My Own Worst Enemy

Have I shared this one before?  I can’t recall.

Yilmaz, who may just be one of my favorite creative personalities on YouTube, went on to create another piece of work that covered creative crises.  The two sort of form up a personal form of first aid for writer’s block. The funny thing was that while I remembered the first video, I forgot a few lines from the second video until I just watched it a few moments ago, and I think I found some of the problem.

Rewind back a few years for a moment.

I was just over here, minding my own business, writing a bunch of stuff that very few people paid any attention to.  I was writing particularly poor work whenever I had the time, and I wasn’t really worried about much more then just having a self-important outlet.  Then I wrote somethings about Loki, gathered an actual readership beyond my wife and three friends, and that was awesome.  I started paying more attention to what I wrote, how I wrote, and what those words meant to me in the first damn place.  This was a very good thing because, prior to this, I wanted to be a writer but strongly suspected I didn’t have the ability to be recognized as one.  I just wrote a bunch of pretentious garbage on whatever the blog du jour was, and basically stroked the hell out of my own ego constantly.  I needed a good kick in the ass to remind myself that my writing was only going to be worth a damn when I made it worth a damn.

So I had some readers, and I had a new sense of purpose and intellectual ethic…but I also found myself getting more and more conflicted and anxious about writing.  The Loki debate, while somewhat eternal, is pretty damn easy to talk about; it’s not difficult to debunk most of the “con” arguments, the people against Loki’s veneration have nothing really invested in their viewpoint other then some idiotic desire to police the spirituality of others, and the entire debate itself is just a bad joke and I suspect it will always remain one.  So when I delivered the punchline to the appreciation of some, it felt like I had found my niche as a writer; break down various stalemated arguments with a bit of wit.

The problem is that the Loki arguement is very simple; we can talk all day about which scholar said what about Loki…but at the end of the day there is no Asapope, and all of those arguments are just pissing contests, and no one from any national organization has the authority or the right to say differently.  Anyone telling you differently is just trying to sell you something.

Every other issue in Heathenry is vastly more complicated, and as they conversations around American  Heathenry turn more and more towards our nation’s history of prejudice, it becomes harder and harder to say anything.  Not for lack of certainty, but for the certainty of dissension.  You see, the way I write some of my work is I look at the argument as objectively as I can, I find where my own philosophy lies, and then I write about that philosophy while keeping in mind of all if it’s weak points.  By addressing those weak points in my own work within the work itself, I give my dissenters less ground.  This is why it took so long to write about Meta-Folkism; there are an infinite number of loops and pitfalls that need to be addressed before you go live with that material.  Being accurate and correct demands a lot of research, and countering your own shortfalls requires exponentially more.  Now imagine trying to breakdown the absolute tangle that is racism in the United States of America, and my problem becomes quite clear.  As the conversation has deepened, so did my work load.  To write material I was satisfied with was taking months and months of just working through all the details, all the while the narrative was continuing and changing the nature of what I wanted to write.

And, also, it was breaking my heart.  There is that too.

I’m well aware of the stereotypes that guide how many Folkish persons view “Heathens United Against Racism” and anyone who thinks like us; that we are a loose confederation of witch hunts, eager to find racism in anything and everything as we giggle to ourselves and while looking to pursue some ineffable high score…when we aren’t each others throats.  The truth is far more somber, of course.  I speak only for myself but I gain no joy from calling people out and, to be quite honest, it makes me pretty nauscious most of the time.  I don’t savor looking at and listening to the ethnic based biled I see on a daily basis.  I don’t savor affixing people with some label of racism.   I’ve spent the last year and a half parsing the sources of Circle Ansuz as I try to discover how accurate their findings are, and I’ve hated every minute of it; I would rather do just about anything else.

The very real truth of it is this work is grating, painful, and heart-wrenching because even at this very meager, shallow water level I’ve seen more amoral, banal hate then I ever wanted to know existed.  Then I see some people defend this very bigoted, very hateful material….defend their ability to be racially excluding for little reason that has anything to do with someone’s UPG….and say that I’m just doing this to harass them.  Or to cause trouble.  Or to attack famous names in Heathenry for giggles.  Trust me folks…there are more enjoyable hobbies out there to pursue.

