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Ravariel
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Heathenry Mar. 10th, 2007 @ 12:42 AM Reply

This is a new thread dedicated to the discussion of Heathenry. It is not the derogatory dismissive that normal usage would have you believe, it represents an actual set religious beliefs.

A form of Paganism, Heathenry is more commonly known as Odinism. Their gods are somewhat well-known. Less so than the Greek and Roman Pantheons, but then again, Wagner didn't write massive operatic cycles devoted to Zeus and Hera.

Take zaht, pussy southarn gahds!

What you might not know is that most of the days of the week are named after the gods in the Odinistic Pantheon. Tuesday is named after Tjw (Tyr), Wendnesday after Woden (Odin), Thursday after Thor, Friday after Frige (Frigg). Another thing you might have heard of is something called Wyrd. This is a force that connects everything in the universe throughout space and time. Heathens believe that all of their actions can have far reaching consequences through the web of wyrd. They understand that who they are, where they are, and what they are doing today is dependent on actions they and others have taken in the past, and that every choice they make in the present builds upon choices they have previously made.

I sense a connection both to hinduism and buddhism and their Karma, as well as to a movie I saw once with something they called "the force". I wonder if there's an actual link between the two religions... it would be fascinating to hear if/how the concepts traveled across such great distances.

Ironically, I chose this set to discuss first because of Valkyrie Profile... a video game loooooooosely based on Norse mythology, and wanted to learn some more about it.

Other obscure religious discussion is welcome as well.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 10th, 2007 @ 09:17 AM Reply

At 3/10/07 12:42 AM, Ravariel wrote: A form of Paganism, Heathenry is more commonly known as Odinism.

Are you sure? I was convinced that heathenry was just a pigeonhole term for every non Judeo-Christian religion...

Other obscure religious discussion is welcome as well.

Well- this isn't that obscure, but I'm sure it'll be beyond the jabber that goes on in the current religion threads:

I'd like to bring up the possible - in fact, probable - polytheistic roots of Judaism. Yahweh seems to take all sorts of different forms throughout the Torah, and so it's highly likely that the Jews were in fact worshipping different gods. Abraham's god seems to be El, one of the Canaanite high gods, as he introduces himself as El Shaddai, meaning El of the mountain. El was somewhat of an epiphany, as well as a very mild god - he was a bit like a divine friend.

Hence the fact that Abraham literally sits down and has dinner with his deity in human form in Genesis 18 - along with two angels, no less. The writers of the Torah, however, presumably expect us to believe that this is the same god as Moses' Yahweh, who insists on appearing to him in at a distance (sometimes as a volcanic eruption, sometimes as a violent wind, etc., as if Moses looked upon Yahweh, he would die). In fact, when Moses asks Yahweh his name, he says "I am who I am". Rather than this indicating that Yahweh is a self-subsident being (since the Hebrew language didn't have a metaphysical side to it at this point), it was probably used to indicate a deliberate vagueness; as in, "never you bloody well mind who I am!"

And I honestly can't make myself believe that the god that wrestled with Jacob is the same god that inflicted a terrible plague upon Egypt. Yahweh was, plainly, a war god, completely different from Abraham's El.

Even part of the first commandment seems to indicate the existence of other gods..."Thou shalt have no other gods before me". This was probably Yahweh promoting monotheism above the previous henotheistic tendencies of the Jews.

And by the way, good thread :) Let's hope we can keep this obscure enough to deter the morons of the BBS, eh?

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 10th, 2007 @ 09:28 AM Reply

I thought this was referred to as Asatru, or Norse Paganism.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 10th, 2007 @ 09:46 AM Reply

At 3/10/07 09:28 AM, Sinthe wrote: I thought this was referred to as Asatru, or Norse Paganism.

Odinism is, I think, synonymous with Norse mythology.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 10th, 2007 @ 10:08 AM Reply

At 3/10/07 12:42 AM, Ravariel wrote: I sense a connection both to hinduism and buddhism and their Karma, as well as to a movie I saw once with something they called "the force". I wonder if there's an actual link between the two religions... it would be fascinating to hear if/how the concepts traveled across such great distances.

