The Problems of Pagan Traditionalism
22.03.2016

This work is dedicated in memory of Dobroslav (Alexey Dobrovolsky), who passed away on May 19th 2013. Through his books I opened paganism for myself. And to Dominic Werner as well, a French pagan-traditionalist, who shot himself on the May 21st 2013 in Notre-Dame in a protest against modern world. 

The Problems of Pagan Traditionalism

Paganism is a Song, a glorious Song of Eternal Wisdom and Unity. The forgotten one, but not lost. Today, in the epoch of modernity, in Iron Age the tune and the melody of this Ancient Song can be heard. The tune, which now is confused and has provisos and snippets of reminiscences, nevertheless is sure in his profound inception.

The issue of terminology

The review of problems of pagan traditionalism should be started from the clarifying of terms and their meanings, that will be used onwards.

The Curch Slavonic language has a word «ıảзык» (iyazyk – language), which defines «folk», «tribe» and corresponds to Greek «ἔθνος» (ethnos). Identifying non-Christian tribes as «pagans» derives from the translation of Bible into Slavic language and during the history this term has acquired negative connotations. Thus, from the view of Christians the pagans were all non-Christians, gentiles (later Judaism and Islam were reabilited) as well as paganism is an act of worshiping all created, not the Creator, i.e. idolatry. As looking forward, we can say that considering this the term «paganism» has been more demonized. Thus materialism, liberalism, consumerism (worshiping Gold Taurus) is named paganism. This all is from the worldview of Christianity and broadly from the abrahamic religions.

In Europe we are facing the same situation. The Latin word «paganismus» – «rural» derived from «pagus» – «district». Since the Christianity in Medieval Age had spread basically through elites and usual peasants didn't wanted to tear apart their superstitious, rituals, omens the «religia pagana» (Ancient Rome religion) term appeared. This also has a pejorative meaning.

Modern since understand paganism as:

  1. A) All polytheistic religions
  2. B) Cults, omens and beliefs of archaic peoples before accepting one of the religions of creationsm.
  3. C) Occasionally using as a synonym to «neopaganism»

The relation between  «ıảзык» (iyazyk – language) and «ἔθνος» (ethnos) shows an inextricable bond of faith and folk, who preserves it despite the world religions, that are not bound to ethnicity.

There is an everyday phrase in modern paganism: «How many peoples (languages), so many paganisms. It means that every ethnos has its own tradition or its own (strongly marked accent) version of tradition.

The term neopaganism means modern reconstructions and new teachings, which are syncretic. Alexey Gaidukov defines neopaganism as «a complex of religious, parareligious, socio-political, historical and cultural communities and movements, which in their activities turning to pre-Christian beliefs and cults, omens and magical practices, resurrecting and reconstructing them». We find this definition fairly comprehensive.

Aside from the resumptive terms heathenism, neopaganism, paganism we also find other more narrow designations of these or those traditions like «Rodnoverie» (Slavic tradition), «Odinism», «Forn Seedr» or «Asatru». In this case, we are talking about today's designation of such traditions, communities and subcultures, as a rule, ethnocentric. For example, «Rodnoverie» - this ancient pagan Slavs in its diversity, and the «Asatru» -

«Belief in the Æsir» – is the pagandom of Scandinavians and sometimes occurs as the self-name of Germanic pagans. The term «Odinism» not so monosemantic, in the modern world under the «Odinism» often understand the doctrine of racial and religious superiority of white over all the other pagan nations that is fundamentally wrong and will be discussed below. The essence of self-names lies in the need of identification and self-identification in the modern world. The pagan of pre-Christian era could not say, «I’m rodnover», rather the grandson of Dazhdbog. As mentioned above, today the term «paganism» is overwhelmed with demonized values and meanings. Today, it is identified with Satanism, materialism and scientism, occultism, liberalism, consumerism (the cult of products, brands), totalitarian sects, Nazism and extremism. It is fair to say that in on the level of individuals there is the intersection of the above issues and ideologies, but they do not act on behalf of all the Gentiles and communities, and the generalization of exceptions. This is not a sensible approach, which only exacerbates the understanding of the essence of paganism. Also it mentioned that the negative connotations of «paganism» is obliged to Christianity. Apart from all the variety of ethnic traditions of the ensemble, that collectively have been called «paganism» or «religia pagana», lies a deeper principle, unifying of all of them (and different from the religions of creationism). It is called manifestationism.

Manifestationism and creationism

Paganism is manifestationism.

The doctrine of manifestationism is a doctrine of manifestation. In Latin «manifestatia», came from the verb «manifestare», «to show». According manifestationism, the whole world  is a manifestation of God, the disclosure of its aspects. The world is the self-discovery of God. In manifestationism has no creator and creation. The world and God are equal ontologically. In paganism this is very clearly expressed in the words: «We are the children and the grandchildren of God». In other words, a person is related to the Gods. As the pagan gods, especially the supreme, often endowed with the epithet of «Father» and «Mother», Odin One-Earth-Mother (Mother Mokosh) etc. In India is widespread greeting «Namaste», which means «the divine present in me and merging with the divine in you». Such a fundamental and ontological identity of God and the world does not exclude the hierarchical structure of the world. The world is filled with major and minor gods, spirits and animals, but this does not create a hierarchy of duality (except, perhaps, illusory) between the world and principles. It should be clarified that the non-duality does not mean oneness of God. Here are useful the words of Rodnovers: «Genus is one and multiple». In other words, many deities as equal to each other and the world. In this case, «Genus» means the principle of non-duality manifestationism.

Manifestationism is the Golden Age of Tradition. It’s the original doctrine of the vivid and immediate perception of reality as it is, undeformed by the gap between God and the world.

Paganism is a worldview of principal non-duality.

Creationism is the Silver Age of Tradition.

The doctrine of creationism bases on the approval of principal and ontological difference of God and the world. God is primary and unique, the world is secondary and created. This statement is clearly illustrated by the metaphor about the master and the created clay pot. Certainly, the pot bears the imprint of the master, but between them is an insurmountable difference levels. God is transcendent, the world is immanent.

Another basic tenet of creationism is the creation out of Nothing, «creatio ex nihilo». God is one alone and nothing except him. He can’t create from himself (ex Deo) therefore he creates from nothing.