The only mirth I have when talking about racism is a very dark humor, ripped strait from the gallows.  I’m not here because it’s funny to call people a racist; I’m here because I would think less of myself for backing down because it go to hard to go on.  Because I know that, no matter how much it bothers me,….that it bothers those it targets far worse, and what kind of human being would I be if I turned my back on those so marginalized?  My Grandmother was a women who taught me racism was bullshit despite growing up in a depression era coal town, and my Grandfather help secure a German concentration camp in World War II.  If the actions of my ancestors are supposed to drive my own, how the hell can I back down just because I’m uncomfortable?

So I stick with it.  I’m not going anywhere…but, somewhere in the middle, I ran out of gas and I tried to write material in mind of my audience and my philosophies and…I stopped actually writing from my heart.  Every sentence I wrote was being weighed against all of the other things I should be writing, Every idea I wanted to express was held as better or worse then every other idea, and I got nowhere.  I had completely throttled myself and I was hating every minute.

And….I’m done with that.  This has to end somewhere and it ends here.

I’m going back to writing what I feel is important and just going with that.  Sometimes that’ll be very Heathen.  Sometimes it’ll be philosophical.  Sometimes I’ll be doing a Let’s Play because I’m tired of big important things, and all I want to do is talk random nonsense while playing Skyrim.  I’m not pulling punches, mind you…but I’ve been so worried with saying big important things that I’ve I stopped saying anything at all…and I’m done with that.

many felt unsafe walking alone

Harrison K. Hall:

I did not attend Pantheacon, though not from a lack of desire. It was more of a lack of…being on the West coast with a great excess of money and and time off.

However, many of my friends and peers did go…and I’ve heard some accounts of things that were quite disturbing.

Thanks for shining a light on some of the problematic things that went on there.

Originally posted on The House of Vines:

While a lot of the post-Pantheacon racial discussion has centered on a satirical publication that was distributed over the weekend, I’m glad to see that folks are finally getting around to discussing something of far greater importance that happened – and I don’t mean Sam Webster’s very public meltdown, which is shortly going to have a pretty serious ripple effect if the rumor mill is to be trusted. (As full of delicious schadenfreude as that may be.)

No, what I’m talking about is this:

IMG_06131-300x225

It’s a photo Stephanie Del Kjer (courtesy of Crystal Blanton) took of the honor guard that arranged itself in front of the People of Color hospitality suite.

Attendee Courtney Weber explains why this was deemed necessary:

Several white Pagans shouted “Racist!” at the People of Color Caucus hospitality suite door. Others barged into the suite, wanting confrontation. In the numerous panels on the subject, participants of Color mentioned…

View original 241 more words

A Crisis of Faith and/or Social Justice

i1232986517_1One of the things I’ve had trouble with is deciding upon the tone of my blog. It’s probably been at the center of a lot of my writer’s block, and definitely been a certain creator of stress when it comes to what and how I write.

I care a lot about justice, equality, social responsibility. All the same, that’s not what I started this blog; originally it was just a big mash up of whatever I was thinking about at the time, slowly turning into a collection of worked filled with both my thoughts on spirituality and a lot of spelling errors. I gained a larger readership then I ever expected, which led to a personalized mandate to be worth the time of reading. So every time I end up talking about spirituality less in favor of social justice issues, I’m not completely comfortable with it.

Not, to make myself totally clear, because I’m afraid of the questions such discussions raise. I am no stranger to dialogue based turbulence, and I’m completely comfortable with that familiarity. I have my own personal gnosis regarding uncomfortable truths and how they intersect with veneration of Loki. To that end, letting a question go unresolved because the truth involved might rock a boat borders on sacrilege. Oh there is a time to make the point and a time to lay the groundwork, but just ignoring the situation and hoping it goes away is selfish, stupid, and just plain backwards to me.

I called Meta-genetics a personal gnosis at best because, sacred cow or not, that’s the truth of it; it’s not a science. I will be honest and tell you all that I agonized on how to write that text, but I did it because I was sure that it was important and I was sure that not addressing that problem would burn me far worse. It would bother me worse to just passively sit by while people used the presence of melanin as a way to judge someone’s spirituality. That was a Heathen matter close to my heart. I did it before, I’ll do it again. No shame. No issues.

Where my hesitation comes in is that I’m not certain what to say or do when the issues I see are only tangentially related to modern Heathenry or less. While the people who scornfully respond with “this isn’t a Heathen issue” can really go fornicate with their own dang selves*, I’m also not trying to stuff anything down anyone’s throat. I’m a spiritualist first, and I’ve tried to make my blog a reflection of that. I feel dishonest when I lead with social justice over Heathenry, because that was never my goal.

