THE NEW PAGANISM
It is hard, difficult, and sometimes confusing to find genuine, real remnants of the beliefs of the norse and Germanic tribes. To dig into this matter, means often to be lead into a pool of disinformation, distorted facts, made up by New Age “Experts”, and by monotheistic abrahamic religions that, as you all know, pretty much destroyed everything of our pagan Ancestors. I personally have read hundreds and hundreds of Books in Old German, in High German, about the old Germanic tales, Fairytales, that unveil a world of Myths and Mythology through Fairytales. I went to school in Germany, to learn about Scandinavian Literature and Folklore, where I have been taught Swedish and Norwegian. After years of learning, I realized how similar these languages really are to my native German language. The words, the grammar. And later on, I have researched deeper into old Scandinavian Books and Folklore. After traveling Europe all my life as a native German, I realized that the remnants of our European Paganism is very difficult to uncover. Too many years of monotheism and christian politics have buried our very own Urreligion, our Urglaube, our native beliefs. I have found that to be the same in Sweden as in Germany. So, the only way for me to uncover the hidden knowledge was through original Literature - in German, Swedish, Norwegian. I did not want any translations, nor American Books. For a very good reason. Just take a look at what happened to the bible. How many translations, how many mistakes have been made during these translations? The old and the new Bible differs like day and night. I only want the genuine, the real old knowledge. I did not want the new, made up “knowledge” that actually has got nothing to do with what Paganism really stood for. And this means to go right after the source, the origins - the native languages of those Tribes and their Literature, at least, what is left of it nowadays.
It is a known fact, that most cultures, most belief systems, are heavily based on their native language and their words and terms. When a language gets lost, and nobody understands or speaks it anymore, the culture will die. And so will their Spirituality. This goes for the Saami in Lapland, the same with Native American Tribes, or Siberian. It is the very same with my very own native pagan Culture and its Folklore. Without the language, there is hardly anything left of its original knowledge. Only new translations, only new misinterpretations, and with that comes the disinformation, … and the confusion. It take this very seriously, as I really love natural Tribes around the Globe. I love and honor them. And so do I love my very own germanic Culture. I was born there in Germany. I have lived there all my life - and all of my parents, my Grandparents, my Ancestors, they are all born in Germany, and have lived there. They were mostly Farmers, and so their connection to their land, their property, the bavarian Alps…. is deeply connected to their, my, culture, language and traditions. I see people wanting to educate me about my very own traditions and folklore, even though they do not speak a word of my native language. I want to speak out loud and clear for my very own pagan culture and the remnants of it. I want to educate because I think I am allowed to - because I am a native European. And so I have learned that many people are confused when it comes to the Germanic and Norse beliefs and the flood of information on the Internet and in Groups, in Subcultures, on TV Shows, and horribly wrong translated books. Some people do even come up to me and ask me personally, if we believe that the norse Gods are real Gods, as real as Jesus and Maria is to Christians. And they are often very much surprised that, when I say, no, based on academic facts, and not beliefs, this was not so. And I can prove it. I can prove it especially by just taking a closer look at our German language and its etymological roots.
Every culture, and this goes especially for the Pan-European Pagan culture as well, is heavily based on;
The animistic beliefs that nature is alive, has a soul, is intelligent.
The local and regional language of the tribe.
The local Environment and its Elements.
And living in tune with nature.
Pan-European because it should be everyones knowledge, that most tribes of Europe were Proto-Germanic at one point, deriving from the Indo-European tribes and so it should be no surprise that us Germans are not that different from the Norwegians nor the Swedes. In fact, we are very similar, in both our language, our culture - and especially our Pagan heritage. We had the very same Gods. The very same beliefs. Only with slightly different terms and names. But when you take a closer look, all these names and terms have mostly the same etymological background. Everything is connected to each other. No matter if it is Tor in Swedish, Þórr in Old Norse, Thor in English, or Donar in High German. Donar nothing else but the German word for Donner; “Thunder”. We were talking about one and the same thing.
Those Gods were not worshipped like Jesus, or JHWH. The Gods were representations, covered in heavy mythological symbolism, of natural phenomena, of the Universe, of man and his relationship to nature and so are the Runes. Everything in nature had a sacred, divine energy to it, called “Megin”, similar to the German word “Kraft”. Even the soil, the earth, had sacred and divine energy, called “Iardarmegin” (more about this in the Book; Deutsche Mythologie” by Jacob Ludwig C.) and Uthark (by swedish Author Thomas Karlsson). Everything in nature was divine, sacred, and spiritual. And that is because it was recognized that consciousness is within everything. The entire point of what Paganism was all about is ; living in tune with nature.
But today we have this massive disinformation and I as a native European, I feel responsible for standing up and giving you all genuine and real information. The Image that most people have today of Paganism is distorted, based on Entertainment, a lot of Fantasy, and it first and foremost reflects the current state of mind of modern people living in modern society. And not the genuine shattered puzzle pieces that are left of Europan Paganism. That is a fact. See, I know that we basically know nothing, and I can say that, because I have truly researched into this matter with their original languages for years. And what I truly want is that the ones out there, who do feel the call of European Paganism, take this very seriously and that they are ready to educate themselves more and more.