This doctrine holds rigid duality, the opposition of heaven and earth, where the heaven is higher and the earth is lower, «creature» (from the verb «to create»). The relationship between God and the world molding in testaments, revelations, transmitted and expressed through the prophets and saints. Keeping the commandments and worshiping God, a person can earn after death getting into a good pace heaven, or in hell as a punishment for sins. Thus, God and the testament become sources of morality.

Because the distinction between God and man is non-removable, neither in life or after death a person does not come on a step closer to God. In fact, heaven and hell  are the same space as the human world, and are equally ontologically distant from God. The whole essence of knowing the world and self-knowing of creationist comes to the knowledge of himself as a creature, a clay pot.

The word «religion» derives from the Latin verb «religare», which means «to bind» «to reunite». It says about the nature of the relationship between God and man, and about the presence of a rupture[1].

In the world there are only three creationist religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are also referred to as monotheistic, in contrast to the «pagan» polytheistic. That’s an as manifestationism doesn’t exclude monotheism.

Iron Age

We are living in the last days, outside is the Iron Age traditions, Kali Yuga, Koschny Vek, Ragnarok[2].

Contemporaneity or Modern is a total denial and oblivion of the sacred, the divine Principle, whether it manifestationist or creationist. Modern is the time of a total nigilism5. Since Christianity creationist, along with Islam, has been becoming the world's religions, which are professed majority of the world, especially developed for Europe while, the dogma of «creatio ex nihilo» is wide spreading all over the world. Beginning with the Renaissance, God of creationists undergoes diminution (read slowly to oblivion), turning in a rational God (Deism), and then abolished altogether in connection with the establishment of the dominance of the scientific picture of the world (positivism) and Humanism. A man shifted God from the center.

Interesting that the German philosopher Carl Schmitt argued that religious narratives have been replaced by narratives of ideologies. Man took the place of God and the ideology has taken the place of religion. The study of the issue of similarity of narratives and  ideologies is known in culturology and philosophy.

As the doctrine of creationism implies that being has only God and he shares it with the world and people (the union of believers in God and keep testament with church, umma), the «death of God» means and the disappearance of the world from being. Master died and a clay pot stayed, which in the absence of the master is just clay or simply nothing[3].

And if in the Iron Age creationism God is dead, the gods manifestationism, seemed to have been forgotten, but today on the contrary we see the return and revival of interest to pre-Christian, pre-Islamic traditions. The variety of movements, currents and teachings appearing. Has become a commonplace phrase about the «revival of the ancient gods».

in terms of traditionalism and society as it is, this situation of «return» raises a number of issues and problems.

The problems of pagan traditionalism

The main problems of the pagan traditionalism quite accurately outlined M. Haggvist[4]. He highlights four main issues. We regard them below. «Of course, the first problem to any reconstruction of pre-Christian faith in Europe is that now there is no continuous tradition. There is an unbroken line from the original customs that continue to be practiced. Modern wiccans can claim that their faith is practiced all the time in complete secrecy, but even if it was true (what we strongly doubt), it is clear that individual, few group of «covens» practicing a variety of superstitions. In no way they can be considered carriers of the whole tradition. Even such a powerful structure like the Catholic Church is way better than any other, handed down the onslaught that led to the 1789 and its aftermaths, had dropped to complete decomposition. Considering this, the remains of the tradition of inventive, saved in a small group of witches, consisting of uneducated peasant, that represented6 completely irrelevant. If all traditionalism is a reconstruction based on the values, which are so small and deformed that much needs to be done, if anything in this really worth preserving today's structures, institutions and ideas, the situation is even worse for the «neopagan reconstructors»».

The first and most important issue is the continuity of tradition, the initiatory line. There is no dispute that in various European countries Christianisation did not take place at the same time and for a long time in remote and outlying areas remained ethnic beliefs. It is also a long enough period of dual faith continued. The dual faith in Russia, according to some sources, lasted until XIV-XV century, although the discovery of Old Believers icons-box «Burning Bush», dating by experts from the beginning of the XVII century, and containing on the box the Vendian runes and runes, came out of circulation by the beginning IInd millennium, increases possible term era of dual faith for another two centuries. Besides the survived in wilderness and remote areas of pre-Christian tradition, of which we can’t say that the transmission line is not interrupted in it and generally came to light today, paganism has organically woven into the fabric of Christianity and remained very vital among the people.

It is known that the Russian buffoons appeared in the XIX century and their roots leading back to the volhvs, and were also were persecuted by the tsar and the church until their repertoire hadn’t been emasculated from gloom (social satire), epics, legends, etc. and left an empty fairground entertainment. Many pagan omens, beliefs and superstitions, folklore figures have remained alive in the people, in folklore: tales, songs, poetry, and embroidery thread. There are everywhere pagan motifs as well and often the only ones. Futhermore, almost all the important Orthodox holidays are the same or directly close to the pagan solar holidays and some saints are obvious «analogs» of pagan deities. A good example is the Christian holiday of Ivan Kupala, John the Baptist, celebrating by Orthodox with a difference of about one month with the pagan summer solstice – Kupala.

A huge contribution to the description of paganism in Russia made Christianity itself, in its descriptions of pagan rituals. Also mentioned in chronicles as in Slavic, and the Arab and Greek writers. In modern studies, description and reconstruction of paganism are prominent scientists, among them K.G. Jung, M. Eliade, B. Rybakov, J. Fraser, A.N. Afanasiev and others.

In turn, to the aforesaid, in Europe it remained a large number of written sources and architectural artifacts, such as: Elder Edda, skaldic songs about heroes, Beowulf, the Song of the Nibelungs, Finno-Ugric and other Kalevala; Stonehenge, Ekstershtayn, Scandinavian rune stones (found even in North America).

French sociologist and cultural scientist Georges Bataille, considering the work of Jules Michelet «Witch», writes the following:

«Night ceremonies of the Middle Ages, probably in some sense continue rituals of the Ancients (keeping her suspicious side: there Satan is in a certain sense Dionysos redivivus); these are the rites paganorum, of peasants, serfs, victims of the prevailing order of things and the power of the dominant religion»[5].

No less interesting study of Vladimir Kolesov, Russian philologist and historian[6]. Kolesov highlights three orders of language that have arisen during the Christianization of Russia (current historically marked at 988.) and the transfer of key Christian texts from Greco-Christian in the archaic Old Slavonic.

