Monday, March 9, 2015

A model of folkishness

Imagine a tribal religion, with its roots in an ancient tradition that adapts to the modern era. Yet its adherents maintain a folkish cohesiveness.

It is a religion based on ancestry. It is the faith of their ancestors, and they pay homage to the great leaders and heroes of their past, as recorded in their sagas and stories.

They jealously guard their folkish identity. Mixed marriages are frowned upon, and anyone wanting to join who does not share their ancestry has to go through literally years of education and ritual before being allowed to join the folk.

They have a robust magical tradition, but it's neither expected nor encouraged that everyone will embrace it.

They have a collection of foundational texts to rely on, but also a rich tradition of folklore, custom, and a richly coherent sub-culture of their own. But theirs is not a monolithic culture; there are a myriad of sub-cultures within it.

They are considered mainstream, yet still manage to maintain a distinct while at the same time embracing (for the most part) the culture-at-large. But they don't let the larger culture overwhelm them.

Sounds like a good model for a folkish religion, doesn't it? It absolutely is, and it's something that folkish Asatruar should look on as a model. Of course, there's a certain core of folkish Asatruar who are, to put it gently, never going to do that because they're too enamored of documentaries about World War II and tend to rely on the word "Aryan" a lot, but let's hope they don't steer the direction of our faith.

It can be done. If the Jews did it, we can too.

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