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

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