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13 October 2010

The Role of Sex and Gender in Odinism


Fundamental to Odinism is Natural Law, which works consistently to support positive evolution within a balanced context at all levels. Natural Law is a set of rules laid down by that unfathomable being, Orlog, for all of nature to abide by and which allows us to play out the game of life skilfully. One of the main expressions of Natural Law is seen in the fact that there are males and females of many species, including in human beings. At the most obvious level, the interaction of men and women is crucial for the creation of children and hence, the survival of a family and the community. However, in order for this to happen successfully, the underlying male and female energies need to be balanced and to complement one another, otherwise there will be a dominance of one energy over another- an imbalance which will ultimately weaken both polarities and hence, the ability of a group to survive. We witness this crisis in wider society today where the insidious poison of monotheistic mindsets that denigrate the female energies has led to a materialistic society whose very fabric flouts natural law, creating pollution, apathy, lack of principle, family and community breakdown in its wake. Thus, all life is weakened.

Perhaps the major way in which the female energies have been denigrated is via the taboos set up around that natural event in women known as the menstrual cycle. This cycle has been culturally dichotomised into the ‘acceptable’ and the ‘unacceptable’ halves of womanhood. It is a gross distortion which arises from the patriarchal- or ‘addictive system,’ as I prefer to call it, because of the numbing behaviour patterns it creates for the benefit of the globalisation agenda- a system which damages both men and women. This system underpins western culture and its wellsprings arise from the desert creed ethos. Here the female body and sexuality are described in pathological terms and both are seen as responsible for the downfall of mankind- a position allegedly attributable to Eve’s exploits in the biblical Garden of Eden. According to the Judaeo-Christian mythology on which this whole cultural paradigm rests and which is enshrined in their ‘word of god’ known as the Bible, their god allowed Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from any tree in the garden- except for the ‘forbidden’ fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil- which stood beside the Tree of Life at the centre of the garden. He told them the fruit would cause their death. However, the serpent that dwelt there informed Eve this wouldn’t happen and indeed, that the fruit would open their eyes and allow them to be as gods, with knowledge of ‘good and evil.’ Thus, the serpent had granted Eve freewill and she chose to eat the fruit and to share it with her husband Adam: the fruit was an apple which, when halved, reveals the pentagram of the witches. Henceforth she possessed- according to the dissecting language of the Christian mythos- the ‘knowledge of good and evil.’ Of course, the vengeful Christian god cursed the serpent above all other creatures, foisted the pain of childbirth upon Eve, ordered Adam to rule over her, and duly expelled them from the Garden of Eden lest Adam too ate from the Tree of Life, henceforth banishing them to a life of perpetual toil. He then set cherubims and a flaming sword at the east of the garden to guard the Tree of Life.

This insidious and life-denying mythology has been devastating to our folk and folksoul. Immediately, it presents women and men as adversaries- a fundamentally erroneous principle that is alien to natural law. Further, it degrades women to that of second-class citizens and along with it, their natural functions of menstruation and childbirth. And because we are all born from the womb of a woman, this poisonous creed states that we are all ‘born into sin’ and can never atone for it. Meanwhile their apparently perfect god sits apart from nature, covertly spying upon us in all we do, passing judgement according to unattainable standards of perfection and if necessary, sending us into the eternal sadomasochistic fires of Hell when we die. Of course, this fosters a climate of fear and in that fear, blame: women become the scapegoats because they are seen as being responsible for this perceived ‘downfall.’

