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Else Christensen Archive

December 1973
No.10

 

OUR VIEW OF HISTORY

In Yockey's dissertations about the various aspects of 'History' he maintains that the History view of our times has to make its way over the ruins of the linear scheme which insists on seeing History as a progression from "Ancient" through "Mediaeval" to "Modern". This linear view holds that History is a long row of happenings, leading up to the Present. Basically, the linear view is cultural egocentricity, or put in another way, that unconscious assumption that Western Culture is the focus of the whole meaning of human history.
Among the followers of this linear history view are previous centuries progress yes-men, the social-ethicals, the "ideologists" of whatever description; common to them all is a belief in Rationalism. They assume that History is reasonable, they think they themselves are reasonable and they insist that History has done, and will do, what they think it should.
But the History view of our time is meant to reflect Life, and Life is not static but a continuous battle between opposites -- between Old and Young, between Tradition and Innovation, between views that have become obsolete and those reflecting new knowledge. Ask Galileo, Bruno, Copernicus, Pelagius! All represented in their time the Future, yet all were overcome, in one way or another, by the enthroned Past. It should therefore come as no surprise that the 19th and 20th centuries materialists persecute those in tune with the Future by maligning, by conspiracy of silence, by cutting off from access to publicity, or by driving to suicide.
Let us not forget that Materialism and Rationalism of the last two centuries emerged as a "Holy Faith" and that each generation believed as an absolute Truth that it was the peak of all striving of the world.
This linear view of History was more or less acceptable to Western man as long as he knew nothing outside the Bible and the works of a few other Classics; but it became grossly insufficient with the new advance in archaeological investigations, including excavations and deciphering of original inscriptions in Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and those of other High Cultures.
These investigations show the historically-minded Western civilization that it is by no means unique in its historical grandeur, but that it belongs to a group of High Cultures of similar struc-

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ture and of equal elaboration and splendor. The results of this new knowledge broke down the old linear look of history and it is slowly being replaced because it is no longer in keeping with the Spirit of our Age.
Previously, intellectual authority had been able to distorts the facts slightly to make them conform with a picture that could convince those who already believed. But with the opening up of. the history of the previous High Cultures that were fulfilled in India, Egypt etc. this view could no longer satisfy even the believers.
Furthermore, the materialistic view that postulated the 'influence' of preceding Cultures on subsequent ones died out, and this new psychological outlook on Life is recognizing the primacy of the soul and the superficialness of outward appearance.
This intense probing of the Past is, in Yockey's opinion, an expression of a super personal feeling that the riddle of History had not been unlocked by the linear view and that the totality of facts would have to be considered.
The feeling spread that "Universal history" was needed: The combination of the history of politics, law, religion, behavior patterns, art, philosophy into ONE great synthesis - in short, the Idea of Total History, i.e. Cultural History.
In the beginning this was only understood by the few, but now the idea of the unity of a High Culture is general in the higher spiritual stratum of our civilization.
To the 20th century with its center of gravity in politics, History is not a mere instrument of proving or illustrating any dogmas, or social-ethical "progress" theory, but the source of our effective world outlook.
In keeping with the Spirit of the Age the leading minds of the 20th century reject the anti-factual linear theory of History; in its place has been put the actual structure of human history, the history of eight High Cultures, each an organism with its own individuality and destiny.
This history outlook is a soul-necessity for a small number of men only, it holds no compulsion for the masses that throng the streets of Western cities. -- Historical relativity is like physical relativity only the possession of those who are aware of the changing values.
It was left to Spengler, the philosopher of the Age, to set forth the full outline of the structure of History. He himself was the first to recognize the proper personal nature of his work when he said that an essentially historical idea is only in a limited way the property of him to whose lot it falls to parent it. It was his destiny to articulate that which others were groping for.
Yockey saw this already in the forties and expanded on some of the Spenglerian views thus bringing new knowledge, gained in the interim, to bear an the spiritual foundation for the weltanschauung which is imperative for us.

