Murderers Don’t Go to Valhalla

In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at the Tops Market grocery store in Buffalo, New York on May 14, 2022 we have been learning more about the murdering criminal who had perpetrated the attack. He was wearing a sonnenrad (a swastika related symbol), the assault rifle and shotgun were adorned with the Othala rune, and the shotgun also featured a Celtic Cross (which is a variation of our solar cross symbol). He also had references on his assault rifle to five other mass shooters (who I am choosing not to name) behind the following attacks: 2011 Norwegian attacks in Oslo and Utøya, 2011 Tree of life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the 2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the 2019 Chabad Congregation in Poway, and the 2019 Christchurch attack.

He signed off his manifesto with the words “Goodbye, God bless you all and I hope to see you in Valhalla.” Compare it to the manifesto from the shooter behind the 2019 Christchurch attack and there’s lots of similarities (basically plagiarized with slight rewordings) including the sign off “Goodbye, god bless you all and I will see you in Valhalla.”

I’d like to say something for the hate spouting extremists in the back. Murderers don’t go to Valhalla. In fact in our lore we know murderers go somewhere else entirely. In Gylfaginning we are told by Odin (in his guise of Þriði) that those who commit evil go to Nifolhel (Misty Hel). In another section of Gylfaginning, and supported also in Völuspá, we learn that within Nifolhel we have Nástrǫnd (Corpse Shore), and that is where oathbreakers and murderers go in the afterlife. Nástrǫnd is home to the serpent Níðhöggr (Malice Striker) who gnaws for eternity on the corpses of murderers and oathbreakers that have been condemned to the serpent’s hall. We think that Nástrǫnd may correlate to the Old English Wyrmsele, which means serpent hall, it appears in the poem Judith found in the Nowell Codex (which is the manuscript source for Beowulf).

The heathen afterlife is first and foremost Hel. Hel, is more than just a name. Her name literally is not only the realm of the dead, but etymologically is the very earth where the dead are buried and reside, from the great cairns and graveyards. To speak of Hel is to speak of both the Goddess, Her realm, and all those who dwell there. Sooner or later we will traverse those halls, because as the Havamal states, “cattle die and kinsmen die” because the most fundamental truth of life is that sooner or later we die. From the sources we know that there were certain places or deities within the afterlife of Hel that played host to the dead: Odin’s Valhalla, Thor’s Bilskirnir within Valhalla, Freya’s Sessrumnir, the hall of Vingolf (mentioned three times: once connected to Odin, once to the Goddesses, and once just generally as a place for the dead), Gimlé where the just go, and then we know that the Goddesses Ran and Gefjon also play host to specific types of the dead (respectively those who died at sea and maidens).

One of the commonly misrepresented beliefs of our afterlife is that the end goal is for us all to go to Valhalla, it isn’t. Valhalla is specifically intended for a select few, and only for those that Odin thinks has the right skillset to his warrior purposes and thus chooses. Killing in self defense, or killing in the course of war is one thing. Gunning down a bunch of innocent people in a grocery store makes you only one thing: a murderer, a nīðing (nithling) which is one of the worst labels given to a person, as it means the person has no honor and is a villain.

This gunman doesn’t represent my religion nor my beliefs. In fact both he and the Q-Anon Shaman from the January 6, 2021 Insurrection in Washington DC use the singular Christian god in messaging, but combine it with some of our religion’s sacred symbols and places. This is sadly yet another despicable real world example of what should be sacred being profaned for the purposes of hate. Let me be clear, in the Northern Tradition these are the races that exist: the Giants, the Gods, the Dwarves, the Disir, the Alfar, other vaettir of land and sea, and the human race. That’s it. If you look at our creation story we see that as the Gods create the first people, Odin breathed life into them, Vili granted them intelligence, and Ve gave them their senses so they could see and hear. So whether an individual or any other cultural or religious group believes that or not, if someone believes and worships Odin then to my mind you should believe he is the All-Father of humanity, not the Father of only some.

You would think after decades of being a Heathen and seeing white supremacists pervert the sacred, I’d be used to this. But I’m not. I’m furious. Each time we’re here I’m just as outraged as the last time. So I had to do something, in this case I made a meme. Yes, it is but a small act, but maybe if we can educate there’d be fewer people misusing Valhalla. If we can burst the fantasy bubble around Valhalla, maybe we can start to dismantle part of the appeal in how white supremacists who don’t even worship our Gods use it to galvanize others to hate. Share it, spread it. Let’s make this go viral.