So how can we begin to redress this gross misconception back towards its true and natural life-affirming status? To begin with, we can review our understanding of the menstrual cycle; for if we study it, we can see that it is actually a microcosmic manifestation of the seasonal cycles: each ‘portion’ has its moods and shifts but it is always a ‘face’ of the whole dynamic of nature’s life/death/rebirth cycle. The characteristics of the ovulatory pole are like summer, whilst those of the menstrual pole are akin to winter, with the pre-ovulatory ones being like spring and the premenstrual aspects, autumn. Cycles give rise to regeneration and renewal: without them, we would be totally run down- just as if we were to have a continual summer which frazzled all the vegetation or a perpetual winter, where nothing could grow to fruition. Cycles pace us and give us prescience and the ability to ‘feel’ around ‘corners,’ acting as a crucible or container in which nothing is static and everything is alive and responsive; thus, they create a dynamic field in which the shifting current prevents stagnation and decay- a clear running river instead of a stagnant pond. The energies pervading the seasonal cycles also pervade the rhythms and energies of the universe and are encapsulated in the mythologies of folk as archetypes. An archetype is a representative character, which enables us to identify certain characteristics and images about specific energies and thus, they help mediate the message of that particular stream of energy. But it must always be remembered that an archetype provides a map and is not the territory: a map is static; territory undulates, changes, is not isolated from other influences and it is travelled. And so it is that archetypes are useful introductions to understanding an energy- a learning device and doorway; but they are merely a facet- an artificially defined locus upon the whole to which they are integral- and this fact must always be remembered.

Unfortunately though, we have to face the reality that wider global culture does not support the cyclical and instead, seeks to ‘flatten’ these events into an erroneous ego-defined illusion of ‘perfect states’ and seemingly endless productivity to mirror this perfect god. In doing so, it has entered a negative spiral of increasing sickness and disease that mirrors the toxic wellsprings of the predominant mythology. And when studied, we find the root of this poison is indeed the transglobal fear and denial of the menstrual cycle. The three main global taboos are blood, sex and death, all of which are integral to one another and, if studied, reveal the very fonts of wisdom the vengeful desert creeds would deny us. Even the word ‘taboo’ means- paradoxically- sacred, danger and menstrual! So where menstruating women such as the Oracle of Delphi, (Delphus means womb), were once revered for their powers of prophecy and intuition the event opens them to, a climate of fear-based and irrational- often superstitious- behaviours now surrounds our entire cultural perception of it as a ‘contaminating event.’ Springing from these core taboos, we find a hub of wider cultural thinking which enshrines three fundamental beliefs:

Disease is the enemy: values of destruction and violence are elevated against those of peace and nurturance. Military metaphors describe our bodies and there is a preference to treat the ‘part’ in isolation with drugs or surgery etc as opposed to non-toxic ‘alternative’ therapies. The body is subordinate to the brain and values of ‘reason.’

Medical science is omnipotent: we look outside ourselves for answers to health problems rather than trusting our instincts and ourselves. The inherent focus is pathological: our bodies are ‘accidents waiting to happen’ and so focus is upon the negative and using outside technology to solve the defined ‘problem’ rather than nurturing the healthy aspects of the individual to effect healing- i.e. labels are used to ‘flatten’ us instead of working towards a ‘wholeness of heart and being.’

The female body is abnormal: by equating male with ‘the norm,’ women tend to internalise the idea their bodies are basically unacceptable; this includes their shapes, dimensions (our cultural ideal ‘model’ weighs about 17% less than the average woman), personal hygiene, attitudes towards bodily parts and general distrust of the self. The ‘paternalistic’ tendencies of the medical system have meant the essentially female processes of menstruation, childbirth and menopause are viewed as ‘problems’ requiring medical intervention.

