we are, not to mention the fact that nearly every Civil Rights organization out there has implied multiple times that ours is a faith of hate and racism that needs to be contained or destroyed for the good of society…yet we have not laid siege to their holdings or killed their members for insulting us.
Are we then not True Heathens because we have not done these things? Or are we still Heathens, but admit that we must modify some of the practices of our ancient ways in the light of both modern laws, or in the case of scientific discoveries that our Ancestors did not have access too.
Therefore, if you do consider yourself a heathen, a fetus would not be considered alive in any way. until after the child is born, the father performs the rite of vatni ausinn and acknowledges him or her. If you are a true heathen, no abortion would ever be considered murder.
The rite of vatni ausinn seems to have been based on the ability to see and inspect the infant, to see if it was healthy, so that nine days later it could be claimed. We now possess technology that allows us to see and inspect our infants within the very womb itself, to see if it is healthy or deformed. Who is to say that our ancestors, if given these tools, if given the ability to hear the beating of their child’s heart, to see it was strong and healthy in the womb, would not have believed then an there that the child could already have a soul?
To say one way or the other is nothing more than speculation by either side.
Hel teaches me that all living things are possessed of spirit and soul. Everything that lives will die, and every living thing that dies deserves the care and respect of Death, because each life is precious in its own way. This includes the unborn, whose beating hearts we can hear, and whose bodies we may now witness in ways our ancestors never dreamed of, but probably wished they could have. Does it have a soul, a full soul, a part of a soul, the makings of a soul? In heathenism there are nine parts to the souls, and some of those are possessed by the unborn.
Yet here, Tove attempts to pull the “No True Heathen” fallacy, as if their personal view of Heathenism is the only right one. I will point out, however, that Krasskova, who is acknowledged by many to be a fair expert on Heathenism…considers abortion Murder as much as I do. I doubt we’re the only ones, either.
There is also the issue of how we Heathens define “murder” and the way that abortion is performed now vs how it was dealt with by our ancestors. I went into this in more detail when I was responding to Krasskova’s post, but the simple fact is that there is “Killing” which is done with honor and there is “Murder” which is done with dishonor. When a heathen kills, they acknowledge the life they have taken. Murder is when you kill and then pretend you have done nothing of the sort.
A great many of the abortion is acceptable crowd, including Tove here, is pushing for the idea that “I didn’t do anything wrong when I took this life.” They strip the unborn of their “life” and their souls, by whatever means they can, to insist that they did nothing wrong, when science and faith can both say otherwise to a degree.
“Of course, since you are discussing the fetus as a living human child being killed via abortion and then in the next paragraph pontificate over prostitution as being a gross and deplorable behavior, specifically calling the women who practice it doing so because “these women are predators”, there is a pattern developing, at least to my eye.“
I mean, the fact I went from abortion to onlyfans was more a matter of convenience than anything. I mean, I could have put the section on afganistan next just as easily.
First off though, I would like to point out that I did not pontificate over prostitution being gross and deplorable behavior. In a previous post I actually kinda praised prostitution. No, what I said was gross and deplorable was the behavior of OnlyFans models. Maybe I could have made it clearer, but I’ll try and do so here.
Whores charge you money and give you sex. There is an exchange that happens when you sleep with a whore. You give something, and you get something real, physical, and arguably vital to the human condition. I find this perfectly acceptable, if not exactly desirable. In an ideal world, every man and woman would have a loving partner with whom to share their emotional and sexual needs and desires with. Sadly, and especially these days, this is not the case. Hence why men have traditionally turned to prostitutes when they were denied such fulfillment by the women around them.
Prostitutes keep women honest, but that doesn’t mean that prostitutes are honest women. They still lie to you for money, but that lie is mitigated by a physical “truth” if you will. Not a state of affairs I as a Heathen enjoy there being, but one I accept as part of us living in an imperfect world.
This is not the case with OnlyFans. Women who use OnlyFans to earn money are not whores or prostitutes. They do not give anything real or physical when they receive payment. They provide only illusions. The illusion of a woman (in the form of a picture), the Illusion of a relationship, the illusion of emotional attachment. Men will spend thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on a woman via onlyfans to receive little more than postcards or the chance to take her on a vacation in which she will not even sleep or make out with him.
If an unborn child is a parasite because it takes the resources of the mother and gives nothing back, then by that very same logic an onlyfans model is nothing more than a predatory parasite who feeds upon the loneliness of men for her own personal gain. She takes from them everything she can and she gives nothing back.
Yes, I find this predatory relationship disgusting.
Heathenism, at its fundamental core, is about Family. A man who falls for the charms of an OnlyFans model and spends his resources on her is not creating a family, nor is he helping any family he currently possesses. A woman who works as an onlyfans model is not creating a family, in fact she is preventing dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of men, from seeking real, physical relationships that could create families, while encouraging her fellow women to behave as she does rather than seek loving, honorable relationships with the goal of starting a family.