 

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THE TREE

 

At this time of the year, when Odinists are celebrating Winter Solstice and the Christians, having usurped the festival of our forefathers, have their X-mas holiday, THE TREE plays an important role. Here in the North an evergreen is gaily decorated and, I think we all feel a bit sorry for those of our kinsmen who live in areas where no such tree grows wild they have to substitute whatever they can get, when they celebrate the Return of the Sun.
However, there is another tree which occupies a significant place in the mythology of our forefathers. In the wards of Grimnismol, the World Ash, Yggdrasil, is 'the best of all trees.'
Trees have in most so-called primitive societies been an essential part of the mythology; in many places big oak trees have been revered as a symbol for 'eternity' and understandably so, for people watched how plants, animals and kinsmen died, they themselves would die one day, but the great proud oaks were older than any living thing they knew.
In Norse mythology the World Ash is the center of all; its branches reach the sky and cover the earth and it holds up the universe. When the first man was formed, the legend tells he was given the name Ask (Scandinavian for ash) so we immediately perceive the close connection between Man and Tree -- man as an inextricable part of the world.
The name of the tree -- Yggdrasil -- has been explained in several ways, the best known being that it means Odin's horse -- one of the many names for Odin was Yggr.

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This is a reference to a saga that tells how Odin, without food and suffering much pain, for nine nights and nine days hanged himself on the branches of the World Tree, before he was able to snatch up `The Runes' i.e. wisdom and knowledge. -- Grimnismol says further about the World Ash:

Three roots there are:
that three ways run,
'neath the ash-tree Yggdrasil: --
'neath the first lives Hel,
'neath the second the Frost-Giants,
'neath the last are the lands of men.

Yggdrasil is a very special tree with a lot of trouble; -- still in the words of Grimnismol:

Yggdrasil's ash great evil suffers;
Far more than men do know;
The hart bites its top,
Its trunk is rotting,
And Nidhogg gnaws beneath.

If we accept the Ash as a symbol of the world, we need not wonder why it has great trouble. In its top branches an eagle, wise beyond measure, is perched, symbolizing the lofty spirit of the soul; at the foot of the tree the dragon Nidhogg gnaws at its roots ('nid' is Danish for envy and spite). Also at its foot are more serpents than any one can count; the biggest is the world serpent that in other legends is presented as a child of Loki, the Half-God that lived among the Asir but was of doubtful origin.
The eagle and the serpent are at war -- intelligence and spirituality constantly combating ignorance and materiality. A squirrel is running up and down the tree trunk carrying messages from one to the other, seemingly innocent and guileless, but in reality full of barbed insults and arrogant abuse. The squirrel is called Ratatosk; I don't know if there is a connection but Rata is the name of a large tree which now only is found on New Zealand and from which the natives used to make war clubs etc.; also, in the French language the word Rata has to do with the sound of war drums.
There are many other complications in the life of the tree; apart from the drag on gnawing at its roots there are harts feeding on its leaves and the she-goat Heithrun nibbles its branches so that her udders will fill with the mead that is served for Gods and heroes in Valhal.
Another important part of the legend surrounding the World Ash is that although it continually is being destroyed it always renews itself, even at Ragnarok the tree will shudder and tremble but it will not fall.
The tree thus symbolizes the eternal struggle and our forefathers believed that although plants, animals and people will die, even though the known world (civilization) may crumble at Ragnarok and the Gods themselves will perish ---- the World Tree, i.e. Life, will go on, new members of the clan will be born , and Yggdrasil will still be there, giving shelter, nourishment and strength to future generations.
The symbol of a tree as the center of the world is known not only in Scandinavian mythology but reaches far back in antiquity. For example in the Shamanism of the Siberian peoples, particularly among the Buriats, part of the initiation for becoming a shaman consists of climbing the World Tree, which incidentally is not an ash but a birch, and so doing he is believed to ascend to heaven where he must suffer pain, torture and symbolic death. in order to obtain wisdom and mythical powers; the world tree of the Buriats has nine notches, one for each of nine worlds.
Underneath Yggdrasil are two springs, the waters of both are holy and possess mighty powers. One is Mimir's well. It is told that to get a draught of water from it Odin had to pay with his one eye, so that he might be wise and knowledgeable above all others.
At the other well, the Gods hold council every day and this is the most holy of all places for this is the abode of the three Norns who sit and weave the life threads of Gods and men. Besides deciding the destinies of all, the three Sisters of Fate have the holy duty each day to water Yggdrasll with the waters from their well and thus restore the strength of: the World Ash so that it can withstand all the pain and suffering it must endure; only in this way The Tree will keep green and healthy, and honey dew will fall ever fell from its leaves, providing nourishment for all the nine worlds.
Of' course the legends cannot be explained rationally for they deal with spiritual matters; our forefathers had an instinctual wisdom they seldom are given credit for; but through their legends they gave form to their thoughts about life and death, about the world around them and the spirit within.
Thus they left us a spiritual legacy that will give us the strength to move mountains -- if only we understand.