The body and mind affect each other profoundly: the body-mind is an ever-changing dynamic field of energy and not a static physical structure. It is a hologram in which every part contains information about the whole and vice versa. Thus, at one level, women appear to have learnt a ‘language of oppression’ in response to the dominant cultural mind-set, which manifests as the ‘premenstrual syndrome,’ pain and menopausal distress. Medics then attempt to suppress the presenting ‘isolated’ symptoms with tranquillisers, ‘the pill’ and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), all of which have numerous side-effects as well as being dangerous drugs which usually sink the distress deeper within the woman’s body-mind. Remember, chemicals and their resonances befuddle the mind and spirit as much- if not more- than the ‘right thinking’ popularly touted in the New Age market as the panacea for all problems. This is hardly surprising since the menstrual cycle is coordinated by the hypothalamus in the brain- the primordial, preternatural, reptilian brain, which connects with our ‘gut feelings’ about all life events. ‘The pill’ and HRT impose a homogenous cycle upon women, thus ‘flattening’ it by eliminating the natural fluctuations at the menstrual pole. By inducing a ‘placid cow’ syndrome, ‘the pill’ appears liberating, ‘freeing women from the tyranny of menstruation,’ thus ‘giving’ them ‘sexual freedom.’ In actuality, it creates a state in which the body-mind ‘thinks’ it is pregnant, so will- ironically- often damp sexual activity, encourage a plethora of health problems and weight gain and of course, suppress the inherent ‘lunar’ wisdom of the period. Indeed, menstrual distress is an alarm bell, warning us of the faults in our cultural paradigms. And because we have consistently ignored them, nemesis is being visited upon us: environmental toxins and oestrogen mimics – known as xenoestrogens- from ‘the pill’ and chemicals are wreaking havoc upon our very reproductive capacity and the health of the future generation. Ironically, the predominant menstrual disturbances manifest as hyperoestrogenism- that is, too much oestrogen in the body- as if to overtly emphasise our culture’s pathological focus upon one ‘acceptable’ half of the cycle!

In accord with this denigration of the female principle is the dogmatic assignment of 'value' to the terms 'masculine' and 'feminine.' Hence, the so-called 'masculine' values of dynamism, strength, rationality etc have been seen as of a more 'positive' value than the so-called 'feminine' values of receptivity, passivity, intuition etc. This is reflected by the importance wider society places on so-called 'successful careers' and 'roles:' usually, those activities regarded as 'successful' call for the exhibition of the apparent 'masculine' qualities, whilst the crucial 'feminine' roles of housewife and mother- which ultimately nurture the emergence of the masculine qualities- are riddled with low expectation and given a reduced status. As a result of this insidious conditioning, many people unconsciously equate 'role,' 'value' and 'gender' with one another and hence, their sense of self-esteem and level of personal development may well be undermined by the limits of these 'labels.' This placing of comparative 'value' on the two genders has seriously threatened the integrity of the family and through it, the community; as we see today, this leads to divisiveness, chaos, weakening and the denigration of all.

In actuality, both male and female energies are powerful and complementary. Let us consider for one moment the case of a pride of lions hunting. Typically, we see that the physically stronger males will cut out and drive the quarry away from its herd and towards the waiting females, who will pounce and administer the final death-dealing bite to the jugular. Thus, both are hunters; and yet, this is an adjective that is so often extolled as being a typically male characteristic. But it is this teamwork, which provides meat for the pride. Similarly, we note that the territorial 'warrior' aspect of the male lion will ensure that the females can raise their cubs in a protected environment. However, this does not mean the female is passive: her smaller size, agility and cunning will make her a fast and powerful killer of any creature threatening her cubs. Is she any less of a ‘warrior’ because of the different methods she uses towards the same ends- that of protection and ultimately, survival of the pride? Nature has endowed both male and female with the ability to protect, but in different ways, which complement and enhance the other's ability. This leads to more skilful living and hence, greater success of the species.

Sex is a powerful and crucial cohesive force within a folk community; it is the substrate which binds the group through the medium of male and female sexual attraction and if these polar energies are properly balanced and thus catalysing each other’s essential nature of being, then the folk group will be strong. It is as though this basic interaction that Orlog gave us as a fundamental rule of nature acts like a tuning fork whose resonance vibrates through the community to maintain the natural alignment of energies. This resonance is shaped over millennia via a complex interplay of genetics, culture, environment and folk Gods. And because different folk groups will resonate in different ways- to a different tune so to speak- then it can be seen that the force of sexual attraction- when operating in balance- will also be a naturally powerful way of maintaining racial integrity so that the diversity of the different races can occupy different niches within nature. Thus, in so doing, the natural world’s resources do not become exhausted and all of nature thrives; once again, we see the wisdom of Orlog’s rules.

