Paganism or Christianity? Which is the Way for the West?

This issue in particular has come to my attention among those who wish to revive our native folk spirit and once again see our civilization flourish. There are those who feel that it is most important to acknowledge our Christian heritage as a source of strength, and that this is the only way to rally our people to defend our lands. Others see Christianity as having caused the problems of multiculturalism and environmental devastation in the first place, and that only by returning to our pagan past can we see a true revival among our folk. This issue is not as clear-cut as it sounds, and it is quite frustrating to see Europeans bickering amongst each other over matters of religion while the enemies are at the gates. I wish to give a broader analysis of the situation, and will attempt to explain why it is not an issue of which religion is the ‘true’ one, but rather which one is appropriate for the present situation.

First of all, I will address some of the concerns of pagans who have an issue with Judeo-Christianity and see it as the source of our woes and wish to abandon its tenets in favour of the ways of our ancestors. As this is the camp which I fall into as a Wotanist first and foremost, I can sympathize with such concerns. The abuses by the Church against our folk for the sake of profit by promoting high-minded ideals while indulging in the very things that they preach against (such as adultery, pleasurable sex and attachment to material possessions) has sickened many people to their stomachs, severing their trust in organized religion and even the idea of ‘God’ itself. I too held this view of Christianity for many years even before becoming a pagan and it is because of this hypocrisy that paganism has seen a revival in recent decades. Christianity has become a part of all of our institutions, even though in Britain (and especially in Scotland) it has largely taken a vestigial role. Though this may be the case, it still looms large as part of our cultural fabric, and it is difficult to escape its presence.

However, as I have explained before, ‘Judeo-Christianity’ is a specific form of Christianity, it is not a particular sect or offshoot, but rather a method of employing religion as a way of practising capitalism. It involves the deception of believers into giving their money to the Church, not because they provide an actual service in the form of offering tips on achieving connection with God through the self, but in order to bolster its authority and capital in order to maintain its control over the parishes. Judeo-Christianity was promulgated by Paul the Pharisee as a way of merging the Judaic religious hierarchy with the teachings of Christ that were intended for gentiles. This religious structure was adopted by the Roman emperor, Constantine, who used it to secure his hold on the Roman Empire, by emphasizing the monotheism of Christianity in order to legitimize his own rule as ‘God’s regent’ on Earth. This tactic was later employed by Medieval kings as a way to consolidate their power.

One can be a Christian without being either complicit in or fooled by this tactic. If one knows how to interpret the teachings of Christ correctly and not to take them literally, then you have already raised yourself above the level of what the Church expects its followers to be, which is sheep. This path is known as ‘Kristianism’, and involves discovering esoteric knowledge through personal study of the Bible. There are also simply’ Cultural Christians’, who adopt Christianity as merely a cultural garb and to whom the corruption of the Church is known, but who also know their local clergy well enough that they can trust them and for whom engagement in Christianity fills both social and spiritual needs. This is particularly relevant to those following Catholicism, which has incorporated Pre-Christian practises in order to convert pagans in the past. The result is now that it is essentially a syncretic religion that has more relevance today than any attempt to revive the original paganism, as this is the form in which those traditions have survived.

As to the concerns of Christians with regards to the resurgence of paganism, I must say that many of their fears about this are misplaced. There are some who see such a phenomenon as ‘the devil’s lure’ and conflate the return of paganism with the proliferation of Cultural Marxism and other Modern ills. For this reason, paganism is seen as a threat rather than an ally, and the Christian heritage of the West is emphasized, particularly the Renaissance. I would disagree with some pagans that the Renaissance was more pagan than Christian, it seems to have been a mixture of both. For this reason, I do find it rather annoying that some Christians see paganism on the same level as Islam, and are not willing to work with pagans because their religious beliefs prohibit this.

This may prove to be an especially dangerous move on the part of the Christians, as the fact that Judeo-Christianity and Sunni Islam fall under the Abrahamic umbrella may be used by the powers that be as a way to turn both forces against us pagans, reviving the Burning Times and securing the control of the Church and other various Abrahamic institutions. While I do not think this is likely, it would be the result of a reluctance for Christians to cooperate with pagans, a scenario which is also not helped by the attitude of some pagans, who also refuse to work with Christians because they cannot see any merit in Christian teachings as they conflate this with Judeo-Christianity. Simply saying to a Christian “all of the good parts of your religion are stolen from paganism” is not going to win you any friends, and this will only result in confirming their perception of us pagans as brainless barbarians who are unable to reconcile the cultural contributions of Christianity with their own heritage. Christians would also do well to remember that their religion is indeed in decline, and that it would be wise to ensure their survival through working with emerging faiths, as opposed to sealing their fate to the history books by lashing out in the same way as Islam.

