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Desecration of a Pagan shrine

I am so incredibly angry I can barely type coherently. There has been yet another attack by monotheists on a Pagan shrine, this time in the Ukraine. This just sickens me. I have said before that as we, across the world, work to restore and revive our ancestral, polytheistic traditions there will be resistance. In this case, that resistance turned violent. It only highlights the necessity of beating back monotheistic dominance. For me, (and i speak for myself and my House here, not necessarily anyone associated with Witches and Pagans) it brings home that the monotheistic paradigm is a terrorist one. Freud, in his "Moses and Monotheism" posited that the beginning of religious intolerance started with the advent of monotheism. I concur. This is precisely what destroyed our ancestral traditions in the first place.

Nor is this the first attack this year on a Pagan site. Many months ago, an active shrine to the Roman Deities was attacked and its chief priest injured: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2011/10/vandalism-and-attacks-on-pagan-temples.html.

If this were an attack on a church you can believe it would be getting both better coverage, greater public outcry, and better response. Here's the link to this most recent atrocity:

Statue of Perun chopped down in Ukraine. http://oru.org.ua/index.php/component/content/article/304-ofitsijna-zayava-holovy-oru.html

Translation here: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Foru.org.ua%2Findex.php%2Fcomponent%2Fcontent%2Farticle%2F304-ofitsijna-zayava-holovy-oru.html

So here is my prayer: 
May Perun take vengeance on the perpetrators of this crime.
May the elemental powers turn against them.
May their ancestors forget their names.

May every person they encounter spit upon them
and deny them aid.

May the land itself rise up and revile them.
May they be cut off from every blessing.

May their health fail them.
May they nowhere find comfort and peace,
until by their hands this desecration is rectified a thousand fold.

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 Galina Krasskova is a Heathen priest, author, and Northern Tradition shaman. She holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies and is currently working toward a PhD in Classics. Galina is the author of several books including “Essays in Modern Heathenry” and “Skalded Apples: A Devotional Anthology to Idunna and Bragi.”
(Photo by Hudson Valley photographer Mary Ann Glass.)


  • Don Quixote de Kaw
    Don Quixote de Kaw Thursday, 08 November 2012

    Anger is the correct response. So is some healthy fear and paranoia. People who are fully addicted to the cognitive parasite; dominion, are often active sociopaths with a very narrow sense of empathy, and a broad xenophobia. Their hubris and narcissism removes them from the psych profile of what should be called religious persons, and pegs them as mythocrats who demand conformity to how they claims things are and should be. For those who will not espouse their beliefs, they will dehumanize and commit violence upon the non-conformist. Expect the same criminals to be back and to make similar "replies" to what they perceive of as a territorial dispute.

  • Candi
    Candi Friday, 09 November 2012

    Again, how do we plan to get the statue back? How do we plan to continue worshipping? Anger does not secure the future; it redresses the past, temporarily. What do we do when righteous anger has run its course?

  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova Friday, 09 November 2012

    Firstly, no one said one shouldn't rebuild. Absolutely rebuild; and i like your idea (i think it was yours in this thread) of putting up security cameras. Rebuilding however is a separate issue from addressing the desecration. When does anger end? When reparations have been appropriately made.

    (And one should not have to have security measures in order to practice one's ancestral faith. That's a commentary on the disease of a society right there).

    As to monotheism, it is quite logical to lay these damages and attitudes at its feet. It is a simple matter of looking at history with the post conquest filter removed and connecting the dots. The spread of monotheism across europe was a religious genocide. (Look up the original meaning of the word as coined by Lemke. It specificed destruction of indigenous religions as the first point of definition). It is a poison, a corruption. Yes, i will go on the war path against it. As more and more people wake up, I won't be alone. I've written extensively about this on my blog though. I'm not going to repeat myself here.

    By the way, I am not your 'little one.' Who are you? What have you done for your Gods? What have you done for your ancestors? what have you done for your community that is worth mentioning? You wanted questions well there they are. What is the measure of your worth. What have you laid down in the here and now that will benefit the next generation to come and the one after that? What precisely is your tradition?

