Recently in the wake of the restrictive abortion laws in Texas, I took it upon myself to write a response on a blog of a devotee of Hella who wrote a short piece on how being Heathen, he is anti-abortion rights: https://sonofhel.com/2021/09/08/a-helars-thoughts-on-texas-onlyfans-and-afgans/. The piece also trailed off into some negative comments made towards the class of people I personally tend to refer to as “working girls”.
The owner of the blog, Son of Hel, responded with a long and protracted piece https://sonofhel.com/2021/09/14/abortion-tradition-piety-and-honor-a-response-to-tove/#respond . His answer, starting with some misunderstandings of my comments, took these misunderstandings and ran into pure delusional hubris.
Below is my answer to him.
First of all, I will do that which I neglected to do in my previous response, my apologies for that. Greetings, and I hope you do not take offense to my intrusion on your blog.
Also, a side line – you were concerned that you made me unhappy. Nothing is further from the truth.
“One, Heathenism is an “Umbrella” term that covers many Nordic and Germanic faiths, most of which have their disagreements on everything. Asatru, Odinism, Wodanism, Inclusivism, Universalism, Folkish, Helatru, etc, are all branches of the Heathen faith, with some very fundamental differences both from each other, and from ancient practices.”
I was not implying that you were not a Heathen for your beliefs, merely that to claim that your beliefs are hinged on being Heathen – that is the term you used – in general were wrong, because many Heathens, also rooted in their faith, believe otherwise and with backup which I presented. My point to you was, being a Heathen does not automatically mean you must be pro-life (which your comments seem to suggest you are).
“I suppose Tove then also supports slavery, believes we should strip women of the right to vote, believes in a social cast system of slaves, freemen, and nobles, feels we should bring back human sacrifice, that they are required to go out and kill someone who has insulted them three times, and all of the myriad of other things our ancestors practiced that are no longer generally done by Heathens in the modern era?”
No, I was bringing forth a supporting argument that being a Heathen does not automatically mean that a fetus cannot be aborted according to Heathen beliefs. I do not personally believe that children should be killed or left out to die, even if such ritual has not been performed. I was making a point that if you are relying on Heathenry in general to support your beliefs, your argument would not hold up.
“Tove says the child is not alive until the Father acknowledges the child, and that this is true Heathenism and to believe/act otherwise is unHeathen.”
No, I did not say that and if this is what you have inferred, my apologies for the misunderstanding. To clear up this misunderstanding I will expound on this. My point was that Heathenry allows for latitude on issues of abortion, because if a child could be left abandoned after birth for a variety of reasons all according to ancient Heathen rules, surely a fetus prior to being birthed could also be abandoned or killed without any repercussions. My point was, there is no mandate on being pro-life because you are Heathen.
“Science tells us that a “fetus” has a heartbeat around six weeks into its existence, that is has a brain, that it can experience sensations, that it consumes nutrients. That it is a living thing. Many will insist that it is not a “sentient” thing and is little more than a parasite, but they have as much an agenda as anyone who says otherwise, so lets just stick with what we know. Brain, heart, alive.”
My point in bringing forth ancient Heathen practices was that they clearly knew the child was alive after birth, as it was likely screaming and moving as a newborn would, and that this would have been an apparent fact, and yet this did not nullify the ritual.or lack thereof. Therefore, being alive or not was not a consideration large enough to sway them in their decision, being alive would not have been a zero sum argument. You have argued that science would have changed their mind – I think it would not have, based on the facts.
“I wonder then what Tove would say about the “ensoulment” of such a child, one whose birth was acknowledged by force of law rather than in the “traditional” Heathen way.”
I would say, that when the father does not acknowledge the child, then another male member of the family could – and that is what was done at the time. However, I do not purport that I live utterly by the values of our ancient forefathers. I was – again I say this – pointing out that Heathenry itself is not a qualifier for “we cannot abort fetuses”.