And now I wish to move onto my final point, which is that different types of religion are appropriate for different periods in history. To illustrate this, I will reference a symbol which can be appreciated by both pagans and Christians alike, the Trinity. The Trinity can be expressed in a variety of artistic forms, from the triskele (triple spiral) of Celtic paganism, the valknut (triple triangles) of the Teutons, or the triquetra of Celtic Christianity. The Trinity is taken in a theological sense to signify the Son, Father and Holy Spirit within Christianity (as aspects of God) or as three gods or three goddesses within paganism (such as Wotan, Thor and Tyr in Teutonic paganism, or as Morrigan, Badbh and Macha in Ancient Ireland). In a metaphorical sense it has many meanings, but one of the main principles of the Trinity within Aryan philosophy is that of representing arising, being and passing away; in other words, birth, life and death. This is taken to reflect the cycles of life and applies to all forces within Nature, such as creation, sustenance and destruction. They are also reflected in the gunas or ‘energies’ in Hinduism, which are rajas (generation, passion, building), sattva (goodness, stability, peace) and tamas (darkness, ignorance, degeneracy).

triskelion

Triskele

valknut

Valknut

triquetra

Triquetra

And so, how does this all relate to which religion will enable our people to find their inner strength? Well, in one sense, each person is suited to a particular path; whichever one calls each individual should be their own guiding light, and this is for no one else to interfere with. However, it is clear that civilizations go through these same cycles found in Nature, and so one type of religion will be more appropriate for each stage in an epoch. These three types of religion have mainly to do with interpretations, which take the form of either paganism, mysticism or fundamentalism. Essentially , the difference in attitude between these three belief systems is that, for pagans, their general philosophy is “I must take care of myself and my kin”, for mystics, it is “I must take care of others before myself” and for religious fundamentalists and materialists, it is “others must take care of me before themselves”. However, I find it necessary to explore the differences between these approaches in more detail and compare their varying attitudes and attributes.

First of all, ‘paganism’, in a true sense, refers to a religion or culture that is embodied by rajas; for which the main focus will be fertility and procreation, art and literature, mutual exchange, war and conquest, animal sacrifice, fortune-telling, magic and folklore. Paganism is often polytheistic, emphasizing the importance of multiple deities (also known as ‘archangels’ in Abrahamic mythology) and their interaction with each other and with each individual human. The gods represent seven archetypes (and are further subdivided into different characters in mythology) and they act as role models for an individual to both relate to and embody, and can be called upon for various desires, if the favour is returned in the form of an offering or sacrifice. Paganism tends to be a communitarian religion, and the relationship with one’s ancestors is seen as one of the most important facets of one’s life. Paganism embodies all that is practical, creative and sensual. The pagan religions consist of what are considered ‘native religions’, which are folkish belief systems specific to each culture and people. Their membership is therefore restricted to each ethnicity from which these religions emerge, since power is gained from one’s ancestors which one does not share with the rest of humanity.

In contrast to this are the mystical religions, which include Kristianism, Buddhism, Sufi Islam, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism and the various mystery religions of history. In Hinduism, this takes the form of devotion to Krishna (another name for Christ) and is associated with the mode of sattva; and so adherents to mysticism value modesty, chastity, humility, charity, making plant offerings and practising meditation and fasting as a means of attaining peace. The focus of mysticism is for each individual to follow their own path to enlightenment, and so this applies to all of humanity and is therefore universalist. Mysticism tends to be either panentheistic (“God exists in all things”) or monistic (“all is one”).

Mystical teachings encourage connection between oneself and the universe, and so this involves seeing all other plants, animals and humans as part of one self, which exists as a singular entity in union with God (or ‘creative force’). This path is personal and is usually pursued on an individual basis, and so it involves the study of Gnosticism and esoterica. Groups are formed by those who share such beliefs, but the main emphasis is on a deep, personal connection with one’s surroundings in order to attain peace, which is why monasticism and Hermeticism (a ‘hermit’ is somebody who follows the ‘Hermetic’ or ‘wisdom’ teachings) is so popular among such people. Those who follow the mystic teachings exemplify grace, unity and purity.

The third type of belief system in this context is religious fundamentalism. Such religions consist of what are known as ‘Orthodox’ interpretations of scripture, and include Judeo-Christianity, mainstream Sunni and Shi’a Islam, Orthodox Judaism and various death cults that have existed throughout history; including the thugee of India, who drugged and captured travellers and sacrificed them in the name of the goddess Kali. Religious fundamentalism requires a literal interpretation of mythology, and so being in the mode of tamas, encourages deception, coercion, enslavement, humiliation, violence, bigotry, hatred, perversion, human sacrifice and demonolatry (‘demon worship’). It is worth clarifying that ‘war’ in a pagan sense is quite apart from ‘violence’ within fundamentalism.

While warfare is seen by pagans as a necessary act as a means of gaining honour in battle with other combatants, religious fundamentalists will typically resort to attacking the weakest targets, such as women and children, and by employing trickery to gain sympathy while they commit crimes against others. Religious fundamentalists tend to be either monotheistic (“one god is the only true God”) or atheistic (“there is no God”) and will appear in the form of any religion (including paganism), as their intent is to subvert religious doctrine to suit their own needs. Though they desire to attract more adherents, religious fundamentalists will typically shun anyone who does not follow their specific dogma and are usually hostile to those outside their own faith, particularly pagans. Fundamentalist leaders demand conformity and obedience from their followers.

Though usually associated more with politics, it may also be said that Marxism is a type of religious fundamentalism; the only difference being that, instead of committing atrocities in the name of ‘God’, they do so in the name of ‘humanity’. Their human sacrifices are those who stand in the way of their pursuit of ‘progress’. In essence, any interpretation that takes some statement literally (such as ‘all humans are equal’ or ‘God will punish those who disobey’) comes from a place of ignorance and can be seen as contributing to the destructive forces of the universe.