Let’s also not forget that the social justice community hardly needs another white, heterosexual, cisgendered male to tell people the way things work in this world. I am not ashamed of those aspects, just as I’m not ashamed of being right-handed or a baritone, but there are too many people listening to people like me talking about the inequality suffered by people who are nothing like me. I’d say that I have a knack for expressing social justice issues more often then not, but I prefer coming into help other people express themselves.

I like it when other people get the chance to use their own voice to talk about their problems, while I play goalie for them.

So, if there seems to be a lack of a “social justice content” at any point? That is somewhat purposeful. It does not imply I don’t care, have shifted my focus from that work, or because I’ve had a personal change in priorities. When the subject
is firmly in a Heathen wheelhouse and I feel I have something meaningful to say about it, I’ll say it.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how the founder of the AFA could come out in support of PEGIDA**, and expect to be taken seriously when he gets offended over contentions of racism**.  I am absolutely dumbfounded how the Covenant of the Goddess could take an issue with the phrase “Black Lives Matter”, and not get why that’s insensitive at best and frog-chewing stupidity at the worst***.  They only thing that has kept me from weighing in on that stuff at length has just been my work schedule, parenting, and this nagging feeling that I’m not balancing things properly.

So allow me to throw that last one over board; when I have the time to speak…you’ll hear me.
<HR>
*By the by, any person who has EVER venerated Tyr in a direct fashion and wants to say that over reaches over law enforcement upon any person is not a Heathen issue? That person might want to take some time to make a long term comparison between their ass and a hole in the ground before they pass judgements about what any person declares as a Heathen issue.

**Short Version: When an organization is blaming all of society’s ills on fragments of a single religion, and the founder of that organization cosplays as Hitler as “a joke”?  That’s a problem.  When they have signs at protests that beg Vladamir “Kill the Gays for Being” Putin to “save them”,  that’s another problem.  Comparisons that utilize Nazis are no longer hyperbolic and/or lazy; they’re apt and on point.  You just can’t tell me an organization’s aims are peaceful when their prayers are held at the altars of genocide.

***: Short Version: Yes, all lives are supposed to matter…but when POCs can be shot on flimsy, false, or non-existent pretenses by law enforcement figures who never suffer consequences for their actions?  That’s a problem.  They’re not saying “Black Lives Matter More Than Yours”…they’re saying “Black Lives Matter Just As Much As Yours And It Would Be Nice If American Society Started Acting Like They Got That.”  It’s not complicated.

On a Semi-Hiatus

Let’s cut to brass tack.

I have two kids, a new job that ties up almost all of my time for six days in a row.  Then, I have about seven and a half days to try and catch back up with my real life.  This is in addition to trying to get my credit in line to buy a house.  To the side of that, not to get too personal here, I’m currently in between health insurance providers which has caused some other issues as well.

Long story short…I want to write, but I’m burnt out on real life at the moment and…to be frank?  I’m a little burnt out as a writer as well.  Things have been getting rougher and rougher in the “blogosphere”, and I’ve had a harder and harder time sorting my thoughts on the matter.  So, I’m going to stop pressuring myself to do so and see if that helps the process.

I’m around…just…tending to “Hallheim” if you catch my meaning.  I’ll write when something hit…but for now, I’m working more on my life then on the digital page.

Cerebral Junk Drawer

Okay, so between the new job and a bad throat cold, I haven’t written anything.  So let’s fix that and chat about some stuff.


The new job is going quite well, and is more rewarding that I could have previously guessed.  The joke that I have been telling people is that, in retail and food service, I would wait on hundreds of people and have no idea what their problem is.  Now I work with a half-dozen people who have detailed logs about everything that is wrong with them, and this is a much easier way to go about my day.

That’s the joke I say.  The joke that I often keep to myself is that this is entirely true, and it speaks volumes about what is wrong about a large portion of the public. The joke is that there is no joke, merely a bizarre reality reflected via a fun house mirror.

Asking for “back-up” from Loki, Sigyn, and Eir was probably a wiser idea then I could have ever realized beforehand.  Meditation on them has given me the perspective to solve unusual problems with quick thinking, to show compassion and loyalty to those who have been discarded by society, and reminded me to keep an eye on the well being of the persons who I am helping.  I feel very blessed to have even found this career path in the first placed, and even more blessed that this is how I am able to make a living.


