A response to “Against the Folkish ‘Pagans'”

A lengthy post was published yesterday by a self-proclaimed “Julian Hellenist”, Klaytonus Silvanus, wherein he attacks “Folkish” pagans and polytheists. This seems to be a sequel to an earlier post, one I had attempted in vain to initiate a discussion about. After a misunderstanding regarding my comments, Silvanus took the liberty to ban me as a “folkish” polytheist, which I take as a serious accusation and will refute accordingly. To that end, I will respond to his post in my defense, as if it were directed at me. Since it is well written (with exception to ad hominem) and provides an excellent example of the universalist position, I intend to comment on most of it; I take this both as a rhetorical challenge as well as an opportunity to enable my fellow polytheists to know me better, whether they agree or not with my views. Silvanus is certainly welcome to discuss it further here—I do not ban those with whom I disagree, so long as there is no deliberate insult or impiety. My language may be forceful sometimes (though never injurious), but I trust Silvanus understands the Hellenic rhetorical tradition allows of it.


Against the Folkish “Pagans”

There is a Folkish problem in Paganism. The Folkish are an inane sect of deplorables who take on a “racialist” attitude towards religion, who have all the time in the world to chatter nonsense about their ancestry and blood, but none for theology and religious practice. These racists pose a threat that is potentially ruinous to our work because of how they will appropriate anything of value, ruin it, and then simply move on when they’re done with it. This article shall demonstrate how these vulgar imbeciles are, in truth, not even Polytheists nor Pagans at all, but rather merely bigoted LARPers playing dressup.

Since the title is written in the style of a theological or rhetorical polemic in Late Antiquity, it is unfortunate that the author uses ad hominem and unnecessarily weakens his arguments from the very beginning. If I remember correctly, there isn’t even such language used by Christian polemicists against Pagans, or indeed vice versa. However, to speak of and for myself, I am neither a “racialist” nor a “folkish pagan” nor a supporter of Trump (what was meant by “a deplorable”). I am aware of the current developments in Western and American politics, but I do not mix observation with observance. My views are a mixture of left and right positions, as I had explained before—I maintain a careful and useful balance. Equating my views with the likes of Varg Vikernes, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor would be a great mistake. My views on ancestry are fair for all peoples and I seek the very same well-being & ethnic celebration for each of them. I can’t and won’t defend the views of pagan “folkists” and “racialists”, but I believe they should be (as reasonably as possible, with exceptions) heard and engaged with in discussion, because they do have real concerns and hopes and fears, which are worth addressing rather than merely dismissing. If anything otherwise is done, the distance & animosity will only grow. When the author says “our work”, he attempts to speak for all polytheists, which is impossible. But perhaps he speaks only for his universalist tradition modelled on the Julian Platonism of Late Antiquity, or for universalists in general. Either way, I will address his arguments further.


Folkish “Paganism” is Reductionist

One thing is overwhelmingly clear: Folkish people do not actually believe in the Gods. They hold a “metagenetic” or “racialist” view of the divine which attempts to posit that the divine limit Their interactions with “foreigners” outside of “the race.” This worldview can be adequately understood as atheism by its materialist reductionism, which attempts to reduce the number and kinds of entities countenanced as real— securing a multiplicity of Gods ontologically through a base materialism which reduces the Gods to merely archetypes of “the race.”

 This is not my position, at least. There are known instances from mythology where certain Gods deal with foreigners, but it depends on how far it went. Zeus abducted Europa from Phoenicia, but he didn’t go to Gaul or to China or to the Baltic sea. And it wasn’t because he couldn’t, but because frankly he had no business where other distant Gods were—he ruled over the peoples that worshipped him and interacted with a few other neighbors passingly. Denying this is denying the power and legitimacy of other Gods to rule over the indigenous lands of the people that worshipped them. The “race” here is not relevant, but only the indigenous/ethnic people who existed within the geographical location who shared some culture. A Briton is as foreign to Greece as a West African or a Chinese, and the same applies all around. Now, the universalist position, first developed by Greek philosophers, seeks to enlarge the “province” of the Greek Gods not only to the whole world, but to the whole universe. This is not possible, in view of distinct polytheisms, otherwise you have imperialism—theological at least. A geographical scope is not at all “materialist reductionism” in the case of divine immanence (where the material & spiritual are joined—the traditional position), but it is with the sort of high-flown transcendence that universalists (can we call them imperialists too?) believe in. The author’s view of divinity here seems dualistic and therefore akin to Gnosticism and Christianity. Finally, I suppose the Gods being archetypes of “race” is an argument against anthropomorphism, but a poor one that I have already addressed in my post against Xenophanes.


This ridiculously binds the Gods as subject to a materialist social construct developed by imperialists during the Colonial era, dating to the early Age of Enlightenment and beginning of industrial slavery, far after many of the very same powers destroyed the various polytheisms of the ancient world. This denies that the Gods are real, independently existing entities with agencies of Their own who may engage in personal relations with people outside their ethnicity. This is because Folkish types do not believe that there is anything to the Gods except for customs and ethnicity, and thus do not believe the Gods are capable of actions independent of their own ethnicity.

 Yes, “race” was a social construct developed by colonial imperialists, etc, etc. But there is an interesting point to consider—they developed it (in the New World) in order to lessen the effects of ethnic differences in Europe and thus populate the colonies quickly (by substituting class & culture for race) as well as make them operate smoothly. It was a kind of continentalism, if you will, quite akin to universalism. Nationalism arose the same way—Phillip united a war-torn Greece and then Alexander attacked Persia & founded colonies; next, the Romans consolidated power in Italy at the expense of Carthage and the Gauls. So, my question to universalists is: Is your emphasis similarly on numbers and size rather than quality and distinction? Is polytheism then a sort of “grand buffet” where one may choose Gods at pleasure without any medium or regulations, based on ancient tradition (which we always need to refer to), to guide the choice? The divine cannot be understood except by means of human language and belief and necessity and ethnicity, and those are all bound by culture—this does not mean that the Gods are bound, but that we the worshippers are. However, we can also use our divinely given minds to think of the Gods fairly: Would the Gods be equally concerned with distant foreigners (note the adjective) as with natives? I won’t even answer that rhetorical question. Let’s actually imagine a situation where the natives forget of their native Gods (note the adjective) and then distant foreigners, who are dazzled, begin to worship those same Gods (after probably forgetting of their ancestral ones), would those Gods be pleased only because “a human being” is worshipping them? It does not belong to older and traditional polytheism. The idea of humanity in general being cared for by the Gods is a monotheistic/monistic/deistic one that arose out of Greek philosophy and developed during Late Antiquity. And it wouldn’t have applied much in any case outside of the “empire”—You think the Greeks and Romans of the Roman Empire were capable of believing that their Gods (which they obviously thought were superior) cared for them as much as the Chinese Gods over in the Han Empire? These limitations of worldview in ancient times had meaning and this necessities a serious theological theory that applies to all peoples and lands and Gods in our modern, globalized times. If religious universalism unites with cultural globalization, let’s bid polytheism farewell, except for the few and isolated, i.e. the weak. I am sick of Western hegemony and the imperial Protestant thinking that is infecting the planet.

And one more question, if the Gods are “real independent entities” (which I believe to be true), why are universalists often interested in syncretic Gods, usually those of Late Antiquity??


In doing so, Folkish types engage in a transgression against the divine: hubris. By actively denying the all-powerfulness of the immortal Gods and trying to limit them as bounded to “the race,” the Folkish display a desire to substitute their human judgment over that of the Gods. Their doubt of the interaction of certain people with the Gods is as though they think that they have the right to tell the Gods who they should interact with and how. This objectifies the Gods and leads to Folkish types treating the Living Immortals as though they mere cultural trinkets. However, the Gods are not mere culture nor objects which can be appropriated– They are real, living and eternal Beings who may reveal Themselves to and call upon whomever they like to worship Them, and thus They cannot be appropriated. To deny religious experience and denounce true devotion, especially when that deity has asked for it and initiated the personal relation with the devotee, is simply atheism. So are you to decide who the Gods choose to impart with knowledge of them?

There is an impiety in keeping somebody out of a Pagan religious tradition for political reasons. That the Gods exist means that they can do or say something “different than you expected, different than what you believe, different than what you might wish to say in Their names” (EPButler, 17 September 2018 1:22 PM). So you can be sure that if a God does not want a particular worshiper that They will expel them Themselves. They do not need you doing it for Them, and if you’re taking for granted that They do, then you’d best be wary of your own personal connection with Them and not everybody else’s. For the God you are at the most risk of drifting from, “hands down…, is the God to Whom you are closest, but take for granted” (EPButler, 16 September 2018 1:57 PM).

What do you mean that we substitute human effort over that of the Gods? Don’t the philosophers (at least) believe that the Gods are discovered by human effort and that we share a part of their divinity (the soul)? The author is using as much human judgment as I am, when he subscribes to a certain religious tradition and defends it. Hubris is an interesting accusation, but I will turn it entirely on its head, with three considerations. First, it was hubris on the part of the Greek philosophers (whom the author follows) to invent their own systems in opposition to the traditional conceptions of their day, as if they knew everything and scorned what everyone else believed. Secondly, it is hubris for those who believe in the Late Antiquity religious system to apply it universally and arbitrarily upon all the rest of people (which won’t work anyway for various reasons, colonial and cultural)—whereas on the other hand, the traditional system is fair in that it seeks to return to an even field where all or the vast majority of traditions existed distinctly (with measurable overlap, as explained before) and without interference from distant foreigners. And now the greatest hubris of all: believing that an Immortal God, all-powerful, etc. can stoop to *call on you* in particular…I thought the Platonic position was that the Gods didn’t need anyone, is it not so, because they were perfect and absolutely self-satisfied? I disagree. I believe that we need the Gods and they us, but that in any case they don’t call on us—rather, the ancestors (and their culture) act as mediators in this case. I don’t believe the Gods are universally all-powerful, because then the world would not stand from a continual war (theomachy, if you will). This is another essential reason why a theology of the Gods that encompasses the distinctions in the world (based on land and people) is necessary. Otherwise, if the Gods cross here and there, changing constantly like Heraclitus would say, their power loses meaning to us, and then, like the philosophers, people will become monists, deists, skeptics or monotheists, rather than polytheists.