“took from me the woman I loved”
I don’t see what this has to do with the topic, but since you brought this up, I will put in my two cents (you of course do not need to accept them). What you describe your oath brother did was unquestionably reprehensible, however, a side question (and this has nothing to do with Heathen values) – was she unconscious at the time he did this? Did he kidnap her from your home? Did he drug her and is now keeping her locked in his basement? If not, then I assume she left of her own accord. I know this is not terribly heathen of me, but I do think she needs to take a part of the blame (if there is one, of course I am not familiar with your situation). If she were indeed conscious and took a part in the decision to leave, then why do you not hold her responsible for that choice? But I digress, I have 0 knowledge as to your life or the circumstances, and it’s not my place to judge. Just an observation.
“We now possess technology that allows us to see and inspect our infants within the very womb itself, to see if it is healthy or deformed. Who is to say that our ancestors, if given these tools, if given the ability to hear the beating of their child’s heart, to see it was strong and healthy in the womb, would not have believed then an there that the child could already have a soul?”
With the exception of some specific circumstances, its pretty easy to tell a child just birthed in front of you is alive. I doubt this was what caused them to do the rite or not to do it, especially since in some circumstances it was performed because the parents could not financially take care of it. This is actually why abortions make sense to me – I think if our technology was available, they would chose abortion over waiting for a child to be born.
Again, this is a diversion from what I was pointing out in my original argument, namely, that Heathenry does not in itself stand in opposition to abortion. Your beliefs are not the only way to be Heathen.
“Krasskova, who is acknowledged by many to be a fair expert on Heathenism…considers abortion Murder as much as I do.”
I understand that you define murder and killing differently. I don’t know if she separates these two terms as you do, and I would hazard speaking for her specifically on that, especially since you wrote in the past that murder is a crime and should be criminalized and killing isn’t, and she has said in the past that she doesn’t think that abortion should be a crime – which suggests she is likely using the word “murder” as you would “killing”.
“A great many of the abortion is acceptable crowd, including Tove here, is pushing for the idea that “I didn’t do anything wrong when I took this life.” They strip the unborn of their “life” and their souls, by whatever means they can, to insist that they did nothing wrong, when science and faith can both say otherwise to a degree.”
You are inferring a lot here, and stretching. It’s a life, that is obvious. However, that doesn’t mean that I must protect it and nurture it. I am not a rooming house or a hotel. Moreover, I may have extended hospitality to a man, but I certainly do not invite for his sperm to germinate inside of me and start growing. Hospitality goes both ways, and if an uninvited guest showed up with someone I invited and then proceeded to stay long after the invited guest left, expecting me to feed and clothe it, nurture it and take care of it for the rest of my life – for being a parent when done right, for me, lasts a lifetime – I would politely tell it after a day or two, to take up the road and leave. Since a fetus will not do this, I will then have to take medical measures.
“Women who use OnlyFans to earn money are not whores or prostitutes. They do not give anything real or physical when they receive payment. They provide only illusions. The illusion of a woman (in the form of a picture), the Illusion of a relationship, the illusion of emotional attachment. Men will spend thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on a woman via onlyfans to receive little more than postcards or the chance to take her on a vacation in which she will not even sleep or make out with him.”
I’ll be honest here. I have never even heard of OnlyFans before reading your post. I don’t know the first thing about them. However, my first question here is, was there a mutually agreed upon exchange? If this is all that these man want, then this is what they get.
“If an unborn child is a parasite because it takes the resources of the mother and gives nothing back, then by that very same logic an onlyfans model is nothing more than a predatory parasite who feeds upon the loneliness of men for her own personal gain. She takes from them everything she can and she gives nothing back.”
An unborn fetus is an uninvited guest that won’t leave. Parasite is stretching it. The medical term for the pregnancy from what I remember offhand is “a symbiotic relationship”.
“A man who falls for the charms of an OnlyFans model and spends his resources on her is not creating a family, nor is he helping any family he currently possesses. A woman who works as an onlyfans model is not creating a family, in fact she is preventing dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of men, from seeking real, physical relationships that could create families, while encouraging her fellow women to behave as she does rather than seek loving, honorable relationships with the goal of starting a family.”
