Hierarchy In European Paganism

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Note: Yes I am aware Caesar’s accounts, apart from not being 100% reliable (like Tacitus for that matter), does refer to Gauls specifically, and that this is perhaps an unfair generalisation of all Celtic tribes during the iron age re. caste, hierarchy, slaves etc. I chose to use it as an example of a society inbetween the two extremes. Also, yes, some tribes were “Germano-Celtic”, and tribes like the Belgae Celtic with Germanic characteristics/influences, so the boundary between Celts and Germans is blurred in places.

Transcript:

We see the same patterns occur in any cult, any dogma.

Be it in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, New Religions like Scientology, or even some attempts at paganism, we see a strict hierarchy.

The more you are able to pay into these cults, the more you can rise up in the ranks, and enter the hallowed inner circle.

If you express any free thought, a hint of dissidence, disagree with any part of the established dogma, even with the best of intentions, and in the most respectful way, you will be shunned, ostracised, cast out, perhaps worse.

Christians will see you as a heretic. Conservative Muslims will want you executed as an apostate. Scientologists will treat you as a “suppressive person”.

Meanwhile the High Priest, the Grand Master, the Supreme Leader, will continue to build a cult of personality, misleading and corrupting people, and silencing criticism or debate without hesitation, with their followers serving only to fuel the cult leader’s narcissism.

Paganism involves the “science of patterns”, but you don’t have to be a pagan, or particularly intelligent, to see these patterns repeat themselves that define anything as a dogmatic cult.

So how did hierarchy work in European pagan societies? Did they have it? Is Ancient Rome a good example? Do modern notions of “class” and “aristocracy” have anything in common with the pagan social structure?

 

Celtic Barbarians:

Celts in Gaul were governed by a council of elders, as well as druids. We see fairly similar social structures in bronze age cultures that centred around a “priest-king” and similar (religious) council.

Gaulish tribes were fragmented, and rarely united under one leader except in desperate circumstances, e.g. under Vercingetorix.

According to Caesar two or more “pagi” formed confederations he referred to as “civitas” – “nation” or “tribe, in some areas tribes were ruled by the council or senate, some by a king, and in some a combination of the two.

“each man refuses to allow his own folk to be oppressed and defrauded, since otherwise he has no authority among them. The same principle holds in regard to Gaul as a whole taken together; for the whole body of states is divided into two parties.”

– Julius Caesar, Gallic Wars, Book VI, Chapter 11,

“Throughout Gaul there are two classes of persons of definite account and dignity. As for the common folk, they are treated almost as slaves, venturing naught of themselves, never taken into counsel. The more part of them, oppressed as they are either by debt, or by the heavy weight of tribute, or by the wrongdoing of the more powerful men, commit themselves in slavery to the nobles, who have, in fact, the same rights over them as masters over slaves. Of the two classes above mentioned one consists of Druids, the other of knights.”

– Julius Caesar, Gallic Wars, Book VI, Chapter 13

“it is the Gaulish scriptures and inscriptions that attest to the true nature of the Celtic religion – no pantheon, but rather localised deities with localised functions; and this accords with what we know about the Celts politically, for they had little tolerance for centralised authority, even their own.” – Jeffrey Gantz, Early Irish Myths and Sagas, page 14

In Caesar’s accounts we see evidence of the Celtic attitude towards authority, imperialism and subjugation of other tribes, a barbarian practice of smaller local government not limited to the authority of a king or an emperor. We do, however, see a strict and rigidly defined caste system, and a social structure that clearly led Caesar conclude that Gauls, unlike Germans, could be conquered and ruled over.

 

German Barbarians:

p.xvii – “In his Gallic War… his whole treatment of the Germani is meant to emphasise their wildness and ferocity; he presents them not as potential subjects of Rome, like the Gauls and even the Britanni, but rather as a threat that must be kept back on their side of the Rhine.”