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GENIUS AND THE COMMON MAN

2. Genius the Culture-Builder

 

". . .tradition is often simply the corporeal embodiment, as it were, of heredity. Behind many a great writer's personality there stands tradition, and behind tradition the race."

Havelock Ellis in "The Dance of Life"

 

Questions may arise as to why we should be concerned with genius when there are so many problems of more immediate concern, and does genius not belong to the past? Has education not made us more equal?
Such questions should not surprise in an age that has declared that God is dead. For the two are inseparably linked together. And as God is thought of as a person who had once been alive, long ago, but is now dead, so genius is looked upon as an institution really too antiquated to be of use in the modern world, and hence obsolete.
Yet this attitude reflects only the sad truth that what is really dead is the soul of modern men. He carries it about like a dead weight, finds it annoying merely to be reminded of it and knows but one desperation: How to be rid of it!
Ah, but life will not have it so. Life will discard him. For man lives not merely to survive but to fulfill himself and unless he can do so, turns to self-destruction. The struggle for survival is basic to life, how could we fulfill anything without physical existence? But purpose and fulfillment were ever the fate .for genius to define, and it was through the mystifying powers of their soul that life was regenerated. Hence, if genius were truly to lie buried in the past, so would our future.
But the past is in fact not dead, it lives within us if we will but be aware and true to ourselves.It is for this reason that the understanding of genius is of importance to us. It is through genius that we gain an understanding of our nobler motivations and our purpose for being.
In our previous article on this subject we pondered the question of genius in pre-human existence as a precedent for the birth of genius in man. We found that the term genius does not apply to man only but to nature as well, in its creative stages at least. Hence we saw evolution of the species not only as a process more of less passively endured because of pressing external influences. We saw individual creatures actively and creatively engaged in the process through the exertion of internal energies. We concluded that, in preparation of an imminent change, something like the force of genius must have gathered in one or more members of a species, so that each step forward and upward involved decision-making on the part of such individuals. True, on an unconscious or subconscious level. But we have long cast behind us the idea that these levels of consciousness are less than life or that they are without soul. No doubt in this process nature herself -- or her species, rather -- made some errors, there were hits and misses. But the fact remains that life did move up and that the order which evolved is not mere accident but the work of genius.
Thus we see genius in pre-human existence as the life-builder, we see genius in man as the culture-builder.
Let us consider the quotation from Havelock Ellis' "Dance of Life" at the introduction of this article. Let us substitute culture for the word tradition; let us substitute genius for writer's personality. We thereby broaden Ellis' basis from that of writing to culture generally. But we need not justify here that "behind tradition (stands) the race." History has adequately done so. And environmentalist can no longer talk down the evidence of biology as the most powerful agent in the creation of cultures. We can today state:
Race is the organization of nature; Culture is the externalization of race.
And from our comprehensive point of view we would add to Ellis' statement: " . . .and behind the race stands God -- and God works through genius."
A race (or nation as its off shot) is a living organism. Where it is allowed tn develop naturally, the individuals within this organism find their function through various simple processes of adjustment. They involve heredity, tradition, and selection through competition. The structure that evolves is a natural hierarchy.

