First some background music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb-9HYhz0Wc
A few days ago my mother showed me a picture that I drew when I was about 7 years old (Now I am 21). On this picture I drew a horse and wrote “father” within it, because my father breeds horses like my grandfather and my great grandfather did before him. Further I drew a very large tree and wrote “mother” within it, I drew a flower and wrote the name of my little sister within it, I drew a bird and wrote my own name within it and I drew the sun and wrote “grandmother” within it.
Now, my mother only said, that she finds the picture very cute, but it made me also think about chrildren and how they feel, think and see the world. I was pretty much astonished by the picture, because it is really meaningful if you think about it. Birds are sitting in trees, so the tree (my mother) is the home of the bird (of me). Where trees grow, grow also flowers (my sister). Note also that I and my father (both male) are both animals and that my sister and my mother (both female) are both plants. My grandmother finally (who is the origin of my mother, of me and of my sister, without her we would never have been here) is the sun (the origin of all life, or life itself if you want). The sun is older than every tree, flower or animal.
I began to think about my childhood in general. I remember very much about it, many people have told me that they cannot remember so much about their childhood as I can. For example I remember that there was a moment, when I wanted to jump down the stairs, but I could not decide how much steps of it I should jump down and then I simply thought something like “Well, I am 3 years old and will thus jump 3 steps down” and then I jumped 3 steps down.
As a child I did not know the difference between peaches and pumpkins, because they have simmilar names in german, peach = Pfirsich, pumpkin = Kürbis, or the difference between swans and pigs, swan = Schwan, pig = Schwein. Before I was 9 years old or so I always wondered what temperature is, but I could not find an answer until we learned in physics that is the movement of particles. When I was younger (in kindergarten or so) I thought that the earth was flat and you can walk infinitely wide into each direction (including up and down). I thought that at night the sun sinks into the water of the sea, because in german we have the phrase “Die Sonne geht unter” for “the sun sets”, which litterally means “the sun goes under/down”/”It sinks” like “Ein Schiff geht unter” which means “A ship sinks”. This is actually pretty much in accordance with the European religion: Under the sea = the underworld/Hel. It is actually quite true, at night the sun is under our feet with the earth or the sea (if you are on a ship) between it and us, so it is within the underworld, because it is under the world.
I also thought things like “Why should we be Christians? Isn’t is stupid to believe in some old man who is said to have created us, but noone has a proof of his existence? Further Christianity comes from a far away place which has just about nothing to do with our own home. I do not want that, I am no Christian.” I did not know paganism yet and became an atheist, but still, this is what I thought about christianity when I was between 7 and 14 years old.When I was a bit older, about 16 or 17 I slowly became a pagan without ever hearing about paganism, while christians, muslims and jews need books to remember their faith. This worked like that: I often went for a walk into the woods of my home village and thought about philosophy and the world. At one point I thought something like: “Why not simply have a religion that needs no god as the christians understand this word, but which is still a religion, a religion which is all about nature. Nature is inexpressibly beautiful, just look at the forests and the mountains and the rivers. Nature is almighty, because everything is nature and everything can only happen naturally, because there is no such thing as unnaturality. Nature is omniscient, because nature is truth. This religion would not need a church or a bible, it would only need the forests and rivers.” These were my thoughts when I was 16 and when I never ever heared of paganism before, but it were undoubtably pagan thoughts. Shortly after (1 or 2 years), I discovered the genre of pagan metal and learned thus that my “new” views, are actually not as new as I thought (or maybe as foreign as I thought, because I thought of some native americans or other non-european nomades, when I tried to imagine people with this religion), but that we ourselves had such a religion.
Children seem indeed to have very politically incorect thoughts. I clearly seperated female and male in my drawing (plants/animals). I heavily disliked the hebrew religion Christianity. Finally I even had kind of a racial identity. When I was very young, maybe in kindergarten, I remember that I thought something like “All the adults are married and love someone. How should I know whom I should marry and love when I am an adult? I have really no Idea, but it should be someone of my home village, who is blonde and blue eyed like me.” I thought so when I was 3-6 years old.
As children we even practised something that maybe was an act of militarism, but even more probably a real pagan ritual, but did not even know this ourselves. There is an annual celebration in our home village, that is called “Kürbisfest” (Pumpkinfeast), which takes place on a big yard always around the end of august. It is simmilar to Halloween. They play music and you can buy food and drink, …and pumpkins for the little children who can hollow them out and put a candle within them and when sun sets, they will walk through the village with the shining pumpkins. When I was to old for this, but still a child (maybe between 7 and 12), we (that is me and almost all other children of the village in my age) came there and started something like a battle, we picked up as much burs as we could find and threw them after each other. There were two teams: all the girls at one side and all the boys at the other. We threw the burs after us for several hours, we did not really see it as game but rather like a real battle. When I today think about it, it really reminds me on the sword dance ritual described in Varg Vikernes’ “Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia”. A battle which is only a representative battle with two very different counterparts, which takes place on a special day of the year.
So, I think that paganism is really within our blood. European children are born pagan, no matter if their parents have adopted a Christian, Muslim or Jewish fate or whatever! No matter how f*cked up our environment is, let’s say you have been adopted as a baby and grewn up in Africa or Arabia, you will still have a pagan predisposition and will the first years actually be a pagan. The thing is, if your environment is not pagan, you will probably forget about it as the years pass by. But! I think that you can relearn or rather recover your paganism, with the right environment, so we should spread paganism and thus be ourselves this right environment for others. Maybe it sometimes does not need much anyway though, maybe sometimes a walk through the woods is already enough…
As a child I was pagan, just like every European child is pagan, over the years I became a left wing, liberal atheist. But when I was 16/17, I became pagan again and when I was 19 I realised that this whole modern world is sick and that we have to find the old roots again. It is possible! And as a Pagan I can say that it is not only possible but inevitable! Just look at nature! After every summer comes a winter and after every winter comes a summer. Trees lose their leaves and get new ones. Rivers dry and start to flow again. The sun sets and rises again. Everything comes, stays for a time, goes, is absent for a time and returns again without begining and without end, it is an endless circle. The pagan era has gone and this means that it will soon return! The pagan winter will be followed by the pagan spring.
Some music to end with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGW2F4fYNY