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Author Topic: Heathenry and Culture  (Read 1134 times)

Ghost235

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Heathenry and Culture
« on: November 04, 2015, 02:00:14 pm »
I have spun this off of the thread on Reincarnation and Heathenry.  

How do you think that the overall world that existed at the time Heathenry evolved contributed towards what Heathenry was at the time?  I would suggest that any commentary will have to be limited by geography.  Also, how do you think the very different conditions that Heathenry evolved in affects how one would re-create Heathenry in our time?

I will admit that I have definite opinions on the matter of how the overall weather and climate contributed to the development of Asatru but I'd rather hear the experts weigh in before I spout my probable heresy.  :P

Juniperberry

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Re: Heathenry and Culture
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 02:09:06 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;181881
I have spun this off of the thread on Reincarnation and Heathenry.  

How do you think that the overall world that existed at the time Heathenry evolved contributed towards what Heathenry was at the time?  I would suggest that any commentary will have to be limited by geography.  Also, how do you think the very different conditions that Heathenry evolved in affects how one would re-create Heathenry in our time?

I will admit that I have definite opinions on the matter of how the overall weather and climate contributed to the development of Asatru but I'd rather hear the experts weigh in before I spout my probable heresy.  :P


I'm not really sure what you're asking, maybe because the question seems too broad. Could you narrow it down by providing an example of what you mean?
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Ghost235

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Re: Heathenry and Culture
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 02:58:16 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;181883
I'm not really sure what you're asking, maybe because the question seems too broad. Could you narrow it down by providing an example of what you mean?

 

I definitely can and would be happy to.

For example, Buddhism developed in a culture in which the vast majority of people believed in rebirth and the society was set up with a caste system that was a sort of spiritual step ladder.  Also, the culture had a very strong tradition of people who gave everything away to dedicate themselves towards religious aims.

As a result Buddhism is focused on individual spiritual attainment and(especially in Theravadin Buddhism) puts a great deal of emphasis on the virtues of monastic living.

Now, to be clear, I don't think one could really make a geographically broad statement on this topic.  Asatru had a pretty different climate and culture than Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and both of those were most likely not living the same life as a Germanic Heathen and all of those are quite different from the problems that exist in western civilization.

bobthesane

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Re: Heathenry and Culture
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 03:03:55 pm »
Quote from: Ghost235;181891
I definitely can and would be happy to.

For example, Buddhism developed in a culture in which the vast majority of people believed in rebirth and the society was set up with a caste system that was a sort of spiritual step ladder.  Also, the culture had a very strong tradition of people who gave everything away to dedicate themselves towards religious aims.

As a result Buddhism is focused on individual spiritual attainment and(especially in Theravadin Buddhism) puts a great deal of emphasis on the virtues of monastic living.

Now, to be clear, I don't think one could really make a geographically broad statement on this topic.  Asatru had a pretty different climate and culture than Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and both of those were most likely not living the same life as a Germanic Heathen and all of those are quite different from the problems that exist in western civilization.

I'm still not quite sure how to answer this. "Asatru", even as a word, didn't exist before the 1970s. Arch-heathenry didn't have a name. It was simply the way it was. Being a very tribal focused worldview, you would have a great deal of variation even from town to town.

Also given the HUGE area over which you would find heathens, from the shores of North America to the Varangian Guards of the Byzantines, and points even further south and east, I don't think geography plays nearly as strong as role as you may think.

Adaptability was the name of the game. You had your tribal thews, you had the gods you would sacrifice to at certain times of the year, and you had your ancestors. Thews are decided by the tribe. Ancestors? Well, that's personal. Gods? Pretty remote and only approached at high holy days, and then usually as a group with a designated appointee to speak for that group.

There was no real monolithic structure, as you yourself said bringing up the differences between continental germanic and (I assume) Icelandic heathenry.

Hyacinth Belle

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Re: Heathenry and Culture
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2015, 06:07:10 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;181893
I'm still not quite sure how to answer this. "Asatru", even as a word, didn't exist before the 1970s.

 I had the same knee-jerk reaction.

I guess though, if pressed, I would say I find a colder climate most ideal for Heathenry, although of course it exists in hotter climates too. I think I mostly say that because of midwinter and midsummer, which are important to me. I myself just have no experience living somewhere that doesn't have four distinct seasons, and it's something I cherish as the last of the autumn leaves are even now falling from their branches.

Other than that, a tribal perspective and an ancestor-worship perspective are two other key things to me.

FWIW.
"Silent and thoughtful a prince\'s son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

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