General => Research Needed => Topic started by: yngona on May 30, 2008, 04:34:53 pm

Title: Yngona Desmond
Post by: yngona on May 30, 2008, 04:34:53 pm
I am Vinland’s Volva, an honorary title of respect and recognition, gifted me by Sámi Noaide (‘shamans’; This does not make me a Sámi, just recognized by them).  I have been a Heathen for 36+ years, of the Euro-tribe: Heithni.  Currently, my tribe consists of some 200+ folk living mostly in the Southeastern United States.

I am a spiritual traveler and sacred pilgrim, visiting and honoring sacred sites across
continental Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia.  I have lived in Europe and spent extensive
time in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Wales.  In 2005, I lived and learned, laughed and loved,
with Sámi Noaide in Finland.
At all times, my overall focus is on the Folksoul of my people.  Secondly, it is on education.  My other interests include: the active monitoring of Ley-lines; the use of Galdr (chant/charm) to
re-tune and re-align sacred sites; aiding local Guardians with energy clean up; the
study and praxis of ancient energy healing techniques – or, Forn Þreifa; and the support of other cultural groups seeking to maintain their heritage and traditions. 
Having never been Christian, my worldview is unique in that I have a deeply rooted
connectedness and profound sense of understanding to the seemingly impenetrable depths
of Heathen mysticism, Seiðr philosophy, and Female Mystery Traditions.
I am the founder of the Georgia Heathen Society and the Southlands Tribal Alliance; a
Brother within the Brotherhood of the Sacred Hunt (BOSH); a fellow of the American
Academy of Religion, and member of the World Congress of Religions.  I have a masters
in Religious Studies and a doctorate in Philosophy.  My book, _Völuspá - Seiðr as Wyrd
Consciousness_, is considered the “definitive??? guide on Seiðr study and praxis.
I am a full-time writer and lecturer, have just completed two more books, and maintain a blog here:
My husband Tim and I are the proud Lord and Lady of Heimat Hof – the only 501 (c)
Heathen ‘church’ in the United States (located in Georgia).
For additional information, my email address is:

Live Deliberately!
Yngona Desmond
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Freija on May 30, 2008, 05:20:20 pm
I am Vinland’s Volva, an honorary title of respect and recognition, gifted me by Sámi Noaide (‘shamans’; This does not make me a Sámi, just recognized by them). 

Hi and welcome!

Didn´t know that the Samis had a "Völva" as their beliefs were quite different to other people in Scandinavia and Finland. Never heard about that, so...interesting. Could you tell us more about it?
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on May 30, 2008, 06:37:07 pm
At all times, my overall focus is on the Folksoul of my people.

Curiously, many people who would turn away anyone deemed insufficiently Northern European from joining their Kindred would adamantly deny any racism. My theory is that a significant number of people have managed to internalize the idea "racism = bad", without this preventing them from behaving in a discriminatory fashion towards others! Or, a dear friend puts it, "Identifying as folkish is a way of saying that you're a racist without actually admitting to yourself that you're a racist."

Take your phony whites-only religion and shove off to Stormfront, where it appears people have heard of you:

Don't even think of sneaking back here with a sock-puppet ID and trying that "Heathens are just proud of our ancestors" bullcrap. Every neo-nazi enjoys putting on a hurt expression and saying the same thing.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Kevin on May 31, 2008, 12:58:45 am
Brotherhood of the hunt, eh?  sounds like poachers to me  LOL

The Heathen Society of Georgia - hmmm, sounds like a gay chain gang if you ask me doing hard time for fraud and other nefarious acts

this can't be real, I just came across it    what a laugh!!
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: educatedindian on June 01, 2008, 01:59:31 pm
You might not be that far off the truth Kevin. When I was in Sweden there happened to be a march of neo Nazis near where I was speaking. I was amazed at their wimpiness. They actually had a gathering listening to their supposed traditional music, which turned out to be corniest soft folk music I'd ever heard. Imagine a very limp version of Kum Bay Yah, sung in Swedish. And this bunch of neo-Nazis (maybe 100 or so) were all holding hands listening to it...I thought I was in a Monty Python movie or something.

Racist pagans looking to fantasies about NDNs for validation is as old as Hitler's love of Karl May books. I can't think of any other reason she'd come here.

She's also scheduled to be the honored guest at a pagan "Gathering of Tribes" run by Betsy Ashby. The older members will remember Ashby as a seething racist and big fan of Brooke Medicine Ego, so big a fan she tried to shut us down repeatedly for daring to criticize that fraud, even using a sleazy lawyer who ran and hid when we wanted to get him disbarred for his unethical tactics. Looking at the festival this year, Ashby no longer claims to have any NDN shamans in the lineup. Maybe she learned her lesson, or more likely no NDNs in the area want anything to do with her. So now she's using "folkish" types like Desmond who have appeal for Stormfront racists.