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Differentiation being the basic law of life, there is no equality. The doctrine of equality disrupts the natural order created by man striving by natural inclination for ascendancy; it arrests or misdirects the development of the exceptional and provides the undeserving with a place of prominence. What follows is not order but disorder.
Genius in any form of leadership can flourish best in an organic society. Here life is a natural unfolding. Wa see the works of genius as the peaks of a cultural landscape. They dominate it as its most magnificent and -- as observed in older cultures -- most sacred sites. But they are yet part of and root in the general landscape, blending into a harmonious whole. An inborn rhythm pulsates through the entire culture as the heart-beat of a people. And whatever color and fabric the culture of such a people may consist of, it lives by the same heart-beat. And wherever a genius may be at work, refining, re-weaving or re-coloring tradition to a finer texture, it will give a more perfect description of the soul of this people. So genius defines, through its own fulfillment, the destiny of that people. This the continuity of a culture from genius to genius, from one period to another within a geographically bounded homeland is the life-thread of a people.
For race as an organism is, as is every living organism, a finite thing in time and in space.
One of the most absurd assertions one hears today is that great art has nothing to do with racial origin, that it is international or, better still, cosmopolitan in nature. We cannot think of anything quite so false.
The proof lies in modern art itself. -- It has no homeland. Because it strives to be international, it must divest itself of all traces of identity. Hence it is a shallow nonentity, sharing the anonymity of modern mass-man. Relying more or less (mostly less) on technical skills only, it is unable to inspire men because it is itself not inspired. Directing its appeal to the "intellect," it is in fact another means of polluting the brain.
Great art, as the exposition of the soul of genius is neither international nor cosmopolitan. It is universal. But it became so not because it severed its roots. Quite the contrary. It grew from a very select kind of roots to universal dimensions. The soul of genius is therefore not only the soul of an individual who is great by chance of birth. In him is brought forth the soul of his people, arrived at crystal-clarity in the spiritualized reflection of its -- in the words of Havelock Ellis -- corporeal embodiment. Genius is the example par excellence of all the bio-psychical components of a particular life-rhythm seeking by age-old routes to channel its consciousness to a new universal awareness.
In all her works, nature used time -- long stretches of time -- to create what was her purpose. And of course space. Oh, let us just look at the latest discoveries in the correlation of time and space as it exists between the animal (heredity grown in time) and its environment (space). And man should be able to reach the top by throwing away all this wisdom? Cutting off the roots of any living thing will soon cause it to wither and die. Is it any wonder that where man has cut his own. roots, he flounders helplessly on the ground, unable to lift himself to the heights where genius could take him?
A human race is built on the same basic principles as is an animal species. But man is not -- and we say it again -- an animal. He crossed the line and became a super-creature. And he is free. Nor does his freedom contradict his bondage to natural law. His freedom is being able to use these laws that gave him reason and developed his senses, to expand into the universe, and in the grandest delights possible realize the spiritualization of all he possesses of life.
These moments of immersion into our other-world awareness we call inspiration. But we cannot in any sense conceive of entering into this awareness except through the capacities with which we were born and which are ours by heredity. Nor can we conceive of any man, genius or not, transmitting such experiences to the world in a language other than that of his own personality. -- Language being of course any creative work, whether poetry, painting, sculpture, music or architecture, or -- in the widest sense -- all higher forms of life expressing extraordinary experiences, -- whether knowledge or feeling.
Hence, one of the great marks of genius is its freedom. It transcends all existing law. But in doing so, does not become lawless. It creates new laws by

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creating new forms of culture or of life, more beautifully, more personally- expressive of the harmony of universal law. Yet, however great the works of ones particular genius, however wide their range they encompass one life, one personality. The universe lies enfolded within these limitations, bearing the signature of its creator, the imprint of the race.
Is there a wonder greater than this?
Let us take heart and remember: Genius does not die. Its fires were indeed lit by the Gods. Let us stay close to them. For their fires are eternal.

