Set In These Ways
On Heathen Anarchy
With strange tongues, careful rituals were begun. An overcast morning welcomed the purifying candlelight. The mist of the valley and the smoke of the incense billowing gently from the altar teemed round where highways and factory farms eclipse today.
Elements in wayfaring patterns juxtaposed one another above, below and among the doings of the world-gazers: the common human head among several or many residing in the heaths that dotted pastures, coasts and roadsides. Many spots where these people broke from their work, giving thanks for all they had, are still marked with letters of a jagged, interlaced composition. A story of a wise wanderer who sacrificed self to self by hanging from the World Tree to know the nature of these unique runes encourages all who gaze at the world and its tree to seek insight, to challenge themselves. Stones were hallowed, erected where heath-dwellers felt the strongest gifts bestowed by ageless guardians, stalwart ancestors, loving friends, congenial wights. “From the gods, to the earth, to us ...” They gave gifts in return, in thanks to these friends: “From us, to the earth, to the gods ...” And so a cycle, biding the spheres and lasting through the tides, came to be the praxis of these world-gazing people.
This, in their modest tasks of self-sustenance — even during the first strange changes, served them very well before the aqueducts, before Christ, before cities, before miles of agriculture and every fucking thing wrapped in plastic begot the gradual end of this world with which we were blessed.
This is one among the ways of the pagans, the people spread across all regions whose waking and lived individual constitutions had ceded from this life long before the current epoch began making the Earth unlivable. In their times, the wages of mortality or deprivation rested on disease and natural disaster before man-made climate change, regional dictates by the brawn of a King or an Earl. These predate the imagination that we would someday possess the capability to skew the storms, bring drought and floods, to erode the skies, poison the oceans, the soil and the soul. And still, with immanent threats that encompassed no world yet known but the heath or the mountainside, hearts would still rise to the task of betraying or slaying tyrants when it became clear that the life blessed by the goddesses and gods was being hampered by an all-power, welcome-worn buffoon.
There is no going back to these times before everything became this horrible. There is only an onward course for those still alive which is continually, minutely revised in the passing hours that yield more information. But with more information in these channels, there seems to be only more disengaged possibility that recognizes itself in its halting at fear. Collective paralysis, set on by so many gruesome factors, has made the decision for all: to be an upstanding subject, to be parsed, seen, chewed and shat back out by the Roman Empire in 2021 [or, insert current year,] the common era.
History’s many, many points are well behind a twenty years’ chronicle of gnashing of teeth, repetitive images and video. It flares like a collection of myths concerning the most malignant level of the upright (human) wealth of happenings. So very much and somehow only a grumble of what to learn from, of what to expound on and make a practical lesson. A grappling with the world has cemented over the gazing heights. Their peaks were given luxurious balconies made from the suffering of thousands. The height stands to evoke in the viewer the feeling of might and command rather than a vantage into the world’s contents, what to derive in the heart from them.
The Roman, the world-grappler, sees only in the Earth the material with which to make more, make more. The Romans venerate their gods through expansion, eternal building and wringing out the land and waters for resources to do so. The world-gazing pagans know that if we are to have the goddesses’ and gods’ fullest reciprocity, they want us to manifest and sustain a real equilibrium in life between our heaths and the earth without saturation into death as we do every day now in this global Empire.
The world teeters on an uncertainty borne from the desperation to always be certain in the worst ways about the worst affairs, with so few having the shelter to be sad about it all.
How have I come to be so assured in goddesses & gods? How exactly, during such an age of content management systems, hopeless cycles of heatwaves and air conditioning, mindless show-streaming, cheap snickers and crazed conspiracy theories that distract from the certain and almost timeless conspiracy of being ruled and destroyed, have I planted a stake in animistic, panentheist polytheism?
“If there even were any goddesses or gods, they have probably long-since given up on humanity for a variety of reasons.”
Well, I don’t think this is how it works. I acknowledge plainly how this alone makes me “crazy” to normal Romans who love their Empire, letting alone how my being an anarchist paints me in their rose-tinted glasses.
In life, one tries many things. Some don’t work or simply feel lacking in substance. Some things were amicable, and then there is a surging change in the winds. The universe has a rhythm with an attractive, ephemeral rhyme unset to vowel or consonant. Those roles are filled by who we are, what we do, what we heed.
Much of this matter is relegated to order and chaos, but such terminology has lost all use for me. When I approach the many tall pillars of alleged importance outside of my hearth, I only taste gleeful delusions and wheezing distractions within the symptoms of a wilting world. I know no order that is not broken down into failure; I know no chaos that does not invite possibility. I truly find nothing out there that is important to me aside from the hearts and minds of thoughtful people, the knowledge I can attain and refine, the birds, the flowers, the grass, the soil, the waters, the sky.
These are the teeming parts of real life that the goddesses and gods still touch amid the smog and concrete. I praise them with a comforted grin when seeing this. In all the upright faces I see, voices I hear, deeds I observe or am subject to, I see only their present condition and their possible betterment. I think to myself, “what possibilities are washed away to reemerge untouched every second!”
I want to follow up on a polemic case I presented last year. Before this, we have to clarify some things. I am going to touch on the existence of nazi scum in this religion throughout my clarifications, because I know for a fact that these days, anybody who reads online about contemporary paganism originating from Europe has had it prefaced for them that only nazis worship Tyr, Odin and Thor or some other monumentally ignorant shit.
Firstly, “heathenry” is a modern term that denotes the pre-Christian religious traditions of the Germanic peoples (including Norse, Vandal, Saxon, Alemannic, Frankish, Frisian, Goth, Suebi, Baltic, Slavic, etc.) of Europe from the Iron Age to the Dark Ages. “Heathen” derives from the Old Saxon and Old High German for a “dweller on the heath, one inhabiting uncultivated land,” essentially the meaning of the Latin paganus in the languages that such pagans would have used, though none at the time would have self-identified as such; haiþno (Gothic, plural,) heiðinn (Norse, ditto,) hedhin (Saxon,) or heidan (O.H. German.)
Other names for the practice in a modern context include “Germanic Neopaganism” and “Reconstructionist Germanic Polytheism.” Today’s heathens and other pagans divert from the various outer religious developments after their original practitioners were converted or killed. I consider this divergence, at least for me and some others, to include an opposition bound up in our religion to a centuries’ old domestication of all peoples, carried out by the suppressing— if not the extermination— of pagan will.
Will to me occupies a complicated role in heathenry, and it is not a role exempt from being bent. Put simply, a heathen ethics centers on a balance of exercising self-preservation and upholding mutual bonds. The will that sets its life’s affects into motion is the will that is ultimately seen poking through the acts, and is the will that is ultimately affected. (This is all my own summarization. Asking anyone about the role of “will” in anything is bound to get dicey, especially in this context.)