– J. B. Rives, Introduction to Tacitus’ Agricola and Germania, p. xvii

Xi – “Another theme in Agricola that also comes to the fore in Germania is that of civilisation and its corrupting influence… Tactitus depicts the Germani as a kind of “noble savage”, free from the vices that civilisation brings. Greed and luxury are virtually unknown among them: they have no interest in precious metals, they know nothing about legacy-hunting and usury, they eat plain food and have plain funerals.”

– J. B. Rives, Introduction to Tacitus’ Agricola and Germania, p. xl

“They choose their kings for their noble birth, their leaders for their valour. But even the power of the kings is not absolute or arbitrary. As for the leaders, it is their example rather than authority that wins them special admiration – their energy, their distinction, or their presence in the front line. Moreover, no one is allowed to punish, to flog, except the priests, and not as punishment or on the leader’s orders, but as though in obedience to the god who they believe presides over battle.”

– Tacitus, Agricola and Germania, p. 38

(Roman authority was absolute by definition, one of many comparisons between Germania and Rome made by Tactitus)

“Tradition has it that armies wavering and even on the point of collapse have been restored by the steadfast pleas of the women, who bared their breasts and described how close they were to enslavement – a fate that the men fear more keenly for the women than for themselves…they believe that there resides in women something holy and prophetic, and so do not scorn their advice or disregard their replies.”

– Tacitus, Agricola and Germania, p. 38-39

“On matters of minor importance only the leading men debate, on major affairs the whole community; yet even where the commons have the decision, the matter is considered in advance by the leaders”

“It is a defect of their freedom that they do not gather at once or in obedience to orders, but waste two or three days in their slowness to assemble. When the crowd so decides, they take their seats fully armed. (priests have authority here) …Then such hearing is given to the king or leading man as age, military distinction or eloquence can secure; it is their prestige as councillors more than their power to command that counts”

– Tacitus, Agricola and Germania, p. 40

“On the field of battle it is a disgrace to the leader to be surpassed in valour by his companions, to the companions not to equal the valour of their leader”

– Tacitus, Agricola and Germania, p. 41

In Tactitus’ Germania we also see a stark contrast between the way slaves were treated in Germania compared to Gaul with them owning their own households, people generally carrying out their own household chores and flogging and punishment of slaves not being common practice. He does, however, comment that freed slaves barely rose above the social rank of the slaves themselves.

Overall, Germanic social structure was much less civilised than that of the Gauls, with the social structure and customs being so drastically different from those in Rome that Caesar himself thought it would be a waste of time attempting to conquer Germania at all. Here we also see mention of the prominent role women played in Germanic tribal society, but this is a topic I will save for a future video.

The social structure of less corrupted, less civilised “barbarian” communities was what many today might consider to be “anarchist”.

 

They expected their people to prove themselves, prove their strength, prove their bravery, prove their honour, prove their intelligence, prove their fidelity, their loyalty. Anyone who showed clear weakness, cowardice, degeneracy, dishonesty or stupidity was left behind, or in many cases killed by the tribe.

Originally the “kings” were our ancestors – the crown was the horns of the stag. These pagan societies expected everyone to embody these “Kingly” or royal qualities, the qualities of their ancestors, the qualities of the gods.

A civilisation needs a strict hierarchy in order to function properly. Abrahamic monotheism is a political tool intended to conquer and control people, so likewise it also requires a strict hierarchy in the areas it conquers.

In a healthy, pagan culture and community, people – men and women alike – expect much of each other, empower each other, inspire each other, support each other. This is what modern movements – nationalism, feminism, Marxism, so-called “anarchism” and many attempts at neopaganism  – lack.

Modern equivalents of “goði”, “druids”, “seers”, “sybils” etc. should know better than to silence any reasonable disagreement or expression of free thought. People who don’t and can’t say what they are really thinking aren’t being honest. Liars were loathed and punished by pagan societies. Self-appointed leaders, scholars, prophets etc. that enforce this cult of personality and dogmatism are not embodying the pagan values of our wild, pagan forebears, and are corrupting others by instilling cult worship, rather than free thought, strength and independence.

