Regarding Loki, Part 5: Uncomfortable Truths

It’s taken a long time for me to return to Loki…

Some of it has been due to some other matters on my plate, but by and large?  What else can I say?  How can I say it?  At this point, people who have made strong opinion on this matter aren’t willing to be wrong.  Loki is their Satan, because that’s what they want him to be.  I almost shelved the series indefinitely, until I recalled one of Loki’s greatest tools.

The uncomfortable truth.

So let’s take a quick look at some of percieved truths of Loki’s detractors, and see what they really look like when you stop for a second and read between the lines.

220px-Snorre_Sturluson-Christian_KrohgWhat seems to be agreed upon: Snorri Sturluson’s recounting of our myths and legends shows that Loki is an enemy of the Gods.
The uncomfortable truth: Snorri Sturluson also suggested that they weren’t gods, but mortal men who people thought of as gods.  Also, that they were from Asia.  Lastly, he makes such a sorry  example for a Faux-Heathen Moses, the only way he could have been worse is to have also been elected the Pope.

Snorri Sturluson was not the last great Heathen skald, who wrote down the legacies of his ancestors in some final tribute to them.  The Prose Edda is not a literary time capsule, containing the carefully coded secrets of our ancestors.  He was not a holy man, and his life doesn’t portray him as such.  He was a politician who also knew a great deal about history as written by the Christian scholars who transcribed it.  He we famous in his time as a poet and statesman, and that’s about it.

If you were nice, you’d call him clever and intelligent.  If you were not nice, you’d call him an opportunistic coward.  Seriously, the man left his cousin on the field of battle due to a disagreement over chain of command.  For someone that they treated as the writer of scripture, the man is a pretty piss poor role model.  There is some evidence that he couldn’t read the runes, which makes his status as some unquestionable authority even more laughable.  For the sake of the Gods, he isn’t even our faith!  He is no different than any other Christian historian!  Some of you go on and on about the evils of Christianity, and you take your dogma strait from a Christian scholar.  It boggles the mind.

This isn’t to say that Sturluson is completely worthless, or even a bad person.  He is, however, not the prophet of the Odin or the writer of the Heathen bible.  We are not  a revealed religion, and we do not have any reason to interpret the lore in a “solo scriptorium” sort of way.  Even if our ancestors did have such a holy text, all we have is material scribed by a completely different faith that had no interest  in turning our sagas and legends into anything but metaphors for their own faith.

What seems to be agreed upon: There is very little evidence of any sort of religious practice that surrounded Loki.
The Uncomfortable Truth: There isn’t a whole lot of evidence for religious practice, period.  Many modern scholars don’t take the reconstruction effort surrounding the Norse pantheon seriously simply because so little has survived.  We could be missing entire Deities from the Norse pantheon, and we wouldn’t even know it.

Every ancient text that you have read has been translated and/or transcribed by Christian scholars.  Nothing written in any Saga or in any chapter of the Poetic Edda was recorded by someone who was a worshiper of our Gods.  Even if they had been, it’s almost moot; our religion is not a revealed religion.  There is no evidence that suggests that the Hammer Hollowing is anything but a modern invention, given to us by the Wiccan faith.  Does anyone have that big of an issue with it?  Does anyone storm out of sumble over it?

No, of course they don’t.  Our religion is a living, breathing thing.  If you want a holy, immutable texts…convert to a religion that has some.  Our religion, by necessity, is made up of our best guesses and efforts to honor our Gods.  If someone’s best guesses and efforts offend you, than that speaks volumes about the character of your person.

ISR_LokiWhat seems to be agreed upon: That Loki worship is abhorrent to true Heathenry and/or Asatru.
The Uncomfortable Truth: If you actually say this out loud and mean it, you are showcasing you’re own warped priorities.

We can talk about the roots of Heathenry at length.  That doesn’t change that the Heathenry faith is, in most cases, a young religion.  It has roots that extended to more venerable practices, and a few of us even have traces of this via there own family traditions.  Even those few of us who were brought up with a portion of spiritual heritage, however, will confess that much of our older lore has been lost.  Our religion is tiny and young, and every issue that gains our collective consideration needs to be of the utmost importance.

