Pax Deorum

Balder-norse-mythology-17860246-450-450“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”- Albert Einstein

….Or do you prefer: “Si vis pacem, para bellum” Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus,  (If you want peace, prepare for war- this is meant to intend that if the “enemy” knows you are combat ready, they will not attack)

So, it’s been a week.  A rough one- and I would like to ask my readership who have decided to turn against myself and my fiancee to look through this blog, with a fine tooth comb, and attempt to find anything that indicates that there is a wish for anything other than a united Heathen community.

I am part Rokkatru, as are many who read this- we lead normal lives, I know of writers, lawyers, hairdressers, carnival workers, teachers, machinists, managers, blue collar and white collar who worship Gods that some people do not like. But also, all these same people who are disliked for not “keeping in line” and worshiping all the same as the others- are NOT denying or against the rest of the Norse pantheon- instead, they happen to live with a different understanding and interpretation which varies from person to person why additional Deities, Spirits, and Ancestors deserve their due.

I have a question:  Did Jotnar or the Rokkr directly harm you in any way, and if so, how did these deities do so?

When working with religions, personal UPG’s can be tricky.  There is constant back and forth bickering which will NEVER be resolved in any satisfactory way for any side regarding lore and the “ancient ways” of Heathenry.  First of all, I would like you to take a 3000 piece puzzle, take out three random pieces, and destroy the rest.  Now- take those three remaining puzzle pieces and expose them to the elements for a month.  After the month is over, invite over a stranger and ask them to draw for you from those three wet, molded puzzle pieces what the entire picture was meant to be.  The point is, it is impossible.   Even with Lore- we are looking at rules, traditions and customs that are often irrelevant to our current lives.   A freak snowstorm which is a minor inconvenience in 2013 could kill an entire community in 500 C.E. if they were unprepared. We have UPG vs. UPG here and people declaring enemies of others because of some assessment that while the people they declare to be enemies worship the same Gods, they are wrong/evil/dangerous because they worship some different ones as well.  They are AFRAID of the potential of conflict, so instead of standing true with Honor- they make a great show out of nonacceptance and non-hospitality.

Is it some Lokian trick that every Lokian I know want peace in the community?  But yet, we are met with violent rejection- those perpetuating such rejection are breaking the peace themselves, then in turn, gaslighting those whom they do not wish to understand.

I do not believe any of us have come running through your homes naked bearing a torch, and asking you to convert to worshiping Loki.  We have not sacrificed your pets, caused your miscarriages, or soured your milk.

The vital thing being missed in this whole Rokkr vs. Non-Rokkr conflict is that we are all individual human beings arguing over basically what amounts to stories, nothing more, nothing less.

No violence has been perpetuated against any person that I know of within the community over belief outside of verbal insults.
No theft or other crime has occurred to make one group more trustworthy, frithful, or more “correct” than the other.

Welcome to the year 2013-  the “old ways” are certainly fascinating, and we may learn much from them- however, also keep in mind that each individual is walking their own path, and essentially, creating their own spirituality and religion within them which then can be compared and contrasted with the rest of the community.

Allow me to start with some standard points many can agree on, the Noble Virtues:  (and even these are in depute by scholars)

  1. Courage
  2. Truth
  3. Honor
  4. Fidelity
  5. Discipline
  6. Hospitality
  7. Self Reliance
  8. Industriousness
  9. Perseverance

I believe that every Rokkr I am aware of has lived these virtues, and I would like to challenge anyone who is reading this to inform myself as well as my fiancee what, exactly, of these virtues we have broken.  We refuse to lie about to which Ancestors we give our respect and tribute to, we have stood courageously against differing points of view.  We do not lie nor cheat, we open our homes to strangers for ritual every single month (If you are in Pennsylvania or neighboring states, feel free to join our open hall page:  Freyja’s Hall)  (Don’t worry, we are not a kindred and never plan on becoming one.)   When people who wish to attend our rituals and cannot, we do our best to contribute what we can in the way of gas money, picking people up from bus stations, or arranging carpools.  Despite many voices screaming against us, our Gods, and our choices- we perservere.  Why?  Because our hall is home to several people who would not have a place to worship otherwise.  Furthermore- notice our hall is called “FREYJA’S Hall,  Not Surtr, not Angrboda-  We worship the Aesir, Vanir, and in personal practice, some of the Rokkr

….and here I am, on SSD, writing these blog posts to try and unite the community, promote greater understanding, and striving to find common ground throughout the entirety of the community.   I don’t care what color you are, what you believe, if you are racist or non racist-  I welcome you.  The only way I would not welcome you is if you deliberately went out of your way to cause me personal harm or I have seen you promote harm or harm others with my own eyes.

Name calling, insult flinging, and infighting are not mature, adult ways of conduct- nor is public disownment of who you once considered friends simply over a difference of opinion.

If your friend physically harmed you, stole from you, lied to you, deceived you, or was hurtful to you- then by all means, please state your case as to why.  I truly do not wish to believe that humans crave such conflict that they are willing to label an entire group of diverse individuals as “The enemy”.   Do you not see what you are doing?  Do you not understand the fallacy of logic that occurs when people are not taken on individual merit but instead, characterized without a fair assessment of their actions?   What is dishonorable about worshiping the Jotuns, the Rokkr, Loki, Hela, Jormangandr, et all-  does it effect anything at all in your personal life?