Modern religions and ideologies are more concerned with enforcing a strict hierarchy instead. These same ideologies and movements also, unsurprisingly, reject man’s wild traits, his true nature, they shun and mock those who want the simple life, want to retreat from a city that doesn’t belong to them in order to live a simple life, focus on what really matters and protect their natural habitat.

We must keep in mind how the Germani treated each other, what they enforced and never felt the need to enforce, what mattered most to them and how uncluttered and minimalist their culture and lifestyle was.

Real pagan tradition – our original pagan traditions – was not concerned with the absolute authority, riches, luxuries and social division that we see in Rome. Real paganism was wild, untamed, free and, dare I say it, “equal” in many aspects. People didn’t command respect, enforce authority or inherit it – they earned it, they exuded it.

 

“Civilised men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing”

“Barbarianism is the natural state of mankind. Civilisation is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarianism must always ultimately triumph”

– Robert E Howard

 

Reject centralised authority, castes and all trappings of civilisation – return to the wild.

Thanks for watching. Sources in Video Description.

Sources:

Early Irish Myths and Sagas – Jeffrey Ganz (ed., transl.), 1981, Penguin Books
Agricola and Germania – Tacitus; Harold Mattingly (transl.), J. B. Rives (introduction), 2009, Penguin Books
Gallic War, Julius Caesar, Loeb Classical Library, 1917
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Caesar/Gallic_War/6B*.html

Early Celtic Social Structures

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The Importance of Oral Tradition in European Paganism

 

In any pagan culture, the further back in time we go and the more we retreat from its modern civilised state, the closer we get to its oral tradition.

Often described by Christian scholars and those influenced by them as “illiterate” in order to promote and justify the Church’s past (and, in third world countries like Nepal and India, ongoing) missionary work, conversions and “literacy” programs, this is not the case. Such societies commonly knew runes – the futhark in the case of the Anglo-Saxons, the Ogham in the case of the Celts, and a hypothetical Slavic runic alphabet.

Essentially shorthand alphabets, these runes did have religious and symbolic significance as well (after all, like the Greek alphabet they largely derive from, they ultimately originate in the pictograms of Egyptian hieroglyphs). As a writing system, during pagan periods archaeological finds suggests they were used mainly for short passages, and to commemorate the Dead in runestone passages.

As partially literate people, we must understand that, as societies that practiced oral tradition, were more removed from civilisation and therefore had less of a need for formal historical, legal and financial records, these pagan cultures did not need to be fully literate.

The stories preserved through oral tradition rely on repetition, these epics, as well as political and legal speeches, all had to be remembered. Cultures that could remember everything, and had to, had little need for full literacy.

Oral tradition in our mythology:

Archaeological finds – sculptures, statues, temples, brooches, pendants – are highly significant and how much these have enriched and informed our understanding of our heritage, as well as acting as relics that keep us in touch with our ancestors, cannot be overstated.  However, the stories, the myths and the rituals, even the fairy tales, all originate in this oral tradition.

Once upon a time we remembered knowledge – we did not need libraries. Just as we remembered this history, this heritage, and passed it down to the next generation, our ancestors needed to remember their ancestors, and their past lives, and these memories and past lives were likewise unlocked and passed down to the next generation symbolically by the older generation, i.e. the priests, the druids, the sorcerers etc.

To understand our religion, its symbolism and the purpose of repetition, we need to understand how oral tradition works, the methodology and reasoning behind its use of repetitions, the structure of the recorded narratives, and how easy it is to overlook just how steeped in ritual and religious practices and beliefs these classic texts such as the Iliad, the Kalevala and the Poetic Edda are.