How do you know this is true for every person involved? What if they are providing a respite for men who at this point in their lives are unable to have a physical relationship? Maybe they are stationed at a war zone, or are physically unable to have a relationship? Maybe they are so emotionally and psychologically damaged that this is the only other alternative for them besides having no connections to a woman at all? Maybe this will provide them with the first step of learning to cope with that, and encourage them to eventually take the next step and start meeting actual eligible women in person? Maybe this is a part of a healing process for them? Or maybe, on the flip side, some of those men are so horribly damaged as human beings that we would hazard them ever having a family because of the damage they can cause in such a situation, and having these relationships with these women provides them with enough distraction that we can be safe knowing they are not out there, seeking mates that will later on be beaten or neglected or abused in some other horrible way?
“The fact that Christ was a friend to prostitutes while Christians views against Prostitution didn’t really come about until contact with Roman and Germanic conversion means nothing!”
Aversion to prostitution came directly from Jewish law and early Christian aestheticism. There was a deep anti sexual anti-body thread very early Christianity and Judaism 1st century CE. None of that came from Roman or Germanic tribes. In fact, prostitution was legal in Rome, and there was no onus on it. In fact, there were special brothel tokens minted for payment. This information is the basics of late antiquity and early Christian studies.
I am a Freyja’s woman. One of the longest and most diligent campaigns to destroy worship was pioneered by Christians against Her. Even singing songs and poetry to Her was forbidden once Christianity came to the Norse lands. Do not speak to me of Christianity being so alike to Heathenry. If it were, then they would not be spending their time destroying Her worship. From what I understand, they have not being kind to the worship of Hella as well, but this is something you can likely speak on better than I.
“A Heathen who looks at the consequence of their deed and decides they do not wish to deal with it”
Abortion is dealing with it. It is accepting the consequence – pregnancy – and dealing with that pregnancy in the best possible way, for both the mother and the fetus.
“No, traditionally the place of women in Heathen cultures was the home.”
While I am NOT advocating that we live as ancient Heathens, let examine this. Yes, women were not part of the political sphere. Their life was in the home. In this home, they had the keys to every room and held the purse strings of the family. Their husbands were obligated to give them the management of the finances of the house. Yes, all the money the men earned went to the women and then the woman would give the men an allowance. They were expected to be able to defend the home when the husband was away and be the business manager of all their affairs.
“Frigg, Sif, Idunn, Sygin and dozens of other Goddesses all embody the role that women played in Heathen society.”
…You do realize that Frigg commanded her own army and led that army to war, right? There are some insinuations that Odin Himself would prefer not to go up against His wife. She bested Odin with Langobards in one of the sagas, and this lesson stayed. So, when you speak of Frigg as being a model wife, apparently a model wife is also a general who makes alliances and who is a leader of armies.
Likewise, Freyja’s bynames are also BattleBoar, The Shaker, Lady of the Slain, Boar Rider, and the Shield of the Gods.
Again, you are flying away with this notion that I “live by ancient ways”. I am the last person to do so. Nowhere did I say that we must live as ancient Heathens did, merely that heathenry does not in itself stand against abortion. However, since we are going to start assuming that Norse Goddesses are all relegated to “traditional female roles”… perhaps we can name them better. So, yes, wife, mother, caretaker of the home, war-band leader, general, negotiator, frenzied battle rider…. I wonder were Skadi fits into the traditional image of women’s sphere? Or Eir, the healing Goddess of the battlefield and part of Frigga’s retinue? I can go on and on with this list…
“Too many who invoke Freya in this way do so as if Freya were a perfect, infallible being whose example is the holy path to live.”
It is not for you – or for me – to judge or parse out a Deity as you do here. To our eyes She – all of Them – are perfect and infallible. We cannot take up Her stories as a holy path to live – because we are not deities. This not Sunday school or Bible study.
“Freya, and the tale of her necklace, are not a story of how to live, but a cautionary tale of how not to live as a Heathen. Freya, most beautiful, most powerful, a goddess of war and power and fertility, was so overcome with greed that she slept with the children of maggots in order to obtain a necklace. She sold her body for gold. She did not think of honor. She did not think of the thousands who had been slaughtered in her name because they wanted to sleep with her or marry her that she refused. She did not think of her husband and her oaths to him.