While some (usually mystics or fundamentalists) tend to see such interactions in the form of ‘good versus evil’, as a pagan I do not believe in such concepts. Rather, each of these forces form a necessary part of struggle in life, and must be relegated accordingly to each situation in which they are appropriate. Unfortunately, for those who wish for there to be no negative interpretations of religion, this in itself is a form of ignorance, as such practices will always exist among humans, and it is up for each individual to choose the path for which they are best suited. If there were none who embodied the destructive and chaotic aspects of reality, how could we compare their behaviour in contrast to nobility or goodness? It is more a matter of management than eradication, as the belief that we can erase evil from our world is as foolish as it is undesirable.

Which brings me to my conclusion with regards to which religion will meet the needs of the time in which we find ourselves. As I said before, each type of religion will be for each person to choose, and so no one can be blamed for feeling the call to a path that is not the one in vogue at a particular time. However, as for the collective, it is clear that one approach will suit each time period to reflect the state of our civilization. It is apparent that we have been living in an age of decay, and the tamas energy has been reflected the Death of the West. The proliferation of Marxism alongside Christian and Islamic fundamentalism have been the signs that materialism has dominated and accompanied the destruction of the environment, our societies and ourselves. However, it appears that we are moving into a new age, where the energy of rajas will likely become dominant, and that this can be shown by the resurgence of native faiths across the world.

My feelings are that this is a part of the struggles that we are facing today, our folk and our civilization is being reborn. However, it is a painful process, but one which cannot be held back by the hangovers of the previous age. We have experienced this before; after the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe experienced the gradual conversion to Christianity. However, before the Late Middle Ages, most of Europe was still pagan, even if Christian in name, and the nations that were born in this period (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales etc.) are those which exist today. By the Late Medieval and Renaissance period, Western civilization was at its peak, and Hermeticism was proliferated throughout Europe by means of widespread literacy. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches had also secured their hold on our lands, but for most this was an opportunity to experience unity with their fellow Christians. However, with the tumult of the Burning Times, this period gave way to the Modern period, in which liberalism and secularism became dominant, and the Western nations began to build empires in order to feed the ravenous hunger of the central banks from which the kings of Europe had borrowed money to pay for armies and secure their political power.

And so, the last century has been characterized by the fall of the European empires, the spread of Marxism and consumerism, the invasion by foreign peoples and the decline of our societies. This means that the cycle will begin anew, and this means that it is paganism, not Christianity, that will lead us into a new era. I do not say this based on my own bias, but rather because this is simply a recognition of the rhythms of the universe and what will be essential in order to face the challenge of rebuilding our civilization. Christian teachings of charity and pacifism are ill-suited to repelling invaders and meeting the basic needs of survival, something which concerns paganism much more closely.

Of course, Christians will not simply go away, even if their numbers are falling. They are still important to our sense of history and heritage, as they preserve that element which is sustainable, and they may carry a tradition that extends beyond the borders of our own folk. There will come a time when the generative force of paganism is no longer relevant, at which point Christianity (or whatever form European mysticism takes in the future) will be necessary in order to maintain what we have built. After those teachings fail to reach enough people through corruption, they will be twisted into literal interpretations for the sake of greed, and so civilization will once again fall and the cycle begins anew. We are at the beginning of an exciting new dawn, as we not only have the traditions of our ancestors which have survived the ravages of time, but also the shared knowledge and technology that characterizes the world in which we live. Strength and honour shall be the order of the day!

Hail Wotan!

Wulf Willelmson

The Dark Ages

The term ‘Dark Ages’ refers to the time also known as the Early Medieval (or ‘Early Historic’) period between the 5th and 11th centuries AD, and this is because we know little about events from the historical record in Western Europe compared to the Roman and Late Medieval periods. This can be contrasted with the Renaissance and the resurgence of paganism and occultism in this part of the world following the Middle Ages around the 16th Century. After the fall of Rome, the Continent was divided between pre-feudal, Teutonic kingships, while the British Isles descended into tribalism; where there was competition for land and resources between the native, Brittonic folk and Anglo-Saxon settlers.

However, despite the suggestion of genocide that has been proposed by some Modern archaeologists, there is no reason to believe that the Anglo-Saxons had some sort of ‘apartheid’ regime (something which can only be implemented through the state, which was not present in Britain following the Roman departure). Exterminating the Britons would have made little sense if much of the land was depopulated, a process which began in Late Antiquity and continued into the Dark Ages. It is certain that there were folk that came from what is now mainland Denmark and Northern Germany, though they arrived in Britain over a continuous time, as they were hired as mercenaries by the Romans and later the British petty kings to help fight the marauding Picts and Gaels. Thus, the Anglo-Saxons became more populous on the Eastern and Southern coasts of England, and eventually took control of the areas in which they formed the majority.

They could only have achieved this with the help of British pagans who felt alienated by their Christian rulers. There is reason to believe that the Anglo-Saxon warlords married into local noble families and gained power this way. The founder of Wessex, Kerdic, has a Celtic name, and so it is likely that he had an Anglo-Saxon father and British mother. Also, the Northumbrian king, Oswy, gained the territory of Rheged (Lancashire) through marrying a princess of that kingdom. It is for this reason that many Britons became absorbed into Anglo-Saxon culture through intermarriage and because of shared religious beliefs.

