Basically, heathenism is like a super-form of Christianity, with fists, with ferocity, with will, that will gangbust Paradise, by smashing all the monsters who stand in the way barring the gate.
We are real serious about confronting and overpowering evil.
The evil can cringe and cower behind the doctrines of forgiveness they hope will shelter their weaseling.
We see through such bullshit. The deeds speak for themselves. If there is anything redeemable, the Gods will know.
This is the battle we are fighting. There are forces for Good in this world, that sustain its holiness and numinosity. And then there are forces intent on tearing it down, on corrupting and perverting everything they touch. And both forces are very real.
And it is no joke to us which side you choose to support.
Oh, we don't really care what you call it. We're polytheists, after all.
But your deeds will speak. However you dress the symbolic ceremonial you offer on the altar, your deeds will speak loud and clear the true values you chose.
And if you are on the side of Fenris, Jormungand, Leikn, Loki, Angrboda, and all their kin --- and I mean this here in a real sense, not costume-play and little pseudo-Jungian pretend-games -- you are our enemy and you are going to lose.
That's not a promise from us.
It's a promise from our Gods.
No, unless you are really corrupted, your fate doesn't hang in the balance on every little mistake you might make. Get real. The Gods are not tyrants. The tyrants are the jotunn-forces who too often hold the day in this age. It's the overall texture of your life as measured and averaged over time through your deeds. We all make mistakes. We're all imperfect. The Gods know that.
But what do you do with your mistakes? Do you make good on them? Do you pick up and put your nose to the grind to make good on them and restore what holiness may have been lost? Anyone on a team might falter. Which team are you on?
Because of Christianity, this seems to have become a taboo topic, some element of our religion of which we should be embarassed.
Au contraire! We have no problem with the "evil" word. It's real, it's significant, and it is what we are battling. If that sounds too "primitive" to your urban ears, guess what? You've become corrupted by the pseudo-sophistication of those urban snares our ancestors called tombs. Odin advises us to be satisfied with a moderate amount of sophistication, not because he doesn't encourage endless development, but precisely because some kinds of sophistication forget their base, and lose touch with their roots. We are barbarians, after all. We're meddling-sophisticated, well-cultivated, benevolent, whole-loving, and holiness-serving barbarians, but we are not overrefined slaves who have lost their sense of the stakes, and what really matters. Once you've given up in life, and given your all over to the world-logic of empire, many things like "evil" begin to sound just a little too "simplistic" and "primitive" to your ears.
Wake up. There is evil in the world. It stems from all kinds of sources. But it is real, and it is to be fought.
"But -- but -- that's dualistic!"
You're damn right. And something to be proud of. Because it matches common perception. Look around. There's some things in this world that ain't right. Trust your gut and your heart. Not all the sophistication in the world is going to convince you (unless you are the thrallish type and easily duped) that everything's ok and ought to be affirmed. Hell no!
Some are too caught up in Nietzsche's idea that this world must be affirmed, as he tried to fight what he saw as the "anti-worldly" attitude of Christianity.
Hang on, wait a minute. He accepted the idea that there is "a" world. Where is this world? I see many different things. And some of them are good. And some are bad. Am I to affirm what is bad in the name of some synthetic "world" that is but a sloppy synthesis carelessly borrowed in opposition from some conception of Christianity? We need not be world-affirming because there is no "world". There is a domain the Gods have blessed and shaped, and that is called Midgard. And then there is another place, barren, and fit only for misshapen creatures, and that is called Jotunheim. And they are not, or should not be, the same place. This globe, however, that is the beautiful birthright estate of our Beloved Mother Earth, is at present hodge-podge criss-crossed with a shifting quilt pattern of Midgard and Jotunheim, two different domains, requiring precisely opposite allegiances from us.
Let's clarify, making sure we aren't being narcissistic here. We aren't judging the world by our standards. There's many different creatures living on this planet, and so we have to live in a kind of dynamic compromise and set of implicit treaties that allow ecosystems to grow, thrive, and sustain themselves. It is Mother Earth's estate, after all, and she is fond of her many creatures. (Although as our cousins the Indo-Iranians indicate, however, some arch-heathens did believe that some segment of the creatures had already been subject to deformation and corruption, and had lost some of their original wholeness. Tics come to mind!) But evil is precisely what has broken and will continue to break those implicit treaties, stretching all excess out of proportion, holding sacred nothing of Mother Earth (nor any of the other holy Gods, for that matter).
