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Europe And Europe's Soul

In the ancient times only the Athenians with a property, a piece of land, had the right to vote. In Scandinavia on the other hand a mere property was not enough. Only those who had owned a property for several generations had the right to vote. These properties were called óðal properties. The symbol of such a property was the High Seat of the family's head. This seat was a symbol of the noble peasant's rights and not even the king had the right to violate his rights. We know this seat from the rune sign called oþila, shown below, that is a picture of the High Seat.


oþila

This custom is known even from the prehistoric times, when óðal properties were called oþila properties, like the rune sign. Óðal is Norse and derives from Proto-Norse oþila that translates as allodial possession. Those who owned such a property made up the nobility of the ancient society. The modern Scandinavian word noble, adel, derives from Norse óðal, and even today we still call such properties odel properties. Odel naturally derives from Norse óðal too.

The High Seat was placed in the north-eastern corner in the main building on the farm, because the dead were buried north of the farm and because the Sun rose in the east. It was known as ándveget (the spirit way) because the spirits of the dead family members visited the living each High Festival. Pictures of the dead were placed in the high seat, that worked as a portal for the dead.

The óðal property was inextricably linked to the kin. This was the land where the kin's blood had fertilized the soil for generations. This land was nourished by the dead and maintained by the living. The head of the kin didn't have the right to sell the property unless all family members agreed to sell it. They all had the right to veto and the right to purchase the land for a fair price if the kin wanted to sell it. The oldest son always inherited the right to run the farm when the head of the family died, but was not allowed to sit in the High Seat until he had given a promise of loyalty to the rights of the kin and drank the Bragi cup - a toast where he made a promise to the kin.

East of the farms, on hills and mountains, they celebrated the Sun, and by the nearest holy source or river they celebrated the Moon. All the High Festivals were centred around the ancient deities; Sunna (the Sun), Máni (the Moon), Týr, Óðinn, Þórr, Freyja/Freyr, Heimdallr, and so forth. Mother Earth - called Jörðr - was celebrated by the many horgs (ancient stone temples/altars) and other High Festivals took place in the hofs, the great halls of the lords, or in alvesirkler (elf circles), natural circles in the ground.

Apart from the Sun and the Moon the most important deities were Þórr, the god of loyalty, Freyja and Freyr, the goddess and the god of love, Heimdallr, the god of mercy, and Óðinn, the god of war and magic, eloquence and death.

The dead went to Hel, like Baldr and Íðunn did in the mythology, but they also went to Ásgarðr; to Valhalla, Sessrýmnir, Bilskírnir or some other divine dwelling. There is no conflict here, as the individual human being is made up from several beings. When we die the different beings all go to the different realms. When new members of the kin were born they were named after dead relatives. That way the souls of the dead could return to the living from the worlds of the dead, from Hel and Ásgarðr. In modern Scandinavia we say Helvete instead of just Hell (Hel), like they do in English. This term derives from Norse Helvíti, that translates as "visit to Hel". The dead only visits her, and always return to the living when they are reborn in the kin. That is the faith of our forefathers. Death was not a threat, as it only meant a break from life in a divine world; in Hel and Ásgarðr. They could even visit the living once a year, on the Yule-Eve, when they arrived along with Heimdallr (better known as "Santa Claus").


***

The modern man has lost his connection to the soil of his forefathers. The modern man's connection to his forefathers and the gods of his blood is lost too. He travels all across the Earth as a creature with no roots anywhere. He no longer grows his own food, he no longer catches his own fish or meat, he no longer milks the cows or collects eggs, berries, nuts, fruit and sea shells from nature. He no longer builds his own home or buries his own kin. He has lost his respect for nature, for his fatherland and for his kin, but he has gained nothing. The soul of the modern man is dead. He has lost almost everything.

The biggest idols of the modern man are no longer love (Freyja/Freyr), loyalty (Þórr), mercy (Heimdallr), the noble, eloquent and strong man (Óðinn), strength (Magni), the fatherland (the óðal property), courage (Móði), the fertile nature (Jörðr) or any other ancient ideals and idols, but instead he idolizes shallow and fake celebrities or cynical capitalist-pigs who rape Mother Earth and the blood of the people.

Our ancient religion and our European gods are present in our everyday lives even today, though. When I was a kid I grew up in Odinsvei (Óðinn's Lane). If I went to the local grocery store, called Jovi (another name for Jupiter), I could for instance buy a "Freia (Freyja) Chocolate", on a Tuesday (Týr's Day) or any other day of the week, except on Sundays (the day of Sunna, the Sun), because that is a day we still kept holy. If I was angry at somebody I sometimes told them to go to Hel, and when I ate hot dogs I put ketchup on from a bottle of "Idun (Íðunn) Ketchup", and so forth. The names of the gods are still everywhere in our lives. Even after a thousand years of Christianity we are surrounded by our Pagan gods and feel a natural connection to them. We might have lost our soul, but our Pagan blood is still the same.

In the Easter we went skiing in the mountains and brought oranges and eggs filled with candy, symbolizing the Sun and the box of Íðunn respectively. On the Yule Eve even the kids got a glass of (light) beer to drink, because that was a custom (to toast for Óðinn and the dead), although we had forgotten why. On the New Year's Eve we sent rockets to the sky and watched the fireworks, and we dressed up as scary creatures and went from door to door asking for candy (more Freia chocolate), just like our forefathers did in their initial rituals of the Oskorei - although they used fires instead of fireworks. In the summer we burned great fires along the coast, symbolizing Freyja's necklace, and celebrated summer solstice - always trying to build the largest bonfire of them all. The New Year's Day we watched the New Year's ski jumping contest on TV, a custom that derives from the ancient initiation ritual, when Heimdallr had to jump across the fence surrounding Hel to gain access.

I could go on, but You get the point. Officially our culture is Christian, but there is actually nothing Christian about it, and the ancient traditions are still being practiced. We just aren't always aware of it. We no longer know why we do it. It might be different in other European countries, but to some extent we all still practice the ancient religion. The European gods are still there with us, in our heads, but first and foremost in our blood. No amount of brainwash or even thousands of years of religious oppression can change that. A famous Swiss psychiatrist, Jung, spoke about archetypes that would always be there within us, no matter what. A Norwegian author, Bringsværd, spoke of embers that never die, lying beneath the ashes, waiting for somebody to bring dry wood, embers that are always ready to become a sparkling fire again. If we let them.

For a thousand years we have walked away from the gods of our own blood, trying to replace them with some Asian saviour, and his alien Hebrew desert-soul, but at any time we only need to stop to return to living in harmony with our European nature. The gods are still there, within us, waiting patiently for their children to come to their senses, and just like we can never run away from our own shadows we can never run away from our own gods. They are as much a part of us as our physical characteristics. They are our collective soul. Just listen to the voice of our forefathers, the silent whisper of the blood, and embrace our own gods. Return to life. Revive our European soul.


***

I use the Scandinavian names of the deities here, but this applies to all of Europe, not just Scandinavia. The gods are all the same, they are only called by different names in different parts of Europe because we speak different languages. Whether we call the thunderer Donar, Thunor, Taranis, Pjerun, Þórr, Perkuna, Jupiter, Zeus or something else, it is the same European god. All the gods and goddesses are the same. They are our common European deities. They are our European soul.

Varg Vikernes
Trondheim Fengsel, Norway
9th November 2004



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