But as a result, there hasn’t been actual translation itself, therefore constructed the most complicated new language – Church Slavic, constructed new concepts formed the missing words and terms in Old Slavonic and Greek.

So, three orders of the language selected Kolesov: equipollenity, gradualness, privativity[7].

Kolesov of them says the following: «Equipollenity helped to highlight specific items, the data in all their concreteness (man-woman, day-night, up-down, etc.). Gradualness introducing the idea (representation) of things and it can be imagined in fantastic objects, faces, and every creature in all its infinite manifestations. Privativity serves not the image and symbol, but the concept of the most rigorous and scientifically exact content of the verbal sign. (...)

Equipollenity exists in the mode of similarities and identities. Gradualness – in similarities and similarities, privativity – in the essential similarities and differences».

According Kolesov to pagan outlook corresponds equipollent order of a language. The term «equipollenity» is formed from the Latin word «equi-» and «pollens», which means «equal», «to be strong» and «can» respectively.

Applying again to Kolesov:

«The easiest way to identify the things that got in our field of vision is to compare it with another thing of the same type. (...) This is the «pagan» understanding of the classification of the material world by pairwise comparison of «bodies» of common ground. A man and a woman are together a «human», top and bottom  together are the space and open space, and so on (...)»

«Light and darkness are opposed to each other and perceived as equivalent, equally available, can’t be reduced to each other entity. They explained one through another».

This means that the present poles (top-bottom, day or night) equally owned by the being, they still are and defined by one through the other. The absence of man does not mean a certain «non-man», but quite saturated woman.

Kolesov indicates that the dominance of this order has preserved almost to the XIV century, which correlates with the dating of the era of dual faith. Domination of equipollent order of further language is replaced by another procedure. Kolesov believes that the IX century Russian society comes into the Middle Ages, and this transformation is accompanied by the transformation of the language. At the same time creates and develops the church-Slavonic language, which is mixed with equipollent national language, but becomes inherent to political and social elites. That’s, the priests and the elite have begun to speak (and, consequently, to think) in line with a new rationality than ordinary people.

The change of a point of dominance Kolesov believes XV century, when Russia became widespread translation of works of Dionysius the Areopagite, made by a monk Isaiah Serbia. The structure of medieval Russian language is gradual.

Gradualness is a triple system and fundamentally differs from the equipollenity on the following items:

For example: God-man-devil or crown-barrel-root. Where God takes the higher position and wealth, man takes the middle and goods, and the devil takes the lower and evil. It's the same with a tree, where crown is above and bears fruits, the sturdy and reliable trunk is in the middle, and roots are at the bottom, somewhere in the ground (no fruits, if you don’t rasp the woods, there won’t be use).

This vertical hierarchy creates a gap and the opening cyclic linear time. All being (divine) is concentrated in one place and out poured into the rest of the world, forming a gradient from light-good to dark-evil.

Gradual order of the language corresponds to creationist doctrines and traditions of the Silver Age, the Iron Age, corresponding to the same order of privative language.

Privative order of the language is based on the radical opposition 1 and 0, one and the other. Moreover, the first is positive, he exists, he is the being. The other one doesn’t exist, he is negative, he is Nothing.

Gradual system of the gradient is torn between absolute poles, where the Supreme Being completely denies any lower (in-house or at a tangent). Privative procedure simplifies the language, throwing complicated, overloaded and gradient archaic meanings, concepts.

«If in the equipollent pair «non-»points to another endowed with an autonomous being and deductively associated with this being (remember a couple of «maple»/ «non-maple»), if the same «non-» meant «under-»in the gradual topic, then in privative grammatical system «non-» automatically inputs «zero» as «nothing» as «the abyss,» as a «hole» in the tissue of being, launching into the tissue of the language the «terrifying power of negativity».

On the strength of the Kolesov’s concept, we can say that pagan worldview through language dominated until the XIV century, and after it took in the «underground» of consciousness. Broadly, the order language corresponds to Gold and Silver Ages of Tradition that persisted even longer, until they were driven out by the distilled order privativity.

The foregoing review concerns mainly the external and internal forms of saving, transferring and restoring the pagan heritage and tradition: from legends and myths, through descriptions and folklore, to the order of the language, which specifies all intellection. But for the completeness of consideration of this issue is necessary to clarify the question of initiation.

Initiation is the dedication, the chain of inheritance. This is principle question for the transferring of tradition, on which insisted Rene Guenon[8] who eventually in his view chose, the only religion which kept the transmission line, and became a Sufi Muslim. Julius Evola briefly and substantially discloses the essence of initiation:

«Initiation is possible only, when there is a center of people who are capable of initiating. Today it is particularly clear, considering different mystifications: probably, in San-Francisco is an initiation by mail, what it can’t be said without laughing. The obstacle lies precisely in this: in the presence or absence of an individual or a group capable of carrying out this kind of action over the initiated. This requires two conditions: firstly, that initiated must be able to initiation and secondly, he really must be so. The first is connected with certain tests that must pass the initiated. In particular, in ancient times, before the initiation qualifies, a person subjected to the tests, which seem largely affected area of instinctive reactions. There were tests of fire, water, and so on. In addition, it is necessary that these activities affect the individual that he would be in some way predisposed to it, could be able to feel within himself that could be defined as a «push».

Agreeing with Guenon and Evola, we recognize that in the Iron Age the transfer of initiation is virtually impossible, especially in various New Age groups and sects, as well as in churches, where the creek of Tradition, if is not dried up, then could be found in moisture at these times is impossible. In addition we present a quoteof Veleslav Cherkasov:

«There are many groups and communities, formally putting different goals, but existing on the same reasons: the need for communication, the thirst for attention, the fear of taking responsibility and if necessary to make a choice, etc. Communities of this kind should not be confused with the initiatory groups, following a definite plan and execute the work of a certain level. If the communities of the first type consist of people who need the help from the others, the second consist from those who are able to help others and who have reached a certain level of understanding. The first, even when they aren’t aware of this report and wish to take advantage of the fact that they do not own, while the second voluntarily give up their «property» seeking not to possess anything, but a different level of existence. The former includes the vast majority of well-known religious and occult communities; the second of whom you may have never heard anything and do not know by the reason of that they don’t engage in self-promotion in glossy magazines and do not require the participation of those who read such magazines».