So why is there any sort of back and forth on Loki?

Take a priority check here, folks.  The path of our ancestors is under assault by racists.  There are very few worship spaces worldwide, meaning the majority of us will never have the opportunity to see the inside of a Hof.  Our most public figures are the ones that  media can connect back to crimes and scandals.  Our national organizations are split over politics, infighting, and hubris.

These are all important issues.  Whether someone chooses to worship or pray to a God you don’t like is not.

You know who else castigates people who their own personal interpretation on religion?  Mainstream Christianity…which a greater majority of us left because we were tired of seeing this sort of stupidity.  If you denounce Loki’s worship and disregard frith and common sense in the process, you are now performing the exact same fundamentalist foolishness that you tried to get away from.

What is agreed upon: Loki is of Frost Giants lineage, thus he must be the enemy.
The Uncomfortable Truth: Take this to it’s logical conclusion, and than every single god of the Norse pantheon is the enemy of the Norse pantheon.  This includes, but is not  limited to, Thor, Odin, Tyr, and Baldr.

That is, of course, as long as you actually consider them Gods…and not just a few Asian warlords that our ancestors were duped into believing were Gods, as Snorri depicted.  If you do consider them divine, however, almost every single divine being we have any history was born of Jotuns.

Of course, this is also a symptom of an even more bizarre problem.  Are we going to demand our Gods march in for a background check before we worship them?  Are we so fucking stupid that divine genetics is actually some sort of valid theological consideration?  That we would think less of someone or malign them by virtue of them worshiping a genetically undesirable God?  This is madness, and yet it’s only a stone’s throw away from where some of this discourse takes place.

DFRG_LokiWhat is agreed upon: Those who worship Loki are liars.
The Uncomfortable Truth: The only way you can effectively demonize His worship is by lying to yourself.

There are better, more historically accurate arguments than I could ever voice that defend the worship of Loki.  They consist of historical scholarship provided by people who have done their homework, researched the subject in other languages, and actually done something more than read the Prose Edda and call it a day.  I’ve seen people bring these intelligent, well researched counter arguments to the table.

They are either ignored or told that they don’t count.  They are told, in a condescending way, to go back and study the words of 12th century Christian historian if they want to see what a “real Heathen believes”.

One of these people is lying to themselves.

There is a Heathen couple that I consider very close friends.  Our families hang out as often as our busy schedules will allow for, and I count them amongst my innangard.  They do not worship Loki.  They know I do.  That is the beginning and ending of it.  We respect each others differences, because we respect each other.  It’s that simple.  Hell, they belong to the AFA…and I’ve had a few unkind words to say in regards to that organization.  I do not make the mistake of judging them as if they were the AFA, and they do not make the mistake of presuming that I speak for every person who venerates Loki.

I judge them as I judge all people; by their deeds, not by their religious convictions.  I presume the first will end up speaking for the second.

Author’s Note: This article is intended to address only those people who see Loki’s worship as a problem within Heathenry.  If you, personally, choose not to hail the Trickster within  your own home or events?  I have no issue with you; I may or may not disagree with your reasons, but it’s not my choice to make.  There are others out there who think they have some right to approve or disapprove of someone’s religious beliefs.  It is to these people alone that I address the above points.


Heathen Ethics, Part 4: Social Consequence

Oh god....who put Vril in my Legos?

Oh Gods….who put Vril in my Legos?

I have had this article in the making for years now, though I only committed to writing it very recently.  Finding the right words to express my feelings was incredibly difficult, and it took an even longer time to figure out what my feelings even were in the first place.

Disagreements and conflict are inevitable in any religion, and Heathenry is no exception.  Sometimes, these catalytic offenses are some sort of unacceptable behavior or action.  At other times, the issue is that someone had the shamelessness to call someone else Heathen when that person has the lack of respect to have melanin in their skin. *  Regardless of how reasonable or idiotic the issues are, it seems that most people believe that the go to reaction is to pronounce some sort of social boycott.  The lengths to which this boycott should go vary greatly between groups, but it is typically as the defining method by which Heathens seem to enforce social consequence.

