Tuesday, September 21, 2010

World Peace Day?

So, if I am reading things correctly, today is World Peace day. I'm sure people are out there now, holding shindigs and such in order to celebrate and try and invoke the spirit of World Peace.

Personally, I can't say I'm a fan.

Don't get me wrong, I like peace, to an extent. I admit I like not constantly having to fight (at least not physically, mentally on the other hand). But my biggest problem with World Peace is that it isn't natural. It is, to me, a Monotheistic Ideal, where the world exists at "peace" (this peace normally being a state of being where everyone worships the same god and in the same method). Yet as a Asatruar, or even a Heathen/Pagan in general, I find it abhorrent. There are things worth fighting for. There are things worth fighting wars for. World Peace, to me, speaks or a world in which these things no longer exist, because as long as they exist, there will be battle done because of them. I worship gods and goddesses of war as much as I do the gods and goddesses of love and fertility. Often, at least in the European pantheons, these gods and goddesses cross over. Tyr and Ares were gods of war, but they also brought justice. Aphrodite, Freyja, Freyr, and Thor were gods and goddess of fertility who showed great zeal in battle. Odin and Athena were gods of wisdom and warfare. Each aspect was considered just as important as the other.

So I say keep your World Peace.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Yar, it be time again to pillage and plunder! So find some booty and beer and hit the YouTube for ye old Pirate ballads and heave to and let loose the cannon!

Now don't let me catch you being lilly livered scalawags! The term wokking the plank ain't just for cooking salmon on a wok! You scurvy bilgrats!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A few further words

Again in respost to a wonderful article by Cara: The Missing Call for Divine Justice


Cara, thank you so much for writing this. I left a comment on your other article in similar vein. I agree with you, too much do I see people in the pagan/heathen community seeking the peace and understanding above the other aspects of our ancient ways. Too much of the Christian do I see in the Pagans of this day.

Though on occasion I see people speak about the ancient attitudes, I rarely see them practiced. I realize there is a reason for this, because in the past there was much anti-pagan sentiment and frankly embracing the "darker" side of Paganism wouldn't have helped us become accepted in mainstream society. Yet it seems this early realization has been lost and most of those today seem to adhere to the "Noble Savage" idea of ancient paganism, where it's all about honor and hospitality. They embrace the "noble" but seem to have forgotten the "savage."

Paganism/heathenism is, in a way, very savage. It is Primal, the essence of the Animal as much as it is the Man. It is emotion and reason fused into a single entity. It is the ancient world, with its savage beasts and darkness and violence, as much as it is the ages of reason and enlightenment. It is Sparta, as much as it is Athens. It is Germanic, as much as it is Rome.

For Asatru, Odin is both a god of wisdom and war. Few today would feel that those two things have anything in common. War is seen as foolish and needless, a waste of time and people. Wisdom is seen as a thing of utmost value, to be embraced at all times. Yet, Odin is both, because our "modern" view of war is one that I think is very misinformed (though understandable for reasons beyond the scope of this comment).

In Wicca, there is the Green Man, the masculine spirit of the world. He is a father, loving provider to his children. But he is also a monster, the sounds of the dark forest at midnight, when all manner of beast and spirit wander just out of sight, ready to rend and tear and kill.

I've come to wonder if, in response to the supposedly "patriarchal" nature of Monotheism, that Paganism went to far in the other direction. If, in re-embracing the feminine, the masculine came to be undesirable. I know in many parts of Wicca, and other Pagan traditions as well, men are placed in positions lower than women. Places where, instead of the male priest/leader standing in equal measure with the female priestess/leader, he must stand subservient to her. I see a pattern in modern paganism of viewing traditionally masculine virtues as things to be avoided. Power, rage, violence, and many others are viewed as terrible things that should be avoided at all costs, when in the ancient pagan world they were viewed as noble emotions and energies of the same value as acceptance, love, and peace. I think this is something we pagans/heathens need to examine in ourselves.

Just how much of the Monotheist do we have in ourselves, with its insistence on pacifism, tolerance, concession, and acceptance.

Just as we are reawakening the ancient gods and goddesses of fertility, love, reason, and art, so too must we reawaken the gods and goddesses of war. We must remember that Thor's hammer brought more than thunder, it slew giants. We must remember that while the Athenians hated Aries, the Spartans loved him and the Romans viewed Mars as one of their greatest and strongest deities. WE must remember that Odin and Freyja were as well loved for being god and goddess of warriors as they were for wisdom or fertility.

So I say these final words, in response for Cara's call, though I know many will come to despise me for them.

I call upon Aries, God of War, to turn his weapons upon those who would see us dead!

