Opinion – The Great Debate (Universalism vs. Folkism and why this is all stupid)
Alright guys, I’m doing something dumb. I hold hope in my tiny little heart that someone reading this will actually fucking listen versus throwing their bullshit opinion out. Folkish, universalist, which is right?
Heathenry is an orthopraxic religion. This means there is a “correct practice”, mainly pertaining to ritual but culture in general. It is also tribal, thus each tribes’ praxis is sightly different. Now, in an ideal world, a child would be taught the praxis of their people as they grow. They don’t come out of the womb knowing the ways of their people. In fact, culmination of this teaching may not even happen until a coming of age. Boys were pulled from their mother’s arms, marked as dead, and taken away from the eyes of the village in order to be taught the lessons of how they were to act in society. They were taught the roles and rules of their tribe.
This is how culture is carried forth. You don’t know the ways of your people unless taught. Now, most of us live in a less than ideal situation. We came to this religion post-childhood. We weren’t taught this culture. There were no sacred lessons to be passed down to us. That’s fine, culture can still be built. Ethnogenesis is commonly defined as the creation and building of an ethnic group. Many of us have taken to building such groups within the Germanic tribal worldview. As first generation primarily, our praxis will be rougher, less cohesive. Such is the nature of being the start of a culture. We will then teach this to our children, and teach this to select others who will come to learn. Many other groups will do the same with a similar, but distinctly separate, praxis.
So, the folkish get it wrong, they are blinded by personal feelings most often. However, the universalists get it wrong too, just with less racial overtones. There is no free pass, no way without learning the ways of the praxis of your people. You cannot do unless you know. You cannot know unless you learn.
/End rant about why the uni and folkish debate is dumb.
2 thoughts on “Opinion – The Great Debate (Universalism vs. Folkism and why this is all stupid)”
From reading your phrase above, “We came to this religion post-childhood. We weren’t taught this culture. There were no sacred lessons to be passed down to us. That’s fine, culture can still be built” I’m all but forced to conclude that you equate the concepts of “religion” and “culture”, and I wonder if you could expand on that idea in your next piece or another article.
Heathenry, as a faith, is built on the back of the culture it originated in. Concepts such as Frith and Luck are cultural ones as much as they are religious. It’s why older Heathens tend to demand a focus on building one’s worldview before trying to delve too deeply into lore. It makes understanding and placing that knowledge into context much easier.
But I agree, an article on the importance of culture in Heathenry and how we cannot divest ourselves of that culture would be fantastic.