However, the poison within the collective psyche has effectively dichotomised the female principle into ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ halves, epitomised by the desert creed ideas of the virgin Mary- whose conception of Jesus is referred to as having been immaculate i.e. it did not involve the sexual act, and Mary Magdalene- the ‘scarlet woman’ of sin. Hence, a terrible all-pervading guilt about sex swamps our culture and creates many of the social problems we witness today. Several have been passed down the generations. Consequently, because sex cannot be dispensed with and yet, is riddled with negative connotations, it has instead become dissected out in the collective psyche as a separate ‘thing,’ a commodity to be ‘had’ and hence, not fully understood as an integral aspect of a balanced, loving and fidelitous relationship. Then, in a rebellious attempt to fight against this inculcated guilt, the very idea of fidelity is also rejected whilst sex is sought promiscuously as a means of entertainment in the mistaken belief that ‘picking up’ a partner for the night or weekend is freedom and liberation. In fact, it does nothing but prevent the catalysis and deepening of the polar relationships at more levels than the physical and further, will merely affect the individual’s own energies negatively at both the subtle and grosser levels of being. AIDS is a syndrome arising from erosion of the body’s immune system; yet, not all people contacting the HIV virus develop AIDS because disease… think for a moment about the word, ‘dis-ease’… can exist at any level on our spectrum of energy frequencies: for all is energy. Indeed, we can learn something from the genuine practise of the tantric arts: it is the awakening of the kundalini energies and their correct mediation through the chakras that will lead to spiritual enlightenment in a balanced polar partnership. And menstruation is a time in a woman’s cycle when there is a great chakra cleansing by this force.

So by making menstruation a taboo subject, it has been one of the most successful methods ever devised to undermine the self-acceptance and confidence of women via the persecution of half their sexual nature. This revised persecution of women- witches- and thus indirectly men also via the desert creed poison- is the critique of the menstrual cycle and the creation of the so-called ‘Women’s Liberation’ movement. It is a paradigm, which serves the globalisation agenda admirably. Having denigrated the -apparently- ‘feminine’ principles and extolled the virtues of the -apparently- ‘masculine,’ women are encouraged to become prototype ‘men’ in their bid for perceived equality. Of course, such aspiration automatically precludes the importance of the menstrual cycle to women: for all the psyche quarrying that feminist literature thrives upon, it rarely ever mentions menstruation and if it does, it is either somehow degraded or perceived as being of little consequence. As a movement, feminism maintains the culture of blame so beloved of the desert creeds: in referring to the wider cultural system as being ‘patriarchal,’ feminists blame men for all the problems and injustices when in fact, it is both sexes who perpetuate a wider cultural system that abuses all and keeps them stuck in patterns of addictive behaviour. These only momentarily satiate unexpressed natural needs relating to soul growth before more is required- the ideal consumer! Unfortunately, what many of these women also don’t realise is that the very role model they are attempting to emulate in the hope of being ‘empowered and independent’ is actually a pacified robotic shell in service to the globalisation agenda that also alienates them from their families: so much for liberation!

In close accord with the manipulation of feminism by the transglobal powers that be is New Ageism and to a large extent, modern ‘paganism’ and Wicca, all of which support the universalistic viewpoint that all gods are one god and all goddesses one goddess. As such, notions of interfaith debate and amalgamation are fostered because all are seen to be of equal value. Wicca itself often veers towards a monotheistic approach in which the goddess will be seen as of more importance than her consort and again, many women with feminist interests are attracted to it. Meanwhile, both men and women will seek to ‘merge with’ the energies of the opposite sex via the godforms being invoked. This pollutes both the primal male and primal female energies and ultimately disempowers both men and women. Additionally, a feeling of solidarity with other ‘disadvantaged’ groups such as homosexuals or victims of disasters in obscure countries is fostered via the equal rights and political correctness lobby and used to tighten the noose towards global slavery; the latter helps asset strip nations via funds donated to ‘help’ disasters abroad- providing they reach the intended destinations in the first instance! Of course, this is a relatively easy thing to achieve because the ‘changes’ in their religious views from orthodoxy are more cosmetic than foundational, being somewhat existential in approach and having as a fundamental law ‘do what though wilt as long as it harms none’- the perfect recipe for pressing those tattooed guilt buttons! In the meantime, many of the ‘New Age’ spiritual practises that are taught actually work against women’s natural cycles and as such, continue the oppression of their primal female nature. Yet paradoxically, the majority of those attending such conferences are women! When the fundamental understanding that life in the modern world actively suppress the natural law of cycles to the disadvantage of both men and women- and coupled with the relentless political machinations of the globalisation agenda- it is easy to see why New Ageism and general paganism are thriving to the detriment of true folk religions such as Odinism, whose central cultural unit is the family.