Helgar

 

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THE CONCEPT OF CONSERVATISM

 

We Odinists talk a great deal about up holding old traditions, preserving spiritual values of earlier times and keeping intact our cultural heritage. It looks as if we can justly be called conservatives.
However, as we look around us we see more customs and more ideas that we do NOT want to conserve as we see those we would like preserved. We certainly do not belong to the die-hard conservatives who want to continue the status quo of the last fifty years.
Yes, we want free enterprise, but not the freedom for capitalists to exploit the working man, -- we want free enterprise as opposed to state enterprise, which seeks to be no enterprise at all, but rather state control. We want individual freedom so that each and everyone can do his own thing so to speak, but not carte blanche for certain individuals to sponge on the hard work and technological skills of others. We want preservation of our cultural heritage, but we would like the drug culture, the permissive educational system, and the Watergates of today to disappear. We want our natural resources safeguarded and would like to see no more junk foods in our supermarkets, no more rape of our wild-life and no more subsidies for NOT producing food or other commodities. We want co-operation between all nations, particularly those within the Western world, and we are greatly disturbed by the obvious tendency to international pressure control.
In fact, there is a whole lot of things we would NOT like conserved, and yet we are very reluctant to accept every new idea, every new fad until we are reasonably sure the change is for the better. At the same time we are very much in favour of availing ourselves to the utmost of new (proven) scientific advances and advantages so that our whole standard of living, materially and spiritually, can be upgraded.
We are acutely aware that just because something 'used to be,' does not mean that it is good and should be so forever; granted, it is easier to let things go the way they have always been going, but it may not be in the best interest of our community; or just because our parents did this or that is no guarantee that they weren't mistaken or conned into accepting some scheme they ought to have seen through.
When we look at the concept of conservatism we do most certainly NOT want to preserve all that is going on today or has been going on for many years in the lands of the West; we want freedom of choice, yes, but with freedom comes responsibility --- RESPONSIBILITY to your community, to your fellowman and to your own individual integrity.
Conservatism in our dictionary means the responsibility of conserving that which brings forth the finest efforts of and the best personal qualities in members of the various communities of our Western lands.

 

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MY CREED

 

My creed shall shape my every deed,
My every word and thought;
My spirit and my mind are freed
By the lessons it has taught.

In time of sorrow it comforts me,
And lifts my weary heart;
It causes doubt to disappear;
It makes the shadows part.

Here on life's great battlefield
It is my armour bright;
It is my very sword and shield
Against the encircling night.

When I was chained, it set me free;
When I was lost, it showed the way;
Its power is with me constantly,
It leads me to a better day.


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WHY "OLD-TIME" RELIGIONS FAIL US

An Open Letter To A Friend:

 

"An analysis of present-day Christianity would reveal not only its extensive borrowings from its predecessors and contemporaries but also numerous atavistic survivals of all primitive forms of religion from animism through polytheism to anthropomorphic monotheism. Fetishism taboo, and magic still flourish under the cross of Christ. These vestigial relics indicate the evolution of the religion of man as clearly as his wisdom teeth and vermiform appendix reveal the evolution of his body, and their removal is sometimes necessary to his spiritual health."

Charles Francis Potter
"The Story of Religion"

 