A brief note: The author quotes a modern scholar of some renown to corroborate his views, but for a full response, see what is said and by whom in the quote section of this site to corroborate my views.


Pagan Religions cannot be Culturally Appropriated

As stated, the Gods cannot be appropriated. But what about the particular cultural systems of worship centered around the divine which Pagans engage in? Sometimes, Folkish types will try to appropriate the rhetoric of indigenous groups around the world who stand against cultural appropriation— trying to claim that “outsiders” (usually subjective, but typically excludes people of colour) should not enter or partake in Pagan religious traditions because doing so would be “cultural appropriation” in the same vain as someone encroaching on the closed space of an Indigenous American people would be.

There is a obvious and strong distinction (both cultural and moral) between indigenism and nationalism/racism that I need not dwell on. Furthermore, the nascent concept of “re-indigenization” (see this website for example or here also) is probably unknown to the author, but I encourage the readers to seek it out and understand it well, because it is one of the greatest & fairest ideas of these fallen times.


Sure, Pagan religions and cultures are often appropriated in popular media (e.g., the disrespect towards the Gods and ancient traditions during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece with their mascots, or that Gods-awful TV series Vikings). But not all appropriation is cultural appropriation. The problem with claiming that ancient traditions can be culturally appropriated is that these religions and the cultures have been dead for centuries, and thus cannot be culturally appropriated. Pagan religious movements which revive broken traditions are not on par with unbroken Indigenous traditions. While Indigenous traditions around the world have been brutalized and colonized by European powers yet still manage to survive in unbroken religious traditions, contemporary Paganism attempts to revive traditions from the ground up centuries after these cultures have been destroyed. There is no host country for these cultures or religions, even if there are contemporary cultures which descend from or populate the regions of once-existing dead pre-Christian ones, as they have been thoroughly washed by the new religions which came to dominate their areas. Sure, there are cultural artifacts or even direct religious practices which can remain in some of these cultures and countries, but the prior has been decontextualized (e.g., remains of the Partheon) and the latter has been thoroughly washed by the new religion which came to dominate the culture and recontextualized (e.g., the practice of dedicating imagery of the part of the body that need healing which were originally offerings to Asklepios being reassigned to Mary), and assimilation to the culture will not acclimate one to the religion. Connecting to contemporary Greece, with Orthodox Christianity as its state religion, will not inherently lead one to practicing Hellenism. Connecting to contemporary Germany, which is mixed Protestant and Catholic, will not inherently lead one to worshiping Woden. Connecting to contemporary Egypt, which is a predominantly Arab-state practicing Sunni Islam, will not inherently lead one to praising Ptah.

This section is very unfortunately expressed, I am compelled to say. The author willfully insists on killing or dismissing the remnants of ancient culture and religion in order to prove his point about universalism applying to “dead” traditions. I recall an article I read by Angelo Nasios, wherein he does not oppose the worship of Hellenic Gods by outsiders, but fairly demands that it not be called Hellenism, because it is cultural appropriation. I would add that the Gods can’t be separated from the historical media they were reached by, culture, language and ancestral practice. It’s greatly unjust however to demolish any traces of ancient indigenism that have survived after monotheism, and contrast it with modern (more fortunate) indigenous societies, as if that would lessen the former people’s efforts towards re-indigenization. I need not emphasize that the whole world was once indigenous, and a great part of polytheism’s beauty derives from the simpler times during which our various ancestors lived and their Gods were worshipped. I am not sure what’s the argument regarding contextualization here? Shouldn’t we decontextualize the earlier decontextualization, whenever possible? That’s the essence of reindigenization: It’s a glorious rediscovery of the past, of who we are and what we should do with one another across cultures in orderly to live well. Universalism, manifested by the author’s thinking here, seeks to dismiss this, because it is an inconvenience to their personal inclinations. Great Gods, as if this is a matter of individuals, and not the destiny of peoples! Being German (of whatever religion) won’t inherently lead a person to worship Woden? What does that mean? If they are educated in history and morality, that German should inherently choose polytheism, and Woden would be among the first they think of. If the author’s point is there was no continuity for an immediate transition, I still disagree: Language is a sufficient bridge, that is, if the author must dismiss ethnicity (which I disagree with entirely).


Yes, one might feel a deeper connection to a certain religion if they come from a particular cultural background (e.g., a person of Latin background, say Portuguese, connecting better to the Religio Romana), but simultaneously religions such as Christianity or Islam have thoroughly become embedded in these cultures, and their hold is anything but tenuous. It is all pervasive, and part of reviving ancient traditions involves things like moving past the baggage that everyone has as a result of being raised in the society they were raised in because let’s face it, no one is raised within a vacuum. Because the majority of Pagans are converts coming from Abrahamic faiths, they will thus begin with many presumptions about religion which derive from their society. If one thinks that there is an easy way back to the Old World’s religious traditions by connecting with contemporary cultures, then that person has clearly never actually engaged in Pagan religions.

“One might feel a deeper connection” is a perfect indication of what is wrong here, not so much in the author’s expression, but in the mentality of those the author speaks for. One—might—feel—are all and each the wrong terms to be considering in this profound context. The problem here is that polytheists think of themselves as individuals first (without joining community—although alas, there aren’t any yet), and then don’t consider their ancestry (hence the “might” arising from a weak identity) and then feel this matter of destiny rather than think thoroughly about it.  If “no one is raised within a vacuum” and grew up with “Abrahamic faiths”, it shouldn’t stop people from seeking to live in distinct communities and with distinct practices just as their ancestors did, rather than live within the modern, globalized “contemporary cultures” that are the antithesis of polytheism, being in almost every way aligned with monotheism and atheism.


Pagan Religions are both Ethnic and Universal

In the Greek New Testament, those who ascribe to pre-Christian religions are called ta ethnē, “the nations” (Luke 24:47, Matthew 25:32, Matthew 28:19). As such, religions of “the nations” were deemed ethnikos, as pertaining to a nation, in opposition to Christianity’s katholikos, meaning “catholic” or “universal.” In English translations of the New Testament, the word ethnē often gets translated as “Gentiles,” and in Latin “Paganus,” or Pagan. This essentially posited the “one universal Christian faith” against a multiplicity of “ethnic” religions. This does not, however, mean that Pagan religions were closed traditions. On quite the contrary, ancient polytheisms were universal traditions which, although they may have originated in one geographic territory, had a tendency to spread into other regions and become part of that area’s culture.

My response is mainly to the last sentence: “Had a tendency to spread into other regions” is a euphemism for imperialism and the falsely “universal” system that arises from it. We need to distinguish the spreading that results from a slow, formative establishment of  several regional Gods within the same pantheon, from the quick, innovative expansion of a powerful foreign God (or Gods) over weaker indigenous ones.


The actual issue was not that Christianity’s universalism purported itself as holding a universal truth for all peoples, but that it purported itself as an exclusivist, sole path to salvation, and actively denied the legitimacy of other paths to the truth, especially from long-standing traditions, as being false and abhorrent. This is what was antithetical to the undeniable pluralistic and diverse nature of ancient Pagan religions. The ancient world was, after all, fairly cosmopolitan. We can hardly say that something like Graeco-Roman civilization, which built a temple dedicated to the Egyptian Goddess Isis on the far-away Celtic lands of Britain, was anything but incredibly pluralistic and diverse. The ancient Germanic tribes are another clear example of an ancient peoples becoming well-accustomed to elements of foreign cultures. This is variously seen with the Swedish Viking ruling class of the Kievan Rus, how many different members of tribes such as the Batavi, Saxons, Goths, and Cherusci (among many others) would frequently become Foederati within the Roman military and adopt Roman cults and styles of dress, the intermingling and intermarriage of native Britons and Anglo-Saxons, with early Saxon cemeteries having both bodies from continental Europe and bodies native to the Isles buried in them, and the substantial overlap between Germanic peoples and the Gauls nearest to the Rhine. The Suebi are such an example, with Suebic chieftans Maroboduus and Ariovistus having Gallic names, with the latter speaking fluent Gallic (Gaius Iulius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 1.47), as well as the Franks, who took up many elements of Gallo-Roman culture.

I could not disagree with the first sentence more. Is the connection between monotheism and universalism so weak as not to be seen? A socio-cultural examination of the history of monotheism is needed to rectify this mistake (my next post will provide a lengthy chronology with commentary on this topic), because otherwise we will repeat it. But I must ask: what period and place and proportion of the ancient world was “fairly cosmopolitan”? Such a view is too literary, because most people lived out of cities in their regional homelands practicing agriculture. And it was the city-dwellers who always innovated and sought to profit from their new ideas. It saddens me that the author goes at great lengths to pass off coping with imperialism (to avoid further misery) as evidence of diversity…So, the Roman Empire conquers Egypt and subjugates its people, but then the worship of Isis, carried by earlier imperializing Greeks, spreads to Rome and to Britain—surely we can’t complain because Egypt should be proud and Isis, great mother as she is, would approve to see her native people as impoverished subjects while she acquires more generous, numerous and wealthy worshippers abroad?


While the translation of the Greek word ethnos does have a connotation as pertaining to a nation, this does not have the same connotation as a “nation-state,” let alone “race,” both of are very modern social constructs which developed many centuries following the extinction of the ancient religions. The latter especially developed quite recently among European imperialists during the Colonial era, dating from the early Enlightenment and beginning of industrial slavery, multiple centuries after many of the same powers destroyed the numerous polytheistic traditions of the ancient world. It is out of touch with reality to believe that the many different ethnic groups populating parts of Europe (Graeco-Romans, Celts, Germanics, Illyrians, etc.,) would have recognized themselves as part of the same people, let ago have seen eye-to-eye with eachother, based on an anachronistic idea of “whiteness” which only developed multiple centuries later. If the ancient world cared about someone’s race, then it would have been very unlikely that the Romans would have had Septimus Severus, a Roman who was half-Italic on his mother’s side and half-Punic and Berber on his father’s side, as their Emperor for almost two decades. There is no such thing as a “white gene,” “brown gene,” or a “black gene,” and what we consider to be “racial” is merely an observation of physical attributes that can change over time. To think the ancient world, let alone the Gods, would care is simply delirious. Rather, the Greek term ethnos means a community of people held together by the same culture, customs, language, and religion, rather than about anything remotely similar to contemporary notions of “race.”

