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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in antifascism

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Nazi Symbol That Is the CPAC Stage

There are photos circulating on social media of the stage of CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Caucus. One is included in this blog post. The stage is an odd and awkward looking design that could not have arisen purely from functionality, it looks like "the Odal Rune," and it appears that the speakers at CPAC will be standing on a Nazi platform.

Let's talk about Othala as distinct from "The Odal Rune." The symbol you see in the photo is "The Odal Rune" which is 100% a Nazi symbol. The upturned feet on the ends of the legs appear only on the Nazi version, Odal, not on any version of Othala, the historical rune used in historical heathen alphabets.

A curious thing, though. Modern rune magic has adopted the "symbol upside down = opposite" thing that is common to Tarot cards, aka regular or reversed, and of course the dichotomy between the regular cross and the upside down cross. From the perspective of speakers backstage, the symbol is right side up in this photo, but from the perspective of the audience it's upside down. Regular Othala in rune readings basically means real estate or psychic inheritance, but the "Odal Rune" is usually said to mean "heritage." So, whose "heritage" is being protected and encouraged in this photo? Not the audience's. If whoever designed this stage actually understands magic, the intent is to concentrate power in the hands of the speakers, away from the general public. Magically, it would take heritage energy from the audience and allow the people standing on the platform to vampirize that energy for their own use.

If the intent behind the choice of the shape was not magical, though, it's probably meant to be a dog-whistle to neonazis. Experts on neonazis are mostly being more cautious about calling this out. American Iron Front tweeted the picture and called it "probably a coincidence." I'm glad that the anti-fascist community is being careful not to stomp on heathens and pagans when they aren't sure what symbol they're looking at. But I'm an expert on heathen symbols and I know this isn't one. There is no possible way an actual Asatruar drew the footed or winged version on a design program thinking it was a nice historical heathen rune. It's unlikely the stage designer is heathen, anyway. That is not Othala, the heathen rune, it's Odal, the Nazi symbol.

You can read about more symbols in my article Heathen Vs. Hate in the latest issue of Witches & Pagans Magazine.

Photo: news photo composite copied for news editorializing purposes, consisting of a photo of the CPAC stage and two historical photos of SS insignia

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  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    Had my immediate doubts and skepticism and accidentally stumbled on this, makes some excellent points that I think are worth consi
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Thank you for the tip off. I'm pretty sure that someone on set design is fully aware of the magical implications you mention.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Heathen Visibility and Anti-Racism

One man who is a terrorist does not make a whole religion terrorists. I would have thought our society had learned that lesson by now.

Rolling Stone Magazine called the entire set of Heathen religions "code for white supremacy-aligned pagans" and we must resist this as strongly as we resist the fascists themselves, for two reasons:

Firstly, because to cede the words and symbols of our religion to white supremacists and neo-Nazis makes them stronger no matter who is trying to appropriate our words and symbols on their behalf. Battling for our words and symbols against white power gangs and neonazis has been the main reason for the Heathen Visibility Project from the beginning. See the history of the Project recently published under Heathen Visibility Project Year in Review 2020, on the link below:

Summary of Heathen Visibility Project so far: http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/heathen-visibility-project-year-in-review-2020.html

Secondly, because directing the hate and fear of the large and powerful society in which we live against our tiny religion hurts us in many ways. Already I've seen posts on social media from heathens, and other pagans who normally wear the same symbols as heathens, saying they are afraid to wear their symbols in public. We must make a world where it is safe for all people to wear their religious symbols and cultural attire.

What do I mean by heathen? Heathen is a broad term for a group of related religions, just like Christian. Individual sects of heathenry include Asatru, Forn Sed, Theod, Urglaawe, Forn Sidr, etc., just like individual sects of Christianity include Baptist, Catholic, Orthodox, etc. And just like Christian sects that have individual churches that might have a name like Unity Center or 1st Church of God, heathen sects have individual kindreds and hearths that might have a name like Mountain Kindred or Asatru Temple. Heathen is a subset of Pagan; the word Pagan doesn't refer to a specific pantheon of gods, but Heathen does. All the heathen religions share a core group of gods, stories, and cultural norms, even the ones in which the set of gods and myths only has a narrow overlap. Those gods generally include the gods for whom the days of the week are named, by various linguistic variations, for example, Thursday named for Thunor who is also Thor who is also Dunner. We use the term Heathen because it was used historically to refer to the traditional religion of the peoples of northern Europe; like Pagan, it was created by Christians, but we reclaimed it. Heathendom predates the modern social construct of race, but to the extent that historical heathens had any such concept within the ideas of tribe, nation, and species, the gods were very clearly descended of multiple tribes and thus are today a model of a multiracial society, as detailed in my essay Asgard as Multiracial Society, available on the link below

Asgard as a Multiracial Society: https://eternalhauntedsummer.com/issues/summer-solstice-2014/asgard-as-a-multi-racial-society/

Heathen leaders and heathen anti-racism groups have already roundly condemned the one man who was wearing our symbols when he participated in the Capitol Hill insurrection. That man is the man who calls himself Q-Shaman, who may not even be heathen. Here are some of the most prominent statements condemning him, starting with mine, which also explains what his tattoos mean:

My blog post Dishonor Upon the Man in the Horned Hat: http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/gnosis-diary/dishonor-upon-the-man-in-the-horned-hat.html

Official statement of The Troth: https://www.thetroth.org/news/20210106-192450
Official statement of Heathens Against Hate: https://www.heathensagainst.org/post/capitol-hill-statement
Official statement of Huginn's Heathen Hof: http://www.heathenhof.com/hhh-statement-attempted-coup-d-c/

After all those public statements were already made and were freely available on the net, Rolling Stone went forward with their article calling Heathen religions "white supremacy-aligned." This also occurred while my article Heathen Vs. Hate in the latest issue of Witches and Pagans Magazine was still on newsstands across the country, easily available to read if the reporter had bothered.

