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Author Topic: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland  (Read 6141 times)

bobthesane

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2016, 09:56:41 am »
Quote from: Altair;185035
Color me breathlessly excited, personally. I've been to Iceland twice, so I find it a fascinating place...

...and more to the point, I went there because it's the likely location of one of what for me are the five sacred sites of the globe. (I wrote an article or two for an older version of the Cauldron's board, about the "Five-way Road" pagan pilgrimage I undertook over the course of several years; but alas, those electrons bit the dust with the old board.)

The idea that a modern-day pagan temple--of whatever pagan faith--is being built there? I'm all over that.

There ARE pagan temples, all over the place. Here in the USA the AFA already has theirs built and ready to use. I have heard rumor of more than one other heathen group in the USA who also already have their temples up and running.

So why isn't anyone making a big deal about these? They certainly beat the Icelanders to the punch, as it were. And this is just the Germanic heathen temples. I'm fairly sure I recall the Kemetics have a nice temple that's been in operation for more than a decade.

This is what lis at the heart of my disgruntlement. Just because something is being done by the Icelanders, doesn't mean it's by any means the first, or even grandest, expression in architecture of or faith. I mean, I too would like to go on vacation in Iceland one day, just as  I would like to tour through all of northern Europe, to see where those parts of my genetic ancestry came from.

But I am under no illusion that this temple of theirs is in any way 'mine', or has anything to do with me. If I recall correctly, aren't they rather grumpily declaring that Americans aren't particularly welcome? I can completely agree with their sentiment. We Americans at times seem to have a rather nasty habit of appropriating other people's accomplishments, while completely ignoring our own.

This is *their* temple. It's for *Icelanders*. Not Americans. And I am completely, 100% okay with this and support them in both their attitude and their endeavors.

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2016, 03:26:56 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;185056
There ARE pagan temples, all over the place. Here in the USA the AFA already has theirs built and ready to use. I have heard rumor of more than one other heathen group in the USA who also already have their temples up and running.

So why isn't anyone making a big deal about these? They certainly beat the Icelanders to the punch, as it were. And this is just the Germanic heathen temples. I'm fairly sure I recall the Kemetics have a nice temple that's been in operation for more than a decade.

This is what lis at the heart of my disgruntlement. Just because something is being done by the Icelanders, doesn't mean it's by any means the first, or even grandest, expression in architecture of or faith. I mean, I too would like to go on vacation in Iceland one day, just as  I would like to tour through all of northern Europe, to see where those parts of my genetic ancestry came from.

But I am under no illusion that this temple of theirs is in any way 'mine', or has anything to do with me. If I recall correctly, aren't they rather grumpily declaring that Americans aren't particularly welcome? I can completely agree with their sentiment. We Americans at times seem to have a rather nasty habit of appropriating other people's accomplishments, while completely ignoring our own.

This is *their* temple. It's for *Icelanders*. Not Americans. And I am completely, 100% okay with this and support them in both their attitude and their endeavors.


Well, my reasons for liking the idea of a pagan temple specifically in Iceland are personal: As I said, Iceland is the location for one of five sacred sites for me in my pagan pilgrimage. So a pagan temple--specifically in Iceland--is of significance to me.

And as I said first thing when I started this thread, I'm not Asatruar. If non-Asatruar or non-Icelanders are not welcome at the temple, I totally respect that. If they are open to someone with a healthy respect for the many pagan pantheons participating (or even just observing) their ceremonies, or simply visiting their temple, then yeah--count me in.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2016, 03:52:39 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;185056
There ARE pagan temples, all over the place. Here in the USA the AFA already has theirs built and ready to use. I have heard rumor of more than one other heathen group in the USA who also already have their temples up and running.

So why isn't anyone making a big deal about these? They certainly beat the Icelanders to the punch, as it were. And this is just the Germanic heathen temples. I'm fairly sure I recall the Kemetics have a nice temple that's been in operation for more than a decade.


Really? Where? Honestly, I have heard nothing about any other Polytheistic Temple having being built in the West. In fact I recall one article claiming that this was the first 'Pagan' temple being built in 1000 years, but it could have meant just in Iceland rather than for all of Europe/N. America. Or perhaps it was just before my time and as such, has faded from the news.

