"An angel came to me and said: ‘O pitiable foolish young man! O horrible! O dreadful state! Consider the hot burning dungeon thou art preparing for thyself to all eternity, to which thou are going in such career’ I said: ‘perhaps you will be willing to shew me my eternal lot & we will contemplate together upon it and see whether your lot or mine is most desirable"
—William Blake
We—as a people—have no spiritual identity. Not that pan-Europeans lack spiritual impulse, or spiritual distinctions—we have all that, from New Age to Calvinism—what we lack is an identity of ourselves as a cohesive group of mutually respecting believers: a spiritual identity that encloses all of us as members of our Folk. And it has been to our detriment—it took a long time coming, granted—but we now face a withered future. Shriveled in spirit, shriveled in self-respect, shriveled in unity. We are decaying, spiritually, and have been doing so for a long time (almost 2000 years)—what’s more, it is just getting faster and faster—take the last 60 years as a mere foretaste of what’s coming.

"The fact is that spiritual decay comes from a lack of a cultural identity for the belief itself. Why is this? It is because indigenous religions were formed from the very core of our ancestral soul. They developed through countless eons and are ingrained into the very fiber of our being. In ancient times the world ‘religion’ did not exist, nor were there any distinctions between different beliefs, other than the cultural identity."
Mark Puryear, The Nature of Asatru (p. xix)
For the Folk—and by this I mean for the European and European-descended peoples—the difference between Pagan and non-Pagan members of ourselves is sadly reversed these days. We still have a cultural identity—white people—that brooks little distinction between us. Face it, whether Irish or Hungarian or Greek, we as Europeans are cohesively stuck (sometimes whether we want to be or not) being non-people-of-color living in a multi culti colored world redesigned to accommodate everyone except us.

However, we have no cohesive spiritual identity.

What’s that? We did have spiritual cohesiveness, some of you say, before these ridiculous Neo-Pagans reared their raven banners and swayed the crowds with ancient myths and bloody sagas? Well, we did and we did not. What we had, my friends (and, for that matter, my enemies, too) was a couple of millennia’s worth (give or take a millennia depending on where we are talking about; Lithuania didn’t convert to Christianity until 1387) of official pan-European Christianity that lumped all us white Folks together under one big religious assumption: if you are European, you are Christian.

Note that I used the world ‘official’ back there. There was never any complete Christianization of Europe. No—despite all the lumping, all the pretty churches, the impressive cathedrals, the wonderful art and the massive amounts of textual material Christian Europe produced—there was never a time when the true soul of Europa paid anything more than a forced lip service to a foreign god. Sure, sure, there were plenty of pious priests and devout missionaries, sure sure there were lots and lots of Christian soldiers going onward, sure sure there was a lot of ecclesiastic fervor and fanatisicm...

But, the thing is.....for all its hellfire and damnation theatrics, it never really ‘took’ completely.
"Christianity was forced upon Northern Europe with centuries of warfare, inquisitions and political manipulations. Even with the immense power of the Roman Empire behind it, it still took 500 years to convert all of the northern nations, and they never realized their goal of wiping out the ancient religions entirely. This [essay] is living proof of that, as is the entire Asatru nation as it stands today. We mustn’t resent modern Christians for this, for most do not even know about it and just want to live their lives as good people under the standards they were raised by."
Mark Puryear, The Nature of Asatru (p. xix)
Modern Christianity—despite the overweaning softness you might encounter in, say, a Lutheran meeting room that is planning a helpful hopeful mission to be set up in rural Uganda for local inhabitants there who might have AIDS—in all its permutations is still Christianity—plain ol’ Burn-the-Witch Christianity. Just as the so called Neo-Pagan faith in all its guises is still purely and only Pagan.