That claim of having over 200 members in her "tribe" looks to be wishful thinking. Probably the number of people who have ever expressed any interest. Their own website says they have seating for 30 to 60 people.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: ska on June 01, 2008, 05:25:50 pm
What's with all the gay-bashing?  ska
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on June 01, 2008, 08:43:53 pm
Whoa there. Gay-bashing? I think there's a difference between that and highlighting the homoerotic undertones common to ideas of maleness in the overlapping nazi and 'heathen' scenes.

Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: educatedindian on June 02, 2008, 03:59:03 pm
NAFPS has long had gay members, and does not tolerate prejudice against them or any others.

Just like with Yeagley, I enjoy holding white racists up to ridicule for their hypocrisy. If you can't make fun of Nazis holding hands, what's the world coming to?
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Moma_porcupine on June 03, 2008, 01:20:26 pm
I know less than next to nothing about what is being discussed here, but I guess that puts me in the position of being able to say I'm not sure what is being said  ...

Is everyone who uses the term Volva or folksoul , involved with a group that excludes people who aren't White?

Is the term "folksoul" the same as the term "folkish"?

I can see wanting people who really do have the heritage a group represnts, and not people who are pretending. This would only seem  racist if say someone who was 1/2 Black and 1/2 Northren European was excluded from participating . 

Just because some people abuse this , or some White supremacists mention the book this person wrote, would not , in itself mean the group is racist , anymore than finding a bunch of exploiters of Native traditions who mention a book about Fools Crow means that Fools Crow was an exploiter.

Someone reading through this who hasn't got a clue , such as myself , may get the impression what has been said here is not warrented by the facts that were presented. I know a few times stuff has ome up like this and Ihave thought maybe people who said it were just over the top, but as i learned more i found out you all knew what you were talking about. I am guessing this is the same sort of situation .. Just, it hasn't been clearly explained to the average uninformed reader .

And I think maybe Ska was just refering to a few possibly disrespectful comments aimed at gays that have been made over the last couple weeks... by various people . None were as obviously disrespectful as some I have seen edited here in the past but they did make me wonder ...
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: frederica on June 03, 2008, 02:38:59 pm
I looked up 'folksoul' when it started and here is what I came up with.    After that I let it alone, was over my head  or I lost interest. I don't know how the person was using the term. But if someone read the literature and said it was racist, I might take their word for it.  It's kinda like people thinking eugenics and genetics are the same thing, and a lot of people do, as that is what they want to believe. But is the leader believes something, you can count on a certain number of people following. I have never heard of them and do not know anyone that has.  So I have to rely on people that have a background in that or those practices.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on June 03, 2008, 03:55:32 pm
I got a 'not found' error for that link, Frederica.

Anyone curious about whethe Desmond identifies as 'folkish' can take a look at these posts on her blog:

They feature the kind of bile often found in the writings of neo-pagan sectarians. In this context 'universalist' means Nordic neo-pagans who don't put enough emphasis on what everyone else thinks of as race. Those universalist fools let anyone in! If they're not careful they'll pollute the purity of the, er, northern European heritage. Desmond's message is 'folkish good, not-folkish bad'.

'Folk' in this context is an approximation of the German word Volk, which has unsavoury connotations not present in the English word folk. Desmond and her mead-quaffing buddies are using it in a technical sense which includes those connotations, because they don't have a problem with them. Race would be a more honest translation, but that would cause severe cognitive dissonance.

'Folk-soul' is a term used, rather coyly these days, by followers of the Austrian occultist Rudolf Steiner. It is a translation of the German word volkseele, or 'national soul'. Steiner's racist consmology is populated with these imaginary beings, which are supposed to guide the destiny of nations. Before he became the leader of an occultist sect, Steiner was a racist agitator in the pre-WW1 pan-Germanist movement. His antisemitism and racism survived the transition from hack to guru intact; he claimed that if white women read 'negro novels' they would give birth to 'mulattos', that 'the continued existence of the Jewish race is a mistake of world history', etc etc.

Nowadays his followers, like the more hypocritical 'folkish heathens', waste huge amounts of bandwidth arguing that it is not racist to assign differing spiritual characteristics based on, for example, the colour of someone's skin or their ancestors' religion.

I can see wanting people who really do have the heritage a group represnts, and not people who are pretending.

The 'northern European heritage' these groups claim to represent is simply a code phrase for 'white', and that's how it works in practice in those groups which are not openly racist (the openly racist don't bother with code phrases). They'll look applicants up and down and see if they pass as sufficiently white. The pseudo-archaic slang, the beard-growing, the dress-up-box-raiding is really dressing up an attempt to extend modern constructions of whiteness and more generally 'conservative values' back into the distant past. In the more recent past there's too much nasty stuff associated with 'Nordicness' which nice people don't like thinking about while they're enjoying being white.