(Wikipedia) – “In Parry’s view, formulas were not individual and idiosyncratic devices of particular artists, but the shared inheritance of a tradition of singers. They were easily remembered, making it possible for the singer to execute an improvisational composition-in-performance.”

“..it is doubtful, to say the least, whether Oral-Formulaic Theory can be applied to any of the many fixed-phrase genres of folklore – for example, proverb or riddle. Proverbs are not composed anew each time they were uttered. Without the possibility of improvisation, it would appear that the Oral-Formulaic Theory would not be applicable… Still, even if Oral-Formulaic Theory were valid only for the epic genre, it would be of importance. The epic is unquestionably a major genre of folklore, and thus any theory proposed to deal with such a major genre would be significant. “ – Alan Dundes – p. xi, from the Forward to The Theory of Oral Composition: History and Methodology by John Miles Foley

“…the key to an understanding of the Kalevala is the power of the word, the power of incantation and of the story that brings power. Its heroes are word-masters and wonder-workers.” – vii – Albert B. Lord, Forward to Kalevala translated by Keith Bosley

I might do a future video going into Oral-Formulaic Theory after studying it further, but it is clear that there was method in the structure and repetition to aid speakers (and singers) in remembering these passages.

Furthermore, though repetition undoubtedly served this simple purpose, the amount of repetitions – be it of verses, motifs, symbols or of similar characters – was no coincidence, and I would argue ultimately rooted in the reincarnation rituals that spawned these more elaborate folk tales and epic poems.

The significance of numbers in Oral Tradition:

3: We often see our heroes in oral tradition attempt something three times, be it challenging, physically attacking or charging, or approaching or entering something. Sometimes the third attempt triggers a change or revelation (or a failure) by itself, sometimes it is the fourth attempt that sees this metamorphosis or the breaking of the pattern occur. Examples include Patroklus (the foetus, literally “the glory of the father”) charging the wall of Troy three times, with great success, until the fourth attempt/the change triggered by the third attempt (or the third symbolic pregnancy) results in his death at the hands of Hektor that sets in motion the chain of events through the rest of Homer’s Iliad. It is also significant that Achilles chases Hektor (literally “to hold” – Hektor holds things together) around Troy three times before slaying him. There are also examples of this in the oral tradition of the Welsh Mabinogion. Another example of this can be seen in the number of stages of shapeshifting in Irish fairy tales, before the side in question reaches its final form, and the protagonist receives a revelation and/or solves the riddle.

7 – the amount of years between each rite of passage, the three stages of awakening – ages 7, 14 and 21. The amount of days in a week. In accounts of the Irish Sidhe (fairies/elves i.e. the ancestors) the sidhe are said to kidnap girls, and after seven years “when the girls grow old and ugly, they send them back to their kindred, giving them, however, as compensation, a knowledge of herbs and secret spells” (Lady Wilde). This could be interpreted as representing the period of religious service (to the ancestors) before girls reached adulthood and were returned to their family (and future husband). In the “Peredur son of Efrog” story in the Mabinogion his father the earl has seven sons. In this text at least 7 is more commonly the number of items or number of people  that appear in a scene, rather than the amount of repetitions of the protagonist’s action.

9 – The nine months of pregnancy (and, in reincarnation, 3 x 3 symbolic pregnancies), the nine realms of Yggdrasil. In Irish myth: “If you walk nine times round a fairy rath at the full of the moon, you will find the entrance to the Sifra; but if you enter, be wary of eating the fairy food, or drinking the fairy wine (Lady Wilde). In the Mabinogion Peredur encounters nine witches – “together with their father and mother”.

The integrity and reliability of recorded Oral tradition:

With any documented myths we need to be critical and know how to “filter out” the Christian elements. Unlike in the fictional histories, chronicles and other works by Christian scholars, I would argue it is considerably easier to recognise these distortions and anomalies worked into the texts of oral tradition documented by these predominately Christian scholars. We just need to understand how oral poetry worked, recognise the symbols and riddles that clearly predate Christianity, and recognise what are, to varying degrees, fairly obvious Christian distortions, and in some cases what even appear to be forced “disclaimers”, in parts of the text.