This is presumably what is meant in the Welsh Triads by the description of the Lloegrians (Britons of the South and East) coming into confederation with the Angles and Saxons. Though the Angles, Saxons and Jutes (who settled in Kent and also in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight) were three different tribes, they all spoke the same language and worshipped the same pantheon, which is why they are known culturally as Anglo-Saxons. Christianity subsequently fell out of favour among many of the Britons, but was reintroduced from Ireland by missionaries. These ‘Celtic Christians’ were more successful in converting the Britons than the earlier, state-imposed Roman Church, as they preached a doctrine that was more suited to Celtic culture and spirituality.

The first among the Teutonic tribes of England to be Christianized were the Jutes, whose close contact and trade with the Franks over in France, Belgium and the Netherlands exposed them to the later ‘Catholic Church’ that was more friendly to pagan customs. The Dark Age Roman missionaries were advised not to destroy pagan shrines, but to simply consecrate them in the name of Christ and convince the local people that they were Christians. In Late Antiquity, their methods included desecrating pagan shrines and attacking pagans, acts which did not win the hearts of the common folk. While the Jutes, Saxons and Mercians were converted to Roman Catholicism, the Northumbrians initially responded to the Church established by Saint Columba.

Edwin, was the first Northumbrian king to convert, though Oswy (a rival to Edwin and future King of Northumbria) converted to Christianity while he lived in exile in Iona. However, Oswy would eventually be responsible for turning his back on the Columban Church and agreed to revise the date of Easter to conform with mainstream Catholic custom at the Synod of Whitby; a move which would be followed by the Picts (in whose lands lived many Culdees, ‘hermit monks’ who preserved the Celtic tradition) and later at Iona itself. And so, the Catholic Church had succeeded in drawing the folk of the British Isles closer to its dogma, and went on to firmly establish Judeo-Christianity among the peoples of our land.

A similar process that occurred with the Britons and Anglo-Saxons may have also have happened among the inhabitants of the Northern Isles (and some of the Western Isles), and the Norsemen who settled there. These islands were some of the last places to be Christianized, and though they were attractive to the Culdees due to their isolation, they presumably did not bother the local pagans. The folk of the Northern Isles, especially in Shetland, have inherited much of their genetic lineage from the Norse. However, this does not mean that the natives were massacred by the Vikings. Rather, it suggests that they were more open to interaction with the Norsemen than with the mainland Picts and Gaels.

This may have been because the high kings of these peoples were known to raid the Northern Isles and the Hebrides, of which the goals were usually to capture booty and some slaves. It is important to note that chattel slavery was not widely practised in Britain before the introduction of Christianity, aside from kingdoms in the South-East who were in close contact with the Romans. Though there were many in European tribal society who were not free due to debt (and so were more like serfs), the market for this practice was only opened up through trade with the Mediterranean. Mercantile slavery was also not initially a feature of Scandinavian society, though they engaged in the practice once they began raiding other parts of Europe (especially in Ireland).

The place-names of the Isles show no trace of a Brittonic language such as Pictish, though we know that their culture was present in this part of the country at least so some degree because of the survival of some scattered Pictish symbol stones. However, the lack of Pictish material culture may also suggest that many of those living on the Isles before the Viking Age (between the 9th and 11th Centuries) were not Picts, and that this process may also have occurred over a longer period of time through cultural contact.The folk of the Northern Isles were converted to Christianity by the sword at the behest of the Norwegian king, Olaf Tryggvasson, who was one of the most bloodthirsty and fanatical Christian kings in history.

The Western Isles were presumably converted more gradually as they merged with the Isle of Man to form their own kingdom, independent from Norway. Gradually, the process of Norse domination reversed, as the folk of the Western Isles adopted the Gaelic tongue and were eventually incorporated into the Kingdom of Scotland in the 13th Century. This later period produced more literature than the previous Dark Ages, as the Catholic Church had secured a monopoly on the production of books among most of the European kingdoms (Eastern Europe underwent a similar process with the Orthodox Church, though pagan customs were still more prevalent there than in Western Europe).

However, despite the fact that the Dark Ages heralded the introduction of Christianity to Northern Europe and the Middles Ages were characterized by the domination of the Church, it was still a time of dual faith; meaning that while society maintained the veneer of Christianity, most of the folk traditions and customs of the Europeans at the time remained rooted in paganism. This was also reflected in the monastic literature, as myths from Ireland and Iceland were preserved by the dedication of some monks to maintaining the ancient tales, though they probably omitted details if they offended Christian sensitivities.

Even in France and Germany where the pagan myths had not been written down during the Dark Ages, the rise of Romance literature continued the common themes of Celtic literature, such as the legends of King Arthur and his knights. While Welsh monks managed to preserve earlier versions of these stories, the French and German versions were more heavily adapted to feudal society (with Arthur and his knights acting more according to contemporary ideas of chivalry rather than his status as a warlord in Welsh stories). However, they still contained the pagan and Celtic elements at their core, and had many parallels in Welsh mythology.