Very tragically, when making an entry into socio-political modes of religion, it is easy for one’s first imagination of ethics in heathenry to be colored by the sort of National Socialist collectivism (A loud and disgusting trend called “Folkism,” or “Volkism,” which conceives of folk as something far different from what heathens of antiquity did or even could conceive of it as) that holds each person as property to an ethnically homogeneous society. I.e., white ethno-nationalist rhetoric of “Faith, folk, family.” This is where “will” becomes used by far-right grifters as a tool in an elaborate emotional scheme to make every will the will of the head of state, the will of the abusive patriarch, the will of the town klansman, the will of the handsomely groomed, eloquently-spoken host of the evening news or the underground podcast. “White Man, do you not will that you be surrounded by people who look like you? Who think like you? Who don’t invite uncomfortable questions into your life? If not, you are without will, and may just as well be dead!”
One need only to skim through Carl Jung’s 1936 essay Wotan or his unfortunate background regarding the chauvinist Völkisch movement immediately before the seizure of power by the NSDAP to have the original recipe that works to this day to put easily duped racists in the pockets of charismatic con men. There are lessons to take from this community’s conflict and confrontations with white supremacist bastardizations and corruptions of the Fuþark runes, the roles of gods like Wudan (Óðinn, Odin) and Þunr (Þórr, Thor) and the role of race in Germanic Polytheism (hint: there isn’t one.) This is a very dark splotch of reconstructionist Germanic pagan history that all heathens must learn from.
Heathens today are remiss to remain silent or gloss over the charred roots of an ugly tree that many have put a cleansing torch and a banishing hammer to. It is not incorrect to say that the base bricks of our religion, specifically relating to the reconstruction of an elder faith, were laid by fascists. Germany in the 1920s saw the peak of a romantic nostalgia for a pure, untainted Germany in light of the horrors and humiliations of the freshly-lost Great War (World War I.) The Völkisch movement supplied an idyllic nationalist image of a return to a heroic, chivalrous and homogeneous society decorated with folkloric stories of pagan life. Their ranks were saturated with antisemitism and pacts of “keeping their bloodline pure” by only marrying whoever they considered “Aryan.” Much of their mission was “Germanizing” Christianity, i.e., removing Jewish traits of Christianity from German society in favor of an “Aryan” portrayal of Christ and the gospels. Short of this, some in this movement advocated a total rejection of Christianity in favor of a revival of paganism, considering Christianity as a “weak person’s faith” for those who have forfeited the “purity of their ancestral culture.” This latter thought process remains in contemporary Folkists.
These outlooks are not shows of strength. They are not oppressed voices. They are shallow flinches at appearing strong, conjured by a socially privileged entitlement to having power over others, being prioritized over others on the basis of ethnicity, as well as their conformity to the gender/sex binary and the nuclear family.
Nor are these core parts of the religion that contemporaries simply seek to revise out of the picture: “Race” is a socially fabricated oversimplification of inherited traits. Heathens of antiquity had no conception of intrinsic teams within humankind. Folkists use the claim of “renewal” or “preservation” of their “blood” as a front to enslave or exterminate ethnic, sexual and gender minorities, to establish an all-white Rome with a hideous corruption of my pantheon.
We therefore must endeavor that the weight of our own stones laid, hewed from the love and strength of protecting and upholding all people struggling within Present Rome, be stacked tall—cemented over the past, not to forget but to learn and overcome.
There arises a difficult juggling act to separate what is historically evident from what is relevant to the present reconstruction of the faith. The actual ethics of heathens of antiquity were likely only crudely set over generations of migration; they reflected behaviors of interdependent trades concerning different spheres of life at those times and places. Reciprocity seems to have been understood in returning favor on the parts of all those involved in this interdependency; some did so through trade in the community, others did so through keeping the home— a largely non-gendered division. Depending on region, they had caste systems, nobility, codes of law and monarchic forms of authority that judged and corrected how things like the storage of grain from harvests and the smithing and inventory of weapons were being held down, all of which were not pleasant and not preferable to what authority is today.
It is also a fact that thralldom (slavery,) gang rape, animal sacrifice, occasional human sacrifice of slaves and brother-sister unions were commonplace in these settings. None of these are religious aspects of contemporary heathenry. Unless one is of the totally vegan persuasion, there could be minor exceptions on animal sacrifice for rural heathens who actually raise animals, but by and large these are historical circumstances that are filtered out by just about all sensible heathens.
At the same time, we find in these historical pagan cultures remarkable acceptance of gender nonconformity, instances of free love, migrants being welcomed as kindred and even becoming gods in the case of Inguin (Yngvi Freyr), amicable reconciliations between ex-lovers, and a robust joint safety net that could be considered a kind of mutual aid. The conversion of these communities to Christianity is precisely what brought with it a flood of alcoholism, a more concrete patriarchy, a manufactured rigidity of “the sexes,” domestic violence, the transfer of thralldom to serfdom— all adding to the pile of what is already most loathsome. As you can see, there is much take & leave here.
Such historical dynamics offer a testament to certain pre-Christian traditions that have fulfilled needs and passions then, that can inform our revival and survival of these dynamics in our parallel conditions now. Our challenge to Traditionalism, to authoritarian Christian and other Abrahamic homogeneity, is contained in our relationship to goddesses and gods of a world that Traditionalists have no real, practical love for. Our faith is seated in revering our gift-givers, maintaining and defending what gifts preserve our lives, our happiness— while Trads merely worship the idea of enlightened white people having full reign over the soil through the malicious, deluded idea of their “blood.”
It is up to us carrying on what it means to be pagan to affirm and defend what we want, what enlivens, what empowers us, and to renounce what is harmful and oppressive to ourselves and others.
I cannot personally say that I ardently don any ethics. I feel that the very nature of ethical debates themselves have put me in this position; I think that spending too much time pinpointing every hypothetical instance of social life to summarize what in reality has already come to pass takes focus away from the tangible, proactive preventions of harm and purposeless violence in a way that really wants to help and not aimlessly berate people. I do not think we require to pick a side in the battles of consequentialism, deontology and so on to be individuals worth living among other individuals. There are complicated evolutionary factors to our brains, our hormones when dealing with actions that affect other people; we typically call these things “instincts.” By no means are these infallible, but short of physiological conditions, these are decent starting points. Instincts might not always help avoid the bad thing happening in the first place, but it can make all the difference in bringing a better outcome in the response.
Unfamiliar people searching for precise ethical heathen tenants doing cursory research will sometimes misconstrue that there are longstanding commandments of Germanic pagan practice. The “nine noble virtues” often come up, which is one set among a few different codes penned by various Nazis such as Stephen McNallen who penned “Some Odinist Values” in the early 1980s for defunct or racist assemblies. (Odinism is a sort of offshoot to heathenry that either places special emphasis on a caricature of Odin or solely recognizes Odin, not unlike Christianity.) These are condensed interpretations of what the Hávamál (proverbs attributed to Óðinn) teaches.
Such codes of ethics are drawn up, constructed by heathens. Any individual heathen can create their own set if they really, really want to. Nothing in our religion resembles a requirement to abide by explicit laws imposed onto us directly by the goddesses and gods. (Having said that, the Declaration Of Deeds is a concise and fitting contemporary petition of sorts for sensible heathen individuals and organizations to sign in order to stand against the filth that plagues our faith. It more clearly states the intent of heathens to judge and interact with people based on their deeds, not any other factor outside their choosing. The same goes for Declaration 127, but many have aptly stated that it is a rather milquetoast choice of wording.)