She saw something made of gold and gems and she broke her oaths to sell her body and honor to obtain it.”
So what you saying is, that the way Freyja got Her necklace was sinful? The story of Freyja and how she received Brisingamen is one of Her sacred mysteries. I think the best way to understand how the Norse viewed sexuality, prostitution and Freyja on those terms is the story of Hjalti Skeggjason, who in 10th century was sentenced to exile in the Alfling to the lesser outlawry of go›gá (blasphemy), for reciting the following:
Vil ek eigi go› geyja: grey flykki mér Freyja.
I don’t want to mock the gods (/the gods to bark); to me Freyja seems to be a bitch (ÍF 1, 15; cf. Skj B I 131)
I would caution anyone, you included, to disrespect Freyja or disparage Her, or any of the other Gods. Hjalti was a humorist, and he was exiled for blasphemy. You are not that funny to get off as easily.
I also think you need to think carefully when you start laying your personal human mores and judgement in such issues, as you are crossing into a space that is Hers, and using language which I would consider unclean towards Her.
I think this statement is a perfect example of what happens when a person, a human being, uses the sagas which contain the sacred mysteries of our Gods, and decides to use them as scripture, much like the Bible is, and a personal advise on how we as humans should live. Of course this then takes us down to the impious road of judging our Gods, deciding on whether their actions were good or not, whether they were motivated by emotions we consider bad or good according to our culture. This is not Bible class, these are the stories that have been passed to us through oral traditions, and then rewritten in the Christian times by Christian people (because the Norse Sagas were originally an oral tradition). This exact paragraph is an example of how someone with little experience in reading ancient sacred texts has led himself on a fallacious road of little discernment which landed him squarely in a place where he thinks he can pass judgement on a Deity or fully understand Their mysteries without being given access to them.
You, especially as a priest and a holy man, do not honor your own God by polluting the mysteries of another. This is what you are doing here by disparaging Her stories in such a manner.
Going back to your interpretation of the story of Brisingamen, there are so many logical and theological fallacies in it that I don’t know where to begin. The level of filth is also so intense that I feel like I need a hazmat suit to dive in, but I will do my best. Maybe a bullet point list would be a better option:
– Calling Duergar Gods and sacred smiths of the Gods, children of maggots (I understand they were made out of maggots; that doesn’t make them maggots anymore then you are spermy)
– Interpreting the sagas as if they are scripture, literally, and assuming that these stories can be read on one level only
– Assuming you know what oaths Freyja has taken or not taken
– Assuming that She, a Goddess of Fertility, would ever be beholden to an oath of monogamy and that Her husband would require that of a Goddess of Love and Fertility
– Brisingamen is one of Her sacred mysteries; exchange, negotiation is one of Her precincts. The proper payment for a necklace of insurmountable beauty and power is to have a woman of insurmountable beauty and power. It is a fair exchange. The fact that this is not obvious to you shows how you fail to interpret the text properly
“When Freya came back and the other Aesir and Vanir learned of what she had done, they did not praise her, nor honor her. They scorned her. They mocked her. They shamed her. Because what she had done was not good, or right, or honorable, or moral, or just. It was none of those things. It was the opposite of those things.”
Please show me an original version (not a Victorian one) were the Vanir or Aesir scorn Freyja. In Lokasenna only Loki disperses insults and Her father, Njord defends Her in turn. At the end of the Lokasenna Loki is punished for His behavior, so I am going to assume the insults He threw out were not looked on favorably, by either Aesir or Vanir.
Looking at some of the stories of the Vanir and Aiesir, there are some differences, which probably reflect the culture clash between worshippers of these various Deities and there is plenty of evidence that cultures that originally honored the Vanir were more sexually permissive. But regardless, you are imposing human value on divine figures and presuming that there is only one way to interpret this myth, which came to us through christian writings. If the Gods scorned Freyja, why did they come to Her multiple times when they were threatened? Clearly they held her in some honor or they would not have come to Her, or prevent anyone from having power over Her.