    Back to the topic at hand: expect to see more monotheistic violence. it is the core of that particular beast. Expect to see more and more violent resistance to the restoration of indigenies. At least this time, with this desecration, no one was hurt. That wasn't the case when the temple of jupiter was attacked in 2011. We should be holding onto our anger, letting it fuel our vigilance, letting it fuel our awareness because when shit like this isn't happening in your own backyard, it's very easy to grow placid. It's very easy to excuse it as a one-off. It's very easy not to care. This is about more than the destruction of one statue, which is in the end replaceable. This is about an attack on a tradition, an attack on indigeny, a continuation of 1500+ of hegemony. At what point would you go on the warpath? If not now, when? If not for this, for what? There are responsibilities and duties greater than individual comfort, and greater even than a love of "peace.' Peace is not worth it if the price is closing our eyes to the desecration of our ancestral ways.

    I"m going to end this post with one of my favorite quotes, from a man i admire greatly, a man who knew how to use his anger and indignation as a tool, who knew how to channel his anger into necessary action:

    “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
    ---Frederick Douglass

  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider Friday, 09 November 2012

    "Again, how do we plan to get the statue back?"

    We don't, and that is the point everyone has been making here. You are either ignoring our points collectively or being willfully ignorant. You cannot replace a statue of Buddha or of Perun or any other God, Goddess, spirit, or Ancestor with such blase attitudes. It is not like losing an iPod or a laptop. It is a loss on multiple levels, as I explained above. "Getting it back" barely even addresses the physical concerns.

    "How do we plan to continue worshipping?"
    We simply do. It isn't about planning, it is about doing. These people will, I imagine, continue on without it, but with the constant reminder that they, their shrine, and their sacred space are not safe. We worship where we can, as best we can, rebuilding where we can, and building elsewhere where we can. We continue our traditions. We refuse to die to this hate, and look in the face, and where possible, show its ugliness to the world. We do not shirk our duties to our Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors, spirits, communities, loved ones, families, or friends. We do not shrink from the challenge but rise up to it, with all the emotions we can bring to bear to make our challenge successful. We do not back down from bringing our religions forward, we do not back down in the face of bullying, oppression, or apathy.

    "Anger does not secure the future; it redresses the past, temporarily."

    Tell this to the colonists who were angry enough to start a Revolution. Tell this to Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, to Martin Luther King, Jr., to Malcom X, to Gandhi, and so many others who harnessed their anger and used it. Anger is a powerful fuel that can carry us forward into deeper action. It can carry us into getting things done.

    "What do we do when righteous anger has run its course?"

    When righteous anger has run its course we should have change and a better future at our feet. We do something with righteous anger rather than letting it be inert metal. We fashion it into a tool or a weapon, and we do that needs to be done, whether it is using the anger to shout to our representatives for investigations, providing security for the sites, facilities, shrines, temples, etc. that we call sacred and ours, and/or rebuilding.

  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova Friday, 09 November 2012

    Very well said. Anger is a powerful force for change.

  • Don Quixote de Kaw
    Don Quixote de Kaw Friday, 09 November 2012

    Anger is organic; natural.
    Righteousness is contrived, territorial, and a hubristic homage to the narcissism of dominion.
    The course of anger is to fade with time.
    The course of righteousness is to re-kindle a passion for vengeance, again and again, if it is allowed to.

    These things must be discerned one from another, as should those who are religious from those who are mythocratic. Those who committed this desecration may have done so in the name of a religion, or even specifically a monotheism. But they are liars, not only to the world, and to the faith they claim their actions represent, but to themselves, because they are mythocrats who use fear as a tool of psychological violence.

    IMO, the warnings against anger, are actually warnings against the temptations to take mythocratic actions as though such were a "just" reply.

    Religion is intended to be a governance of self through chosen philosophies, in collaborative avoidance of hubris and an empathetic embrace in humility. Once actions are taken which are the reverse; the attempted governance of others through the embrace of hubris and the blindered xenophobic constriction of empathy, in attempts to weaponize group emotive response, such a person or group has left whatever chosen peaceful philosophy they had behind, and have willfully dehumanized themselves into the sociopathy of dominionism and mythocracy. If we have anything at all to fear, it is allowing ourselves to become the "enemy" that others ignorantly paint us, as being.