Along with historical information that is continually being developed and discovered, we have more engaged processes of deeper origin for determining our actions before they are done, for putting forth our desires and intents to the goddesses and gods. The concepts of inner yards (those close to you) and outer yards (strangers, the public, most acquaintances,) frith (a bond of trust,) the cosmology of The Well and The Tree consisting of uzlagą (or orlæg, orlay, “that which came first”) and wurđíz (or wyrde/wyrd, pronounced “weird,” the tapestry of all actions, their ripples in the well-water) and the gifting cycle between heathen and kindred, between heathen and deities further compose the dynamics that heathens conduct their lives through. (The Longship [dot] net is generally considered the go-to resource nowadays for rough introductions and further reading on these.) These concepts are there to guide, not to bind. A heathen simply reaps the rewards or losses depending on her actions and intentions.
For “will” to keep the shape of a pagan life and be colored by anarchy’s black— the immediate preface of the light— we are tasked with developing this— within a mindful heathen framework made up of the processes detailed above— into a conscious, informed demeanor as from the real, fluid, living nature that acts with every act, that moves with every motion, that breathes with every breath. Knowing that all individuals have different will, there must be ample room for correction and appropriate response for oneself and their loved ones. Yet this conception of “will” must also stand distinguished from authoritarian thought & behavior by what anarchist intentionality manifests.
“Will” needs to be clearly understood as being affected by environment and sustained by the access to the means of betterment; that authoritarian and paternalist thinking is precisely what runs out the patience of an otherwise balanced inclination to make an effect on one’s world and immediate surroundings.
Anarchists are not associated with destruction & rebellion because these alone are the motives, but because there is so much in the way of life being beautiful and free from what has kept it down by incrementally more intense means for so long. (There is much to be said about destruction being a creative act, and vice versa.) There is a tendency to match in return what one is dealt, to further meld creation with deconstruction, to make creativity and expression the forces that undo exactly what stifles them. Heathenry is among the many outlooks that offer the spiritual steadfastness to actualize a creative and proactive approach to social life, the individual’s place in where social settings are to ultimately go.
Before I heard the call of the goddesses and gods, I savored a resonance in regard to anarchy. Life alone provides a “spiritual” sensation, if you leave receptors open to it. I think of it as a self-sustained nagging about how this life must be unchained and all that entails. It virulently detests fantasy, wishing instead to embrace those imminent, vibrant wellsprings dotting daily life, following where they take us. Anarchy is not strictly political (more appropriately anti-political—not apolitical,) it is a cosmic and contemplative concept. It is a part and parcel of animism, a tradition pre-dating the modern human, inferring that all things organic and in nature have breath, animation, which forms the bedrock of almost all pagan paths.
It took time to feel how the goddesses and gods could ever be compatible with man’s struggle against being subordinated to other humans by threat. Before I read into these traditions, I readily believed that the deities would only be figures of unbending order: fickle agents only favoring those who pursue “honor” within cloudy circumstances by the worst means.
But if one takes the time to try to understand that they are beyond the poisonous scruples of human power, that they favor balance, responsibility, honesty, kindness, one begins to know that they are invaluable protectors, providers, guides, teachers and comforters.
I understand anarchy to precede anarchists, i.e., the intellectual brawls to properly conceive of the adjectives for anarchy end up developing something specialized, something narrowed and separate from its place in our very lives. One of anarchists’ many struggles is against themselves: they are learning to separate enthusiasm and preference from what anarchy realistically plays out as. No living thing, human and non-human, can afford the potential for complete liberation to remain the prop of subcultures, of performative political entities, of escapist live action role playing.
The notion of being free, really sincerely free of the economy, of work & the work ethic, of dense distracting bullshit that makes life suck, put simply, needs to be gutted of faction and become a common force for all who breathe and think.
Perhaps the best lessons we could take from anarchy are unable to be retold or intentionally recreated. Therefore, we often need to go about this by contrasting it all with what we want done away with, all that has been tried or tolerated too long.
The question of how a reconstruction of an ancient religion (popularly misconstrued with being adjacent to the values of fascism) can coexist with and theoretically accentuate anarchy is a part of the living project of all contemporaries in the faith-oriented critique of industrial civilization and social authority. We have little reliable historical material to work with that aptly corresponds with the same challenges we have now. If the goal is to best possibly draw a line between both historical and contemporary Germanic pagan practice and the manifestation of an interpersonal situation void of monopolized legitimate violence, we need to draw from all that concerns the intersection of spiritual preservation, social hierarchy and individual agency.
With this, we know now that it is a question with living answers to antiquated concerns showing themselves in the current ugly repeats of his-story. We cannot rely on academic validation to supply what we ultimately derive from living freedom and spiritual connection. It is the current state of our Earth and our personal souls that inform how this is to weave together. It is the explicit intents of those who think and feel that cohere these possibilities.
There is a center where all heathens converge back to, regardless of their personal factors influencing them, and that is the goddesses and gods. We must disallow the baggage of belief and of the supernatural from halting the conversation. Deities outside of the Abrahamic paradigm cannot be so easily narrowed down as “lesser deities” that once watched over different aspects of life during a bygone era, or as made-up characters in regional folklore and children’s stories [in favor of the correct god who is three people in one, or in favor of no god but this god, etc.] The goddesses and gods elude perfect composition. They elude age, they elude the laws of physics. They always have, and so we enrich their outlines to best possibly conjure their roles as agents and role models in the playing-out of our lives. In heathenry, there is a sense that a seeker (someone curious about these things, with or without the intention to follow them) best builds their own relationship with deities and cosmology through their own pace in research and meditation. And it is true that the precise origins of the goddesses and gods are likely bound up in certain figures who once actually lived, whose deeds became venerated over time and made themselves the brightest attributes of these figures. For reconstruction, this is especially challenging to solidly define when relying on archaeological inference and historical accounts of authors in the conversion period. We will never know for sure.
Whether you “believe” in these things or not, you have to try to understand the relationship taking place between person and device: between pagan and deity. There is a tad more minutia to polytheism than cursory glance suggests.
Deities can be conceived of as friends, guardians, more ancient extensions of ancestors, experienced teachers eager to share guidance. Much depends upon the deity in question, and even more depends on whether someone is using deities as a positive notion with which to move through life, or using them to assume existential and emotional control over someone else’s life. Some people conceive of these as either literal beings with specific forms, as amorphous energies in the universe, as archetypes for adherents to flesh out with their actions/intents or anywhere in-between.
“Sacrifice” and “offering” are used interchangeable in the context of ritual. Ritual is the active line of communication for strengthening bonds with a deity/deities, ancestors and wights (to define simply: spirits or entities that inhabit dwellings, sacred spaces and ecosystems.) The intent of ritual can be manifold: to give thanks for a new day, asking for guidance to do better in something, a worried mind seeking comfort, asking for strength to overcome an obstacle. There is really no wrong reason for doing a ritual so long as the intentions are clear and the actions taken clearly reflect these. Heathens often make a sacrifice to a particular deity or several deities in the form of a food offering and a libation (drink offering.) One can also offer poems, songs, art or objects that are set away as having been offered. Either alone or with a group, heathens will first gather offering dishes and a candle. Idols or imagery of deities are optional.