It’s also bloody fucking stupid. **

The Heathen faith is small; tiny, honestly.  We are also a religion with a certain amount of attachment to social structure.  This leads to tightly-knit, and heavily inter woven group of people.  Simply put, any sort of shunning of any sort throws this dynamic into chaos and damages everyone involved.  I have seen three different arguments occur that I would classify as major enough to warrant discussion.  In two of them, I was a close observer.  One of them I was an unfortunate participant.

In the two cases that didn’t involve my person, I saw a variety of ‘consequences’ enacted by one side against the other.  In both cases I saw more damage come from this social boycott than I ever saw come from the catalyst itself, and befell the observers just as much as it did the “guilty” .  People weren’t able to invite both parties to the same event without causing more drama.  These actions brought third parties into an argument  that they did not belong in, and that they didn’t want to be a part of.

Our entire community weakened, and for what?  So an individual or small group could feel better about themselves.  Madness.  I am to understand that there are people that mock “Internet Heathenry”, saying that online interactions could never carry the weight of real life actions.  Anyone who says this with room for exceptions or irony really ought to get out more; things look pretty similar to me.

If you are willing to weaken the entire strength of a community for the sake of your own ego?  You shouldn’t belong to a community.  You can be Heathen, Asatru, or whatever; these aren’t terms that any one person gets to bestow upon or remove from another person.  A community, however, requires a certain amount of sacrifice for the greater good.  We are part of a proud faith, that champions accomplishment…but without some consideration for our brothers and sisters?  There is no community.  As soon as your pampered little ego matters more than the greater good?  You disrespect every Heathen you know, and every Heathen they know in turn.

My falling out with a friend was bitter, harsh, and filled with unkind words.  It is highly probably that the two of us will never speak again on friendly terms, if we ever speak to each other at all.  Yet, I still speak to this person’s husband.  We speak often, and we speak freely.  Our respective families don’t attend the same social gatherings by coincidence, not be prearrangement.  If we were to attend the same function, I can honestly say I expect that we’d both put on our big boy pants, and act like civilized adults.

Religious Peace

If these two can get along on my tumblr, what’s your excuse?

There is no use for a social boycott here; all it would do is drag our mutual friends into the crossfire and show both of both as petty and foolish.  Those who are my friends aren’t thought of as lesser or disloyal for sharing frith with her, and I am to understand the same basic courtesy is extended in return.  We can’t stand each other, but that is both where it begins and ends; our disagreement is not something that community as a whole needs to be involved with.  In does not even so much as extended to our spouses.  That is a good and noble thing, and that is how it should work.

The only difference between our argument and those I have seen?  Neither person forced everyone to choose a side.  Both of us, individually, decided that our egos were less important than our friends and our faith.  I am angry at my former friend.  I am hurt beyond words, and it took me months to get to a point where I could refer to her in anything but anger.  I’ll say this, however; in one action, she showed more frith and concern for consequence than I’ve seen displayed by entire kindreds. **

I’m not saying there is no reason to shun someone; if someone tried to assault my wife and/or stepdaughter, steal from us on a scale that prevents us from feeding ourselves, or something similar?  Yes, they’re getting shunned…and than I’m calling the authorities.  However, I am firmly of the opinion that a majority of such social boycotts are idiotic, ego feeding power trips, designed only to heighten one person’s perception of their own awesomeness.

If you couldn’t file a police report about it?  Chances are you are being a cry baby, and you need to get over yourself.

Author’s Notes
* This is sarcasm.
** This is not sarcasm.

Ethereal Edition: Thoughts of the Moment

GeboThough I May Forget,
Even When Candles Are Dark
I Am Remembered

Tonight, oh Gods, may You hear my prayer,

No matter what I might say in acts of your worship,
No matter what I do in your name,
No matter what I may create in your glory.

Please make sure that,
While along this road,
I have not forgotten You in the process.

Hail the Gods!

loki2Darkness Falls. Eyes Fail.
Shadows Forget My Pathway
I am lost again.

Yet, The Road Is Clear
Rune Father And  Frith Mother.
Cloud’s Spear.  Trickster’s Laughter.

Fools Often Forget.
As Long as The Oil Is Faith,
The Lantern Is Bright.