I call upon Thor, to bring Mighty Mjolnir down upon their God!

I call upon Odin, to cast his mighty spear to slay those responsible for the deaths on that dread day of 9/11!

I call upon all the Gods and Goddesses, from Scandinavia to Egypt, from Ireland to Greece and beyond! I call upon them to rise once more in war and bring vengeance and justice on those who terrorists who kill in the name of Allah!

And I say unto that Allah, that should he not wished to be judged as condoning those who abuse his name, if they are truly not of his religion and betray his teachings, that he smite them as well. For otherwise I shall judge him complicit in their actions and in equal measure of bearing their guilt, from now until Ragnarok and beyond!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Words in the Days After

This is a re-post of my comment from here I can’t get there from here


Cara, I am deeply sorry and saddened by your loss. No words, by man or god, could give comfort to it.

I too, noticed that much of the Pagan blogs were very much "move on, release your grief, find coexistence and peace" in their treatment.I am sorry to say I was little better in my short post, but I felt the day needed silence, not words of war.

Yet, it seems for all the pretty words, nothing has really changed.

I am sure that if I have a reputation in the Pagan blogs by now, it is not a pretty one. I am often outspoken against Islam and am not one for pulling metaphorical punches. Ali here I am sure isn't to fond of me, and I'm still trying to figure out if Ali is Pagan or Muslim, because honestly it is hard to tell so deeply does Ali defend Islam and hold it high. Yet, it matters little to me which Gods, if any Ali worships.

I think the reason many people from all walks of life and religions, myself included, are against Islam is because even if it wasn't "Islam attacking America" it was still done in the name of Islam. Just as the Crusades and Witchhunts were done in the name of Christianity, I believe there is a desire to see Islam weakened to the point where it can no longer offer that violence, just as Christianity can no longer offer totalitarian violence agianst those who do not worship Christ. I am sure there are some who will disagree, who will say that those opposed to Islam are "Islamophobic" and "racist bigots" but I think that is disrespectful to all sides.

Linda says the mosque *needs* to go up now so that we can heal. But I fail to see how it is healing. There are those who say it is a symbol of Islam's victory, and there are Muslims who no doubt see it as such. Indeed, the very size of the community center does seem rather much. Were it four stories, I doubt we'd see much protest. Were it two, few words would be spoken. But to be over ten stories and to stand taller than most buildings around it strikes me as a little much. I have heard rumors that the top floors were the "prayer center" is to be located will have a clear view of the WTC site. I do not doubt that there are misguided individuals on both sides of the fight, but there are those with clear and just reasons for their stances. Linda, your call for tolerance is noble, but your application is intolerant. You suggest the Mosque is a salve to heal a wound, but even to me, one who lost little in comparison on that day, it feels of salt to that wound.

One thing I have noticed about Pagans is the insistence on tolerance and peace. These are noble ideals, to be sure, but I would say to all Pagans and Heathens, that ours is a world of many faces and natures. It is the nature of people to day to desire peace, to want it above all else, and many are willing to give anything so that they do not have to face the ugly side of life. But Paganism/Heathenism to me is as much about the ugly side of life as it is the pretty. It is, in Nietzsche's words "The Dionysian and the Apollonian." It is terror and beauty, emotions and reason, the bestial and the divine, all at once. I think we are missing a key element when it comes to the healing of the 9/11 Tragedy. One which I see at least, being an Asatruar, though I can speak for no others.

There was no were-geld paid to the victims families.

We have fought wars for nine years almost, but we have not gained any vengeance. Those who did the killings died in the same blast. Those who planned the murders have escaped all justice, and those that are "captured" languish in "prisons" that by all accounts are not dens of terror, pain, suffering, and retribution. There has been little accounting done for the deeds of that terrible day. People like to say that vengeance and retribution don't solve anything, that it just begets more of the same, but I disagree.

We Pagans/Heathens have many gods and goddess who exist either as representations, physical beings, or however you choice to view them. Yet we believe they exist and that they each have a purpose or job at which they perform, from which their power is drawn, and that power which they create.

We have gods and goddesses of love and desire, which I often see invoked.

We have gods and goddesses of fertility and the harvest, which I often see called upon.

But we also have gods and goddesses of War and Vengeance. These, I do not see invoked, or called upon.

I see many pagans willing to reach out beyond our pantheons and call upon Shinto and Buddhist deities, desiring peace and serenity. But where are the Pagans/Heathens calling upon our own divinities for righteous vengeance against those who slew kin and friend and hero that day? If I see someone call upon Odin, it is for wisdom in dealing with their hatred and removing it, not invoking him as the Terrible One, God of War. I have seen none call upon Aries, who clothes his bed in the skin of those he's killed, for retribution against those Terrorists who kill in the name of Allah. I see no one crying out to Thor, killer of Giants, to bring might Mjolnir down upon the God of Mohamed.

