Author Archives: Melas the Hellene

About Melas the Hellene

An ethnic Hellene and traditional polytheist seeking friends and discussions within the scope of polytheism and its communities in the world. I am curious to learn everything about the history, nature, and standing of polytheism in general. Being a strong advocate of traditional polytheism, I will point out the faults of neopaganism as well as monotheism, and when necessary, expose and reject them openly. Website: traditionalpolytheist.com

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 11): Universalism

First view: Universalism is an important part of polytheism because humanity unites us

Second view: Universalism has no use whatsoever in polytheism because we are all distinct in ethnicity and tradition

Balanced view: Polytheists do and should share certain universal values and aims, but their traditions are also distinct and ought to remain so

In a comment for the previous post, I noted that systems of imperialism, whether political or religious, use a kind of moral universalism as a means to gain followers and maintain power. I illustrated this by comparing a quote by Alexander of Macedon with another by Jesus, as shown below respectively:

“Now that the wars are coming to an end, I wish you to prosper in peace. May all mortals from now on live like one people in concord and for mutual advancement. Consider the world as your country, with laws common to all and where the best will govern irrespective of tribe. I do not distinguish among men, as the narrow-minded do, both among Greeks and Barbarians. I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian. If differences ever develop between you never have recourse to arms, but solve them peacefully. If necessary, I should be your arbitrator. You must not consider God like an autocratic despot, but as a common Father of all”.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

It is plain and requires little examination to understand that both Alexander and Jesus used specious invitations and deceptive justice to expand their empires at the expense of others. Post-modernism can be useful in its tendency to examine everything, including morality and other points seemingly above criticism, in terms of power and I am employing this theory here. As I mentioned before, what we take for granted as being “universal” were originally ideas and practices derived from a certain culture and period, and always that culture and period was one of imperialism. The universal language (lingua franca) today is English because of British & American imperialism throughout beginning from the 19th century*. The universal law today (i.e. of the United Nations) is largely based on English common law and English political philosophers (perhaps a few Dutch and German too), which in turn had derived from Roman law. The universal culture of the masses today, in regard to fashion, norms and entertainment, is mainly American and Western for similar reasons. It would therefore be a fault for us polytheists to overlook the source of universalism as well as  universal ideas and practices by believing and taking everything we know for granted. Better it is to examine society with some depth and search for the origin and development of things. At the same time, it would be impossible to forget that we polytheists have something in common with one another as well as with other non-polytheists. I don’t think this point needs much emphasis because it ought to be obvious to us all, but reminding ourselves of it from time to time can help us avoid unnecessary misunderstanding or unwarranted hostility. Although we don’t believe in the story of Adam and Eve, we acknowledge gladly the common qualities of humankind, and at the same time, we are also proud of what distinguishes us in our separate traditions and groups. The verb “distinguish” is perfect within this context since its noun “distinction” means both “difference” and “excellence”. This sense is exactly what I hope to convey here: the way for any group (ethnic or otherwise) to advance and rise to greatness is to understand how they differ from others (i.e. what makes them unique) and by that means achieve excellence by their spirit and effort. Universalism, on the other hand, tells everyone “you can be anything” which is a kind of insividualization that removes people from their natural groups and identities, i.e. weakens them. It is sometimes no better than a variation of the rule of “divide and conquer”, as employed by the empire or nation-state to mold the populace into a uniform cast for its own benefit and for the ease of controlling them. Whenever I hear the words “humanity”, “human progress”,  “we are all alike” and such like expressions, I can’t help but think of it in terms of imperialism. The imperialism of “humanity” is its cruel dominance over Earth’s plantkind and animalkind (I am sorry that there are no such words in our monotheistic language), a  dominance maintained by a euphemism called “human progress”. The notion of “we are all alike” (similar to quotes above), although partly correct, can also be used to trick people into following the dominant imperial system. We are bound to compete and wrestle for power, just like the Gods, but let us do so with art, tradition and justice, rather than with superficial tricks. May polytheism, in all its manifold hues and indigenous glories, rise to end all imperialism one day!

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* As soon as Napoleon was defeated, the British Empire supplanted the French Empire as the leading colonial and imperial force in Europe and subsequently the world.