A particularly striking example of this is the Kalevala, Considering how late this record of Finnish and Karelian folk tradition was compiled, one might expect it to me riddled with anachronisms and heavily influenced by Christianity, but this is not quite the case. Though adopting a linear narrative and a consciously monotheist interpretation of a “chief god” and a “Great One”, with occasional references to the “Devil” and “evil”, unambiguously Christian and Biblical references are actually rare, unlike, for example, Beowulf and the Mabinogion.

When we focus on reading these original sources – the oral traditions, epic poems and rural folk tales that are at the centre of our cultural heritage – we come far closer to understanding their true essence and the burial and reincarnation rites they related to than we will by simply reading books “about paganism” or more specifically summaries/modern paraphrasing and collection of this or that pantheon and its myths. We need to reconnect with oral tradition.

Folk tales and customs belong in the countryside among the common folk, not in libraries gathering dust

Though books such as James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, Julius Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World and Marie Cachet’s The Secret of the She-Bear are invaluable, we need to train ourselves in our ability to follow these complex narratives and structures, recognise the patterns, symbols and riddles and to really enter the mindset of our forebear practitioners of the oral tradition, with the right method and the right “key” to unlock these secrets and make sense of it all.

I am still learning, and will do what little I can to guide people as my own knowledge grows.

Why Pan-European?

In age of aggressive and divisive identity politics, it is important to know our place in the world, where we stand in relation to others.

Where do we stand in relation to other Europeans? What is our identity?

The “European Vision” – the vision associated with the European Union – reasonable freedom of movement between countries, alliance with fellow Europeans, a common European identity – is something many of us can relate to, and what many in favour of the European Union appear to embrace. Unfortunately this is not at all what the crooked, unelected bureaucrats of the EU elite stand for, they have divided Europe, not united it, and will eventually seek to erase what is left of regional languages, such as Irish and Basque, perhaps most languages in favour of a “lingua franca” eventually. They want to build an “EU army”, they want to pave the way for a “United States of Europe” that will remove any real regional culture or diversity.

So what use does Pan-Europeanism have in these dark times? Is “nationalism” worth saving? What is our real identity, what is most logical and productive, more unifying?

The reality is all modern nationalism has roots in divisive 19th century nationalism and artificially constructed national identities that mostly consist of art, clothing, musical instruments etc. borrowed from other countries. It is rooted in meaningless Christian nationalism – the notion of which is a glaring contradiction in itself, as the Bible’s stance on distinct nations (most nations that is…) as opposed to a united globalist “nation “of God is pretty clear.

Even when we try to rescue it and guide it in an “ethno-nationalist” direction with pagan leanings, it’s still rooted in this outdated, 19th century “patriotic” mentality. It is still divisive, and it hinders us.

There is of course the debate about what parts of Europe, even if we accept them as European, are just “too different”, with distinctions here being commonly made between North and South.  There is this idea still that there are distinct “phenotypes” even, and European “sub-races” that must be preserved.

Is it really that simple, however?

I will share my personal experience with an “identity crisis” of sorts; I embraced paganism in my mid-teens, having been deprived of any history lessons in school relating to Saxons or Vikings, listening to black metal and folk metal and reading the articles by Varg Vikernes immediately awakened something. I knew it was something real, something instinctive, something heartfelt – I knew this attachment to Norse history meant something, I began to understand it as an ancestral homeland. I also began to feel the same way about Germany to a degree, having some German ancestry.