Maybe the concept was already known among the Proto-Indo-Europeans, or maybe Ashoka's missionaries to the Seleucid empire managed to spread some of their beliefs into Germanic lands. Some 2nd century dude called Saint Origen said that Buddhists and Druids coexisted in pre-Christian Britain (link), so they might have reached Germany and Scandinavia as well. Then again, maybe the two concepts were developed independently. There isn't much remaining historical evidence but it's interesting nonetheless.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 10th, 2007 @ 02:06 PM Reply

At 3/10/07 09:46 AM, Peter-II wrote:
At 3/10/07 09:28 AM, Sinthe wrote: I thought this was referred to as Asatru, or Norse Paganism.
Odinism is, I think, synonymous with Norse mythology.

Not exactly. The Norse pantheon is similar, yes, but Heathenry is older, and Germanic in nature.

It was also turned into a slur by the christians in order to gain power over the "heathen tribes" of northern Europe during the spread of the religion in it's early days. And now, we barely know it's real meaning. Amazing what spin can do, no?

At 3/10/07 09:17 AM, Peter-II wrote:
Other obscure religious discussion is welcome as well.
Well- this isn't that obscure, but I'm sure it'll be beyond the jabber that goes on in the current religion threads:

Well, I didn't want to start with something absolutely noone was familiar with. And here's hoping this works *knocks on wood*

I'd like to bring up the possible - in fact, probable - polytheistic roots of Judaism. Yahweh seems to take all sorts of different forms throughout the Torah, and so it's highly likely that the Jews were in fact worshipping different gods. Abraham's god seems to be El, one of the Canaanite high gods, as he introduces himself as El Shaddai, meaning El of the mountain. El was somewhat of an epiphany, as well as a very mild god - he was a bit like a divine friend.

Well, hell, that gets even stranger when it morphes into christianity, what with teh trinity and all. But yeah, these different facets of what is apparently the same god, do seem at odds. But then again, in other pantheons, gods were thought to have conflicting personalities. Zeus was considered both just and fickle. Thor, known as the hammer-weilding god of thunder, was also known as the Deep Thinker, the Consecrator and Man's Well Wisher.

This may just be a gentler side to the crazy god of the Jews.

Hence the fact that Abraham literally sits down and has dinner with his deity in human form in Genesis 18 - along with two angels, no less. The writers of the Torah, however, presumably expect us to believe that this is the same god as Moses' Yahweh, who insists on appearing to him in at a distance (sometimes as a volcanic eruption, sometimes as a violent wind, etc., as if Moses looked upon Yahweh, he would die). In fact, when Moses asks Yahweh his name, he says "I am who I am". Rather than this indicating that Yahweh is a self-subsident being (since the Hebrew language didn't have a metaphysical side to it at this point), it was probably used to indicate a deliberate vagueness; as in, "never you bloody well mind who I am!"

Heh... maybe he was learning as he went along. He had tried the carrot... now he was trying the stick. Would seem he went back to the carrot after his son was born. They say having a child changes you, so...

And I honestly can't make myself believe that the god that wrestled with Jacob is the same god that inflicted a terrible plague upon Egypt. Yahweh was, plainly, a war god, completely different from Abraham's El.

Well, he morphed into a God with MPD, so maybe it's not all that strange after all. The people of the time were still mostly believing that gods and men were not so different from each other. The Greek and Roman pantheons were still in vogue, and they had feuds, took human form, were flawed, made mistakes... it may better be seen as a metamorphosis from the old beliefs to the new concept of god. Or as an actual christian might view it, the transitional phase from what they THOUGHT their gods were like, to what he really is like.

Even part of the first commandment seems to indicate the existence of other gods..."Thou shalt have no other gods before me". This was probably Yahweh promoting monotheism above the previous henotheistic tendencies of the Jews.

I'm still curious if that's not an actual call to polytheism... It seems to say that it's cool to worship other gods... just so long as you accept God as big-daddy... as the Odin or Zeus or Brahman of the pantheon.

Then again, maybe it's simply a way for the writers to allow their new god to accept the people who had believed in other gods, without forcing the destruction of their entire faith (which, I doubt, would have earned many converts)

And by the way, good thread :) Let's hope we can keep this obscure enough to deter the morons of the BBS, eh?

Thanks, and here's hoping.

At 3/10/07 10:08 AM, lapis wrote:
Maybe the concept was already known among the Proto-Indo-Europeans, or maybe Ashoka's missionaries to the Seleucid empire managed to spread some of their beliefs into Germanic lands. Some 2nd century dude called Saint Origen said that Buddhists and Druids coexisted in pre-Christian Britain (link), so they might have reached Germany and Scandinavia as well. Then again, maybe the two concepts were developed independently. There isn't much remaining historical evidence but it's interesting nonetheless.