Finally, WTF is someone doing talking about 'Vinland' on an Indian forum? That's an expression of white ownership.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Moma_porcupine on June 03, 2008, 04:11:17 pm
Thanks for providing more of a background for your comments Barnaby. What you are saying now makes a lot better sense to those of us who haven't done as much research in that area as you have .

Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: frederica on June 03, 2008, 04:18:33 pm
humm, I get "Some thought on the Basis Premises of the Faith", by Huikar.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Ingeborg on June 03, 2008, 05:20:39 pm
Is the term "folksoul" the same as the term "folkish"?

It is a translation of the German word 'Volksseele' and thus not the same as the term folkish. The link Frederica provided explains the term and a few others; the text starts, however, with an explanation of how the different 'races' developed differing characters due to their respective environments. This is in short what part of the (Neo)Nazi movement proclaims in order to ban imigration totally: people from other parts of the world cannot adjust to 'our' environment, any attempt to do so must fail, so everyone should stay where they were born and especially not mix.
Terms like folk/Volk (=people) or Northern European are also used in favour of more outspoken terms which will instantly denote a racist background, and in order to avoid a respective identification by others.

Whenever one sees a person claiming to be a heathen and mixing various Northern European traditions plus a few German words, then it's high time for the BS detector to ring loud and clear.

The Desmonds did not choose a Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish term for their 'church' but a German one, but claim they follow Northern traditions. 'Heimat' is the German word for 'homeland', 'Hof' is German for 'farm' and can also mean 'court'. I suppose we see the Desmonds' titles as 'Lord' and 'Lady' simply because they don't know the German translations.... In fact they know even less, as their version of 'Heimat Hof' is spelled wrong.

When you google for Ms Desmond's name, you get 11 pages of results, and google deletes 7 results; when you google 'folksoul', 10 links out of 5 pages are deleted. Ms Desmond also owns a blog named "Thuleheim" and this name is not all that unsuspicious (e.g. cf Thule Society), and once again it is a German word. The google search also comes up with several contributions in yahoogroups and blog entries in which Ms Desmond prefers to speak of Mr Desmond as 'meine man' or 'meine mann' (although spelling did improve somewhat, she still doesn't get it correct, plus that, given he claims the title of a lord, he should be 'mein Gatte' - wonder whether we'll see hasty adjustments in her blogs - LOL), and in her blogs, she refers to various heathen clans with the term 'Sippe' - again this is a German term. She even brags about having furnished her home with a German corner bench (which are viewed as really outdated over here...). Right, all this fondness for things German or German terms means something when one claims to be into Northern European religion.

Here's an excerpt from Ms Desmond's bio:
Yngona Desmond was raised to value both Celtic folklore and Theosophy. For over 35 years she has lived, studied, and taught a mystical and spiritual lifestyle. Independently, she has been a student and practitioner of yogic traditions since childhood.
So a change from Celtic folklore to Germanic Volksseele must have taken place some time. Theosophy has been covered at NAFPS before, especially its racist concept of so-called root races according to which American ndn nations are doomed to vanish while certain others are seen as 'superior'.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: frederica on June 04, 2008, 02:08:22 am
I checked with the Southen Poverty Law Center. They are not on any active hate group or Neo-Nazi lists. So they are just to themselves right now.  We had someone here last year that was "leader' of a stone age tribe from Northern Germany.  Valley of the Moon People or something. An article was posted that she gave a speech in Germany and was confronted with the same thing by someone in the audience.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on June 04, 2008, 04:58:43 pm
I checked with the Southen Poverty Law Center. They are not on any active hate group or Neo-Nazi lists. So they are just to themselves right now. 

I don't think these particular kooks actively proselytise hatred, nor are they seen in brown uniforms, but that doesn't mean they're not repulsive racists. You could argue that any of these not-quite-Hitler-worshipping groups are neo-nazis due to the historical influence of the American Nazi Party on the entire white-supremacist scene. I noticed a racist skinhead group called 'Vinlanders Georgia' on one of the links above: more evidence of the use to which that word is put by white supremacists.

In 2006 Desmond publicly affiliated herself ( to some rather troubling neopagan groups: the Asatru Folk Assembly, the Odinic Rite, and the Heathen Front.

As a Folkish Heiðinn I must support and contribute to those organizations that I feel whole-heartedly promote my ethnic Folkfaith. I do not feel – at the present time – the Troth is doing this. I will continue to support those organizations that seek to enrich and ensure the continuity of Heiðindómr’s rich ethnic Folkfaith – either through financial contribution, membership or verbal endorsement. These organizations are: the Asatru Alliance, the Asatru Folk Assembly, the Odinic Rite and the Allgermanische Heidnische Front.