Responses to the Rolling Stone article came swiftly. I first heard about it on Twitter. Most of the responses have been by individuals on social media, which I'm not going to link here, but here is a public statement in response by an organization:

The Heathen Underground: https://www.facebook.com/heathenunderground/posts/3933159010030485

Heathen groups of various kinds have been fighting white supremacists and neonazis for a long time. Perhaps the broadest coalition of various heathen organizations, individuals, businesses, and local groups battling white supremacy are the signatories to Declaration 127. Declaration 127 references a verse in the Havamal, part of our sacred literature, which goes "Where you see evil, speak out against it." You can read the full Declaration and list of signatories on the link below. I'm one of the signatories as American Celebration Kindred, the small local religious community of which I am the priestess.

Declaration 127: http://declaration127.com/  

Another prominent heathen anti-racism group is Heathens United Against Racism (HUAR) which you can find on this link, although they do not appear to have made an official statement on this topic: https://www.facebook.com/HeathensUnited/

There is an ongoing annual international conference on heathen anti-racism called Frith Forge. Heathens interested in participating can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/frithforge/

The Heathen Visibility Project, now more than ever, must continue our mission. Part of that mission is to out-compete instances of our symbols being used as hate symbols that show up on search engines, in order to take our symbols back and preserve them for religious use. Every good, non-fascist heathen wearing our symbols in public spaces, especially on the net where the whole world can see, makes it safer for other heathens to wear and use them too. We must be loud and visible to counter the damage done by the heavy coverage by social media and professional media of Q-Shaman and his heathen symbol tattoos. We must continue to deny racists the cover of our religion by kicking them out of our spaces and talking over them until their message is drowned out by ours.

The other part of the Project's mission is to provide useful images of heathens doing heathenry that media could use to talk about heathens in stories unrelated racism or riot. We must continue to create non-racist and nonfiction heathen images that could be used by professional media and others to illustrate articles about heathenry, so that when we have a chance at positive coverage there is something there for reporters to see and use other than the racists or fictional characters.

Heathens who want to participate in the Project, and media who are looking for non-racist, nonfiction heathen images: the Project's hashtag is #heathenvisibility.

Media looking for news photos and stock images of non-racist nonfiction heathen images: Heathen Visibility Project folders on:
Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/heathenvisibility
Deviantart: https://www.deviantart.com/erinlale/gallery/64184335/heathenvisibility

My fellow heathens: Keep on doing the work. We can do this.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Update: Rolling Stone corrected their article! Thanks to everyone who contacted them. You made a difference!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

There's been a flare-up of transphobia lately in some Pagan circles, I want to affirm that my own hearth practice of Paganism/polytheism and that of my grove, Northern Roots Grove, is fully accepting of the range of human gender & sexual diversity. The roles people take on in our rituals are not gender specific unless a member wants a gender specific role, and creates a ritual with that in mind. In keeping with modern hospitality we are quite happy to call you by whatever name & pronouns that you introduce yourself with, or let us know if they change at some point. 

What body parts are under your robe, kilt, or earasaid  isn't any of our concern! We have thus far had a croning ritual for a cis woman member who wanted one, and plan on having another, but neither of these are based on when or whether the woman has reached a particular biological marker, such as menopause. It was just when they feel it is the right time for that ritual.  Life passage rites are created by or for the individual who wants them and so whether they are gender specific or related to physical or spiritual states of being is up to the person. We do not have any particular requirements for such rituals, we consider them successful if they help support the person and/or their loved ones in going through a life transition. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

My book Faultlines argued our country is going through on of the most divisive periods in Western history, at three progressively deeper levels. First is the cultural split rooted in the divergent paths the North and South took over slavery, a split reignited with the Civil Rights movement and the Republican Party’s “Southern Strategy.” 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    "A free society depends on recognizing people will disagree politically and NOT BE ENEMIES." So your answer is to label people wi
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Just got to your comment as in July I was packing and much of August has been spent getting settled in New Mexico. That said, you
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. diZerega, I am conflicted about Trump's candidacy. I dislike him. But if he wins, it will be the last hurrah for his politica
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Trump is a man with a long record of fraud against those weaker than himself. In his speeches he urged violence against demonstrat

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fighting Fascists in the Streets of Athens

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lessons from the Dead

The three skulls seem to be staring at me through their empty sockets. In times past I would have felt profoundly unsettled, but now these ancestral skulls seem vaguely familiar. It makes me wonder who these people were and what caused their deaths. I turn my eyes towards the woman lying in the middle of the hall.

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  • Harita Meenee
    Harita Meenee says #
    Thanks, Carol! It's time for all of us to take action, any way we can.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I agree with what you say and the connections you make, wish I could be with you in Athens.

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