"Neo-Paganism, if in fact there is such a thing, is not a cult phenomenon"[Alain de Benoist, Alain, On Being A Pagan (p. 5)]—putting the prefix ‘Neo’ on the word Pagan is a mean little verbal jab made by Christians (dare I say Neo-Christians?) in an attempt to diminish and denigrate Pagan Faiths. Faiths that have never needed to become newly re-established as they have existed much longer than Christianity has and have never not existed (remember, for countless eons Christianity has not existed). Personally, I think that since Christianity has only existed for about two thousand years and Pagan Europe has been around for, oh.....since the dawn of European time...the term Neo rightfully only belongs to those new-kids-on-the-old-European-spiritual-block: Christianity...and its sibling Islam, too.
"In truth Paganism never died. From the attempts to restore solar worship under the Illyrian emperors (notably under Aurelius, thanks to the support of Plotinus), and from those undertaken later by the Emperor Julian, it has been a constant inspiration. At the end of the 4th century, a time when Christianity, which had become a State Religion, would appear to have triumphed, we can even speak of a ‘Pagan renaissance’. Pagan values subsequently continued to survive, both in the collective unconscious and in certain customary Folk rituals (incorrectly labeled ‘Folklore’), in the theology of certain great ‘Christian’ heretics, and through the expedient of countless literary and artistic revivals. From Ronsard and du Bellay, literature has never stopped finding a fertile source of inspiration in pre-Christian Antiquity, whereas for fifteen centuries political deliberation has been nourished by a meditation on the purely Pagan principle of the imperium, the bedrock of that prodigious enterprise, perhaps the most grandiose in all of history: the Roman Empire."
Alain de Benoist, On Being A Pagan, 2004 (p. 9)
Yes, European Christianity enmeshed itself into the European Soul (but enmeshing is not the same as becoming one with), starting with trying to dig out the Pagan roots of Europe’s first and only true spirituality. (Let me clarify ‘first and only true spirituality’ for the benefit of those readers who are unfamiliar with non-Abrahamic belief systems:
"The race, tribe, or nation is linked to the Gods in a unique relationship; Gods and people might be thought of as expressions of each other. In this world view, the essence of a religion is not transferrable outside the group... All indigenous/native/Pagan religionsnot just Asatru—spring from the soul of a particular people and represent the collective experience of that people".
Stephen McNallen, Three Decades of the Asatru Revival in America in "Tyr" Vol II, 2004 (p. 205) 
Christianity, still desperately trying to fit in.
Christianity did its enmeshing and digging through projecting its self-proclaimed truth into the unsuspecting Folk soul by merging and blurring the ancient ways—never killing them, mind you, but simply re-casting them with a Christian form:
"Just as Christ, though his death, overpowered the monstrous serpent, so Thor triumphed over the Midgardworm or Midgard serpent, the Mugardsschlange. The similarity of the sign of the cross and of the hammer makes it possible that the newly converted Germans had imagined Christ to be the God of thunder and provider of rain."
Jakob Grimm, Germanic Mythology (trans. Vivian Bird), Washington DC, Scott-Townsend: 1997 (p. 20)
Before the Christians arrived, Europe had religion. Lots of it. There were numerous existent ways of natural and distinct spiritual expression that sprang from the soul of Europe—from the Wodanic to the Druidic to the Hellenic to the Romuva to beyond—all of which were pantheistic. Each one was as unique to its localized micro-culture within the greater pan-Indo European world as a family is unique to the greater race it comes from. Mutual respect between these spiritual systems was a given—it made no difference if a Greek worshipped Zeus while a Celt worshipped Lugh—for one faith cannot diminish another faith when all are held equally respectable.

Since time unfathomable to historical research, in Europe organic faith was not diminished by organic faith, and cultural identity was not diminished by the flourishing of any number of organic faiths up and down and over and across the whole Indo-European people’s world. Remember this, please, for it all changes when Christianity enters Europe’s history. Which is your history, dear reader.
"Only after their conversion to Christianity, whose idea of God corresponded to the intolerant, religious war-waging gods of the Semitic tribe, have Indo-European peoples forced their beliefs on alien tribes; the king of the Franks, Charlemagne forced Christianity on the Saxons who were subjected after a bloody struggle. King Olav Tryggveson of Norway (995-1000) after being baptized in England, was persuaded to force conversion on his own people by cunning, treachery and cruel persecutions, as well as bribing them to submit to baptism. Andreas Hensler has asserted that among the Northern Teutons there was quite enough violence, but never cruelty; only after the introduction of Christianity did converted zealots behave cruelly towards their countrymen. With the conversion of the North, an alien wave of cruelty entered the land."
Hans Gunther, Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans, Sussex, Historical Review Press: 2001 (p. 59)
Christianity is a revealed religion—it doesn’t spring from the core of a Folk, it is wholly revealed to them—taught to them, in other words, part and parcel. It is not instinctual or natural, it is learned. Which is fair enough if you like that sort of thing, but it is not fair enough when you don’t, or if you aren’t familiar with how Christianity works. Christianity works through conversion—it’s not enough that you give it respect, you must adhere to its tenets and you must convert to its masses. If you won’t do so willingly, you do so unwillingly, or you can eat a snake.
"Olaf [I of Norway] routinely used force to compel conversions to Christianity, including executions and torture of those who refused. Several instances of Olaf's attempts led to days of remembrance amongst modern heathens similar to the feast days of martyred Christian saints. Raud the Strong (remembered January 9) refused to convert and, after a failed attempt using a wooden pin to pry open his mouth to insert a snake, was killed by a snake goaded by a hot poker through a drinking horn into Raud's mouth and down his throat."
More number-efficient and less overtly cruel conversions came with little cat feet, "a consequence of the deliberate inculturation of Germanic religio-cultural attitudes within Christianity by Christian missionaries."
"This process of accommodation resulted in the essential transformation of Christianity from a universal salvation religion to Germanic, and eventually European, Folk religion. The sociopsychological response of the Germanic peoples to this inculturated form of Christianity included the acceptance of those traditionally Christian elements which coincided with Germanic religiosity and the resolution of dissonant elements by reinterpreting them in accordance with the Germanic ethos and world-view".
James C. Russell, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity, New York, Oxford University Press, 1994 (p. 39)
The old if you can’t beat them, let them think you’ve joined them routine, which was played and replayed all over Europe. Hence, Baldur becomes Jesus, Perkaunas becomes St. Michael, Hades becomes Satan and everybody who is anybody is celebrating Easter, Christmas, and building churches in old sacred groves. Hail Frigga! Hail Mary!