It is important to begin with ablution (ritual washing of extremities) before lighting a candle and circling the altar space clockwise. A common household hammer is sometimes also held during the circling to resemble the protection of Þunr, Thor. This act is done to purify the space with fire, to banish all ill and malice. Deities are often hailed through kennings, poetic names that praise an aspect of the deity. E.g., for Wudan, “Odin” in Modern English, I often use the kenning “ecstatic breath of life.” There is then a prayer and monologue of varying lengths that clearly state the intents and wishes towards the deity/deities. The drink offering is then poured into its respective offering dish alongside the food offering. With anything offered, it is incredibly important that it is biodegradable and safe for animals to eat. After the ritual is closed, the food and drink offerings are disposed into the Earth.
Heathens of antiquity would see animals taking the offerings (often left on an outdoor altar) as a sign that the offering has been well-received. There is contention over whether it is acceptable to consume offered food or drink items, with different historical information giving examples of sacrificed animals being used afterward for celebratory feasts.
Every heathen’s practice and perception is shaped by what they go through in life. By extension, historical traditions themselves have always been subject to change. There is no static, perfectly unitary approach of a pagan people under Sunna, the solar goddess. All things change, even in holding to one simple idea. The popular image of present day might-is-right Vikings upholding ritual sacrifice and burning or burying ships with great conviction in order to be good and “true” heathens is totally misunderstood, a complete failure of representing modern pagans. We can count on as many unique journeys to comprise the pagan community as there are pagans.
The She-Wolf And Her Own is an essay I wrote a year ago that roughly detailed my egoism, my creative anarchy and my transfeminine experience at the time.
I think of it as the catalyst for what my egoism was to be, what in time it was to hold besides egoism alone. I knew at the time it would be an open-ended statement not immune to change. Even in wishing that the gods’ blessings be over my head, I am still an egoist. My seeking of the goddesses’ and gods’ favor was an egoistic affair. But this didn’t mean I had to be a stubborn ass, or that to be a consistent egoist I would need to suppress, to deny what I truly wanted to learn from, to welcome into my life. I do not disavow any content of the essay, but I want it made clear that I now hold different feelings about things “above” the human experience that I then treated with reckless atheistic dismissal at best.
After some time rejuvenating a few particulars of my life’s course, Ein– led me to some very old friends of hers where dear ancestors of mine also abide.
“In recognizing the transcendental nature of our only partially describable self-contents, our actions begin to transcend very real imposed boundaries once thought unbreakable. How is a possessive concept killed? It is rejected, by living contrary and hostile to it! By denying its basis in oneself. If one expresses this best in weaving counter-concepts which are essentially mockeries of having any power over them, so be it.”
— The She-Wolf And Her Own, September 2020
At the time of writing this, I felt no lacking importance. Even with welcoming the uncertain inevitability of change, my sense of fulfillment was in deriving all power and potency from myself alone. Over time, some things can stop being sufficient on their own. And it is not necessarily by any sudden sensation of lacking or missing out that I turned and pressed down the path. I did not have a sudden eureka moment about the supernatural or higher beings. I only allowed myself to foster a genuine connection based in my intuition, my intents and desires projected to what could abound in the crevices of the world, in the outer banks of human-spun madness studying and reacting to the world as it is now. If they could be willing to lend aid. If we could be friends. It was not that being egoistic in the way before was failing me, but that I knew I was worthy of more and that I alone had power to permit myself this. I know now that there is no binary choice between hubris and humbling.
My primary concern through egoism was, and remains, the conscious living crux of a person as the negation of— as the weapon against— all that living truth’s enemies could be. This did not become replaced by anything. Instead, it formed a base component to my thought that would remain with something new and useful to my life. Considering the deities, rituals and cosmic conceptions from an egoist anarchist perspective, meaning the ideas put forth by German philosopher Max Stirner, we have on face-value a series of phantasms, or spooks: concepts that “hypnotize” behavior or thought divergent from an individual’s own unique way of parsing and responding to the world around them.
“The person who believes in a phantasm no more assumes the ‘intrusion of a higher world’ than the one who believes in the spirit, and both seek behind the sensual world an extrasensory one; in short, they generate and believe in another world, and this other world, the product of their mind, is a spiritual world; indeed, their senses grasp and know nothing of another, non-sensual world, only their mind lives in it.”
— Max Stirner, 1.2.3 The Hierarchy, Der Einzige Und Sein Eingentum – “The Unique and Its Property,” 1845
“Therefore turn to yourselves rather than to your gods and idols. Bring out of yourselves what is in you, bring it to light, bring yourselves out as manifestation.”
— 2.1 Ownness, Der Einzige Und Sein Eingentum – “The Unique and Its Property,” 1845
Much can be drawn from how one considers phantasms. In a way, all things are: recipes, styles of dress, genres, etc. Much practical, lived interpretation shapes what comes of these. Some phantasms are orders from military higher-ups that end up killing innocent civilians. Some phantasms are perfectly innocent preferences for how a poem’s meter is written—or maybe it is meter itself! It is too nebulous of a notion to work with when removed from context.
Because of this, we need circumstantial distinctions for this concept to be useful. There is only so much “that’s a phantasm!” one could throw around in the world at anything before they lose their helpfulness. I would say those phantasms that are law, those phantasms that are imposed by social and cultural techniques over the will of an individual are worthy of being called phantasms and being defused and dismantled on such basis.
A living thing does not exist in a vacuum where influence does not take place, and it is highly likely that Stirner’s point was not to attack the possibility of influence. He was explicitly challenging living, thinking things to rise against everything that conceptually, mentally or physically backs them into corners away from what they would reach unimpeded. Christianity in the mid 1800s would certainly have been an established, imposing concept that was still very groundbreaking to be critiqued at all. Furthermore, 1840s German philosophers would have incorporated mention of pagans to demonstrate progression of how both humans conceive of their station in the world and how political & religious powers have always had little separation, however secular a political society touts itself.
At the end of the day, submission to being a citizen, submission to the idea that it is ultimately “good” and “right” to be a citizen of a global ecocidal regime rather than an individual among other individuals is the most pervasive, harmful religion that obstructs us from flourishing into our own.
Anything close to theism brings up the concern for being under rule. The working definition for “rule” in this instance will be the administration of certain reactive interventions through a legitimate power with exclusive capability necessarily above a recipient party’s control.
Let this be perfectly clear: There is the rule by theism itself and there is the idea of actual rule by the deity attested by that theism.
I am not convinced that any theism on its own implies governance (at least not ‘governance’ that coheres with how that happens in human scenarios) without a socio-cultural component around the theism that comes to be associated with the operandi of the belief. Some theistic authoritarianisms would press ideation of their god having the greatest power to intervene in the affairs of those who believe in him as much as those who don’t. The Abrahamic faiths are no exception here, but neither is much of heathenry of antiquity. This notion readily becomes the seed of the discussion around religious anarchy. The same concern for offending this or that deity is bound up in the fear of a scorned ruler’s revenge, but transposed to a supernatural force and (in the case of surviving records of historical heathen life) relayed by the Christian accounts and translations of oral and engraved traditions.