Polemical topics for Polytheists (part 10): Multiculturalism

First view: Multiculturalism is good and consistent with polytheism, because there was plenty of cultural exchange in ancient times

Second view: Multiculturalism is bad and harmful to polytheism, because it is associated with expansive empires that pretend to be inclusive.

Balanced view: We can’t overlook that multiculturalism is both a result of good cultural exchange and harmful imperialism, but this old conflict may need to be understood in a new manner.

At a time when multiculturalism (also called diversity) is praised so often as an essential component of the modern world, or strongly opposed as such, it may be problematic to find a common ground between the two sides. But in the spirit of the previous piece about politics, I will attempt to do so here. The ancients, whose polytheisms we follow, were living through new experiences in what could be called an experiment of the human condition. Their world was growing, their knowledge of foreign things was increasing, but why? Expansive trade was practiced since the Bronze Age among complex urbanized societies, also called civilizations, and this useful activity brought mutual benefits—as did the stories, news and food exchanged during the trade. On the other hand, along with this expansive trade, there was expansive empire: If trade has to do with money, surely it is not difficult to see how money is inherently connected to power, land and resources, i.e. empire. Ancient civilizations gradually grew from regional to imperial, and this was accepted as common and even desirable at that time, because it was associated with survival as well as glory. Yet, after so many centuries, are we still living in this paradoxical manner? The answer is yes. The multiculturalism promoted today can be seen from the global trade that is being carried out, connecting all large urban centers throughout the world. But this is not a complete perspective: What is often overlooked about multiculturalism is that its current form is a product of imperial Westernization and Christianity. At first there was the Catholic Church which promoted a united “Christendom” (the word “Catholic” means “universal”, by the way), but after the rise of Protestantism, Anglo-America now leads the movement. It is no secret that America today, like the Catholic Church and Great Britain formerly, is an expansive empire that seeks domination. It is often wrongly presumed by many that multiculturalism creates an equal field for all to flourish; this is a simplistic mistake because it is not possible for all cultures to be represented fairly in one place at the same time. The emphasis is on the words “in one place at the same time”: Cultures need to be distinct and dominant at their place of origin*. After a certain point, following Anglo-American culture, however tolerant it may pretend to be, is succumbing to cultural imperialism and living in subjugation. One of the eternal advantages of polytheism is that it allows for exchange, but at the same time, requires us to respect foreign cultures as distinct without interference. If each foreign culture has its own God, can we assault their cultural distinction without assaulting their God? I think not. Can all cultures (and by extension Gods) live equally in the same place at the same time? I think not. We are a cooperative species, but also one that engages in conflicts, and our Gods are no different from us in that respect. My reconciliation of cultural exchange and cultural imperialism is already hinted, but for a larger consideration, I would refer my kind readers to part 6 of this series, entitled (significantly) “indigenism”.
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*While this is a convenient rule for the Old World, a discussion of the New World is more complex because dominant cultures there had been replaced through colonization. I have already attempted a discussion in part 6 previously.

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 9): Politics

***As a very brief preface, I am most pleased to return once again to writing here after a very busy term at college. I have greatly missed all the excellent learning I gain through reflection, writing and discussion, which are always a blessing to my spirit.

First view: Polytheism ought to follow Liberalism on the left, because religious monotheists tend to take the right.

Second view: Polytheism ought to follow Conservativism on the right, because Liberalism is often antithetical to tradition, religion and culture.

Balanced view: Polytheism needs both right and left, and at the same time, must move beyond this often stifling dualism.  

 