So you have decided to "go religious" by seeking initiation into a certain sect because a close relative has found a peace therein that you do not have and because generally you have observed that religious people seem to be happier than you feel you are.
I know little about your present concept of God or what you mean by religion. But I did observe that you were very much "in" with present-day "liberated" attitudes on morals. Your purpose in life primarily has been the pursuit of sensuous excitements so much the fashion to day. You felt you were, by your own reasoning, entitled to get as much "fun" out of life as possible regardless of its reflection upon the feelings of others. Hence you were not overly in sympathy with values generally upheld by religion, whatever its form, as they were merely an obstruction in your pursuit of happiness.
Now suddenly you realize that all this has not made you happy. Instead of finding yourself fulfilled, you are puzzled to find a void within you. You are as restless as ever but for different reasons. And so you think that religion might help.
I would be the last to dispute that, and shall not deter you from seeking out any means in trying to find the inner peace you crave. But I am afraid the effects will be much the same as those of earlier such attempts in sensitivity group meetings and like set-ups. However while to you this is a personal problem, I see it in the context of a general upheaval in the maturing process of the entire world of Western Man. The moral decay which you until recently supported without realizing its nature, is evidence of one of the most crucial periods of our history. It may, in fact, be the turning paint in our existence. Let me, therefore, make a few comments any reactions to your problem as it applies to so many of our people today.
It seems to me what you are really looking for is a mental tranquilizer, and this is what the old formalized religions actually are. They had their place in times when ignorance was unable to cope with the realities of life and nothing at all was known about the only source of truth: Nature and her laws. -- All concepts being derived from the then prevailing level of knowledge, these religions reflect the Man/God relationship of the primitive of many races. Imbued with superstition and the belief in magic, they are in fact a barbaric interpretation of life. Considering the then existing situations, blind belief was the only possible approach to God; the only way to establish harmony between man and the supernatural powers he conceived in the mysteries of nature, and to stabilize a life lived in fear.
We have long outgrown this type of religion. Our problem is that well-nigh two thousand years ago we were persuaded pushed and coerced into a FORM of religion that was not only primitive but rigid and alien. Consequently it was without potential for growth. Instead, it splintered into hundreds of sects, each avowing to have arrived at the final truth, as the result of its inherent untruth.
Meanwhile, our innate moral concepts, our ethical instincts became hopelessly entangled with this alien religion. It is this fact, not the religious belief in itself, that had helped the latter to survive. It is also this fact that causes confusion and possibly intense suffering in the individual, and raises the spectre of anarchy in the public mind at the thought of discarding Christianity. It is felt that all the principles of order that have been the mainstay of our culture, will be thrown out as well.
This fear is not unfounded. To a large extent it has already justified itself. The response to the situation is manifold. There are those who fight tenaciously to hold on to Christianity; there

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are others who, having thrown it off but witnessing the rise of chaos, want it back; there are those who cry with Lenin that "religion is opium" and hold this to apply to ALL religious thought, and there are some who clamour for a return of the "old-time religion" whether of our own ancestors or others.
But we cannot turn back.
We simply cannot jettison the knowledge we have worked so hard to achieve. We can only go forward. For it is not a question of having moved forward too fast or too far, it is a question rather of only ONE PART of our being having moved forward, leaving the other far behind. Therefore, the answer to our problem is to catch up with what was left behind and this, the neglected part of our being, is the SOUL.*
[* Footnote: Some time in the future we shall give a comprehensive explanation of this term on the basis of 20th Century knowledge and insight].
This means that at the moment there is time-wise, a discrepancy between our intellectual reasoning and our (accepted standard) religion of almost two thousand years. In other words, we are expected to balance our 20th Century knowledge on the rational side with that of the year One on the (irrational i. e.) religious side. This makes no sense, quite apart from the fact that the religion in question made no sense to start with.
Of course, thinking men of the West, rather than jettison their factual knowledge which they had wrested from nature threw their religion overboard. And very often God with it. They simply could not reconcile meaningless legends, presented as factual history, miracles that claimed to disrupt irrevocable laws, and an alien, primitive god-concept, with the facts of science and history, nor with the far superior insights into the nature of God and Man that had existed long before Christianity in the science and philosophy of the Early Greeks, the founders of our Western Culture.
For our thinking men and women or the 20th Century, religion can no longer mean isolation from or division of life in any of its components. Nor can it mean retreat behind cloistered walls or withdrawal into a belief that has lost all validity. Our religion encompasses all of life: the laws that have built the universe no less than those by which we have attained our intellect and the capacities of our soul.
Hence our religion will have the support or the wide range of knowledge we possess today. But it will not lead a separate existence on the periphery but form the very centre of our lives. Now meanings on the nature or good and evil will evolve to build tighter bonds between our practical and our spiritual values, forming the outlines of a new social order.
Further, our religion will include a keen awareness of history. Not one genius must be lost from its pages. Deeds done well will be the inspiration for deeds yet to be done. Mistakes made shall be a lesson far a better morrow. But ever will we know ourselves to be a link in the endless chain of generations, and honour the past as the living memory of our people.
I have heard you say that the past does not interest you, that it is dead, done with. You may now discover that this is not so. We did not suddenly spring in to today from nowhere. We have been a long time in coming. And the world for which we are groping today, has been developing through centuries past, under the cover of subterfuge ideas and ideologies, of which Christianity was only one. As today's know-how in the field of science is built on achievements of the past, so today's spiritual insights have evolved from long and intense inner struggles towards clarity and freedom, in the past.
But today's religion will not sit on something that was once declared sacred. Now we know: the Eternal is sacred forever, but its unfolding to man's understanding takes place in time and as it does, his inner world must be allowed to grow with the expense of knowledge. Values remain unchanged in themselves but they take on new meanings through newly acquired insights and experiences. Hence they must be reviewed and renewed from time to time if we are not to stagnate but grow.
Rebuilding this old world of ours will by no means be an easy task. But by challenging and rewarding one for the individual, a glorious one for the communal efforts of the world of the West. The whole universe lies before us to be re-discovered and re-defined, not now its material composition as seen and known by the mind, but as the outer manifestation of the Godhead and as experienced by the soul.
But discovery and renewal begins with discovery end renewal of the Self -- the Self of the individual and the collec-

