By Wotans Krieger | December 23rd 2015
The notion of Santa Claus as the bringer of gifts at Yule can only be traced back to the the late 19th century in England, having reached County Durham in the northeast of England by the 1880s. However he can be traced back to mainland northern Europe much earlier than this and indeed the name Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch Sinter Klass from St. Nicholas who is a xtianised version of the Germanic God Woden. However despite the comparatively late arrival of Santa Claus to England the concept of an old man with supernatural powers granting gifts at Yule can be traced further back in England to Father Christmas in the 16th century and indeed even earlier than this. The English version that we have today is no doubt a fusion of these various mythical beings.
Father Christmas in England has always been portrayed as an aged and bearded man wearing either green or red robes, lined with furs. He appears to have supernatural and ineed elf-like qualities, being able to transport himself down chimneys. Clearly whether we call this being Santa Claus or Father Christmas these are most certainly xtianised names for a much older and pre-xtian entity. Yule is an ancient midwinter festival observed by the Germanic and other northern European peoples and its origins are lost in antiquity for it is so ancient.
In the multicultural west we are told to say Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas or these days Happy Holidays as to not offend others. Lana tells about the true origins of newcomer holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Where did these holidays originate? Are they original? Why are they also in December, like Christmas? She’ll also talk about the true origins of Christmas, which is entirely borrowed from Yule, the pre-Christian European celebration of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas are all imposters, culturally appropriating from the ancient European Winter Solstice celebration. Learn about the myth, symbolism and tradition of Yule.
In this special Yuletide episode, most of the Red Ice crew – Henrik, Lana, John and Melanie (we missed you, Fredrik!) –joins together to discuss the significance of the winter holiday season today and what this important time of year meant to our ancestors. We talk about our childhood memories of Christmas and family teachings, or lack thereof, of pre-Christian traditions surrounding the winter solstice and return of the sun. Henrik describes the ancient Norse pagan ritual, the Blót, which included sacrificial offerings at Uppsala to the gods Odin and Freya, and Lana tells the mythical story of the Wild Hunt, with the flying 8-legged horse, Sleipnir. We get into the legend of Krampus, the shamanic aspects of Santa Claus, the significance of the colors of Yule, the burning of the Yule log, and other symbols central to survival. We receive a history lesson on the origins of Kwanza and Hanukkah, and we look at how Christmas has been culturally appropriated and manufactured into celebrations that hijack the ancient energy of northern European solar traditions. Then, we discuss how Hanukkah has taken center stage at the White House and we listen to a clip from Obama’s big liberal propaganda party that included PC holiday blessings from Susan Talve, a Rabbi from the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis. Our conversation rounds off with thoughts on the importance of storytelling and practicing rituals, along with rediscovering and honoring the ancient Norse essence of generosity and clan loyalty.
Source: Red Ice Radio
From Heathen Harvest | May 14th 2015
When Steve McNallen pledged his loyalty to the Gods and Goddesses of Northern Europe in the late 1960s, he could have hardly imagined the far-reaching implications of this personal act of devotion. Now, over forty years later, Asatru (an Icelandic word that means true to the Gods) is one of the fastest growing new religious movements in America. In Asatru: A Native European Spirituality, McNallen describes the origins and development of Asatru, its kinship with other tribal and ethnic religions, and the cosmological and philosophical underpinnings of this dynamic and inspiring faith. He outlines the rituals, seasonal festivals, and code of ethics embraced by modern practitioners of Asatru. More importantly, McNallen explains his vision of what Asatru can and must become. Asatru is more than just another empty offering on the spiritual smorgasbord of post-religious America. For men and women of European descent, Asatru is the key to unlocking our vibrant spiritual heritage.
Read the full article at Heathen Harvest
From: Red Ice Radio
June 1st, 2015
Stephen A. McNallen has been a soldier, a journalist, a juvenile corrections officer, and a schoolteacher. In 1971, McNallen founded the Viking Brotherhood, the first legally recognized religious organization dedicated to the Gods and Goddesses of Northern Europe. Today, McNallen is the head of the Asatru Folk Assembly, the preeminent Asatru organization on the North American continent. Stephen joins us following the recent publication of his first book, “Asatru: A Native European Spirituality.” He begins by clarifying some of the terminology often associated with indigenous northern European religions and traditions, and he gives an overview of the pre-Christian Germanic roots of Asatru along with its Celtic and Nordic connections. Stephen explains the attitude of Asatru beliefs, which above all consists of an ancestral faith practiced with a sense of freedom as noble men and women who do not need to be saved. He gives emphasis to the essence of connectedness – to our ancestors, our decedents yet to come, our living kin, the Gods and Goddesses, and the Earth and nature – ties that hold benefits and responsibilities. We discuss the savage Christianization of Germanic tribes that forced the abandonment of their natural spirituality and destroyed the importance of kinship bonds. Steve points to distinctions between the monotheistic father-God religions that view humans as slaves and property, and the polytheistic view of multiple Gods as kin and friends – Holy Powers that are part of one’s integral being. In the second segment, we consider how the Viking Sagas differ from the Christian bible, and Stephen describes where Asatru draws a sense of order and strength and addresses the fundamental questions of philosophy from a collection of values and virtues known as the 9 Noble Virtues and the 12 Traits. Then, we look at the themes of some of the central wisdom quest myths that teach the Odinic way of transcending and acquiring higher consciousness. We talk about the symbolism of performing rituals such as blót and drinking mead when recognizing the devotion, energy and insight received from the Gods and our ancestors. Later, Stephen gives a rough sketch of the pantheon of sky and Earth Gods recognized in Asatru and how their stories have been passed down in different ways throughout time. At the end, we reflect on the significance of the reemergence of Asatru during this time, an awakening that offers a healing and revival to the European people who have lost their sense of identity and wholeness.