The Northern Gods Are Not White

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

The Gods of Heathenry and Northern Tradition Paganism are not white. They are Gods who were historically worshiped by continental or non-continental Northern Europeans. White, as a descriptor to describe people of a certain skin color, and generally speaking certain ethnic backgrounds, is relatively recent in modern description. It is completely socially constructed, and its use has been, throughout history, to marginalize other people and to place ‘whiteness’ as superior. It has no place in Heathenry or the Northern Tradition.

I absolutely reject the idea, finding it repugnant and blasphemous, to place our Gods in the context of ‘whiteness’. There is no such thing as ancient ‘white history’; there is ancient Germanic history, ancient Icelandic history, and so on. ‘White history’, as such, is a relatively new construction. It, and whiteness in general, was initially put forth by the British to make colonization and the other imperialistic ambitions of the…

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On Beauty, Sex, Sexuality, and Romance in Old Norse society

Silver and Gold

I was digging through some old files the other day and came across a presentation I had created for a Runes ‘n Lore class my old kindred used to run. I had chosen Sex, Beauty, and Romance because, well, I’m a Freyaswoman and it seemed the kind of thing that I should be know about. I’ve revised it and added more information. Most of the material here is drawn from  Women in Old Norse Society, by Jenny Jochens. Dr. Jochens draws her data from the Eddas, the Sagas, and contemporary laws. She takes an interdisciplinary approach and processes this information through the lens of linguistics, history, and modern gender analysis. Together with her book Old Norse Images of Women, and Women in the Viking Age, by Judith Jesch, we now know quite a bit about what it was like to be a woman in the Viking Age. I…

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Why Racism Harms Heathenry

Sarenth Odinsson's Blog

This comment was made on The Wild Hunt recent Pagan Community Notes in response to HUAR calling out Irminfolk as a racist religious group.

“If your definition of the word “hurt” means “Anyone who holds a belief that I don’t like” then I agree, racism hurts people. But of course that’s nonsense. What hurts people are *actions* and *policies* in the public area. A private religion having it’s own bylaws, charter, and mission statement is not hurting anyone. The moment they take those beliefs and try to diminish the rights and freedoms of others (remember you don’t have a right to join any religion you want) then we can chat about hurting others. I’m not surprised at the lack of critical thinking on these posts, it’s pretty standard for the modern Pagan community. And if you read my first post, which sounds like you didn’t, I said “have a right…

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For the Last Time: Mental Illnesses Are Not Adjectives

I honestly have nothing to add to this. It says everything I would have said myself, and I applaud the author for taking a stand on something this important. Please enjoy.

Let's Queer Things Up!

Ugh. So let’s talk about this mess:

ratiochristi Pictured above is a flyer that reads, “IS THE BIBLE’S GOD BIPOLAR?” in a large font. It includes the name of an organization, “Ratio Christi,” in a stylized text below.

It’s been said before, and it should be common knowledge by now, but apparently it isn’t.

So here’s a fun fact: Mental illnesses are not adjectives.

I’m angry. I’m angry because this isn’t the first time I’ve seen “bipolar” used in such a frivolous, insensitive way, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Do people honestly think that bipolar disorder is just a happy/sad rollercoaster of fun times? Because I’m pretty sure the word you’re looking for is “moody” or “dramatic” or maybe “volatile,” none of which are synonyms for “bipolar.”

Have you considered that maybe God is just really irrational? Because if anything, I think the more accurate description…

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Pagan Issues and Racial Issues

Beloved in Light

This is mostly addressing the white majority in the pagan communities. I have been sitting on this a bit, ever since news regarding Ferguson and subsequent events broke out. Racial/ethnic issues have been one that has been close to my heart for as long as I can remember, ever since childhood when I discovered a fascination and love for different cultures and delved into my studies in history. Over the last couple of years it has become a more personal issue too, which I admit probably does give me some bias, involving the birth of my biracial infant and my engagement to her father who happens to be African American. As a Caucasian woman I know I live in a bubble of security and privilege, something that my fiancée has reminded me by his own stories and experiences. The fact that it doesn’t even occur to me to carry my…

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