The origin of the political left and right parties has already been mentioned previously. Within the faulty Athenian system of democracy, which lacked the balancing presence of a king, the nobles were divided against the commons. This was later transferred to Rome upon the overthrow of the monarchy in 509 BCE, after which the Senate found itself constantly at odds with the Plebian common classes.* This situation in politics has earlier (though not necessarily related) origins in monotheistic morality and ideology, i.e. the good against the evil. Although a form of this dualism existed in Egyptian and other polytheisms, it differed from the monotheistic in that it assigned an eternal God to both sides, to suggest an inherent balance and cycle in the forces of nature and reality, a notion well illustrated by the symbol of yin and yang. Monotheism on the other hand placed supremacy for a single universal good that was to battle with a single universal devil (who represented matter and native Gods) and win in a linear fashion towards the end of times. The purpose of mentioning this here becomes evident when we reflect on the current state of political ideology and activity, particularly in the West; the Left and the Right are at total war for domination and are acting with the same sort of reckless and linear behavior that makes monotheism dangerous. There is hardly any room for dialogue and exchange; the use of a particular expression, sometimes a single term, can mark someone out as a member of the other side, and that often leads to immediate conflict and little understanding. What deepens and perpetuates this division is that the “liberalism” and “conservatism” have gone beyond politics and established themselves firmly in culture and language. But where does polytheism stand here? A simple answer: both above and in the middle. The Left has the wisdom of condemning the modern world’s assaults and pollutions against nature, and they do very well to support indigenous people, reduce the excesses of monotheistic domination, and advocate for population control. On the other hand, the great value of the Right comes from their deep concern for the family, ethnic culture, security and prosperity. Polytheism requires both to flourish, and although this is difficult, it is possible and reasonable to shift our support from one party candidate or platform to another, according to the nature of the occasion and urgency of time. No one party or politician is an “angel” or “devil”, in spite of how disappointed we may be. Polytheism is a balanced identity and way of life that can bring the balance desperately needed in modern politics. The more we look into history and understand its complex events and ideas, the more we will see value in not being firmly partial to one outer group or the other. Our inner groups, that form the basis of our identity, must be stable and constant, but politics shifts with time, because it has to do with the needs and concerns of a huge, complicated and unstable group like a nation.

* A condition that led to several conflicts in the history of the Roman Republic, most notably that between Julius Caesar and Pompey which created the even more oppressive and unstable Roman Empire. 

 

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 8): Identity

 

First view: Identity is a fully personal matter, and the modern world is improving one’s ability to embrace it. (Folks on the left incline to this position).

Second view: True identity comes from a large group (like a nation or religion), and these are wearing off in the modern world. (Folks on the right tend to say this).

Balanced view: There are identities (like polytheisms), and these are guided both by personal choices as well as the decisions of a moderate group (like a community, tribe, or local region).

 Although identity has become a topic constantly in discussion, it is also in need of an even-minded understanding of human history and societies. No wonder the modern world finds itself (yet again) troubled and disturbed because of the fierce and extreme dichotomy of the individual’s identity as opposed to that of the large group. It is necessary though to point out that the beginnings of this problem lie further back in time: Ancient empires, like modern nations, forged identities for large groups that extended beyond the natural borders of one’s distinct local group. It is true that these smaller communal identities still remained, but the larger group became increasingly important & superior because of the military nature of imperial power; the “glory” that many perceived could result from such “unity”, or the shame that they feared could come if they did not maintain it, propelled and perpetuated the concept of an ever  larger group. This is how national and imperial power (as far back as the Persians, Greeks, and Romans) began its long course of gnawing away regional identities and the unique cultures that accompany them. The concept of the unified state providing an identity for all its people (the second view above), so common nowadays, is derived from the policies that historians had always believed (till now) led to “reforms” in the Athenian government, establishing a term we take for granted, i.e. “democracy”. Under the tyrant Cleisthenes in 507 BCE, traditional tribes were stripped of their identities and people were to live now in artificial tribes (determined by localities) as designed by the state. People were now to identify themselves not by their family name, but rather by the name of their locality. The pretext for these “reforms” was to prevent inner conflict, but anyone who is familiar with Athenian history will know that such conflicts festered even worse after the “reforms”, but only in new forms—i.e. political parties dividing the nobles and common people (the prototype for today’s destructive dichotomy of left and right parties*), and imperial policies that pretended to unite those opposing forces by conquering other states (see first Athenian empire and Second Athenian Empire). Some justify these measures by citing the importance of unity in defeating the Persian invasion of Greece, but although this system did indeed contribute to protection of the “Greeks” (if we are to use that unifying term), it also led to a bloody war between the two great imperial forces of Sparta and Athens, only to be ended by the conquests of Phillip II of Macedon in preparation for an invasion of Persia, which was badly fulfilled by his son. The conclusion here is that a national & imperial identity is always a fragile, contradictory and artificial concept that drives people to larger and larger conflicts, even as it falsely attempts to unify and elevate them. The Romans went through the same journey and all modern states follow this seemingly “civilized” example without questioning it. On the other hand, it is interesting to note that the exclusive personal identity, i.e. the sort that opposes the communal group, was developed out of this bad environment of artificially collective unity. The result of removing tribal identities was only that new artificial tribal identities arose; we see this with the philosophical schools (Sophists, Stoics, Epicureans, Cynics, etc.) that flourished in Athens during the sixth, fifth and fourth centuries, schools that were later exported to many other imitators of Athens, like the Romans. The concept was then transferred to the Christians and Muslims (hence all the ideological sects) and thus still continues to this day, as the world treads blindly in the footsteps of Athens and Rome. We must oppose this dichotomy of national and personal, of huge and tiny, by seeking a balance and a moderate path. The community, tribe and local region are the natural answers to this problematic question. The model of indigenous peoples (alas, unfortunately declining) once again proves itself to be right-minded and advanced, in the true sense of the word. The modern world loves to smear the concept by calling it “tribalism”, but we polytheists, far more aware of history and the failures of “civilization”, are capable of championing a cause that will help us greatly. History must be revised and re-examined if we are ever to advance ourselves among so many competitors. If they are already declining, why should we follow their same faults? It is a dangerous humiliation to be a pawn in the hands of a large state, a piece of their machine, by making our main identity a national one, and at the same time, it is a sore deprivation to leave one’s ancestral group by pretending that personal or philosophical identity can rise above it. It is my hope one day not merely to call myself a “polytheist”, but to belong to (or at least to prepare for my future descendants to belong to) a communal and ancestral identity. Let us hope (while making a contribution) that the concept of the nation and empire will slowly wear away into confederations that are less centralized & oppressive.