It is likely that I will have drawn much hate with these words. Perhaps I violate the spirit of this article as badly as I feel Linda and Ali have done. If so, I am sorry.

But looking at it, I see in the Pagan community people who are uncomfortable with who they really are. People who are so eager not to be "intolerant" that they willingly put up with things I would think intolerable. Pagan who look at Muslim women who are so bundled in fabric that their faces barely show and proclaim "Oh, she is so modest, how holy and admirable is that." They never stop to think that the woman is modest because her religion teaches that the mere sight such things as her hair will arouse men so much that they would rape uncontrollably, or that women are second class beings because Eve tempted Adam in the Garden and thus caused him to fall from grace, nor that a woman is counted as worth half a man in the courts of Islam, or that she must prove her innocence in a rape case with either four male witnesses or eight female witnesses. And would likely be charged with worse crimes for having performed sexual acts in front of so many people.

Little concern is given that in the ancient Pagan/Heathen world, the human body, male and female, was a thing to be shown of with pride as a vessel of Sacred Power and divinity, that to show off that form was considered desirable, and that to cover it was to deny and defame that sacred beauty that is the Human Form.

If my words seem angry, it is because I am angry. I am angry because there has been no vengeance for the fallen. I am angry because all I see are platitudes to an Ideology that supports misogyny, homophobia, paganophobia, and speaks of peace while doing nothing to stop the violence of its radicals. I am angry because all I see from those screaming for tolerance is intolerance to those who do not share their views. I see Muslims screaming about oppression and intolerance, yet who show little tolerance towards the victims in this Mosque building.

Yes, there were Muslims who died at the WTC, but too often I see those Muslim victims paraded out as a reason to let Muslims build, pray, and act as they please in regards to 9/11. Yet I rarely see anyone say fair number of those Muslims who died at the WTC were the ones flying the planes. Perhaps my emotions have gotten the best of me. Perhaps pain and fear and anger push me too far for today's world. But I do not live by the standards of "today's world." I live by the standards of my ancestors and my gods and goddesses. Perhaps hearing the GZM Imam say things like "America has more Innocent Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has the blood of Innocent Non-Muslims" has roused my temper. Yet I am caused to remember that just as according to Christians "all are guilty of sin who have not accepted Christ", so to is it for Muslims that "All are guilty of sin who have not submitted to the Will of Allah." That to Muslims there is no such thing as an "innocent non-Muslim" because we are "guilty of sin," while every Muslim is cleansed of there Sins by "Submission to Allah."

Perhaps I am wrong, to call upon the gods and goddesses of war, with a desire to see those who would kill us, be they "radical" or not, driven away at the end of divine wrath. But I am a heathen, and if it was good enough for my ancestors, it is good enough for me.

Cara, again I give my sympathy, and hope that the gods and goddesses of the afterlife, bring peace and comfort to your friend. I am sorry, if my comments have got to far for you. I have no desire to try and hijack your sacred words nor your sacred grief.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Nine Years Later

I have no pretty words,

No Rhymes nor rhythms.

Only a vague memory of shock

and of pain.

Of a world thought safe

Turned into one of chaos.

Never forget.

Never forgive.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Mouse that Roared at Lions

Of all the things I've written on Blogger, this is the one that will probably cause me the most trouble. However, I had always sought to be honest about my views. So, I will be honest.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Florida Church burning the Koran on 9/11, which is just a few days away. Well, perhaps that is wrong, as controversy implies that there are two side fighting over something, while world wide all I have really seen is mass condemnations. The Pastor has been labels a Hater and it is said that his proposed deed is one of hate. Indeed, this may be reasonable. The interviews I've seen haven't revealed to me a man driven mad with hatred like so many accuse, but they are short clips chosen to support the views of various people, and without meeting this man in person, I cannot say for sure the nature of his mentality.

But I can make a judgment about his character.

He is no coward.

In the face of condemnations, death threats, the potential uprising of roughly 1.5 billion Muslims, and the general disgust of the entire world, this man stands firm in his beliefs and is not swayed from his course. Now, will this hold out through the burning of the Koran, I cannot say. We will not know until after 9/11. But to have lasted this long at all is impressive.

I believe it is well known at this point that I am a Germanic Heathen, namely Asatru. I do not speak for any organizations, nor for other followers of the Pagan and Heathen Paths. I have a very different perspective on things than most people because of this. I reject a good/evil moral dichotomy. If there are any dichotomies in my life's path, it is that of Order/Chaos or Honorable/Shameful. So looking at the objections to this Pastor's actions, I judge by my way, and not the way of mainstream society.