But we don’t deny the absolute impossibility of initiation in the Modern era. We have to look for support within us for lack of support in the initiatory community. The visually called alchemical metaphor illustrates the principle of producing philosophical fire.

The first way is an immersion substance into the fire of such force that it ignites anything, even damp wood. This society of the Tradition, in which absolutely everything sacred and any soul emerged in it, is also sacred.

The second way is an absolute immersion into the ice, into the void. In this case, the fire is lit from within, as a radical opposition to the identity of the environment. This is self-awareness in the very thick of the ice, in the darkest night, in the heart of Hell, but it's also the awareness of its differences from the environment.

Julius Evola also speaks of the possibility of self-initiation, but very critical:

«... If by initiation is understood access the level different from human individual consciousness, in this sense, there are two main options: first is the shortest way to the so-called self-initiation, which deluded many minds. For example Anthroposophists i.e. Steinerians ingeminate about the autoinitiation (self-initiation) and, moreover, they oppose the ancient initiations to the initiatios of having individual, active and independent character. The ancient ways of initiation they consider obsolete today, but it is a pure fiction. Since the initiation of this kind is conceivable only in exceptional circumstances: in general, the initiation of a purely personal nature, that is, without the intervention of a higher power, would be like trying of Baron Munchhausen, who pulled himself by pulling his own hair. To be effective, initiation needs the intervention of transcendent factor, in relation to the individual that only in extremely rare cases can occur spontaneously: this initiation can be described as wild, just as Rimbaud has been called as a mystic in the wild. It happens that the existential trauma in itself leads to such discovery of horizons, even if the person to whom it happens doesn’t realize it. This could happen in the modern world, though, watching constantly growing materialization (and adding the closeness) modern individual, this feature becomes more questionable. Here's what can be responded on your question about «initiation into the modern world»».

In the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism as there is an individual initiation, bestowed by Shiva to adept, the most transcendental intervention, about which says Evola. As paganism is a manifestationism, the non-duality, it can be argued that the self-initiation and «transcendent intervention» are equal on «this is that» «what is outside and inside».

In that case, the alienating thickness of the ice appears as an illusion, as Maya, but it's a topic for another review.

As a result, the problem of initiation in the pagan traditionalism, of course is more sharp and personal-existential, rather than of communal character, but also, of course, manifestationist initiation is possible.

In conclusion:

«The true tradition is the transfer of the Vivid Fire, not the preservation of the ashes. True Wisdom is a spiritual enlightenment Here and Now rather than a memory of the past, no matter how great and magnificent it was».

Veleslav Cherkasov

«Tradition is not the monument to itself, it is a live stream – the flow of knowledge is transmitted on prampare and continuously updating revelation».

Somanandanatha Saraswati

***

According Haggvist ер second problem is as follows:

«Another problem is the lack of rigor in the doctrines in the majority of today's pagan organizations. The most extreme examples of course are those unfortunates who argue that Paganism is a «personal» faith, where every «believer» defines all of its contents. If we consider the mental and spiritual condition of the majority of Western people, this view is bound to create a quasi-religious nonsense of all sorts. Scandinavian neo-pagan organizations with this view, as we have seen, think it up with the dressing clothing of Vikings and sacrifice fruits to gods or (mostly) goddesses in a random selection, without the slightest understanding of what they are paying their attention to. But the most aftermaths are individual interpretations of texts such as the Edda, and too «toy» attitude to the concept of spirituality. The most serious part of the second point is a general lack of understanding the fundamental concepts of every authentic tradition: the belief in the primordial truth and its search».

Unfortunately the Haggvist’s note is by confirmed conventional wisdom, represented in the phrase: «how many pagans – so are many paganisms», which is fundamentally wrong. Individualism is alien to Tradition and personal interpretation of the traditional doctrines indicating the level of interpreter, than about the traditions and serve to satisfy the «spiritual» needs of individuals who are on the same level as the materialistic. In fact, person makes choices between equally low material consumption and «spiritual» merrymaking (consumption). This problem is closely adjacent to the issue of pseudo-pagan confusion introduced by a number of modern subcultures, such as vegans and animal protectors who are trying to clothe an idea, which they would like to see in the clothes of religion, that they also like. Neither of which deep comprehension and initiation in this case can’t be considered. The details of pseudo-paganism will be discussed below.

It is important to note that in general paganism peculiar to kind of differentiation. Thus, a military caste worships the gods of war, gods-protectors, priestly caste worships gods of wisdom and death, and peasants worship the gods of earth and fertility, the gods of heaven.

Also, different communities can prioritize in the pantheon. Thus, some more revere Perun, others – Dazhdbog, this differentiation is known in Hinduism, where it does not cause acute conflicts and naturally it has existed for millenniums. Behind all this variety of «trees-of-paganism», the key thing is not to lose the mighty forest of paganism.

***

«And that leads us to the third point: the fact that modern pagans, to a greater extent than all the others, trying to find the tradition and renovation, available for modernist «infiltration» in their ideas. Any «true Christian», most likely, would have felt that he makes a mistake of interpreting the Bible in such way that it would be consistent with its extremely atheistic, liberal, socialist or modern so-called «conservative» rulers. For the self-proclaimed «pagan» it isn’t a problem. Therefore, we can see that the majority of neo-pagan organizations focus on its commitment to individualism, democracy, progress, «tolerance», pacifism (or sometimes a war for the sake of the war), feminism, and what should go in the propaganda war is to get more converts and to fight against Christianity, which many believe that is far more important than the fight against modernism, materialism and consumerism. The reason of this behavior is very simple. This is what the majority of neo-pagans are defined in terms of their conflict with the dominant religious system. Certainly in Europe it is Christianity. Their view is that Christianity is totally alien to the culture and the people of Europe, and (even worse) to «mankind». With this argument they develop their ideas primarily as a mirror image of Christianity, formulating and improving such ideas in opposition to anything that might be mistaken for Christianity. Therefore, the Christian attitude to women incites them to assert that woman and man are equal (even bordering with the perfect feminism, where the equivalence becomes like the type «this is the same»); anti-progressive point of view of the Catholic Church make them reject it and declare their faith in science; Christian commandment to obey earthly authorities to make them semi-anarchists, and so on. Finally, Christian attention is distant from life and sends them to a worship of nature and man / woman. The extreme consequences of this are obvious: the spiritual decline, making them primitive half-atheists worshiping their own sexual lust, if not the rocks in the forests. This does not mean that a large part of the anti-Christian rhetoric does not make sense. The neglect of sexuality and women by Christianity are not matched to anyone; asceticism is an ideal that should be (and as it always has been) is set for the special elite. The absolute focus on the shame in Christianity is also a problem, which does not increase our enthusiasm for this religion; and there are many things that in all honesty, you can criticize and discuss, even from a strictly traditionalist point of view. But if it makes someone to conclude that soulless, egalitarian, materialistic hedonist modern world surpasses the Christian view of the world, and that his paganism should be simple quasi-religious pretext that it behaves like a monkey with a high-tech, we do not want anything out of this «reconstruction».