Ooh, interesting link. I was planning on branching out to druidism and the advent of modern faerie tales eventually... especially since that's where I get my handle.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 11th, 2007 @ 05:06 PM Reply

At 3/10/07 02:06 PM, Ravariel wrote: It was also turned into a slur by the christians in order to gain power over the "heathen tribes" of northern Europe during the spread of the religion in it's early days. And now, we barely know it's real meaning. Amazing what spin can do, no?

Haha, evidently! Check it out:

76 views, 5 replies

Clocking in at less replies than such informative topics as Ive been thinking..., Anti-Terrorist Images and home work what do u think! Perhaps the BBS thought that because of this topic's title, it was yet another anti-Islam / anti-Pagan / anti-science rant and ended up being disappointed?

I'd like to bring up the possible - in fact, probable - polytheistic roots of Judaism. Yahweh seems to take all sorts of different forms throughout the Torah, and so it's highly likely that the Jews were in fact worshipping different gods. Abraham's god seems to be El, one of the Canaanite high gods, as he introduces himself as El Shaddai, meaning El of the mountain. El was somewhat of an epiphany, as well as a very mild god - he was a bit like a divine friend.
Well, hell, that gets even stranger when it morphes into christianity, what with teh trinity and all. But yeah, these different facets of what is apparently the same god, do seem at odds. But then again, in other pantheons, gods were thought to have conflicting personalities. Zeus was considered both just and fickle. Thor, known as the hammer-weilding god of thunder, was also known as the Deep Thinker, the Consecrator and Man's Well Wisher.

The various ways in which Yahweh is presented conflict more extremely, though (correct me if I'm wrong). We have the epiphany Yahweh who has dinner with Abraham and wrestles with Jacob, and the murderous Yahweh who can't be looked at (upon pain of death) and inflicts the plague upon Egypt and drowns the soldiers while they were chasing the Hebrews.

This may just be a gentler side to the crazy god of the Jews.

May have been, but it's far more likely IMO that Abraham adopted the Canaanite god El, considering he was living in Canaan at the time, bears many similarites to El of Bethel and introduces himself as "El of the mountain".

Well, he morphed into a God with MPD

Hahahahahaha

Or as an actual christian might view it, the transitional phase from what they THOUGHT their gods were like, to what he really is like.

Ah yes, the god Yeshua...of course, it's interesting to see why Christians believe why Yeshua is god, considering he never claimed it himself. The disciples call him the Lord in the gospels, but even that's a little fishy...the Christian church hadn't decided on the role of Yeshua until the 4th century AD.

I'm still curious if that's not an actual call to polytheism... It seems to say that it's cool to worship other gods... just so long as you accept God as big-daddy... as the Odin or Zeus or Brahman of the pantheon.

That'd be henotheism then.

I think the direct Greek translation is "there shall be no strange gods for you before my face", which seems to indicate even more henotheism than the KJB translation.

Then again, maybe it's simply a way for the writers to allow their new god to accept the people who had believed in other gods, without forcing the destruction of their entire faith (which, I doubt, would have earned many converts)

Possibly, although Yahweh was incredibly jealous, as several Torah verses seem to state - in fact, Yahweh seems to hate all goyims (Jeremiah 10).

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 11th, 2007 @ 06:34 PM Reply

First off, PROPS to this thread! Even though it's public, I have a feeling (evidence growing) that it will in fact be fairly "private" in nature.....

"I'm still curious if that's not an actual call to polytheism... It seems to say that it's cool to worship other gods... just so long as you accept God as big-daddy... as the Odin or Zeus or Brahman of the pantheon."

"Then again, maybe it's simply a way for the writers to allow their new god to accept the people who had believed in other gods, without forcing the destruction of their entire faith (which, I doubt, would have earned many converts)"

Well, part of the slow appeal of Christianity compared to other Eastern cults of the time (Isis, Osiris, etc) was that Christianity did NOT allow incorporation of other gods and practices, denoting that is was in fact and principle monotheistic. The reason the other eastern cults took an initial stronger hold on the Roman Empire populace was their "fit" or conformity with the "rules" of Roman polytheism, whereas when Christianity was introduced it was introduced as a conflicting religion AGAINST polytheism.