If Tove wishes to speak of unHeathen behaviors and attitudes, then they need look no further than this for why any Heathen should find onlyfans disgusting.
“In fact, the pattern is rather Christian than heathen, namely judgement over sex for the sake of sex, and pregnancy and childbirth as punishment for this behavior for women.”
Ah the old “You sound more like a Christian than a Heathen!” insult. The inevitable fallback of someone who really has not defense for their position, but wants to try and use personal insults and shame to make you act the way they want you to.
Thing is, when you get right down to it, a lot of “Christian” attitudes and practices can be traced back to Heathenism. Tove not only admits this, but used this earlier when talking about the vatni ausinn which may have heavily influenced the “Christening” ceremony that so resembles it. Much of Protestant attitudes in fact seem to have their roots in Heathen culture, such as the idea of a strong work ethic, the idea that financial success may be tied to divine favor for being a righteous person favored by the gods, etc, etc, etc.
Yet when it comes to the idea that the Christian attitude towards sex and prostitution might be influenced by Heathen thought? Oh no no no no dear friends. The fact that Christ was a friend to prostitutes while Christians views against Prostitution didn’t really come about until contact with Roman and Germanic conversion means nothing!
I mean, the Roman’s had a pretty dim view of prostitution, and they’re recorded as finding the Germans to be even more pious in their faith than Romans. The fact that I don’t really recall (and no one brings up) a positive depiction of a prostitute in the Lore (and rely on Freya’s necklace), much less mass positive depictions, kinda leads me to believe our ancestors weren’t exactly keen on “the sex work industry.”
Or if they were, they were a lot more positive about slavery, but I don’t see anyone arguing to bring that back. For some reason.
Tove here is also assigning values and putting words to me that just aren’t there. “Judgment over sex” and “pregnancy as a punishment for women having sex” are not things I have ever stated or even implied. Now, I do believe pregnancy is a consequence of having sex, especially unprotected sex, because that’s just fucking common sense. Pregnancy is a result of sex. Have “heathens” become so backwards a people that we now deny this common fact?
Tove implies that I believe “consequences” are “punishment.” This honestly says more about Tove than anything else. I do not believe consequences are punishments, though I do believe consequences can have punishingly negative outcomes at times. After all, if I run out into traffic and get hit by a car, the consequences can be very brutal, up to and including death. Have I be “punished” for my choice or have I merely suffered the consequences of my actions? That’s up for you to decide.
If you have sex, you can get pregnant. This is just a natural consequence of one’s behavior. If you decide this is a “punishment” then that is on you.
As Heathens, we are our deeds, and how we deal with the consequences of our deeds marks us as good or bad Heathens. A Heathen who looks at the consequence of their deed and decides they do not wish to deal with it, well that doesn’t sound very Heathen to me. It is the Christians who pray to their god to forgive them their deeds and ask him to wipe the slate clean so they do not have to deal with the consequences of their actions.
“I am rather inclined here to see that the issue is not simply abortion viewed as the killing of children, but instead underscoring the idea that women are by their nature and calling “mothers meant to love and raise [children]”, at least once they conceive a child, regardless of whether they chose to take up that roleI had no idea that I was assigned a role, mind you by a stranger who seems to feel that he has a right to my uterus and can determine what my mission in life is via his computer screen. Pretty myopic and deeply Christian, if you ask me.“
Tove (who is apparently a woman) says that my view is myopic and deeply Christian.
But let’s be honest here, it isn’t.
What is the role of women in Heathen society, based on the ancient ways that Tove likes to invoke so heavily to defend her right to abortion.
Well, for one, the place of women is not in politics and lawmaking. That was, primarily, the domain of men. So if Tove here has ever gone out to vote since becoming a Heathen, I guess that makes her unHeathen. While there certainly were exceptions to this (Lagertha comes to mind) these were exceptions, not the rule.
No, traditionally the place of women in Heathen cultures was the home. She was to see to the house, its care and maintenance, she was to see to the raising and education of young children. To see to the crafting of goods for the needs of the house and for sale or trade. To oversee the pantry and the treasury, so that both were kept in plenty for times of need.
So, if Tove is truly a Heathen, and wishes to obey the ancient ways of Heathenism, then this is her role in life. A role assigned, enforced, and lived by the Aesir and Vanir themselves. Frigg, Sif, Idunn, Sygin and dozens of other Goddesses all embody the role that women played in Heathen society. To be mothers, to love their children, to raise them. To run the home and raise families.