Consideration of this problem should be divided into two parts: the issue of the attitude of paganism to Christianity (broadly to creationism, and already to Orthodoxy), and the issue of the attitude of a pagan attitude to Modern.

Indeed, many pagans starting with the opposition to the dominant religion in Europe and Russia are Orthodoxy and Catholicism/Protestantism, respectively. In the Caucasus and the CIS countries the revival of the pre-Islamic traditions also accompanied active islamophobia. The complex of hatred on religious principle is very common among communities and people in particular22, but whether it is justified?

Basing on data from the above definition of manifestationism and creationism, we know that the first corresponds to the traditions of the Golden Age, and the second to the Silver Age, and both are related to Tradition, fixing its various stages.

Christianity among the religions of creationism has a special place, not only historically, but also in effect. If Islam insists on the absolute transcendence of God, Christianity in a unique way «solves» the question of manifestationism and creationism by the figure of Christ.

God creates the world out from Nothing, as a master does out from the pot of clay, but at some point God manifests itself in the created world, he is born through the Virgin Mary woman in the world, and dying in it, returns to the Father, i.e. himself.

This picture is almost identical to the teachings of emanations of Plato and the Neo-Platonic of the divine world from the world of ideas (Eidos), through a hierarchy, in which there is the Demiurge-creator[9] until the matter and the return back to the world of ideas. The emanation is called proodos and the return is epistrophe. The emanation of the divine descends from the top downwards, and gradually dissipating, reaching matter begins its way back, increasing the concentration reaching upper spheres. About Plato often said that he was «a Christian without Christ».

Neoplatonism and Aristotelian branch had a tremendous impact on Christian theology, in line with this it’s possible to explain the divine incarnation in Christ, the dogma of the tripartite nature of God. But Christianity it’s not all Neoplatonism, some of its tenets is absolutely not suited to Christianity. On the other hand, Christian theologians complement Neoplatonism by their constructions; and the whole complex as a whole is Christianity itself. For example, in the V Ecumenical Council, Emperor Justinian published a treatise against Origen and Origenism which contains the following lines:

«Brought up in pagan mythology and wishing to distribute them, he pretended as if he treats the divine Scripture maliciously blending it with his own obscene teaching, inputting his Manichean errors and Arian frenzy and acquire a possibility to lure those who are not exactly beheld the divine Scriptures. What otherwise stated Origen if not the teaching of Plato, who spread the pagan madness? Or from whom else Arian borrowed and prepared his own poison? Did not he on death of his soul forged in a holy and consubstantial Trinity extent? How does he differ from the Manichaean, who says that the souls of men are sent in the body as a punishment for their sins, as if they were above the minds and holy powers, then a saturated contemplation of God and turned to the thin one, and therefore cooled (άποψυγείσας) in the love of God, and hence called souls, t. e. cold (ψυχάς), and as a punishment to the body clothed? And this one was enough to perfect his conviction, because it is a pagan wickedness».

As a result, Origen was convicted in 15 anathemas. Another example is the undeniable influence of the Neoplatonic environment of Greco-Roman world on western Fathers: Augustine, Boethius, John Eriugenu and others. AFrench philosopher Henri Corbin devoted his life to the study of Neo-Platonism in Islam. According to his research, Neoplatonism reflected in Islam in the following areas: the philosophy of al-Farabi, Sufism, Shi'ism (Ismaili), Ishraq School, mystical poets Rumi and Ruzbehan Buckley School Jabir Ibn Hayan, and others.

Regarding orthodoxy it is ought to say the following.

Christianity is one of three branches (Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism), which disintegrated Christianity reasons for the split between Catholics and Orthodox is secondarily. We will focus on those aspects of Orthodoxy, which unites it with Slavic paganism.

Earlier we pointed out that Russian Orthodoxy is closely intertwined with the pagan heritage (although it was persecuted). The same points Vladimir Kolesov in his works, as evidenced by the folklore, superstitions and rites, preservation of traditions of embroidery and architecture. Another equally important reason for convergence orthodoxy with paganism is a special veneration of the Virgin Mary. Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, mother of earthly incarnation of Jesus Christ, immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit.

We do not find such attention to the mother of Mohammed or a female figure in Judaism, as we finding it in Christianity, especially in Orthodoxy. This really brings together Orthodoxy and paganism. Because the last is characterized by the worship of Mother Earth in different aspects, mother earth family. The mother is often associated with fertile land, with depths and dark (hidden, implicit). In creationism Heaven and God are opposed to the created the earth and the world. In the Orthodox Church we see a very strong cult of the Virgin Mary. Also, in the Scriptures Mary is called Ever-Virgin. Thus she preserves the purity and chastity before and after the birth of Christ, that is correlated with the earth Virgin is pure in front of God and the world, which also corresponds to a positive understanding of the land by pagans.

Another woman, who accompanied Christ was Mary Magdalene the holy and the myrrh-bearer. This is important female emphasis in Orthodoxy, it is equal to the apostles and together with the Virgin Mary troops off to John. It is fair to point out that Orthodoxy in all its structure is extremely complex and diverse and reviewing all of its aspects is not possible in this work.

Based on the foregoing, it follows that paganism and Christianity have much in common, especially in Russia, in Orthodoxy. But Orthodoxy is not a crypto-paganism. It is a self-contained religion, with its theology, language and way of thinking. It is based on duality, opposition of the Top and the bottom, therefore, from the point of view of Christianity, any non-Christian religion is a devilry, a devil-worshiping «paganism». So is their way. And today many pagans adopting the form of religious hatred truly alien to paganism, conduct their identification and being through the negation of Christianity. Undoubtedly, Haggvist pointed out the shortcomings of Christianity, but within the Christian tradition they are not considered. Yes, Christianity act by tough method of religious war, expanding their domination and carrying its word of Truth. And proceeding from Christianity, many pagans and pagan communities and making the mentioned above mistakes.