Had Christianity really been polytheistic (despite the English translation), Christianity probably would have spread like wildfire much like the other Eastern Cults introduced to the Empire in its day.

Then again, maybe the two concepts were developed independently.

THAT would be a very substantial theory, because it would then denote that religious thought not only has a hierarchy, but an evolution and succession, starting with polytheism being the most "barbaric" of religious practices.

That'd be henotheism then.

Of which I believe Greek (not sure of Roman) tradition holds a "Supreme" god above all others. The problem with evidence on this one lies in part because he isn't supposed to be talked about, therefore there are no shrines, temples, or many literary works on its (to avoid gender bias) existence. We do have a few allusions and references to this monotheistic aspect of Greek religion though.......

Ooh, interesting link. I was planning on branching out to druidism and the advent of modern faerie tales eventually... especially since that's where I get my handle.

You could also pull up sacred chickens, oracular (is this even a word?) predictions, Roman rules regulating fighting around religion (superstitiions), Roman declaration of war, and even the little known aspect of the "true" name of the city of Rome as superstitious rituals for a compare and contrast to faerie tales as types of pseudo-religious beliefs.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 11th, 2007 @ 07:05 PM Reply

At 3/11/07 06:34 PM, Imperator wrote: THAT would be a very substantial theory, because it would then denote that religious thought not only has a hierarchy, but an evolution and succession, starting with polytheism being the most "barbaric" of religious practices.

I don't know about that - the Hebrews seemed to be at their most hostile when the jealous, tribal Yahweh first appears in Exodus. Before that the Jews didn't seem to be too bothered about polytheism - but Yahweh demanded that he be worshipped above the other gods for sure.

Thankfully Yahweh didn't remain this barbaric, which I think has benefitted everyone really.

That'd be henotheism then.
Of which I believe Greek (not sure of Roman) tradition holds a "Supreme" god above all others. The problem with evidence on this one lies in part because he isn't supposed to be talked about, therefore there are no shrines, temples, or many literary works on its (to avoid gender bias) existence. We do have a few allusions and references to this monotheistic aspect of Greek religion though.......

Link? That sounds pretty interesting.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 01:32 AM Reply

At 3/11/07 07:05 PM, Peter-II wrote:
I don't know about that - the Hebrews seemed to be at their most hostile when the jealous, tribal Yahweh first appears in Exodus. Before that the Jews didn't seem to be too bothered about polytheism - but Yahweh demanded that he be worshipped above the other gods for sure.

Well, the theory would follow that if multiple religions developed along the same way, all independent of each other, we would have a type of basic procession of religious nature. Whether that starting point is polygamy, or one of an evil, vengeful deity(ies) is beyond me. I know it's a stretch, but hey, we're living in a world where not only can people fly, but we can go to space too.

Link? That sounds pretty interesting.

Damnit! You're asking me to find an obscure detail I've only heard mentioned maybe no more than 3 times in 3 years of Classics studies. Unfortunately, I think I'm gonna be hard pressed to find such a source, but I'll dig through my old lecture notes and see if I can dig it up....

And yeah, it was pretty interesting. A lot of times you think of monotheism and polytheism as polar opposites or as separate and distinct ideas, when in fact chances are it's probably more like a continuum than anything else.....


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 02:04 AM Reply

The only religion that matters is the Church of the Sub-Genius

possibly kibology...

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 04:27 AM Reply

At 3/11/07 05:06 PM, Peter-II wrote: Clocking in at less replies than such informative topics as Ive been thinking..., Anti-Terrorist Images and home work what do u think! Perhaps the BBS thought that because of this topic's title, it was yet another anti-Islam / anti-Pagan / anti-science rant and ended up being disappointed?

We can only hope.

The various ways in which Yahweh is presented conflict more extremely, though (correct me if I'm wrong). We have the epiphany Yahweh who has dinner with Abraham and wrestles with Jacob, and the murderous Yahweh who can't be looked at (upon pain of death) and inflicts the plague upon Egypt and drowns the soldiers while they were chasing the Hebrews.

True... he certainly does seem much more willing to cull the herd, so to speak, back then. And it's interesting that God himself should come down to Earth, or give himself an earthly appendage (one wonders if it is noodly), which is somewhat conflicting with his eventual transformation into a much more "distant" ruler of the universe, and the event so strikingly uinique that it spawned an entirely new religion, the sending of his son (who is really him, I guess... can't really wrap my head around that redneck family tree, but whatever :P) to earth.