Do you consider yourself so equal to a God or a Goddess that you have the moral and ethical right to judge Their behavior or attempt to pollute Their mysteries with your subjective human mores? I challenge you to show me that you have the right to stand in front of a God and tell Them your opinions of their behavior and that you personally think it shameful or bad in some way.
“Tove speaks of piety. Well piety is to tell our daughters, our sisters, and our wives, to act and live with honor, just as we tell our Men to. To keep their oaths and integrity. To find husbands, to love and honor them. To raise fine children. To not exploit or harm their kin for the sake of greed.”
What you are describing is not piety, but societal mores. Piety is that which we give our Gods and Spirits. You may chose to lecture people about their personal private relationships, but that is not piety, nor is it clearly something you can do well – you are not exactly user friendly even when people get along, much less when they have problems.
Greed? What do you know of greed? Who told you that greed is such a bad thing amongst our deities? Odin, who was so greedy for knowledge that he sacrificed Himself to Himself on a tree for the power of the runes? Or gave His own eye for knowledge? The God of such frenzy that He fills His followers with unquenchable thirst for knowledge and power? Again, who are you to question our Gods? Their actions and desires? Use their sacred mysteries as if you were reading DVD installation booklets?
“I don’t have to listen to Freya. Not when the rest of the Aesir and the Vanir tell me otherwise.”
They do? Did you get a fax from Vanaheim or Asgard?
Freyja is the most beloved of the Vanir. Try saying the things you have written here to Her brother, Frey and see if that flies. Or Her father, Njord.
“Not when Hel, my Goddess, tells me otherwise.”
Will you put it in writing here that Hella has told you to admonish and disrespect Freyja’s sacred mysteries as you have done above? Did She tell you to write on this blog that Freyja’s behavior is shameful? Or mocking? So what are you saying, that Hel told you to write on this blog that Freyja’s behavior should be scorned by you, to Her daughter? You, a human, scorning a God?
“Why should I hold Freya’s views on sex higher than those of Frigg, wife of Odin, and Queen of the Aesir. A Goddess who has never given herself over to greed or wrath or dishonor?”
…but who did take lovers when Odin was wondering, according to the lore. Who did best him in the war when they went against each other. So what you are saying is, Frigga, who leads armies in battle, is a stranger to wrath or greed for power?
“Why should I take Tove’s view on prostitutes and the like, when I can look the the lore itself and find that such a path in life was frowned upon, not praised, by my ancestors?”
There is plenty of evidence in the lore that those who worshipped the Vanir had sexually permissive attitudes including polygamous arrangements. Christians were against this and called it deviant, but who are you to judge these cultures?
These things were a non-issue until Christians came to the lands of the Norsemen and spread their ideas on sexuality like a fart in a room. You will also hopefully remember that the lore is not the bible. It is not written by saints, like the Bible was, but rather a compilation of texts transcribed by Christians from verbal accounts they gathered, verbal accounts told around a fire by the Norse people (who were not canonized by any single heathen church. Again, there is no church of heathenry. No lore Sunday classes.)
“Tove speaks of piety, but they have only the piety that suits their whims. Where is Tove’s piety for the role of women (which she denies exists and believes she should not follow!)? Where is Tove’s piety for the keeping of slaves, of social order, or of killing for honor? Tove is happy to rely on the Christian ideals of equality, that men and women are the same and should possess the same political or legal rights, but woe that one should have the “christian” ideal that a woman not make herself a slut or cheat men from their money with her body through false practices! Where is Tove’s piety to the other Gods and Goddesses who scorn her views on sex, abortion, the roles of women and men, those who say her way is wrong. I do not see it.”
Piety is not for the human, it is for the Gods. You seem to be confusing social mores with bending the knee to the divine. Piety for example, would be me abstaining from ever speaking for Hella, or Freya for that matter – because I will never truly know their words, because I am a human and they are gods. Piety would be not to defile the name of a deity, in writing no less, because you think you know what they will say so well you volunteer to speak for them. How is what you are saying different from the Christian right saying “God hates fags”? It’s not. Its pollution and impiety to assume you know. To put human mores before the Gods.