And if we recognize the Tradition as an absolute authority, it is unreasonable to deny this or that part of it. This leads to oblivion, ossification and degeneration. Yes, creationism does not agree with «the union of Heaven and Earth», but why should manifestationists, followed by this, bursting of Father Sky and Mother Earth? Jedem das Seine.

Contemporaneity or Modern is absolute evil. This is the postulate of traditionalism. By all of its actions Modern successively profanes, desacralizes and destroys Tradition. Rene Guenon and Julius Evola headlined their main works as «The crisis of the modern world» and «Revolt against the modern world» respectively. As Nietzsche wrote: «The desert grows, woe to him who carries the desert», referring to the European nihilism that sweeps away all the traditional and leading all to zero, to Nothing.

Creationism understands this process as satanic, pundits are the Devil's henchmen, denying God and claiming the demonic order. In Islam, it is undoubtedly the offensive Dajjal time, the Antichrist. Here we can also see the reason of identification of the pagans with scientists-positivists, humanists and physicists of modern times; some worshiped Satan, and others too, the question is on the form.

It is a mistake to carry out a causal relationship between the increase of scientific progress and the return of the pagan gods. Positivists haven’t debunked the Christian God in favor of the pagan deities, they debunked the Tradition. All sacred is alien to them.

Therefore, for a Christian or a Muslim, for traditionalists, the question of the relation to the modern world finally resolved: total Jihad, the holy war against the Antichrist, a war of angels of Heaven with the demons of Hell. Orthodox traditionalist in the modern world is saint amidst of Hell.

As paganism is known for the absolute absence of the vertical opposition, the difference in nature between God and the world, it would seem that it must be entirely on the side of the modern time. But such a view is a delusion that needs to make an important digression.

Traditional society is based on a hierarchy. The hierarchy is a manifestation of the divine order in the society. Traditional society is divided into groups – caste or varna (color). Usually there are three castes:

Priesthood (Brahmanas)

The warriors (Satrias)

Artisans and peasants (Wesias)

Outside the caste located outcasts of society, the so-called «Pariah».

The priesthood God perceives non-dually (Advaita), warriors basing on duality (Dwight-Advaita) and craftsmen perceive God as creator. This is illustrated by the fact that ordinary people often praise the divine aspect of creating (Brahma, Svarog) and priesthood praises the gods of wisdom and death (Shiva, Veles, Odin, Kali, Morena, Hel and Freyja). Plato in its structure of politeia considered soldiers (guards) as bearers of nature, which is dominated by gold and silver, while the lower classes have copper and iron. Divine order (dharma) permeates absolutely everything to maintain the execution of its own Dharma. It is the highest honor and valor. The Durga Saptshati Kalika calls Raktabija to leave conversations that are inappropriate to warriors and fulfill their dharma – to join her in the fight and die. Failure dharma is called adharma.

In the book «Worker» in the works of Ernst Jünger» Evola writes:

«To the Epoch of the third estate is unknown the unity of freedom and service, unity of freedom and order; it has never known the miraculous power of this unity because the worthy aspirations seemed to be too readily available and too accessible human pleasures. The other side of this abstract, individualistic, possessive understanding of freedom is the idea of society as a system, determined the principles of the social contract. Thanks to such abstract ideas of freedom that is inherent to bourgeois desire to decompose the organic unity of all, to the “transformation of all relationships based on duty and responsibility, the contractual relationship that may be terminated».

From the pagan point of view, this is not directly power of Wesias (basing on the Creator), but the power of rogue-pariahs, violators of the hierarchical power and the ontological structure of the world order. The only possible behavior for the warrior and volhv/Brahmin in a situation of rouge’s «rebellion» is the destruction of the rebels and the protection of the sacred world order.

It must be noted that the relation of modernity to the Iron Age shows us the eschatological times today. In manifestationism time cyclic. The cycle begins with a creative manifestation of God in the world. Indians say about the Day of Brahma and the Night of Brahma or about the opening and closing eye of Shiva. Later, the last days come through the divine self-derogation, self-revelation about which are talked myths about the end of the cycle.

Hindus believe that the Kali Yuga, in which we live, began with the battle on the field of Kurukshetra. In Norse mythology it is Ragnarok, in Slavic it is Koschny Vek (Century).

The doctrine of creationism oppositions mostly are acute, their time is linear. The Antichrist will be defeated and after the Last Judgment the chosen will ascend to heaven forever. In paganism after the end comes a new beginning. The end is inevitable as inevitable and a new beginning. The Elder Edda has the following lines:

Now do I see the earth anew
Rise all green from the waves again;
The cataracts fall, and the eagle flies,
And fish he catches beneath the cliffs.

 

The gods in Ithavoll meet together,
Of the terrible girdler of earth they talk,

And the mighty past they call to mind,
And the ancient runes of the Ruler of Gods.

 

In wondrous beauty once again
Shall the golden tables stand mid the grass,
Which the gods had owned | in the days of old,

Then fields unsowed bear ripened fruit,
All ills grow better, and Baldr comes back;
Baldr and Hoth dwell in Hropt's battle-hall,
And the mighty gods: would you know yet more?

 

However, this inevitability of a new beginning doesn’t mean that this requires submission and recognition the orders of rouges and Sudras. In recent times for a true pagan the fulfillment of dharma becomes a tragic paint as the end is inevitable, it is impossible to turn the wheel back the clock. For a pagan there is no way, except revolt against the modern world.

Representatives of the Golden and Silver age-old traditions are unanimous in its rejection of modernity, the Iron Age, but come from fundamentally different doctrines, basing on different causes and differently interpret a current decay.

The nihilism of modernity appeared simultaneously with the creatio ex nihilo, but it doesn’t give any right to pagans to assert about the harmfulness of Christianity (creationism) for all mankind. Indeed, to each his own. 