Then again, several Hindu gods have made several earthly appearances, in the forms of men, turtles, cows (hense their holiness). Brahman (sub-brahman, not big brahman... hard to explain) especially was known for this, and his appearance as a tortoise on the banks of the *coughcantremember* River, is still venerated as one of the most holy places in India.

But I digress. Maybe it was a way to mitigate all the fire and brimstone and frogs that they told these stories of their god tussling and eating with the people, showing them that he DID have a gentler side when they did what he asked.

May have been, but it's far more likely IMO that Abraham adopted the Canaanite god El, considering he was living in Canaan at the time, bears many similarites to El of Bethel and introduces himself as "El of the mountain".

Heh, now that's interesting... copping someone else's god and metamorphosing him into your own. Sneaky...

Ah yes, the god Yeshua...of course, it's interesting to see why Christians believe why Yeshua is god, considering he never claimed it himself. The disciples call him the Lord in the gospels, but even that's a little fishy...the Christian church hadn't decided on the role of Yeshua until the 4th century AD.

Wow, would it be interesting to be a fly on the wall for THAT discussion! Maybe they figured he couldn't be the son of god without himself being divine, and thus a part of god, himself? Eh, I can only speculate.

Possibly, although Yahweh was incredibly jealous, as several Torah verses seem to state - in fact, Yahweh seems to hate all goyims (Jeremiah 10).

Well, shit, what if some pussy god came into your pad and was all like "I made that shit"? A GOD can't stand for that kind of crap, he's got a reputation to maintain. You let them get away with that, then every Odin, Loki and Vishnu thinks they're all that, and then people start believing THEM, that THEY made the earth... aw, HELL no!

At 3/11/07 06:34 PM, Imperator wrote: First off, PROPS to this thread! Even though it's public, I have a feeling (evidence growing) that it will in fact be fairly "private" in nature.....

Danke... let us hope!

THAT would be a very substantial theory, because it would then denote that religious thought not only has a hierarchy, but an evolution and succession, starting with polytheism being the most "barbaric" of religious practices.

One wonders then at the growing deist and atheistic movements (while nonbelief in a deity is hardly new, it's widespread appeal and general acceptance by the public most certainly is). Maybe it is just the next step in an ever-evolving religious meme.

But then we look at Hinduism, which just tosses most of that out the window. Either that, or they're more enlightened than we ever gave them credit for. Hinduism is seen as purely polytheistic. However, their 3 top-teir gods (Vishnu, Shiva and Brahman) are still subordinate to their main god. It, like the Greek one, is hard to define because it is not often talked about. They basically believe that Brahman (the only name I can find for it, and it is distinct from the other Brahman, the one who was a turtle... gotta love the hindus...) is this omnipotent force that permeates the universe and everything else. they give it VERY few actual features... no omnibenevolence or anything like that. Their basic philosophy is that such a god is so alien to the human psyche, that noone can easily relate to it. So they use the lesser gods (Vishnu, Shiva, Littlebrahman, Ganesha, , et al) to give the people something more personal, with whom they can more easily relate, to get them closer to enlightenment, to understanding Brahman. they see other religions as the same thing... we're not wrong we just use a different catalyst for our attempts to understand and know God/Brahman. It is as though, even with different characteristics, all of the gods in the world are a part of the same divine energy. We just choose to view them (or we are only ABLE to do so) through these "lesser" forms.

You could also pull up sacred chickens, oracular (is this even a word?) predictions, Roman rules regulating fighting around religion (superstitiions), Roman declaration of war, and even the little known aspect of the "true" name of the city of Rome as superstitious rituals for a compare and contrast to faerie tales as types of pseudo-religious beliefs.

Ok, now my curiosity hath been peaked.

Sacred CHICKENS? I mean I know about hindus and their cows (they really do love their moomoos), but romans and chickens?


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 09:06 AM Reply

Ok, now my curiosity hath been peaked.
Sacred CHICKENS? I mean I know about hindus and their cows (they really do love their moomoos), but romans and chickens?

Oh yeah man! You haven't heard about the story of them playing sentry duty on the Capitoline Hill during the Gallic sack of Rome?

Or about the great like "If they won't eat, let them drink!" ?

Oh man, you don't KNOW what you're missing.......

Lemme go find you some goodies......


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 09:17 AM Reply

Obscure Roman fact Day!

