Written by Dyami Millarson
This encyclopedia defines worldview as follows: “World view is one of a number of concepts in cultural anthropology used in the holistic characterization and comparison of cultures. It deals with the sum of ideas which an individual within a group and/or that group have of the universe in and around them.” Ancient peoples made their cultural contributions by bringing their own unique collectively agreed up thoughts to the table, which were inherited from the ancestors and dutifully transmitted; the Romans provided their own perspective known as interpretātiō Rōmāna, the Greeks their own perspective known as interpretātiō Graeca, and likewise the Germanic-speaking population had their own perspective, which we may call interpretātiō Germānica.
When comparing religions, it is an art to see things the Germanic polytheist way. I regard it, therefore, as an artistic endeavour to compare, for example, Greco-Roman folk religion, Ostyak folk religion, Surinamese folk religion, Nenets folk religion, Yoruba folk religion, Kartvelian folk religion, Hawaiian folk religion, and so on with Germanic folk religion. In other words, interpretātiō Germānica Germanic interpretation, which is a Germanic folk religious characterisation and comparison of religions, is an art; Germanic interpretation is itself an ancient method of analysis, which may be compared to how Mircea Eliade makes sense of shamanism — as seen in his monumental work on that topic — by comparing it with Germanic paganism. After all, the Germanic ancestors must have made sense of the unfamiliar through the familiar: when they were presented with new information, they would have sought to fit it inside their worldview.
The Germanic ancestors must have looked at the Gods and rites of other ancient peoples, and thought to themselves: they are just like us, they are worshipping our Gods with different names and they are ostensibly giving blood sacrifices to our Gods. One way of studying Germanic religion is providing a Germanic perspective on other religions; for that helps to reveal what Germanic religion is essentially equal to or separate from. From a Germanic polytheist perspective, many peoples around the world are essentially practising Germanic folk religion or what istensibly looks like Germanic folk religion; for it is important to find out what the religions look look like when interpreting them through a Germanic folk religious lens.
Of course, there are also practices that incompatible with Germanic religion. It is also useful to identify those. Yet, what matters for the Germanic paleopagan perspective is finding in what ways religions are essentially the same as Germanic paleopaganism; what elements in religions which can be studied prove the universality of the core tenets in Germanic folk religion? What articles of religion show that the truths of Germanic religion are universal?
These are questions old pagan thinkers would certainly have concerned themselves with in interactions with foreign religions, and trying to answer those questions will help unravel paleopagan logic as well as explain Germanic religion as it relates to other religions in the world; for, from a Germanic paleopagan point of view, all primordial religions are ultimately Germanic religion.