The Purpose of Prefexing Religion With Folk, Natural, Indigenous, Traditional, Ethnic, Cultural, Etc.

Written by Dyami Millarson

When one says Germanic religion, that is just that – a religion that is defined by whatever Germanic means. However, when one prefixes religion with folk, natural, indigenous, traditional, ethnic, cultural, etc. one adds a new flavour to what religion means, and this may offer a fresh perspective that helps us improve our fundamental understanding of Germanic religion. So what we are looking for with these prefixed descriptors is gaining new perspectives that help enlighten us on the nature of Germanic religion. Another added bonus is the fact that the familiar-sounding word religion itself is not substituted, yet the connotation is changed.

When speaking of Germanic folk religion, Germanic natural religion, Germanic indigenous religion, Germanic traditional religion, Germanic traditional religion, Germanic ethnic religion, Germanic cultural religion, Germanic legal religion, etc. we are proposing equally valid alternate perspectives on Germanic religion and all of these perspectives have merit as they highlight or zoom in on a different aspect of the religion. The very nature of Germanic religion allows for this multitude of perspectives, and we should not be afraid to play with it and even have fun switching between different perspectives, as it deepens our understanding.

The ultimate purpose of this admittedly playful and fun approach is not just to entertain ourselves and the readers, but ultimately it is about learning to understand Germanic paleopaganism properly; we are trying to remove our own biases by highlighting various pristine associations – perhaps looking like contradictions to us – that exist within the religion. Changing between a variety of perspective namely has the advantage of opening our eyes to how religion penetrated the entirety of Germanic society.

Whilst Germanic religion is undoubtedly all-encompassing and spans across the entirety of Germanic existence, we cannot understand what it means to be Germanic without seeking to understand Germanic religion; being Germanic – or what it means to be Germanic – cannot properly be separated from Germanic religion. As Germanic religion is ‘everything that it means to be Germanic’ while it is everywhere in Germanic society, we must presuppose overlap that works like a vortex that cannot be escaped.

In other words, it is like the event horizon of a black hole which is inescapable. If we look at Germanic society from the outside, we see and feel an emptiness that is hard to define; we keep grasping at straws as we try to define what it is we are seeing. That is why we may symbolically see Germanic society as a black hole, it is a Ginnungap, an empty abyss that we can hardly comprehend. Continuing this black hole analogy, being Germanic is itself the event horizon, everything that is Germanic is connected and cannot be separated. Owing to the inescapable overlap that is inherent to the Germanic religious worldview or philosophy; as a result, every system of religion that is meant to help us understand Germanic religion is necessarily synonymous with Germanic religion itself (see my previous article).

Whilst Germanic religion was so deeply ingrained among the early Germanic tribes, it is inevitable that it survived in various forms. Similarly, Chinese religion survived in various forms despite the rise of Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism. Various prefixes are applied to Chinese religion to differentiate it from those last three philosophies, and while our use of prefixes may also serve the purpose of differentiating from other philosophies prevalent in the West, really the main purpose for us is benefiting from the various perspectives that are offered – or conjured up – by the various terms that may be prefixed to religion.

Each prefix creates a new connotation or association that may inspire us and help us get a better intuitive grasp of Germanic religion. Since Germanic religion is as complex as it is, we cannot hope to ever fully intellectually understand it, but what we can hope for is to get an intuitive grasp such that we can be in harmony with the genuine tradition of the paleopagans who practised Germanic religion in their daily lives. Our goal is to get closer to the paleopagans and thus removing biases is vital; we have to embrace whatever it meant to be Germanic in the past and we have to let go of our modern ideologies which limit our understanding of the ancient world. Piecing together the ancient worldview that characterised Germanic religion means fitting pristine Germanic information into the matrix of our own worldview, as only then we can fully empathise with Germanic religion as it was. One has to live a philosophy or religion to truly understand it; Germanic religion is no exception.

Published by Operation X

Operation X is a team of innovative language learners who wish to save, promote and study indigenous languages, integrate culturally and linguistically and philosophically with the respective language communities and earn community membership through hard work aimed at adopting and respecting the existing linguistic, cultural and philosophical norms of each community, and finally make each language thus acquired one of the official languages of the non-profit "Foundation Operation X for languages, cultures and perspectives." The languages that our non-profit Foundation officially recognises include (but are not limited to) Klaaifrysk, Wâldfrysk, Aasters, Westers, Eilaunders, Hielepes, Mòlkòrres, Seeltersk, Wangerōgersc, Harlingerland Frisian, Wursten Frisian, Upgant Frisian, Hâtstinge frêsh, Brêkleme frêsh, Trölstruper Freesch, Hoolmer Freesch, Hoorninger Fräisch, Bêrgeme frêsh, Halifreesk, Ingsbüllinge frėsh, Risemer Frasch, Naischöspeler Freesk, Hoorblinger Freesk, Halunder, Amring, Aasdring, Weesdring, Söl'ring, Hogelandster Grunnegers, Oostfreesk, and övdalsk.