To me, the rhythms and tides of the cosmos are themselves forms of anarchic resonance which the goddesses and gods are weavers and custodians of. Really, it is up to how you conceive of any relationship with them, if they are “authorities” or not. Much can further be discussed about if anything having cause and effect in one’s home or in our universe is necessitated by governance, by “order.” I do not feel that the workings of the goddesses and gods are done by hierarchy, executive functions or precise borders. I feel that in some circumstances, we are responsible for carrying out what the deities guide us to. Calling upon Þunr for protection and strength means that there is a chance he will take kindly and swing his hammer for you, and/or that he will illuminate the strength in you, the closest means of protection. Whichever makes most sense for the scenario seems to be expected. They supply the energy and attentiveness, we heathens tune into this and carry it in the fire of our being.
Perhaps we then generalize further to cause and effect: what if anything determines this. “Consequence” cannot truly fit under being governed; but it is not always so much about the being governed that is a cause for sensitivity as it is about what really abounds in life, and whether or not the existence of a supernatural force calls bare-fisted atheist egoism into question. I am convinced that in certain matters, I will still resort to this way of responding to things where it is relevant. But in other matters, i.e., the beauty of animals, the cycle of seasons, the opposition to further destruction of the world’s ecosystems, my thoughts are of those who are better equipped and experienced in regard to them: the goddesses and gods.
Anarchists of faith make plentiful, diverse cases for what their faiths affect and enable inside their anarchy. I myself am agnostic to the importance of being within certain cosmic binds that have remained far before humans came about; instead I am only focused on what man-made systems of obstruction and oppression currently inhibit the life I experience. Around these two, my deeds are in the world and my oaths are with the goddesses and gods. Faithful anarchists then have a remarkable repository of world views to cross-reference for developing the fluid, proactive interactions between individuals in the dual effort of preserving spiritual light and using that to actualize a solidly accessible means toward freedom and well-being.
It is evident in how a heathen, by her deities, her rituals, her offerings, asserts her intents for this and how these intents are not accomplished solely through the goddesses and gods. She is as much a force in what she affects as the deities, ancestors and wights she venerates.
Is holding fast to a persistent, self-referential absence which insists on its own vibrant self-creation— without things to welcome in and weave according to intuition— really the only praxis for someone who wants to derive their life from themself?
I have my doubts brought about by Stirner’s very logic, however of a twist I make on it for myself.
“Egoism has no intention of sacrificing anything, of giving up anything; it simply decides: what I need I must have and will get for myself. […] I alone decide what I will have.”
— 2.2 My Intercourse, Der Einzige Und Sein Eingentum – “The Unique and Its Property”
Do not construe this as an indictment of Stirner. I have always taken his ideas as tools rather than ways of being perfect to oneself— as he most likely intended. But it isn’t as though his importance to me did not cause some discomfort. Not for one moment during the shift have I had any respite from taunting myself.
A special intrigue took over which I welcomed. I knew that I was going to adjust my perspective in some way. I could feel new pulls and pushes in my core. A melody of Stirner’s cackling and the hammer of Þunr striking swirled in me. “Do I really feel this way?” The names, the powers, the domains of such goddesses and gods rode through my contemplative heart; my imagination of how they look from such domains of height and dimension upon this writhing lunatic species I was desperate not to continue hating en masse caused such non-resolve, such emotional agony, such purgatory of thought.
Stirner perhaps had the sharpest edge within his historical context; the follow-up Stirner’s Critics has supplied a host of condensed clarifications that have made my affinity with Stirner as firm now as it was then. The matter of the goddesses and gods can stay contentious forever for all I care. What my polytheism has moved into is the fully informed will of my whole, entire own (Eingentum) deciding to add to what I put forward, perhaps, through phantasms. But nonetheless, these phantasms bring about a clarity and resolve that is indeed full and unique for my life. They are my means to my ends of self-actualization. In-between, I am further relieved of loneliness and depression by those I venerate as Ein– has relieved me before beginning my journey of knowing them. She has guided me to wider wellsprings of light and joy.
My favorite passage of Stirner’s remains: “If God, if humanity, as you affirm, have enough content in themselves to be all in all to themselves, then I feel that I would lack it even less, and that I would have no complaint to make about my ’emptiness.’ I am not nothing in the sense of emptiness, but am the creative nothing, the nothing out of which I myself create everything as creator.” In my own life, I have created and am still creating the space and the content for what gives me pleasure and fulfillment to do more in the world. To solidly compose what to some is ephemeral and superstitious that aids in overcoming the malign phantoms of current ecocidal humanism, of rationalistic barbarity.
Now I distinguish between one’s possession by the Roman Empire’s iterations, the following Christian standards of “religion,” “god,” etc., and the counter-concepts which personify intents and desired outcomes. Now I understand what being humiliated and ruled by man is, what being humbled and aided by the dexterous forces of the cosmos is. My senses that teem along the adjective of “spiritual,” in the same vein as that of my fierce struggle with gender, are exalted by what sheathenry I derive from the hallowed deeds of transfemmes before me. “Religion” is a word I still find myself repelled by because I don’t think it can fully avoid what monopoly on its conceptualization Abrahamism has secured. But while I concede and acknowledge that what I pursue, what I feel is in fact a religion, I understand that my religion is truly in concert with what is mine. I understand now that mockery has times and places; I understand that to wade in the breezes, the sunlight and the moonlight is to alleviate all immediate need for mockery and wrath.
Now Ein– is more to me than my sole deity personifying my will & endurance, who aids all bæddles, trans women and transfemmes. She carries my prayers in her maw as she gallops to the respective deity/deities that they are addressed to.
She had taken me on as a lost wanderer; the lonesome I knew as a child was fed to me by she who manifested the power of my own, all alone, at my hour of crisis. I learned how to gather strength in my own way, going along with her likeness over my chest.
— The She-Wolf And Her Own
I had fury and grudge. I had snark and sorrow. But what I did not have was healing. Am I weak, am I not self-reliant, because I seek the goddesses and gods for aid and comfort? Every person, somehow, at some crucial time, simply seeks healing and sense within what their life is. What a life is can only be said from the perspective of what unique being is driving it. Stirner’s egoism aided in my becoming what I am in the context of the world and all its concepts, but the goddesses and gods aid me now in becoming true to life at large.
The “worship” I practice is composed of the actions I decide on terms unknowable to anyone else, stiffened by the malleable “rituals” of remembrance, honing of focus & foresight that I perform by myself when I feel the urge to. A voiceless language of consideration is the only tongue I think in during these. It is what I imagine my intents in before spelling them out in this guttural hogwash.
— The She-Wolf And Her Own
Now the practice of heathen magic, i.e., rune divination & incantation (along with practicing Urglaawe traditions of Braucherei and Hexerei, alongside studying aspects of fjölkyngi and seiðr) with the use of historical or modern tongues in verse of prayer, statement of intent or sharp invocation are at least half of my praxis in being a trans woman-of-letters.
To worship, I have egoistically decided— in my case— is to direct a love of life, a yearning to love life, at certain powerful custodians of the cosmos: that we may strengthen and carry a bond with no expectation and with all the attentiveness I could give. To have faith once meant maintaining mental slavery to me. For a while, I thought this was all faith, not simply the one I was most hit over the head with. It is now synonymous to me with keeping frith according to my fullest ability with the goddesses and gods, at least as a reflection of my own worth.