New branch of Abraham & Sons opening soon.
But, the Christians failed in their grand scheme to completely convert all the Folk and destroy Europa’s original spiritual orientation. They built cathedrals and the local pagans put Sheela-na-gigs in them, they made crosses out of Thor’s hammers and indigenous Folk masons made solar crosses out of the Celtic ones. We pagans kept everything—some of it mostly out of sight (runes, Folk ways), some of it hidden in plain sight (Folk tales, Folk art, bread and embroidery patterns, hex signs, the names of the week, May poles, Easter Eggs, Yule Logs, the Chivalric Code...the list of pagan components that got swallowed whole [and not chewed up] by Christianity goes on and on).

The old ways of our Folk have survived despite every intention of the alien spiritual usurper religion—there is nothing ‘new’ or ‘neo’ about them. The old ways are part of who we all are, they are not fiction, they are not fancy, they are not romantic dreams—they are the codes, the ways, the values, the ideals, the deepest impulses of our Folk. These pagan, heathen, ancient ways—be they be from Austria, Basque Region, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cornwall, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Herzegovina, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales—are the ways of our Folk from time immemorial. These places are the cradles of our civilizations, the cores of our ethnicity/race/culture, the sacred wellsprings of all that European Folk are; these places have traditions and cultures and values and religious beliefs that have existed so much longer than Christianity has, and will continue to exist long after Christianity passes from our world here.

The cause of our people’s cohesive spiritual decay does not lie within the still alive European pagan/heathen/Odinist/Asatru—even Wiccan—traditions; how could it? "All survived in some form or other because they were beloved by the ordinary people and because they were nearer to them and more understandable than newer official religions."[Discovering English Folk Dance]

These traditions were and are part of a Europe that was alive and well when that ‘newer official religion’ of Christianity descended upon it—it’s all been downhill since then.

The decay of the cohesive European soul comes from without—like white sugar on teeth—and it is Christianity. Take that away and our spiritual identity as a Folk is recovered. With a recovered spiritual identity comes a recovered spiritual might—with might comes will, with will comes a future worth having once again. As English essayist Leigh Hunt wrote (in 1818, by the way—this has been a long time coming):
"If you all go on so, there will be a hope someday…a voice will be heard along the water saying ‘The Great God Pan is alive again’,—upon which the villagers will leave off starving, and singing profane hymns, and fall to dancing again."
If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. As a pagan thinker I don’t feel the need to convert anyone against their will; I realize that an official religion which has a opening date will also have a closing date, so the whole Christian overlay is—assuming the European peoples survive it—pretty irrelevant in the long run of indigenous religious existence (akin to the 1688 invasion of England by the Dutch Republic…honestly, who really cares now?).

I do ask though, before you stop even disagreeing and go on to other things, for you to think back on these last 2000 years (particularly the last 60 or so in the Europe-as-global-village-wonder-spots) and—considering that Christianity is a universalist religion which preaches and practices that all of humanity is equal in the eyes of God, and that every person is deserving of charity (think of the Christian Children’s Fund, The Salvation Army, Feed the Children, and the massive church-aided Christian-charity-spirited migrations of all sorts of third world nationals into first world ‘Christian’ nations) and that this monotheistic Chimaera created from disparate races and cultures has sucked the strengths of spirit and identity out of the world (all over the world, not just Europe—indigenous cultures have been spiritually robbed in the name of Christianity from the Hawaiian Islands to the Orkneys) and that this Chimaera has sadly failed in its goal of world ‘salvation’ [look at me writing this!] and in its failing has left the world to cope with...well...what you see around you every day: the soiled, ruined and sorry leavings of an oppressive, alien, tyrannical and very wrong-minded regime (much like Communism on a more soul-breaking scale)—honestly ask yourself: what has Christianity done for Europe, ultimately? Really.
"O goat foot god of Arcady!
The modern world hath need of thee!"
—Oscar Wilde

Previously published at our old site, 24th August, 2013

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