Folkish and Universalist: Reach Accord.

Georg_von_Rosen_-_Oden_som_vandringsman,_1886_(Odin,_the_Wanderer)

“Odin the Wanderer” by Georg Von Rosen

Now, for the newest disturbing trend in our fractured religious community:  People leaving Odinism/Heathenry/Asatru on account of the actions of others.

So, let me understand this correctly:  humans claim to believe in Gods of power greater than our own, the ability to be self reliant, honorable, truthful, industrious, hospitable,  COURAGEOUS, POSSESS FIDELITY AND PERSEVERE…

But they just give up. The Odin Brotherhood, as written in the book by Mark Mirabello states repeatedly that those who are not “meant” to be with us will always fall away- so why do we even give these people our attentions and try to accommodate them?

My entire local community DESPISES me as far as I can tell.  I am too candid and hold people accountable for their actions which is HUGELY verboten in Pennsylvania where both communities are represented equally- and both, equally drop the ball on actually attempting to resolve interpersonal disputes other than silencing the whistle blower  –  but never once has it made me question my relationship with my Gods.  No matter what injustice I endure or witness in the community, it doesn’t make me doubt the Gods.

it makes me doubt the Fidelity of humanity.

Even when I left this path for a short time- I never stopped believing in the Gods- I simply viewed their existence from a different perspective.  I suppose since this is my “default” religion it makes it more natural for me to return to the Norse.

Some would say my greatest mistake would be going public.  Well, I can not take that back- so I have to deal with being public…and in being public, I feel I have responsibility to the community.

If I did not feel this way, why would I bother writing you 5000 word essays?  Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just hide away and keep everything I think and feel private..?

It would, except it’s fucking cowardly….and against what I stand for, what the Gods stand for, and our ancestors.

If you can leave, you never truly belonged.  That’s it.   Now…after we let all the fakers out and stop chasing them down….we should really all turn our attentions to TRUE Heathens….Those that stay- and you all seem to have nicely organized yourselves into two distinct Odinist political parties: Folkish vs. Universalism.

Our community is like a true family:  Everyone hates everyone but a few close brothers and sisters- and everyone is convinced that the people they hate are deplorable examples of humanity from their perspective, not realizing that our Honesty as a members of this community is not to disown those who think differently than we do in our personal practice.

…That would be almost like bigotry, would it not?  Universalism is big on anti-bigotry except when it comes to those they denounce…and those they denounce are the people who, to outsiders, are most closely related to them ideologically than any outsider.  It would be fine if it was truly only limited to words, but I am learning it is leading to violence.

All are refusing to listen to the other points of view that do not harm us personally- most will not even entertain the ideas of an entire HALF of our religion…and both self-proclaimed sides point fingers at the other.

…sounds like a lack of Hospitality

I am no exception, but my example is not so polarizing:  Even in being a judgmental Tyrsperson who also gives Loki his due has not made me popular- but I also do not approve of the Marvel interpretation of Loki, either.  However, those Marveltru Lokeans make up most of the population of current Lokeans… with a wonderfully high rate of attrition! 🙂

Instead of trying to “win them back”- let’s just Let. Them. Go.  and work on trying to acknowledge our weaknesses and address them.

I am pretty sure both sides of the larger issue on which I speak have been guilty of trying to win back the unworthy and denouncing those they do not make an effort to understand.

In sarcasm… it is not as if someone who worships Loki would have a unique, insightful perspective on that, is it?

In Universalism:  Stop trying to appease those who do great injustices among your ranks in the name of “keeping the peace” and stop attacking the Folkish who are your family.

The Folkish cannot eliminate the universalist, either-  There are numbers of great people in both ranks who are not extremist-

It is extremist to attack other people who have not directly harmed you on account of their beliefs, melanin, OR perceived racism.

Both sides of the Heathen coin in the United States are exhibiting violent extremes.

Do you not realize this is a religion we all share- and in attacking each other, we cannibalize ourselves?

Folkish is often replaced with “racists” and Universalist are often called, well, usually “weinies”…or other things along that line.  Both are fair observations, actually.

Would you believe that there are other positions other than two?  That each individual perspective on their lives is valid to their experience and that instead of shunning those who are expressing their live’s truth and condemning them for it- how about we attempt a little bit of understanding?

The girls with the swaztika tattoos can share a horn with a SJW so long as both hold the understanding that we ascribe to higher virtues than infighting at sumbel.

However, what sumbels exist where both sides of Heathenry who disavow each other can exist?

But how else can one reconcile that there are people who are trying to live their lives and raise their families in what they believe is honorable?  Whether that honor comes from a pride in being open to all things or to standing fast to the ways of the past… do we not worship the same Gods?

Do you not realize that in Heathen extremism of both sides indicates that both are more similar than they are different?

In that the Universalist hates the Nationalist for being “bigoted”- the Universalist is a bigot.  (which is apparently their 10th unwritten noble virtue “Don’t be a bigot”…well, that also applies to you quote unquote “unbigoted” Asatru who are attacking Folkish-identifying Heathens)

In that the Folkish  will disown the Universalist as being “Not a True Odinist”- they are disowning their own brothers and sisters- a thing that is abhorrent to Heathen homesteading and those whose faith is based on ancestral pride.

The problem with being raised Pa Deitsch is that we are neither.  We honor that without our ancestry, there would be no reason to honor the Gods that we do and the instinct is to isolate and be around our own families to the exclusion of all others (which is why it’s so difficult to get older polytheistic Deitsch to talk about their beliefs- generations of hiding make one wary),  that sort of insular thinking is contrary to what is healthy to the community.