I recently discovered a neo-nazi, white supremacist soap maker.  This struck me as a bit of a bizarre incongruity, but then I recalled that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian painter…so maybe hypocritical surrealism is a Nazi prerequisite.

In either case, it gave me quite a chuckle.

Listen, I can’t make anyone change their philosophies…but when you make vanity products out of tropical fruit your ancestors never even saw, much less used, all the while complaining about “Cultural Marxism”?  You look like an absolute idiot, filling the air with a cloying insincerity and xenophobia. Either that, or you look a hate filled bigot who doesn’t understand how biomes work.

In either case, you’re a tool.


Every now and again, I see someone had something to say about something I’ve written.  It always reaches me third hand, and it’s always off in some corner of the internet that I never go to.  Most recently, someone suggested that my views on racism indicated that I probably had a “pineapple up my ass”.

In case that person is worried, I’ve checked my ass for tropical fruit on multiple occasions since I’ve seen that statement.  Happily, all examinations have come back worry free.  In all seriousness, you don’t have to like what I say.  However, when make little ad hominem quips, you are telling me two things.

1. That you need to talk about my opinions away from where I can meaningful respond to them, or even have a reasonable chance of seeing them because you either are unable to handle either conflict or criticism

2. You have nothing to say that meaningfully impact my statement…otherwise you would have said something useful instead of speculating upon the contents of my anus.

People saying this stuff aren’t worth responding to for the most part; I could seek out these trolls and give them the old semantic one-two punch of logic and critical thinking…or I could have a snack.  Or take a nap.  Or play with my daughters.  Or check for rectal-pineapples again.  Any of these things are more important then trying to explain to some keyboard warrior why they’re completely full of it.

However…if one of those detractors is reading?  I do have one thing to say…..thanks for the views, and come again.  You are one of 16,916 reasons (and counting!) that I write what I do, because without my readership I’d be just someone talking in some forgotten corner of a reddit forum with delusions of relevance.  Thank you for all of your support and encouragement.*


Heathens United Against Racism has taught me a few interesting things about what people.  One such lesson is that some people just want to have a little sticker on their shirt that says “not-racist!”. They don’t want to havve to do or say anything about racism in the process, which I find kind of weird.

Like us or hate us, we’re not being subtle about our purposes.  We are a largely Heathen group, and we try to act in a united fashion.  Accordingly, we are united against the various form of bigotry that exist within our religion and our culture, with racism being a particular point of concern.  It’s not like we named ourselves the Tallahassee Stamp Collecting and Juice Making Association; our name is pretty on point. 

Yet, on an at least weekly basis, someone posts something along the lines of “Well, I’m not a racist…but what are we spending all this time talking about racism?”.

I get that the word “against” has many different facets, but you’d think “talk about and present a stance against” would fit in most people’s day to day understanding of the word.

I know that I probably have some naysayers chuckling at this, but you can’t tell me you wouldn’t find it bizarre in any other context.  Imagine someone walked into a Kentucky Fried Chicken and acted confused that they couldn’t buy orders of string cheese, rice pilaf, and/or sushi.  Oh, they have no PROBLEM with fried chicken of course…but they don’t understand why everyone seems so fixated on it.

It’s hilarious when it’s not absolutely maddening.


On a somewhat related note, I do understand there is a difference between what I have termed Metafolkism and White Supremacy.  If you’ll forgive the subtle pun however, both groups make me equally leary because most of their rhetorical water ends up being drawn from the same well.

When you try to say you are not a hate group, but so much of your material was written by hate groups?  You can’t really get confused when people respond with a lack of good faith.


On the to do list it to write an article about Sumble and having non-Heathens present at the event.

I’ve heard some people make the compairison between Sumble and Communion,  and explain that’s why they think one cannot attend a sumble in a meaningul manner unless one is Heathen themselves, but I think that is missing the point pretty hard.

There is no need for absolution in Heathenry, and our sacredness is not defined by any stance that even feigns recognition of concepts akin to original sin.  Communion is incompareable with Sumble because the rituals embrace radically different conceits.

It’s a more complicated topic then I can go into at the moment, and I need to do some research on Communion, but I’m looking forward to writing it.