The term “ethnos”, in its earlier sense, actually refers to the tribe and a tribal society but the term may have changed afterwards in Late Antiquity. An ethnos (usually agricultural and pastoral) is distinguished by anthropologists as distinct from the later urban polis that developed from it and sought to unite tribes into one city-state (synoecism). The ethnos however remained even in the latter stage, since marriages excluded within citizenry brought a sense of common ancestry. The different ethnic groups throughout Europe could not have brought themselves together as one group, but they approached that idea with the Roman Empire—in this case, however, they didn’t see it as “race” because they were all, except for very few, of the “Caucasian race” anyway, unlike the colonizers and slave traders of later times, who perceived great differences suddenly and proceeded with evil imperialism in order to justify their subjugation of the weaker people as a means to “civilize” them. This is why I dislike imperialism: in time, it molds a new large identity, whether an empire or a race (the two concepts are congruous), while replacing or weakening smaller ones, for the sake of some twisted, hypocritical ideology. And this is why I seek re-indigenization through regionalism.


So sure, if one is called to by a God or even simply wishes to participate in these religions, then necessary respect and acknowledgement must be given to the culture that the God created, and one well ought to be interested in learning as much as they can about it. This does not, however, merely come from birth. No, this comes from work. This is a clear understanding from the ancient world, as the divine Emperor Julian tells us: “though my family [the Constantinian dynasty] is Thracian, [I] am a Greek in my habits,” or in other words, logos displaces genos (Flavius Claudius Iulianus, II 501). Being a Hellene, or any practitioner of a Pagan religion, does not designate a people (genos), but a mindset (logoi) (Libanios, Or. II.184) (Kaldellis 2011, 54). One becomes part of a Pagan religion (such as Hellenism) because they share in a culture which was attained through education (such as paideia), rather than “common stock (physis)” (Elm 2012, 378-379). Indeed, while these religions are ethnic because they originated with a group of people, ancient religions are at the same time katholikos, or universal, because by their very nature they reflect the reality and universal principles of the Cosmos itself.

Yes, Julian was a Thracian, which was within the bounds of Greece, especially during his time. Zeno of Citium the Phoenician was accepted even earlier. Quoting late authors like Libanios doesn’t help in a universal sense, because their (urban) world was already jumbled up by imperialism (beginning with the Hellenistic) and thus Hellenism lost its original cultural identity and developed a false transcendental one. Even though I am a Greek, I can easily blame the Greeks for their cultural imperialism in the Near East, the same region where Libanios came from—he must have felt inferior if he were not considered Greek, and therefore he went along with the imperialism as a coping mechanism. A similar thing happens with immigrants in America, like my parents, and even happened with me when I returned to America after living 10 years abroad. And a brief note once again: Don’t be quick to equate the Greek philosophical system’s universal cosmology to what other traditional and regionalized cultures do with their cosmologies/mythologies, because that will lead to the dismissing of the latter, since modern science agrees often with the former.


Pagan Religions are God-centric, not ancestor-centric

I want to establish that in no way am I dismissing ancestor veneration. It’s a practice that is prevalent in many Pagan religious traditions, and plays a strong significance in the Religio Romana. However, Folkish types will often claim that the core of Paganism and polytheism is about “tribe and ancestors.” There is a few problems to this. Firstly, though some Pagan religions may have a kind of focus on a tribe, such as Germanic polytheism, the ancient concept of a tribe is very unrelated to the very contemporary notion of a “nation-state,” which many Folkish types will try to extrapolate the concept to anachronistically. Secondly, their tone-deaf description of Paganism and polytheism will always inherently fall short because it completely displaces the core of what polytheism is actually all about. The focus of polytheism, as the word implies in Greek (“polús,” meaning many, and “theós,” meaning God), is the veneration of the many living, eternal Gods. Period. We don’t seek the mediation of the Gods to worship our ancestors because ancestors are not the focus of polytheism.

 Polytheism needs to be understood beyond its simple etymology. There is plenty of socio-historical and socio-political theory to comprehend within it before you can even worship correctly, and this includes our knowledge about what ancient ancestry is and the importance of re-developing a direct connection to it. I have already explained how our various ancestors and their cultures are media between us and their Gods. Certainly the opposite is not true: the Gods are not mediators between us and our ancestors. Finally, I disagree with nationalism (or the nation-state), because of its inherent imperialism and anti-regionalism, since one tribe is required to conquer the rest before a “nation” is formed. Nationalism is almost as unreasonable as globalization.


Folkish people don’t even engage in actual ancestor veneration

For all the lip-service that the Folkish preach for ancestors, the Folkish typically have an incredibly reductionist view of what the ancestors actually are, commonly resting it on mere biological descendance. This is in contrast to the ancient world, such as in Rome, where your ancestors wouldn’t even necessarily be biological since biology was never really thought as being important. Noble families would frequently adopt males unrelated to them to follow in their footsteps, and when you were adopted into a family, you would be expected to worship that family’s ancestors. Because after all, what of people who were not raised by their biological family in any way, but instead, were raised by adoptive parents? What family’s ancestors would they even have to worship if only their biology mattered?

Folkish people will claim that minorities should refrain from joining Pagan religions because, again hearkening back to their erroneous “metagenetics” argument, people should only “worship the Gods of their ancestors.” But this argument is one of brittle bones which can be easily broken by just pointing out that most of their parents, let alone their ancestors for at least the past five centuries, are almost guaranteed to not have been engaged in the worship of the very same Gods that they are right now. Are those ancestors suddenly no longer of any worth? If so, that’s a pretty detestable view of one’s ancestors. But let’s play devil’s advocate and for the sake of this specious argument ignore this elephant in the room. If only biology mattered, then one can assume that they would have absolutely no problem with mixed people trying to join their traditions. But evidently, they overwhelmingly do. So how do the Folkish reconcile their worldview of biology with mixed peoples who want to enter Pagan traditions? For example, the majority of African-descendant people in the west are mixed, having European ancestry somewhere in their family tree, sometimes being the direct result of a biracial union. But of course, most Folkish types would reject them, even though they would rarely if ever complain if someone of mixed European descent wanted to join, or even someone of a completely separate fair-skinned peoples entirely. This is because genuine ancestor veneration is not something which the Folkish even actually engage in when they play at “honouring the ancestors.” This distortion of ancestor worship that the Folkish engage in, coupled with how they relegate Gods to archetypes of “the race,” informs us that, in reality, Folkish types misuse the component of ancestor veneration in Pagan and polytheistic religions as an excuse to go all-out blood and soil. Their “ancestor veneration,” and worship in general, is merely a form of self-indulgent pomposity because all it means to them is that it “honours their great race.” Beneath the shallow dressing, they are merely worshiping the phenotype. Their religion is white people. Nothing else.

I have explained on my site how people of mixed ancestry (citing myself also) can deal with the point of culture and worship. I don’t have a problem with people of mixed races joining and assimilating within a community, but I wouldn’t encourage the mixing (even inter-ethnic marriage) in the first place, for various reasons (mainly because it’s used by white leftists to heal past wrongs as if their continual colonialization will go away when they do it), which universalism does. I don’t mean to divert the discourse here, but the author is very insensitive when he mentions people of African descent in the west with European ancestry, because we all know how that ancestry was forcibly acquired and how they forcibly came to the west in the first place. So, why would they be venerating white or European ancestors at all?


Pagan Religions are a result of Post-Modernism

The Folkish have this unbridled phobia of Post-Modernism, even to the point where they will use it as a buzzword against detractors, despite not having any actual idea of what it is about nor its significance for contemporary polytheism. To simplify it, Post-Modernist philosophy is merely a kind of skepticism about Modernism, which is itself a philosophical movement which, by trying to simplify things and arrange them in a linear fashion out of a desire to create stories with clear beginnings and ends, argues for a straightforward progression towards truth and liberty, which gave rise to theories like whig history. When applied to religious modes of thought, Modernism would hypothesize that earlier religious modes of practice and belief are inherently more “primitive,” because they’re not in the “now,” positing that a “primitive society” would begin practicing a form of animism, which itself would give way to a “more developed” polytheism which humanizes abstract spirits, which in turn would reject the “ridiculous idea” of many Gods and cultivates into monotheism as the “pinnacle of spiritual development,” with another step sometimes included with a jump from monotheism to atheism.

Post-Modernism rebukes Modernist theories of linear human development, arguing that it doesn’t make sense as the way in which things actually happen because, much like biological evolution, what sticks in human development is not always an improvement; it is in essence random. Post-Modernism’s rejection of modernist approaches to historiography allowed for a resurrected interest in ancient paganisms which revived devotional polytheism in the west. Because of this, Post-Modernism has been in large part responsible for the reconstructionist methodology we use today in reviving these ancient religions, and that our Post-Modern culture has inspired more genuine interest in polytheism and ancient paganism than say, the romantic and Völkisch environment of turn of the 20th century Germany.

I am actually a post-modernist, but I still believe that monotheism developed from socio-political conditions within certain species of polytheism and from certain groups of polytheists. Furthermore, I think the author projects linearity when he implies (though subtly) that our earlier tribal societies were less moral and less culturally superior than those of Late Antiquity and afterwards. As for Volkisch rotten nonsense of the Nazis which sought to elevate the Nordic “race” above all others, I have nothing at all to do with it—I am actually partly Sephardic Jewish on my father’s side and I said this on the author’s site, but he still proceeded to call me “Folkish” with the same insensitivity displayed earlier about Africans in the west. Finally, it was rather shameful for the author to equate me with these miserable Folkish nordicists and in the same breath, ban me in order to prevent me from defending myself.



Stating the obvious: the Folkish and their rhetoric are visibly ignorant and foul. These blatant fascists are inherently violent because of how their canards incites the dehumanization and harassment of minorities by unnecessarily forcing them to validate themselves both as practitioners and as people, and inherently impious because of their flagrant atheism and hubris which objectifies the Gods and ancestors as mere trinkets who only serve to propound the short-sighted pomposity they have about their “race.” This only produces a toxic environment where the both the pious and the marginalized are left unwelcome, and as such, their hatespeech is undeserving of any audience. Their platforms in Pagan circles should be torn down, and any individuals who are espousing their abhorrent rhetoric should be barred from any and all participation in any legitimate polytheistic and/or Pagan community. Their points are not to be debated: they are to be ridiculed.