The Myth of Scarcity, in religion

A wonderful piece, that gave me so much to think on!

Jolene Dawe

There have been a few things I’ve had the luck to overhear, in the last week or more, which have touched me profoundly. Those messages, those omens and signs that you get when you aren’t really looking for them, the encouragement that tells you you are on the right path. It’s happened while I’ve struggled. As I’ve written about before, something changed within my heart, in the beginning of June. It was, I think, an epiphany, and it was beautiful. I can only say that, immediately after, my being was saturated with grace that was not my own. It was humbling. It is still humbling.

I came out of the holy week of observance for Poseidon Taureos, and immediately begin to revert to old ways of thinking, feeling, being. I’ve caught myself. Contemplation and reflection really are crucial tools for me, for mindfulness, and it’s no longer enough to set…

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How I Write

At the present moment, I am a full-time writer.  This is about as glamorous as it sounds, as long as you have a realistic perception of how writing works.  I think for about four to six weeks in I’m not doing to bad.  I will say that I’m hitting a good clip and getting a bit faster at how I produce work every day.  Also my profreading had gotten much betters.

Since it’s so hot that I can barely think about serious stuff, I thought it would be fun to reveal my work flow.

1ComputerRoom) Get to the Computer: This isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Between a recent bought of insomnia, an intense heat wave, and sleep apnea?  Getting to sleep is obnoxious and difficult.  Once I get there, I’m reluctant to leave for anything short of the demands of divinity.  I consider my family a divine gift, so that works in a pinch.  I drag myself up stairs, plop into my office chair, and than stare a my screen for a little.

coffee22) gnrf…prshh….Coffee:  After I look at my computer screen for a few a few minutes, I realize that it’s not on.  I fix that minor detail and than opt to go make a cup of coffee for myself, and than drink the damn thing.  I have a pod coffee machine, and I finally got my hands on those little reusable pod filters.  As such, I have access to freshly brewed and portioned coffee within two minutes of the time that I want it.  While this has done wonders for my productivity and my future kidney stones, I can’t imagine it’s been doing many amazing things for my health.  At the same time, I think a lack of coffee would do far worse things and I’m willing to work with the devil I know over the devil that will repeatedly kick me in the balls..

nerdrage3) Look at Stuff on the Interent Until I’m Pissed Off: I’ve begun to realize that this is actually an important step.  Between Uwe Boll, Nazis, politics, and just the stupid shit that ends up going on in my personal circles?  It gets me good and pissed off, which ignites my passions as well as gets my blood pressure moving a bit.  Oh, and the excitement gets the caffeine pumping through my system a bit quicker.  Anger is my nitro.

working4) Get Work: Once I have the ability to communicate in a rational way with people, I start looking for work.  I have accounts on oDesk and iWritter, but I’ve been doing better with other freelancers I’ve been catching overflow from.  I realize that this is probably a non-standard experience, but the rates are modestly better through the two other freelance writers, and the turnaround has been much more regular.  In either case, if either of my contacts are dry I start look through oDesk and iWritter for something that will pay.  Other a four day stretch last week, I’ve been in the clear in that regard.  I try and stay away from topics that piss me too much, and I’ve been modestly successful in this regard.

research5) Research and Writing: I start researching whatever the hell my subject is.  Subjects range wildly from gynecological issues, to inspirational speeches, to talking about insurance for geezers in other countries.  The subjects range from damned obnoxious to particularly illuminating.  When my wife was recently suffering from pregnancy related pain, I was able to inform her that the pain she was suffering from was called “round ligament pain”.  I couldn’t do anything about it mind you, but I knew what it was called and that made me happy.  Sometimes I write as I research, and other times I alternate between researching huge chunks than writing huge chunks.  Depends on the topic, and how obnoxious it is.

