We will use ‘Paganism’ very generally throughout. Here it pertains to the memes and metaphors that have their root in the prehistoric yearning of our people on the continent of Europe. More it pertains to the very bodies and souls that endured the genetic transitions that our most ancient tales seem still to whisper and perhaps at times even shout. The fullness of becoming who we are genetically and memetically in relationship to environment. Our ancestor’s choice to live close to the Ice and thus have selected the characteristics that make us Ice Folk special is a mystery. Perhaps they wondered out of Africa in good weather. As the ice began to creep from the north only the capably stubborn remained behind, enduring the hardships that generation by generation eventually made them ‘White’.
Now we struggle at times to comprehend or express these virtues in our largely urban environments. In our rural settings we were able to find more natural expression. An Amish barn raising is a synthesis of all these virtues; skill, planning, hard work, foresight, and most of all that deep spiritual satisfaction that only a builder knows working within the laws of nature and yet constructing something against the will of gravity. Your woman coming with small children with lunch fill you with joy, for it is them that you serve. Those who commenced our journey away from our Pagan origins, the twilight of our consciousness, were the inheritors of very rarefied genetics: Pale skin, a variety of hair colours on mostly straight hair, and blue and green and brown and hazel eyes. Magnificent creatures of intelligence and inventiveness and daring and cunning and generosity toward the worthy.
So when we look at the Norse legends say, we have to ask, What are they? How did they come to be? What is their genealogy? The Gods are at least the personification of nature, beauty, and power. These are fundamental memes of any racial>cultural group. They speak both of ideals that cannot be sustained and the blood an bones evolutionary history of the people. Deep memory. And this deep memory in our various folk is unique. Yes Aryan man, you are a special snowflake.
I remember hearing years ago that what made ‘humans’ intelligent was the Ice Age. That learning how to plan for seasons and make elaborate shelter etc. selected for greater intelligence and social order of a, well, more ordered kind. It was a History Channel program. It was only in the 90s but would be scandalous today. For everyone knows that Africa had a good Ice Age. No ice, no seasons, no planning; no selection for greater intelligence or particularly formal social arrangements. An enormous will toward existence brought we contemporary Europeans into being. We see this in the agonizing pain of the Norse Creation Myth where the first god-giant, Ymir, is formed when the Ice from the North meets the fire from the South. He is subsequently killed and dismembered by his descendants, and his body is used to create the world. We would expect people to have stories about their environments, but knowing the formative power that the Ice had on our ancestors gives these stories a more potent meaning.
Odin, Vili and Ve slaying Ymir
I think we misunderstand what Paganism is and how it is an inescapable grounding of our natures because we equate it in kind with Christianity. ‘Christianity replaced Paganism so they must be the same type of thing.’ Or so the unspoken meme goes. In important ways they are fundamentally not the same sort of thing. Of course the content is different, but more importantly the spiritual nature of each has both a different source and a different goal. Sure there is overlap but what makes them different is what makes them interesting. The similarities are also very interesting of course. But, the source of Paganism in the soul is historically, even evolutionary rooted, while Christianity it is either rationally or mystically grafted into the soul.
We can see an analogous and erroneous equivocation in the general shift from Christianity to Secular Atheism. In this case the Atheist understands that they have eliminated the categories that Christianity needs to justify its existence. In fancy philosophical talk, Atheist have pulled the Ontological rug out from under Christianity. The result is the same as with Christianity replacing Paganism, The presence of the new is understood to exclude the presence of the old. As said, this assumes the replacement meets the fundamental provision of the replaced. Though with Atheism’s defeat of Christianity we might fairly perceive that the provisions of Christianity were destroyed in order to satisfy them. Secular Agnosticism at least has attempted to satisfy the more profound yearnings of our soul with forays into various borrowings from exotic spiritual traditions. But the fundamental ideological commitments of Secular Atheism and Agnosticism make them ill equipped for such magnificent musing. In a similar way Christianity exiled something in Paganism it was not entirely able to replace.