I kept this identity in mind, and kept returning to it, this “Nordic” identity. I was perhaps less concerned with Anglo-Saxon heritage for quite a long time, perhaps because the myths  and folk tales were more fragmented and less conveniently packaged than those in the Eddas, or perhaps for no reason other than “they were converted to Christianity first, so they are less interesting”…

More importantly, however, for many years, though not disliking or disowning it as such, I simply lacked interest in Celtic identity, Celtic myths, Celtic culture and pride. I just didn’t feel it – because I don’t think I really wanted to. Despite several Celtic ancestors, I simply found it a lot more convenient and more straightforward to identity as “Germanic” and “Nordic”. Perhaps it was anti-English sentiment of modern Celtic nationalism, perhaps I just didn’t like the traditional folk music as much, perhaps I convinced myself the myths would be overly Christianised and not worth bothering with (more on this in a later video), or perhaps it was simply because I haven’t travelled in these places.

I suppose because of a combination of the toxic nature of resentful, divisive anti-English Celtic “nationalism” these days and the acceptance of the genetic makeup of the British Isles, I did eventually overcome this, and saw a need for a common, British identity, the need to embrace a shared heritage and history. Norse myths are important, but they aren’t everything. It is just another European pantheon.

Britain’s “Anglo-Saxon” roots:

30-40% (depending on region)

The traditional narrative states that the Anglo-Saxons essentially committed genocide against the Celts, claiming England as their own. Ælle of Sussex, for example, is said to have brutally massacred the Britons he defeated. Some still support this theory. The revisionist theory argues that Anglo-Saxon England was more of an “apartheid” state, with an elite of Anglo-Saxons ruling over the Briton majority. Both extreme narratives are incorrect, as a recent 2016 study shows. It does not “prove we are Anglo-Saxon”, but it does prove they contributed a significant amount to our ancestry and population.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4735688/

Iceland:

“62% of Icelanders’ matrilineal ancestry derives from Scotland and Ireland (with most of the rest being from Scandinavia), while 75% of their patrilineal ancestry derives from Scandinavia (with most of the rest being from the Irish and British Isles).”

“One study found that the mean Norse ancestry among Iceland’s settlers was 56%, whereas in the current population the figure was 70%.”

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/1028

Celts:
“Sardinian like Neolithic farmers did populate Britain (and all of Northern Europe) during the Neolithic period, however, recent genetics research has claimed that, between 2400BC and 2000BC, over 90% of British DNA was overturned by a North European population of ultimate Russian Steppe origin as part of an ongoing migration process that brought large amounts of Steppe DNA (including the R1b haplogroup) to North and West Europe.”

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/135962v1

Recent studies have also indicated origins in the Ukrainian and Russian steppe of both Germanic and Slavic people. We must understand that Celts are essentially the same people, with the main differences being a language family more closely related to Latin than the Germanic languages and trace Mediterranean ancestry. Origins of proto-Celtic culture place them in central Europe around what is now Austria and Czechia.

Countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and Britain have both Celtic and Germanic ancestry. These were both Celtic and Germanic territories in ancient times. Furthermore, the Viking Slave Trade further dispersed Celtic genes throughout northern Europe.

Do we need to have an “identity” crisis just because we have such a mix of European ancestry? Do we really need to “simplify” things as I once chose to by fixating on one pantheon and identifying as simply “Germanic”, “Norse” or “Celtic”? We are European, we share the same roots, the culture is the same, for the most part the language is at its root the same. We have gone through too much to be divided by stubborn regional pride and nationalism. Accepting a less “homogenous” European ancestry helps us understand other Europeans better.

 

Understanding the Purpose of Paganism

The first of what I intend to be a series of videos on pagan topics:

i am now on twitter: https://twitter.com/Sigebrand

Music by me (done especially for this video). Original art by me.

Disclaimer: yes, I have already spotted the spelling errors in the video, and the editing’s a little rough around the edges, but I just wanted to get this done, I am currently still trying to get a recent PC build functional, so in the meantime I am still making do with my laggy, rather limiting but otherwise somewhat reliable old laptop. Hence the typos. I had to make this video the long way round, and it was too much hassle to go back and edit stuff. I apologise for low-resolution and poor quality for the same reason, but I felt it was passable.

