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Author Topic: A critique of Folkish Heathenry  (Read 3592 times)

Megatherium

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2014, 10:23:09 pm »
Quote from: Fireof9;154873
.... It made me a bit defensive. But it also for some reason made me feel more connected to the places I lived and the people that lived there, regardless of their pigment. It also started me on the way to understanding that while I think we should all be proud of aspects of our heritages - regardless of what your heritage is - the only thing we really can gain from dwelling in them is to learn from the mistakes. We can look to historical thing in our spiritual and religious practices to develop a practice and tradition for the world we live in NOW, and the places and people we live with at this time. Otherwise I think its a lot of playing pretend and running scared.


That was always my problem with "folkish" Heathenry. It seemed to be saying "forget about all those POC that are your classmates, friends, colleagues, your REAL community is the WHITE community." Bullshit. My community is who I interact with, my city, my province, my county. Ethnic origin has no relevence as to whether a person is a Canadian or Calgarian, and therefore, it has no relevence to my perception of that person as a member of my community.
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Fireof9

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2014, 11:08:46 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;154900
That was always my problem with "folkish" Heathenry. It seemed to be saying "forget about all those POC that are your classmates, friends, colleagues, your REAL community is the WHITE community." Bullshit. My community is who I interact with, my city, my province, my county. Ethnic origin has no relevence as to whether a person is a Canadian or Calgarian, and therefore, it has no relevence to my perception of that person as a member of my community.


To further that, would my practice really be the same as a Calgarian...... I mean its really flat out there and I have mountains and real trees.... ;)

I think I can see more benefit in a "tribal" type of approach almost. That would be much more relevant to ones community based culture.
Really?  So, hey, want to go fishing?  I\'ve got a telescope, and it\'s going to be a dark night, so we should see the fish really well.
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Materialist

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2014, 12:24:12 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;154833
Instead of passing down teachings, we have to study ancient cultures and engage in a lifelong struggle to assimilate a worldview that is clearly different from our own.

 
Which is one of the reasons why I stopped reading neo-pagan books. Re-flipping through Kveldulf Gundarsson's Teutonic Religion we find:

heathen virtues: Americans have their own virtues enshrined in our constitutions and modern philosophies, why not just use those?

heathen heroes a.k.a. pagan dudes who killed some Christians: Americans have their own culture heroes, real ones, who made our society a better place, why not celebrate what they fought and died for instead?

pagan holidays: I always find it so cute when a Heathen mentions a plow blessing ceremony, who has probably never plowed a thing in his or her life, and doesn't know what back breaking work it is. Instead of honoring a pre-industrial agricultural work life, why not base our holidays on the line of employment we're in?

heathen lore: instead of reading European mythology, why not make use of the mythical creatures and stories from urban legends, folktales and fictional literature?

heathen gods: pagan Europeans  lived in tribes, each tribe having its own god, so why not adapt that to our civic divisions? State/province=tribe, town=clan.  Let's take New York City as an example: using the first two letters in each word we get Neyoci, child of Neyo.

Perhaps we're taking the first steps towards an American reconstructionist reformation.

Juniperberry

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2014, 01:43:19 am »
Quote from: Megatherium;154833
The more I think about this, the more the idea that modern Heathenry in North America can be described as a "folkway" seems utterly absurd. In fact, it seems to be the opposite of an "ethnic" religion. Instead of passing down teachings, we have to study ancient cultures and engage in a lifelong struggle to assimilate a worldview that is clearly different from our own. We form religious communities based on individual theological opinion rather than naturally inheriting a community from our families. Seriously, what is there about modern Heathenry that could be termed as characteristic of a "folkway"? We have far more in common (in terms of social organization, not theology) with the early Christian communities in Rome than with any actual "ethnic" religion. (Except that Christians, to their credit, have rarely if ever made ethnicity a requirement to join their religion)
 

 
Yes. (to this post and materialists original post). I am a Canadian. I am never going to be a German, or a Dutch person, let alone a Frank, or an Alemanni. We need to build our links with our actual homes and communities (which are often multicultural) rather than creating awkward parodies of utterly decontextualized religious traditions.