 

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*The Athenian dichotomy of nobles and democrats (or sometimes, moderate & radical democrats) was later transferred to Rome, where it became the dichotomy of the optimates (patricians) and populares (plebeian middle and lower classes), a division that led to civil wars & endless problems, but has continued to this very day.

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 7): Ethnicity and “Race”

First view: Neither ethnicity nor “race” are important in polytheism, because religion is a matter of spirit and practice and toleration

Second view: “Race” is not so much a social construct as a reality, and therefore necessary in polytheism. Ethnicity is less important and reliable, because it can change or overlap.

Balanced view: “Race” is a rather useless word, but ethnicity is an indispensable concept in polytheism that needs to be redefined* in today’s troubled, modernized and global world.

Scientists hold that people descend from a common stock that migrated from Africa many thousands of years ago. They also hold that all living things descend from a common beginning. There is a tendency to interpret these points, especially in our troubled world, as a means to attain peace and harmony throughout the earth, putting an end to ambition, greed, oppression, and injustice. Although this is a fair & honest field to tread, it requires examination to reach the correct and best path possible with the least obstacles. In my previous piece, I had already gone through the problem of colonialism and imperialism (call them the evil twins, if you will), explaining how they led to the destruction and decline of indigenous polytheisms in history. Since we are living nowadays in the many disturbing consequences of this catastrophe, it is natural that our emotions should be unsettled, in our hopes to put an end to all the misunderstanding and suffering. But if our views are already formed, and look like the first or second above, let us endeavor indeed to attain the very same peace and harmony we originally hoped to restore. A balanced view is thus necessary and I have offered my own sincere and well-meaning attempt at it. If monotheism is a global belief and polytheism a regional one, it is easy to see how badly “race”, a large ill-defined term, applies to the latter. It is also easy to guess why the term was in use from the late 18th century: European intellectuals thought they were superior to other peoples, and thus justified colonial expansion as a selfish means to profit, avoid wars in Europe, and hypocritically “improve” backward peoples. This naturally sounds like a monotheistic idea dressed in atheism and modernism. By the late 19th century, however, something changed: as with all universal ideas, divisions and factions arose to claim which part of the “white race” was the best—this was partly the reason for the extreme madness and horrors of the Second World War. But why replace one extreme with another? Monotheists do so with their endless dualisms of “good and evil”. Globalism and humanism are now held (by many) to be the solutions to the old troubles of the world—more universal terms to complicate the situation further, which we see the consequences of today. There is also a great degree of pitiable irony in it too: the ideas of globalism and humanism (because promoted, if not enforced, by a dominant European culture) are infused with the same old colonialism, only in a different manner. Intermarriage among people of distant ancestry is held to be the badge of toleration and love and harmony, and opposition to it a sign of hatred that needs to be challenged constantly. These dualisms never prosper and always fester. If there is no compromise and common understanding, the problem will persist and grow. Let me raise two simple questions: 1) What is the purpose of having distinct pantheons & cultures when a person of any ethnicity can join them? 2) What is the purpose of believing one “race” is naturally superior to another, when all peoples have Gods? By reflecting on these two simple questions, one arrives at a rather simple conclusion: Ethnicity is inherent in all traditions of polytheism because it is an ancestral mode of belief, but no ethnicity is better than another. We can thus harmonize the common with the distinct. For instance, if someone is a Celtic polytheist, it must be because of dominant Celtic ancestry, but that person should by no means look down on a Hindu polytheist. But should a Celt seek to become Hindu, or vice versa? No. Why? Because in doing so he disregards his ancestors and implicitly considers a foreign pantheon or culture superior to his own. Is it then possible to be Celtic and Hindu at the same time? I think not. Why? Because the pantheons are distinct, based on many generations of ancestors with distinct practices; besides, the Gods can be jealous and territorial, much like us. The next question is, what of the case of mixed ancestry? This is the complex business that requires most reflection, but simplicity is always possible. I can think of some convenient ways to apply mixed ancestry to polytheism, and I will distinguish these in two groups:

A) With mixed ancestry from very distant lands, one may consider one or more of the following:

1-Choose the side that resembles your features most. The human face tells a sacred and wonderful story about the ancestors that must always be embraced and accepted.

2-Men may choose the side with paternal ancestry and marry from someone within that culture. Women may side with maternal and marry accordingly.

Random example: Dwayne Johnson has mixed ancestry from Celts, West Africans and Polynesians, but he looks more Polynesian than Celtic or West African. He may thus take the side of the Polynesians, who are dominant in his features.

N.B. People of such mixed ancestry may still worship the ethnic Gods of both sides, but a gradual transition into a dominant culture and pantheon is always more convenient. It is no secret that the vast majority of people with mixed ancestry from distant lands suffer more or less from a confusion about their identity.

B) With mixed ancestry from lands not very distant, one may do the same as above, or additionally:

1-Choose a middle ground or culture to approximate your two sides.

Random example: Myself! I have ancestry from Hellenes, Southern Illyrians and Northern Egyptians. My dominant side is Hellenic and my face says so. I have chosen the side of the Hellenic pantheon and culture only, while maintaining a very considerable interest and great reverence for the Illyrian and Egyptian pantheons and cultures, which were historically quite approximate to the Hellenic.

Let me conclude this long post by saying that I know very well and by personal experience how a mixed ancestry can be problematic in many ways. Even though my ancestors are not too far apart, the cultures sometimes (for various historical reasons that one can’t change suddenly) can clash here and there. There can also be contradictions: The Greeks nowadays are known to admire Egyptians far more than their nearer kin, the Albanians. Once we understand and experience the ease and comfort of being at home, and indeed at one home, the current absolute view towards intermarriage will change. We need to regionalize and re-indigenize everything, including marriage. Intermarriage looks pretty and interesting in the beginning, but it usually leaves behind a trail of confusions and misunderstandings, sometimes with irreconcilable problems and regrets. My now separated parents could tell a fine story as to why this is indeed the case!

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*The word ethnicity is derived from the Greek εθνος (ethnos) which anciently meant people or nation, and by extension, also custom. It is easy to misunderstand “nation” here as alluding to a large number of people, whereas in ancient times the notion was synonymous with “large tribe”. It would be useful to steer away from huge concepts as much as possible and embrace regional identities, which would be consistent with polytheism. An idea of the “nation” will inevitably exist, but it should not prove at the expense of regionalism. In the case of Greece (for example), the Cretans have their ethnos, the Macedonians the same, the Peloponnesians likewise, etc. They may all be Greek, but they are Cretan, Macedonian and Peloponnesian first. These distinctions are necessary for indigenous polytheism, the revival of traditions, and indeed necessary for avoiding the nationalism and globalism (either material or ideological) that are plaguing the world’s cultures and stability today.