My conclusion: The author’s conclusion will make things worse rather than better for polytheism on the whole, at least on the internet. Meantime, I will continue (to the best of my ability) writing as I do, honestly, fairly, respectfully and carefully, in the service of all Gods and all peoples (the right kind of universalism), until such time the Gods will allow me to form or join a real & closed polytheistic community in Greece that will promote re-indigenization and regionalism.

29 thoughts on “A response to “Against the Folkish ‘Pagans'”

  1. thetinfoilhatsociety

    I’ve come to realize over time that universalist Pagans of any stripe are essentially monotheists in outlook, regardless of what they pay lip service to regarding ancestor veneration and belief in more than one God. The very statement that the Gods are all powerful gives this one away. Nope. That’s a monotheist belief.

    Thank you. I had the impulse to break it down like you have but not the time. You’ve come to some different conclusions than I had but on the whole I agree with your response.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thank you. This universalism usually results from a Protestant mentality that seeks to “convert” everyone to the “best” way–it’s akin to what most of both the right and the left (whites) do in America.
      Now speaking of impulses, I had an itch to return insults, but I did not, not only for the sake of polytheism, but also for the sake of my arguments and respect.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. K


    I read that blog every now and then. I ended up checking it recently when I was organizing my links and articles. I had prepared a reply to the post linked above last week but never posted it. I reckoned it would be futile to do so. That this post here would follow it up confirms what I suspected; this is not someone worth bothering with. The post would just get deleted. If you triggered him, I would have caused him to have a fit.

    I was going to ask him if Xerxes ought to have just sent a million or so Persian men to demand the Greeks let them in and support them with pensions, rather than his attempt to invade by force. He could have easily bankrupted every city that way, and there would have been a large Persian population in Greece to influence things(or take over). Hospitality(xenia to you, guest right as I call it) is much abused when it is not kept within reason and custom. It is meant for travelers and friends, not groups imported wholesale. You don’t invite your enemies over(like Muslims) or just give up your land. I also had some other quotes from Aristotle and Julian himself ready. I get the impression that he has internalized Christian morality. The idea that some group of strangers matters just as much more than your own group(family, clan, tribe, people) is a product of Christian thinking. I couldn’t care less about trying to score morality points or thinking in a “modern” way. Some of that sounds just like I hear from Christians.

    I don’t care much for post-modernism. Except some sense of “deconstructionism” I have a vague idea of what it is. You seem to have a background in literature or some social science. I remember you bringing up some literary theory. Anti-racism, feminism, homophobia, transphobia, equality, all those are very modern concerns. They did not matter until a handful of Europeans and liberal Jews took them up and decided they were universal and correct. Find a non-European culture that had any concern for those before the 20th century. I would think that a school of thought critical of modernity would drop such things or at least deconstruct them. Racism is apparently the new idea of a mortal sin, except now there is no absolution available.

    I have a bit of Native American ancestry. My great grandmother was one. Very apparent from the pictures of her. I don’t think I am an injun or anything silly like that. I am Northern European. What about mixed people is just something thrown out to stump you. People are afraid to answer that. I don’t really care, is my answer. No black in America seriously considers themselves of the same people as whitey, I can tell you that. They are not European even if they have some ancestry from there. Even the half-whites always consider themselves black. Your advice to go with your facial features is about the most reasonable I have heard. It is simple and effective for most.

    I knew a black guy that is half Asian half black. He looked a lot like the pictures of Khoisan(Capoid, admixture heavy in some Bantus like the Xhosa as well) people from South Africa, not like the West African descended blacks here. Thin nose, high cheek bones, angular features, lighter skin tone. Some other blacks asked if he was really black. If he was mixed, what with? He got very indignant, apparently. He thought they were trying to set him up for a diss. He told me about that and asked me if he really didn’t look black. I told him exactly what I put up there; he resembled Khoi or San people and that other blacks noticed the clear differences in his features. I added that it might be how things balanced out between the Asian(NE Asia, maybe Siberian) and West African features, or maybe he should get a DNA test. He was satisfied with my answer, said I wouldn’t hold back what I thought, that is why he asked. I was surprised he would put that question to me all the sudden. Most probably wouldn’t have answered that nowadays.

    “Folkish people will claim that minorities should refrain from joining Pagan religions because, again hearkening back to their erroneous “metagenetics” argument, people should only “worship the Gods of their ancestors.” But this argument is one of brittle bones which can be easily broken by just pointing out that most of their parents, let alone their ancestors for at least the past five centuries, are almost guaranteed to not have been engaged in the worship of the very same Gods that they are right now. Are those ancestors suddenly no longer of any worth? If so, that’s a pretty detestable view of one’s ancestors”

    I have heard this exact argument from Christians. What about your Christian ancestors? I admit, my views on this are not just about my ancestors. I concluded first that Christianity is false, and that it was forced on my ancestors and gradually assimilated to the European cultures and values. It is not merely out of obligation to my ancestors that I made my decision. I wanted to find out about what was our heritage and our old belief system, as far back as I could. Most of my Christian ancestors, I don’t know how “Christian” they all were. Half-pagan folk religion was the norm in Europe until 300-400 years ago in many areas. That they were Christian does not sway me either way.

    My rationale for folkishness is more because of “this is ours” than wanting to make people only worship their ancestral gods. I want to see ethnic European religions. That someone of another race might worship Thor does not concern me in itself. What concerns me is that something that should be an ethnic religion will be universalized like an Abrahamic religion or liberalism if we relent and let down our guard. It would just be another vehicle for leftist and globalist agendas. The way things are currently going, we are in trouble. I am saddened when Europeans would rather go be Native American medicine men or Shintoists or in African folk religion, because our own hearth(so to speak) has been neglected for so long. Those other groups are tending theirs, and yet ours has been neglected. I don’t mind people learning or exchanging knowledge with other groups.

    What is this talk of “minorities” anyway? Worldwide Europeans are a minority. My morality is in-group oriented, so excluding outsiders does not bother me. No modernism or Christianity to be found. The easy solution would be for the “minorities” to go join their own pagan religion. They have their options. Or do they need whites to provide them that too?

    “But of course, most Folkish types would reject them, even though they would rarely if ever complain if someone of mixed European descent wanted to join, or even someone of a completely separate fair-skinned peoples entirely.”

    Playing the old pit the Celts and Germans against each other game? Mixed European descent usually amounts to the same group. Celt and Germanic are linguistic categories and both groups arose in an overlapping range from Indo-European tribes and some Old Europeans. The cultural and racial differences are few. A mixed Khoisan and Bantu(unrelated groups) in South Africa has more “difference” in their ancestral lines historically, linguistically, and racially, than an Irish-Scottish mixture(related groups). Most of the peoples of Europe are descended from similar groups overrunning each other in waves. Britain is a great example of that; the Scots are mostly Gaels from Ireland with a Norse/Norman component and Pictish further back. The English are Britons overlaid with West Germanic(like the Dutch today) tribes and a Norse/Norman component. This just repeats all over the isles, with the main differences being more or less Anglicization and French Norman influence. So it depends on “how mixed?” German-French, or something like Scottish-Sardinian? The latter is more realistic to consider mixed at least. If it is in the broad area of northern Europe, this is pointless. Beowulf is an Old English story about events in Denmark with a hero from Sweden, for example. They knew there was a connection between them(Anglo-Saxons) and those other peoples. They were still singing of the great victory of the Gothic led Germanic alliance against the Huns in the 5th century in medieval England. Whenever someone gives me this nonsense about mixed European groups, I think they are being disingenuous to push their agenda against Europeans.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      My friend, you have been a generous contributor to discussion and a welcome guest here, and I wish it to continue. We may happen to have differences from time to time, but we can set a good example and be civil about it. The position you have taken here in the response seems to be the opposite end of what Klaytonus believes. Perhaps it can be tempered a little? I don’t think that anyone, especially with a presence like Klaytonus, is “not someone worth bothering with”, for the simple reason that engagement and understanding must take place for the greater good of polytheism, this nascent movement of ours. Taking a distance, while inevitable sometimes, does not lead to any good if it becomes habitual. I refuse to adopt the extreme position of Klaytonus and say that the other side needs to be “ridiculed” and “torn down” because then there will be endless conflict. Both sides of any debate are bound to remain, but if they come to blows rather than debate (the ideal would be discuss), what good will come of it? We live in a world of different perspectives, and we need to be questioning why both sides are giving each other a “fit” rather than a “trigger” (to use your terms); as I see it, the former results from willful opposition whereas the latter from serious disagreement. The latter is bound to happen from time to time, but at least we can avoid the former even if there is an impulse towards it. I must confess I was in somewhat of a fit when I saw the low insults and twisted arguments used in Klaytonus’ article, but I didn’t hasten to write until my thoughts were cool.

      Xerxes invading Greece is not akin to modern immigration, and if it at all is, there is this similarity: some Greeks invited Xerxes just as some citizens invite immigrants. My point here is, there were two sides then and now, with reasons for each. In the case of modern times, it is much more complicated because Western countries are and have been unfairly (sometimes wholly) influencing the countries from which people migrate. There has been plenty of colonialism and imperialism from the west; this is not to say there wasn’t imperialism elsewhere, but the west has been dominating like never before. Besides, the problem of the aging populations in the west is really what is driving policy for immigration; so, one ought to blame western culture rather than immigrants who are fulfilling the economic needs that the west regards as the first priority. And in the case of the New World, I welcome immigration to the full, in order to reverse colonization, especially by more native peoples like Mexicans in the United States. I do believe it is Christian thinking to argue that the New World belongs to Europeans—it is entirely foreign to inter-ethnic polytheism that seeks harmony in this troubled, modern world.