While the Church continued to control the narrative of the written word, most folk of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages engaged in oral tradition, and they preserved their people’s history through storytelling rather than writing. Though some of these stories were written down at some point during the Middle Ages, it is certain that many more have been lost over the centuries. There have been many attempts to record the ancient legends about Finn MacCool and other Gaelic heroes in Scotland and Ireland throughout the Modern era, either as a transcript or as audio recordings. These recent retellings in many cases match the ‘Classical Gaelic’ versions written down in the Middle Ages.

This is a testament to how strong the continuity of oral tradition can be, which is vital to maintaining the survival of a people through reminding them of the deeds of their ancestors and providing guidance for future challenges. Texts (and for that matter, computer data) are liable to be destroyed easily, and as their content resides in something external to ourselves, thy are forgotten if committed to writing and then lost or destroyed. This is why so many powerful institutions seek to control the narrative through media, and it is more effective to do so through the means of text and pictures. One of the reasons why folk customs were demonized in the Burning Times was that they posed a threat to the established order by diverging from the mainstream narrative and surviving thanks to the folk that remembered them. These ‘cunning folk’ were most likely to be engaged in what was deemed ‘witchcraft’, such as fortune-telling and herbal medicine.

I am unfortunately pessimistic in regards to our own time, as I do believe that we are on the verge of another Dark Age, as events that mirror the situation during Late Antiquity that preceded the fall of the Western Roman Empire signal that the collapse of our civilization has already begun. Our society is constantly over-stretching its limits and we are likely to see such events as mass starvation and outbreak of disease, as environmental disasters such as soil erosion and floods will lead to these conditions in a way similar to the Late Roman period. As the Roman elites became so corrupt that they practically enslaved their own populations (as they were no longer receiving slaves from imperial expansion) and introduced foreign populations against the wishes of the people for the sake of their own political interests (the Roman military needed soldiers, the central banks need debt-slaves).

Now that the European empires have expanded and subsequently fought each other in two devastating Brother Wars, only the shells of these empires remain and are being filled with more and more people to prop up consumer culture. Ethnic and religious tensions tear apart empires, and I can easily see Britain descending into tribalism once more if the central authority breaks down and people are left to fend for themselves, just as Emperor Honorius told the British nobles that they would no longer be receiving soldiers from the empire, as Britain had become such a vulnerable province.

In such events, the Celtic peoples survived because they managed to maintain their oral culture and were not devastated by the coming of Christianity. However, the Britons of the South-East became absorbed into Anglo-Saxon culture because they no longer shared the beliefs of their countrymen, and because they became surrounded by foreigners with whom they had more in common spiritually. I do wonder if the vacuum that has been left by the widespread abandonment of Christianity in the West is now being filled by Islam, as it is also an organized religion that insists on spreading its message to all corners of the globe through persuasion or by the sword.

In this way, historical patterns repeat themselves and we can tell what may happen by paying attention to the past. With the loss of spirituality in the West, it must quickly be replaced by our native belief systems, otherwise we may see another wave of violence similar to that during the Dark Ages. Whereas the people under the Roman Empire were protected by the imperial army, the petty kingdoms of the Dark Ages relied on local militias and mercenaries, a situation which is also mirrored today in the Middle East. This is a result of the breakdown of societies, which happens as they become less homogeneous and different cultures compete to control the narrative. Many indigenous cultures around the world have now become endangered, including our own.

However, it is still possible that we could have another Renaissance, as we Europeans rediscover what we have lost and realize who we truly are. This may be possible after a population collapse in the wake of catastrophic events (as with the Black Death that signalled the end of the Middle Ages), and less people would mean that more resources would be available. However, it is only possible to achieve this with dedication in recovering our heritage and history, and by thinking of ourselves also as worthy of being remembered in legends.We are not, as Modern nihilistic thinking suggests, individuals that only exist for one lifetime, but are part of a chain that connects us to both our ancestors and our descendants.

This link may only persist by thinking less about ourselves and more about our families and our folk. One of the reasons that the Dark Ages were known for the prevalence of warfare was that scarcity of resources once the Anglo-Saxon population expanded led them to push further and further West. Many of the inhabitants of cities such as York were still living within the Roman walls, and so urban life continued in some parts of Britain after the Roman left. However, these areas were more susceptible to cultural assimilation, as they were cosmopolitan and did not have a sense of national identity in the same way that the Britons of the countryside did. In the same way, it is in the rural parts of our country where our culture will have a chance of survival.

Wulf Willelmson

Rise of the Son God: The Christian Question

Over the past couple of years, I have found myself drawn further and further to this doctrine, which may not at first seem compatible with my Wotanist beliefs. However, the main religion of Western culture is Christianity, and I have found its elements to be present in our culture so strongly, that it is hard to ignore when embarking on a spiritual path. I have, for most of my life, had an apathetic or hostile view of this religion, as it always appeared to be an oppressive force that held back our people and kept them ignorant and servile. But, as I have discovered through the study of esoterics, all is not as it seems, and so a distinction should be made between two belief systems that appear under the same banner.

The institution of the Church is the force that presents itself as the face of the Christian faith, and so its words and deeds are taken to be representative of the Christian community. This means, however, that the Church sustains itself through a power structure that is reliant on donations and government funding, but does little other than act as a propaganda machine for the mainstream narrative in between reading passages from the Bible. It offers no practical tools to encourage spiritual growth and merely acts as a business, marketing their brand of ‘spirituality’ to the world. This money-making sham is more specifically known in an ideological form as Judeo-Christianity, and engages in all of the the practices which Jesus was supposed to have condemned among the Judean priests, namely the pursuit of profit.