We have no current system in place throughout all of Heathenry to resolve internal disputes…so, to outsiders, we are an oroborous of drama, violence, and confusion.

We owe our ancestors better than that.  Even if one’s family by blood is dishonorable, that is no excuse to live a life of hatred of “the other”.

For a while- it seemed the only thing that united both sides of you was hating Jotun-worship… although that was upsetting to me; it ultimately didn’t affect the larger communities all that much.

To spell it out: All Heathens/Asatru/Odinists are seen as the same by those who are outside of us.   Understand this well, and adjust your actions.

People You Like Will Always Leave Odinism…. Let Them Go.

People You DO NOT Like Will Remain Odinist Until the Day They Die-  Learn to find what it is about them that keeps them so grounded on the path.

For indigenous heathens to refrain from having a voice regarding both sides of reconstructionism, we do not preserve ourselves=we do not have the numbers.  The only reason Heathenry is respected at all and recognized is on account of the Combined numbers of every self-identifying Odin worshiper across every access of human experience-  and raw data is not inclusive or exclusive if taken by third parties who honestly do not care in the slightest how we feel about the actions of one another..

I do not have an answer to this issue… but what I can do it point it out clearly and then field it to all of you to react and come up with solutions.

Declaring each other “invalid” is awfully ignorant… and yet, this divide has increased rather than decreased over the past few years.

Even I have to admit that some close friends began as Marveltru…but they stood the test of time.

If you find yourself in a disagreement with another Woten-worshipper…consider this:

If the Universalist fears the Folkish….that is not Courageous.
If the Folkish will not make room at the table for the Univeralist… That is not Hospitality.

If both of you hate Lokeans… not much I can help you with there.  If Loki is the God of intellect, I suppose that makes you idiots… especially if it is clearly indicated “Every horn raised to Woten, so to is raised to his brother Loki…”

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6 Responses to “Folkish and Universalist: Reach Accord.”

  1. Apparently we’re an outlier for honoring them together as brothers. Eh, I’m kind of used to that. Our local community is growing rapidly- or at least, a greater percentage of it has decided to stand up and proclaim itself. We find that we don’t always get along. There have been, in fact, some rather tense moments. I’m proud of my kindred though, they’ve handled themselves well and stayed polite and courteous to all. I pray they will continue to be able to do that as time goes on.

  2. Torstein Says:

    There never was a ‘universal’ practice of heathenry, why should there be one now? Folkish or universalist both are modern constructs, if people wish to focus on such drivel it’s their lookout, I can’t take such a puerile and crass outlook on heathenry seriously.

    • Tyrienne Says:

      However your personal feelings on reconstructionism, you cannot deny their existence. The issue is we do not have large numbers and from people outside of Heathenry, all forms of Odin worship are seen as “the same”.

      That is what needs to be understood; even if you do not agree with their point of view, the best thing to do is not to shun them, but perhaps to find some common ground and TEACH the old ways instead of closing the door on them.

  3. Torstein Says:

    Admittedly my method of approach to heathenry was reconstructionism, I’m not embarrassed to say that, why on earth would I be? Our ritual year is localised to our region and rightly so, we are the stewards of our land, but to say we purely adopt a reconstuctionist approach would be wrong. At some point a leap of faith is required. Using old texts, comparing and contrasting gave me and my kindred a very solid foundation. I realise that some recontructionists are hard to deal with and dismissive of other approaches but I’m very receptive to meeting other heathens outside of my kindred but unless they share common ground with me/us or live beyond the realms of being able to participate in our rituals then what is the point in welcoming them into our group?

    I’m a very hospitable person and will share my thoughts with anybody, welcome them into my house or buy them a drink at a bar but you’re sat the other side of an ocean from me, what commonality do we really share? How people outside of heathenry view us all is really not important to me and so is the thoughts of other heathens, solitary or not. This isn’t church, so what is it I’m supposed to be teaching? The Edda is not a religious text as such, the NNV are a modern construct, etc. All I can teach is to those who wish to be part of our kindred, to help them to understand the reasoning behind our rituals, etc.

    If posed the question as to whether I am a folkish or universalist heathen I would state neither. I don’t believe it necessary to align myself to strangers, in fact that would go against everything I do believe in. The bonds that are forged at sumbel are with my kinsmen, people I can vouch for as the most honourable people I know, I am happy they are the folks I share our collective luck with as I trust them implicitly. Not only do I think it a pointless exercise to align myself with strangers but it is not in keeping with all I’ve learned about historical heathen practices. People who wish to have international organisations are looking for a church, a church of Odinists if you like, but why swap Jesus for Odin if you can’t be bothered to learn that about cultic practices or worldview of our heathen ancestors?

    BTW, I’m not looking for an argument, I’m just curious to other folks opinions.

    • Tyrienne Says:

      What I intended with the word “teach” is more in the sense of being like Tyr- live by example and be willing to talk openly about what you believe and why…and also, be open to the stories of others.

      I strongly feel one of the most troubling aspects of modern, American Heathenry is the local schisms and infighting.

      I seem to lack the ability to be concise, which is entirely my fault.

      I forget places like Pennsylvania are unique in having several “warring” heathen factions co-existing and despising one another leaving so many to withdraw from interacting with their local brothers and sisters over the most specious of reasons.

      I am in absolute agreement with your ideal of being local-centric.

      I just wish I could impact more change in our local community to address these concerns- but this blog ends up having a fantastic international reach- but limited local impact. 😦

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