I started this blog a year ago to look into fairy tales as a deep source of racial identity. This is the reason the Brothers Grimm collected the Germanic stories; to bolster Native Germanic identity against French occupation. I hope to get back into this fully, but we will assume a high view of these tales for now. That is, fairy tales capture a people’s vibrant collective dream life. Myths and legends do also, but differently. The stories predate Christianity in many cases and many are not particularly Christian in tone. When present, the Christianization can be rather clumsy. Though sometimes it is woven well into the meaning, especially in the Celtic Fairy Tales. We are even able to find tales that are authentically conducted through Christian understanding as a natural expression of the collective consciousness of the people. The impulse to generate such tales predated Christianity though, so we must see fairy tales as a fundamentally Pagan expression.
Angus fighting the advance of Beira’s frost to protect Bride.
Any old folk telling is cultural gold for Identitarians. Most of us, even if still on native soil, are disrupted from our Pagan roots. It is hard not to see that Christianity has had the largest part in this disruption. Though industrialization probably has been more sudden and violent. But the Church struck the first blow. It undermined our sense of historical continuity—there was a time when we became better, Christian, and all the time before was ignorance. This is an extreme outlook, yet common. And is assumed in the cultural formation that followed. Christianity gave us stories of ‘heroes’ from a foreign land, Israel. Making our own origin stories less important; not being the carnal origins of God incarnate, Jesus, they were only of temporal worth at best, blasphemy at worst. In the end the foreign tales nearly replaced the native stories all together. For those of us off of native soil this is doubly true, for we came with our foreign god to a foreign land that we had no rooted connection to. We came in many cases, to claim the land for Christ.
When I thought, as a young child and into early manhood, about the gods Christ replaced, I thought of the Greco-Roman gods, as these were the ones defeated by the early Church. I never imagined that my own ethnic people had gods of their own. There were the Norse gods of course, but I was English by my most recent ancestors who came here to North America. I still know little about the prechristian gods and sprites and demons of the British isles. Another hole in my learning that I will try to fill in time. Not to start a subject which I have neither the time nor the knowledge to do justice, but we tend to think of the Norse gods when we think of European Paganism. Any who are interested in Pagan lore should look into the folk myths of their particular people. Because of their virility (and Wagner too) we tend to focus on Odin and Thor, Frigg and Freya, rather than Angus and Bride and Beira. For now we are discussing the general nature of the gods of a people, when we look more closely later we will know what to look for.
We are not so supercilious as to think of every scrap of Pagan lore or fairy tale forms some kind of Pagan infallible canon. We mean simply that it is fair to assume that stories told over a long time bear something of the shadows of the earliest consciousness of our tribal ancestors. More If we consider this against the Meme theory we have been ruminating our folk tales convey our meme culture. And these are a reflection on our life lived as well as prescriptions for it—they both suit and shape our cells and souls.
It is hard to imagine such blessed girls still exist in the current year.
This strong view is founded on the intuition that our Pagan expressions are the most naturally grounded. They come from the collective lives and dreams of a people spending long generations in a certain place undiluted by vibrancy. This is a deep intuition of even our Agnostic kin, who understand that we can accomplish so much more and happier if we are not in community-wide conflict with people who do not share our race or cultural values. But in our society at large unfortunately we are governed by the rootless. People totally abstracted from the context of their racial origins. So for those of us who are not as blessed to be rooted in long traditions like these girls above from Brittany we must look into the tales of our people to get insight into our past from which we have been separated; first spiritually by Christianity and then socially by industrialization.
Accepting a few premises any racially aware White should be inclined to look into his Pagan roots. We could even argue a very strong case that these roots are an unavoidable enduring aspect of our natures and cannot be avoided. Even we Christians have to come to terms with what we are memetically and genetically to understand who we are that have become Christian. We know a good deal of our Pagan past has transferred into Western Christianity, especially those from Nordic countries and the British Isles. We see this in what radical Protestants eschew as ‘Pagan’ in Christmas and Easter.
In the next post we will look at Christianity. Having established the thesis that Paganism is our natural spiritual state. But Christianity is a very full spiritual life-space, it does a very good job of supplying its adherents with a full historical connection deep into the past. It also provides a very full space of both reason and mystic symbolism that speaks profoundly to our deepest yearnings today. At least we find this in the liturgical traditions.
Odin, Vili and Ve slaying Ymir by Lorenz Frølich
Bride and Angus artwork copyright © Kate Leiper 2009