On the other hand, there is also the esoteric form of Christianity, which is known as ‘Kristianism’. This version is based on hidden meanings behind the passages of the Bible, and is intended to bring the individual on the path to enlightenment. Much of this consists of allegories and figures of speech intended to help with memory when recording the oral knowledge that the texts were based on. For example, the term ‘forty days’ merely means ‘a long time’, and so it is not meant to be taken literally, as are most other parables. This is the main difference between these two forms of Christianity, in that the former takes the text literally, while the latter has to study their underlying meanings. ‘Kristianism’ is part of the Left-Hand Path of magic, as it involves self-empowerment through discovering godhood within one’s true, inner self. This is part of the reason why the Kristianist tradition is so hidden, because this method of spiritual development was suppressed by the Church, but was undoubtedly practised by at least some of the clergy from the Middle Ages onward. The Left-Hand Path is about changing yourself in order to have more agency in the world around you, while the Right-Hand Path consists of the traditions that are passed down by the priesthood to be practised by the laymen. It is the preferred choice for those who are bound by too many material obligations to embark on a spiritual journey, but who should still be able to trust their priests to provide for their basic religious needs, in order to have a spiritually healthy community.

Sadly, what has gone wrong with organized religions even since before Christianity has been the love of wealth and power. The Greek and Roman temples eventually became money-making schemes that did not encourage people to find their own path to the gods if they were capable, but rather to rely on the priesthood to interpret messages from the gods. The hoarding of knowledge and exploitation of the laymen by the priesthood is a gross abuse of their power and such systems should not be allowed to promote enslavement to institutions and dogma. This typically occurs in societies which have a centralized state, rather than among tribes or petty kingdoms. This was certainly true for Ancient Greece and Rome, but this corporatism continued under Christianity in these lands because they were already centralized under empires and kingdoms.

In Britain and Ireland, syncreticism occurred between the native Druidic mysteries and the Christian doctrine, until they merged to form a subset of Catholicism, known as ‘Celtic Christianity’ (or known today as ‘Gaelic Traditionalism’). This local variant of Catholicism survived until the High Middle Ages, when the Churches in Ireland and Wales were drawn closer to mainstream Catholicism, which was facilitated by Norman colonization of these two lands and centralization of royal authority. The struggle between Catholics and ‘heretics’ was present among the Roman Britons as early as the 4th Century, where the ascetic known as Pelagius argued that humans had free will with regards to salvation rather than being determined by fate and reliant upon the Church for forgiveness. Naturally, his ideas were considered a threat to the establishment and after his expulsion from Jerusalem, he invited to Egypt and never heard from again.

Gnosticism is another aspect of Kristianism, which was prevalent in Late Antiquity. Gnosticism extends beyond Christianity, but it was the main source of esoteric Kristian thought at this time in history. The main principle behind Gnostic Christianity is that God (that is, the unified principle of the cosmos) created the world in his image of perfection, as his spirit existed alongside the material world governed by Nature. However, it is also held that something went wrong in the process of creation, and that Sophia (a name meaning ‘wisdom’ and a personification of Nature) gave birth to a monstrous being known as the Demiurge, who, while having no name of his own, takes the form of Yaweh or Elohim in the Old Testament.

However, these names are merely stolen from Canaanite mythology and this being (or group of beings acting under a hive mind) is separate from the gods (who are known as ‘angels’ in Christianity). These dark forces are equivalent to the Jötnar of Norse mythology and Ahriman of Zoroastrianism, and was seen as the antagonistic force among the Gnostics. Unfortunately, because the New Testament was corrupted by Paul the Pharisee, the Church adopted Yaweh and the Judaic Tanakh (Old Testament) as part of the Christian faith (hence, Judeo-Christianity) and persecuted the Gnostics for criticizing their demonic ‘God’. As such, Kristian esoterics were largely driven underground, and only survive today through the preservation of Gnostic texts such as the Nag Hamadi.

The Demiurge is held to be the sovereign of the world of illusion and materialism, and is essentially the same as the figure known as Satan or Lucifer. He is the enemy of Christ (a metaphor for enlightened man) and is seen as responsible for Man’s fall from grace. In this way, the Old Testament is the tale of the Fall of Man, as spiritual and material become intermingled and how the Judeans were led astray by the Demiurge and destroyed the places of pagan worship in Judea. The New Testament is the guide to liberation from bondage to the material plane and achieving unity with God. However, all of the pages of the Bible are meant to be read metaphorically, as both the tales of Moses and of Jesus are meant to help the initiate achieve their goals.

The Church has promoted the literal interpretation of the Bible (to varying degrees, even non-fundamentalist denominations do not teach esoterics), as a means of controlling the masses, by teaching them morals that lead to self-denial and naïve trust. In this way, Judeo-Christianity holds Man to the will of the Demiurge, while Kristianism frees him from his enslavement. The stories of Christ’s resisting of temptations form Satan are meant to convey a life of moderation and not being held back by one’s desires. While Satan represents the tempter and the trickster, the Church used his image to demonize the pagan gods as an excuse to persecute pagans. The horns and goat legs of the popular image of the Devil come from the Celtic god Cernunnos, who is probably the equivalent of Wotan.