These are not the words of a myopic and “christian” man behind his computer screen. These are the ancient and historic facts of our people and faith. Heathens of old believed in social and gender roles in life, assigned to you over the course of your life. And yes, for women, one of those roles was to be the mother who loved and cared for the children she conceived and bore in her womb.
Funny how Tove clings to tradition when it suits her, but denies it when it does not, yet claims that any variation from tradition by me makes me “unHeathen.”
“Since you have chosen to bring up Freyja’s name and imply that people can’t use Her name to defend prostitution, I assume because these women’s behavior is “predatory”, I would suggest that unless you have a personal and direct conversation with Her entailing every single prostitute, of any gender, that has ever prostituted themselves since the beginning of time, you will do well and behave in a more pious manner to refrain from speaking for Her on how She feels about these people.“
I didn’t chose to bring Freya into this.
Mainer did, Krasskova did, and now Tove does. They Invoke Freya to defend their positions on prostitution and abortion. They Invoke her name to defend their ‘right’ to free sex and love, for pay, pleasure, or both. They invoke her as a free spirit who uses her body and sexuality however she pleases, and damn any Aesir, Vanir, Jotun, Mortal, or other who would dare gainsay her.
And how dare anyone else Invoke her to say otherwise, apparently.
And apparently, despite the fact I am apparently a myopic “christian” man who is “unheathen” I need to behave in a “more pious manner” anyways according to Tove, because I apparently said “no, you can’t use Freya to defend your actions.”
I mean, you can invoke Freya however you want. If you want to invoke her as justification for fleecing people of their money and emotions, that’s on you. If you want to invoke her to justify getting out of the consequences of your actions by killing/murdering an innocent being who you “claim” has no soul, that’s on you. If you want to invoke her to claim that her actions justify you acting like a slut, sleeping around with whomever you please, that’s on you.
Freya is the “exception.”
For all I know, Tove, Krasskova, and Mainer are all correct in Freya’s position on sex, sex work, abortion, etc. As Hel’s husband, gothi, and everything else I am, it is not for me to say one way or the other. But here’s the thing. Too many who invoke Freya in this way do so as if Freya were a perfect, infallible being whose example is the holy path to live.
They are wrong though.
Freya, and the tale of her necklace, are not a story of how to live, but a cautionary tale of how not to live as a Heathen. Freya, most beautiful, most powerful, a goddess of war and power and fertility, was so overcome with greed that she slept with the children of maggots in order to obtain a necklace. She sold her body for gold. She did not think of honor. She did not think of the thousands who had been slaughtered in her name because they wanted to sleep with her or marry her that she refused. She did not think of her husband and her oaths to him.
She saw something made of gold and gems and she broke her oaths to sell her body and honor to obtain it.
Heathens are are deeds. Heathens are their oaths. Heathens are their honor.
When Freya came back and the other Aesir and Vanir learned of what she had done, they did not praise her, nor honor her. They scorned her. They mocked her. They shamed her. Because what she had done was not good, or right, or honorable, or moral, or just. It was none of those things. It was the opposite of those things.
Tove speaks of piety. Well piety is to tell our daughters, our sisters, and our wives, to act and live with honor, just as we tell our Men to. To keep their oaths and integrity. To find husbands, to love and honor them. To raise fine children. To not exploit or harm their kin for the sake of greed.
Maybe Freya believes these acts of abortion or OnlyFans or the like are okay.
I don’t have to listen to Freya. Not when the rest of the Aesir and the Vanir tell me otherwise. Not when Hel, my Goddess, tells me otherwise. Why should I listen to the words of Tove about the ensoulment of a child when I can speak to the very Goddess of Souls myself! Why should I hold Freya’s views on sex higher than those of Frigg, wife of Odin, and Queen of the Aesir. A Goddess who has never given herself over to greed or wrath or dishonor? Why should I take Tove’s view on prostitutes and the like, when I can look the the lore itself and find that such a path in life was frowned upon, not praised, by my ancestors?
Tove speaks of piety, but they have only the piety that suits their whims. Where is Tove’s piety for the role of women (which she denies exists and believes she should not follow!)? Where is Tove’s piety for the keeping of slaves, of social order, or of killing for honor? Tove is happy to rely on the Christian ideals of equality, that men and women are the same and should possess the same political or legal rights, but woe that one should have the “christian” ideal that a woman not make herself a slut or cheat men from their money with her body through false practices! Where is Tove’s piety to the other Gods and Goddesses who scorn her views on sex, abortion, the roles of women and men, those who say her way is wrong?
I do not see it.
“Likewise, I would not presume to speak of Hella on the question of whether someone belongs in Her or not. It is hardly your purview. At best, it seems you can only speak of one dissatisfied John in particular – you.“
It is specifically my purview to speak for Hel. I am her gothi, her husband and lover, chosen by Hel herself. I have worked with her, walked with her, and lived with her for nearly twenty years at this point. It is given to me to speak on her behalf because she has decreed it so. The fact that the words of Hel displease you does not change this fact, Tove “Priestess” of Freyja.
