As soon as you name something you destroy part of it’s vital essence. That being said, words have power and are useful for communicating ideas. For all practical purposes, we call ourselves Heathens, meaning we honor the beliefs and practices of Pre-Christian Europe.
If you look up ‘Heathen’ in a dictionary you will get various responses, mostly explaining it as “irreligious; unenlightened; rude; ignorant; uncultured; one who does not believe in God.” Which is a pretty religio-centric point of view. Actually, we believe Heathenism to be full of culture, learning, and spiritual beliefs. As opposed to not believing in God, we believe in the existence of many Gods and Goddesses who keep us company, guide, and protect us. We trust our ancestral knowledge, and give testament to the old ways.
You might ask why we do this, why look backwards for answers?
Isn’t it so much easier to just have one God to answer to? Shouldn’t we just keep moving ever onward and forward? What about all of the conveniences of our modern age? Haven’t advances in medicine and agriculture, manufacturing and telecommunications, improved our world?
We don’t deny the age we live in, but we consistently find ourselves in opposition to the views and beliefs adhered to by modern, industrial culture. Industrialized society pays heed to ideologies that we find contrary to our survival, including a devotion to materialistic rather than cultural or spiritual values, progress at any price, quantity over quality, convenience rather than conscious responsibility for our actions. All degenerative moral values which cause waste and pollution, and which encourage arrogance and isolation, and eventually a loss of soul.
There has been a trend to conquer and assimilate, which we have observed marching on from the Roman Empire. A modernization process that spreads like a cancer (indeed cancer is unheard of in indigenous cultures). It puts the wants of the few over the needs of the many. It takes our language, our stories, our beliefs, our foods, and our land. It steals our belief in ourselves, our hearts, minds, bodies, and then our souls.
It has been consistently shown that as each group of people gives up the traditions of their ancestors, they invite the deterioration and destruction of physical and mental health, social structure, spirituality, the land and resources they depend on, and general well-being.
We have been taught that before the law and order of city states, the morality of Judeo-Christian religion, and the advancements of Western medicine, that people were sick animals who lived short, miserable, and violent lives. It’s not true. If you study the findings of Dr. Weston Price, who traveled extensively around the world observing the last vestiges of truly indigenous culture, you’ll find that the evidence does not support this statement. People who maintained their traditional diets of natural, organic, unprocessed, cultured foods lived to a ripe old age of 100-150! They were content and healthy, they had no physicians. They had upstanding morals and lived their lives without shame. They had no need to covet what their neighbors had, their doors had no locks. As each group of people consumed the homogenized and refined foods and culture of the industrial age, a process of decay began. He found that even over one generation the number of cases of birth defects, mental illness, depression, tooth decay, and degenerative diseases multiplied exponentially. After all, we are what we eat.
Technology is a tool and must be used properly, to support the growth and integrity of the people who it serves. It should not replace the wisdom of our traditions, or our spiritual and cultural values. The misuse of technology has wreaked destruction on our land and our people. Our ancestors knew that everything is connected. As the soil is poisoned, the trees cut down, and our crops blighted, so our souls are suffering. Our ancestors knew that the best way to fight disease is to remain healthy! The roots of our soul tree have withered and so we are sick. There is no miracle cure, no savior is coming to absolve us! Let us instead feed our roots by honoring the traditions and beliefs of those whose blood is the sap that fills our veins. Let us drink from that well and be nourished!
~ HEX magazine