The struggles between the Church and what they deemed as ‘heresy’ were a manifestation of esoteric Kristianism and its suppression by the establishment. The most brutal Judeo-Christian warlords (such as Charlemagne), forced conversion by the sword, and in this way were the European equivalent of Islamic Jihadists. In Islam this struggle is also present, as the mainstream Sunni (Judeo-Islamic) dogma is used by the Demiurge to spread his cancer, while the mystic sects, such as the Sufis, use Islam as a means to achieving liberation. The same is also true of Judaism, as the Hasidic sects of Judaism were formed to promote the joy of life through the love of God, as opposed to Orthodox Judaism, which encourages xenophobia and contempt for the goyim (‘gentiles’). Thus, the true path of Christianity is learning how to discriminate between those who are really in the service of God and those who do the work of the Devil. There are many preachers who claim to be doing the work of ‘The Lord’, while engaging in Satanic acts (the mass child abuse of the Catholic Church is one such hypocrisy). The centralized institutions of Abrahamic religions have been acting as arbiters of the state to abuse its people, while the people themselves have held the secrets to these doctrines and passed them on down the centuries.

My own personal inclination is towards Protestantism, since it focuses on individual salvation and typically does not promote conversion. I know that many others will feel more drawn to Catholicism, although this doctrine will probably be more relevant to those on a Latinic or Celtic path (such is the case for most Western Europeans and their descendants). However, Protestantism emerged in Northern Europe among the Teutonic folk, and so it works well as an addition to esoteric Armanism, alongside the exoteric religion of Wotanism. Balder is the Christ figure of Norse mythology, and his death and rebirth is itself the story of resurrection. And so, in both Kristianism and Armanism, their stories are allegories for the rebirth of the spiritual man, both on a personal level but also in this new Age of Aquarius. Balder was killed by his blind brother Höth (‘hood’) at the behest of the jötun, Loki. This represents the veil of illusion cast over Man and Balder’s journey to Hel and is a metaphor for the bondage to the material world and consistent death and rebirth on this plane (a concept known as the ‘Wheel of Samsara’ in Buddhism). However, Balder’s return from Hel at the end of Ragnarök is analogous to the Resurrection of Christ, and so the two stories are more important for their shared underlying meanings than their cultural interpretations.

As both a pagan and a Kristian, I find it frustrating that there still exists sectarianism among these two groups. Though Christianity is a declining force in the West (it is still prevalent in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa), it still has a strong cultural hold on our society, and this works both for and against us. On one hand, the Catholic pope openly promotes the invasion of Europe by religious fundamentalists (mostly Islamic, though some are also from Christian Africa, where witch-hunting is still prevalent), while the mainstream Protestant Churches of our island are complicit in much the same propaganda. They purposely skew the original meanings of Christ’s teachings to promote self-loathing and pathological altruism among Westerners, while at the same time coveting the secrets of the Bible from the masses (they certainly know about these hidden meanings, they just don’t want you or I to know about them). At the same time, however, the thread of Christianity is so strongly woven into our heritage that it would be ludicrous to suggest that we can simply abandon it and return to the purely pagan past.

There is no reason to discard the useful parts of this religion, as it is a sensible option for those among our folk who are not drawn to pagan lore. I myself prefer the pagan expression and wish to see its revival among our people, but I can also acknowledge the benefits of yet another facet our culture that has been passed down to us from our forebears. Our people are in grave peril, and so I see no reason why Crusaders and Vikings cannot stand shoulder to shoulder to face a common foe, despite the pogroms of the past. We have the potential to be allies, but only once we accept that we must learn to co-exist as one people to be able to survive and thrive. The Renaissance was born through the resurgence of pagan motifs and philosophies that were blended with Christian expression. We will have another if we learn to achieve our potential as individuals and as a people, whichever spiritual path we choose.

Wulf Willelmson

 

 

Church and State: The Two-Headed Beast

No collaboration has managed to be quite as insidious and abusive throughout history as the union of Church and State. These two pillars of government (represented by the two-headed eagle) are the standard for countries which have adopted an Abrahamic religion at some point in history, and they continue to be particularly strong in conservative Islamic countries; where Sharia is used as a combination of religious dogma and state enforcement. However, they have also experienced periods of conflict. While the Church and State maintained equality of power among themselves during and after the Christianization of Europe (the Early Middle Ages), by the Late Middle Ages the Catholic Church had secured its supremacy across Europe and began to experience competition from powerful monarchs. Their monopoly over the European economies through the businesses of the Church (such as charging for forgiveness of sins and the trade in ‘relics’) made them richer and more powerful than the kings, who could only gain wealth through extracting taxes from their people or as tribute from their defeated enemies. This was consistently the case in the ‘Holy Roman’ (German) Empire, where it was unclear whether the emperor or the pope had more control. This eventually resulted in a Papal Schism and, later on, the Protestant Reformation, which involved removing the influence of the Catholic Church and making the monarch the head of the Church, before transferring secular power to parliaments.

