Q. Rota: “Coming from a progressive (read; NOT universalist) heathen, I find your views on women and heathenry to reek of monotheist baggage and otherwise antiquated views, not to mention some information on here is either appropriated for your own views/purposes (i.e Freya as only a goddess of pleasure and beauty) or just super made-up (i.e your World Elements chart). It saddens me that some groups of heathenry have come to this.”
A. Andrew: Thank you for your comments. I’ve taken a lot of criticism over the “male/female roles.” I find your objections intriguing. As you know, this is a reconstructionist movement and religion. My attempt to reconstruct functional (and flexible) roles was more intended to “empower” women…and men…in the face of opposition to “natural” functions of what nature has indicated in our body development and function. For example, nature has provided women with breast feeding ability, not men. Women have monthly periods, not men. Women get pregnant, not men. I agree that is “antiquated,” for it is surely from antiquity that women and men’s bodies have been fashioned and equipped to function differently. So I take that part of what you say as a backhanded compliment. So thank you. This is a “natural” path. It is not a “contemporary” path. We are trying to find the ancient true way of our ancestors that is consistent with the “nature” the gods built into us. Not some manmade modern path built on the “fashions” of the times unsustainable without chemicals or artificial support. But it is built on the timeless foundation of eternal Nature formed by the gods. It is a religion, not a political “idea.” “Nature” isn’t broke for the majority, so we don’t need to “fix” it or even want to “fix” it in that case. We want to find out how to align ourselves with it and the gods and goddesses who created it. We can compensate with manmade intervention for the “broken” exception, whether that is a broken leg or broken reproductive ability. However, when there is nothing wrong or “broken” in nature, we are content to keep it as it is and follow if not enhance its natural function.
I comment on this at length in my book, “The Eyes of Odin” to be found at lulu.com. Perhaps the summary on my website is too brief. I also correlated the roles to the functions of the goddesses’ roles and functions as described in both the Eddas. Surely you do not disagree with “everything” I said. It is a very broad brush you use to decry my statements with “monotheistic baggage.” It leaves me nothing to review or amend since it requires me to know what Your experience with “monotheism” is as both a perception and function.
I feel your fire. There is something burning in you that brings you to be so disapproving in response. I need to know what those are. As I said in the introduction, our religion was born out of a community, not from a prophet. I consider you a part of that “community”. So, now that I have received your clear slap of disapproval for which I accept as totally well intended for us all, if you please, would you point to those “reeking” elements? Or is it just a smell to you? We have all grown up in America under “Judeo-Christian” indoctrination, inculcating us with a worldview that I agree may often leave unconscious residue in our paradigms, in my paradigms. We are fighting for our minds to be free from them. Please don’t think you have to fight me too. Point to it. State your case. I know many are not receptive to correction, so you may have felt you needed to be so discouraged and hostile. I feel and grieve over the fact that that very attitude is too a residue and result of “monotheism.” All they seem to do is argue and fight over their “beliefs.” You have standing. Your feelings and contributions matter. Help us all get free from the cords they have used to tie us to their ways of thinking and behavior. I see this as a “team” effort, which I understand as a “kindred” effort. Surely that is not “monotheistic.” Is it?
Sincerely, Gothi Andrew Webb