Candid thoughts on Christianity, Paganism and what might follow them both.
It will be noted that the image which heads this article – ‘On the Cross’, painted by the author himself – has already been used for Henrik Jonasson’s last Arktos Journal article, ‘To Love Death’. The reasons for its duplication here will become swiftly apparent to the reader.
It might seem quite ridiculous and insolent that I, a trifling artist and child of our postmodern age, should write of such noble and sublime things as gods and faith. That I should judge the faiths which our ancestors once held, when I, and all of us today, stand so far below the heights of their bright spirit and passionate sacrifices.
Yet this is exactly what I must do, precisely because I am a child of our postmodern age. For while these men forever shine with the undying light of Eternity, the ages from which they ascended are gone, and time has forever severed us from the world of Tradition wherein they acted. We are alone, we postmodern children, and Fate has forced us to find a new path to the heights of our ancestors, as all bridges behind us have been swallowed by the dark currents of modernity.
Thus by speaking against the faith of our ancestors, I am not aiming to defile them – how could any mud even be thrown to reach the heights of their heavenly peaks? – but rather to find a path which we can walk, and through which we can honour their deeds by deeds of our own.
So it is not from out of any imagined greatness of my own that I write this confession, but rather it is from my incompleteness as a child of this age. And in this writing, I shall not do as I have previously done and write hidden behind the words of men greater than me, distorting what they have said to fit what I myself feel within our Age. Rather I will plunge into my own heart, and unearth the currents that have flown hidden, undeveloped or denied in my previous writing – thus both destroying and completing what I have written before.
The greatest and most important movement in my writing has been the movement towards Christ – the realization of his greatness, in spite of the Nietzschean and Pagan outlook on life which I previously had. Yet when this movement and image was completed, and I returned to the Bible and the actual words of Christ, I could not recognize what I had painted before me. There was someone else on my canvas, someone I had mistaken for Christ, and whom I had forced into the ill-fitting robes of the noble Nazarene.
Then who was it that I had painted? Is he a God of the future which is to come? Certainly not, for I am no priest, and much less a prophet. I could never achieve the clear vision and exalted sublimity needed to discern the coming of a new God. I am not nearly delusional enough to see in this mere painter a new John who would baptize our people, with the promise of a Messiah and God which we have not known or seen before.
As an artist, I am just a starved and miserable dog, trapped and confined within the strangling vines and dark foliage of our Age. I can do nothing but chase blindly after fleeting images, trying to clench my fangs around the ghostly prey of a Life which has been taken from me. It is an existence among rustling leaves and wailing winds, among rotten trunks far away from the golden steppes of holy priests and warriors. So what is it that I have caught between my fangs?
It can be nothing more than a piece of a long-forgotten past. A blue inch of some old cloak, embroidered with thin golden threads from a Golden Age. A bundle of strands, which once had flowed like an eternal spring from the shoulders of a Father and Lord, but which now have been torn apart by the currents of Time.
By mere luck, my blind hunt had placed upon my swollen tongue the taste of a lost age. And the small golden spark still residing in this cloth spread like flaming gasoline through my meagre body, burning with the stinging, metallic scent of a titanic sword, which had come at the end of Ages to vanquish whatever has become weak and broken. To prepare the soil of our realms for something both new and ancient, by burning everything old into fertilizing ashes.
But who was He I had but glimpsed? It could not be our pagan gods – it could not be that old and ghostly Odin of the fairy-world, who depended on the golden apples of a woman for life, who depended on sons to fight his battles, who depended on a well for knowledge, and who depended on a successor to take his place the day he died. Yes, in the great mishmash of animistic nature worship and all-too-human gods that is Paganism, I could not recognize the unmoved blue of the Sky and flaming gold of the Sun which I had caught in my mouth.
Thus it was only to Christ I could turn. For Christ told of a one and only God, an absolute and self-sufficient perfection, who yet had chosen to create this world – who yet had chosen, through his unfathomable love, to tread upon it with bleeding feet and a noble crown of thorns and suffering. In this absurd and beautiful image, I could recognize both the cold, still blue of the sky, and the scorching flames of loving gold. And I could not think of any greater image known to us – yet I never set foot in a church.
I talked of the reasons why Christianity was a dead Tradition. I said that it had broken its initiation to the original greatness of Christ, or lost its power over our peoples. But no Christian would believe that Christ is not always present, no matter the depths into which his church falls, to welcome those who seek him. And no Christian would express doubt in the victory of his own church – in the victory of Christ’s own body – and instead choose to merely observe the struggle of the church from outside.