People say that this action is inspired by Hate, and thus it is bad. Perhaps for the Christians, hate is evil, but nothing in any records of the Heathen Norse did Hate come across as evil. Rather, justified hate was viewed as a good thing. So simply because this man hates is not reason enough for me to condemn him. Indeed, Hate was once as valued as Love. In Paganism/Heathenism we attempt to restore the balance of the world. To reject hate is Christian. This viewing of Hatred and Violence as evil that the Western world has now is at odds with the rest of the world's views. It is certainly at odds with the views of my ancient ancestors, and myself.

People say that burning books is evil and shameful, often throwing images of the Nazi's book burning. Again, I reject the notion of evil, as it does not really exist in my religious beliefs. However, Shame does, so it does hold merit. But permit me to judge the shamefulness of this action. It is not good to burn books. (Though, if one is to belief Dolf in the Expendables, "It is good to hang pirates"). I will agree that it is shameful to burn books, but what of the motive behind the burning of the book. Is it too, shameful? If this Pastor Terry Jones is to be believed, he is burning the Koran to send a message to Radical Islam.

Now, he has not to my knowledge defined what he views as Radical Islam. It could be just those Terrorists who attack in the name of Islam. It could be the larger Islamic community. I cannot answer this.

So, what is this message of Hate that he is sending out? Well, to this simple Heathen, it comes across as "You burn our people, we burn your book." "That it is time to confront terrorism. That we do not want Shariah Law." Now, I could be wrong about this, but that is the impression I've gotten both from him and from others commenting about him.

So, is this a shameful message? Certainly, many seem to view it as such. The controversy of the Park 51/Ground Zero Mosque has painted a picture that protests against Islam are all hateful and racist. Yet, I cannot help but remember back when the Twin Towers were struck down in the name of Allah, that much of America wanted not only to go get revenge, but wanted to blow up the holy centers of Islam. Such things were not viewed as shameful then. Did something change when I wasn't looking? More than likely. Whether this is good or not, I cannot say. I, however, do not consider it shameful to tell a group of people that commit mass murder in the name of their god to knock it off. Are there better methods than burning the holy book of that group? Probably.

But what other methods are there? Talking certainly doesn't seem to have helped. Going to war, too, has not brought the results hoped when we first sent soldiers overseas. I think that what this Pastor and his tiny church are doing is done because they feel powerless against a monolithic, violent enemy that their government has failed to do much of anything against. So, they are taking what power they can, glaring into the face of the enemy they see, and mocking it.

But they are not killing anyone. They are not advocating violence. At least, not that I have seen.

The same cannot be said for the rest of the world. Already much of the Islamic world is in a riot. America has set its embassies on high alert. People are saying that our troops will be in more danger (though I find this rather hard to believe because they are already in a war zone and therefore not in a safe place to start with).

In many ways, I have to laugh at some of the things people are trying to do to stop this. As I write, MSNBC started digging and implying that the Church involved is, in fact, a Cult. A great way for character assassination, but even if they succeed in defaming the Pastor's message, it has proven useless in stopping the proposed burning. They are also reporting that Terry Jones, the Pastor, will stop if called by the White House, Pentagon, Etc. Perhaps this is true. Perhaps he is just playing for time. Much is unknown.

What stands to happen though, is known. Should the Koran be burned, there will be a violent reaction across the world. Many are desperate to stop it, yet many question why the President doesn't step up more to stop it. It is hard to say. This is more than a religious statement by a Pastor of a tiny church. This is world wide politics.

Ultimately, true answers will not be known until after 9/11. Indeed, I suspect there will be violence this September 11th. In addition to the Koran burning, two protests about the Park 51/Ground Zero Mosque, both for and against. Should the Koran be burned, we will see riots. If those riots break out at the Mosque protest, I do wonder what will happen.

I can't say I completely agree with Pastor Terry Jones. I dislike Christianity as much as I dislike Islam. But I don't have to agree with a person to admire courage, which he appears to have in spades. If this was a mere publicity stunt, he could have gotten as much attention without the danger. The fact that he's earned himself a death sentience, especially if he does burn the Koran, speaks to something larger. He says his god is telling him to do this. I am not one to say this isn't true. While the Secular world may sneer, but as a Heathen I live with my gods and goddesses and in a way, from the stories of them and my own impressions I too hear their words.

So, irregardless of hatred or insanity, I admire the tiny Christian mouse that is roaring at the lions of this world.