I accept that, to some, I am talking to imaginary friends, wasting my breath and energy. I also accept that, to some, I am going to be prodded, tormented eternally by a (hopefully sexy) devil for my idolatry, my rejection of Christ and his piece of wood.
I am not a heathen to be “right,” to sway other people into coming to my blót and bringing offerings to Inguin and Frouwa. I am a heathen to live as the howling, stirring truth that is ecstatic beneath the anxious, awkward girl you see when meeting me.
Maybe this all means different condensed things to different sections of the audience. To some egoist anarchists, I have forfeited my own by bowing to anything— especially any god! To some heathens, I am a pot-stirrer, an agenda-pushing tranny ruining either someone’s woo-woo take on being pagan, or someone’s Folkist nazi loser idea of “heathenry.” Maybe, by which I mean certainly, I am not concerned with how people take this to mean.
Those who actively widen their introspection understand that misery is incrementally worsening so long as ecocide and exploitation are prolonged such as they are. And that in considering the goddesses and gods, they can sense that one focus leads to many. They understand that when Þunr grants protection and blessing to common people, Tīu (Tyr)— compass, upholder of what is evident and what one is responsible for— stands tall beside him, sword sheathed opposite his wolf-joint, his right hand sacrificed to the sun-hungry wolf Fenrir, who I consider a malevolent appendage or summation of Rome. Wudan (All-Father, Odin) then provides the glad wisdom, the love of life via wandering strangers and the runes marking the Earth. Then with this wisdom comes the loving, motherly spirit of Frīa (Frigg) who keeps the warmth of friends’ and family’s presence alive. Frouwa (Freya) is beside her to stoke the passionate thoughtfulness that drives love for others and love for self. Eir gives steadiness to physicians, healers; fosters healing on the part of the sick or hurt. Skaði gives calm in the wilds, in the mountains and during winter. Njörðr gives aid in the vessels on the seas and other bodies of water. And of course, somewhere in the fray, Loki has a hand in the matter.
It is hard to turn in the direction of one deity without facing many. Being a heathen brings with it a wrestling with what & how: in matters of conduct, in matters of responsibility and in being true to others and oneself. To balance a practice of self-empowerment, self-development and gratitude, in all spheres, is most rewarding.
Along these lines, it cannot be superbly difficult to conceive of anarchist relationships and actions thriving in the shape of a heathen practice. However, these conceptions will probably always have to contend in the furthered struggle inside of Germanic pagan reconstruction to root out white supremacist gatekeeping. It is truly maddening for the fascists to persist, especially in our faith which speaks of the gods subverting gender roles, welcoming the wayfarer, championing the vast capabilities of every person. Everything our faith practices significantly aids in a person of color’s journey, a trans/queer person’s journey, a disabled person’s journey when it is sufficiently removed from miserable socio-cultural variables. All of it stands against the fascists. None of it is their’s to claim.
When a fascist wants to present sincere, profound and alluring, they plaster a bunch of heathen symbols they haven’t spent time understanding the meaning of and tout them around with their pride in their made-up race. When a fascist starts to think and read about who they’re (feigning) praying to, they dissolve. Because the gods are queer, the gods are migrants and the gods don’t give a fuck about race. They aid humans, not races. The fascist has to continue lying to himself and keep that shit-eating grin on his stupid face to conceal the fragility of his paltry ideology.
When I “seek my roots,” (a phrase I am not allowing fascists to ruin,) I am seeking those ancestors not on the basis of what we now consider “ethnicity,” not on the basis of whatever so-called “nation” is or was figured on a continent, but for what trials they faced in terms of conversion, new orders coming to power, plague, famine, bloodshed… all what his-story repeats for us to learn. Rome is here and now. 1984 doesn’t have shit on what the real nightmare is at play here, in terms of how mindless, spineless and spiritually disconnected just about everyone is. Two paths of the same miserable outcome, liberal and fascist, make a mockery of life. We must endeavor to carve our sovereign path against them.
Ancestral guidance for particular things can be helpful to all people, but ancestry is by no means a litmus test for practicing Reconstructionist Germanic Polytheism. Any ancestral connections are ruined, null and void, when they are made a vehicle for worshiping one’s ethnicity— which is all Folkists really do.
The significance, the resonance and— yes, maybe— the confirmation biases of us heathens that are fashioned and accentuated by intuitive intent, by personal judgment are what give pretext to our deeds. It is by our deeds that our oaths are fulfilled; I wish for this text to be an oath to the goddesses and gods: that I speak clearly (if sometimes being long-winded,) that I try to help others understand what anarchy entails for them and what a heathen outlook brings to that.
I want my specific piety to be indivisible from what is important to me and others in life. But I want my intents to bloom well before my ramblings on extended lore about the goddesses and gods which may or may not at all resonate with others.
Pagans had no mind for conversion; such acts made no sense to them and were indeed the traits of their harshest oppressors. Instead, they spoke through deed, making oath prior to their closest kindred as witness to hold them accountable.
Such defines pagan will. Like all religions, there is a certain consistency of passivity and response contained in heathenry. Our determination is in elder wisdom’s survival and thriving today, its aiding in realizing anarchies. The heathens’ place at the table of anarchists of faith is to further be made by how well we can interweave these. It is unrealistic to say that, after so many decades, there is still no place at the table occupied by heathens & pagans (we are normally counted among Wiccans, a considerably different path.) But the discussion among anarchists of faith about how strategy reflects and carries out faith must be enriched by heathens & pagans in what our relationships to the elements of Earth, their learned weavers and the whims of man teach. We must continue learning to brandish precision between and within both our faith and our anarchy, to distinguish and employ that conduit that makes each two parts of a living whole.
In the most blunt way I might say it, if the nerve was not made clear enough— rule has made all of humanity stupid. Such applied and artistic brilliance for such miserably unintelligent choices of allegiance! (The only right choice is none. Instead, our relationships to our loved ones should speak through act rather than promise of fealty.) A simple notion once became corrupted, taken to mean something different and devoured the expansive, imaginative will of living things, pagan and not. That we might grapple with the things of the Earth and devise new rooms, new locations and new systems. This became the business that could not be finished, that would include and indict all living things. Those at the bottom in the snare of rule— who imagine becoming great and heroic for the Empire— and those maintaining the imperial snare from the top create the section of world-grappler dependent on the slavery of world-gazer, those who truly love the world around them, hearts stoked and imaginations spun by the faint traces of the world before Empire. Hubris and possibility canceled one another out, leaving us with intricate attractions made around the ruins.
We are not dealing in a matter of turning back to the gods in the hopes of undoing harm. The deities (alone) are not the answers to these.
I do not advocate a simplistic return to cave-dwelling, human or animal sacrifice or what have you. The public— especially the hyper-rationalist, selectively skeptical public, who is merely the other hand of a public thoughtlessly loyal to a god encouraging subservience to the work of this civilization— assumes a great many silly things to get to any conclusion, and they persist even when they are embarrassingly corrected. No, I advocate (for those for whom it applies) a thoughtful connection to the planet at least influenced by the pre-human wisdom of animism that understands why exactly — in terms that do no correspond to language — that civilization is not life, and that life must overcome being under its rule.