Roman Sacred Geese:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Manlius

http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=
macgregor&book=rome&story=geese

"Close to the top of the rock, however, stood the temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, the three guardian deities of Rome. Without the temple, geese, sacred to Juno, had their home. Although the defenders of the Capitol were starving, yet they never dreamed of touching the birds that were sacred to the goddess, "which thing proved their salvation."

Up and up climbed the Gauls, and no one heard them as they drew near to the summit of the rock, no one save the sacred geese. They, divine birds as they were, began to cackle and to flap their wings, and to make as much noise as geese can make.

Manlius, the captain of the guard, who slept near the temple, awoke startled to hear the din caused by the sacred birds. Springing swiftly from the couch on which he had lain wrapped in his military cloak, he seized his arms and [103] ran to the top of the cliff. As he ran he shouted to his men to follow as quickly as they could.

As Manlius reached the edge of the rock, lo, the face of a Gaul peered at him over the summit.

The Roman was but just in time. Dashing his shield at the enemy, he hurled him down the cliff, and he, as he fell, knocked against those who were behind, so that they also were carried down the face of the rock, which they had climbed with so much difficulty. Thus the Capitol was saved by the sacred geese. "

Sacred Chickens:

http://www.roman-empire.net/religion/supersti tions.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Drepan a

"They don't eat, so let them drink! "
~P. Claudius Pulcher

Moral:
Don't fuck with sacred Roman birds.....


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 11:23 AM Reply

There's an ancient African tribal religion that prided itself on its worship of dung beetles, cockroaches, earth worms and those tiny little fish that get eaten by the other tiny fish.

Oh wait nevermind, they actually worshipped lions and elephants like everyone else :(


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 11:26 AM Reply

At 3/12/07 11:23 AM, poxpower wrote: There's an ancient African tribal religion that prided itself on its worship of dung beetles, cockroaches, earth worms and those tiny little fish that get eaten by the other tiny fish.

Ciclids.

Oh wait nevermind, they actually worshipped lions and elephants like everyone else :(

White people worship themselves.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 01:01 PM Reply

At 3/12/07 01:32 AM, Imperator wrote: Well, the theory would follow that if multiple religions developed along the same way, all independent of each other, we would have a type of basic procession of religious nature. Whether that starting point is polygamy, or one of an evil, vengeful deity(ies) is beyond me. I know it's a stretch, but hey, we're living in a world where not only can people fly, but we can go to space too.

Yes, and it would seem that from when man first started trying to explain the mystery of life and existence, the numerous gods he created have reflected his nature from that period. So then we can assume that when Yahweh was murderous and brutal, the Hebrews were murderous and brutal too. Either that or they needed to become murderous and brutal in order to escape the Egyptians.

There is, of course, the theory of primitive monotheism - stating that the first god(s) that man created were supreme monotheistic deities that couldn't be expressed with statues, shrines or even, I suppose, writing. This is how many African tribes today see god; they say that he can't be comprehended by the human mind, and as a result of this, god is rather absent from their lives.

If this indeed how the first gods were, then it would be interesting to see which nature of humanity this mirrored. Of course, I suppose, assuming the validity of this theory, the tribesmen couldn't cope with this abstract view of god, which gave rise to some of the more accessible Pagan deities we see in the Axial age.

Unfortunately right now this seems to be an area of history that's too obscure to trace, so we can never really determine whether or not this theory is correct... 'course, never say never and all.

And yeah, it was pretty interesting. A lot of times you think of monotheism and polytheism as polar opposites or as separate and distinct ideas, when in fact chances are it's probably more like a continuum than anything else.....

Quite - as Ravariel said, the polytheistic nature of the Hindus is actually the worship of one supreme deity separated into more accessible forms so he is more easily worshipped. This is probably true for a lot of other polytheistic and henotheistic religions as well.

At 3/12/07 04:27 AM, Ravariel wrote: But I digress. Maybe it was a way to mitigate all the fire and brimstone and frogs that they told these stories of their god tussling and eating with the people, showing them that he DID have a gentler side when they did what he asked.

Yeah, that sounds pretty plausible - an effective social control tactic, I might add. Still, it's curious if we consider the history of the Bible.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 12th, 2007 @ 04:44 PM Reply

At 3/12/07 11:26 AM, Leeloo-Minai wrote:
White people worship themselves.