I was not born or raised Christian. I also did not grow up in a Christian society. I came to this country as a young adult from a culture that was indifferently atheist. Things you are describing here – equality, political rights for both sexes – have nothing to do with Christianity, as evidenced that they are practiced in many societies. Cheating implies that someone lied. Where is a lie in a fair agreed upon exchange? Explain please what a slut is, I am confused bout this term. Is there specific number that you have dug up from the lore that is slutty or is this something you decided upon in high school with your buddies? What are these false practices? Show me a deity that will insult another deity, or denigrate a devotee of another deity? It is an act of a sadly lowered man, who thinks its ok to insult another deity.
“Your words are weak and meaningless. You invoke Freya and traditions to do as you please, but you ignore the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions that would bind you away from what you please. You do not even know what a Heathen woman should be, the role she plays in the faith and society, the very thing you agreed to be when you became a Heathen, at least if you truly value the ancient ways that you claim justify your positions on abortion, sex, and prostitution. The Gods themselves decreed it was a mother’s place to love her children, with Frigg herself being the greatest example of this! Yet you would claim otherwise.”
This would be an example of a man who has confused and muddled religion, piety and society, sloppily combined devotion to the Gods with how our ancestors lived, and which part of that were piety or society.
“You insult me by saying I am as a Christian.”
I did not call you a Christian, I wrote you were using Christian mores.
“You insult my Goddess, her wisdom and her ways. “
Quite the contrary, actually. I have the outmost respect for Hella. I am grateful to Her, for housing some of my dead, for leading me in Her way, at least in part, to where I am now.
I can’t even begin to imagine the deep compassion that must be contained in Her, one that keeps watch over so many souls in Her care. Always, and in every way, I am grateful to Her for that and many other things. If you note, I also said that I cannot speak of Her or for Her, as my contact with Her has been very limited.
However, I imagine that no deity, ever, would disrespect the mysteries or sacredness of another diety or condone such a thing from another. I imagine Her not being happy with that at all.
“By the ancient ways you claim to value and that justify your position, I am within my rights to take your life, Tove.”
My life, my soul with all its parts, and all of me, I have long ago given to Freyja. My hands are here to serve her, my body is here to answer Her call. I give my life to Her, my mother, whose spark I will always carry in me. I give it to the Great Lord Dionysus, who plugged that spark into my human family and weaved His ivy around my heart with love and violent tenderness.
You, as you are Hella’s, I leave to Hella to clean as She sees fit.
“Will you face me, Tove?”
Always, with my Gods whom I serve at my side.
“Will you uphold the ancient ways?”
No, I will only hold to Her ways, and do as She commands. My soul and my heart are Hers. Nothing else matters.
“Do you value them enough to put your life on the line for them?”
Learn to separate the human from the divine. You are being a little bit of an idiot here, you know that, right?
Where is your piety, Tove? Have you the honor to come to me and speak these insults to my face, rather than behind the safety of your screen?
You invoke the ancient ways, you invoke a Goddess of War, so will you stand and fight and face death with gun or blade in hand? Will you risk going to prison for the sake of your beliefs?
“ You claim to value the ancient ways, that they dictate the morals of your life and how you live. This is what you must do by your own claims of piety and belief. Will you uphold them?”
Dramatic much, aren’t we? Ok, I will meet you behind the Donkin Donuts on Elm st. 8 pm. See you there.
“No, will you hide. You say “that’s not how we do things now!” You call me names again behind the safety of your screen to justify your cowardice.”
Well, you do sound very sick, and its wrong to kick a sick man when he is down. 😊
But honestly, you sort of took some crazy stray thought in your head and ran away with a crazy idea, didn’t you?
“At best you may cast a spell towards me in petulant rage, unwilling to show your face or risk your life. The only thing you are brave enough to kill is the child in your womb, because it cannot fight back, and no law will punish you for your deed. You pathetic coward.”
Who sounds petulant now?
“And you will be judged at the end of your days for your Cowardice, Tove. Unless Freya takes you to her hall, Hela herself will sit in judgment of you, examine the deeds of your life and how you faced them. Something tells me you will be found very wanting in the end.”
Now, this is just sad, a man and a priest speaking as if he were a God.