6 thoughts on “The Purpose of Prefexing Religion With Folk, Natural, Indigenous, Traditional, Ethnic, Cultural, Etc.

  1. Understand, by no means do I mean any mockery by asking. But is a truly Paleopagan outlook possible? How far can one go in untangling themselves from this world our fathers and theirs have give us?

    It may seem silly to even peradventure the thought, but the draw for me is toward trying to understand the Lithics and their influence on what become Germanic, Celtic etc permutations of what might be the Proto Indo European religion. Obviously there’s much less written document to base oneself off of. Still, the draw is there. I try to incorporate elements of that into my praxis, and I try to contrive how they might have effected thought in successive waves of Germanic cultures to have interacted with and incorporated these elements into lore – as did, it seems, the rest of Europe as we know it and quite possibly beyond.

    Jean Markale, a Breton I believe, writes a marvelously thought provoking book. I tend to remain cool toward his Christian sympathies, but nonetheless his information is provocative if waxing towards his highly developed Celtic knowledge base.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are asking an intelligent question! Since I have been applying various analytical methods to pry into the history of languages (particularly Frisian languages since 2016), I am aware that we may use the same methods to study historical religion. What is useful for the historical study of language is useful for the historical study of language as well. My opinion about language is that the best way to analyse language is to actually learn the language and actually use it; I have the same opinion about the analysis of religion. Similarly, I believe that philosophy should not just be an exercise in abstract thought, but it should be lived in order to be tried and tested.

      I treat languages and religions as objects that may be studied in the same ways, as their acquisition after a human being’s birth runs along similar lines as well. What I mean by acquisition is that human beings learn languages and religions through imitation; they do not just internalise it for passive knowledge, but they also actively use it. Humans learn by doing like other humans, and this is still possible if we use the right methods.
      So, given my experience with historical languages, I believe that a genuinely paleopagan outlook is possible.

      When we follow a paleopagan path, history becomes reversed and that is fate; the past influences the present and the present influences the past, according to the ancient cyclical view of time. It does not require us to deny everything that came after paleopaganism, yet it does serve a purpose to point out what is not Germanic and what is genuinely Germanic from a paleopagan perspective. Our modern fathers and forefathers have made contributions to the revival of Germanic paleopaganism, as I have documented last year in my articles on the role of Protestantism. It is a centuries-long process where we are starting to reconnect with the sensitivities of our ancient forebears, and our modern ancestors have had an essential role in that, particularly in developing analytical methodologies.

      Here are my articles on how Protestantism has paved the way for a paleopagan renaissance:

      The Role of Protestantism in the Pagan Resurgence

      The Centuries of the Oppression of Paganism

      I am curious as to your thoughts on this ironical turn of history; we drifted away from paganism and then we are moving back towards it in full circle, which may be seen as the completion of an ancient cyclical ritual bringing about the coming of age of our culture or civilisation.

      Christianity has gradually declined in Germanic Europe soon after the adoption of Protestantism, and this may be analysed as a slow yet natural increase in opportunities for Germanic paganism. The ironical turn of history which now favours the return of German paganism if we tread carefully is not just a mere coincidence, it is ørlög; the destined return of the ancestral religion was written in the stars and could be seen in all other omens.

      After the destruction of the world during Ragnarok, the world returns with the Gods; polytheism is renewed. We have entered the era of renewal, where we are returning to our original state of innocence. If we listen to our feelings – as well as our innate intuition – we can become fully like our ancient forebears; this spiritual power rests within all of us, waiting to be awakened by the right learning as well as the willingness to apply what we have learned.

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      1. I like the way you write. It’s hopeful, and certain, but without bluster. I don’t have the same acumen for speech or language as you have – but I understand what you mean – even a small understanding of Old English, German and Danish as I have has entrenched my understanding of Religion as inseparable from Language. Certainly these have deepened my understanding of English (both the language and peoples) contextually.

        I will surely look at your articles on Protestantism. And I will let you know what I think there, with a little more organisation than my rambling herem I’ve often thought of the “void” (or Ginungagap as you sagely put it) produced by dechristianisation as a means by which the Folksoul can seek to rehabilitate Herself. What with a kind of amateurish idolatry being the natural wellspring of Protestant inspired (classical) Nationalism; Germania becoming the icon of Deutschland, Brittania of England, etc etc. In my own region of New England, when Protestantism became Transcendentalism I think there were very Pagan undertones. I’ll add some shameless self-promotion down below. I don’t think I’d written anything monstrously inflammatory.

        So I wonder, if maybe all this fumbling around in the dark is the Folksoul’s way of guiding us back to Centre. I certainly don’t believe in coincidences, no. Return to Innocence. That has such a sublime ring to it. It would be crass and unkind of me to label Cynicism a Roman invention, even if the argument can be made – it is a natural response, but it seems wholly unnatural. And it would be truly blissful to enter an era where constant Apology was not required, nor explanation or any of it.


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