Identity & European Religion

This article was originally published at Sigurd-Strong.

Often, we are unwittingly faced with a strange phenomenon, which incites self-doubt and suspicion, only because we cannot see what is being missed. The question is: how can Indo-Europeans Traditionalists reconcile following foreign monotheistic faiths (the three Abrahamic religions) whilst maintaining their folk traditions and identity? Somehow, Christianity has gone under the radar and taken upon itself a cloak of assimilation – it seems that many folk I come across, from many parts of Europe, believe it to be somehow intrinsic, a last vestige of morality and proper behaviour and the patron of art and music. Admittedly, Christianity had something to do with the rise in intellectualism, which is positive in some respects, but upon its escalation, the values of strength and individual spirituality suffered deeply, and this is evident in our society. Furthermore, upon the decline of the Roman Empire, ‘intellectualism’ apparently tipped the scales into ‘backwardness’ and hence plunged us into the ‘Dark Ages’, to which Roman Catholicism arguably holds great liability. Perhaps the Roman and Greek gods took their might and vivacity with them upon their eviction.

The ‘Viking Era’ ended with William the Conqueror, and from then it seems a steady global downward slope into a situation where wars are fought with the words of old men in offices and young, strong but apparently expendable men are sent out in their stead to die for those words.

Christianity’s slow seeping invasion began in the 1st century in Greece and Rome; then Britain with Augustine (though it is believed it existed before his political use of the religion); then Scandinavia between the 8th and 12th century and so the pollution spread – through conversions generally established either for political motives or as shameless trends.

Islam’s armies were not as successful, and after invading the Iberian Peninsula, they spent 23 years conquering and expanding into France, other former Roman provinces and the Persian Empire, then began the seven century conquest of the Byzantine Empire. However their crusade ultimately faltered at the hands of Charles Martel in France. Though Martel and apparently everyone else was a raging Christian by now, at least that tidal wave did not manage to settle and integrate so insidiously, that it appears to the naked eye as if it were here all along.

Somehow along the line, “Europe” and “Christianity” have become synonymous; though Islam is evidently ill-fitting to most Europeans, as most of Europe’s Muslim community are migrants, or born of immigrant families, unlike Christians. Is it not a glaring fact that Islam and the Judaic religions were conceived and born to the same desert? Are their attitudes and ethics not uncannily alike?

Firstly, I’d like to draw attention to the attitudes towards non-believers, as written in the sacred texts of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In Matthew 15 of the New Testament, Jesus turns away a ‘Gentile’ (non-Jew) and says:

"It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs."

To which the woman replies:

"Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.

Secondly, the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament):

Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God – Exodus 34:12-14

And lastly:

Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous. - Quran 9:12

These monotheistic, organised religions with their unique objective (simply, to spread) clearly stem from the same tree, with their unanimous call for ‘submission’ (which ‘Islam’ actually translates as). Any person not of Middle Eastern descent who begs at the table of a master or god who sullies them so, is truly lost. The attitude toward ‘gentiles’ and ‘goyim’ is clear throughout these various texts, they are religions of slavery, the enthralled are kept in spiritual penury, led by gods clawing at power – discouraging any form of passion and self-betterment.

My qualm is that many of those who revere their traditional identity do not look to their history books to delve into that identity. Pre-Christian Europe was writhing with the power of the old gods - the soil, the skies, the sea and the forests were all teeming with power and significance to our ancestors, there were lessons to be heard and fears to be conquered, but now the natural world is either purely for resources or worse ignored, and yet the world is heaving with ‘religion.'

Some may believe that time has certified these religions ‘European’, and the ensuing multiculturalism is respect for all faiths and races, though interestingly with a rather perverse self-loathing attached (in the case of Europeans). However, with a dash of foresight, you may come to see that this merging of every aspect of identity creates a murky identity crisis, where traditions and ancestry are layers down under our feet and often shunned, resulting in the quest for individuality being expressed through hair styles and clothing brands, or further still through sexuality and fantasy. Identity is respecting and being proud of a one’s ancestral history, which is based primarily on native ‘religion’; and this applies to everyone, everywhere.

Native Indo-European religion is ripe with gods and spirits that make sense to us, the beliefs and values that are illustrated in the myths, sagas and poetry of our spiritual culture ring true with us, they are easy to comprehend, and unlike Christianity, it is not a constant battle with your instinct and will. The attraction to organised religion for an adopted ‘moral compass’ and a sense of order is understandable in this era, however this sought after morality is unavoidable with genuine respect for nature and a sense of tribal kinship, and ultimately when your inspiration comes from heroes and legends. The lessons and lore within the Eddas for example, encourage strength, experience and honour – above all, they are inspirational:

The sluggard believes | he shall live forever, If the fight he faces not; But age shall not grant him | the gift of peace, Though spears may spare his life. – 16. Havamal

The innumerable gods and spirits that breathe across Europe are the many faces of nature – the seasons, the animals, the trees, the emotions and lives of her children. Your spiritual journey with these gods and goddesses is entirely yours and your existence is not picking up crumbs, but hunting and fighting for your own livelihood; taking inspiration from the legends and folk tales of your lands. Monotheism lacks all mystery and nature is made plausible through being a creation of ‘God’, these types of religion spread because they neglect the natural environment of the follower, the god is outside of our world, and thus nature is insensate. Modernity and monotheism, being the antithesis of the pre-Christian values of heroism and wildness (see Nietzsche’s ‘Anti-Christ’), work well together in their neglect of nature – existing inside safe, man-made structures and man-made dogmas which are therefore transferable across nations, free of the identity and mystery that your homeland offers, better yet – imposes.

In my experience, attachment to ones heritage within a nation suffering from identity failure is the seed of neo-tribalism – a natural urge to belong and have a rewarding, worthwhile trade and role within your community, a community that shares intrinsic beliefs and worldview. This urge is not being satisfied in modern society, we have become infantile and solitary - alienated from our surroundings and terrified of discomfort. It is a dangerous thing to be united, to have an alliance outside of Government influence where loyalty and brotherhood are principal and the group is impossible to infiltrate, where you rely on each other for support and subsistence. So folk tradition is demonized, identity is pre-packed and our religions are anti-spiritual. Tribalism is a result that our society fears, so our political and social rulers attempt to suck your very individuality from you and create a world community, by encouraging homogeneity and mediocrity through adherence to modern culture.

However, one should take consolation from the words of Julius Evola:

One should not become fixated on the present and on things at hand, but keep in view the conditions that may come about in the future. Thus the principle to follow could be that of letting the forces and processes of this epoch take their own course, while keeping oneself firm and ready to intervene when 'the tiger, which cannot leap on the person riding it, is tired of running.

By reducing your involvement in modern culture, and stepping out into the wilderness around you, you may begin to nurture an inherent love and relationship with the land, opening yourself to wild and ‘wyrd’ and perhaps realising that the ever unpopular folk culture of your ancestors is an innate paganism. The aforementioned structures, both spiritually and physically that divide us from the natural world will eventually fall, the meek will not inherit the Earth – and you will meet your maker: the wilderness – unflinching and unconcerned by your offence to her natural law; unaffected by the illusory citadel you’ve assembled about yourself forged of social ideals and romanticised concepts of entitlement.