The last one is known as the Heathen Front in the US, and is now defunct. These groups don't consider themselves racist, because they narrowly define racism as involving hatred, rather than discrimination. It's hard to square this with the actions of Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes, the Norwegian Heathen Front's founder, who is serving time for murder and church-burning.

The Odinic Rite is listed as a white-supremacist group in this 2006 overview of US white-supremacism ( Texas prison authorities have banned its rising prisoner membership from access to runes, which prompted predictable, hypocritical whining about 'religious and racial discrimination'. The Odinic Rite's leader collaborates with an 'apocalyptic folk' band called Sol Invictus - another bunch of kooks who, while continually claiming not have anything to to with the extreme right, seem unable to avoid loading their music and imagery with fascist themes.

Stephen McNallen, boss of the Asatru Folk Assembly, writes anti-immigrant drivel like the following (, in an article claiming that Native deities are trying to take over California and the American southwest by sending brown-skinned invaders:

If California and the American Southwest are to be cultural battlegrounds, who better to lead the European-American counterattack against Tonatzin and Tezcatlipoca than our own Gods of the North.

That article has been reproduced on many white-supremacist sites. McNallen also writes (

One of the most controversial tenets of Asatru is our insistence that ancestry matters- that there are spiritual and metaphysical implications to heredity, and that we are thus a religion not for all of humanity, but rather one that calls only its own.

When Desmond writes (

Fact: Ancestry matters.

she is quoting McNallen.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: bls926 on June 04, 2008, 08:00:23 pm
I really know very little about these neo-Nazi, neo-Pagan, or Heathen beliefs. That being said, how are the beliefs explained in some of these passages any different than the view held by most American Indians? Each Nation has their own spiritual beliefs and feel that they are specific to a People. What is Spirit for a Lakota is not necessarily Spirit for a Cherokee. The While Buffalo Calf Woman holds no meaning for the Cherokee; a white buffalo has no real meaning to any of the Southeastern Tribes. The owl and panther hold no special significance to a Lakota, while they are important to the Cherokee. So how are these groups y'all have been discussing any different with their belief that their faith is for a specific ethnicity? Not meaning to cause problems, just looking for some clarification.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: frederica on June 04, 2008, 09:22:06 pm
bls, I have to look it up as we go along, as I don't generally have a clue to their beliefs. But my feeling is in this situtation their beliefs, concepts,  premise have been used by others in the past and present for evil and it would be hard to disassociate yourself from how it's been used. Especially if you continue to use the same thing. But that's just my superficial opinion. Barnaby and Ingeborg have a better concept of what it is.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on June 04, 2008, 09:47:02 pm are the beliefs explained in some of these passages any different than the view held by most American Indians? Each Nation has their own spiritual beliefs and feel that they are specific to a People.

I've been thinking about that today.

Putting it charitably, Asatru is a highly speculative invention: their calling it a reconstruction is absurd.  Rather than bringing the past into the present, I think it's an effort to legitimise its adherents' pet political ideas by projecting them into the past, pretending they come from a golden age. Its practitioners believe it was practiced by pre-Christian northern Europeans from England to Norway, from Iceland to Switzerland. Differences of time and place get mashed into a kind of Dungeons-and-Dragons equivalent of the pan-Indianism that sometimes makes people uneasy here. All this is based on a few fragments of parchment, a few carvings and inscriptions, and it is an insult to the European ancestors these people claim to revere.

According to a widely held view, the cult of the Germanic race was related to and even nourished by pre-Christian memories rooted in the native soil from which Wotan and Thor were never wholly extirpated. Closer examination, however, reveals the Germanic pantheon as a laborious reconstruction after an eclipse of the Nordic gods which was almost as total as that of the Etruscan or Celtic. Indeed, German mythology was only preserved outside Germany...

(Leon Poliakov, The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe, p. 74. Sussex University Press 1974.)

Most, but not all, Asatru followers believe race - whether they want to call it that or ancestry or 'metagenetics' - determines whether a person can take part in their communities. As far as I understand it, if a non-Indian person is part of an Indian community (maybe through marriage), learns the language, learns how to behave and shows that they can be trusted, then they might well be invited to ceremony. In other words not being Indian isn't necessarily a barrier to taking part in ceremony: it's the person's standing in the community that counts. 'Folkish' groups will never allow a person who cannot 'pass' to attain a position in their community. They are racists.

Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Moma_porcupine on June 05, 2008, 03:34:48 am
how are the beliefs explained in some of these passages any different than the view held by most American Indians? Each Nation has their own spiritual beliefs and feel that they are specific to a People.
I've been thinking about this too , and trying to put my finger on what is the difference. I'm not sure everyone involved if these groups are what would be considered White supremacists, but I think where the feeling of being connected with your ancestors crosses over into something different is when people who have a similar descent but aren't  so called "pure blood" are excluded and their other ancestry is seen as some kind of a taint. Indigenous people do feel their ancestry is important, but I  don't think some idealized "racial purity" has anything to do with that.

 A White, Black or Asian person with an enrolled American Indian grandparent could probably be enrolled , and be fully accepted as a member of the Native community .

An African or Asian person with a White grandparent would probably not be welcome to join a group that was White supremacist, even if they lived their whole lives in a Northern European community.

Even a person with only a bit of Native descent will often have their connection with the culture supported as long as they stay respectful and don't start acting like a White person wanting to grab everything and be the leader . 

I think White supremacists are different because they usually want to exclude people just because they are visibly mixed blood .
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: frederica on June 05, 2008, 05:36:19 am
MP, I agrree mostly with what you say. But one of the problems I been thinking about is that they are not born to their beliefs, for the most part anyway. They have been adopted or learned at a later age for whatever reason they have chosen. They may not all be White Supremacist. Probably just racist.  But one of the earlier post of Barnaby's was a link to Stormfront and that is the Nationalist Coalition.  There is no doubt about them and anyone tied to them.  The problem I see you do not know their motives. We were born into a culture. I just don't think these people were.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: bls926 on June 06, 2008, 06:39:24 pm
Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this.

On the surface it doesn't look so different, what is ours is ours, handed down for our people. But the fact that these Heathen, neo-Pagan types are making their beliefs up as they go along, mixing German with Nordic with Celtic, changes everything. If these were beliefs that had been handed down thru the generations it would be different, but they haven't been. Apparently they are using these made-up beliefs to justify their racism. Maybe they think it'll work, since Native people say something similar. In some cases maybe it does, if one doesn't look deeper into the origins of these groups. Just can't take any of them at face value.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Moma_porcupine on June 06, 2008, 09:13:44 pm
One thing I've been thinking is how People from Asia, Siberia , India,  Africa and the Middle East have been traveling into Northern Europe and intermarrying for the last several thousand years and the true history of Northren Europe never has been entirely "White" and has always included a degree of ethnic divesity and a few people of color. Sometimes more than a few.  So any "whites only" or even "Northern Europeans only" heritage group is making up a false history right there. When you start digging around in the cultural hstory of Europe it is really suprising to learn how far away from Northern Europe many of the influences came from.

And trying to keep sensitve cultural traditions within the right context is really differnt than pretending to feel protective of a history that never existed.

How I see it is that there is sensitive parts of Native traditions which function largely because they connect Native people to a truely ancient history and a community that shares this history. Only people with this deep of a connection and the support of a community with the same connections, can have what is required to know how to protect and preserve these traditions for future generations. Over and over I see non native people think that their immediate comfort and personal desires are more important than the long term health of these traditions. They aren't bad people, they just don't have the same perspective. This is an entirely practical reason why people without this same heritage and knowledgable community support , should not be in a position to affect the most sensitive parts of Native cultures. And with a few exceptions, the only places most Native people are saying non native people just don't belong , ever, is in the position of being the bosses and leaders of traditional ceremonies. It's only the people who get upset over not being able to be boss that object. Which is, in itself, much of the problem.

I think there is a difference between wanting to exclude people when there is a good practical reason for this and wanting to exclude people just to create an elite identity for yourself or your group.

I've also been feeling guilty because my comment that grabbing everything and trying to manouver oneself into the position of boss is "acting like a White person " . I usually try to avoid comments associating behavior with skin color, and I usually try to direct my comments towards behavior and the circumstances people encounter while living in their community that encourage a particular behavior, and not peoples racial origins. European cultures do generally seem to encourage and reward dominence and personal aquisition, and many "White people" seem deeply compelled to act this out.  I guess there is a good side to this, but that way of doing things also creates many problems . I know there is many White people don't behave like this at all. I hope me reffering to this as the way "White people behave " didn't offend anyone.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on June 06, 2008, 10:17:02 pm
Apparently they are using these made-up beliefs to justify their racism.

I wish I'd seen this page ( a few days ago. It's written by an Asatru person who has no time for the 'folkish' tendency:

Quote is quite apparent to anyone not trying to shut their ears against what they don't want to hear that the real motivation of these Folkists is not religious at all, but political. That this is so can be seen by visiting the message boards and websites of such Folkists. Many focus primarily on the issue of race and such political issues, mentioning actual religious ideas little, if at all.