The holidays are largely over, I have a decent phone with good internet service, I have a bluetooth keyboard, and life is calming down. Hopefully, this will make it easier for me to write on a regular basis again. Time will tell.


*Sometimes, all you have is your smile and your middle finger

Ethereal Edition: A Prayer for Those Who Care for People on the Fringe

Tomorrow will be my last day of training at my new job, as well as doubling as an orientation for the actual site I’ll be working at.  I’ll be working with adults who grew up with IDDs of various sorts (Intellectual Developmental Disorders), and helping them care for themselves while encouraging them to take an active role in their own well being.  This appeals to me on a number of levels, both personal and spiritual, and I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.

The spiritual parallels should be easy for most to see; worshipers of Loki and Sigyn have often drawn parallels between their deities and people with mental health issues, as well as those who have been marginalized by society.  Those with such disabilities count strongly in both categories.  There are connections
to the medicinal care-taking personified by Eir as well.

What follows is a prayer I wrote for this new job.  This isn’t just a way to make money for my family; this a way to make money for my family while making the world a better place in the same breath.  I want to embrace this new career to it’s fullest, and the guidance of the Gods and the Goddesses would be invaluable.


Fire’s Trickster and Champion of Ingenuity
Victory’s Lady and Suffering’s Mother
Divinity’s Doctor and Council to the Muddled
I ask for your wisdom, your eyes, and your ears.

Today I will go where the sick are plentiful,
Where the pain is palpable,
And their place forgettable.
I will care for those who,
have been tossed to the mire.
Not for crimes,
But for the pain born by them,
Simply from the act of birth.

Maligned for their existing.
Shunned for their nature.

May it be that I can bring laughter to the joyless,
Serenity to the wild-hearted,
And recovery to the incurable.
May your hands and voices be there to guide me,
When a map cannot be found,
And there is no star to direct my way.

Loki, creator of strength within strife.
Sigyn, serenity and compassion within tragedy.
Eir, greatest physician of the Aesir

Please guide me as I go about my day,
And help me see my charges,
Through your eyes,
And know them through your ways.

Hail the Gods and their Allies!
Hail the Ancestors and their Descendants!
Hail the Folk and their Friends!

Soft-Racism, Meta-Folkism, and Heathenry

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Grab a seat folks; this one is NOT a quick read.

Jon Stewart once quipped that “…we have made enormous progress in teaching everyone that racism is bad.  Where we seemed to have dropped the ball is in teaching people what racism is…”.  While Stewart was making light of the news of the day (and a bunch of KKK members who were trying to say they weren’t racist with a strait face), it’s my opinion that he touched on something important; many in society seem to be unable to see what racism actually is, even as they’ll state that they want nothing to do with it.

Which doesn’t work because you can’t denounce that which you cannot identify.  For all of our collective distaste for Klansmen, Neo-Nazis, and vocal bigotry, we seem to have missed the fact that racism is more than such idiocy.    Oh, that idiocy is part of the problem…but they’re only the smallest part.  Vocal, abrasive, and violent, but still relatively few in number.  Today, I’m going to be talking about some of the subtler influences, and why some people object to them as loudly as they do.

If we are going to meaningfully talk about how this problem manifests with the Heathen religion, however, we first need to identify what it is, where it comes from, and how those beliefs are codified.  For the most part, I see the majority of soft-racist ideology being born from a fusion of Folkish philosophy and the theories purposed by Metagenetics as written by Stephen McNallen.*

I am going to state this now so there is no confusion or misunderstanding; I am in no way saying or implying that  everyone who identifies themselves as a “Folkish Heathen” is a racist.  Certainly there are some who fit that description, but words like “Folkish”, “Universalist”, “Tribalist”, and “Lokean” have no firm definition.  When it comes to “Folkish” there is a huge degree of variance; in one conversation it’s used to talk about White supremacy organizations…the next it’ll be used to talk about ancestor worship, regardless of culture.  Now, I will say that the vast majority of people who utilize racist practices also describe themselves as Folkish, which definitely contributes to the confusion here.  So we need to split those who are Folkish and reject a racist interpretation from those who are advocating one if we wish to talk about the issue with clarity.

