Column: You’re Doing It Wrong

“You’re doing it wrong” is a battle cry that regularly rings out throughout the Ásatrú and Heathen communities; among those who practice one of the various modern forms of Germanic polytheism. In a cluster of religions without central authority or dogma, there is a paradoxical and continual struggle to assert authority and dogma while positing one’s own perspective as the proper one. Especially in America, such assertions often turn to academia for authentication and justification. Perhaps surprisingly to those unfamiliar with the Heathen subcultures, practitioners sometimes adjust their religious beliefs to accord with academic works written by secular scholars who are openly hostile to modern Heathenry. Whether seeking to justify their own beliefs or to critique the practices of others, Heathens often turn to academic writing on ancient Germanic paganism as the fundamental arbiter of modern religious authenticity.

Post-Christianity, Political Solidarity, and the Pagan Paradigm

In ways the various founders, visionaries, and clergy could never have anticipated, modern Pagan faiths have thrived and become world religions. In many instances our faiths have entered the mainstream. Sometimes, embedded within the interconnected Pagan communities, dealing with the day-to-day controversies and obstacles, it’s hard to see just how far we’ve come. This isn’t to say that no challenges remain, or that we enjoy complete parity with other, more dominant, faiths, but we have reached a place that few could have initially hoped for. Further, larger shifts in Western culture towards a post-Christian social and political reality, along with important advances in interfaith initiatives, create a fertile soil for a number of religious minorities to grow at impressive rates in relative peace.

Ukrainian Idol to Perun Destroyed by Vandals

At the beginning of this month, a wooden idol of the god Perun, installed in the Ukrainian city of Kiev by Slavic Pagan reconstructionists/revivalists (known as Ridnovir), was destroyed by unnamed vandals. According to the Native Faith Association of Ukraine (ORU) this was a coordinated effort that required machinery and multiple people to accomplish. This desecration comes after a Ukrainian Pagan temple was attacked at the end of 2011 in Poltava.
The European Congress of Ethnic Religions (ECER) released a statement saying that this event “rocked all those who respected the ancient Slavic faith.” This event rocked all those who respected the ancient Slavic faith.