      I do have a Master’s degree in English literature (something I don’t regard highly or flaunt) and I find great reason to call myself a post-modernist in a general, rather than particular sense. Some of what Foucault and Derrida have written against Western hegemony, Christianity and modernism is gold for our current movement of polytheism—I would encourage you to learn more. The newer generation of post-modernists has fewer things of value to offer, and some of it has gone too far. Nevertheless, I will say that “anti-racism, feminism, homophobia, transphobia, equality” are real concepts and concerns that can’t simply be dismissed, and I sympathize with all of them in different measures. There is a reason why everything exists as it does; there are root-causes that need to be carefully examined and addressed to avoid misunderstandings. And even though I am a cultural relativist who believes ancient polytheistic traditions should influence (more or less) our way of life, you won’t be able to apply it universally. This is why I advocate pluralism and plurality: If someone doesn’t like a particular community’s inner views (note the adjective), he has the right to leave to another which does. Any sort of “crusading” or aggressive expansion on either side should be prohibited. Imagine how much happier the world would have been if this were the case. However, I will strongly disagree with you if you are implying that racism should not be considered a huge sin. Race in America (and the New World in general) is especially a problem, for good reason. We shouldn’t think dismissively about minorities though, as if the face says everything—there is plenty of baggage associated with race and culture that is growing ever more complicated. We need to put ourselves in those people’s situation and treat them as we would be treated—a person whose ancestry is half European and half Sub-Saharan African thinks he is “Black” for a very particular reason well known to you (i.e. the one drop rule) and rejected by me. What if a Celtic group (for example) were to reject you upon learning you are 1/8 Native American for the same reason—wouldn’t it disturb you? True, you may pass entirely for a “Northern European” but some people have unreasonable standards…This problem needs to be resolved for all, preferably with common and fair principles: My point about the facial features was only part of what I believed regarding indigenous rediscovery and polytheism—the other parts you overlooked were the choices of siding with paternal ancestry for men and maternal ancestry for women in the case of mixed people who seek a permanent & dominant group to join and assimilate stably within. And this isn’t a prescription neither; it is only an earnest solution advanced with good will from an ethnically mixed person like myself who has felt only part of the instability that racially mixed people feel.

      While I agree with your point about Christian ancestors, I won’t defend the validity of “folkishness” as it is being used in current discourse. Indigenous religion will never become the beautiful concept it should be, unless and until the concepts of “ethnicity and race” is better, fairly and universally understood and applied. People who are “white” should not speak exclusively about European traditions, when they know full well that they have the moral obligation and power to right the wrongs of colonization and consequently promote indigenism *elsewhere*. Speaking and intending correctly are also the first steps only—much more should be done and indeed *demanded*. This is why I believe that the ever growing complications and subsequent problematic movements of the New World will probably bring ruin to the more simple situation in the Old World. When people like Jared Taylor, Richard Spencer and millions of other followers talk about the right of a “white homeland” in the New World, separated from other “races”, it sickens and frightens me greatly. And now that movement & discourse is (because of American hegemony over media and ideas) just like immigration spilling over into Europe where there have historically been ethnic concerns only. If you are saddened when “whites” become “native American medicine men”, I am far more saddened when they insist that a) they are a persecuted minority with an exclusive conspiracy/war being plotted against them and b) they are no longer responsible for past and continual colonization because their ancestors did it and others did “the same” and c) they believe (like Varg Vikernes) Celts and Germans to be “blood brothers” and “friends” who should be uniting against “the forces of evil”, when historically those two peoples were not only distinct but often enemies in the case of the expansions of the latter. Unless we indigenous polytheists at the very least speak against (if not fight against) “white nationalism” or indeed nationalism and colonialism and imperialism of any kind, polytheism and indigenism are lost causes and the conflicts will only grow to such a height, that monotheism, atheism and globalization will swallow everything up.

      I hope you don’t consider these harsh words meant against you in particular. I am combating against certain ideas that I believe strongly are harmful to our shared and greater cause of polytheism. I ask you as a friend to reconsider the partial folkish position and instead adopt a universally indigenous one.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. K

        When I get past the whole “all the folkish are evil racists” thing, I agree with some of what the guy wrote where you would disagree with him.

        Like that Klaytonus wrote, I do think there are universal aspects to polytheistic religions in general. I tried to point that out to you before when I mentioned that Herodotus wrote of a temple to Zeus in Egypt that he visited(referring to Amun). Contemporary to Herodotus, there was a temple to Amun in Greece, and yet Egypt did not put it there, the Greeks did that on their own. That sort of thing is impossible with Abrahamism, or monotheism generally. There was little problem with adopting other gods and forms of worship. The Chinese have so many gods and varieties of worship, mostly through exchange with other places on top of their local customs. This was without being too cosmopolitan or completely mixed. The Etruscans adopted Greek myths and cultural forms, but the Greeks never conquered the Etruscans. The Romans adopted Etruscan divination practices on their own initiative. The Japanese adopted Indian and Chinese practices(tantric ritual, Vedic gods, Wu Xing, divination, mantras, astrology, ancestral tablets, cremation, Setsubun, Tanabata , many court ceremonies) on their own. There are plenty of other examples. Polytheistic systems are relatively open to adapt things that are palatable to the people in question.

        I have never heard a Jew call Set “Egyptian Yahweh” or expected a Muslim to consider Prajapati as a Hindu equivalent to their Allah. Christians don’t do this either, though I can think of some exceptions like the Mormon fascination with Quetzalcoatl, or the equation of Viracocha with the Christian deity by some Jesuits(they got censured for it), or the Chinese concept of Dao or Tian being equated with Christian ideas by some Jesuits(they are very adept at what they do). Polytheism does allow universality to that extent. Someone(I think Jan Assman) referred to this capacity as translatability. The distinction that Judaism made first was to reject this.

        Heathens have not really had a problem worshiping even Abrahamic figures. The Greco-Egyptian magical papyri show this. Germanic heathens were known to put up crosses right next to the altars of other gods. The Finns adopted Jesus as a sort of healing deity when they first got exposed to Christianity. Brahmins in India helped some of the early Catholic missionaries in India set up, because they considered the Catholics just another sect. Extending translatability and openness to Abrahamism made us weak and naïve though, and too accepting of the infiltration until it got to be dangerous. Pagan cultures have trouble understanding the exclusivist , proselytizing, and fanatic worldview of Abrahamism. Hopefully the lesson has been learned by now.

        This openess did not mean “come on in, everyone is a member of the group”. This is a key difference I have with universalists, who use the facts I pointed out above to different ends than most people in the past would have accepted. There was a question I recall from my studies in Japanese. A Japanese Confucian scholar that also admired Lao Tzu and Mencius was asked by someone “If Confucius and Lao Tzu led an army from China to invade the Land of the Gods[Japan], what would you do?” The scholar replied “I would fight them of course.” If the Greeks fought Rome or the other way around, I am sure that Publius Cornelius Scipio(a known Philhellene) would have sided with Rome. People still had their loyalties. Klayonus ought to have mentioned some of the strict citizenship laws in the ancient world. Also, if you mix your group out genetically, its distinct character will be lost. Does anyone want to end up like the Egyptians? Right in Aristotle, there is this:

        Aristotle Politics Book 1
        “The family is the association established by nature for the supply of men’s everyday wants, and the members of it are called by Charondas ‘companions of the cupboard,’ and by Epimenides the Cretan, ‘companions of the manger.’ But when several families are united, and the association aims at something more than the supply of daily needs, the first society to be formed is the village. And the most natural form of the village appears to be that of a colony from the family, composed of the children and grandchildren, who are said to be suckled ‘with the same milk.’ And this is the reason why Hellenic states were originally governed by kings; because the Hellenes were under royal rule before they came together, as the barbarians still are. Every family is ruled by the eldest, and therefore in the colonies of the family the kingly form of government prevailed because they were of the same blood. As Homer says: “Each one gives law to his children and to his wives.”

        The rule of a father over his children is royal, for he rules by virtue both of love and of the respect due to age, exercising a kind of royal power. And therefore Homer has appropriately called Zeus ‘father of Gods and men,’ because he is the king of them all. For a king is the natural superior of his subjects, but he should be of the same kin or kind with them, and such is the relation of elder and younger, of father and son.

        Those in the past knew of a biological basis for culture and the state. This did not suddenly crop up later. Do people really believe that no one noticed race before?

        “The actual issue was not that Christianity’s universalism purported itself as holding a universal truth for all peoples, but that it purported itself as an exclusivist, sole path to salvation, and actively denied the legitimacy of other paths to the truth, especially from long-standing traditions, as being false and abhorrent. This is what was antithetical to the undeniable pluralistic and diverse nature of ancient Pagan religions. The ancient world was, after all, fairly cosmopolitan. We can hardly say that something like Graeco-Roman civilization, which built a temple dedicated to the Egyptian Goddess Isis on the far-away Celtic lands of Britain, was anything but incredibly pluralistic and diverse. The ancient Germanic tribes are another clear example of an ancient peoples becoming well-accustomed to elements of foreign cultures. This is variously seen with the Swedish Viking ruling class of the Kievan Rus, how many different members of tribes such as the Batavi, Saxons, Goths, and Cherusci (among many others) would frequently become Foederati within the Roman military and adopt Roman cults and styles of dress, the intermingling and intermarriage of native Britons and Anglo-Saxons, with early Saxon cemeteries having both bodies from continental Europe and bodies native to the Isles buried in them, and the substantial overlap between Germanic peoples and the Gauls nearest to the Rhine. The Suebi are such an example, with Suebic chieftans Maroboduus and Ariovistus having Gallic names, with the latter speaking fluent Gallic (Gaius Iulius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 1.47), as well as the Franks, who took up many elements of Gallo-Roman culture.”

        This is true, and a point I have tried to make about there being European commonality. The problem is that this is selectively used to serve other ends. A Germanic tribe and Gallic one are not radically different peoples, especially if they were right next to each other. Universalists are usually liberals that use these facts to justify the Great Hijra into Europe or some other agenda of theirs. Is there not enough diversity in Europe already? Land should at least be fought over before it changes hands. This is the number one reason I am suspicious of universalists. I aimed what I said about “dividing Celts and Germans” at this. For some reason the universalists and even Christians like to try that. If they were better at this, they would try the Germanic-Slavic divide, there is a real conflict and point of controversy. The Slavs versus other Slavs is a pretty fierce conflict too. The whole thing about mixed European groups is used right alongside “Europe was always diverse” and then listing out different European peoples. Africa has more varied groups within it than Europe(some radically different) and yet a handful of Europeans coming there is not said to have added to its vibrant diversity.