Where I believe the racist side of Heathenry starts, and perhaps even ends, is with the aforementioned Metagenetics.  The stances that the document contains often form up the back bone of many racialist and segregated stances.  So, for all intents and purposes we have a combination of a fixation upon ancestry, such that it trumps many other spiritual considerations, and the philosophical/theological mandates put forth in Metagenetics.  For simplicity’s sake, I have taken to calling this ideology “Meta-Folkism”.  When I use this term, I am only describing those who both embrace the descriptor of “Folkish” and combine it with the segregated stances which Metagenetics advocates.

So now that we have explained what we are and are not talking about, lets address the potential and obvious elephants in the rooms.  In the process, we’ll uncover a lot of the problems at hand.

How is Meta-Folkism/Metagenetics inherently racist?  Metagenetics says that ethnic religions should only be practiced by people of that ethnicity…so isn’t that just religious equality and cultural awareness?  Wouldn’t the opposite be cultural appropriation, which is bad?

Metagenetics  states “that there are spiritual and metaphysical implications to heredity, and that we [Asatruar] are thus a religion not for all of humanity, but rather one that calls only its own.” and that “[Asatruar] are intimately tied up with the fate of our whole people, for Asatru is an expression of the soul of our race.”  This is the engine of the philosophy, and the entire document is written with the aim of proving these central conceits.  Metagenetics wants very desperately to present itself as a scientific document, and even calls itself out as a type of science.  The problem is that what is expressed within that text doesn’t actually do anything of the sort.

It tries to use  the work three psychologists (Carl Jung, Timothy Leary, and Daniel Freedman), a Danish scientist studying reincarnation (Dr. Ian Stevenson), a Botanist/Parapsychologist (Dr. Joseph Banks Rhine), and a brain specialist (Dr. Jule-Nielson) in order to give the reader proof of it’s validity.  Putting to the side that some of the experts the author references are extremely questionable or represent the fringe of their accepted fields**, we also have a theory concerning genetics that doesn’t contain any reference to the findings of an actual geneticist.  The lack of such a reference or resource is crippling to the legitimacy of a theory which expresses opinions on how genetics and religion interact.; tangentially connected concepts and ideas from disparate fields can not fill in that sort of gap.  This weakness is compounded when you realize that the number of references that remain are few small in number.  You can’t make am compelling case for something like this with five pages, six sources, and a reference to a single myth from one tribe of Aboriginal Americans.

As such, Metagenetics being labeled as a scientific theory is inaccurate.  To be plain about it, it’s nothing more or less than a form of Unverified Personal Gnosis or UPG.  It represents nothing but the writer’s personal theories on the way that genetics and spirituality interact.  It is supported by sources that the writer agrees with, but is not contrasted against any research or studies that threatens its platform.  The document was not subjected to peer review, and doesn’t use research from the realm of study within which it is based to help prove it’s suppositions.  It’s just a spiritual informed philosophy, and nothing but.

Once we take it from science to philosophy, we can dig deeper into Metagenetics (and the Meta-Folkism it inspires) and start really looking at it’s fundamental problems.  It posits that meaningful religious practice is not only improved by genetic similarity, but that it is outright required.  If we look in the World English Dictionary, we see that one of the definitions of racism is “the belief that races have distinctive cultural characteristics determined by hereditary factors and that this endows some races with an intrinsic superiority over others “.  Intrinsic superiority can be situational, and such superiority is a core element within Meta-Folkish thought; those with certain genetic profiles have a right to Asatru, and those without them do not.

When some of us call Meta-Folkism and Metagenetics racist, the literal definition of racism is on our side.  The moment you declare that you have the right to something and another person does not, and you claim that form of superiority based on your racial background, you’ve fallen into racism by definition.  I know that many Meta-Folkists say that it goes both ways; that those of predominantly European backgrounds have no business practicing spiritual traditions that are not the domain of their ancestors.  This would seem to level the playing field at first glance, but it fails on a very basic level.

It doesn’t matter if you bestow the same inequality to another ethnicity; separate but equal failed to be a good thing when it was applied to schools, bus seats, and restrooms in the segregated South.   In the history of the world, I doubt that anyone can come up with an example of when a contentious and problematic social model was improved by bringing a religious mandate into the picture.  Many try to defend this platform by bringing up the blood and heritage standards of the various Aboriginal American tribes…..forgetting that those standards were not established by the tribes themselves.  Contrary to popular understanding, they were imposed upon them by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  These standards are, to the best of my knowledge, not something that was requested by the Aboriginal Americans themselves.