2007_7young-frankenstein6) Goofing Off and Personal projects: This is where I try and master the ADHD that I have, rather than letting it master me!  I goof off on youtube, keep up with facebook feeds, and otherwise just sort of unwind.  This is where I’m kind of riffing, and waiting for something to come to me on a particular project.  Some of the stuff I write is pretty bizarre or awkward, so this period of doing random bullshit pretty much refuels me so I can slog through telling people why they should have volcano insurance in Hawaii.  This is also where I’ll put in some time on my blog, or start with some work towards writing a book of my own.  If my wife or daughter check in on me, it is invariably at this phase.  I have horrible luck in this regard.

process7) Repeat steps 2, 3,  5, and 6 in any order, as needed.  Do this until you can go to step 8: So basically, I just meander around, getting pissed, drinking coffee, researching the articles, writing the articles, and looking up stupid shit on the internet.  There are also situations where I make my daughter’s snacks, help my wife with something, or answer the phone and have to answer seventeen random questions from my mother.  Seriously, the randomness cannot be overstated.  It’ll be anything from a query about my phone bill, to a question on what game they were talking about on “Big Bang Theory”.  Anything is fair game.

Final_Fantasy_3_-_SNES_-_Victory8) Finish an article, and do something around the house: I finish an article, submit it to whomever wanted me to do the darn thing, and than I go find something to do around the house.  Often times, this laborious chore is “make myself coffee, so no one gets hurt”.  Other times, it’s taking out the trash or getting some dishes into the dish washer.  Normally, this is the claimed providence of my wife.  Normally, however, she’s not pregnant and it’s not one-hundred degrees outside.  As such, she pretty much hides near the only air conditioner in the house.  Her reason?  She’d prefer not to vomit on all of our physical possessions.  It’s a pretty sound reasoning.

process 29) Return to step 7 until Step 10 occurs:  This process continues for a while.  I’ll grab a new article, get into an argument with someone on facebook, research the bond markets of Taiwan, write about the bond market of Taiwan, and than check and see if anyone posted anything on youtube….until…

gauntlet10) Forget to eat for five hours, and only realize that I did that once I get stupid hungry: When I say stupid hungry?  I mean that I’m so hungry that I become extreme stupid.  I’ll be writing, looking at lolcats, or researching something…and all of a sudden, my body informs me that I’ve been running on vapors for the last two hours.  Reading because difficult, and writing anything other phpduasd just ain’t happening.  This is where I stagger into the kitchen, and make food for myself if I remember how.  Usually, this is something in either the “sandwich” or “ramen” category.  Occasionally, however, I get a little fancy and make myself a quesadilla of some sort.

Flintstones11) Do the various process listed below until I’m satisfied with my work load for the day: I work until I get the goal I had set for the day done.  The last few days, this has been four articles.  I would like to hit six or more but it’s writing about unfamiliar subjects isn’t as easy as you may think.  Furthermore, it’s as hot as a fire giant’s nutsack and that’s the sort of thing that can deeply damage productivity.  At this point, I go between working on private projects and trying to go to sleep

Heathen Ethics, Part 3: OMG, 411 4 AFA’s NNV OMG WTF BBQ LOL

ethicAs I was writing about the Odinic Rite’s Nine Noble Virtues, it became clear that I really should take a moment to talk about the Asatru Folk Assembly’s version as well.  After all, they’re worded much differently so they require their own analysis.  After careful consideration of them, the depressing truth is that they’re good enough to reveal how truly good they could have been had they been crafted with more forethought.

In my opinion, an ethical code needs to have an eternal truth it grabs a hold of and lays bare for the world.  This eternal truth can be very broad or very specific, but it needs to be there.  Further, it also must be firm enough to offer a measure of guidance, yet flexible enough to be applicable to just about any circumstance.  There will be questions that a code can’t directly answer, and that’s okay; it’s supposed to be a filter to view the world though as opposed to a sheet of instructions.  Using your own heart and mind to interpret things isn’t just desired, but necessary.

The OR’s NNV fail because they’re very narrow, internally redundant, and crafted to serve numerology over ethical introspection.  The AFA’s, by contrast, is a handful of amazing ideas surrounded by the blatantly obvious.  I get that their virtues are set up to provide a binary comparison to prove which quality you should most actively bring into your life…but at the same time, most of these comparisons are stupidly obvious.

wonka honorLook, I get it; honor is better than dishonor.  The problem is that I understood that before I read the AFA’s ethical code, and even before I was Heathen.  I understood this the moment I knew the definitions of both words, and I suspect I am no savant in this respect.  Of the nine virtues they have, six of them aren’t outlining anything that will change how people see the world; do you have to point out that freedom is better than slavery?  I mean, unless you are into that sort of thing of course.  One way or the other, I don’t think Stephen McNallen is weighing in on bedroom practices.