***

The last important issue Haggvist considers the following:

«The fourth and last point, which is also associated with the above, it is the political orientation of today's organizations. Activities of ne-pagans, mainly Scandinavian, prosecuted by a bogey, namely by National-Socialism. The ratio of consumer society, with its functionalist consumer morale and its «intellectuals» makes great demands on every person with a rune on his neck. Modern «right-wing extremists» (in the narrow sense of the word), of course, decided to use its pre-Christian heritage in the way to legitimize certain radical nationalist ideas. These ideas also attracted many modern pagans and sometimes to the limit when they begin to romanticize Hitler's Germany, which is beyond any sense. And those who do not share this admiration, of course, respond to it opposite effect. In fact, they not only do the opposite (included in the fight against fascism, which is as innocuous as if we take it, because it is basically a dead political platform in our eyes), but they also accept modern concepts. They will assert that they are taking «an ancient Nordic democracy» (which was actually a marginal phenomenon, as any teacher of ancient Germanic culture will tell you). As a result they take the modern «Anglo-Saxon» form of democracy. That «paganism» that had practiced in the Third Reich, was for the most part of the spiritual, entirely subordinate to materialism (eg., racial doctrines, set in the center of the ideology, making it subtle naturalism / worship the nature of archaic sort) and the worldly form of a regime that fed its strength from a greater degree of mass rather than from the upper realities. Nevertheless, this is not an excuse for the oath of allegiance to the current rulers and political madness, which leads only to nihilism and selfish indulgence of «free sex», even greater liberalism, «equality» and it must now be popular with economic devils who govern the fate of western civilization. One more time we witness how primitive dialectic (not leading to a synthesis: the opposition rarely make it into a reality that would not say the Marxists) makes people unfit to realize that if they want to be carriers of the tradition and to show it in the revived pagan faith, they should be high above the infantile and senile today's «politics».

There Haggvist indicates on a very important misconception of modern pagans, which generates the «pagan» myth of the national/racial superiority and the myth of anti-fascism.

We must start with the fact that traditional society really knew the binary opposition of «friend or foe», our man and a hostile one. Ancient times had wars, tribal conflicts also. But they didn’t have chauvinist character and the more religious as in the era of creationism. Evola says in this regard:

«Traditional states had no need to escalate the chauvinistic pathos, reaching almost to psychosis, to mobilize their troops and to give them a «moral» force. To do this, it is enough to engage a pure principle Imperium and appeal to the principles of loyalty and honor. The war had a clear and positive goals and conducted, so to speak, with a cool head, without any hatred and disdain between opponents».

It seems that chauvinism in this situation, owes its emergence under the rise of the gap between heaven and earth, where people do not belong to a church or ummah, endowed with the prefix «Nedo» (under/unter). A special form of such chauvinism was in Europe (eurocentrism), where they found a flourishing Christianity, and later – the modern science.

Lev Gumilyov wrote:

«The advantage over other European nations were in the XIX century. It is so obvious that Hegel's philosophy of history built on the principle of world progress, which should have been carried out by the Germans and Anglo-Saxons, because we believe that all the inhabitants of Asia, Africa, natives of America and Australia are «non-historical nations». But it's only been half a century and it became clear that the European dominance in the world is not the way of progress. Only an episode».

Appeals to the historical experience of the Third Reich as ridiculous and Haggvist right indicates the reason. It is the subordination of the spiritual purely material goals. The definition of «friend or foe» is built on artificial modernist and scientific concepts that fit under the historical germen’s heritage.

We mentioned above that the term Paganism takes its roots in the Church Slavonic word «yazitsi». It is equal to Latin «ethnic group», therefore, one or the other pagan tradition is somehow connected with the ethnic group.

The definition of «nation» states that it is a socio-economic, cultural, political and spiritual community of the industrial age. Even in this we see that the nation is a construct of modernity.

Nation is not a nationality, which is characteristic only of Russian and post-Soviet countries, and means the same ethnicity in a narrower sense. Around the world, a nation is not determined by ethnicity, but on the basis of nationality. A Nigerian, becoming a French citizen, acquires a «French» nationality and can express his own specific nationalistic views. It is also worth noting that such ethnic group as «French» doesn’t exist because it is just a modern term. The situation is the same with most other countries. We can safely say about the complete failure of so-called «pagan nationalism» and «national-pagan movements», realizing the nation in this proper way. Those who insist on the right of the definitions and ideas to be are  automatically put the signature under the recognition of the right winning pariahs to dictate their will. In the delusion about the superiority of many of the «national-pagans» reach absurd theses, such as: «Paganism is a legacy of only white people». In turn it leads to the already observed disrespectful and chauvinistic behavior towards non-European traditions, so in the ultra-European heathen enemies in the same row are both Christianity and Islam, and Hinduism. It is also worth remembering that the absolutization of polarities «friend or foe», where «foreign» at all deprived of any being and positivation, that corresponds to privative order language (and as a consequence to thinking), which fully corresponds to the Iron age, Modernism and liberalism.

Another understanding of the term «nation» is based on primordialism. In ethnology (ethnography) it is one of the scientific fields that considers ethnicity as the initial and continuing the union of people «blood» with the same attributes. According to primordialism nation is a special stage of development of ethnos that is akin to a biological phenomenon. Based on the principle of blood kinship, this definition of a nation can serve as a support in the identification and correlation of the nation with some pagan tradition in the process of recovery and reconstruction. Unfortunately, this definition has not received proper distribution.

A pillar of modern pagans represented in nation may be useful in question to determine their own roots, history of their family and, as a result, a more accurate definition of the respective pagan traditions. But this study should not give rise to a wretched chauvinism, which is frequent, but in ultimately absurd cases even leads to xenocentrism.

The other side is the phenomenon of so-called «pagan anti-fascism», which claims that traditional societies were supremely tolerant and anarchist in their structure. It may seem that we are talking about the same thing, the absence of chauvinism as Julius Evola mentioned. But Evola also spoke about the principle of Imperium, which is alien to any anarchism. Fascism like fascism is a product of modernity. After the collapse of Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany, anti-fascism had undergone several changes and took the roll in the direction of liberalism. Today the anti-fascist movement is fighting for the rights of animals, sexual minorities, oppressed groups and women, simultaneously denying scientific and technical progress. It is known that the Swedish Assembly Forn Sidra (Swedish Asatru) actively positioning themselves friendly to LGBT organization. Whether it is related somehow to the true pagan traditionalism? Definitely no. Chimera of «pagan anti-fascism» is a compromise to the Iron Age and alien to the spirit of pagan dharma in recent times.