Well, isn’t a racialist stance harmless as long as it is utilized without hatred?  Is it truly a problem as long as everyone has something for themselves?  I’m not going out and burning crosses or lynching people; those are the actions of “real” hate!

On the surface, racialist stances like Meta-Folkism can seem relatively benign; no one is advocating violence against anyone else. People say that, while the definition of racism is met, the spirit of hatred and spite is not.  Proclaiming a superior position within a given religion indicates no hate or antipathy when a similarly equal position is granted to another, and no one is trying to subjugate anyone to another person’s will.  Advocates of Meta-Folkism will say that this is the reason that claims of racism are completely blown out of proportion.

This can seem quite sensible, until you realize something very basic: these apologists are not the ones being denied anything.  It is very easy to rationalize  and pretend that a policy of soft-racism is somehow morally superior to one crafted from more bitter and aggressive emotions.  That blamelessness has a hard time standing tall, however, when you realize that you are passing judgement on people who are “different” and no one else.  You’re establishing equality almost as an afterthought; declaring something you didn’t want in the first place as something reserved for someone else.  Parallels to reservations for Aboriginal Americans should not go missed; it’s the same sort of thinking, simply keyed on a spiritual scale.

Equality means equal; it requires no counter balance to be achieved.  Human beings are not math equations, and putting an equal modifier on both sides doesn’t necessarily mean things become fair.  Religion, ethnicity, and ancestry are not zero sum games, and it’s somewhat insulting to see them displayed as such.

To bring the point home, I’ve seen people get irritated when European people suggest that American traditions are incorrect.  When people from Norway, Sweden, or Germany criticize American Heathens and their methods of practice, many take offense.  Well, with very little manipulation, we could use the standards of Metagenetics and Meta-Folkism to declare that they are not only right but they have the authority to supersede American Heathen ideals.  After all, their connection to the native folkway and culture of their spiritual ancestors is closer and more defined, thus making their interpretations more meaningful by the standards that Metagenetics sets forth.

Imagine that the superiority of their European perspective was codified into the Meta-Folkist perspective in the same way that heritage is right now,  That the options of American Heathens mattered less because they were not natively European.  Our spirituality judged by a matter of where we were born.  Now realize that this is what Meta-Folkism does to other people; it passes judgement on their spirituality of others based on the circumstances of a person’s birth.  If our Heathen cousins over in Europe demanded that American Heathens follow their example based on a philosophy similar to Metagenetics, I seriously doubt the reaction would be very different from the reaction of American Heathens who have been hurt by the Meta-Folkish narrative.

The American Meta-Folkish position would be no different in scale or scope than a European version of the same.  Again, we have a version of separate but equal and again it leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths.

If Metagenetics is UPG, and everyone has the right to their own UPG, isn’t it hypocritical to call Metagenetics bad?  It feels like Metagenetics/Meta-Folkism is getting judged here more than other philosophies; there are people who won’t bat at an eye at Godspouses***, but will rip Meta-Folkists a new one at the drop of a hat!  Why does this philosophy receive so much bile when all we are doing is worshiping in the way that feels right to us?

Everyone is entitled to their own spiritual viewpoint.  This is where it gets sticky because Meta-Folkism, if followed, gives people a platform to deny people the spiritual paths of their choice.  When used extremely harshly or conservatively, it can become the patriot missile of UPGs, one which exists more as a means to deny another than to achieve a goal for one’s own self.  Again, we have to bring up the parallel of native Europeans being able to dictate the terms of our own religion to us; I wouldn’t feel comfortable with others trying to force an unwanted authority figure on my faith, and I feel not better about doing the same to others.

UPGs become problematic when they attempt to extend, even in theory, beyond the boundaries of one’s own religious practice.  Say what ever you like about Godspouses; none of them have come up to me and told me who should and shouldn’t be at a Heathen gathering.  There has been no attempt to force me into a spiritual marriage of any kind.  Their UPG is their own…and all of the ones I have encountered have given the same respect to mine that they wish for theirs.  The reason I, personally, don’t have an issue with Godspouses is pretty much the same reason I do have one with Meta-Folkism; the Godspouses make no rules for other Heathens, whereas many Meta-Folkists try to establish a standard by which someone may or may not be barred from Heathen spiritual practices.

vanessa-williams-2-pngThis judgmental, canonizing approach to the segregation of religion gets more troublesome when one realizes that Meta-Folkism doesn’t obey it’s own rules. Many of these Meta-Folkish judgements are not based on blood; in every case I’ve heard of or seen, they’ve been based on skin tone and/or apparent racial background.  People are rejected based on what ethnicity they appear to be, and not by the ethnic background they are.  If you are asking why this matters, consider the following example.