Strength is better than weakness.  Courage is better than cowardice.  Honor is better than dishonor.  Kinship is better than alienation.  Vigor is better than lifelessness.  Yes, being alive and moving around is better than being stagnant and decaying; glad we cleared up the confusion.  This isn’t philosophy, ethics, or anything very deep; it’s portraying two extremes as the only options that exist, and than pretending that this was some sort of difficult question.

A good one, by contrast, is “Joy is better than guilt”.  If this was another pandering paradigm, the other word would have been “sorrow” or “sadness”.   The choice of guilt provides us with something to think on and consider.  It’s better to be happy than to obsess over your wrong doing.  It’s a denouncement of the theory of living in sin.  It can suggest optimism, living with agency, or treating each moment as if it were your last.  It can mean all of these things or none of them, providing a virtue that opens itself to the consideration of the one that follows it.  I’m a little annoyed that it’s wording suggests that it’s talking more about theological based guilt possessed by  from Christianity, because guilt wouldn’t be much of a consideration otherwise.  It’s still going in the right direction, however.

The best of the bunch, to my mind, is “Realism is Better Than Dogma”.  It’s probably the only one of the virtues that I can appreciate without conditions, because it balances two things that can both be considered valuable in the right circumstances.   You can use tradition and scripture…but all things being equal, chose the most pragmatic option.  See, this does something that six out of nine virtues don’t; it prompts interpretation for the sake of our faith alone.  The value of real world needs against the value of traditions for the sake of respect comes up frequently in Heathen discourse.

Too bad they spoil it with “Ancestry is Better Universalism”.

Well, perhaps spoil is the wrong word.  I feel like it’s more of a subtle slap in the face to Paganism in general (and perhaps the Troth is particular), but this virtue still has a lot it can say.  Considering that it’s being said by the AFA, however, I just don’t understand how it’s choosing to say it.  In moderation, it’s brilliant; contrasting it with “Realism is Better Than Dogmatism” provides a very no nonsense rule of thumb; don’t do something just for the sake of tradition, but don’t forget that the traditions of your family made who you are.  That can be powerful, meaningful, and deeply spiritual if you allow it to be.

The problem come in when you take it at a greater whole.  This is the same AFA that turns a blink eye towards white supremacists amongst it’s ranks.  This is the same AFA whose members have had issues with people of other races professing to be Heathen.  This is a group with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to racially based hatred, and it makes their ethical code weak as a result.  Is the AFA calling out universalism because they truly feel that disregarding the ways of your ancestors is cause for concern, or is it because many of these theological concepts come from non-Aryan people?

Indigo FolkishOf the nine virtues, six are functionally useless.  The three that are good are very good, but their message is diluted by principles that don’t have the same strength.  Their function is rendered moot when compared to the organizational politics of the AFA.    When I dug deeper, I found amazing things…but considering the source, I couldn’t blame anyone who refrained from doing that digging.  I look at what many AFA members choose to stand for, and it makes it hard to view the group as anything but racists with fears of the stereotype.

I had been ready to pretty much call it meaningless.  Truth be told, I wish I still viewed in that manner.  I preferred viewing it as a useless pile of pandering dross, over something beautiful ruined by pandering dross and bigots.  The foremost I can mock and have a good time of doing, where the later just makes me feel frustrated and depressed.

So where do we go from here?  Is it wrong to try and have something like the Nine Noble Virtues, or have we just gone about things the wrong way?  There is still the six fold goal to consider, or is it just another list of words?  Next time, we continue to look into how Heathen ethical codes can operate.

Author’s Note: I am well aware that one can be a member of the Asatru Folk Assembly and not be racially motivated bigot.  I am not portraying all members of that organization in the light.  I have heard that the leadership of the AFA combats racial problem when they see them.  Regardless of what their intent is, however, it doesn’t change the prevalence of circumstances that seem to arise from that group.  “We are our deeds”, after all.  I view the organization as having a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in regards to racism. 