One thing I've been thinking is how People from Asia, Siberia , India,  Africa and the Middle East have been traveling into Northern Europe and intermarrying for the last several thousand years and the true history of Northren Europe never has been entirely "White" and has always included a degree of ethnic divesity and a few people of color. Sometimes more than a few.

Similar objections to folkish fairytales are also mentioned on the page I linked to above.

[Note: in earlier posts I've posted links to cached pages of racist sites. I'm going to alter these to the text-only versions, which won't request image files from those sites.]

Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: bls926 on June 07, 2008, 05:58:12 am
Thank you, Barnaby. I read that whole article by Wayland Skallagrimsson. (Racism in Asatru While I still don't fully understand Asatru, I've got a much better idea of what really is and isn't part of their core beliefs. Racism is not part of historical Heathen religion and shouldn't be part of modern-day Heathenism.

To put things simply, there are three major camps of Asatruar: the Universalists, the Tribalists, and the Folkish. Universalists and Folkish practitioners are two extremes, with the (more reasonable) center being Tribalism, into which category the majority of Asatruar fall. These are the factions that have formed from three different answers to the question: "Who can practice Asatru?"

The Universalists accept anyone and everyone. That group seems New Agey to me.

The Folkish are the racists, saying that the ability to worship their gods is in the blood. Skallagrimsson blows their reasoning to hell.

Tribalists believe their religion is culture based. This makes sense to me.

"Anyone who makes a sufficient effort to understand and adopt the culture of the ancient heathens." This gives Asatru rigorous enough standards to make sure our practice is like that of the ancients, and is well understood, for to fully adopt another culture requires MUCH study. Additionally the gods first came to be known in the context of the ancient culture, so it stands to reason that they can only be truly understood in the terms of that culture.

Apparently Asatru is experiencing growing pains, with these three factions unable to come to an agreement on what the Heathen religion should really be; and no one wanting to confront the problems head on.

Much is made, in the modern Asatru community, of "not rocking the boat", and "getting along", and "being fair and open-minded".  For this reason, when subjects such as the rightness or wrongness of Folkish practice come up in conversation, as on discussion forums, people quickly leap to say such things as "Let's not open up that can of worms," or "But they're just expressing their honest opinions." I think this practice is wrong. Folkism is, in general, racism and makes a virtue out of clinging to ignorance and not thinking rationally. We should treat it as such. I think a zero-tolerance policy needs to be developed in modern Asatru lest we get dragged down by some real losers. We should discuss this. We should debate this. We should get rid of the ridiculous notion that an individual's right to have an honest opinion is grounds for forcing the rest of us to associate ourselves, even indirectly, with it. We should call racists racists and make sure they have no say in the future of our religion.

It is an important tenet of our religioun, of our philosophy towards life as Asatruar, that a person is responsible for his or her actions. Well, inaction is an action too. Allowing racist beliefs to be spoken next to the beliefs of our cultural ancestors without comment gives the distinct impression to everyone that these are acceptable interpretations of the lore (and think how that affects those new to our path, as well as outsiders looking at us). It lends validity to the idea that our gods really think and feel as they do. My brothers and sisters, every time you let such opinions go unchallenged, every time you shut down a conversation with the words "let's not open up that can of worms again," or "well, they're just expressing their honest opinions," or "we've already had this conversation and it got nowhere,", every time you do these things THE RESULT OF YOUR ACTIVITIES IS THAT THE RACIST AGENDA IS ALLOWED TO FLOURISH. IT IS PROMOTED. IT IS ALLOWED TO DOMINATE MORE AND MORE OF WHO WE ARE AS ASATRUAR.

Side note . . . I love this sentence.

But it is possible to be so open-minded that your brains fall out, so fair that wrongs are tolerated and allowed to flourish.

I agree with this 100%.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Ari on June 10, 2008, 01:14:11 am
Hi folkies,

I know nothing about this North European nationalistic groups to make any judgment about them...

But i don't understand the position of this board about racism.

My take is that anyone has full right to allow anybody into their home and soul or not allow anybody into their home and soul... with no obligation to give explanations actually.

I think what we call racism and what we consider to be negative happens if there is violence and exploitation of one national (racial) group by another.

I don't know if simple desire to keep your community closed to entrance of foreigners can be considered a racism... theoretically right of any community to be closed if members decide so should be respected. Otherwise we are dealing with abuse of human rights not less than in case of violent racism.

I think this issue is very important... Unification and globalization just does not go right. It goes ill way. I think at this point it would do good if collective consciousness would be shifted to more respect to national identity... folk soul (no nazi ties attached)

BTW, i figured that my user name can be taken wrong... it has nothing to do with race identity.. this is my cat's musical name: Aria.


Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: bls926 on June 12, 2008, 02:18:01 pm
I don't think anyone here thinks it's racist to want to keep your heritage, culture, spirituality exclusively yours. It becomes racist when one group thinks they are superior to all others. When a group reinvents their history in order to exclude others who they feel are inferior, that falls under racism.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Barnaby_McEwan on June 18, 2008, 06:37:14 pm
I think what we call racism and what we consider to be negative happens if there is violence and exploitation of one national (racial) group by another.

If I understand you correctly, then you wouldn't have a problem with drinking fountains or bus seats marked "colored only".

I think your definition is too narrow. Racism is based on the stupid idea that skin colour is connected to moral, spiritual, intellectual or other qualities. 'Folkish' neo-pagans police their religion, preventing entry by people without white enough skin, or those who may be contaminated by Jewishness: how is that not racism?
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Ari on June 18, 2008, 07:37:21 pm
Well, this "colored only" thing is social violence and exploitation sure.

I don't know, Barnaby... more i think about it, less i can see clear... You know, i had many years of experience of been trapped in living in absolutely foreign to me cultures, contaminated by involvement into Castanedism also.  I'm deeply stressed by it to be able to rationalize.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: Ari on June 18, 2008, 11:13:22 pm
Barnaby, here... i've got a spark! lol!

Reading your thread about honoring American war heroes... You know... it does not sound exactly honorable to my foreign ear... American heroes in wars for American interests always on somebody else's extremely remote territories... Sure those warrior guys can be good people, but the enterprise is not exactly honorable.
Actually, there is tendency in American society to re-write history of great wars of 20th century to misrepresent American role and cover the fact that there was very little honor and heroism on American part there.
Like when you talking about honoring American heroes of war with Japan, the only undeniable image crossing my mind is atomic cloud over Hiroshima. It can't be covered with anything of imaginable goodness...
And with racism... it seems that Americans would like to dominate here too, giving the world their homemade model of what should be considered to be racism and how it should be treated and how globalization should be going. 
But... the reality of other places is different and the issue of racism was is and will be different there.
You know, after all Germans have done, there are not many people in modern Europe who would be hating and trying to avoid them or impose special conditions over them.
BTW, actually i see it strange that i could advance in my protest against Castanedian Cleargreen exploiting Indigenous culture just in Europe. And i did it all alone, with no support whatsoever coming from Indians of America.
As i gather in US social and cultural reality such protest would not bring any fruitful result but trouble to protestant. This is twisted let me tell... 
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: MikePutfus on June 19, 2008, 01:29:31 am
Yes I was born into a culture Federica, but it's more than that. I also choose to be that culture I was born into. It was a time when being a Native person was not cool thing as it is today. A lot different than someone making stuff up, and ripping stuff off to pass them self's as something they could never be. Most of the time to make a name for them self's or for money. I have run into a lot of them here in the States as well as overseas over the years.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: frederica on June 19, 2008, 02:11:54 am
You sure have that one right Mike.
Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: wyrdbrew on August 06, 2008, 02:10:01 am
Modern Heathenry, on the whole, is only about 30 years old.   There are a number of different  approaches, (Asatru, Heidhni, Forn Sedr, Irminist, Theodish...)  practices, terminology and issues that vary from group to group and region to region.  Germanic Heathenry is not monolithic.  Even when looking at two groups that claim to be doing the same thing one will find varying degrees of disagreement about a number of issues.  Because we have to basically unearth old fossilized remains of our cultural belief and practice and then turn it into something that is authentic and still viable there is still some working out of the kinks to accomplish.  This will probably be a feature of heathenry for some time to come.  It can be hard to figure out for an outsider exactly who is doing authentic Germanic heathenry and who is not.  I dunno. Maybe none of us are. 

To say that the majority of heathens are racist is complete conjecture.  There is no solid data on just how many Germanic heathens there are.  No one has ever bothered to study it.  Second there are no reliable numbers on who believes or does what.  As I noted above, there are a  number of approaches to heathenry that vary with one another, sometimes in deep ways.  So how can anyone say for sure?  Anecdotally, I've only ever met a handful of heathens I'd consider flat out racists.  The Troth, is one of the longest existing and largest heathen organizations in the US lets in just about anyone. As far as I can tell, The Troth allows in just about anyone whose yearly dues check doesn't bounce. 

My personal take is that genetic heritage isn't really important as to whether or not someone should practice some form of Germanic heathenry.  The way I decide whether or not a particular person or group of people I want to worship with is determined by what they do.   There are certain groups of 100% Germanic blood that I'd never invite to one of my groups rituals because what they do and how they behave is "out of law" with what we do.  If what they are doing can be recognized as authentically Germanic heathen then I'm interested.  If not then I have no interest.  As far as my theod is concerned, we are concerned first and foremost with what one does not what they look like.  That said, ancestry is important in certain contexts.  For example, certain leadership positions in Theodism require documented genealogies that link one to one of the noble houses of Northern Europe.   