It understands, in ways expected to be baffling, incomprehensible and criminal to Roman pundits, that this mode of existing is not granted special exemption from being destroyed, and that it being destroyed would help us all infinitely more than plunge anyone into any modicum of doom that is not already plentiful under this straitjacket on life. In the animistic heathen lens, we owe it to ourselves, to our ancestors, to all who might still come after, to take possession of life as one, without anything that imposes caste or makes exceptions for cruelty.
Heathenry, from the perspective of “less politically oriented” practitioners, seeks to reconstruct the various practices of communing and initiating reciprocity with the goddesses and gods as they were in the time of Ancient Rome. The heathenry I conceive of also wants to revive those connections, for me and so many others to be the ones through which heathenry survives, but against the grain of the current iteration of Rome, whereas many practitioners wish to reconstruct these in accordance with Rome, in participation with class society, with commodity production, with the socially-widened disconnect from the land.
Heathens who know the ends and means of the Empire know that there can be no coexistence between the two, as only one of the parties concerned are bent on world destruction.
To me, Rome never truly fell. The essence of Empire has mutated to civilization as a whole. A long series of lying, manipulating cunts have hid behind the “rights” of exclusive owners and “immunity” of lawmakers to accrue wealth and power, rising above the ranks of commoners to make them into tools and fodder for their privileged, finite, secluded renditions of paradise.
I suppose I’m just set in my ways, the obsessive pagan path to gleefully deface the Roman mandate for humiliation and sacrifice to what gives nothing in return.
But all is returned. All returns to the Earth, even in its dying pangs. The slimmest portion for experiencing the lack all over again, again and again, until death, is returned to us now—aside death being a return in of itself.
The pagan looked upon the crucifix then as the anxiety-stricken worker looks upon the clock now, as the desperate student looks upon the black and white vomit of all their present station. Much angst with little to no direction. As I type this, college kids living above me are putting on their brightest plastic faces for parties in between suffering for a degree for a job they may not live out their days stuck in. They don’t really care because from where they look, there’s nothing for them to do about it. Their penchant for drugs and horniness is almost all their meaning in life now.
The notion of an existence liberated from civilization is still haunted by a Roman entitlement to comforts & distractions which arise from the exploitation and suffering of living beings. The very bones of our souls are contoured to the domesticating techniques of centuries. It eludes me how anyone can remain convinced that LED and LCD screens are the natural new requirement for homo sapiens which surpasses our need for clean drinking water and breathable air. Our priorities need a self-administered reset. We need to relearn what securing ourselves and loved ones through face-to-face relationships is; what re-skilling offers to our longevity; what has been neutralized inside us to further seek the blinking lights of Rome. This doesn’t mean we also discard helpful forms of medicine that have come about recently, but that we learn to make them last: that we unlearn our dependence on their ecocidal production and create truly sustainable paths of treating and accommodating.
We could have spent all these centuries expounding on love, on bounty, on kindred, on the best investments in so-called ingenuity, all in ways that really made sense. We could have spent centuries balancing comfort with sensibility in connection with the land we depend on. But we didn’t. Now obviously, it is not the fault of anyone living today that this happened. But now is all there is, and there is much to make up for within that.
The Christians took away my connection to my goddesses and gods; Rome’s ghost continues to disintegrate the Earth that Nerþuz & Ërda have been wondrous enough to provide us. Into the dangerous corners of all the libraries of data, at best we have poignant conjecture, trite polemics for some paltry persuasion at worst. Even these stupid volleys of internet argumentation which hold the faintest seed of something transcendent of this virtual purgatory made with Roman & Christian thinking is still safely swept away as the jabbering of crazy people keeping to themselves.
Should remaining life then be merely the sweetest possible cusp before the fullest world-blaze? Should the joyful swell merely be so grand in relation to a best final generation; a last grateful sharing of the possibility? Has the winding human “innovative spirit” hammered and 3D-printed itself into the uncanny likeness of a self-proclaimed overgod?
I hate your shit, humanity. I am trying so hard not to hate all of you as one. But I hate your desperation to entertain, to make the wasted moments only worth it for the beauty devised within and around them. I hate that you fear in a collective paralysis that can only take to such mediums as these and weep and lecture powerlessly.
But I have done what I can—not for the sake of hating humanity, even after a time doing so. A hypnosis has permeated deep in this entire species, and I hate that which has invaded our potential, our birthright to our own betterment, our self-respect and autonomy to undo damage and its cause. To spit on any pompous ruler’s demand for submission to what kills our spirit.
I do not want to be a subject of this Global Rome. I do not want to bow before their many Emperors, their gods of the Internet, of pretty yet swiftly forgettable appearances, of the permanent fear that sets a person in bondage to the normal cruelties of everyday existence.
I want my last ounce of might to be aimed at realizing life for what it truly is. And indeed I will strive to make the business of my own life full and joyous here and now, regardless of how the Earth fares through the scourge of Rome. But within this living momentum, vital fibers of a loose project take shape.
I am an anarchist and a heathen – a heathen anarchist, an anarchist heathen – because I want not only my loved ones to be free — to know freedom as that unique series of ongoing choices made with agency without concern for man’s imposed ceilings — but because I want all people to be free and to know freedom.
I do not reasonably expect the goddesses and gods to reveal their nature, their power and their invaluableness to others the way they have to me. But I can endeavor to my best ability to be an instrument in prying our vital fibers away from the confines of this millennium’s Rome. In this, I want to aid humanity. I want to commit to oaths and deeds the goddesses and gods shine warmly on.
My every waking dread is our slow descent. The sludge we reap from the misery sewn. A world I have always inhabited with unease as all of the bold, material assertions of its Empire have shaded the simplest yet deepest features worth living for. What kills is enriched, what has lived in the most eternal and beautiful manner is more thoroughly suffocated. Somehow, this entire ironic being-cornered is supposed to be beautiful and sad, expected to end nowhere and leave some eccentric humans behind with no lasting fruit. I want no more of this charade. I want your Earth and my Earth to be. I want no more shouting of Earth First! with no positive consequence; I want no more alienated pleas; I want no more doom, apocalypse, Mad Max imaginations. We are so psychologically fucked by what the priorities of every regime constantly scramble over. This regime and that regime are marked as the good regime and the other is the bad regime; not enough people ever situate themselves in a simpler manner: that regimes are bad, money is bad, mental, physical and ecological hurt is bad. We have all of these ‘smart people’ who act as pundits for spectacular intrigue yet do nothing to contribute to the end of the ‘need’ for punditry and spectacle — that is what I care about. And I feel that so many who don’t know it yet have to come to this realization however they might. And the people who come to this need to have directions to take (or make) and people to support them. People, all people, all kindred, need to triumph over rule and make frith, face-to-face trust, the mutual bonds that matter most, that safeguard life.