Transcript:

Understanding the Purpose of Paganism

When we call ourselves “pagan”, we must ask ourselves what the purpose of it is, what we are meant to achieve by following paganism, what a “pagan perspective” or “pagan worldview” means. The same applies to any religion, ideology or philosophy.

It is logical to assume that, at some point in time at least, paganism served a practical purpose, that it was supposed to be useful and applicable in everyday life, as well as providing at least some answers to life’s biggest questions.

What purposes did it have? What were the biggest concerns in everyday life? What gave life meaning to pagans? What did pagans think life ultimately led to? These are questions we must answer in order to ascertain paganism’s purpose here and now, and to determine the credibility of those claiming to be “pagan”.

One of the greatest everyday concerns, if not the greatest, of our pagan forebears was pregnancy . There is a common fixation dating back to the origins of the wicca movement that fixate on “fertility” symbols. The age-old assertion must be challenged more often – What purpose would “fertility” cults have served in antiquity? Would our ancient pagan ancestors, especially in physically fitter and healthier nomadic communities, have struggled to conceive? Was simply becoming pregnant really of greater concern than actually surviving pregnancy?

Pregnancy was considerably more dangerous in ancient times. We must assume that all native cultures had customs and, before civilisation and literacy, oral traditions that taught and preserved the essential medical knowledge needed to minimise casualties of pregnancy as much as possible. This is one purpose, and this is why midwives were so crucial and respected in pagan cultures, and why, as a result, midwives and women in similar roles and of similar social status were so brutally persecuted during the conversions and again during the Witch Hunts. Midwifery was once a core aspect of traditional pagan folk practice and folk medicine.

Where do we look for this preserved knowledge in pagan custom? Where do we find this purpose? We must of course look to the symbols and riddles that any pagan pantheon and the related regional folklore is full of. Many so-called pagans today, and Christian scholars of the past that influence their interpretations, either fail to fully comprehend these symbols and riddles or simply make no effort to whatsoever, preferring instead to take everything at face value, depicting paganism as little more than Judeo-Christianity with more gods, and at best place importance on vaguely defined “nature worship” with no real meaning.

Symbols relating to pregnancy:

The womb – woods, the cave, the tomb, the “afterlife”
The placenta – The world tree, the labyrinth, the gorgon, the chimera, the lion, the horse
The umbilical cord – a unicorn’s horn
The cowl – Phrygian cap, Red Riding Hood
The amniotic sac – snow white

There are many others. Understanding paganism and the symbols in it is about understanding and recognising patterns throughout nature. Though myths are often rooted in these ancient essential meanings that served this purpose, they have other meanings too.

To truly understand paganism is to also understand riddles. Once we draw our attention to these often overlooked symbols and messages, we can use this as a key, with it we can make huge progress in being able to *recognise* riddles when they appear in the myths and fairy tales, even if we don’t understand them fully, by training ourselves to approach the myths in this way (i.e. from a non-Christian perspective).

Some examples of riddles in European and Asian myths relating to pregnancy and rebirth:

Óðinn and Fenris, Oedipus, Amaterasu, Little Red Riding Hood, Perseus and Medusa.

Of course the core aspect of any pagan religion, on a spiritual and metaphysical level as opposed to its aforementioned use in everyday life and medicine, is that of ancestor worship and reincarnation. Once again, many will distort this central aspect of paganism, or in the case of counter-culture, far-left progressives, will reject ancestor worship and its tribalist connotations entirely, choosing empty nature worship instead. The interest, the sentiment and attachment to nature is there, but it misses the point so much that this can barely be considered paganism.

Those who might claim to be conservatives and traditionalists who approach it from a Christian perspective, understand the concept of a god as Abrahamic faiths do, and believe in the afterlife as these faiths do, will likewise tend to overlook this central belief in reincarnation, and reject the fact that the “afterlife”, i.e. the next life, is here in the real world, not in a paradise in the clouds.