Or Superheroes.
oh sorry, I mean.. 'Gods'

I AM ANUBIS, I HAVE THE POWERS OF NIGHT AND TO ALSO SEND LIKE CROCOCILE MUMMIES AT YOU, BEWARE

ok back on topic: what the fuck is stonehenge?


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 14th, 2007 @ 12:30 AM Reply

At 3/12/07 04:44 PM, poxpower wrote: ok back on topic: what the fuck is stonehenge?

Lol... noone really knows. It's so damn old that there's not much other evidence to link to what it might have been built for. Some of the features in the surrounding area are dated to as old as 3100 BC, though the henge itself was built somewhere between 2500-2000 BC. The rocks themselves are from a quarry 24 MILES away. Can you imagine trying to drag those stones, with 2500 BC technology 24 miles?

One thing known for sure is that it can be (and probably was) used as a rudimentary calendar, as during certain key points in the year (solstices, etc), the sun is visible upon rising in the morning through certain combinations of the stones. The amount of effort put into the henge, though pretty much rules out that that was it's only use at the time.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 15th, 2007 @ 03:13 PM Reply

Yeah, that sounds pretty plausible - an effective social control tactic, I might add. Still, it's curious if we consider the history of the Bible.

I think it's more curious that God has in essence reverted (in some peeps minds) to the God of old in modern times. You see people making claims that what is happening in the US today is the result of God "punishing" us for a multitude of reasons.

Now these people are idiots, but it raises the point that the nature of god seems to change based on the social situation. A time of war denotes a warlike god, a time of peace denotes a pleasant god.

Also interesting is the reward/punishment aspect of the deity being enacted. If you didn't know, psychologists have pretty much proven that rewards actually work better than punishments (a mix of both being the best), thus we see a change in God types? Dunno, maybe Jesus was a psychologist.

The other theory is that the early Christians wrote god in a more affable continuity as a means of polarizing their relationship with the Jewish religion. In order to distinguish Christianity as a separate entity, and it WAS regarded as simply a Jewish sect in the early days, they needed to show a fundamental difference between the two. Since the nature of Jesus (Holy Trinity) wouldn't be defined until Constantine, the biblical writers needed something else upon which converts would be found. Hence, a "good" god against the "mean" god of Jewish tradition.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 15th, 2007 @ 05:17 PM Reply

At 3/14/07 12:30 AM, Ravariel wrote:
At 3/12/07 04:44 PM, poxpower wrote: ok back on topic: what the fuck is stonehenge?
Lol... noone really knows.

Actually, recent discoveries have revealed a lot more information about Stonehenge. For example, a nearby village was discovered that has been tied very closely to Stonehenge. This village has a similar structure to Stonehenge, but built out of wood and facing the winter solstice sunrise (rather than sunset).

This new information, as well as other scientific details discovered in recent years, strongly suggest that Stonehenge was a religious center-- a temple, essentially --that had some importance to healing or death and was maintained for several centuries (large numbers of diseased bodies buried, several stages of construction). It probably had a wooden outer structure and a simple wooden sled technique would suffice for transporting and placing the blocks (coincided with a Copper Age revolution and mass deforestation).

Put simply, Stonehenge was probably the Neolithic English equivalent of the Egyptian Pyramids (a sending off for the dead).

Sorry for going off the main topic a bit, but I felt this warranted a full response.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 15th, 2007 @ 06:29 PM Reply

At 3/15/07 03:13 PM, Imperator wrote:

:Hence, a "good" god against the "mean" god of Jewish tradition.

Actually, Jewish God is the one who lets Cain live after killing his own brother, frees the Israelites from bondage, and uh...keeps a candle burning for 8 days....

It always seemed to me like the Christian bible was written more to make people fear God than to love him, but I'm not Christian so I wouldn't really know.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 15th, 2007 @ 08:34 PM Reply

At 3/10/07 12:42 AM, Ravariel wrote: What you might not know is that most of the days of the week are named after the gods in the Odinistic Pantheon. Tuesday is named after Tjw (Tyr), Wendnesday after Woden (Odin), Thursday after Thor, Friday after Frige (Frigg).

in English that is.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 15th, 2007 @ 11:44 PM Reply

At 3/15/07 05:17 PM, Draconias wrote:
Put simply, Stonehenge was probably the Neolithic English equivalent of the Egyptian Pyramids (a sending off for the dead).

Cool beans. Nice to know some progress has been made. Makes me wonder, though... has anyone figured out what is going on with Easter Island?