I talked of creating new forms which could manifest the Father in tomorrow, but for a Christian, there can be no new forms. Christ is already the complete and definite, and there can only be deviations from him. And who could ever create anything which could reach the heights of God himself? Who could ever repeat the sacrifice of God made Man? The mere thought of such ‘new forms’ must make a man cringe with shame.
So I had to realize, either that I was the worst and most cowardly Christian to ever walk the earth, or that I simply did not believe in Christ – that I made my reservations not because I feared to struggle for him against modernity, but because of a repressed knowledge that I did not see him as my Lord at all.
And I know that I do not fear modernity; that I do not fear the wrath of our despicable enemies or the lies of the filthy polluters – hence it must have been someone other than Christ that I had seen. Someone whom I, in my own ignorance, had fused together with the image of Christ, to the disgrace of them both, and myself.
At the height of my veneration of Christ, I tried to paint him on the cross. But I could not bear myself to paint the noble Nazarene. I could not align with the Christian faith and its spirit the image I felt the need to create – I could only paint Christ through the appearance of a dying Thor, who had both slayed the World-Serpent and sacrificed himself for the world below.
But how could that be, when both my reason and heart know Thor to be such an incomplete idol amongst a pantheon of idols? There must have been something else hidden within Thor, which aligned itself with the forgotten God whose torn cloak I had found a piece of, and the embroideries I wanted to reflect. Something which was not Pagan, but rather the source from which Paganism had fallen, a source which far outshines that of Christianity.
It was not Christ that I had painted, but neither was it Thor – rather it was a spark of that original Fire and Father, of which Thor was but a faint glow. But still, it was of this fire that Thor glowed faintly, and as such, there was still something in him which could make the unintelligible embroideries dance with the sense of a clear vision. Even if it was just with a mere fraction of the Light they once reflected, they still shone.
But it was absolutely not a Pagan painting – no, not at all. For I could as little bear myself to paint this image in the standard bright red and heavy, earthly colours that permeates the Pagan depictions of Thor, as I could to paint it in the lamb-white colours of Christianity.
The final colours came to me in a summer night, in these Northern twilights which never really turn into darkness, but rather linger upon the edge of life and death. I lay among blue bedclothes, which in the solemn light glowed mildly in the same cold and still colours as the sky outside of my window. And I saw upon this blue the skin of my own thigh, in its rosy white, which behind fabrics had been spared the scorching light of a summer sun.
I could see Life tense through the fibre of my muscles, as I flexed my flesh upon the sky-like bed, and I could feel the rising course of an ancient blood, which wished to flow as much in the body I had inherited, as among the rosy clouds which glistered through the glass panes.
And when my eyes moved inwards, to the fatter and softer insides of my thighs, I could almost feel the dark dagger of Fate itself, aimed at the vulnerable veins throbbing beneath an all-too thin skin. And at the infinitely small point where this sharp blade touched my living flesh – luring almost unnoticeable, waiting for a moment to plunge into my body – I could feel the unity of Life and Death. I could see it, in the struggling flow of the blood, and its final, grand gushing through the wounds of Fate.
I saw the colours of the Father, whose love and sacrifice I wanted to paint – the cold blue of the sky, the rosy white of twilight clouds, and a gushing sun of Blood. I saw his Hyperborean spirit and blood, and his choice to flow and pour through a people of war-torn, Northern steppes. And it was this sensation of violent Life lived through Death, of spirit flowing through gushing blood and flowering in total destruction, that I could not find in that heavenly afterlife of the Christian.
For the Christian may speak of being a part of Christ’s body – but this is not a body which tears itself apart for the spiritual fulfillment of struggling blood, but a vessel whose ultimate goal is to dissolve and leave this world behind, carrying with it the Christian. And the Christian may speak of already having faced Death and Life together with Christ, through the rebirth of baptism – but this is a Death for Life, rather than that Hyperborean Life which lives through Death and War.
Christianity is like the Gothic cathedral, with its vertical lines converging in slender towers, almost floating above the earth. It is a solely upwards-striving architecture of elegant beauty, escaping the filth and sin of the horizontal world below. But it is only the Ancient temple that can truly resonate with Hyperborean blood. For in that temple weight and power is the main principle, expressed in the strong and vertical pillars of spirit which carry the pain of a large, horizontal slab upon their shoulders, unto eternity. Yes, where the Gothic spire escapes the world, the Ancient temple stands up to elevate the world – to lift the horizontal slab of marble that was once hidden in the earth, so that it can shine with the purest white, as a part of the sky itself.
Yet when I woke the next morning to paint in the colours I had seen, cowardly reason had again taken place. And only knowing of the Pagan gods and Christ, it had to tell me that it was Christ I painted, bleeding among the scales of the World-Serpent.