        A common Christian attack on all sorts of pagans is that we don’t all know our exact ancestry. Celtic identity, German identity, Slavic identity, they say these are products of post Christian pan-nationalisms that mostly go back to the 19th century. I have even seen one argue that worshiping “Scandinavian gods” as someone of continental Germanic or English origin makes no sense. What do Wotan or Woden have to do with Odin, comparitive mythology and etymology be damned. Because all of this is so confusing, you should remain a Christian. Then they try to finish reeling you in by attacking reconstruction in general as a pointless endeavor. This is very different from the older Christian approach to heathens. In the past, all “pagans” of any race were considered to be following more or less the same system and the Christians almost always used Roman gods as a quick way to classify pagan gods. I have read a 17th century Jesuit’s account of Andean religion in Peru(which is still around as a syncretic folk religion today) and he wrote that it was for the most part the same as the “errors” of the Romans and Egyptians already known to the Church. I paraphrase; “None would be surprised at their gods, fantastic tales, and superstitions that know the errors of our ancestors, and of the famous nations of Rome and Egypt.” He then gives an account of myths and folk beliefs of those isolated subjects of Spain.

        An example. Are the French Germanic, Celtic, or Roman? All had a part in the making of that country, and the people and culture are mixed. If anything they are more Romanized, as there is hardly any memory of a Germanic cultural heritage and only a bit here and there of the Celtic outside of Britanny. I could deconstruct the Romans too, a mixture of Italic, Latin, and Etruscan elements that in turn derive from still older parts. We aren’t going to be seeing any Sabine revivalism, or Samnite, or Etruscan, or Volscian. The problem is that if you let this type of thinking slide it leave you with nothing. Some take a leap of logic that, because there is no real identity in question, that unlimited immigration(welfare and economic) is fine because there will be no change anyway. Europe has “always been a melting pot(a lot like Americanism)” and there is no such thing as a European because everyone is the same. I think this is especially absurd for a pagan, though. A Christian might not care, they can convert the incoming groups.

        Some cities were back then were cosmopolitan and so was the military, he seems to conflate that with the modern situation. I am not completely puritanical about there being absolutely no foreigners. There has been exchange and meeting in most places throughout history. Cosmopolitanism is not something I would want for its own sake, that is all. In the modern sense, it is not just a little bit, there is an active drive to bring in all sorts of disparate groups and jumble them all up. We have a mono-culture being formed while some others keep their own culture and demand our accomodation. It is not going to work anyway. As for cosmopolitanism in the Roman empire, how did those German foederati work out for them? It benefited the Germans by giving them land, political clout, and coin, but the Romans got the bad end of the deal. They had to pay people that still had their drive to fight to protect their decadent empire. The Roman elites were short sighted and probably desparate to hold things together. Didn’t work out. Not something I want to do. Was there even a meaning to Roman identity at the end? Citizenship was widespread, the culture was spread out and in my opinion diluted. Was it worth doing away with the Roman people to form the empire? Empires are formed by a conquering group with powerful qualities and lots of drive. It inevitably gets diluted and weak after forming the empire and spreading out. This has been noticed by many historians. They end up being subsumed into the conquered and being conquered in turn, usually by “barbarians”.

        I agree with him that one cannot appropriate a god. I am not certain that anyone believes you can do that. Cultural appropriation is also something I don’t care much about. By copying or adapting something from another culture, something is not being taken away. It is not some physical object that one has or doesn’t have. Space though, is a different matter. You can lose control of your own space, if you allow it to happen. I would rather not have some self appointed “diversity officers” in control of our space. You go to do something, you have to be reminded of how you are guilty for being born white by these people. It is telling that the conflict of folkish vs. universalist is mostly white people shouting at each other. Not exactly diverse.

        “I am actually a post-modernist, but I still believe that monotheism developed from socio-political conditions within certain species of polytheism and from certain groups of polytheists. Furthermore, I think the author projects linearity when he implies (though subtly) that our earlier tribal societies were less moral and less culturally superior than those of Late Antiquity and afterwards. As for Volkisch rotten nonsense of the Nazis which sought to elevate the Nordic “race” above all others, I have nothing at all to do with it—I am actually partly Sephardic Jewish on my father’s side and I said this on the author’s site, but he still proceeded to call me “Folkish” with the same insensitivity displayed earlier about Africans in the west. Finally, it was rather shameful for the author to equate me with these miserable Folkish nordicists and in the same breath, ban me in order to prevent me from defending myself.”

        That is why I said I would not bother with him. It doesn’t matter what you say to someone that won’t listen anyway. He will just write you off as stupid and malicious. He called for a ban on everyone that disagrees with him. The whole “I have such and such ancestry” card does not work. I could probably try “I’m an injun I swear please don’t call me a racist” for all the good that would do. Not much room for discussion there. Something I wondered is if he would dare call an actual Jew folkish. They basically are. Orthodox Jews practice a very folkish religion that is entirely focused around them and their claim to a specific land and prophecies that are all about them. There are things in Jewish texts that would make most folkish pagans blush. Even you have a problem with old McNallen, but there are rabbis that say things that make him look like a multicultural cosmopolitan. There are some Jews that spend time criticizing other Jews for being too folkish, but mostly they keep that low key and stick together.

        I did not see the same linearity. Maybe he does consider Late Antiquity an improvement. I see things in terms of cycles anyway. Late Antiquity was the end of a cycle for a particular civilization. Do you consider Greek culture of the Archaic Period an improvement over Minoan culture and Indo-European culture that preceded it? Improvement or not depends on the criteria you set. Late Antiquity saw many disasters and spawned Christianity, so there’s some points against it.


        “Besides, the problem of the aging populations in the west is really what is driving policy for immigration; so, one ought to blame western culture rather than immigrants who are fulfilling the economic needs that the west regards as the first priority.”

        In Sweden the propaganda actually tells people that their ancestors are not responsible for their own culture, anyone can be Swedish, and that they have nothing worthwhile. Some of it has to be seen to be believed, and this in a country that was homogenous for most of its history and with no colonialism. That should give you pause too Melas. If there is no attack on European culture in general, why would places like Sweden and even Finland be hit with the same sort of propaganda? Why the pressure on countries like Hungary to take migrants? Why the pervasive erasure and downgrading of Europeans from their own cultures? If you let the BBC tell it, Britain was always multicultural(usually meaning Africans) and cosmopolitan and most families were mixed in Roman London. Do you remember how Cheddar Man was trotted out for that same purpose? You had a problem when Klaytonus said it to justify his point. I don’t know how you can miss it, because it is everywhere. The Americas are one thing, but if the homeland in Europe is compromised we are doomed. It is like madness has taken over.

        The economy is used as an excuse, but the EU is trying to force immigration past any logical point. These immigrants are being piled into countries that already have high unemployment. They are a drain on the ecnomy. Flyers are passed out trying to get people to come to France or Germany. The US and NATO keep messing up countries like the strategy of “bomb them and invite them” is the plan. Remember what Ghaddafi said about Libya holding back the flood of migrants? Canada’s government wants to bring the population up to 100 million via immigration. Why would they want to do that?

        “What if a Celtic group (for example) were to reject you upon learning you are 1/8 Native American for the same reason—wouldn’t it disturb you? True, you may pass entirely for a “Northern European” but some people have unreasonable standards…”

        At most 1/8, I may be less. My great grandmother looked it, but I don’t know that she was not mixed herself. Maybe she was half or three quarters, or even just a quarter. I don’t know much about her parents. Some of the natives have a lot of admixture. I might be 1/16. That is still more than one drop though. I haven’t encountered a problem with it yet. Maybe one day we will have blood quantum laws, or something like that, to determine this sort of thing. Can I at least claim indigenous status from this? If I were excluded from a group, all I could say is that at least they have standards.


        This guy was a 1/8 himself. He reminds me of my maternal grandfather. That colored picture below is even similar to his complexion. Same nose and brow shapes too. I am blonde haired and green eyed, and show none of these features. I look more like the side of my family of my paternal grandfather, which came from Germany in the past. Don’t have the reddish hair of my paternal grandmother’s family(Scots-Irish), but I otherwise look kind of like them as well.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Melas the Hellene Post author

        Here’s a complete response, paragraph by paragraph. Point one touches on your introductory sentence.

        1) I think we should pass that exaggeration, but the term “folkish” in itself (as I explained to Jessica) is a serious obstacle.

        2) You are mixing universality/universalism/imperialism with regionalism and the early nation-state. There was some sort of connection between Greece and Libya/Etruria, as also between China and Japan, because they were neighbors. It becomes really too stretched though when you get Isis in Britain or Zeus in Gaul. And actually, the main reason for such cults spreading far was the same reason the Roman Empire was made, i.e. the soldiery. If you think you can separate universalism from imperialism (it’s impossible), you’ll have a much more difficult task to separate universalism from cosmopolitanism/globalization. It’s no coincidence that the greatest universalists are also the most cosmopolitan and imperialistic—this was the case with the Roman mentality and the Hellenistic before it. The Assyrians very notably didn’t succeed to build a stable empire with brute force, and the Persian Empire was the first to adopt universalism and cosmopolitanism as we know it, two notions later used with much success by the Hellenistic and Roman Empires all the way to this day with the American Empire.

        3) There’s a difference between translatability and imperialistic syncretism. The first arises in the mind of a traveler like Herodotus and the second results from conquest. The Jews may have rejected translatability because they partly had a legacy of Akhenaten and partly were consistently humiliated by their imperialistic neighbors. Imagine lying at the center of three great Empires and at the same time, hoping to preserve yourself.

        4) Beyond the Greco-Egyptian magical papyri, you’re not seeing the connection of religion to power & empire. To the Germans and Finns who didn’t know better, Jesus was just as great as Herakles, because they both came from “those powerful and wonderful people in the South”. There were plenty of Jews who were absolutely dazzled by Hellenic culture for the same reason, but when it went too far, the monotheistic Jews of Jerusalem grew angry at the encroaching imperialism & became fanatical in hopes to preserve their ways. Hopefully you can see some sort of connection between the Hasmonean revolts then and the “revolting” polytheistic counter-culture today. There shouldn’t be any irony in that, if the concept of imperialism is understood.

        5) Regarding the paragraph leading to the quote of Aristotle, I have only this to say. Imperialism, whether religious or secular, seeks to globalize and universalize and unite people under one false banner. Alexander is known to have said something to the effect of “come in, everyone is a member of the group” upon entering Asia Minor, as did Jesus when he preached about his new religion. I wrote about this in a previous post: https://traditionalpolytheist.com/2018/06/09/polemical-topics-for-polytheists-part-11-universalism/

        6) Regarding Klaytonus’ quote and your following paragraph, I must say your idea of European commonality excluded from North Africa and the Near East is problematic in the case of comparing it the Roman Empire. In fact, I’m afraid your idea is derived from medieval Christendom. Now I do certainly agree with you regarding immigration as a policy (whether among Europeans or beyond), especially permanent settling, but I guess once you accept the Roman model of universalism, this is the next step in this globalized world that has had two *universal* wars already. Besides, if one accepts that the New World can be colonized acceptably, why not Europe also? We either condemn it all, or run the risk of double standards.

