It took me several days to bring myself to read the unclean column over on Wild Hunt by Siegfried. Just the headline alone gave me a headache. Making a comparison from a mortal to a God is a problem. Painting a God with a wide brush as evil is a problem. To see a column that devalues religous expression and our Gods is disheartening and deeply troubling.
Today I was checking my Facebook and I came across this gem: “Notice to my friends-I will not be taking part in or hosting or organizing any [Pagan denomination name’s] rituals or [name of Heathen denomination]’s rituals until I start getting the things I have coming from the Gods and Goddesses. I have grown weary […]
I am reblogging above a recent post by Galina over at her blog, and adding my own response to it below:
For most followers of the Northern Tradition upon learning about this path they read the myths about the Gods, and many tend to also study the Havamal. The Havamal is one of many sagas found in the Poetic Edda, and many of the stanzas are known as being a depository of advice as it applies to wanderers and guests when they travel abroad; it talks about what is proper behavior beyond one’s own homestead, and cautions the traveler to be wary so that he might eventually return to home having suffered no mischief or misfortune.
Just as our pagan cousins celebrate the eight major sabbats that comprise the Wheel of the Year, for those of us in the Northern Tradition we too have somewhat similar key celebrations that we call holy tides (from the Old Norsehátíðir). Some of these celebrations are more significant and special than others, and these especially important holy-days are known as high holy tides: such as Ostara, Winter Nights, and Yule which is now upon us.
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.
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!
Ossia Sylva mentioned something in a recent post prompted by the insidious influence of John Halstead writer at Patheos, and now Gods and Radicals who isn’t a pagan, or a polytheist but insists he is, in flagrant denial of the definitions of those words in dictionaries.
To me, Halstead is doing the equivalent of walking into a Catholic church and saying, “Okay, so I’m here. I want to be a Catholic, and I want you to call me a Catholic. But since I personally believe that Jesus Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, and the saints are archetypes, I want you to change the liturgy to reflect this ontology, and I want the theists to be totally on-board with this. Oh, and remember to call me a Catholic, because I am a Catholic.” -Ossia Sylva
Not only is this a brilliant analogy, it also can be taken a step further.