That makes a Heathen’s Day

Merry Meet everybody,

remember back when I started my blog in April 2008 when I desperately tried to put together a blogroll that would include some really great Pagan sites and failed? It’s been a while since – hard to believe that I’ve already had this blog for a year now and, despite occasional lazy- and uncreativeness haven’t abandoned it yet 😉

However it seems like I am finally finding the odd one out who’s writing about more then spells and recipes and that “more” isn’t limited to Christian bashing (though I can understand that it can be funny from time to time – and actually some Christians just deserve any other). Check out “A Heathen’s Day“, written by a mid-50ies cosmopolitan academic AsatrĂș currently living in the US. You’re absolutely gonna love him as much as I do.

He did write one on Pagans and Jews by the by, however they aren’t quite good off there:

[…] You know what’s sickening about all this bs? I will tell you. The rampant anti-Gentilism (anti-Paganism, if you will). The Philistines were Mycenaeans, as archaeologists have proven. The Jews hated them. […]

[…] So we see in the Hebrew Bible the tide of ethnic cleansing. We see it again in the Hasmonean era, when the Jewish kings tried to restore the Israel of mythology and killed, drove out of their homes, and forcibly converted Gentiles, burning their cities when they resisted.[…]

source

It’s interesting to finally read something on the Israel – Palestine – Gaza issue that has become so important for me, written by another Pagan. One, who has possibly never been to Israel, knows it from news, his study, and – most of all – for its part in the development of Christianity. Another perspective, less preoccupied by personal experience, perhaps more free-minded then mine. I mean: I’ve never made a secret of me being not quite objective especially when it comes to Israel. Actually I just don’t believe in blogs being an objective media (well I don’t believe in objective media at all but this is going too far off here).

I always reported that being a Pagan in Israel I felt fine – way better then being one in Austria or Germany. There indeed was one occasion where “Pagan” was been related to the Romans who enslaved Jews, ergo “evil“, but that was a one-time-thing soon to be solved as my (Jewish) friend said: “But her people were genocided by the Romans too! That’s other Pagans!” The old the enemy-of-my-enemy-issue again. However does Hrafnkell’s article make me reconsider? I read it a couple of times but all I end up with is: It’s just true. It is true that the Israelis/Jews never belonged to Gaza (however nor did today’s “Palestinians” who are on no proven way related to the Philistine population of the strip as far as I am concerned). And it’s true that before the Jewish people (which according to the Hebrew Bible descend from some place in today’s Iraq) there have been other peoples living in erez ysrael. In fact there have likely even been other people in Europe before what would later evolve into “Celts” and “Norse people” –  my ancestors – came there. It seems like there might have been a major culture clash (as for not to call it a “genocide”) when neolithic people arrived from the east (though it’s not yet clear whether this was “culture transfer” or actual migration or what of both to which extend). It’s kinda hard to draw the line and decide who “belongs” where … Well anyway: I did point your nose at the article.

There’s another one I particularly liked. It’s an piece as written in April on the sacred in Paganism. And just while writing this Hrafnkell accidentally gives the one of the best definitions of Paganism I have found as far as what we believe in is considered (I can’t count anymore how often I’ve been asked what makes a Pagan a Pagan and what we believe in … and I can’t count anymore how often I’ve stood speechless not knowing what to reply; how to word the million of things I feel about being Pagan):

Tacitus wrote of the Germans in 98 CE, “This is what they consider the strongest of bonds, the sacredness of the home, the gods of wedded life.”

So in the broadest possible sense, what is sacred to the Heathen mind is the community. The community, the InangarĂ°r, is the home of luck. In it, people dwell ”in luck, in frith, in honour.” while the wilds, the utangarĂ° “is waste, the home of evil and unluck.” (Grönbech, 111). The wild is a joyless place, lacking not only the comforts of home, but the necessities of life.

source

It just lately at Beltaine struck me how useless being a Pagan is in a way if there’s no (Pagan) community to share with. You just cannot possibly celebrate any of our fests alone … you need other people; a circle, a family, a coven – just something. Being Pagan just means being part of a community; without that it’s just not the real thing …

However the rest of the article is really worthwhile too. It goes on about Christianity and how it tends to break apart the community first when coming to “rescue” some “savages” and then about how the principles of 1000 CE Vikings just can’t be applied to 2009 CE AsatrĂș although, in the end, they are worshipping the same gods, trying to follow the same part. I do absolutely agree with that one too. Just have a look at other religions (I’ve just had the religions-debate with Avarra, however I still consider Paganism a religion for the reason that my personal definition of the word is another then hers.): They do evolve and they do mirror the changes of society. Just look how much Christianity has changed over the last fifty years. Certainly there are a lot of old-fashioned Christians sticking to the whole idea of no-sex-before-marriage and crap like that but then there are a lot of modern, liberal Christians too who are deeply religious people in the midst of their heard but still live modern lifes for they just adapted their religion. And of course the same is true for modern Muslims, Jews and other religions. So why for the god’s sake is Paganism supposed to be just the same then 1000 years ago? Isn’t that kinda ridiculous?

Well I see I’ve given you plenty of things to think of today. Certainly enough to get you over the weekend. If not check out The Pagan Blogger’s Network which I just joined. This is where I stumbled over A Heathen’s Day and there’s certainly more where that comes from.

so far a wonderful weekend and shabbat shalom to all of you

yours

Migdalit

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