The third pole of the political errors of the pagan traditionalism is a statement that liberalism and democracy are political platform of paganism. The absurdity of this assertion lies on the surface and is an indisputable marker of anyone who defends it as the Last Man[10]. Liberalism is an absolute ideological expression of the Iron Age. Democracy, the roots of which is artificially «found» in Icelandic and Russian Chamber Thing aren’t alien to the divine vertical hierarchy.

 

Contrary to popular opinion, the opposite of a slave is not free and the slave owner. «The slave does not want to be free; he wants to find his own servants» – the quote of ancients. Therefore, a truly free from this coin, the sides of which  are the slave and slave holder.

Another option proposes the principle Apolitea, according to which pagan is left alone with the modern world and his own dharma, not adhering to any political party and leading his struggle against the Kali Yuga.

***

We should also highlight the problem of pseudo-paganism and sects. This topic is relevant for both Russia and the former Soviet Union and the entire world. Many communities, schools, gurus who call themselves «pagans» or adherents of «old» pre-Christian faith, prove to be typical of postmodern New Age sects. Their specificity is superficial syncretism, which appeals to pseudo-linguistics and alternative history and chronology. They have the characteristics of totalitarian sects and cults of personality, loyalty to the modern world (otherwise often a way to keep the flock). The most popular mix is the mix of Slavic or Germanic tradition with the Vedic tradition of Hindustan, shamanism of small peoples of the Russian North and Polynesia, and science fiction. A striking example is the so-called «Slavic-Aryan Vedas» or the «Bhagavad Gita as it is» Swami Prabhupada.

It is worth noting about the hippie-pagan associations, naturists and environmentalists, which, while generally harmless, in fact, as far from the spirit of the pagan tradition.For clarity, should bring a list of pseudo-pagan teachings in Russia are:

Sect of Ynglings and their leaders Khinevich A. and A. Trehlebov.

The community Ezh Sloven and its leader Bohumil II Golyak

Community of Nav

Movement of Anastasia and their leader Maigret

Movement of Roerich’s followers

Personalities: Istarkhov, Levashov, Asov, Chudinov, Strizhak, Zadornov and their followers.

On the West and in Europeand are:

Wicca

Ariochistianity

Armanism

Esoteric Hitlerism of Miguel Serrano

Deep Ecology Movement

Odinism, as a symbol of American racist doctrine (D. Lane and The Order)

Krishnaism of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Theosophism[12]

Unfortunately, the list can be permanently continued, but the mention of the names are the most colorful and loud. Their active work in society, promoting their ideas is misleading as the ordinary people and as seeking the Way. In fact, their work is to discredit pagan traditionalism and has on his becoming a negative impact. Also, they are an excellent example of the negative propaganda in the hands of the authorities and emasculated by any sacredness of church leaders, increasing the already yawning gap between manifestationists and creationists. Jean Baudrillard in his writings introduced a very precise term «simulacrum» – a copy without an original. In fact, any reenactment pagan movement, a non-initiatory core or the person in charge is nothing more than a game even if it is true and authentic detail, it just a simulacrum.

In conclusion

We haven’t considered all myths and problems of pagan traditionalism, but we gave an extensive commentary concentrated to the most basic and fundamental issues. These responses give a rise to other issues that can be solved by solving other more applied problems, to debunk philistine myths. While paganism fanatically fights with other traditions, with manifestations of the degradation of the modern world, such as homosexuality, feminism, liberalism, tolerance and environmental issues it will forget the true goals. And the pagans who absolute individual problems will make adharma, no matter how attractive and true it seems to be.

War with branches does not eliminate the root problem or the modern that is the power of pariahs. It needs to be clarified that paganism is neither the game of reconstructers who pour ashes of Tradition from hands to hands, nor technocracy of materialism which denied access even the ashes. Technocracy and harmony with the modern world is a recognition of the meaning of existence and domination of the last people, outcasts, pariahs.

Traditionalism has a great potential for paganism. It can serve as a platform for the consolidation of the traditional anti-modern forces and arrow, which is a decree on the Supreme, Eternal Wisdom.

Heathendom is a beautiful Divine song about Himself

Monotheism is the same beautiful prayer indicating the drama of concealment.

Nihilism is a champ and mutterings of people describing the causes and consequences of its existence.

And if the divine rock is a self- estrangement to return, then the person like child, and his cousin, also forgets his nature. Today, for a pagan is important to understand that he is not a creature, but the son and grandson of the gods and the difference between him and God is an illusion.

When God finds himself, he realizes that he has never disappeared. When he returns to himself, he realizes has never gone away. When the Golden Age returns, it will be clear that there the others haven’t existed.

 

Heil Odin!

Askr Svarte

05.2013 era vulgaris

Novosibirsk

Translated by Svetoslav Polevoy

06.2015 era vulgaris

_______________________________

[1] According to Lactantius and St. Augustine.

[2] In Norse Ragnarøkr: ragna - from regin – «lord», «great»; røk - «fate», so not only the Ragnarok Battle Aces with Jotun, but the fate of the gods and the world. The term "twilight of the gods" is incorrect translation, though not devoid of poetic appeal.

[3] Christianity itself defines the meaning of the knowledge of the world as knowledge of the Creator's Plan and the implementation of this plan in their lives.

[4] M. Haggkvist. Grunnleggende problemer med hedensk tradisjonalisme / KulturOrgan Skadinaujo. № 2, 2003.

[5] Dionysos redivivus - «reviving Dionysus», paganorum - «pagan». See Georges Bataille. Literature and Evil.

[6] See a series of books under the general title «Ancient Rus».

[7] Kolesov V. based this on the works on phonology by Trubetskoy.

[8] See R. Guenon «Notes about Initiation».

[9] Not to be confused with the Gnostic Demiurge. Neo-Platonic Demiurge benefits and creates the world, contemplating higher ideas, ie with good intentions, while the Demiurge of the Gnostics - fallen from grace fool usurping the created world.

[10] Particularly ironic look pagans who support national-democratic ideas.

[11] As example see A. Dugin «Conspirology», 2005.

[12] Rene Guenon insisted on the introduction of a single term for «theosophy» E. Blavatsky, and also brought a thorough criticism of its doctrine/