Quote
But I am under no illusion that this temple of theirs is in any way 'mine', or has anything to do with me. If I recall correctly, aren't they rather grumpily declaring that Americans aren't particularly welcome? I can completely agree with their sentiment. We Americans at times seem to have a rather nasty habit of appropriating other people's accomplishments, while completely ignoring our own.


Have they actually said this?

Quote
This is *their* temple. It's for *Icelanders*. Not Americans. And I am completely, 100% okay with this and support them in both their attitude and their endeavors.

 
Surely the temple is for Heathens?

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2016, 06:00:41 pm »
Quote from: Yei;185065
Really? Where? Honestly, I have heard nothing about any other Polytheistic Temple having being built in the West. In fact I recall one article claiming that this was the first 'Pagan' temple being built in 1000 years, but it could have meant just in Iceland rather than for all of Europe/N. America. Or perhaps it was just before my time and as such, has faded from the news.

Well the AFA one is in northern California. The Kemetics have one in San Jose and I think another in... I want to say Brooklyn? And maybe some others, too, I would have to look it up. And there have been several smaller, tribal heathen temples built just in the last few years. Jotun's Bane has one in Kansas City (leaving aside the legal issues surrounding their chieftain).

Quote from: Yei;185065
Have they actually said this?

This would be where the 'if I recall correctly' comes in  lol. I would have to again go digging through some of their interviews. I believe it came out during the big anti-gay flap that some idiots over here in America spewed at the Ásatrúarfélagið for performing gay weddings.
 
Quote from: Yei;185065
Surely the temple is for Heathens?

Yes, but which ones? Not *all* heathens. The AFA temple is not for all heathens. Nor is the JBK temple. Nor should they be. Temples were almost always local, tribal affairs. LArge complexes like the one at Uppsala were by no means the norm. If I and my tribe built ourselves a temple, I would not be at all comfortable allowing just anyone in to it.

Leaving aside the fact that it is consecrated space and someone may unwittingly, and unintentionally, desecrate that space, there are also the more esoteric aspects. Like why in blazes would I want some unknown person's luck getting mingled with mine? That's just asking for trouble. I've got my inner-yard for a reason :)

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2016, 06:06:27 pm »
Quote from: Altair;185064
Well, my reasons for liking the idea of a pagan temple specifically in Iceland are personal: As I said, Iceland is the location for one of five sacred sites for me in my pagan pilgrimage. So a pagan temple--specifically in Iceland--is of significance to me.

And as I said first thing when I started this thread, I'm not Asatruar. If non-Asatruar or non-Icelanders are not welcome at the temple, I totally respect that. If they are open to someone with a healthy respect for the many pagan pantheons participating (or even just observing) their ceremonies, or simply visiting their temple, then yeah--count me in.

They may very well be open to allowing outsiders, and that's their call to make, for sure. I would personally not gain nearly as much of significance from such a ceremony, though, because they are not my tribe and their heathenry is of a different land and people than my own. We may worship the same Great Powers, but our local wights, gods, and ancestors are very different. Thus, our focus and thews would be so different as to render their ceremonial forms lacking in the same significance, to me, as it would be to them.

Not a waste of time, by any means. But my focus is almost entirely on building and maintaining my own inner-yard. I support the Icelanders efforts and wish them very well in this endeavor, but I have no desire or need to take part in it. And I personally would feel as if I was unjustly trying to 'horn in' on their big moment, as it were.

bobthesane

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2016, 06:15:51 pm »
Quote from: Yei;185065
Surely the temple is for Heathens?

Thinking on this a little more, perhaps I should elaborate for you, since you are of a different faith and worldview.

There is no, and never was any, monolithic Germanic heathen faith. While we do have many similarities in that we all generally worship the same Great Gods, when you get below that level things start to fall apart very quickly in terms of how alike we are.

The Theodish, for example, very much have their own ways of doing things. I know many Theodish people and respect *the hell* out of them for their learning, their fierce loyalty to each other, and their worldview.

But it isn't mine. I am sure I could attend a Theodish rite and not be completely at a loss for what is happening around me, but it would feel foreign to me. Their thews are not mine, and vice versa. My own tribe has our own ways of doing things, based on years of building ourselves into the small tribe we are today. We all know our own ritual forms, we all know what is and is not taboo in our inner-yard.

Outsiders who come and watch us (we have allowed a couple over the years) have remarked that they thought it was interesting, but did not understand the significance of some of what we said and did, even though it seemed dreadfully important to us. And therein lies the rub, if you will.

If someone has to explain to me the significance of something that to me is seemingly inconsequential, then these are not my thews. I am a guest in the near outer-yard, and should behave as a respectful guest should. This includes, but is not limited to, trying very, very hard not to be a disruptive influence upon the proceedings.

And *that* is why I think open temples are a bad idea, if you follow me.

Juniperberry

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2016, 06:24:58 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;185074
Thinking on this a little more, perhaps I should elaborate for you, since you are of a different faith and worldview.

There is no, and never was any, monolithic Germanic heathen faith. While we do have many similarities in that we all generally worship the same Great Gods, when you get below that level things start to fall apart very quickly in terms of how alike we are.

The Theodish, for example, very much have their own ways of doing things. I know many Theodish people and respect *the hell* out of them for their learning, their fierce loyalty to each other, and their worldview.

But it isn't mine. I am sure I could attend a Theodish rite and not be completely at a loss for what is happening around me, but it would feel foreign to me. Their thews are not mine, and vice versa. My own tribe has our own ways of doing things, based on years of building ourselves into the small tribe we are today. We all know our own ritual forms, we all know what is and is not taboo in our inner-yard.

Outsiders who come and watch us (we have allowed a couple over the years) have remarked that they thought it was interesting, but did not understand the significance of some of what we said and did, even though it seemed dreadfully important to us. And therein lies the rub, if you will.

If someone has to explain to me the significance of something that to me is seemingly inconsequential, then these are not my thews. I am a guest in the near outer-yard, and should behave as a respectful guest should. This includes, but is not limited to, trying very, very hard not to be a disruptive influence upon the proceedings.

And *that* is why I think open temples are a bad idea, if you follow me.

 
I suppose it's all in what the owners intend, but would you be more comfortable with the idea of this temple if it also served as a thingstead?

For the uninformed, a thingstead is an assembly place for members of a province. Heathenry, as religion is now generally separated from state, could he considered a spiritual province.

It's an interesting idea to me that the temple could serve a heathen althing. Was wondering about your thoughts on it.
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bobthesane

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2016, 06:55:12 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;185075
I suppose it's all in what the owners intend, but would you be more comfortable with the idea of this temple if it also served as a thingstead?

For the uninformed, a thingstead is an assembly place for members of a province. Heathenry, as religion is now generally separated from state, could he considered a spiritual province.

It's an interesting idea to me that the temple could serve a heathen althing. Was wondering about your thoughts on it.

Hmm... I would say sure, but that isn't its intended purpose. It's specifically labelled as a temple, with all the religiosity that implies. If it were a thingstead, then I would expect it to be labelled as such. Especially in light of the fact that Iceland's parliament is still called the Althing.

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2016, 09:26:57 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;185002
Big five? That's vague. You mean Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Traditional Chinese Religion, and Buddhism?

 
Yes, except Judaism instead of Traditional Chinese Religion. But that's welcome too.
Sorry, I should have clarified. Was reading a different article earlier that used the term, and I think it rubbed off!
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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2016, 09:32:38 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;185074

And *that* is why I think open temples are a bad idea, if you follow me.

 
I don't believe that a temple such as this would/should necessarily have an open door policy. But, it seems it is planning to operate for visitors.

From the article:
Quote
"'...Then we have the cafe, bar, kitchen and storage room. And a small space for people working, and the toilets.'

"It’s easy to forget that the temple will also be a tourist attraction, and must welcome visitors as well as worshippers."
"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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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2016, 02:03:26 am »
Quote from: bobthesane;185073
They may very well be open to allowing outsiders, and that's their call to make, for sure. I would personally not gain nearly as much of significance from such a ceremony, though, because they are not my tribe and their heathenry is of a different land and people than my own. We may worship the same Great Powers, but our local wights, gods, and ancestors are very different. Thus, our focus and thews would be so different as to render their ceremonial forms lacking in the same significance, to me, as it would be to them.

Not a waste of time, by any means. But my focus is almost entirely on building and maintaining my own inner-yard. I support the Icelanders efforts and wish them very well in this endeavor, but I have no desire or need to take part in it. And I personally would feel as if I was unjustly trying to 'horn in' on their big moment, as it were.


Fair enough. My personal experience relating to ceremonies of traditions not my own is different. Near another of my five sacred sites, in the Himalaya, there's a major Buddhist temple in the village of Tengboche. I'm no more Buddhist than Asatruar, but I have a healthy appreciation and respect for both, and am interested in the commonalities and differences in their world views compared to my own.

The Tengboche monastery welcomes visitors, if they're respectful of Buddhist traditions (silence, don't touch what you're not supposed to, respectful dress code, shoes off at the door, keep the soles of your feet from pointing towards the altar...), and they're invited to observe their daily ceremony. Simply observing it was amazing, informative, and helped me understand Tibetan Buddhism better, as well as my practice of meditation in my own path. I participated to the extent that visitors were invited to do so (partaking of the food passed around on plates near the end of the ceremony)...and the monastery benefited from a small voluntary donation that helps defray their operating expenses.
 
It was not a ceremony of my religion, and I'm still not Buddhist. But I'm better for the experience.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2016, 05:25:49 am »
Quote from: Hyacinth Belle;185081
Yes, except Judaism instead of Traditional Chinese Religion. But that's welcome too.
Sorry, I should have clarified. Was reading a different article earlier that used the term, and I think it rubbed off!

I wasn't aware of the term, but if Judaism would be included, I think it would be better to say 'the big eight' or 'the big nine'.

The relative sizes* of the big religions are (in descending order):

Christianity
Islam
Hinduism
Traditional Chinese Religion**
Buddhism***
Sikhism
Spiritism
Judaism
Bahai

*The exact numbers are open for discussion, since they are dependent on the choice of method

** Since, in most cases, those who practice Confucianism also practice Daoism and Chinese folk customs, the term Traditional Chinese Religion is used in order to not count the same persons twice or thrice

*** If traditional indigenous religions and the Africa-derived religions of Latin America are counted as a unified bloc, they have a greater number of adherents than Buddhism, but since each traditional indigeneous religion is independent, I haven't counted them as a bloc here

I haven't included Juche in this list, since it is a political ideology, although with religious dimensions: Most North Koreans worship Kim Il-sung
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 05:28:56 am by RecycledBenedict »

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2016, 06:01:44 am »
Quote from: bobthesane;185072
Well the AFA one is in northern California. The Kemetics have one in San Jose and I think another in... I want to say Brooklyn? And maybe some others, too, I would have to look it up. And there have been several smaller, tribal heathen temples built just in the last few years. Jotun's Bane has one in Kansas City (leaving aside the legal issues surrounding their chieftain).

I guess they are fairly low-key, at least these days. Was there more 'commotion' around them when they were first opening.

Quote
This would be where the 'if I recall correctly' comes in  lol. I would have to again go digging through some of their interviews. I believe it came out during the big anti-gay flap that some idiots over here in America spewed at the Ásatrúarfélagið for performing gay weddings.

I did not realise that the modes of worship/belief were so ... controversial.

Quote
Yes, but which ones? Not *all* heathens. The AFA temple is not for all heathens. Nor is the JBK temple. Nor should they be. Temples were almost always local, tribal affairs. LArge complexes like the one at Uppsala were by no means the norm. If I and my tribe built ourselves a temple, I would not be at all comfortable allowing just anyone in to it.

Leaving aside the fact that it is consecrated space and someone may unwittingly, and unintentionally, desecrate that space, there are also the more esoteric aspects. Like why in blazes would I want some unknown person's luck getting mingled with mine? That's just asking for trouble. I've got my inner-yard for a reason :)

Quote from: bobthesane;185074
Thinking on this a little more, perhaps I should elaborate for you, since you are of a different faith and worldview.