Sorry for going off the main topic a bit, but I felt this warranted a full response.

Bah, obscure religious stuff is EXACTLY what this thread is about. The original topic is there to scare off the tards.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 15th, 2007 @ 11:51 PM Reply

Wups, meant to include this in my last post.

At 3/15/07 08:34 PM, SolInvictus wrote:
At 3/10/07 12:42 AM, Ravariel wrote: What you might not know is that most of the days of the week are named after the gods in the Odinistic Pantheon. Tuesday is named after Tjw (Tyr), Wendnesday after Woden (Odin), Thursday after Thor, Friday after Frige (Frigg).
in English that is.

In most of the Germanic languages it works, though I think most of the romance languages use a different reference. I'm unsure about the Slavic languages.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 16th, 2007 @ 03:15 AM Reply

At 3/15/07 06:29 PM, Dr-Worm wrote: Actually, Jewish God is the one who lets Cain live after killing his own brother, frees the Israelites from bondage, and uh...keeps a candle burning for 8 days....

Eh....you got a few things mixed up here.....

The Jewish god is the one who banished Adam and Eve, flooded the world, etc etc. He has historically been known as a much more vengeful deity than his Christian "counterpart", as it were. That's what I was aiming at......

It always seemed to me like the Christian bible was written more to make people fear God
than to love him, but I'm not Christian so I wouldn't really know.

I think you've got it reversed. The Christian god was written to make people love him. What's arguable is whether the Jewish ogod was written to make people fear him, or whether the acts of divine justice are included for other reasons. If the answer is yes, then my little theory about the Bible being written to polarize itself from the Jewish faith holds some ground.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 16th, 2007 @ 03:17 AM Reply

Sorry for going off the main topic a bit, but I felt this warranted a full response.

it's much appreciated. Welcome to the rather successful attempt at intelligent and organized religious debate, aka, "keep the wackos out" religious thread.


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 16th, 2007 @ 03:20 AM Reply

244 views, 26 replies

Excuse the triple post, but a little update on our grand experiment. Now, if there was a way to factor in how many of those views are ours, we'd be set, but overall, I think we've found a winner.

Now where's that little rat that told me complaints don't solve anything? I'm gonna smack em around a bit.......


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Response to Heathenry Mar. 16th, 2007 @ 10:26 AM Reply

At 3/15/07 11:44 PM, Ravariel wrote: Cool beans. Nice to know some progress has been made. Makes me wonder, though... has anyone figured out what is going on with Easter Island?

Easter Island onc sustained a strong civilization, like Neolithic England, and acted in a very similar manner. The maoi statues adorning the island were created by competing tribes attempting to best one another. The ancient method for transporting heavy blocks (the same wooden sled one at Stonehenge) was extremely wood-intensive, but allowed a single clan of the size found on Easter Island to move even the largest known statues the longest known distance in only one week.

However, the Easter Islands kept creating larger and larger statues to one-up the other clans, and soon (100 years or so) virtually every tree on Easter Island had been cut down. What had begun as almost complete forest with gigantic palm trees became barren, and the civilization on Easter Island collapsed with no wood for boats, tools, homes, etc. remaining. Thus Easter Island is a striking tale of ecological disaster and what negligent use of resources can do to a civilization.

We really have made a lot of progress on these "mysteries" in the past few decades. I'm not sure any of them still remain beyond our knowledge.

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Response to Heathenry Mar. 17th, 2007 @ 12:02 AM Reply

At 3/16/07 10:26 AM, Draconias wrote: Easter Island stuff...

Well, lookit you mr. "I have all the answers neener neener". :P

*starts looking for another stumper*

We really have made a lot of progress on these "mysteries" in the past few decades. I'm not sure any of them still remain beyond our knowledge.

Not unless we find Atlantis, probably not.

...speaking of Atlantis, many many religions have a story of a great city or holy place lost to magicks or some otherworldly force. Atlantis, Avalon, Yggdrasil, and others that escape me at the moment. Much like dragons, which evidence themselves similarly in the mythology of very disparate cultures, would this constitute an underlying cultural meme? Or would it be coincidence, a traveling of ideas over great distance, or perhaps cultural bents on real creatures and occurrences?

We see dragons in European and Asian folklore, as well as (south) American. Lost cities, Wyrd and Karma, Brahman, and the unnamed Ur-god of the Greeks/Romans...

Awful lot of parallels for such discreet cultures, don'tcha think?


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