 

I just wanted to say thanks so much for this thread. The discussion between you and Fire brought a lot of things back into focus for me and helped me figure out what's missing and where I'm headed.
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Megatherium

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2014, 07:20:43 pm »
Quote from: Fireof9;154908
To further that, would my practice really be the same as a Calgarian...... I mean its really flat out there and I have mountains and real trees.... ;)

I think I can see more benefit in a "tribal" type of approach almost. That would be much more relevant to ones community based culture.


I agree that one's environment should definitely affect one's religious practice. And I think that pagan/heathen-type religions should definietly vary according to the local geography and circumstances.

On a side note...we got mountains! Lots of mountains! Please don't refer to Calgary as "flat"-mainly because I use that adjective to poke fun at my family members in Saskatchewan and Mantitoba. ;)
 
Quote from: Materialist;154959
Which is one of the reasons why I stopped reading neo-pagan books. Re-flipping through Kveldulf Gundarsson's Teutonic Religion we find:

heathen virtues: Americans have their own virtues enshrined in our constitutions and modern philosophies, why not just use those?.


Yes, I think that reconstructionist communities tend to romanticize past cultures, and, sometimes, to have a fairly dismissive attitude towards "modern" values. I am a 21st century Canadian, and my values should reflect the society I actually live in.

Quote from: Materialist;154959

heathen heroes a.k.a. pagan dudes who killed some Christians: Americans have their own culture heroes, real ones, who made our society a better place, why not celebrate what they fought and died for instead?


Again, yes. Killing Christians is not really something I consider to be admirable. People like Martin Luther King and Nellie McLung are far more representative of my actual values than Iron-Age warlords.

Quote from: Materialist;154959

pagan holidays: I always find it so cute when a Heathen mentions a plow blessing ceremony, who has probably never plowed a thing in his or her life, and doesn't know what back breaking work it is. Instead of honoring a pre-industrial agricultural work life, why not base our holidays on the line of employment we're in?


Well, in my line of employment, my rituals would basically be reduced to "start of semester" and "end of semester". I'm perfectly happy with a religious calender that reflects the changing seasons. (Especially when you get a 60 degree celcius swings in temperature every 6 months).

Quote from: Materialist;154959

heathen lore: instead of reading European mythology, why not make use of the mythical creatures and stories from urban legends, folktales and fictional literature?


Allow me to mildly disagree with you here. Firstly, I do think that the old European mythologies have still continued to be part of our culture. Thor still inspires comic books and movies, and I do like some connection to the ancestral countries of North Americans. Secondly, in my region, European settlement is extremely young-only really getting underway in the late 1800s. A lot of the traditional stories and folklore from this region are from the First Nations, and while I find it rewarding to learn about these cultures, I feel uneasy about adopting their stories as my own.

Quote from: Materialist;154959

heathen gods: pagan Europeans  lived in tribes, each tribe having its own god, so why not adapt that to our civic divisions? State/province=tribe, town=clan.  Let's take New York City as an example: using the first two letters in each word we get Neyoci, child of Neyo.

Perhaps we're taking the first steps towards an American reconstructionist reformation.


I personally, despite all my issues with Heathenry, still feel a very powerful connection to the Germanic Gods. But I also think that they can manifest a bit differently here. We don't need to get rid of Odin/Thor/Frigga, etc. (of course, one could, and there is nothing wrong with that) But I think as their cults develop here, these deities will take on characteristics (or at least their relationship with their worshippers will take on characteristics) of the land and people they are interacting with.
 
Quote from: Juniperberry;155022
I just wanted to say thanks so much for this thread. The discussion between you and Fire brought a lot of things back into focus for me and helped me figure out what's missing and where I'm headed.


Thanks. Consider it some long overdue payback for all the thinky-thoughts you've given me to chew on.
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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2014, 02:01:39 am »
Quote from: Megatherium;155097
On a side note...we got mountains! Lots of mountains! Please don't refer to Calgary as "flat"-mainly because I use that adjective to poke fun at my family members in Saskatchewan and Mantitoba. ;)


We could invite him to visit, and get him to walk south on 14th St SW starting at 17th Ave. (Or north on Centre St, or Edmonton Trail, or 10th St, or 14th St, starting at the river. Or, or, or - lots to choose from!):dwink:
 
Quote
Allow me to mildly disagree with you here. Firstly, I do think that the old European mythologies have still continued to be part of our culture. Thor still inspires comic books and movies, and I do like some connection to the ancestral countries of North Americans. Secondly, in my region, European settlement is extremely young-only really getting underway in the late 1800s. A lot of the traditional stories and folklore from this region are from the First Nations, and while I find it rewarding to learn about these cultures, I feel uneasy about adopting their stories as my own.

