Old Norse religious beliefs and practices varied by time and space, largely in accordance with social practices and environments, depending on whether people lived in the mountains, or in the flat agricultural lands, by the sea, or on islands; depending on whether they were farmers, warriors or hunters; and also depending on the degree of social contact they had with people outside the immediate Nordic area.
Terry Gunnell (2016): Pantheon? What Pantheon?
Concepts of a Family of Gods in Pre-Christian Scandinavian Religions
Well as I see things there are two great divides that spring to mind. Mindset being the foremost and baggage being the other half but sometimes the two do and often go hand in hand. For instance, the way heathenry is approached today by those seeking a newer way of understanding the Old Religion is fraught with thrill seekers of magic, New Age folks as well as a wide variety of folks disillusioned with their former religious upbringing. In the main these folks can be classed as Christians who have brought with them all their personal biases of their ancestral line and that ever underlying philosophy of Lutheran racism. I am often fascinated by the very thought that amongst my peers who strive to educate others about the very nature of heathenry, there are those who work in much greater numbers de-constructing all the good work thus carried out to date with pitiful arguments and pathetic 19th century based nationalism racist white pride literature including the many cyber forums out there on this subject. It brings to mind that Churchilian oration with this subtle difference: “Never in the field of human conflict was so many screwed over by so few”.
The planet we live in is changing and as a friend of mine Sweyn Plowright has already stated quite eloquently and truthfully:
“There is a line of thought that we must somehow erase the experience of the last few centuries, and regress to an idealized vision of tribal society. That we may somehow shut out the real world and form*Asatru Amish* type communities. As nice as it may be for the privileged few to use log fires for heating and cooking, this would not be ecologically responsible or sustainable on a larger scale, adding to deforestation and pollution. But apart from the practicalities, such isolationism is more likely to lead to an out-of-touch and cultish form of Asatru, against which our next generation is bound to rebel. This may be the right path for a minority of Heathens, but it is not one that is likely to be productive for most. In reality, we can never escape the influence of the wider world.”
Tis a sad fact of life that racism exist in all races and cultures. Racists feel threatened by anyone who is from a different race or culture. Human views, values and beliefs develop as we grow up especially during our childhood years. If a child or young person grows up within a racist community, or has friends who are racist, they may believe that racism is normal and acceptable. This then becomes the norm within that person’s culture which in the main and IMO is that of Lutheran Christianity. Prejudice of any kind is often based on ignorance and fear of anything unfamiliar. I see this as a comfort zone that people choose to live within their little bubble of fear, paranoia and hatred of other races? For racism to be eradicated it would entail changes in thought processes. People would actually have to stop and think about why they think the way they do? They would have stop and think and question where those thoughts came from? To be quite honest, a lot of people are too lazy to do that. It is easier to continue to do what you have always done; to think how you always have than step outside the comfort zone. Only by stepping outside a person’s own comfort zone can differing thoughts be entertained. This is one of the reasons why racism will always be part of our society and heathenry has its share of these bigots. As defined by Goodrick-Clarke, Nordic racial paganism is synonymous with the Odinist movement (including some who identify as Wotanist). He describes it as a “spiritual rediscovery of the Aryan ancestral gods…intended to embed the white races in a sacred worldview that supports their tribal feeling”, and expressed in “imaginative forms of ritual magic and ceremonial forms of fraternal fellowship” Note also that I have always been against the notion of modern “tribal communities” especially those who base their criteria on the colour of one’s skin?
To do so would be the demise of modern day heathenry as a viable organic way of living. We only have to look at the way folks have been having mixed sexual relations with other tribes and races as attested in the archaeological and gene pool DNA records since the dawn of time to acknowledge that mixing it, was and still is very much a human trait! What would be left instead are small pockets of 101 campfire “kindreds” who habitually attack other communities to no beneficial end. In light of the theological and historical evidence, this deliberate exclusion of people from our community is unfounded and unwholesome. It not only rejects people on spurious race grounds, but it must surely deter others from wishing to be associated with heathenism. Whilst these attitudes are allowed to go unchecked, heathenry will stagnate and Yggdrasil may wither away yet again back into the mist of antiquity. There is no fifth column or indeed outside Christian organisations hell bent on destroying our ways, we are happily destroying each other all by ourselves.