The idea of having spiritual and secular branches of power comes from the basic structure of a tribe. In Ancient Germanic society, the spiritual leader was known as an erilaz (which became ‘earl’) and the secular leader was known as a kuningaz (from which ‘king’ derives). The erilaz was the high priest and magician of the tribe, while the kuningaz led the warriors and was more similar to a general. The kuningaz levied taxes and went on raids to gain tribute or booty, so that they could support themselves and the gothar (priests and magicians in Old Norse). Meanwhile, the erilaz was responsible for the general wellbeing of the tribe and performed sacrifices and offering to the gods, as well as made important decisions about what the tribe should do. In Gaulish society, the vergobret (‘magistrate’ or ‘arch druid’) was elected by the druids (though they were probably elected by all free men of the tribe in earlier times), while the rix (‘king’) was elected by the warriors.

However, the Roman kings sought to become both spiritual and secular rulers, becoming both the heads of the army and the priesthood. This continued even after the Roman Republic, as both proconsuls and emperors held the titles of commander-in-chief and head priest. This is one of the reasons why the Late Roman emperors converted to Christianity, because it had become too difficult to control the empire with both spheres of power embodied in one monarch, and so the pope became the head of the Church while the emperor focused more on leading the army. However, the popes became more and more dominant and saw themselves as more legitimate rulers of a Christian empire than the emperors, which caused the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. In Eastern Orthodoxy, the patriarch acted as the chief priest, but the emperor remained the head of the Church and selected the patriarch, which has meant that there has been less competition between the Orthodox Church and the leaders of Orthodox countries, such as Greece and Russia.

As far as the conversion to Christianity in Northern Europe is concerned, the role of erilaz became secularized, and ‘earl’ has come to be a title of nobility and landownership, based on the earlier territory of tribes (many ‘earldoms’ corresponded to previous tribal boundaries). While the king continued to act as secular ruler and head of the army, bishops were appointed as religious leaders by the Church to act on behalf of the pope. It is in this way that the Catholic Church maintained itself as a religious empire and permeated most of Europe by the Late Middle Ages. Its last acts of conquest in Europe were the ‘Northern Crusades’, carried out against Baltic pagans in Prussia and Lithuania by the German Teutonic Order. In this way, the Church used converted folk to conquer the unconverted. Even after the Reformation, the Catholic Church found new victims in the Americas, Asia and Africa. However, the Reformation did not save the Protestant kingdoms. As the kings and queens moved from secular to spiritual rulers, they simply became the heads of the religion of the State. For example, the Church of England (and Ireland and Scottish Episcopalians) functions as a State religion, with the Queen of England as it’s head. In countries without a monarchy, this role is fulfilled by a president if a prime minister or chancellor acts as the secular leader. In this way, the State acts as a religious body, but without spirituality, both spheres of power have been secularized.

The result of this is that in Protestant countries (but also in any secularized nation whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish) the peoples’ religious needs are fulfilled by consumerism, the shopping centres and cinemas are our churches while actual churches are replaced by mosques to suit incomers from Islamic lands. In removing power from the priesthood, even one as corrupt and abusive as the Catholic Church, the capitalists and ‘social democrats’ (the self-designation of gradualist socialists) have removed the spiritual hearts of our nations, and replaced them with dogmas based on the worship of wealth or the worship of idealism, depending on what side of the political spectrum one chooses to support. Our folk have become disconnected from their native spirituality through centuries of indoctrination and abuse, and are largely unaware of our ancient lineage and heritage.

The Church has so thoroughly mixed heathen traditions with their own that many of us mistake our own customs for Judeo-Christian ones, and so in modern secular society, we have cast aside our own ways in an attempt to throw off the yoke of the Church. Whereas Catholic countries still have these traditions embedded in their culture, the Reformation actually destroyed many texts kept in monasteries and churches and severed many folk from their original, heathen practises. The only leader in the British Isles who ever attempted to do away with Christmas was the Puritan tyrant Oliver Cromwell, a move which even those materialists in control today do not even attempt, at least for now. The doctrine of egalitarianism that was espoused by the Christians has passed over into Cultural Marxism, which denies the legitimacy of the existence of race and folk as a basis for spirituality, leaving hollow faith solely in the ‘human race’ as a uniform and homogeneous unit under one global zeitgeist.

Nowadays, the State is observably more powerful than the Church in people’s daily lives, however, they still continue to support one another. It is no coincidence that there is evidence for widespread child abuse both among political elites and within the Catholic Church. These two institutions exist to mislead and abuse, and are well known for propagating lies to their people. It is telling that both the State and all of the representatives of organized religions in this country (Protestant, Catholic, Muslim and Jewish) encouraged people to support the invasion of Europe by economic migrants from Asia and Africa, conflating them with the refugees from Syria and appealing to ‘humanitarianism’. The Church has done much to feed folk with feelings of guilt and shame that permeate even into secular society, encouraging us to value others more than ourselves, even if others are taking advantage of us. Its role has been to keep folk ignorant and weak, so that we may accept the abuses of the State to take our rights away. We do need two sections of society to balance the spiritual and the secular in our societies, but the Church and the State do not fulfil either need, as their powers are rooted in exploitation and extortion. They only exist in order to govern a population larger than a tribal confederation (such as that of a nation-state or an empire), and cannot be trusted simply on the basis that they cannot possibly have your best interests at heart if they operate as separate classes above the rest of us, rather than belonging to one tribe and working on their behalf.

Wulf Willelmson