 

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 6): Indigenism

First view: The indigenous people of the world are faring very well and are part of modern society, therefore they don’t need our help

Second view: The indigenous people of the world are in great misery and they need to be championed by everyone born with privilege (i.e. people descended from European colonists)

Balanced view: If we all think of ourselves as indigenous to a certain part of the world, and act accordingly, the problem will be solved.

Although it was my intention to consider ethnicity and ethnic religion, it is impossible to do so without understanding indigenism and its integral place within the system of polytheism. In ancient times, the various peoples of humankind spread themselves through the Earth gradually and accidentally in the course of many tens of thousands of years. When these journeys ended, and most lands were inhabited, peoples diversified further within distinct territories to form distinct cultures, practices and languages. It is difficult to determine when exactly this permanent or regional settlement occurred, but it seems to have been (in general) hardly later than the past three thousand years ago. However, with the rise of population (mainly because of agriculture), states arose and battled for wealth and power, and before long, the vile spirit of imperialism was born, and its lust for absolute domination, false glory, and unjust expansion began. As shown in the previous series (good and bad polytheists), we see it occurring throughout the world where agriculture was adopted along rivers, even (though to a lesser degree) in South America with the Incan Empire. It is thus easy to understand how indigenism lost to imperialism and its twin colonialism.  After  extended periods of growth (following fall of the Roman Empire) an absolute tragedy occurred in Western Europe: Ethnic groups on the margins of national empires, formerly indigenous Celts, who were now oppressed and disliked by the new dominant cultures based in the capital cities, undertook to colonize actively (as if in escapism) the New World. It is no secret that most settlers in the New World were poor, scorned and therefore hungry for some sort of wealth or acknowledgement— the Spaniards on the fringes, the Northern & Western English, the Welsh, the Irish, the Scots, the Portuguese, the Scots-Irish, the Hugenots of France, the Southern Germans, etc. These people had been oppressed by an inner colonization & imperialism in the form of nationalism, and now they were tempted to help themselves, not knowing that they were also feeding the same oppressive system of nationalism, and this again at the expense of other indigenous people. Thus, by a most unfortunate twist of fate and conspiracy on the part of the theocratic & national forces, the marginal groups of Europe, formerly indigenous, founded their own theocratic & national systems throughout the New World, in order to prove themselves and put an end to their former oppression, as if in defiance of the native countries that had scorned them. The obvious observation here is that imperialism and colonialism cause destructive cycles that expand and diversify themselves—the very definition of a disease. But since this is not a conclusion, we must answer the question, what is to be done nowadays? Although I am somewhat biased to the second view above, it seems to imply (ironically) that people of European descent will be committing only another sort of colonialism by championing and speaking on behalf of indigenous peoples. The solution? Leave. Yes, leave however and whenever you can to rediscover and resettle your indigenous homeland. This is already a time in history during which people are travelling more than ever and changing their residence constantly, because it has never been easier; this is likewise a time when several parts of the world, especially Europe, is declining in its birth-rates. As polytheists, it is furthermore impossible to overlook we are rebels and more or less distant from our families. So, what can be the excuse? Say what you will, but I’ll maintain that the Hellenic Zeus has no place out of the original lands inhabited by Greeks, nor do the Celtic or Germanic Gods belong to America, Canada, Brazil, Australia, or any part of the New World. By worshipping them there, we commit a sort of absurdity, and above all, we disappoint our Gods by alienating them from their original holy areas and at the same time, we anger them by allowing them to encroach on the lands of other Gods. Now, if you ask me, how can Gods own lands? The answer is quite simple: Since every indigenous people has their pantheon, the Gods preside as patrons of the land and all that belongs to what we call nature. What makes us different from monotheists is that we don’t believe there is one supreme, omnipotent, omnipresent (aka imperial) deity ruling over all peoples and all parts of the Earth. Gods and cultures and peoples and lands in polytheism are all connected within distinct groups, which all have the right to remain and continue, with neighborly exchange and sharing, otherwise we commit imperialism and colonialism. Another difference from monotheists (and their descendants the modernists) is that we don’t misuse the universal term “humanity”, as if to show we are all happily united as one people on one earth*. If Zeus can exist within Ireland, it can only mean he is appropriating the thunder of Taranis. If Taranis or Odin can exist within America (with a majority of people as descendants of colonists), it can only mean they have overthrown the realm of the Great Spirit, and therefore they are superior to it because of current supremacy. If this seems wrong, it is because we are too accustomed in our thinking to the transcendent immaterial side of divinity only, as practiced by monotheism, while forgetting of the solid material side. Let us therefore no longer be tokens and playthings in the hands of colonialists and imperialists. Let us do our part to end the problem of immigration by replacing its false economic purpose for a real cultural one. Let us then return to our own ancestors and Gods in the true sense and spirit of the word, by returning to their lands.