 
There is something very wrong with that bolded phrase. Can you spot it? (You give yourself a hint later in the paragraph.)

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Megatherium

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 10:34:38 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;155137
We could invite him to visit, and get him to walk south on 14th St SW starting at 17th Ave. (Or north on Centre St, or Edmonton Trail, or 10th St, or 14th St, starting at the river. Or, or, or - lots to choose from!):dwink:
 

 
There is something very wrong with that bolded phrase. Can you spot it? (You give yourself a hint later in the paragraph.)

Sunflower

 
Whoops! I meant to try and communicate the idea that ALL the source countries (including African, Asian and American) of NON-INDIGENOUS North Americans can continue to play a role in modern North American culture. (Of course the cultures of Native Americans continue to have an influence as well-my point was that cultural influences that developed outside of North America can still be relevant here)
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Nyktipolos

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2014, 11:14:59 am »
Quote from: Megatherium;155097
On a side note...we got mountains! Lots of mountains! Please don't refer to Calgary as "flat"-mainly because I use that adjective to poke fun at my family members in Saskatchewan and Mantitoba. ;)


Well, I have only one response to that, good sir:

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Veu-Cm7aHMw[/video]
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Megatherium

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2014, 02:31:16 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;155157
Well, I have only one response to that, good sir:

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Veu-Cm7aHMw[/video]

 
The best thing about poking fun at prairie-dwellers about "the flatness" is that their response is inevitably more clever than your original joke. Touché, Nyktipolos, Touché.
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Fireof9

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2014, 09:43:07 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;155137
We could invite him to visit, and get him to walk south on 14th St SW starting at 17th Ave. (Or north on Centre St, or Edmonton Trail, or 10th St, or 14th St, starting at the river. Or, or, or - lots to choose from!):dwink:
 

 


Sunflower

I have spent a bit of time in Calgary, lived in the Hat and Drum. In comparison to where I live it is super flat. I had a headache for the first two weeks I lived in Alberta from my eyes not be adjusted to so little to break up the line of sight. But Calgary is certainly not as bad as further south east like the Medicine Hat and so on. At least you guys can see the Rockies.  I really like down around Cardston with the rolling plains there. Just beautiful. The prairies certainly have the nicest sunsets I have ever seen! :)

I lived in Panoka as well. Thats an interesting little town. Beautiful place.

I live in the Kootenays here in B.C. Nothing but mountains and forests.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 09:45:00 pm by Fireof9 »
Really?  So, hey, want to go fishing?  I\'ve got a telescope, and it\'s going to be a dark night, so we should see the fish really well.
...what, I\'m not talking about fishing?  That\'s stargazing?  It\'s all doing-stuff, so it\'s the same thing, right?
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Megatherium

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Re: A critique of Folkish Heathenry
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2014, 06:32:05 pm »
Quote from: Fireof9;155192
I have spent a bit of time in Calgary, lived in the Hat and Drum. In comparison to where I live it is super flat. I had a headache for the first two weeks I lived in Alberta from my eyes not be adjusted to so little to break up the line of sight. But Calgary is certainly not as bad as further south east like the Medicine Hat and so on. At least you guys can see the Rockies.  I really like down around Cardston with the rolling plains there. Just beautiful. The prairies certainly have the nicest sunsets I have ever seen! :)

I lived in Panoka as well. Thats an interesting little town. Beautiful place.

I live in the Kootenays here in B.C. Nothing but mountains and forests.


Yeah, from certain vantage points, Calgary is flat as hell, and from other's it's a hilly gateway to the Rockies. The, shall we say, "liminal" nature of Calgary has grown to be one of my favourite aspects of it. To the South and East lie pancake-flat grasslands, to the West and North are forests and mountains.

But I don't often hear about people from B.C. retiring here. More like the other way around.;) (Probably due to the brutal winters in Calgary vs. the much milder climate in B.C.)
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