Heathen Ethics, Part 2: Racism and Heathen Taqiyya

crazy-old-man-in-a-viking-helmet-thumb5318655We interrupt this discussion on the Nine Noble Virtues to talk about Taqiyya, and the Heathens that practice it.

Allow me to clarify.

The word Taqiyya comes to us from Shi’a Islam.  The short version is that it is the practice of a Muslim lying about his/her religious beliefs when the truth about them would endanger their life and/or property.  It allowed them to have a theologically clean conscious if they needed to perform blasphemous acts in order to save their lives.  They could lie, eat pork, and drink wine without issue if it allowed them to survive.

I did not find this word by my own research.  I found this word when a Heathen elder of my acquaintance posted it, along side some hate speech.  To their mind, Taqiyya was the Muslim practice of lying to people to convert them to Muslim beliefs.  I do realize that there are two sides to every story…but when one side is a calmly worded wikipedia article and the other is a bunch of openly bigoted “tea party patriots” spouting hate speech, I know which side of the argument looks rational and which one does not.

So if that is Islamic Taqiyya, what is the Heathen version?  Well, simply put, it’s when a Heathen pretends that they’re not racist, bigoted, or prejudicial by finding weak words and muddy philosophical concepts to cloud the discussion.   They’re not bigoted, you see, they’re “against universalism”.  They’re not racists, they’re “encouraging others to find their own, native, folkways”.   They’re not hatemongers, they just “don’t want multiculturalism diluting the sacred traditions of their ancestors”.  Don’t be fooled; it’s all smoke and mirrors.  This propaganda is a greater act of  dissimulation than the true definition of Taqiyya ever was or could be. 

Doesn’t this neatly come back to the Nine Noble Virtues?  The Odinic Rite calls “truth” and “fidelity” virtues.  The Asatru Folk Assembly says that honor is better than dishonor and that courage is better than cowardice.  Both of these organizations have the highest number of incidents with racism, but no one actually is willing to say racist.  No, they’re just trying to keep a “pure tradition”.  Ask about the impurities they’re worried about, and they either change the subject or move directly into bigoted turns of phrase.

If you hold bigoted, racist, hate-mongering opinions or views, you’re allowed to have those.  I don’t like them, and chances are I won’t like you for having them, but I have no power to strip your opinions from you.  When you lie about those beliefs, you are telling me that you know that they’re just petty hatred and that you don’t want to admit it.  You’re showing the world you are a spineless coward, afraid of your convictions but too weak-willed to change them.  When you lie about these beliefs, you contradict everything you have said or will ever say.  There is no consequence for your life or property here;  there is no wide reaching, cultural reason for a Heathen to lie in order to save their life and/or possessions within the United States.  No one is going stone you for being a petty little twit and dropping racial slurs; we’re just not going to like you very much.

That’s the only consequence; other people’s opinions.  You don’t want those consequences though, so you pussy foot around the topic instead of facing it with dignity.  This is the worst oath breaking that exists, for it is the sunder of honesty with the one person all men and women should be sworn to be honest to; themselves.

To any Muslims who read this, I am not attempting to provide insult against you or your faith.  I saw one of my own faith manipulate the terms of yours in order to confirm their own biases and hatreds.  When I call it “Heathen Taqiyya”, I do not seek to mock you; I seek to hold liars to account, and than assign them the straw-man of their own creation.  They have created lies in the shape that they believe you to be, not realizing that they they were looking at their own reflection.

To any Folkish Heathens who read this, I have nothing against those with ancestral pride.  My issue today is strictly with those who allow the pride to sour into hateful bile for others, and that have neither the strength or will to be honest about their beliefs.  I have issues with hypocrisy of demanding honesty from everyone themselves.  I have an issue with people ignore frith and hospitality for convenience, rather than actually have the strength to practice their religion when it works against their biases.

If you want to be racist, I can’t stop you.  If you want to lie about being racist, than you are admitting to yourself that you afraid of the consequences of honesty.   I can’t stop you, but I sure as hell don’t consider you a Heathen.