This woman is the famous actress, Vanessa Williams….who is 40% European.  Meanwhile, this man is a hardcore white supremacist who recently found out he has a non-zero amount of Sub-Saharan African heritage.  Craig Cobb, the man in question, doesn’t look like he has enough Africian heritage to suggest a non-Caucasian great-grandparent.Craig-Cobb-2783840  Yet science says he does…and it helps us to illustrate a very important point.

While I don’t think Vanessa Williams will be beating a path down to a Meta-Folkish kindred’s door anytime soon, her heritage ensures her a place at any Sumble that is held with those conceits in mind.  Craig Cobb shows us that a lack of apparent melanin doesn’t indicate a lack of non-Caucasian influence.  How many great-Grandparents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts would it take until his skin tone changed?  I don’t know…and neither does any one else.

And once you realize that, it makes it impossible to look at Metagenetics without suspicion; to meaningfully use it as a philosophy is impossible without a blood test.  Period.  Yet when someone is rejected as a “Legitimate Heathen” on the grounds of their heritage, there is no such test that explains that opinion.  Any rejection is being done based on appearance, which we’ve just shown can have absolutely nothing to do with anything.  If this is a spiritual mandate which calls to people so strongly, how can they denigrate that mandate by playing so fast and loose with the rules that would shape it?

Honestly, I don’t think there is a right answer to such a question.

The watch words of so many who believe in Meta-Folkism is that “I have the right to worship with whomever I choose.”  That’s completely true, but when there is a visible pattern of who is and is not acceptable to worship with there is no amount of philosophy, spirituality, or gnosis that’s going to magically make it something other than what it is.  It’s still bigotry.  It’s still racism.

It’s really that simple.


*A discussion on racism in Heathenry is somewhat difficult (bordering on impossible) without talking about the AFA.  I am not going to even imply that it’s entire membership is racist, or that it is a hate group in the pattern of the aforementioned Nazis and Klansmen.  Regardless, the AFA has written and promoted a lot of the material that makes up the bulk of the “soft-racist” narrative.  No document more so than Metagenetics, in my opinion.  That document was written by Stephen McNallen and it’s posted on the AFA website.  I do not make a habit of attacking people because I think it’s not constructive; those few times where I have has been because it’s been something I have been unable to ignore due to the actions in question.  So let me make this clear: this is not an attack on the AFA in general or Stephen McNallen in particular.   It is a dissent against the philosophies he has espoused, written, and defended, not a statement in condemnation of his humanity or his soul.  I’ve never met nor spoken with the man, so I can’t say what I feel about him as a person.  I know what I feel about some of his ideas, and that is what I’m addressing.  Period.  If anyone within the AFA leadership would like to sit down and have a chat, via phone, internet, or in person, I am more than willing to “talk across the isle” if you are.  You can message me here or on my Facebook.

**It would be far beyond the scope of this article to weigh each of the individual sources Metagenetics utilizes, and to judge the applicability of their use.  However, some of them are open to some very simple examination.  Dr. Ian Stevenson’s reincarnation research is still highly contested, and had accusations of confirmation bias and similar mistakes in scholarly rigor; the accusations persist into the present day.  Dr. Rhine’s PhD was not in any actual form of science which studied human anatomy or psychology, and his Botany degree could be considered completely separate from his theories and ideas…all of which fell outside the realm of peer reviewed science.  Timothy Leary’s influence on various elements of counter culture was vast, but the scope of his theories were more metaphysical and philosophical than scientific.  Perhaps in the future, should there be interest, we will look at them all in detail.  For the moment, this quick analysis of sources should give the reader a sense of how ill suited some of the material is for a scientific theory.

***To be clear, I’m not passing judgement on Godspousery or on those who practice it; I’ve seen this parallel cited before in arguments, and I suspect many others have as well.  I bring it up not to malign anyone, but rather just to inform the discussion; many seem to see ancestry as something they can touch, where as the Gods aren’t…and that disconnect leaves some baffled at how people will accept one idea but refuse the other.