I'll include more info on Theodism in my introduction post. 

Title: Re: Yngona Desmond
Post by: educatedindian on March 15, 2010, 09:17:47 pm
Got this link passed onto me. Apparently Desmond has a long history of lying about her supposed advanced degrees.

2006-10-06 01:14 pm UTC (link) 
As a Heathen in the Atlanta and Georgia area, I would just like to point a few things out about the above post. Which, btw, I noticed was NOT posted on the South-Eastern list, and for good reason...

"I am the owner of the Nine Worlds list on yahoo and founder of
Hoddmimir's Holt. The first is the oldest, most active, and most
scholar list on Heathen mysticism anywhere on the net, and the last is a Heathen mystery-learning school."

The 9 Worlds list is far from being the "oldest" or the most "scholarly" list anywhere. There are many Heathen based list that pre-date this list and many that, I would at least consider, more scholarly...

"I organize monthly moots, called Lunch and Lore, and a yearly Thing - which is both a camping trip and business meeting."

For the most part this is true. But the "Thing" hasn't happened in the last 2 years due to a riff between the above person and a good # of local Heathens...

"My husband and I have built a Hof - a Heathen community center - and have both been active in our folk faith for 26+ years."

Hmm, Last time I was at their house I saw no "Hof". Nor have I heard mention of it before this post. She does have a yoga studio, I guess that is what she is now calling a "Hof" and community center... 26+yrs... Hmmm, that # seems to get bigger every time I see it...

"I am a member of the American Academy of Religion, and a retired
professor of Religion and Philosophy."

I'll have to check into the AAR membership, but I would ask where she taught!!! She has promoted herself as a PHD in the Heathen community in the past. But, as it turns out, it was "supposedly" an honorary Phd in Eastern Studies for her teaching yoga at a local college. But even that has never been substantiated to any degree that I know of. She has, for the most part, stopped using the Phd title in the Heathen community... I guess teaching yoga now translates into "professor of Religion and Philosophy"....

Heathen here....Ga
2006-10-07 12:16 am UTC (link) 

First, I want to say that what Lonnie says is absolutely correct. In fact he is probably understating the case by a fair degree. I am completely familiar with the individual who sent the letter. Almost none of what she says is true. She has been challenged several times to produce evidence of her degree (once by a member of our group who is a real Ph.D and was insulted at the masquerade)and has never been able to do so. I, along with a friend(one of the publishers of the journal Tyr, if you are familiar with it) resigned as officers of the group(non-profit with three officers) she mentioned when we better understood her motivations. We are serious Heathens and do not want to see our practices turned into fodder for those trying to build personality cults. The better part of the group left with us at the time. You will not find this on SE Asatru as that list seems to be just a general list for small talk. It is probably in the Ga Heathen archives. We, of course, kept copies ourselves of our resignations. For all intents and purposes(as a non-profit group) it is defunct.

One of the problems we have had in the Heahen community is the problem of credibility. The general so-called 'pagan' communities are easily dealt with by detractors of a resurgent Heathenry(or Paganism if you prefer), since they are highly porous to the less than stable elements of society and are a haven for fantasists and those who enjoy cherry-picking elements of our ancestors worldview to support their modern appetites. We cannot afford fakes, poseurs, charlatans, or those who seek power over the gullible by means of fantasy coated with a thin veneer of Heathen virtue.

As a small but growing number of people, we need to make very sure that we are presenting a reasonable and well-thought-out version of the spiritual folkways and beliefs of our ancestors. One of the major problems I have with the letter at the head of this thread is that she mentions that she is the founder of a list which she describes as 'The first is the oldest, most active, and most
scholar list on Heathen mysticism anywhere on the net,'.

In fact,there is no such thing as 'Heathen Mysticism'(if you are talking about Germanic Heathenry as she says she is) and the writer betrays her poor understanding of both Heathen ontology and the spiritual worldview of our ancestors by stating it. Many of you may be unfamiliar with broader Asatru/Heathen groups but I can tell you that that something such as that letter would never have been posted to the major and serious Heathen lists because the writer would have come under some derision and would have been forced to prove her claims.

As for authoring a book. She has authored one self-published book that I am aware of. Anyone can do that today and the results are mixed. I asked, my friend, the publisher of the journal Tyr, whether he was going to review the book and he laughed, saying that they thought it 'insignificant', inasmuch as it was not written by a scholar of even someone noted as an expert of the subject in question and really didn't want to help call attention to that sort of thing as it opens us up to ridicule. My guess is that no serious publication will ever review it....