But now I’ve realized who I actually wanted to paint – the one and only Sky Father, who is at the origin and centre of Aryan Tradition.
I will never take back anything I have said of Christ’s greatness and beauty, nor will I deny that our ancestors saw some great Truth in Christ, and lived glorious lives in his image. Neither would I ever attempt to ridicule those of my friends who wholeheartedly seek for Christ, and want to live by his light – for they will probably live far more noble and fulfilled lives than I, a dog-like artist, can ever hope for.
Christ was necessary for me, and for Europe as a whole, as a denier and vanquisher of that broken and fallen mess we know as Paganism. But I will say that Christ is not the God whose memory is flowing through our blood, and that I wish, despite the high deeds of Christianity, that Christianity has had its run, and is facing the end of its cycle. This so that our true, original Father can return – he who as of now remains hidden, far beyond the fog of Paganism.
Yes, Paganism is a damp and dead fog obscuring our original peaks, and it is far worse to be a Pagan today than a Christian. I, who dream of the infinite reaches from which Paganism fell, can harbor nothing but disdain for those who worship dead remains of false gods, mixed with the stinking soil of animistic ghosts.
The Pagan gods can be seen as nothing more than distortions and degenerations, only having their value in the fact that they clung to some small spark of the original Sky Father and his eternal Flame. To then cling to the ashes of these clingers can be seen as nothing more than spiritual weakness and idolatry – instead we must kill within us all old Pagan gods, kings and priests, in order to unearth the original Fire with which they once burned, but which they themselves never were.
But how are we to reach this original Father and Fire? Any reconstruction or backward gazing is of course completely impossible – for the original Father of the Aryan Tradition is completely hidden by the past, and even if we knew him, we could not summon him by only sewing back together the tattered remains of his garments.
Instead we must look forwards. But who among us could ever dream of reaching the skies all by himself, to show the Father’s will to us? It is simply unimaginable, and to say otherwise is to forever hide the true Father behind a false and idolatrous faith in our own insignificant power as men.
He is far too high for anyone of the flesh to reach, and this is our great despair. Yet this despair is also our greatest hope, for it means that neither our ancestors, the first Aryans of flesh and blood, could reach the Father on their own, but rather that he must have shown himself to them. Any true knowledge of the Sky Father demands that he treads down, in some way or another, and if he has tread down once, he can do it again, igniting yet another turn of our cycle.
We must not look back to the last and lowest remnants of the previous Hyperborean Tradition – that is, not look back to the mishmash which we know as Paganism. Rather, we must wholly and bravely believe in a coming Ragnarök – in a destruction of everything old which return our realms to their true Origin and Tradition. We must believe as our ancestors did, that the height and beginning of a Cycle paradoxically lies hidden beneath its bottom and end.
We must believe that He will show himself again, through the end of our current civilization and that coming war, which hangs so ominously and inevitable, like a dark blade, above the head of Europa. Believe that He will lay waste to everything which we sad descendants of old Heroes know, yet at the same time bring back everything we’ve forgotten, thus rekindling the European sun.
But unlike the Pagan, we will not hope for a successor of Odin at the end of Ragnarök and the dawn of Tomorrow – rather we will wish for the original Sky Father himself, Him for whom Odin was but a faint retainer.
Thus I am not a Pagan; rather, I have faith in Him who is the source from which Paganism fell. Furthermore, I have complete faith in his Return. But because of that, I am at the same time of a Paganism far greater than that which any actual Pagan knows and professes.
So what am I to do with this faith? As I’ve said, I’m just a man of our age, and I can have no pretensions or delusions of being able to reach the Sky Father anew. And I’ll never take on the role of a charlatan or false prophet, misleading my brethren with empty words – for no words or thought of man can ever show Him to us again. Instead I’ll only live as what I am – a dog-like artist – and I’ll never again pretend that my art is anything more than the craft of such a dog. And I’ll only live as who I am – a man of my people – and carry out such duties as Fate will put upon my shoulders.
Not because any of these things in itself will lead to the return of the Sky Father, but because this is the only way in which I can express my Faith in Him and His Return. The only thing I can do is to face the great and dark struggle that is to come, now at the end of our old Age. I can only throw myself towards the godless and howling Fimbulwinter – but I will do so with the burning Faith that He is at the other side.
And if I amount to nothing more than a dog’s death, if I am never to see our true Father in my lifetime, but only am to disappear in the darkness before the break of dawn – then what of that? A dog lives a dog’s life, and dies a dog’s death – and there’s nothing more to it.