        7) There is certainly a connection between the nationalism of the 19th century and later paganism, but that movement was one of discovery and sometimes took the wrong direction, i.e. imperialism. Our task today is to distinguish the good of that period, from the bad. Part of the bad is the term “folkish” as well as the Nordicism that somehow seeks a racial supremacy over Europe and beyond as well as to make Hitler the German equivalent of Genghis Khan…The Nordicists (not at all synonymous with traditional Germanic polytheists) are as much a part of the problem as the universalists, if not more.

        8) That’s an excellent question about the French. My answer is this: nation-states, in almost all cases today, are incompatible with ethnic polytheism. Yes, it is so easy to deconstruct them, as you say, and we ought to be using all the great scholarship we have for a marvelous socio-cultural awakening. It would be much better than a European Union, but I know how fanciful it sounds as things stand. You can thank capitalism for that. If it were left to me, I would severely re-structure nation-states and break them up into many regional states. The provinces and counties are already medieval in name and scope, and in certain cases ancient. Ancient Gaulish could be revived within a few generations just like Hebrew, and be used at the side of French. But unfortunately, Europe is becoming like America in all things, and so the cause of indigenism is totally lost, at least for the present.

        9) I am also not too concerned about foreigners, so long as their settled numbers are regulated and most come from nearby countries. But now you begin to concede in regard to the Roman Empire, although you do somewhat implicitly speak in defense of Rome, which I wouldn’t do at all. The Foederati were only part of the problem. You realize that Greek cosmopolitanism and Roman imperialism in the Near East caused Christianity? And how else could Christianity spread so fast except by the Roman system of cosmopolitanism that was already in place, and the counter-culture that Roman imperialism created?

        10) Cultural appropriation is a serious matter in my view, and beyond a certain point, you can’t dissociate it from space. It’s really odd that there is intellectual property for individuals but not cultural/ethnic property for peoples. But then you can blame capitalism again for it as well as the Trinity of imperialism/universalism/cosmopolitanism.

        11) Regarding my quote and your subsequent paragraph, I will need to correct what you imply about Orthodox Jewish “racism”. I have seen versions of it too often, among Greeks and now increasingly by the alt-right throughout the internet—I don’t like the demonization at all, because it is greatly decontextualized and seeks to perpetuate old (Christian/Islamic) stereotypes that should be totally gone by now. I can certainly & strongly condemn what a few Orthodox Rabbis say about some Palestinians using their ancient texts (while I can equally condemn Islamic anti-Jewish texts and behavior), but I can hardly condemn in the same degree what those ancient persecuted and fearful Jews said in the Talmud during their own lifetimes. They were wary of being diluted and used exaggerations to ensure their preservation. There is something we can learn directly from the Jews in this respect, but only after we properly modify it, separating the good from the bad. Let’s be fair and say there are many Jews (Reform and Karaite) who openly don’t like the Orthodox Jews and that’s why the latter don’t even consider them Jewish. Seriously, read Haaretz newspaper from time to time and you’ll understand. On the other hand, McNallen is an idiot precisely because of his European multicultural project of a Nordic “white homeland” on colonized land (a double fault), which is hardly different from Hitler’s concept of Lebensraum, which you may have heard of. Why doesn’t he go back to Ireland, along with the insular Celts in his group? He won’t have the trouble there with his homeland that the Jews are having. But I suppose he’s interested in preaching and adding more numbers to his group—hence the cosmopolitanism.
        P.S. Please do not use the term “injun” for the future because it’s offensive and doesn’t agree with the principle of indigenous celebration that I hope to promote here. It’s far worse than the N word in my view; if the Blacks were enslaved, the natives suffered genocide. I know you are partly native, but you don’t identify as one, and so I am addressing you as a “European”.

        12) I will now address your paragraph about linearity and cycles. I think Klaytonus does see Late Antiquity as an improvement, or at least a justification for him joining the Greeks. He must be proud, like so many others, of the Roman Empire, because he refers to his native land as “Lusitania” (i.e. Portugal). I foresaw he would turn out to be a Celt of some kind, like too many other would-be Greeks. In any case, I like to combine linearity with cycles. I published a post about historical models in polytheism not too long ago. I said then as I would say now that there are several good traditions within a particular polytheism and in general, maturity should be balanced with purity.

        13) Concerning my second quote and your commentary, I will agree with you in part. The economy and declining birthrates are always the main concern for capitalism, but there is also a project to globalize Europe. I am well aware of Von Coundenhove-Calergi’s project of Pan-Europeanism and how it has been stretched too far, but my criticism does not come as a nationalist (like most), but as a regionalist/indigenist. His solution will be short-term and partial at best, but it will become a disaster in the long run. I don’t even like the idea of nation-states, but continentalism? Great Gods, no. On the other hand, if what you say is indeed accurate about the Swedish media, that’s a great shame. It’s the result of socialism and globalization at war with nascent Nordicism. They have no sense to see that extremes cannot be used to address extremes, because extremity will only go on. The BBC and European Union crusading against nationalism is not a problem, but replacing it with cosmopolitanism is a serious mistake, the consequences of which I cannot foresee. On the other hand, I don’t care at all for the “whites” in Canada, because it is native land. All my concern in the New World is the natives and their rights. I find the idea of conflating between Europe and its colonies in this respect rather repugnant, to tell you the truth. Some people like Molyneux and Jared Taylor talk as if they are so self-righteous and enlightened, but it isn’t difficult to see a superiority complex in their arguments. Well, I hope we polytheists at least can be wiser and even advocate for indigenism as a universal concept. I’ll certainly do my part here, and far more when I have the means & freedom. May our Gods aid, inspire and protect us.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. caelesti

    While I am not folkish, my interactions with folkish Heathens and yourself have been far more nuanced and complex than Silvanus’ post describes. Heck, even the Gods & Radicals essays don’t assume that all folkish people aren’t genuine, practicing polytheists! My impression is that many of them just want to do their own cultural/spiritual thing and have withdrawn from others who are hostile to their views. Many of them don’t seem to be involved in politics either right or left being mostly focused on their families/communities. On the other hand there are some folkish types who believe in the “Folk Soul” and gods only as archetypes, metaphors or symbols, and use religion & culture as mainly political tools. Then again there are feminists who do this as well! So I’ll have to make my own post about it, and the misuse of hospitality is another one.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thank you for your understanding. I didn’t expect to be treated like a sort of heretic, especially when all I strive for is equality and indigenism for all pantheons. I hope that does not sound too foreign of an idea to some, because that suggests polytheism may be in danger. And by the way, Gods and Radicals have some excellent articles and ideas–modern capitalism, akin like globalization (and universalism), ought to be restrained from its tendency to imperialize & colonize. On the other hand, I don’t know too much about these “folkish” pagans, but you are right in observing, as I did, that they generally mind their own business. They do however have what may be called a “racial hegemony” of Nordic over other Europeans, which is sometimes substituted for “Pan-Europeanism” , and these demonstrate forms of Nordicism (Nazism also in part) and White Nationalism, respectively. Their right to remain separate (or their theology) is not so much what I’m debating, but mostly rather their anti-indigenous and nationalistic character, which becomes especially dangerous & unjust when they seek expansion and appropriation. I look forward to your articles and the discussion that may arise from them. You can be sure of my contribution.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Jessica Triepel

        From my own observations of people identifying as folkish, what I have seen is they are quite often in line with precisely what you are advocating. Getting back to their roots, ie, their folk. National identity may or may not enter the equation, but when it does, I feel it is a projection of tribalism, as they don’t feel they have a small, local tribe. The nation is imperialism’s replacement of the tribe, and sadly, many people fail to see this, and whites aren’t the only ones to fall prey to this line of thinking. But this is where respectful, courteous discussion could make great strides at easing tensions between various groups, by seeking mutual understanding, rather than name calling and resorting to insults and tantrums, as so many seem to be doing these days. As for the immigration situation in Europe, I am opposed to taking them in, but neither am I blind to the root of the issue. Opening the doors won’t solve anything. Ending western intervention where it isn’t specifically asked for is the start. But on the other hand, there are serious problems in those parts of the world where western intervention and colonialism has been prevalent, and I believe our governments have a responsibility to clean up the messes they’ve made, in the most respectful way possible. How, I can’t say, because these things are very complicated. For instance, if the US props up a tyrant in an impoverished county who is cruel, and in an attempt to repair the damage, removes said tyrant and then leaves the country to their own devices, who’s to say another tyrant won’t rise to fill the vacancy? The west has created a huge mess in these other parts of the world, and now radicalism and crime run rampant. I have heard from immigrants how civil war and extremism have made life in their homelands unbearable and dangerous. So, we need to address the root causes, not the symptoms, or things will continue to get worse, and then the issues will infect our own nations and homelands.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Melas the Hellene Post author

        I do really believe that the “folkish” people, however mistaken in their choice of that word, are looking for a re-indigenization and nothing more. But they don’t study the matter carefully and therefore avoid future problems–something for which I blame ambitious leaders like McNallen, who in spite of writing several books and passing through many years of experience, still hasn’t refined his views beyond the usual white nationalism (if not white supremacy) that’s dismissive to other indigenous people that lived in America before.
        I am glad you mention nationalism and tribalism. It is indeed very true that nationalism is a form of imperialism, and that’s why “nationhood” should only exist as a temporary confederation in times of difficulty. There are some however who believe all “Europeans” (defining them differently according to “whiteness”) are one tribal entity that should be united against immigrants and those (usually considered to be Jews) who are plotting all sorts of “anti-white racism” and even “white genocide”. As you can imagine, with the “white” history of imperialism and colonialism, this is some very abhorrent stuff. It isn’t any different from Hitler’s way of thinking, except he made war on “inferior” ethnicities within Europe, in hopes of raising the “German race” to pan-European tribal hegemony. National tribalism is a horrible concept, but I advocate re-education rather than a “holy crusade” against it, because otherwise people will make a counter-culture out of it and embrace it secretly, as we now see among the alt-right.
        Let me tell you how to solve immigration with four simple steps: a) Colonial countries pay annual compensations to colonized countries, for a certain length, determined according to need b) Western countries put a stop foreign interventions and other means of colonization c) Western countries make cultural prosperity, not the economy, their first priority. If anything, Western countries should consider becoming more thrifty and less wasteful d) Western countries promote regionalism and no longer allow the toxic debate of nationalism vs globalism to go on. It is only then the root-causes will be addressed and indigenism can go forward!