    Education and communication are the correct responses to the parasitic fear mongering of mythocracy, not more mythocracy in turn.

  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider Friday, 09 November 2012

    I disagree, and here is why: the definition of righteousness. I use it in the sense of "morally right or justifiable", and not "arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality". To be righteously angry, thus, is to be angry from a sense of an offense to what is morally right; in other words being justifiably angry.

    "Righteousness is contrived, territorial, and a hubristic homage to the narcissism of dominion."

    Righteousness is determined by one's morals, society's morals, etc. It can be territorial, but it can also be quite impartial. Even if righteousness is territorial, this does not make it immoral or wrong. Territory is a demarcation of boundaries, and boundaries, when crossed, have consequences.

    "The course of righteousness is to re-kindle a passion for vengeance, again and again,"

    You are conflating vengeance with righteousness. Righteous anger may not spur a person to vengeance. Vengeance may well be righteous; the definition of vengeance is "punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong". I can hardly blame these people if they want vengeance, and if they wanted blood for the pain and terror inflicted upon their people I could hardly blame them, especially since their religion was oppressed by others prior to this.

    "These things...they are mythocrats who use fear as a tool of psychological violence."

    Their stance is that these shrines should not stand and they assaulted them to make that point keenly felt. This call for discernment eventually falls into the point of "No True Scotsman". Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have historically been violent, especially religiously so. This is right in keeping with thousands of years of historical precedent. Psychological and physical violence, as tools of oppression, especially conversion and keeping the ranks 'pure' also have historical precedence.

    So all the warnings in the world are well and good, but action of some sort that is both righteous and righting must be done or there cannot be peace.

    Education and communication are one of many correct responses to parasitic fearmongering. So is direct action, whether physical defense of a place, or litigation. It is not mythocracy to protect what is yours, to defend what is sacred to you. What is mythocratic is to propagate the belief that those who do so through physical action, rather than accepting their oppression, are morally wrong.

  • Tannim Wolfkin
    Tannim Wolfkin Friday, 09 November 2012

    A better statue you say? WTF?!? We are talking a piece of sacred art here not some POS from the Museum of Modern Art. As someone who has tried to prevent "civilized" people from destroying sacred art and sights I have to say how frigging WASP of you. Do you understand the emotional trauma this type of destruction can and does cause? I can tell you it is much like being raped, no it is rape! Rape Dehumanizes a person. It strips them of their personality, if only for a time Gods willing. It takes your dignity. THAT is also what these so called "people" have done! To just say it can be replaced by something better show a complete lack of sensitivity and understanding of the situation.

  • MerlynHerne
    MerlynHerne Friday, 09 November 2012

    This is horrble, Galina and I understand your anger. We had a Pagan stone circle at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs desecrated and yes, we ended up with a really nice shrine, but it shouldn't have been desecrated in the first place! Monotheists generally don't have to put up with this and I fail to see why Pagans/Heathens should have to, either. Hopefully the law of Karma will kick in and the perpetrators will be taught a lessonl.

  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell Saturday, 10 November 2012

    As I often interview Pagans in the Ukraine, Russia and so forth, I hear more and more about these attacks. The Russian Orthodox Church encourages these attacks on Pagan shrines and the Pagan religions are not recognized as actual religions. So this is not accidental nor is it rare, it is part of an organized attack on Pagans encouraged by the priests of that religion.They rapidly are gaining the political power that the communists used to have.

    They also have to power to determine even what Christian regions are allowed, not only do they stop small groups, they prevent even the Roman Catholics from setting up either. As Putin needs their backing, I can assure you the authorities are not going to take any action about Pagan shrines being damaged.

    Have you heard of their demand that Apple Computers drop their Apple trademark and us a cross instead. They are actually suing i court, say the Apple with a bite out of it is against their religious beliefs and offends them. Talk about nut cases.

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