There is the claim that worshiping such deities “brings strife” or “harms energy”….but really, doesn’t it bring MORE strife to reject people who have honest and sincere UPG experiences who do worship them?  Would you prefer a lie?

Lying is ultimately dishonorable, without question…and I do not engage in it.

Without an oscilloscope or other electromagnetic equipment, it is rather difficult to assess that a single person who acts honorably otherwise, yet worships and uncommon deity suddenly renders them as “toxic” to the community….not unless, the community decides that this is to be so.

I want proof that ideas are harmful.  I want proof that excluding people with differing points of view leads to peace instead of further strife.  Prove to me that mind numbing arguments over stories written centuries ago creates frith and peace.

You cannot….because it cannot happen.  What NEEDS to happen is the acceptance of the common ground.  The commonality of the raised horn in Odin’s honor- what matters beyond that?   To claim that shunning, insulting, and arguing with those you do not agree with fruitful and productive to the community at large is ludicrous because each person has come to their personal understandings through (likely) an equal amount of thought and research as yourself.

There is a big world out there- and plenty of room for all people to share a horn on the common grounds of our ancestry and basic beliefs. If the argument is that we worship “The enemies of the Gods”-  then allow the Gods to judge us for it.  I find it presumptuous to judge any human being without knowing them first, and I certainly cannot claim to know the entirety of the will of the Gods, nor can anyone else!

So, to be frank….this infighting is disgusting, ridiculous, and petty.

Please, in the name of Baldr, the God of peace, stop.  Stop creating perpetuating divisions among our community- stop disowning people, stop insulting those who you cannot agree with.  If you do not like someone, then choose to not interact with them, please do not create a dramatic disturbance declaring them “unfit”.   I have only personally blocked people who have resorted to ad hominem attacks on my person- and I will never make any person “choose sides”.

To me, where I am standing, there is no war, there is no great crisis, there is no jihad, struggle, Ragnarok, or force any worse than the divisions I am seeing being intentionally created around us.   The way to fix this is to just stop, realize there are real, live humans on the other side of the screen- people with lives, loved ones, and devout religious practices in most cases.

When you exclude a single human being from a group on account of a label, you are part of the problem, part of the division, and part of the strife.  Loki has nothing to do with this.

-I have witnessed a person decide not to attend a Heathen event because a black man was also attending:  He was half German.
-I have witnessed people being threatened with violence for studying cultures outside of Europe.
-I have witnessed people passing judgement on others by pure conjecture and rumor rather than personal interactions.
-I have witnessed name calling, harassment, and stalking by allegid “Community members in good standing” who wished to intimidate the opposing point of view into submission.

Making someone cry does not make them renounce their Gods.  Yelling with a louder voice does not make your point of view more accurate than anyone else’s.   Your accomplishments, degrees, age, religious achievements, trophies or any other form of distinction do NOT make you more important than a child who has none of these things in the eyes of the Gods- for we are all cared for by our ancestors by the fruit we bear in our labors.   All the college degrees and religious recognition in the world mean nothing if you close your mind and your hearts to other heathens without good, solid reason that the individual has caused you personal harm.

Heathens unanimously are known for not bowing before anyone, Gods included.  We stand as we raise the horn- perhaps even sit- but we prostrate ourselves before no man and no woman….however, we do have the option to sacrifice our selves, for the higher good.

In this blog, I have sacrificed part of my privacy and part of my right to live in an uncontested, peaceful existence….and I believe it to be honorable.  I encourage you to reach out to racists, to neo-nazi’s, to Lokians, to the ill, to the misunderstood, to the poor, other races, the LBGTQ, and those of other traditions.  We have much to learn from every tradition on Earth, not just our own by the by.

So, this is all I have to offer everyone: a declaration of ceasefire.  We are not firing on you.  We are simply standing our ground while taking bullets to the chest.  To claim that we are harming you by not falling into line is insane, to think that we will simply give up our beliefs because of human pressure is to deny the power of the Gods themselves:  If a single human can sway an opinion on how to worship a God- then that God is unworthy of worship.

For a single human to claim that a God is unworthy of worship, is to risk angering that God- it has no bearing whatsoever on the UPG of the person targeted at all.

So, in closing….I raise a symbolic horn to Baldr and break bread with all of you.  I ask those who have been dishonorable to account for their actions, for those who lie- to learn the courage to tell the truth. If you lack discipline, find practice; I ask the unfaithful to be be faithful and hold themselves accountable for their lapses, the lazy to find purpose, For the fearful to find courage, and for the discouraged to persevere.  – and if you are afraid to be self-reliant, I challenge you to set forth on your own two feet and start your journeys forward alone, may the God’s favor be with you.

Lastly, I ask the Inhospitable to widely open your doors- for you never know when Odin may come knocking with his tattered clothes-  and Shapeshifting He, He just might wear the face of those you fear or claim to loathe most.


2 Responses to “Pax Deorum”

  1. Beautiful…as I’ve stated elsewhere, I appreciate the variety of ways in which we choose to worship, and your allegory was fantastic…the chthonic is known to me as the great chaotic source which drives spiritual evolution…without which we would stagnate, and eventually die spiritually…Hail Loki and the Rokkatru!

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