Recently I have renewed memberships to 3 organisations. The Troth- for their fantastic knowledge of lore and Seiðr. Their email debates and questioning via Facebook often provide a very information and illuminating source of knowledge that often includes renown experts in these fields. Whilst I do not whole heartedly agree with the ‘politically correct’ stance that often prevents their active involvement in public issues and petitioning of government- they do act very well to be able to deliver effective clarification and defence of the main pillars of Heathen beliefs whenever they are incorrectly represented.
The Kith of Yggdrasil is, in my opinion one of and if not the, the most progressive and publicly active Heathen organisations in the UK today. With a brilliant group of members, they seem to able to organise amazing events and are working well with the Pagan Federation to promote Heathenry as a belief that is as valid as the majority belief of Pagan Fed members, which is of course- Wicca.
Please note- non of the following is meant to cause offense. If you are offended, then I am sorry for you. The following is purely my observations.
Directly following the Kith- I am also of course a member of the Pagan Federation. The Pagan Fed is an organisation with enough members and prominence to lobby for Pagan rights in the UK and to represent collective concerns in the press and for this alone I feel that it is a worthwhile organisation for any person on a Pagan path to be a member of. Singular beliefs have limited numbers and therefore there lobby power is limited, but by being a part of a larger organism we become more powerful which is needed in the current political and social organisation of the country where the opinion of the masses counts more than the opinion of those best placed to make decisions- like the superorganism that is a shoal of piranha that are limited as a single fish, yet become a force of destruction as a collective team. What I have realised recently is that whilst generic Pagan groups are somewhat useful, I am extremely frustrated at not being part of a larger, local Heathen group. I want to meet Heathens at least once a month. I want to engage in conversation on lore, runes, seiðr and other compatible magic systems. I’m considering founding my own group, but would appreciate greater involvement with the Kith, but I will never move to London. The Wandering Wain in Lancashire is more viable and of great interest to me if I ever move to their area. I cannot decide on the merits on Theodism as I am essentially too strong of a character to follow anothers lead without them gaining my respect- which is extremely hard to do. I will consult the runes…
Whilst I feel that the Pagan Federation is heavily biased towards Wicca, I can of course see and understand the reason for this in that the vast majority of the membership is of course Wiccan. Whilst I resent the domination of Pagan group by Wiccans as they assume everyone worships ‘the Goddess’, I have very little against Wiccans other than their assumptions. Attend an open and mixed UK Pagan ‘moot’, and you are likely to be involved in a discussion concerning ‘the Goddess’ or the casting of a circle and the worship of ‘the Goddess’. Very little attention is paid to the fact that not all Pagans are Wiccan or that they may cause offense by pairing Freyja with a male deity from another religion or claiming that the moon is a goddess when of course the moon is male. My personal favourite is Wiccan’s who turn all Gods or Goddess’ into hypostases or archetypes of their duotheistic sytem- I fear for them when the Gods judge them. Claiming Thor represents the defeat of Winter as the young God, then Freyr represents the mid-year harvest god and Odin is the god in old age as Winter approaches is likely to cause great offense to the Gods and to be truthful- why would anyone wish to risk the wrath of Odin? Things are gradually changing with the reception of Heathens and our depiction within the Pagan Federation, but I fear most Wiccans are oblivious to our ways. I still cringe anytime I receive a ‘bright blessings’ or a ‘goddess be with you’ from a Wiccan. I ask that Wiccans everywhere acknowledge that not all Pagans are Wiccan, not all Pagans are Witches and not all Witches are Wiccan. Drop the claims of Wicca being the ancient religion of the British Isles- that was most likely the original Druids of the Celtic tribes and that was replaced by the Roman influence and Christianity, before of course being replaced by the Heathen beliefs of the Scandinavians or the resurgence of older beliefs rekindled by the Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians before Christianity erased all others. Wicca is 60 years old. Gardner created with the influence of others such as Aleister Crowley. Nothing is written about Wicca that is more than 60 years old. Nothing is written about the original Druid beliefs. Only Heathens have any written lore and that was written by Christians nearly 1000 years ago. Be honest about the history of your beliefs.
I also despair at the general assumption that to be a Pagan means you must believe in animal rights, be a member of Greenpeace and be a vegetarian. I a sorry but although I love forests, I would chop a tree down if needed for my survival. I love eating meat for the taste, nutrients and power you obtain from its consumption- but I do believe in honouring the animal that is being eaten and am willing to pay good money for animals that have been treated well in life. I have no problem with whale hunting as I believe they are a big, ocean cow that consumes small life in order that they can provide meat for a whole town- yet I do not believe in mass whaling by modern methods. We should honour the whale by hunting and killing with traditional methods where the whale has a fair chance to evade capture or even attack the whaler- earn the right and honour to eat the whale and then honour it as it dies. Ultimately, the world is to be looked after and honoured- but Ragnarok will come whatever we do. Protecting an endangered species that has failed to adapt to a changing environment is not fair on nature. The weak will die if they do not adapt. An animal that only lives by eating a single food source is almost pre-destined for extinction as a result of its stubbornness. The protection of the weak is a human trait that is likely to be the reason why humans have not evolved in the last few thousands of years. We protect the weak and have evolved technologically rather than physically. Maybe this is the Promethian issue that we have intelligence because we are so weak. It’s a huge debate. I’m also not a pacifist. I believe in justice, fair punishment and right to hurt others if required. The Wiccan crede would create world peace, but if someone hurt my family- then I would be looking for justice with the guilty given to Odin. The world is not fair. Deal with it, not cry about it. As Nietzsche said, the belief that the world is not fair and then complaining about it is the slave morality that leads to bodies like unions. Take the master morality- it’s not fair, deal with it, do something about it for yourself and decide what you are prepared to do, rather than seek public support. This is why a democracy exists- most people are of the slave morality. Fact- the greatest empires have come out of master moralities running as monarchies or dictatorships. Laws are the common law of the slave morality. A dictator runs their world by their master morality. I believe in capital justice. I believe in the power of the ruler of people.
I have also been in contact with 3 other organisations- a runic specialist group, a magical practice with a focus on Heathen magic and an esoteric organisation, but I have yet to make my mind up regarding any of these as of yet.
As I read this over, I’m not sure about posting.