 Please visit this website, if you are interested in learning more about an ambitious project & discussion of unsettling America and re-indigenization begun by a fellow polytheist. N.B. The author uses the term “whiteness” in the sense of “westernization”, not in the sense of “race”, and she explains this under the section “heal whiteness”.

*Humanity is a generic term that really bears no significance as a united and universal concept, except when monotheism is applied (or its descendants: atheism and modernism). One god leads to one people, doesn’t it (just as atheism leads to people vs god, ironically)? But this only means that imperialism is in force by one culture over all others. Notice how the language of “humanity” is English nowadays. Surely that has a connection with British and American imperialism? And surely that extends to cultural values also? This is by no means a coincidence.

 

 

 

Polemical topics for polytheists (part 5): Community

First view: There is a growing community of polytheists, who happen to be active individuals online

Second view: There is really no community at all for polytheists, but they pretend there is

Balanced view: We should use our groups and communications online in order to make a transition towards communities on the ground

As things stand, it is a ripe time for the growth of polytheism in many parts of the world. Various freedoms, a quick access to learning, and the decay of monotheism encourage us to go forward and seize the day. But while we are enjoying these fruits while going forward, should we not also look forward and plant the seeds of our fruits? We all know the consequences of a lack of foresight and an attachment to the present only—add to that our individual concerns and comforts, which we often place above all other things. Polytheism is not a fashion that we put on and display, to share with others on social media, or to stand out in a crowd. It is rather an organic and structural entity that is only nourished and managed—no, kept alive—with proper care and collective effort. I wish I were sitting at the moment around a campfire sharing stories with fellow polytheists, rather than writing this piece alone. There is a question to be reflected on seriously: how do we define community and how do we wish to see the future condition of polytheism in the world? Here I recall my thoughts and the discussion I had with my kind readers in the first part of this series, regarding the common vision and mission of polytheists. The necessity of a community on the ground is one that can never be emphasized enough. Planting the seeds of the fruits we enjoy is one good step, but scattered individuals can only serve themselves and a few others by doing so. The next step, which determines whether we will enjoy the fruits for many generations to come, is to come together in order to survey, build, till, sow, irrigate, and harvest.* This is not so much a project, as an extension of a simple notion—that of settling. Why do people tend to marry and settle in a certain place with their children? Because that is what leads to a more convenient life of sharing and caring. Many families of a certain culture and belief make up a community. I am biased towards the second view, from time to time, because I hear the first view too often. But why not combine them rather than make a dualism out of it? We can and should exist in local and distinct communities, while participating in the modern world. There is much room for variation in this, and a pluralism of communal models can be considered and accepted, according to the needs and opinions of each community—which is the case with monotheists today. We can certainly discuss and differ on such models, but we can’t let individual comforts & opinions delay the formation of lasting communal structures for our future generations. I would dare say it is not even acceptable to the Gods that people should worship too much individually, so long as we are able to get together. As much as we seem comfortable, we are actually in a state of survival and self-preservation, if our numbers and the competition is taken into consideration, much less the dangers we could face one day, if monotheism rises up again to a state of fanaticism. There is one community of polytheism I can think of which has undertaken the project (i.e. Asatru), but I have a disagreement with their method—I can’t understand why a northern Germanic tradition would accept all “European” people. This leads to another consideration about “race” and ethnic religion, which I will look into in the next topic, because it is almost inseparable from the same discourse of community or at least inevitably connected to it. Meantime, let us look into community and the necessity of it for our preservation and continuity. Are any of you fellow polytheists comfortable enough with knowing a few people like yourselves, either family or friends online? Surely you must be lonely as I am, more or less, and in need of many more people like you within your life daily and in person. 

 

*The metaphor of the farm and agriculture is perfectly applicable, although I don’t mean extensive or intensive agriculture, but one that supports a community of a modest number with as little interference with nature as possible.