How I fantasize of a different end of his-story, a far earlier one:— A great serf revolt circa 905 C.E. Pagans and Christians had come to the agreement: that life must be well-provided for all. No industrial beast was woven from the bits of life to fool the living into thinking that their lives are being made better by killing them in new ways. We never created the combustion engine. We never created the cotton gin. We never discovered oil. We never had this idea that we need to infinitely make babies that grow up and chain together a lineage of progressions that only sew further stagnation for the riches of so few. We struck balance, corrected as needed, in accordance with our living instinct, our untainted sense.
This, of course, is just fantasy. And all fantasy is to be shaken off. Perhaps the blood and sweat which I share of my life is fated to be personal, poetic and polemical in equal measure so as to find the actions which do those loftily worded intentions justice. But I do alone what makes sense only to me; I want what makes sense to all to be studied, repeated clearly and swiftly taken up when all necessary force is behind and within it. That when should have taken place long before now, and its absence will forever fuel my living fire. By means that I understand only as I do, what must be understood by all is rising and setting.
I do not want a heathen outlook on the climate crisis and what has caused it to be limited to me. I want all people, regardless of what they feel, to take a cue from those who laid siege to an Empire that could only do harm as this global Empire now does. Beyond this specific framework, where the Rome metaphor makes less sense, ecologically conscious pagans and non-pagans owe it to the indigenous peoples of so-called North American lands that settlers are on to strengthen bonds and support the sovereignty and survival of their culture, their resistance, which holds a truly remarkable and invaluable animistic connection to these their ancestral lands.
In word and action, we require boldness and clarity. We require bonds of genuine trust and mutual dependability. One route I propose at the top of my head as I begin to close is the revival of the heaths. It is the making firm of anarchic heathen communities. The free veneration of our deities in rural life. The safety and well-being of queer heathens and sheathens. The unrelenting protection of the lands, of old-growths that might still stand, of waters targeted by pipelines.
To inhabit uncultivated lands (or lands best possibly undone of their previous cultivation) means to do away with Roman agriculture in favor of a pagan horticultural approach scaled to every dwelling on that land. The fields having been treated as mere utility, poisoned with pesticides, ravaged of their balance, land wights disgraced and disrupted, communities of frith-bound individuals who comprise a small row or two of homes alongside a space to assemble and a communal storage of necessary tools and weapons would do well to keep gardens: fruits, herbs and roots for nourishment, offering and medicinal purposes. Livestock could be an option for those involved there to discuss. But it would have to make sense to the wishes and needs of who would live there. Everything these communities would benefit from in common comes from the individual input sewn.
There are many valid criticisms made in the history of anarchist development in regards to “back to the land” movements. Many endeavors have went on with greater visions and even greater failures and pitfalls. Not to mention the implications of a religious-oriented mode of that concept being ripe for argumentation. I do not imagine such an approach to play the most significant role in liberation from civilization. But if implemented well and networked diligently with other heaths— with the goals of self-sustenance, self-reliance in tandem with mutual aid— we have the makings of one form of a practical challenge to the industrial, urban monopoly on life. Succession from, distinct from direct confrontation with, civilization entails— at least— continuous staging points and hospitable respite for more living acts against industrial thralldom.
There is such a false and virulent sanctity our various tyrants and their mouthpieces tout on about: that the collapse of “this world” (meaning the west’s civilization built on slavery and fruitless sacrifice whitewashed as “hard work,” “ingenuity” and “dedication”) is both fanciful, not imminent and the worst possible thing to think about for the creative opportunities it would invite for anarchists. Their only point of favor for it would be the possibility of Traditionalists reviving abject serfdom and creating a Theocracy from the ruins.
I mourn the realms of our real world that have been irreparably damaged by our Roman hubris, our welcomed blindness from the things outside of virtual representation and mechanical, chemical devastation. I would dance and sing as never before upon the failure of Rome’s heart. We must all be the smoke in its eyes! The arrow in its heart!
I venerate the goddesses and gods because I venerate the life I’m given, the life my ancestors were given: I am intrigued by the irreducible possibilities that come with being alive; every focus of contemporary Rome seeks to make a multitude of non-threatening options out of a few, as if we are toddlers needing to be tricked into thinking we have any control. Inside of this, we have no control over our lives but the decorations on them. When we admit this and meditate on this, our actions must upend the longstanding wrongs we’ve been dealt. The victimhood we’ve tolerated. Only unfree people could think that there is some ephemeral yet irrevocable denial of our self-bettering. This thought must be slain with those who hate and obstruct real life. I want all people to come to discover freedom as the only way which life has ever operated; I want all people to unravel the false sanctity of the world-grappler ambitions: I want all people to permit themselves to undo what must not outlive what has always lived. Fossil fuels, combustion engines, agriculture, factory farms, commodity production, electronics production, plastic packaging. It is imperative to our lives to see all these things die with the entitled hopes and threatened pride of every employer, every president, every billionaire, every landlord, every knight, every patriarch, every fascist, every traditionalist, every world-grappler.
We have suffered through bright and benign lies for life. Our prize must be now.
Our religion strives toward the refinement of personal will, intuition, mutual bonds and how we acknowledge the profound factors of the world and cosmos we inhabit.
We heed the goddesses and gods, for they are learned and keen on the things we had misplaced trust in. By all standards of the Christian god, they are imperfect and specific, but understanding and most powerful. They want to aid us, see us flourish as our truest and best selves, see all of us prosper as kindred: free of economic, racial, sexual and gender-based roles and hierarchies. They know that we can do this now and forever. They share this wish with our ancestors who permeate the dust, the sunshine, the air, the rain and the snow of the living days that weave the present.
They want us to have a life that we can really sustain and truly love. I want this too, with everything in my being. This is why I am a heathen anarchist.
Hail to Sunna! Shining Day-Driver, make each day full, radiant and lasting!
Hail to Mānō! Vital Rhythm, keep our course in tune all through strife & ease!
Hail to Tīu! Unyielding Upholder, be always the point forward, The North Star in fruitful, wholesome deeds!
Hail to Tīza! Matron Of The Brave, Wife of Tīu, undo the knots that constrain the will of the pure of heart!
Hail to Nerþuz! Nourishing Keeper Of The Stream, The Water, sustain us all through our days!
Hail to Ërda! Vast and Bounteous Mother, cradle us and feed us each day we breathe!
Hail to Frau Holle! Gracious Mill Keeper, Sickle-Bearing Lady, be our essence, sustenance through trial, change & rebirth!
Hail to Frīa! Cherished Mother, keep always warm & glad our hearts & homes!
Hail to Ôstara! Eastward Spring Matron, herald for us the Season’s grace and warmest bounty!
Hail to Eir! Kindest Preeminent Healer, aid the hands of healers and mend the ailing!
Hail to Wudan! Life’s Ecstatic Breath, Enlightened Alfader, foster our wisdom to know, feel & revere!
Hail to þunr! Mighty Thunderer, Hammer-Wielding Protector, crush our doubt, keep all our bane at bay!
Hail to Sibba! Wife Of The Thunderer, Bright-Haired Lass, be the breeze in our grain and gait!
Hail to Frouwa! Golden Gifting Lady, illuminate for us passion, splendor & love!
Hail to Inguin! Vital, Prosperous Harbinger, bless us always with rain and seed!
Hail to Balþra! Cheerful Light Of Goddesses and Gods, aid us in purity and to heed your Father’s deed!
So Let It Be.