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Jessica Triepel

        Good points, and I agree with what you are saying. There are some complicating factors to consider, however, at least on a temporary level. There is growing extremism in parts of the middle east, Africa, and even spreading into Asia. These movements pose a threat to the people within the lands from which it springs, as well as to neighbouring countries they seek to infiltrate. I think in part it is a product of continued imperialist intervention and colonialism, but perhaps not entirely. Nonetheless, an effective way to handle that issue needs to be developed. Bombing the middle east, etc, just doesn’t seem like the way to go about it. Being prepared to defend ourselves and our communities would be a good start.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Jessica Triepel

        Right, but how do you eradicate the cause of religious extremism? It’s like those countries are still living in the dark ages. Imagine if the Inquisition had the technology available these days, how much worse their tyrannical trade could have been. A friend of mine spent decades in the military on the ground in those parts of the world and is convinced it needs to be dealt with at the source. As much as I am opposed to military intervention, I suppose there are some exceptions. Ah, well, that’s beyond my intellectual capabilities, I’m afraid.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Melas the Hellene Post author

        Extremism and radicalism arises, in this case, out of cultural imperialism from the West. There is a real threat of Christian and atheistical ideas (i.e. broadly Western) dominating over Islamic ones. It’s very much akin to “the culture war” that took place between the Greeks and Jews 2200-1600 years ago–the only difference being that Judaism acquired imperialism because of Hellenistic imperialism, whereas Islam has been imperialistic from the beginning. Western and Islamic imperialisms clashed before and this was bound to happen again, only now much more deeply. And since each imagines itself to be superior and wishes to expand accordingly without competitors, I hope both sides will continue to lose adherents during the fighting. Polytheisms must reform and spread throughout the world, reclaiming lost peoples and lands. As such, polytheists shouldn’t take sides in the fight, but only rise as a distinct force, a middle way that can end all the madness.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Jessica Triepel

        You know, you really are inspiring. I do hope you will write a book, or maybe several. I think you could really reach people through your eloquence and deep insight.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Jessica Triepel

    That author’s article sickens me, for most of the arguments you made. This is why I very much love your blog. You truly see things clearly and fairly. One thing I’d like to add is that the term folkish shouldn’t be viewed with all this stigmatism. Folk is essentially a word for an ethnic, tribal group, though admittedly, there are some bad apples who twist it to suit their racist purposes. But this is a word that goes back beyond such concepts of racial superiority, and as such, should be free to use to explain one’s stance on cultural and religious leanings. My personal meaning is indigenous or tribal and has a deep connection to ancestry. The point you make, though, about how all people were once indigenous is really the most important part of all this, and reviving or recreating a version of indigenous way of life feels like the very thing we need in our world. Not globalisation or universalism, which is essentially imperialism. I see no potential for diversity within universalism and globalism, no room for the individual or the small community structure that is so essential to sustainability.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thank you for your kind support! I do my best and I hope it benefits. 🙂 The stigma of the term “folkish” goes back to the late 19th and early 20th century in Germany (see Völkisch movement), where it became associated with Nordicism (i.e. Nordic supremacy) and later Nazism. This is why I think it should be totally avoided by those who are not “bad apples”, precisely by Germanic polytheists, for fear that their movement will be tainted by (reasonable) accusations of Nazi continuity. Indigenous is not only a better term, but a better concept–this is not a play with words, as Klaytonus tries to suggest, but a serious adjustment of a mentality towards justice and fairness among all peoples, who are equally beautiful in their diversity and distinction, and therefore worthy of preservation and celebration. And yes, all people and cultures were once indigenous–wouldn’t a general adoption of that idea, as well as several others related to it, lead to the very end of imperialism and globalization (and therefore misery) in the world?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jessica Triepel

        Yes, I agree. To me, the unadulterated terms mean essentially the same thing. The only difference I see is one is stigmatized and the other is not. But indigenous certainly, at this point at least, should be quite clear in it’s meaning and the intention behind it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Melas the Hellene Post author

        It’s like the terms “pagan” and “polytheist”. We polytheists choose the latter term for a particular reason to set ourselves apart. Hopefully that could be done in regard to the “folkish” ideas, because ambiguity and the “adulteration” within it can be very hurtful to our continuity.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Jessica Triepel

        You make a solid case. I guess if someone wishes to use the term folkish within closed circles, very well, but for public purposes, indigenous is absolutely the best choice. You know, for many years, I didn’t even realize there was a distinction between pagan and polytheist. My own views have long been much in alignment with so much of what you yourself advocate and write about, but it wasn’t until discovering your blog that I became fully aware of how pagans and polytheists define themselves and just how much of a rift there in within this realm. Actually, I found to my dismay, that so many of the adherents of the old religions were so universalist and watered down to the point that I couldn’t really relate to them. You see a lot more ethnic/cultural/indigenous pride and awareness in the heathen community than in, say, the Celtic community, and I’m not talking about the white supremacist types, either. But as you say, there is not generally as much awareness of the bigger picture regarding how all peoples were once indigenous and how we should be working to reclaim our sense of self as people of the earth. Some get it, some don’t, and some only on an intuitive level. I feel like it was my connection to the Cherokee that enabled me to understand this concept at such an early age, even though I didn’t really have a word for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Melas the Hellene Post author

        The problem with using similar terms, whether publicly or privately, is that they carry distinct meanings with distinct baggage. Nativism and indigenism aren’t exactly the same, although the concepts may be similar. The same with Odinism and Germanic polytheism, and so forth. It isn’t my business to meddle with closed communities, but I know full well once the difference is found between using public and private terms, the “folkish” people will be accused of being disingenuous. Don’t all communities wish to expand to some degree? It helps to be absolutely honest about intentions (thus making public & private discourses the same) and prevent any kind of unnecessary misconceptions. Otherwise, to offer a strong example, you’ll get people privately admiring Hitler and publicly using all sorts of rhetorical complexity to avoid being honest about what they believe. Germanic polytheists need to leave behind all the Nazi baggage and move forward; interest in Germanic polytheism predated the Nazis and if a few Nazi leaders were attracted to such ideas, it doesn’t say anything against Germanic polytheism so long as (emphasis on this conditional statement) no continuity is perceived. No quibbling intended, but I must stress this simple point: the problem with the term “folkish” today is that it allows (sometimes intentionally) for a continuity to be made with the “Volkisch” movement of which the Nazis were a part. Such continuity and connection, intentional or not, will only lead to the subversion and polarization of Germanic polytheism. Symbols and terms need to be used with extreme caution and sensitivity, but instead of this I see total rejection on one side and plenty of unrestrained pride on the other. And now the latter is fighting the former, and vice versa. One side says “We need disregard ancestry altogether and to welcome everyone in order to fight against racism”, but the other side, not aware at all of what they are doing, says “We will not be defeated and we will rise again”–and the real problem is, the latter quote is usually directed against “Jewish corporations and globalists” rather than against Christianity. Believe me, I’ve seen it all over the internet and it shows no sign of decline. So, the fight will go on, until re-education and reflection occurs. But thankfully, since both sides are “pagans”, the rising movement of “polytheists” can take charge of the re-education rather than be adsorbed into the fight. But this hasn’t quite happened yet…

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Jessica Triepel

        Maybe there is hope yet. Funny that so much emphasis goes towards Judaism when it was Christianity that wiped out our former ways of life. At least Judaism isn’t out trying to convert the masses. I think that so much of what we as humans fear is just a reflection of our own weaknesses when in the presence of another’s strengths.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Paul

    A very fair and thorough response! I particularily detest this attitude that is so widespread now of blocking/reporting/banning/censoring/shouting over/shutting people down and hurling insults etc etc etc rather than engaging in polite conversation and debate. It only makes one look weak; if you feel the inspiration to share and post your opinions in a public place, be prepared for differing ones and challenges to your view. Personally, I enjoy different viewpoints and even an occasional good argument (or not so occasional… ha).

    Some of these so-called universalist Pagans really puzzle me. I can think of at least one who claimed in one place their system was universal (and they openly borrowed from all sorts of different traditions), then in another talked about encountering someone else’s Gods and those particular Gods staring at them and wondering why they had approached them in the first place. So, which is it? Claims of Pagan universalism seem to be found amongst those who are interested in other traditions and don’t want to worry or feel remorse about borrowing and appropriating that which isn’t theirs in the first place. I’ve always been interested in other religions and cultures and so on, but I’m also a heritage-oriented person. I’m just hardwired that way. What’s yours is beautiful and fascinating and worthy, but it’s not mine.

    As for race being a fairly recent concept, that’s true but fairly irrelevant when these universalists point it out. Of course the ancients wouldn’t have had the same understanding as we do today. The contacts for the most part simply weren’t there. Were our ancient ancestors universalists? No. Not only in the realms of culture and religion, but also amongst those whom we would consider being of the same race and even up to our own time, you can find peoples whose self-given ethnonym translates as man/person/real people etc. i.e they are real people, whilst their neighbors are of different origins. This push to pretend that we are all the same in bizarre, and one that I blame on globalization.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thank you, my friend! Yes, the banning and censoring is a weakness and in the case of these universalists, quite an ironical and significant one: it’s a form of “tribalism”, although of the toxic kind!! Being “heritage-oriented” is perfectly fair and polytheism allows us to go about it the right way. Universalism on the other hand is about expanding power; some people of a certain group would include as many others as possible into their system in order to make it bigger and more formidable. It’s a pretty bad and dangerous idea, but it has taken us many centuries to discover it. Some of our ancestors actually believed there was such a thing as universalism (Greeks and Indians in particular) or thought it was good anyway because so many people followed it. Now we can look back at the failure of philosophy and monotheism to create “the Truth” and a united “humanity” reasonably and consistently. Even modern science doesn’t (and can’t) succeed at that task; this would explain why globalization, just like universalism, is a form of one group with expansive power, i.e. western imperialism.

      Liked by 2 people


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