Friday, October 06, 2006

What I'm reading

Worthy reads from around the Pagan web:

At beliefnet, a fine interview with the founder of the Asatru Folk Assembly, Stephen McNallen. He's an eloquent voice for this little-known, oft-misunderstood Pagan faith. I think Wiccans could learn from the explicit honoring of ancestors that we find in Asatru, Yoruba, and Druidry. I don't hear many Wiccans speak of the ancestors except, of course, at Samhain.

Update (11/17/06): Please see Al Billings's comment, below, about McNallen's tacit acceptance of racism in Asatru. If McNallen is to be taken at his word in the beliefnet article, he doesn't condone racism and doesn't see it as having any place in Asatru. Billings, who has personal history in Asatru, says otherwise. I in no way accept, condone, or tolerate racism or anti-Semitism. They aren't part of any "faith" I recognize. I actively support and work toward the end of oppression and discrimination of all kinds.

Molly of Green Hope Farm offers a lovely essay about this year's flower essence from her Venus Garden.

Is it ethical to not worry and be happy? What binds us to worry and unhappiness? Illusion or truth? Can we unravel this dynamic and find a freedom to love ourselves just the way we are, accept the world just as it is, and know that happiness is a moral as well as joyful choice?
The Alignment Garden helps us know our precise work in world. It helps us align with our divinity so that we can live this purpose. It is not about mind ideas of life purpose but soul truth. It sorts this wheat from this chaff so that we are clear about what is and isn’t our life work and who we are. Don’t Worry- Bee Happy [the essence] supports us to let go of that which is not our work. It helps us let go of the self judgment and guilt that would make us feel responsible for most of the planet’s woes. It helps us to know that being who we are, living the life divinity created just for us, and enjoying this life is not just enough, it is what is meant to be. The concept of judgment is left behind in an experience of grace. And happiness.

Kim Antieau has published the first page of her new, in-the-works novel, Ruby's Imagine, on her site.

Dianne Sylvan has two excellent posts, one on "Advanced Wicca" and the state of Wiccan writing (more of my thoughts on that later) and another on personal spiritual practice and priorities. Dianne's long, intelligent posts are gifts to the thinking Witch and other intellectually curious sorts.

And finally, what do you call a fourth-degree Gardnerian? A Buddhist. For a personal story about the journey from Wicca to Buddhism, read Al's post about his pursuit of mystery.

Happy surfing!


dawn marie said...

i will check them out.


Al Billings said...

Unfortunately, McNallen is known for his tacit, if not explicit, acceptance of racists and nazis in Asatru. He's one of the key leaders for the "Folkish" groups within it. "Folkish" is a code phrase for "We tolerate racism and nazis."

McNallen and his ilk were one of the key reasons that many of us got nowhere trying to keep the racists out of Asatru (until most of us finally gave up).

Inanna said...

Thank you, Al, for this information. I'll amend the main body of the post accordingly. I don't know anything about McNallen except what he said in this article. I in no way support, condone, or tolerate racism or anti-Semitism, whether under the guise of religion or not.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Billings is not an unbiased source for information on this. Personally, I think identifying folkish Asatru as toleration for Nazis and racists is libelous. I'd recommend you dog a little deeper rather than relying on the word of a bitter man with an agenda.

M Odinsdatter said...

To the owner of this blog! I would certainly be careful when hearing what Billings has to say, he is a hater himself apparently. We are trying to beat racism and Billings is just adding his own ill founded two cent into this mix.

Who is Al Billings anway. He is cited claiming McNallen is a racist
and the reason *the rest* of the Asatru folk just gave up trying to
keep racism out of Asatru. I am offended that he thinks he is speaking
on the behalf of the entire realm of Astrau folk. I always and always
and always will fight racism and will always always always try to
reclaim the name Asatru without white supremacy being the first thing
to pop to societies minds! Annnnnd, I will have a good row with any
white supremist who throws this trash in my face, your face, any face! Like wise it is trash talk that he claims McNallen is racist for this IS NOT the case, please read on.

Also, that the word folkish is a code word for some secret sect of
Asatruar racism? I was under the impression that folkish just simply
meant a mind set that if your blood is not the right line you
certainly can not be Asatru. Now, while this does lean towards
exclusion I myself do not see this as being racist. Certainly anyone
can be Asatru if one so chooses to learn and hold troth with the gods,
perhaps some have to learn from the outside while others learn from
the inside. Doesn't make anyone better or worse, just different.

I myself am a Heathen against hate and am just as rightfully offended
that one would have the audacity to use Odhinn as an excuse to procure
and spread their filthy views of hatred as I do with those that use
His name in credence with you know who! Lets not even get into Hitler
and his supposed occult ordeals, isn't the sigia of Othila still
against the law in parts of Germany?

Is maintaining pride in ones heritage a crime of racism now? If so I
think the folkish Asatruar are the LEAST of the globes problem on this
count. I myself am an American Mutt ......however, I aim to the end
that I have the freedom to be proud of my Swedish roots without being
racist. I have the right to say that my Swedish (and some English
(Mutt mix in itself) roots give me a connection to my gods without
being racist.

I feel the folkish (term based on said understanding of exclusion
opposed to racism) have the right to feel how they feel without being
viewed as white supremest! Just because someone says, "Oh, you can't
be Asatru for real because you are, oh say,Native American" Does NOT
mean "I hate you because you are not of Scandinavian decent."


The Acid Queen said...

My apologies for leaping into the fray three months late, but I felt I should chip in my two cents.

I do not agree with Mr. McNallen on all things--and I am well-aware of things that he has said in the past out of what I have come to understand was more than likely naivete rather than true malice--but he's far from being a racist or blindly accepting of same.

There are more than a few Anglicans in the world who are racist--does that mean that Bishop Desmond Tutu is a racist or that "Anglican" is just a code-word for "we tolerate racism and Nazis"? Of course not.

Rather than simply taking one man's word for it, it would be wiser in my opinion to go to the Asatru Folk Assembly's website ( and read the AFA's official position for yourself.