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tive Self of a people. And one of the first discoveries we will ask that in the discontent, the curiosity, and unrelenting need for renewal so characteristic of the men of the West, lies the root of their creativity. We cannot except anything as "finished." No, not even our search for God. Gladly, therefore shall we part with the images and concepts become totally inadequate. No longer can we see God as something that can be acquired like a commodity, or taken like a drug, or taught like a chemical formula, or found by following a rigid pattern of rules, or in mystic performances of ritual. This may be the way to God for other peoples, but not for the dynamic, freedom-loving men and women of the West! Never shall we cease to search to unravel, to try to understand, to reach yet farther and deeper, ever and again. For therein lies the purpose and fulfillment for the individual and the race: to find a new harmony, a new peace and a glorious sense of accomplishment upon every journey of discovery, whether in the world of matter or in that of the spirit, though life itself may have been at stake.
And so, from the God-search of our own past comes a new understanding of the word "God" for today:
No image, no concept can serve to "explain" God. For God is the indefinable Essence of Being. As the Godhood has created itself into all that is and within our consciousness the potential of its own Self-Realization, so will our awareness be of God in all things and within ourselves and this live in our feelings, our deeds and creations as the essence of our being. But never shall we thereby dissociate ourselves from those eternal verities that govern the realities of our physical existence, the dwelling house of our Spirit: the Laws of Nature.
They are the only "Holy Scriptures written by the hand of God."

 

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WOMEN'S LIB.

Modern woman is a frustrated, alienated, exploited, unfulfilled, neurotic, pathetic - commodity. She has been "liberated" from the "drudgery" of housework, only to be relegated to the monotony of daytime television or a mediocre job .She has traded the dangers of child-birth for the hazards of abortion and inadequately researched methods of birth control. She is admonished to be seductively "feminine," but when raped, is blamed for "leading him on" and commanded to "adjust" to the "realities of life." --- Whereas once she was husbanded as a broad-sow, now she is nurtured solely as a sex-object.
The emphasis of "Women's Liberation" is on licence portrayed as freedom -- "Freedom" to do your own thing, to be self-fulfilled and not give a damn about anyone else. What the women lib'ers do not realize is that true self-fulfillment is dependent upon a society able to orient itself and its goals in the direction dictated by its own inner imperative.
Liberation of women from the women's liberation movement should be a prime objective of those concerned with the deliverance of our people and our culture from the destructive forces running rampant in today's "society." Yet anyone wishing to better the sorry plight of modern women is offered only two alternatives. One is the bra-burning extremism by such culture mutilators as Betty Freidan, Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem and Xaviera Hollander. The other is a Middle Eastern view of women as inferior, passive, slightly tainted chattels taken from Adam's rib for the sale purpose of being used by men. Is there no other option?
As Odinists, we believe in seeking guidance from our past to solve the perplexing problems of the present. Let us there fore examine the position of women in Europe prior to the imposition of Christianity on our forefathers.
The womenfolk of our ancestors were not as "free" as some women of today. They had no political rights, could take no part in judicial processes except as witnesses, and were usually subject to the authority of their fathers or husbands. However, they were far more privileged than any women in the rest of the world at that time, and than non-Western women of today.