Thus, by creating a ‘one size fits all’ religion with its sterile and perverse teachings that denigrate females via the label of ‘feminine’ and place their perfect god separate from nature, our environment has been massacred and our folk alienated from their heritage, their gods and each other. So, folk find themselves bereft on a sea of confusion, increasing social violence, apathy and a lessening of racial consciousness. Meanwhile, total disregard for suffering has become endemic. In the case of the northern European folk, an unnatural shame of their heritage is also displayed in the mistaken belief that alien cultures are somehow superior. And thus, our numbers and freedom are constantly being eroded in the grip of this globalisation agenda.

So, in the advent of such an unnatural society, we might be forgiven for asking what exactly is natural?’ How do we set about rediscovering what this mysterious ingredient to our resurgence is? Most importantly, a return of the family as the unquestioned basic social unit needs to be fostered: it is the guarantee of individual freedom- the bulwark of the individual against an oppressive state and the foundation for all civilised virtues. Women need to reclaim their own inherent power, potency and spirituality- their sense of self. Both sexes need to realise that nurturing a family is a crucial role for the survival of our folk- and never more important than it is today as our numbers dwindle. To help this process, women also need to reclaim the gifts of the menstrual cycle and in particular, to make peace with the process: indeed, both men and women need to do so. Both must understand that qualities regarded as being ‘feminine attributes’ are just as strong as those defined in more masculine terms. Men and women must accept each other as being sacred in their own right- as mediators of the god and goddess force respectively- and to hold the virtues of trust and fidelity within a relationship sacrosanct. In doing so, they will deepen their own polar strengths and catalyse this deepening response within each other, thus leading to wholeness of being. Ultimately, our folk will be stronger because their relationships will be deeper and more natural and hence, so will the resonance of the folk community.

It is worth mentioning here that in some groups seeking a solution to the dwindling numbers of our northern European folk, the suggestion is that as many women as possible should reproduce with each having as many children as possible. Whilst this might- apparently- be a quick way of redressing the balance, two things must be realised:

Number one: women are not baby-making machines. Just because she can bear children, it doesn’t automatically mean a woman must- just as a man doesn’t have to father a child simply by virtue of being physically capable. A woman is an individual in her own right with her own beliefs and aspirations- her own gifts to our folk. Some may not wish to have children, preferring to use their polar gifts in other ways and this is natural. Indeed, within the wider context of nature, it is simply not desirable for every member of a population to reproduce as this will lead to imbalance and a straining of resources. Many of our cultural heroines such as Queen Boudicca are remembered for their deeds outside the family unit: Joan of Arc was a virgin warrioress. And we see the different gifts that women have to bring to our folk reflected in the various Goddesses of the Odinic pantheon. Further, a woman should be physically, emotionally, psychologically and materially ready and able to have a child so that a healthy and nurturing environment protects both. It truly does not make sense when a society that puts so many parameters in place to protect children from sex offenders and other dangerous members of the public will in the same breath, suggest having a baby to ‘cure’ virtually any female malady from menstrual upsets to helping her ‘settle down;’ if these women follow such advice and the proffered cure doesn’t work, how will either mother or child be safe? We must ‘get real’ and understand that we live in a physically polluted society that has had severe consequences on our ability as a folk to reproduce, amongst which complications throughout pregnancy and birth for both mother and child aren’t uncommon- with even death of either being possible. Some women’s bodies simply are not healthy enough to support a successful pregnancy and as such, they should not be made- through an inversion of a value system that still fails to respect women- to feel they are hindering their folk group because they do not have children. Meanwhile, if through such health problems or the distorted cultural background in which she is raised, a woman is psychologically or emotionally unable to adequately nurture a new life; if as a consequence of this cultural lens she finds herself in an abusive relationship, then it is probably best she doesn’t have children: there is no point in replicating dysfunctional family units in the misguided notion that we need to increase our numbers at any cost. For all we will succeed in doing is duplicating a dysfunctional society- one that replicates the catholic ethos of reproductive slavery, no matter the consequences. This will not support the New Awakening for which Odinists strive.