Murderers don't go to Valhalla. 
Valhalla is but one place in the heathen afterlife. It is specifically intended for a select few, and only for those that Odin chooses because he thinks they have the right skillset 
to his purposes. In Gylfaginning, Odin tells us that those who commit evil go to Niflhel, 
and we learn that oathbreakers and murderers go to Nastrond, where the serpent 
Nidhogg gnaws on them for eternity, for they are nithlings lacking in honor. 
Murderers Don’t Go To Valhalla
Advertisement

When Hate Gets Evicted

Since June I’ve been participating in a series of regular protests against a hate group & cult Stedfast that had moved into my hometown. They want the genocide of every single LGBTQ person globally, want witches to be executed, rebellious children to be stoned to death, they preach that lazy gamers should be killed, they celebrated the actions of a mass murderer, the leader has held a book burning where the children toasted marshmallows to make s’mores in the flames of bibles being burned while chanting “burn, baby burn.” They are anti-Semitic. They believe women should be silenced. And so much more. I’m constantly finding new hateful rhetoric that they spew.


Our protests were previously covered by the Wild Hunt. Three times a week the group was out there protesting on nearly every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night service. Sometimes there may have been only a handful of folks, and other times it was close to a hundred people, and a few times the weather was too extreme to safely have people out there. I wasn’t able to make it to every protest, but I did turn up to several of them. Along the way the group began to claim the sidewalk we were taking a stand on as a sidewalk of love. Artists took sidewalk chalk and began rainbow coloring every square of concrete, and then it involved to complex art designs, protest slogans and more. The next day the cult had someone out there power washing it off… so then a group of artists kept going every day to re-apply a new array. Eventually the cult stopped even bothering with power washing the chalk away.

Our attempt to shine light on the darkness that had moved into town has paid off.

Yesterday, October 22, 2021 at the Northeast Tarrant County Courthouse located in Hurst, Texas the cult as a tenant was put on jury trial in an eviction hearing instigated by the landlord on the grounds the cult had become a nuisance to the landlord and other tenants (a mix of businesses, and non profits) in the building. The end result was that the jury came back ruling in favor of the landlord’s right to evict the cult under the terms of the contractual five year leasing agreement.



The cult has a week to vacate, but it sounds like they may appeal the decision and I’m not sure if there’s an active appeal if that will keep them in place for now.

Still it’s progress. We’re thrilled.



When Hate Comes to Town

A little coverage of the protest here in Texas, oh and I was interviewed for it too.

The Wild Hunt: When Hate Comes to Town Pagans Stand Up To Protest



If you think this doesn’t impact you because it’s not in your community, this hate breeds like fire online with some videos viewed millions of times. It could be your neighbor, your friend’s brother, your coworker watching.

The hate isn’t just in Texas. The New Independent Fundamental Baptist Movement has known churches in not only the United States, but also in other countries too.

Stedfast is just one horrifying example.

Trolls in D.C.

Angrily flabbergasted is the best way I can describe my feelings as an American today. Our election process is set up that there are bipartisan volunteers at our polling locations, and who count our ballots. Biden won. He won the popular vote, he won the electoral college. The Trump administration and the Republican party challenged results in many locations, this is normal with our elections. But not a single judge anywhere found that a single law was broken. Biden won. Trump is a dangerous narcissist who can’t think about anyone else except himself, except for being right, except for wanting the world to reflect his delusional need of grandeur.

Let’s call it for what it was, he incited a crowd to attempt a coup on OUR HOUSE. His administration has been nothing more than a domineering, abusive, degradation on the US constitution, our democracy, and the truth.

FUCK Commander-in-Cheetoh.

Oh and fuck this clown too.

I want to be clear here wearing a valknut doesn’t make you special. Just as wearing a cross doesn’t make you special. Both the valknut and the cross are sacred symbols to their respective religions: Northern Tradition Polytheism, and Christianity. The valknut is a symbol sacred to the Norse God Odin, just as the hammer (mjolnir) is sacred to the defender of humanity, the Norse God Thor. It’s hard to see in the above picture, but Bull-Horny’s hand is covering a very large mjolnir (Thor’s Hammer) tattoo.