The Myth of Odin hanging on the tree, finding the Runes, the secrets deep within the Underworld is about life of man and woman here and now. It is a Myth, because, it reveals a truth about life and death. That you, as a human individual, need to go through death, suffering and darkness, your every own darkness deep within you, to find the light, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Odin is not a Jesus-like Figure and was never seen that way. He is not some type of leader. He is within you and me, every child, because “he” is a symbol of us, ourselves, our people, our children. There was no clear line between the spiritual world and our world, and that, I think, is foreign to most people. We are raised with a monotheistic point of view most of the time. And that is, that the spiritual, divine world, is separated from us, far way, in different dimensions, and we have to do this or that to gain access to it.
The Gods were found within nature and within us. Within everything and everyone around is. Because it clear, that we are part of nature, and nature itself, is the spirit divine.
Those tribes were heavily based on honoring nature, its powers, forces and the Ancestors. That is why most kids on Halloween dress up as ghosts, and other beings today. There is a norse “Halloween” as well, besides the all known Samhain, there is the Alfablót. Why are those kids dressing up in costumes? What symbolism could be behind there?
Every single animistic tribe had its very own initiation rituals. And this was one of them. What was the purpose? That the children go into the Underworld, the realm of Death, where their Ancestors reside on their way up to higher divine levels of being, and that they are reborn with traits, the knowledge and the wisdom of their Ancestors.
I am writing this Article, because I feel that the most important Aspect is education. I feel that Neopaganism has turned into something so new, that it has got nothing to do with the origin, the source, anymore. We have to preserve the old knowledge and wisdom, and by educating ourselves, we can get to know the remnants that are left of it, and then, and only then, we can strengthen new seeds to grow a new pagan spirit within each and everyone of us. But first and foremost, we have to understand what the old knowledge was all about. If we just go ahead and “create” our very own, very new version of norse Spirituality, it will not have much to do with the old wisdom - and it will slowly fade away, forgotten and never understood.
The example with Thor as Thunder is a very important example of understanding the Gods. And there are many more examples, that are linked to the Germanic languages and the Gods themselves. It is important to understand that these Gods do have a spiritual value and function. But their definition of what a God is and was, is totally different from the abrahamic definition. The norse Gods are not superior, all knowing, and almighty, but each and everyone of them has a function, a purpose, - that can be found within nature, and ourselves. We are talking about natural phenomena and principles here, and I know, this is so far different from the christian point of view. But we need to look at the facts to preserve this culture. There is so much hidden wisdom and understanding to be found.
Do you know the plant valerian? The herb that many people drink as teas when they are getting depressed in the winter. The German word for valerian is BALDRIAN. And my Grandmother used to harvest it and make teas out of it as well. Why, I asked here. And she said that Baldrian is like the Sun, if you drink it, you will feel calm, happy and light and warm again. No more bad mood. Do you realize that in the German word BALDRIAN is the word BALDR? Coincidence or deeper relationship between language and spirituality?
And who is Baldr? That’s right… the Sun. Why does Baldr die and return again? What does the Sun do during the northern Winters? If you are American, just go to Alaska and witness it for real. Barrow, Alaska might give you an insight into this Spirituality. The Sun literally disappears and it is terribly dark…. until it is reborn! How important must it have been to the Farmers, to make sure, that the Sun will be coming back? It was of extreme importance!
The way we look at nature today is not the way the Pagan Europeans looked at nature, and this is why, we are having a hard time accepting that they were indeed representations of natural phenomena, natural forces, powers and beings that were of spiritual value. There is power within nature, there are secrets within nature, that we will never understand. And I say this because I am absolutely convinced that this is true. I am into shamanism and the occult for real, and thus, I absolutely believe, that energy and consciousness are related, and fundamental to everything within this realm and dimension. There are many many things within nature, that we do not understand anymore, and that we have forgotten about.
But to the Pagan Europeans, this was all very real. And nature was the Gateway into the Otherworlds, the Underworld, the realms of the Divine and everything was all one. It was all connected and in harmony with each other - and the Rune Eihwaz can reveal these secrets for everyone. What we perceive is reality is, in the end, nothing but a construct of our ideologies. Reality is so much more complex, deeper, and mysterious. There is multiple realities around us all the time, multi layered, and everything is made out of… “Megin”.
So, what can we do today, to make sure that this culture is protected and preserved, and what can we learn from it? I think it is of most importance that people start educating themselves more and more, even if this means that people have to learn Old Norse, Swedish or German again, so be it. I think this would be a great start and will give a lot of insight into these cultures. There are so many pagan associations in my native language, I can’t even count. Through the language, and the culture, one will gain more and more insight into the mentality of the people, and “their world”. And this is a very important part of getting closer and of course understanding Paganism!
