We often have conversations about our ancestors, our elders, matriarchs, and death. We often refer to the arch-heathens, and attempt to explain the worldview of heathenry as a revival of the worldview of the arch-heathen. This always comes back to a mention of your tribe, or an ancient tribe, or in many cases a confederation of ancient tribes. When we talk about the arch-heathens we are always talking about groups of humans living on the European continent, yet they are not European. We are always talking about people with lighter skin tones, yet they aren’t white. The terms white and European would be entirely foreign to the arch heathen. Not only would they be foreign, but the way we use them today they would be insulting.
White is a term widely used on the north american continent, it groups all people who have ancestors from another continent under one umbrella, and in many circles is used as a call to arms. The use of “white” as a call to arms is an attempt to establish a narrative of kinship. They are claiming “I look like you, we are of the same people.” This completely ignores that these same people, who will claim that multi-culturalism is causing a “white genocide,” are gleefully consigning the diverse ethnicities of Europe to the abyss of Historical Irrelevance. t. There are some famous heathens who instead of saying “white” will claim that they are concerned for “European” peoples, yet when put to the task all they claim is that geography is somehow the biggest piece of ethnicity. To these people being able to claim that someone in their family line was born on the European continent is the most important claim in their spirituality. The desperation to belong has lead to the forced homogenization of culture that is quickly subsuming the last vestiges of ethnic identity left to heathens.
Heathenry is an umbrella term, not one that is particularly old, which covers many different religions from many different peoples.. Lets look, albeit briefly, at the different tribes we know of, at the diversity that cultural homogenizers would hide behind the terms “white”, and “European.” Tacitus writes of distinct groups such as the Angles, of Anglo-Saxon fame, the Buri from the southern area near modern poland, the Chasuarii north east of the Rhine, and the Quadi who migrated into western Slovakia. Meanwhile Julius Caesar lists the Charudes, from Jutland, the Condrusi from Belgium, and Eburones from the Netherlands. Seven distinct and different cultures, seven different tribes that would have warred, traded, and intermarried. Seven distinct ethnicities lost to the term “European.” These weren’t some homogeneous culture of white people living in a white man’s paradise, these were distinct ethnic groups. Their religions would have been similar, but distinctly their own, with their own gods, rituals, and leaders. They would have felt no brotherhood for anyone not of their tribe, they would have scoffed at a modern leader who called out for the preservation of “white people.”
I will say it again, I am not proud to be white. I am not proud of my genetic markers that make my skin pale. I am proud of my efforts to bring the practices of the Saxons, Angles, Jutes, and so many more back into the world. I am proud to work towards contributing to the heritage of my elders. I am proud to be a descendant of veterans, sheriffs, and even thieves and sailors. The least important, amazing, or noteworthy thing about my bloodline is our pale skin. We are men and women who come from Scottish, Saxon, African, and First nations heritages, we have forged a family through the fires of time from many lands and places, and the blood of my forefathers and mothers flows strong in my veins. That same story is true of you, you are the product of generations of people making it, generations of individuals, of different tribes scratching out an existence on this hostile blue ball we call home. What need do you have of this arbitrary false tribe hood called “white”?
I said earlier that identifying as “white” strips us of our heritage. By calling yourself white, and setting yourself against, or at least apart from, anyone not white, you’re unilaterally expanding your tribe to encompass anyone who looks like you. You end up trading the security of tradition, for mewling masses who do not share those bonds of tradition. You go from being able to identify your own, to not knowing Tom, Dick, or Harry is out to hurt your family because he has no loyalty. You trade the reasoned discussion among a small trusted cadre, to the unyielding fear of the herd. How many of us, americans specifically, know the traditions, and stories of our own people? I didn’t grow up on stories of Saxon Heroes, Gaelic Maidens, or Modoc warriors. I grew up on Power Rangers, RugRats, and Jesus. There is no secret conspiracy at play here, but rather generations of expanding “whiteness” erasing and rewriting our heritage from a varied and diverse menagerie into a bland, monocolor, mass monoculture. Of all the European cultures to make their homes on this continent few have retained their individuality, and of those only the Amish are well known. The English, Irish, Dutch, Swedish, and Spanish traditions that were brought to these shores have been blended and washed away under the idea of “whiteness.”
How has this manifested for heathens? In America Icelanders and Norwegians are a minority, yet most of the heathenry practiced by predominantly English, and German descended americans is Norse. Theological points are expected to be uniform, but there is no ragnarok for the AS heathen, or the Swede, Oðinn and Woden are treated the same but as a friend has pointed out the two are quite different. Some gods get ignored entirely. This white washing has also caused traditions that could be revived, to be… malformed.. For example, Galdr, often done as “runic galdr” in today’s heathen world, in which Men and women will stand in a circle and chant the name of a rune . Galdr to the Anglo-Saxon was a poem or song of power. The titular “Nine Herbs Charm” was a galdr, there were galdr’s to ward travel and galdr’s to save one from being elf shot. Currently the only people openly talking about and using this form of Gladr are the Theodsmen, yet I can’t count the number of groups who are shorting themselves by not using this wonderful form of ritual.
Perhaps you don’t want this diversity, perhaps you want the same recognition as Christians, with their standardized orthodoxy. Maybe you are okay with bland; bland is safe. Bland doesn’t hurt feelings. If you are fine with bland, safe, homogenized reality, by all means embrace whiteness, this overbroad caricature of culture. There is a reason the language used by its promoters incites rage and fear, for without heavy emotions, without making you feel like a victim on the defense, it has no depth. If you want to save and promote your heritage, ditch the fear, ditch “white,” and take pride in your last name, in your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, learn about your ancient kin and build on the foundations they left us. Be heathen and honor your roots, your people, not your skin color.