It has been an unfortunate truth that these sacred symbols of the Northern Tradition have in part been picked up by fringe white supremacists who wear the symbols as some made up mythology of superiority. But let me be clear, in the Northern Tradition these are the races that exist: the Giants, the Gods, the Dwarves, the Disir, the Alfar, other vaettir of land and sea, and the human race. That’s it.

I don’t know Bull-Horny here, and frankly I’m glad not to have suffered his presence personally. I don’t know why he has the symbol of the valknut, sacred to Odin, on his body. Nor do I know why he has a tattoo of Thor’s Hammer, a symbol used for hallowing and protection. But I do know he was in a crowd of people carrying signs for Jesus, and giant Christian crosses, and the sign he holds (shown above) clearly mentions a singular God. So he is not a polytheist. He doesn’t worship OUR GODS. He’s just some spoiled brat having a tantrum in a sandbox, but unfortunately his tantrum amounts to him being part of a terrorist mob whose actions led to the deaths of multiple persons. Let’s be clear these are NOT representatives of the whole of either of these religions, these are fringe radicals. But they have been stirred up by some of our elected officials, and make no mistake those persons have blood on their hands today.

After the houses of our legislative arm were evacuated today they ended up mostly sequestered together during the chaos. Once security got things controlled on the Capitol our elected officials went back to work, and finished confirming the election. In 2 weeks, by meeting the requirements set forth in the Constitution and associated amendments, Biden will be sworn in as President. I think I speak for many Americans tonight that I say the next two weeks may have us on edge, and the 25th Amendment is still in play. There may not be much time but the cabinet could declare Trump unfit (which I doubt they will since they were appointed by him) and remove him from office. Congress has 2 weeks to bring up new impeachment charges and the potential to convict and remove him. We have 2 weeks of being on edge to look forward to until Biden is sworn in.

And then comes the weeks to come, the months ahead as we deal with these repercussions as we head to our next major federal elections in 2022.

Is it unsettling to be an American right now? You betcha. While there’s a cynical part of me that can definitely see things spinning out of control quickly, most of me trusts that there’s enough men and women who believe in our democracy from a range of political viewpoints and backgrounds who will protect the underpinnings of our country: the Constitution that has brought us all together.


Word Heathen Trademarked by Secular Company, Attacking Heathen Artisans

The ancient followers and believers of the old Gods of Germany, Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England did not have a name that they called their religion because their religious identity was simply part of their cultural identity. It wasn’t until Christianity encroached on these ancient polytheistic cultures that the term Heathen (used by the 4th Century Christian Goth Ulfilas in his translation of the Bible) was first employed to distinguish between Christians and the ‘other’ in these areas. It is believed that Ulfilas was inspired to follow the example the Romans had created when they termed the word pagan. Ulfilas’ use of the term heathen in his translation of the Bible would trickle down the centuries until the word was used in various Viking Age sagas later. In the modern day the term has been picked up and claimed by tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) across the globe today as a religious identifier.

You can’t and shouldn’t be able to trademark a religious term or identifying phrase. That belongs to those who use it. This trademark protection essentially throttles religious freedom, and threatens our Heathen artisans and small businesses, as they face legal and financial threats for using the word Heathen on goods, or in product descriptions.

Heathen is a religious term recognized by the United States Department of Defense in their “Faith and Belief Codes for Reporting Personnel Data of Service Members”. We have religious books under this identifier, such as: A Modern Guide to Heathenry, Hearth and Field: A Heathen Prayer Book, or Gods’ Own Country: A Heathen Prayer Book. Go to Goodreads and you can find a vast listing of religious books under the heading of Heathen. You can find a number of religious music with titles in it featuring the word Heathen, or find a large amount of religious music online under the heading of being a Heathen Songbook (like at the Odin’s Gift website, http://www.odins-gift.com/wichtig/heathensongbook.htm ). Go to Etsy and type the search term Heathen in and look at all the religious items that show up for our religious community: statues, devotional jewelry, ritual and altar goods. This is our religious expression, and the trademark infringes upon our religious freedoms.

I’ve signed the petition, and I encourage every Heathen, polytheist, and our allies to take a moment to sign it too, and when doing so remind and reinforce in your comments this is a religious term.