Påsk, Ostara, Ostern, Eastern
Krampus, Perchten, Brigid, Imbolc
Blota, Julfest, Lucia, Hausblot
etc. etc. and then researching deeper into these Traditions and Celebrations. And what is left, we must understand and fully preserve and protect. And from there on… we can start sowing new seeds. How are we going to do that?
We have to start realizing again, that we are part of nature and everything about norse Spirituality and European Paganism is about - nature. We have to start looking at nature in a whole new way. And this means that if people are serious about reviving the pagan spirit…
then living off the land will become essential and necessary, for everything, for meditations, education, etc. I myself have learned so much about nature and its intelligence, its consciousness, by learning about Permaculture and Biodynamic Gardening (Books; Sepp Holzer, Wolf Dieter Storl, Steiner) and by applying it on my own property back in Bavaria, Germany. There was one Farmer in the mountains of Germany, where I got my horses from. That was near Garmisch Partenkirchen, in the higher alpine Areas.
He told me that, at night during sleep, he often dreams about how his plants, his livestock and his animals are doing, what they need and how everything is exchanging energy. He even dreams of livestock getting sick, before he knows that something might be wrong with his horses or pigs. Kind of like intimate relationship, a bond, almost telepathic like communication with his own property and his own piece of nature. Isn’t this really interesting? I know he does not see himself as a Pagan at all! But to me - this is what Paganism is really all about. The essence, the goal and the purpose of Paganism! Reaching this level of consciousness with nature is special - and truly spiritual, almost shamanic. And if we can do that while preserving the real, the genuine, without the made up new Age Stuff, then we can be sure and certain, that our roots will never be forgotten. But to understand this, we have to acknowledge that “Paganism” has become a label for all sorts of weird things, and esoteric Movements - without real and sincere background education. We need more and more education.
Can you read?
Can you sacrifice?
No. We clearly can't and we don't know anymore and of course some people will say otherwise, not acknowledging the shattered pieces that are left. I was born in Germany and I can honestly say that most of my fellow Countrymen have no clue whatsoever anymore. They don’t know anything. It is about being honest, humble and showing respect, true respect and dedication to the almost forgotten knowledge of the pagan past. And I myself, I am studying hard, but even I myself do not know the Old Ways, because this knowledge is more than 60% completely lost. But I want to preserve the real information that is still left. And because of that, we need to be more academic, professional and educated.
The questions that should be asked are;
Do you know the language of your Ancestors?
Do you want to speak, do you want to understand?
Do you know the way back to nature?
Do you know how to Garden, grow food, living self sufficient?
Do you know herbalism, can you identify, can you observe and learn from nature?
Do you know your roots and origins?
Do you know canning, living off the land, taking care of livestock, the Garden?
Do you know wild foraging?
Once we get to this point, where we truly have found the old forgotten pieces, the words, the terms, and language, and the traditions, we can go further… we can go out in nature and try to communicate once again. We can try to open up Gates and Pathways. We can try to open up our mind and soul, and learn from nature. That’s the way the Pagans did it. They have learned form nature. All the knowledge, the wisdom, it is all taught by nature herself. And in order to do that, I think, we might have to change the way we see things. I got into Hobby Farming, and self sufficient living, Permaculture, and old Agricultural knowledge, I got educated again about herbalism, its medicinal value, natural value and even the mythological Aspects of certain herbs and plants. How many do still know that the infamous Stinging Nettle was sacred - dedicated to Heimdall? Or the Beifuss, Mugwort in English, a Hexenkraut - Witches Wort, to open up the Gates to Hel? Not many… but this is old Germanic Pagan Knowledge. And it really needs to be preserved. The Holunder, the Elderberry, was part of sacrifices for the Underworld? This is all equally important, most important knowledge.
Some people like to ask me, where and how I attend my pagan celebrations. I usually say that I like to go mushroom hunting, or spending time in the vegetable Garden. Sooner or later, someday, nature, and all its secrets, will start to talk to you, reach out to you… and this is the way of reviving the pagan spirit.
The genuine and intimate relationship between human mind and the mind of nature.
All Pagans that are sincere into Europan Culture should learn;
The original language of their Ancestors and
Read the original literature of their Ancestors, their tales, traditions, celebrations, mythology and culture
Exchanging academic knowledge on language, culture, and folklore
Exchanging knowledge on living off the land and in tune with nature;
that could be wild foraging, herbalism, gardening, livestock, hobby farming, canning, preserving foods, hunting, fishing,
Exchanging knowledge of spiritual practice; meditation techniques and occult techniques of how to tune the mind into the frequencies of nature and seeking contact and communication.
Harvest rituals become empty and void, if you do not harvest on your own property, our out in nature anymore. Yul becomes void, if you do not feel the darkness of the winter, and embrace it with all your senses, while tuning yourself and your whole life into the cycles of nature and the seasons once again. And as a matter of fact... the Farmer, who lives off the land, is usually the one who can still feel that connection to the land and nature, and the cycles of nature. We should be humble... we should be silent... and listen... and learn!