Number two: fertility is a metaphor that encapsulates many qualities such as vitality, vibrancy, health, wholeness and greatness- attributes that are cherished by our folk. Fertility is about the art of recognising and attuning to the motion of tides and cycles at all levels and working with them to gain such advantages. We must not make the mistake that is endemic in wider society of consigning the meaning of fertility to literal status. Literal imagery is useful: it wraps the metaphor in a way that is accessible to all levels of understanding and is much like a list of what’s inside a parcel. But then, like in the game of ‘pass the parcel,’ as each layer of paper is removed, a different wrapping is revealed and each wrapping is a structure for the essential truth of the metaphor: for metaphors have layers of meaning. Thus it is with the metaphor of fertility; it is as much about describing the creation of a strong and vibrant folk community - whose individuals see themselves as such - as it is about physical fertility. And indeed, if a folk group perceive themselves in such positive ways, they will naturally hold the family unit in high esteem so that not only will the individuals be more balanced psychologically, but they will also be adequately prepared for the responsibility of parenthood. Hence, in all likelihood, they will be more empowered to take that step- providing circumstances permit in all respects. The creation of a child should be an act of sacred love and joy - a conscious and responsible choice- not a proscribed obligation in the mistaken belief this is inarguably a woman’s highest function just because she is physically fertile. Some women feel it is; others feel it isn’t: both are correct. The hallmark of our folk is freedom; and in that freedom the responsibility to be the best we can as folk in our community, which may or may not involve having children. A great and indomitable folk is as much about the quality and integrity of its individuals as it is about numbers: the many are easily led by whoever is in power at the time as all of history and the present day attests to repeatedly. Numbers are needed; but so are spiritual and warrior leaders who may or may not be parents. Odinism respects and strives for balance in all things.

In summary then, we can see that in Odinism, both the Gods and Goddesses have crucial roles relative to life's picture. We find that each God has a complementary Goddess. And whilst all roles are vital to the bigger picture, no single one is considered more important than another: all are required for the sustenance and evolution of society and tapestry of life. But neither are the Gods and Goddesses limited to their personal roles: they are inherently a God or Goddess because they are an expression of the lifeforce. Thus, their role is an aspect of them, but not their total being. Similarly, humans- male or female- can have a variety of roles in life; but as a unique expression of the lifeforce, they should work to transcend these limitations. Crucially, this should be in balanced cooperation with each other. For whilst men and women are each powerful in their own right, balanced cooperation will actually enhance and deepen those inherent forces which create, sustain and evolve life. By proudly working to restore the true and holy nature of the male and female polarities in proper relationship to each other, so our folk will be restored to their rightful strength. This is Natural Law and as an expression of such, Odinism holds this balance of polarity- that is both men and women- as equally sacred sustainers of the whole.

And one final point. There never were two trees in the Garden of Eden: that was a contrived illusion designed to deceive us all. There was, is - and always will be - only one whole tree. It is the Tree of Life from which all wisdom springs and in Odinic mythology it is known as Yggdrasil. Waes Thu Hael!

Eowyn is a member of The Odinic Rite, BCM Runic, London WC1N 3XX, England


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