There is a whole hell of a lot that is still holy even in this very-corrupted world. Go into the center of a forest grove. Go down to the ocean by the moonlight. These will show you glimpses of how things might be, how they were intended, the beauty, sublimity, balance, and sense of fitting in to all this. But there is still much, unfortunately, in what is erroneously called "the" world, that is not holy.
"But wait ... wait ... what you're saying doesn't quite fit in with my modern understanding of ecological environmentalism or skeptical atheism."
Yah. Your ancestors didn't fashion this to just perfectly mold with whatever modern idea you might come up with. And you might have to decide. Is it more important to you to make sure you're modern, or to attune to the spirituality of your ancestors?
See, there's a distinctly modern bias towards entrenched cynicism and rank materialism which sees all spirituality as little else but "metaphor" with no real force behind it. And if it's all nothing but metaphor, like a currency with nothing to back it up, then it's really all pretend-games anyway, and you can do whatever you want. But that's not the spirituality of our ancestors.
We're serious about Golden Age politics of spirituality. This is all culminating in the Return of Baldur, and you'd better not forget it. We are not foot soldiers in the army of the jaded who blush at speaking openly about the "Golden Age", because it seems so, well, yesterday and unrealistic. Fuck your realism ; it's nothing but a slavish mentality bowing down to the jotnar of this world, and we will fuck up that reality in the name of something holy and good that is not as deadeningly unimaginative as you are.
Does that seem too "goody-good" for your jaded modern ears? Motherfucker, we've got hammers, we've got axes, we mean business about this Good stuff.
Now we know that in the Axe Age we are not going to get to live Golden Age conditions, but we do not for that reason give up. No, we develop every attainable good that can be attained so that the conditions will be right in the ground for the Return. And we don't live our whole lives as warriors. Much of the time we are farmers, just trying to make a living, put some food on the table, and find some time after all that is done to enjoy ourselves. And yep, we make some mistakes in the process. How does it end up in the wash? Other times we are wizards, artists, poets, creating beauty directly from the mind, summoning up intelligence, beautifying a world which has already grown too ugly. (There I go myself calling this a "world". Let's just use the Axe-Age name for it : Valland, the Land of Many Battles, the arena of struggle between Midgard and Jotunheim.) Just because we will or may not in this lifetime see Golden Age conditions does not mean we stop believing in them. No, we are guardians of that which shall return, in whatever small snippet of holiness we have the honor to ward and cherish. We are holders of potent seeds. And it is that Golden Age we live towards.
"But ... but ... isn't that just the postponing of true living Nietzsche was talking about?"
Come on, who "truly lives" in Valland under these conditions? We are in unspeakable struggle. Forces vie for the very face of the planet. Pretending like there is no struggle under such circumstances is mere foolishness. But it does not negate the struggle that we live towards the Victory.
For in living towards the Victory, we taste some of that victory in our lives today. We are ourselves itself extended out and backwards dispersed through time, awaiting its own gathering. And that is worthwhile and meaningful. In whatever little ways we can gather victories in our lifetimes, and it can often be meagre under conditions where the entire playing board has been tilted all to hell, we are tasting and gathering victories to culminate in that final victory.
This structure, see, isn't original or exclusive to Christianity. It is, if anything Zoroastrian, which is but a reformed version of Iranian Indo-European heathenism. And Zoroaster (or whomever, utilizing a traditional figure) only had to reform the religion when corruption had raised itself to such a level that it had begun penetrating into the priesthoods such that worship of truly evil forces had begun to spread itself on a cultic level. (Worship Fenris and other so-called "Rokkr", anyone?) Zoroastrianism is still full-flung polytheism. All the Gods under the Chief God fight the Iranian concept of the jotnar and thurs.
Don't begin by looking at Christianity and then saying, we need to mold our thing in the opposite direction, because Christianity preserves through various pick-ups along the way, a good deal of the Indo-European dualistic structure. It is in nuances that we must pick our battles with Christianity. It is in the fine details of the battle-lines, and the acceptable tactics. And when we realize how close we are to aspects of Christianity, and yet so far, then we will become a real threat, because then we will be close enough to be a heresy, and then we will turn and say, no, brother, you are the real heresy, but you are welcome back in the fold if you'll put aside your exclusivism and practice some tolerance. We promise you we won't make you worship demons. (We're fighting them!) So long as you don't have the stupidity and discourtesy to insinuate that our Gods are demons! Learn a little discrimination. And then perhaps we can bring our little prodigal brother back into the family.
Think about it.