Your words are weak and meaningless. You invoke Freya and traditions to do as you please, but you ignore the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions that would bind you away from what you please. You do not even know what a Heathen woman should be, the role she plays in the faith and society, the very thing you agreed to be when you became a Heathen, at least if you truly value the ancient ways that you claim justify your positions on abortion, sex, and prostitution. The Gods themselves decreed it was a mother’s place to love her children, with Frigg herself being the greatest example of this! Yet you would claim otherwise.
You insult me by calling me UnHeathen. You insult me by saying I am as a Christian. You insult me by saying my words are nothing more than those of a “dissatisfied John.” You insult my Goddess, her wisdom and her ways. By the ancient ways you claim to value and that justify your position, I am within my rights to take your life, Tove. Two insults may be bought off by gold, but a third must be answered in blood. Will you face me, Tove? Will you uphold the ancient ways? Do you value them enough to put your life on the line for them?
Where is your piety, Tove? Have you the honor to come to me and speak these insults to my face, rather than behind the safety of your screen? You invoke the ancient ways, you invoke a Goddess of War, so will you stand and fight and face death with gun or blade in hand? Will you risk going to prison for the sake of your beliefs? You claim to value the ancient ways, that they dictate the morals of your life and how you live. This is what you must do by your own claims of piety and belief. Will you uphold them?
No, will you hide. You say “that’s not how we do things now!” You call me names again behind the safety of your screen to justify your cowardice. At best you may cast a spell towards me in petulant rage, unwilling to show your face or risk your life. The only thing you are brave enough to kill is the child in your womb, because it cannot fight back, and no law will punish you for your deed. You pathetic coward.
And you will be judged at the end of your days for your Cowardice, Tove. Unless Freya takes you to her hall, Hela herself will sit in judgment of you, examine the deeds of your life and how you faced them. Something tells me you will be found very wanting in the end.
Let Tove’s words be a caution to you, my readers. To keep to tradition is good, but do not invoke only those traditions or Gods who please you and suit your desires. Pay heed to those which stand against what you desire as well, for they are just as true and binding. The loyalty, chastity, and motherhood of Frigg is just as binding to us as the free love and “abortions” of Freya, as are the tenants of Hel.
If, in this day and age, we find we must compromise some of our traditions, then do not be as Tove, who is happy to compromise in ways she finds pleasing to do, but then sneers, mocks, and derides others who compromise in different ways than she likes.
In my practice, I have found that I must make compromises that suit me, do not suit me, and merely are. I have had to compromise, at the council of Hel, keeping traditions like how one should repay insults and betrayals. How sweet my life would be, to see them dead and know that they had paid for their evils done against me. Yet they live, unmolested. In my invalid state, how much easier would my life be were I to own a slave to help see to the needs and care of myself and where I live, not to mention the companionship, or to own several so that they might provide me with wealth and comfort as well? How pleasant would it be, if I could string up politicians as human sacrifices to the gods, for the betrayals and abuses they have wrought against my kin and country. To storm the bastions of those who insist that my people and our ways are hateful and evil, to see them dead and their holdings plundered?
Yet I must compromise on these things. I am no less a Heathen for it, or so Hel tells me. Given the number of other heathens who pray to the Aesir and Vanir who have compromised in this way yet have not been denounced by the Gods, I trust her word about it.
To see what science teaches us about our fellow men, about our unborn, about the illnesses we suffer, and to change my practices accordingly. To accept what is, even when it binds how I would have things actually be. Our ancestors were smart and they knew more than they are often given credit for, but they were not all knowing. As we learn more, as we can do more, we must accept sometimes how this changes our actions within the faith, or even what that faith reveals to us.
Some of these compromises chafe me. Some are pleasing. Some just are. Yet, I live with them as best I can. It is something we all must do, if we are to keep the faith.
Just as there are traditions that we can keep, and should, even though they chafe. The place of a man, his duties, his position in life, often run counter to what we are told a man should be in this age. The place of a woman, her duties, and her position in life, are especially counter to what we are told a woman should be these days. Yet there are few laws and no science that bind a woman from living as a Heathen woman should, which means every Heathen woman is free to embrace the way our ancestors and Gods say she should live. Yet time and again, despite this freedom to uphold tradition, do I see heathen women reject it for more modern ideas of what a woman should be and placing scorn upon those Heathen women who do keep to the elder ways. Women who hold up Tradition to get what they want, yet scream and shout when Traditions they do not like are held up as how they should live.
Women like Tove.
Do not be like Tove has been, my kin.
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Here is my answer: