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"Weekend Pagans/Heathens"

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:46 am
by Ragnar
As requested, and promised, here is something about "Heathen" beliefs.

This is NOT aimed against ANYONE on these boards. It is general comment. But if the cap fits, then maybe you need to consider your commitment.

Sorry if it is a bit long. But...

In this age of "Liberalism" why have Norse Heathens not made greater steps in acceptance? Because we suffer from a diversity of belief. This is not a bad thing in its own right. In fact it is an important part of what we believe in. As has been pointed out we are separate groups with diverse but similar and related beliefs, pertaining to life, death, philosophy and religion.

In the past these beliefs were more or less solidified within their own groups, and even across groups. Particularly in the face of out side attack from the Middle Eastern invaders. Liberalism, the very creed that for millenniae, allowed us to live and prosper, trading, inter relating and, yes raiding with each other. Could prove to be our down fall.

The earlier acceptance of others was never creed, race or culture based. If he did you no harm then you did him no harm. The "Liberalisers" have again forced labels upon us. When these liberalisers came along the first thing they did was separate, and point out, group differences. To us this is not a black, Indian Arabic person. This is the person that has just bought five hundred sheep of me, of course he's my friend. Or he's in the same kings army as me, I'll fight with him as a brother until some one pays me to do other wise. He would do exactly the same. The fact that he did not have the same skin colour, or the same religion did not enter into it. Still doesn’t for real Heathens. But, to encourage “racial harmony”, the “Liberals” insist we notice these differences.

However there exists a thing which I will call "Week-end pagans", or "Fashion pagans".

"Weekend Pagans" hang on to descent Heathens coat tails, giving us a bad name.

The first sign of a "Week-end pagan" is that they will willingly refer to themselves as "Pagan". No self respecting Heathen would let that major insult go by without some blood spilt.

We see "pagan" as a sign of weakness. Most will tell you that they do not call themselves Heathen because it sounds "to provocative". How can any one be "to provocative" against people that have had, and some still have, the avowed intent of burning us at the stake? We are warriors we stand back from NO man.

Havamal 16: A coward thinks he may live forever if he avoids the fight; Yet old age will not spare him, though he be spared by spears.

Kvädet om Rig stanza 43: "Why, Kon the young, do you slay birds? Better you should ride a horse, Hew with sword and fell the foe.

Another sign is that the "Weekend pagan" can not decide which Gods are his and which are Australian, or Greek, or Chinese. I have honestly heard one pagan "priestess" ask for the protection of Thor, Cuernunoss and Diana. Whilst having statues of Ra, and Thoth on the "altar". Mixing traditions makes for a schizophrenic religion at best. A sort of religious "heritage centre". You know what it's meant to do, but it never quite gets there. As with a rowing machine, you can work all day, but at the end you are still in your living room, watching "Sponge Bob".

"Weekend Pagans" appear to have this knack for saying that all the Gods are the same, "Their just known by other names"(!!!). This is conveniently, the same phrase with which christians try to justify your existence when their priests tell them you don't exist. To us this is in the same spirit as Enid Blyton's infamous remark in early editions of "Five go to smugglers top" that "It's not nice to call him "sooty", its not his fault he's black".

Havamal 24: The fool believes all who smile at him are his friends; He knows not how they speak about him.

"Weekend Pagans" are also great devourers of any old political correctness rubbish. Vegetarian, Vegan, anti armed forces, Particularly anti men. Anti anything that the "political correctness thought police" say is in fashion to be "anti".

One of, and the main, dangers of this is their "Liberalism".

Call ourselves Norse Heathens, Keltic Heathens, whatever. We are all after the same result, i.e. the right to live our way of life, our culture and religion free from interference, either to us, or from us.

To further ourselves and our cultural rights and rites, and with it improve the world as a whole. But "Liberalism" is working against us. Whilst we must all accept the right of existence of others, we have, for example, Saex Wiccans who are sometimes to arrogant in their own beliefs, to come out in support of any of the other groups. Some who call themselves "Norse Heathens", who will not help any other group. We have groups within groups. The attitude that "I don’t see Thor the way you do. Thereforee I'm going off to start my own group". So, a group of nine becomes two groups of six and three, or whatever. Neither will support the other. Yet each will tell you about how they support the others right to exist.

I have had personal experience of one Norse Heathen group who were excellent, expanding in all the right places, sought after by interested people wanting to join from all over Europe, often in the press, both national and international press, news papers, magazines and television. But, through the utter and total arrogance of one of the two who would call themselves heads of this group, there was, within six months, a total split of the group. Those remaining becoming nothing more than an organic gardening club, and "park ranger" assistants. Even buying their own pretty green army style uniforms, (“because that’s what park rangers wear!”) There was no religious content left at all, and absolutely no acceptance of other groups as having a point to make. Especially if they were not into organic gardening.

Havamal stanza 22 says, "The wretch of mean disposition derides every thing; He knows not, as he should, that he lacks not faults himself.

30: Mock not another who comes among your kin; Many feel wise on their own mountain.

The annoying thing about these petty splits is that we are strong. Very strong, in fact. But every one wants to be a "high priest" or "Grand interjocular grade 7" or something. This only serves to weaken our group strength, let alone our public image. Within our community, i.e. Norse Heathens, Keltic Heathens, Wiccans etc. we must learn that "liberalism" includes the support of others in times of adversity. We, as Norse Heathens are, and always have been, above these petty arguments over points of cosmology, or festival dates, or…or… . We must not fall into the same trap as the monotheists who have full scale wars over a difference in one or two definitions of words written in books of doubtful historical and literary merit. Or a few badly drawn cartoons.

The acceptance of "Liberalism" involves a duty. This duty is to support and defend others right to believe in the way they wish. So long as that belief does not infringe on other peoples rights to believe in their own way.

If your belief does deny the same freedom in another then you are no better than the "nazi" dross that pollutes our society. They deserve the full penalties of the law, and lore.

If, however we consider that your personal expression of belief is making a fool of us, i.e. Heathen society, then we reserve the right to inform you.

(Havamal) 31: "He thinks himself smart when leaving, the guest who has mocked another; He who pokes fun at table sees not the anger around him.".

If I go into a mans house and his beliefs say I should bow, then I will bow, but if a man in whom´s house I have bowed, refuses to bow in my house, then I will take my revenge.

All this means commitment to your belief. To often have I met the "good committed pagan" who will support you until your nose bleeds. Then they don't want to know. If you are worried about "what the neighbours, Mummy, Daddy, the local shop keeper" think, then you are not worth the name of "pagan", let alone the honour of "Heathen". Because you can not carry out the first precept of Heathenism, i.e. the defence of your co-religionist, your family. If you can't do this then we don't want you, we definitely don't need you. You are not committed. If you are wanting a belief with less commitment then go and believe in the local scout troop… or something.

Havamal 25: The fool believes all that smile at him are friends; He finds out only in court, when few will speak for him.

If you wish to come and join us you will, of course, be very welcome. But, bear in mind most of us real Heathens have known nothing else. It says in Havamal (stanzas 3-4), 3: Warmth is needed by one who comes in from the cold; food and drink needs the man who comes in from the mountains. 4: …a kindly reception for one who seeks words and a friendly hearing.

Pentagram found in woods, made from twigs and fallen branches. Cloths tied around a tree in the centre. Weeks of newspaper reports regarding “Satanism in local woods”, Public meetings all over the area regarding this “grave situation”. Vicars interviewed on national T.V. Locals demand police investigation.
Investigation of WHAT? Satanism, nor witch craft, nor Wicca, (Or some 14 year old school kids that had just read their first “Lady bird book of witch craft”)), are NOT OFFENCES!
(P.S. Am I showing my age with “Lady bird books”? Does any one out there even KNOW of them? Those over 40 in U.K. probably will.)

Happily, or sadly depending on point of view, we can call ourselves, or describe ourselves, as what we like. The trouble is, the press are only too willing to wet themselves in excitement when they can interview a 13¾ year old “grand inter-jock strapular Magusss of the fifteenth door of the temple of the savage stick insect , (and has an interesting scar to prove it)” or something. Who claims to be an expert on every thing occult, and will “admit” to “weird moon lit rituals”, involving killing and eating whole Kindergartens full of babies, or giving rise to severe panic attacks and nightmares in the local farmers sheep. The press, probably because they have seen the scar, then proceed to believe this 100%! (and PAY 100% as well).

It is normally the "Weekend liberal Pagans” that cause the rest of us this bother.

Heathenism is like a tattoo. It's something you do for life. If you want to disappear after five, twenty, a hundred years, then don't bother us with your design. Like drift wood you could stand in the corner like a useless piece of art. Alternately drift wood is for burning. It burns hot, but after ten minutes it is useless ash.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:39 am
by Willow
Well Ragnar, what you have said is very interesting. I disagree with quite a bit, but cudos for your opinion. It is good that you have though it through so thoroughly.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:59 am
by Lotus
The problem I find in general is that there is no proper terminology to refer to one as. The term "pagan" has become a general term to refer to anyone who is not specifically Wicca. At least here in Columbus, the term "Heathen" refers to people who are exclusive to the Norse gods.
I do not like the term pagan myself but, out of default will use it since it is made general in Columbus, Ohio modern speak. I prefer the term "Magician" even though that term has a weird connotation of its own.

Now, Is there a difference between a Weekend Pagan and a Seeker? A seeker is looking for the right path and has not made enough self discovery to choose yet.

Myself as a student of Ceremonial Magic will tell you that often people with Qabalah teachings will consider each Deity and an energy attributed from one sepheroth. Set and Mars are indeed different gods but they have energy attributed to Geburah. In Ceremonial magic teachings it is considered poor form to call upon two different god-forms from different pantheons even though they may be attributed to the same sepheroth.
I have done Golden Dawn meditations where they will blend the Greek and Egyptian gods true to post-Ptolemaic times.
Themis, Hebe, and Ma at are different goddesses they are blended together. They are each similar goddesses. The Egyptians in history did blend the gods Re and Atem together to form the god Amen-Ra.
Some people only recognize energies of the sepheroth and see the god-forms as symbolic representations and not real beings at all. As in there is really no Set or Mars...there is just Geburah energy. Set and Mars serve as symbols that our minds use to understand the energy of Geburah.


Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:29 am
by Kelreth
I dont know what side of the line I fit on....

I do think all gods are linked, not the same but all from the same collect power that fuels them all, probably our sub-conscious

Way to worried about what my SO thinks...

I definatly aint one of those crazied "im gana form my own group in the woods and be a mage" type of person

Dont really know what I am. I've been having thoughts about it for a while, what Ragnar said just makes me think more. I dont think im a "Weekend Pagan" but I dont do enough/beleive enough from my own view to be a pagan.

I'll reserve heathen for followers of the Norse Gods.

The only other thing that comes to mind is that i want to learn more about the occult and mysticism, but try to explain that to some one and they get even more freaked out than by using the word pagan.

I dont follow any juedo-christain religion, but I dont follow Wicca or any other set pagan religion. Just kind of float there gathering knowledge until I find the answer to the question I dont even know I'm looking for.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:38 am
by Ragnar
Kelreth wrote: Just kind of float there gathering knowledge until I find the answer to the question I dont even know I'm looking for.
As Lotus said, a "seeker". Well done Kelreth. We need seekers as much as "avid", "devout", "pillars of knowledge".

Without seekers we can not GROW.

It is not just a case of "suviving", because, allthough we are often pushed into a corner where we are doing just that, running to stand still in effect. We must also grow.

Not to grow can be just as destructive as the burning stake.
Willow wrote:I disagree with quite a bit
Good. The idea is to get a conversation going. Why don't you agree, and what over? 8-)

THAT is the beauty of what we all believe on these boards, we do not go around burning people, and Embassys, because some one dissagrees, or believes in a different way to us personaly.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:46 am
by Paganlight
I'm much the same as Kelreth - I don't class myself as a 'weekend Pagan', but nor do I think I know enough of my own path to call myself 'Pagan'.

And like Kelreth, I'll save 'Heathen' for the followers of the Norse Gods. ;)

Heck, if I'd call myself anything it'd be a Seeker. I've really only just discovered my path, and am still gaining knowledge on it. Personally I don't think I'll ever stop learning....I may be a Seeker for the rest of my life....

I'm sort of an eclectic at the minute, though the more I study and the more I find out about myself, the more I lean towards honouring Brighid and following a celtic path. I think, if I had to put a label on myself other than 'seeker', it would probably be a kitchen or green witch. Having said that, I have a warrior spirit, which again draws me back to the celtic path. Right now, I'm a confused to what I am, and I've been 'pagan' - to use it as an umbrella term only - for about five years now, which is barely any time at all. My problem is that I've had no or at least very little guidance, until I came to this site. It was only since I joined here that I've started to discover myself and start to find my path.

I do agree with you about not mixing the religions - Celtic should be kept separate from Greek, for example.

As for the Gods being known by different understanding of what I believe on that is slightly muddy...Though after re-reading Ragnar's post in the 'Question about the Christian God' thread, that certaintly makes more sense - that some Gods and Goddesses merely share some aspects. Anyway, I need to think about that one and hash out what I believe in that respect.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 10:12 am
by Crazy Healer Lady
:lol: I had to keep your disclaimer in mind the entire time.

I disagree with many points, particularly that by claiming that all gods are the same thing is in the same spirit that the Xians use. Mon ami, my belief, my "religion" is that we are all energy, all representations of the fundamental Divine in every one and every thing, and that a god is no different.

I found in one of my old books something that accurately describes my belief. It is from In the Shadow of the Shaman by Amber Wolfe. She is describing a Journey where she was confronted with the Goddess Danu, whom she held sacred for many years.
Grandmother pointed to Danu. "And you created her as well; you know that.
"Well, I am certainly not the only one," I replied. I thought of the river Danube, named for Danu. I thought of the thousands of years she has been held sacred. I thought of the ancient race of Ireland, Tuatha De Danaan - Children of Danu. I thought the ancient Britains, who saw her as Cerridwen, and the Gaelic tribes of Ireland, who saw her as Bridget - all somewhat different aspects of the same goddess.
"She is far more than just a creation of my own mind."
I looked at Danu, and felt a thousand memory wheels turning inside me.
Grandmother smiled. "Danu is energy, as you are, as am I. She exists in your mind because she has been held sacred for so long by Nature People. She is strong in your vision because you have reached the source of the energy from which she springs. She dwells within the heart and mind of all people whose ancestors held her sacred. Even if they don't feel or remember her, she is there."
I don't think this means I am any less of what I am, religiously, nor does it mean that I am not strong and true in it. I have cast myself out into the community with Reiki posters, attending different meditations at a place people call a Satanic Workshop, going into restaurants where they are afraid I am "reading their aura." I fall quite well into the New Age category of religion, but not in the stereotypical "Let me cleanse your oorah." My religion is based on my observations and how I have interpreted them. The way I understand other religions is that they acknowledge or worship the same fundamental Divine that everyone can feel, but in a way that fits them better.

I must say also that although I worship no traditional gods or goddesses, I do worship Mother Earth and Father Sky, for they are part of the Divine and a different representation of it, and it is the best way for my to connect with the powerful energies of Earth, our Mother, and Sky, our Father. My belief that we are all a part of the same fundamental Divine does not deter me from seeing these figures which are in essence the female and the male energies, yin and yang, that connect and create, and has been represented as Danu, Cerridwen, The Great Horned God, the Goddess, etc.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:14 pm
by Ragnar
Crazy Healer Lady wrote: I do worship Mother Earth and Father Sky, for they are part of the Divine and a different representation of it, and it is the best way for my to connect with the powerful energies of Earth, our Mother, and Sky, our Father.
O.K, there is another difference. We do not "worship", but honour the God's and Godesses.

Mother Earth and Father Sky, we ("WE" means my family. Other Norse Heathens may interpret it differently), see that as the anvil and hammer. Which forms us, hot and maliable, from the cauldron, or forge, into what we are today. It forms our beliefs. This is further tempered by experience and learning.

I would agree that all religions, that are not one of "the three"(:evil: ), have the same sky and the same earth. However the sky, or climate, and the Earth treat you very differently in varying parts of the world.

It is from these differences that our different attitudes and experiences of the Gods are formed. There-fore different Gods. Even Thor/Donnar, Odin/Wotan, Tyr/Tiw are not, contrary to poular belief, exactly similar.

As to the "disclaimer" ( :-D ), the item was written for a purely Heathen audience origionaly, and probably shows. :oops:

Really, if I wrote it all again I would use the description as is in the thread title hear, of "Weekend Pagans/Heathens", we are not imune from the phenomonae any more than any other religion. It is NOT "Pagan" we object to, in others, it is the "weekend" bit....And if any one calls us that. :-D
Paganlight wrote: nor do I think I know enough of my own path to call myself 'Pagan'.
But you DO "Pagan light". :-D

I have read a lot of your posts, and I would call you "Pagan". I would also trust you not to make a laughing stock of us, or yourself, and if you do do your work in "public areas", then I believe you know enough to clean up all traces after yourself. So, I would not class you as "weekend" either. So, there you go.

Also, do not forget, that Kelts and Norse are Sister religions.

Which has reminded me of another thing. I find that what you all say about "Heathen" being mainly Norse, is probably correct. Kelts, on the whole, tend more towards the "Pagan" title. Unless they are on the warrior path, then it seems about 50/50. With Norse it is nearly 100%, no matter if they are on the warrior, priest, or shaman path.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:20 pm
by Paganlight
Hehehe...aye, 'Paganlight' came about from a different forum....:p

Aw, thank you, Ragnar! That means a lot! And yes, that is true - Celts/Kelts and Norse are sister religions. I wonder if it's geographical as well - I'd never heard of anyone calling themselves a 'Heathen' before, until I met you.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:27 pm
by Ragnar
Oh, I'm sorry, you seem to have sneaked around the back whilst IU was editing. :lol:

Geographical may be right. North European, so Germanic tribes use Heathen more.

Must be in the weather. "DON'T ANNOY ME, IAM COLD AND WET", kind of attitude. oh, and NO coffee. :-D

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:22 pm
by Paganlight
Sneak, me? *Gets a Gollum flashback....*

"What were you doing then?"


Awwwww! *huggles Ragnar and hands him a massive flask of very strong coffee*

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:08 pm
by scoia
Hmm. I agree with some parts, mostly the humour invovled in certain people I know worshipping extremely diverse "selection" of gods.

It's, err, a bit odd sometimes. I keep to a set pantheon myself.

While I do agree with some things you've written Ragnar, I feel that my belief is my business, and I couldn't give a s##t about other people's labels. Nor do I need to prove myself to 'elitist' practitioners who think that if you don't spend X amount of time a day doing X ritual/whatever that you're a "weekender". I keep my practice private, not out of fear, but to keep my spirituality and beliefs and practice private and held just for me, and no other.

Between me and the gods really.

However, I do have a chuckle at the "fluffy bunny" kind who know sweet f.a. but like to advertise their presence and mystical abilities to the extent of their vocal capacity. But really, people can be morons regardless of setting, "pagan communities" are no different.

Done now. Time for beer and dinner.

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:42 pm
by Lotus
This question comes to mind: What about Chaos Magicians?
The tenants of their magical practice is simply to use what works. These are individuals who find power in pop culture things or icons. They do not even follow any pantheon at times. I've even known a few who call on to the power of Mickey Mouse or fictional characters in books.
What would a heathen think about them?

I will definitely forgo my opinion here about them or their practices since I've had it out with one on this board.


Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:13 pm
by Kelreth
Theres a chaos magician here? Interesting I was looking at a site about that and it seems rather different, like it would work and/or fail. The concept is intreging though

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:35 pm
by Ragnar
scoia wrote: While I do agree with some things you've written Ragnar, I feel that my belief is my business, and I couldn't give a s##t about other people's labels. Nor do I need to prove myself to 'elitist' practitioners who think that if you don't spend X amount of time a day doing X ritual/whatever that you're a "weekender".
I did write a bit about "labeling in response to another letter on these threads...Oh Hel I can not remember the title. I will get back with an edit in a few minutes. "question about the christian god." A short piece therefrom;
Labelling shows a need to separate the spiritual powers from every day life. This is why we have no "church", or "temple". Our religion happens all around us. The wind in the trees, the sprouting seedling etc. It is this acceptance of "oneness with nature", without the need of labelling, that separates Norse Heathens from the monotheistic beliefs. This over powering need to divide and separate by labelling is we feel, if not the driving force behind bigotry. Then it is the enabler
. .

The amount of time spent "in ritual" is nothing to do with being a "weekend Pagan/Heathen". In fact most of THEM are the ones busy telling the rest of us that we should be doing this and that.

No, "weekend Pagan/Heathen", means those that have a ritual every Saturday, but go to church on a Sunday. Or love mouthing off about how "Pagan" they are, until you need their backing, and all of a sudden they "were never really serious, just read a bit, and played a bit, but now I am better and I go to church every Sunday, and Saturday to help with murdering the flowers for the stage".

We only do ritual, regularly, on feast days. Even then, if the time is not convienient, we cancel. But our attitude to every day life, to events, etc etc, is allways with a view that we are Heathen.

Ritual is devised by the group, or individual, in a way that best accesses the sub conscious of the group or person. I.e. that which they find works best for them.

In all methods of ritual, the principal aim is to subdue the conscious mind, without loosing the conscious thinking facilities, in other words, not falling asleep. This can be achieved through meditation, with or without visual or sound stimulation. The importance behind ritual is to create an atmosphere contusive to the work in hand. Incenses, candles and other ritual paraphernalia can be a means to this end.

However a ritual can take place at any time in any suitable atmosphere. On walking through a forest one may get the atmosphere just right to sit and meditate for a while on the forest it’s self, or the Flora or just any thing that comes to mind. It does not have to be at set timesa, or even regular.
scoia wrote: But really, people can be morons regardless of setting, "pagan communities" are no different.
Totaly agreed. :-D