Our rich and vibrant history as Europeans has often been degraded and watered down by those looking to discredit our natural way of life. They look at the myths as a literal interpretation of what our forebears believed and fail to understand the complex knowledge that lives within them. To me, it is ironic that they consider our spiritual perceptions to be primitive while continuing to put so much weight in a temperamental desert god. Meanwhile, they fail to realize that most Christian practices or philosophies with any significant worth find their inception within pagan tradition.
My purpose in writing this article is not to provide you with historical information, to guide you in ritualism, to explain the meaning of the myths, or to translate runic symbolism. There are many other resources that adequately cover those topics far better than I could on a short form platform such as this. Instead, I hope to provide you with some insight into the perceptions and worldviews of a practicing pagan in the modern world. It is my intention to use language that is easy to understand for those who are unfamiliar with the old ways, or even people who have begun to find their own connection with their ancestors.
The Basis Of The Pagan Perception
What we believe comes from three main sources of influence.
1) The historical aspects passed down from generation to generation.
2) Observations of the natural world.
3) Personal life experiences.
These three things shape how we perceive the gods, shape our philosophy, and continue our traditions. Our connection to the past is the foundation upon which we build our future. It keeps our sights on that which is most important and ensures that we will not get lost pursuing trivial or self-destructive endeavors.
What Are The Gods
Myth has been used to convey complex ideas in a way that makes them easier to remember and understand. Including depictions of our gods, their adventures, and what we can learn from them.
The gods themselves are representative of the many elements that can be found in the natural world. Their humanized portrayal reminds us that we have a direct connection with the gods and have a mutual relationship with them. Other spiritual practices tend to separate a people from their god or gods, designating a Master and Servant relationship. The heathen view considers that the gods are us and we are them, forever joined in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Beyond the physical realm are powers that are not apparent to our human senses, yet that does not make them any less real. Much like a gas that cannot be detected by its smell, but is no less deadly than a gas with an obvious odor. What we can see, smell, and touch, is not always an accurate depiction of absolute reality.
Mainstream science will tell you that consciousness is a random byproduct of the brain, but there are specialists in biological and medical chemistry who disagree with this assumption. They believe that consciousness is not a product of physicality, only that it is influenced by it. Much like a television’s internal wiring influences its signal processing and the quality of the picture you receive. The television itself does not create the program you‘re watching, nor does your brain create consciousness. It is merely the receiver of an external signal, which allows you to interact with it directly.
Consciousness is absolutely fundamental to nature and it is stitched into the very fabric of reality. From the pagan perspective, what we experience in the physical realm is a manifested byproduct of divine consciousness itself. Meaning that much of what we consider to be our gods are manifested in the outer heavens, our immediate environment, the life within that environment, the natural cycles that they go through, our ancestors, and our own relationship or immediate connection to those elements.
Because the physical realm is a direct manifestation of divine consciousness, everything we need to know about our gods or what they expect from us is readily available within it. Natural Law IS Divine Law. Man-made dogma is completely superficial and illegitimate when it challenges or goes against the rules displayed by the natural world.
While the gods are certainly present within all of us, they also represent something to attain. They are a more advanced and enlightened level of consciousness, created through their own sacrifices and spiritual evolutionary processes. They show us the way, but we must choose to follow their path. Whether or not we fulfill our own purpose in this life is entirely up to us. No matter how difficult the challenges in front of us are, we must realize that those are the challenges necessary for us to metaphysically evolve.
The Purpose Of Life
If you want to understand the purpose of life, then you have to ask yourself WHY does consciousness manifest itself in physical form? We know that energy itself cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be altered from its previous state.
Through understanding the demands of natural law and following the example of the gods, we are capable of ascending our own consciousness towards divine consciousness. This is what we believe to be the purpose of the physical realm: to act as a gateway where consciousness itself can be manipulated and improved, both individually and collectively. Beyond this life, your evolution will not be weighed out by your popularity, material gain, or any other such superficial standards. Its value can only be determined by the quality of your soul, which is timeless and eternal. It is the development of your self-realization that transcends life, nothing more. Our purpose here is to achieve spiritual growth and evolve towards god consciousness.
This spiritual evolution demands not only that we pursue our own individual development, but also that we ensure a continued evolution through the survival of our race and culture. Therefore pursuing the perfection of our inherent uniqueness as a species, as nature intended. Who we are on a spiritual level is mirrored in our way of life, and in order to continue a collective climb towards divinity, it is necessary that previous development provides a solid stepping-stone for future generations. We must not forget what we have learned.
Our culture was created by recognizing our place within nature, obtaining our base needs for survival, and nurturing values that go beyond those base needs. Because of this, our way of life should have a strong connection to the land, unbreakable family or communal bonds, deep spiritual expressions, clear values to demand or aspire to, and an overall growth-minded organization.
When we stray from our traditional values, we not only stagnate our individual and collective evolution, but we also create the perfect breeding ground for psychological sickness and societal destruction. This can be blatantly seen in the current conditions of the modern world, which is currently tearing itself apart.
If we have any care to secure a future for our children, then a return to our natural way of life is the only way it will be possible. Anything else is a band-aid on a gunshot wound.
To sever our roots is to kill our future.
Why Paganism Is Folkish
There are two types of people you will come across in the heathen world, folkish heathens and universalists. Notice that I do not bother to call universalists “heathens,” as their only true relation to the spiritual practice is an attachment to stereotypical fashion and outward displays of empty ritualism. They do not earn strength, they do not gain wisdom, they do not honor their ancestors or demonstrate discipline. In fact, they seem to spend more time ridiculing and demonizing their heritage, instead of defending and expanding it. When they’re not doing that, their hobbies usually include gluttony, alcoholism, drug addiction, and deviant sexual perversion. They know nothing of loyalty, honor, courage, or self-reliance.
Universalists treat heathenry as if it is endowed with the same weak egalitarian ideals that is found in Christian philosophy. But the very basis of heathen spirituality makes it completely incompatible with all-inclusive ideologies.
As I have mentioned previously, our way of life is heavily shaped by our natural evolution within the European bioregion and is strongly focused on ancestral connections. This makes it completely ridiculous and superficial for someone who does not share that ancestral connection to attach themselves to our way of life. Are they not proud of their own ancestors? Have their ancestors not provided anything for them that is worth continuing? And if not, do they not have the ability to create a proud legacy of their own?
Our Place In The Cycle
Within heathenry, there is a dominant theme regarding the cyclical nature of the world. This cycle follows the standard birth, life, physical degeneration, death, and rebirth pattern. All of our important celebrations and hallowed days also follow this pattern, within the yearly shifting of the seasons.
Our own inclusion in this pattern shows us our ancestors behind us and our descendants in front of us. We feel the energy that stems from our roots and take care to continue that energy into the future. Our part in the cycle guarantees our own rebirth and our chance to continue spiritual evolution in the physical realm. Without this connection to our unique past, one cannot be a European Heathen. It is simply impossible.