Gangleri's Grove

I recently signed a petition, and urge you to do the same. The issue: trademark protection of the word “Heathen”. I’ve seen how luxury brand Hermès has used their trademark to go after religious items for Hellenics and their God Hermes. We have a chance to try to save the Heathen term.

“Dave Lancaster owns a company called Heathen Productions which produces a t-shirt line known as Heathen Nation, who holds a Trademark on the word Heathen. His company has been serving vendors, crafters and merchants who even so much as use the word Heathen in their description box for their product with take down orders and threatening legal action if they do not comply. He is not a Heathen himself but he is affecting the livelihood of many Heathens just trying to support their families and or kindreds.”

You can sign the petition here: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/heathens-vs-heathen-nation

petition-3

View original post

Mesa Verde Vandalized in the Name of ‘Asatru’

The official Facebook account for Mesa Verde National Park posted on July 23, the following statement and images of recent vandalism. One of the many desecrations to this ancient site is graffiti depicting Thor’s Hammer, accompanied by text that spells out the word ‘Asatru.’

 

As the summer progresses and visitation increases, we are seeing more and more evidence of graffiti, vandalization, and intentional littering throughout Mesa Verde National Park. This comes in many forms and across many surfaces. In one of the pictures below, you’ll see names rubbed onto the sandstone using prehistoric charcoal which a visitor dug up in an archaeological site along the Petroglyph Point Trail. Not only did this/these individuals vandalize the cliff side, they destroyed archaeological artifacts to do so.
The purpose of the National Park Service is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. Please help us in this effort and refrain from creating graffiti, intentionally littering, causing damage to or otherwise disturbing the landscape in all National Parks. If you see others engaging in any of these acts, please report this activity to the nearest Park Ranger or to staff in the Chief Ranger’s Office located next to the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum.
Despite the fact that this is the mission and purpose of the National Park Service, we are seeing a growing number of instances of intentional damage throughout NPS sites every year. Why do you think people do this? What do you think the intent is and what can we do as a culture to cut down on these occurrences?
Thank you to all of the visitors who do visit with respect. Let us all leave no trace, educate others about proper stewardship of public lands, and enjoy these wonderful landscapes as they are.

20155851_1375388582517054_2546807862580086589_n
Graffiti found etched in sandstone boulders on the Knife Edge Trail, located near Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park.

This infuriates me. Only nithlings are so ignorantly insecure as to destroy cultural heritage, regardless of its origin. This is our human history, and belongs to us all. This act is as heinous as Christians destroying our holy sites. As abominable as the Nazi’s burning books, and is nothing more than the act of a small-minded peon, who should be outcast from the community as a whole.

There are many runestones found in Denmark and Sweden, bearing both a depiction of mjollnir (Thor’s Hammer) but also an inscription entreating Thor to hallow or protect. This symbol is both a symbol of protection and consecration. Also it is used today by those who worship this God, be they go by the name of Asatru, Heathen, Northern Tradition Polytheist, etc.  To use His symbol in such a way is nothing but blatant disrespect for our God. For you have committed an act of defilement in His name, while also slandering us all. Shame on you nithling!

Vandalism does not in any way represent the ideals–summed up in the Nine Noble Virtues–of Asatru belief: courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, self reliance, industriousness, perseverance. This was a national park, and a guest of this park, violated hospitality, and behaved most dishonorably. I doubt that any of my circle of friends would have someone like this in their own circle, but if you have knowledge of the perpetrator of this atrocity, please contact the authorities. For does the Havamal 127 not say “If aware that another is wicked, say so.”

May Tyr bless the Federal Authorities & Criminal Investigators so they may find the cretin, and s/he is punished to the full extent of the law. May Thor bring down the hammer of His might, and smite the nithling!

Department of Defense Adds Heathen /Asatru Belief Code & Many others

This is great news for our men and women in the US military who fall under non-mainstream religious practices found under the pagan or polytheist umbrella, such as:

  1. AH – Heathen
  2. AN – Native American
  3. AY – Church of the Spiral Tree
  4. DA – Troth
  5. DK – Dianic Wicca
  6. DP – Sacred Well Congregation
  7. DU – Druid
  8. FD – Gardnerian Wicca
  9. FQ – Shaman
  10. FV – Seax Wicca
  11. FY – Asatru
  12. G3 – Pagan
  13. YW – Wicca
  14. YY – Magic and Spiritualist.

You can view a complete pdf copy of the official memo at the Open Halls website.