There is no, and never was any, monolithic Germanic heathen faith. While we do have many similarities in that we all generally worship the same Great Gods, when you get below that level things start to fall apart very quickly in terms of how alike we are.

The Theodish, for example, very much have their own ways of doing things. I know many Theodish people and respect *the hell* out of them for their learning, their fierce loyalty to each other, and their worldview.

But it isn't mine. I am sure I could attend a Theodish rite and not be completely at a loss for what is happening around me, but it would feel foreign to me. Their thews are not mine, and vice versa. My own tribe has our own ways of doing things, based on years of building ourselves into the small tribe we are today. We all know our own ritual forms, we all know what is and is not taboo in our inner-yard.

Outsiders who come and watch us (we have allowed a couple over the years) have remarked that they thought it was interesting, but did not understand the significance of some of what we said and did, even though it seemed dreadfully important to us. And therein lies the rub, if you will.

If someone has to explain to me the significance of something that to me is seemingly inconsequential, then these are not my thews. I am a guest in the near outer-yard, and should behave as a respectful guest should. This includes, but is not limited to, trying very, very hard not to be a disruptive influence upon the proceedings.

And *that* is why I think open temples are a bad idea, if you follow me.

Indeed. I have to admit that I know little of the different sects and denominations of Heathery or their relationship to each other.

While I am very pleased that this temple is being built, I do see your point about different denominations mixing and the potential conflict that could arise. Of course it might not, so let's hope it doesn't.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 09:40:15 am by Darkhawk »

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2016, 06:07:55 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;185090
I wasn't aware of the term, but if Judaism would be included, I think it would be better to say 'the big eight' or 'the big nine'.

The relative sizes* of the big religions are (in descending order):

Christianity
Islam
Hinduism
Traditional Chinese Religion**
Buddhism***
Sikhism
Spiritism
Judaism
Bahai

*The exact numbers are open for discussion, since they are dependent on the choice of method

** Since, in most cases, those who practice Confucianism also practice Daoism and Chinese folk customs, the term Traditional Chinese Religion is used in order to not count the same persons twice or thrice

*** If traditional indigenous religions and the Africa-derived religions of Latin America are counted as a unified bloc, they have a greater number of adherents than Buddhism, but since each traditional indigeneous religion is independent, I haven't counted them as a bloc here

I haven't included Juche in this list, since it is a political ideology, although with religious dimensions: Most North Koreans worship Kim Il-sung


What about Shintoism in Japan? I don't think that anyone knows how many Shinto worshippers there actually are, but it could be millions.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Update on New Heathen Temple in Iceland
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2016, 06:13:31 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;185090
** Since, in most cases, those who practice Confucianism also practice Daoism and Chinese folk customs, the term Traditional Chinese Religion is used in order to not count the same persons twice or thrice

It was too late to add this to my former message. I do it this way instead:

And in a similar way, adherents of Shinto are very hard to count. Although almost 100 milion Japanese participate in Shinto ceremonies now and then (which would place them between the Buddhists and the Sikhs in the list), very few of them identify as Shintoists in demographical surveys, and some of these prefer to identify as Buddhist.

Like the country I was born in and live in, Sweden, Japan is a very secularized country, and that makes statistical estimates of religious adherence complicated. Here in Sweden we have, for instance, a very large number of Agnostic Lutherans who are adamant that they will continue to be members of Church of Sweden (probably because they like church weddings!). I guess the Japanese have a similar complicated relation to religion, but in their case they are not 'joiners' of denominations, which skew the statistics in the opposite direction than the Swedish statistical outcome. Is someone an adherent because of which denominations they are members of, because of which practices they observe, or because of which boxes they put a dot in when someone put a survey under their nose? All methods are available, but the same method must be chosen and applied when surveying all religions, otherwise the statistics wouldn't tell us much about reality.

Editing: Hello Yel. You posted that while I was writing this. Two minds, one thought!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 06:15:38 am by RecycledBenedict »

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