[Page 10]

Many people do not realize that during the pre-Christian era commonly called the "Viking-Age," all was not slaughter. The Vikings were great traders as well as great warriors. They traveled from Lapland to North Africa, from Newfoundland to the Urals. These activities took many men away from their homes as merchants and fighters, some of them never to return. This meant that their women-folk had to remain behind to manage the domestic affairs of the men. The women's native Nordic abilities, combined with these grave responsibilities, fostered in them a high degree of initiative and independence.
Unlike the current trend of today's society, sex roles were clearly defined. As indicated by the household keys she wore at her belt, the women was supreme in her own sphere.The housewife was in complete charge of servants and everything in the house. Besides caring for the children, doing traditional household tasks and tending the farm animals, women shared in the general occupations and past-times of the household and district.They were instrumental in transmitting medical knowledge and the riddles, poetry, stories, and genealogies that were a source, not only of family entertainment but also of family pride and community solidarity.
In some districts, women had equal right of inheritance with men, and in others, provision was made whereby they received a portion of what a brother would have received, in addition to a dowry. Widows at that time, unlike in later periods of history, could have charge of their own property and could administer that of their children; some widows were rich and important land-owners.
In the area of personal relations, as in other dimensions, Viking women were much freer than their contemporaries in other cultures. Divorce is an excellent example of this; all that was necessary for it to be legally effective was a formal declaration by either spouse. Although subordination of women was at times strictly maintained, there is much evidence to shaw that in general they were respected and given a high degree of personal freedom. In a representative report from the ninth century, al-Ghazal, the Muslim ambassador from Cordova to the Vikings in Ireland, stressed the frank and independent behaviour of Norse women, which was apparently in striking contrast to what he was accustomed to. In the so-called "cradle of civilization," a noted proponent of the Judeo-Christian ethic had called women cesspools and entrappers of men; such attitudes coloured the treatment of females. In whatever area this new belief was promulgated.
We can look at the Valkyries for further indications of the self-reliance of women. These warrior maidens selected the best warriors to take to Valhalla in the service of Odin pending the ultimate destruction known as Ragnarok; on occasion, they took an active part in earthly hostilities, as did Brynhild in a famous battle commemorated by Wagner. The Valkyries were part of the mythology of our forefathers, and therefore in some respects considered to be ideals. While perhaps not representative of women as a whole, their creation was probably the result of some incident in real life; for example, in the tenth century a woman was said to be the leader of a group of Vikings in Ireland, and there are other legends of fierce and imperious women that must certainly have had some basis in reality.
Outstanding women, real or legendary must have done something to lift the status of women in general. Yet, in those predominantly agricultural times, that status must have been essentially maintained by the intelligent and active farmer's wife of good stock, sure of her position and powers, a type we often meet in the sagas of the Icelanders. These women belonged deeply to the total life of their people.
The "deprived" women of today seem to be solely concerned with what they can get out of society, rather than with doing whet they can to improve our society and assist society as a whole to reach a superior destiny.
The Women's Movement of the future must look to the past for guidance; it should not be a crusade which inscribes on its banner as its objective the fight against man, but rather a driving force which sets as its program the common fight of woman together with man: We must have women who fight for the common life, in the service of the common task of maintaining life; who in that community do not set their gaze on rights which an alien mentality sets before their eyes, but rather on duties which nature imposes on all of our people in common.

 

 



Reenactment at the Centennial Pageant, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1925,
photo taken from The Promise of America


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