I stress this because this brings us back to what the purpose of paganism is, what we can make of the universal belief, and need to believe in reincarnation, and how these symbols and riddles relating to pregnancy are just as important in relation to reincarnation beliefs and practices.

This focus on the “symbolic pregnancies” and rites of passage in relation to reincarnation gives our life, and therefore paganism, meaning and purpose. It gives meaning to a finite and linear lifespan as part of an infinite and cyclical time, and “immortality” in a sense.

Again, we see the importance of recognising patterns – the placenta, the birthday cake, for example, in order to remember who we once were, to solve that riddle. As all pagan religions believe in this, and relate it to such symbols, we can confidently assume that as intelligent lifeforms we have a scientific and biological reason, an instinct, a need to remember and carry on from where we left off.

There are many figures who fail miserably to understand paganism’s real meaning, its real purposes or the significance of its symbols and riddles, and even worse ones who masquerade as pagans but only serve to provide an entirely forgettable, unoriginal entry-level (Christian-influenced) commentary that doesn’t even scratch the surface, and makes no attempt to understand its depth, its science , its philosophy and its purpose. Paganism is a science, arguing that it is doesn’t make anyone an “atheist”, it just means they believe religion exists in the first place to serve a practical purpose, as well as a more spiritual one. These con-artists claiming to be pagan will try hard to lure people away from these truths, and fanatically attack those who guide people toward these truths.

Some friendly advice for the pseud-Pagans and crypto-Christians:

– Take a look in the mirror, and spend some time asking yourself if you are a trustworthy, honest or in any way good-natured person, if you embody any pagan values whatsoever. If not, you can’t claim to be a pagan.
– Ask yourself if you address any of the central concepts, such as ancestor worship, reincarnation, pregnancy (real and symbolic) and tribal ancestors. If not, you can’t claim to be a pagan.
– Consider writing some proper books of your own, instead of begging for handouts on Pateon and exploiting our cultural heritage to sell mass-produced merchandise. Then you might be less jealous of and hateful towards real pagans who do publish their own books.
– Having a degree doesn’t automatically make you more intelligent. Many of the most intelligent and most credible pagan writers don’t have them. You can’t buy intelligence, you either have it or you don’t. Your class and privileged background are irrelevant.
– Ask yourself if you should really be surprised, outraged even, by sceptics who don’t find your claims to be “pagan” particularly convincing nor your commentary remotely insightful, when you routinely crusade against “heretics” and “evil”, and call people “atheists” for disagreeing with you and tell them that their “souls will suffer”. if you want people to believe you are pagan and are teaching them about paganism, at least try to talk like a pagan, and treat people as a respectful, pagan European would. It’s undignified, and just embarrassing.

Finally, a shout out to the real pagans – good-natured, honest, honourable and insightful people, who have been spreading the truth and educating us for some time now, and inspired me to finally start making some videos of my own:

Varg Vikernes/Thulean Perspective
Stefan Cvetkovic/the World tree
Odelsarven
The Swaying One
Celtiberian Moon
Apollonian Germ
Unlockthepower
among others…

And last, but by no means least: Marie Cachet, for her groundbreaking book. Fellow readers will no doubt recognise her theories and conclusions in my video, and I give credit where it’s due. Like you, Varg and other credible pagans, I have learned a lot from classic writers such as James Frazer, Julius Evola as well as the classical philosophers, but your book is brilliant as a “key” in recognising these symbols and riddles, countless “eureka” moments were triggered by this book when revisiting myths. Your work will no doubt be remembered and cherished for many years to come by those who seek to genuinely understand paganism.

I am currently carrying out my own study on the Celtic myths and folk tales, those of the British Isles especially, with in mind to publish a book of my own at some point with room for similar comparative religion analysis. I am writing it as I go, and will keep people updated.

In the meantime, I will try to make more videos like this, perhaps some topic relating to my current study…