Visits to Heathen Driving

A screen capture of the Google search for Heathen Driving, showing the Vidar's Gothi article next to the Christian articles.

I was rather surprised to see so many hits on the posting "Why Driving is a Heathen Issue" so I decided to look into it. The first step was to look up "heathen driving," on Google. It seems the article shows up fifth from the top, after three Christian links about "driving out heathens" and one Twitter post that doesn't seem to have anything Heathen-related at all.

So far, there hasn't been any feedback. No one has tried to contact me about the posting. That doesn't keep me from wondering how many Christians have followed the Google link to the article and been surprised to find that it is pro-Heathen. Yes, a little part of me gets a chuckle out of the idea. The Wyrd is a mysterious thing and it takes people where they need to go when they need to get there.

If you are a Christian and you arrived here my mistake, you are welcome anyway. If you are hostile to our Heathen ways, this is a good time for you to get more details about them. You will find that we have no need to convert you, though you are encouraged to consider it. The reason we don't need to convert you is that we believe that the Universe exists whether you believe in it or not. What's more, your real character, who you are deep down inside, will always determine more about your destiny than chanting the right words, reading the right book, or converting at the last minute.

One thing I've often heard from Christians when they find out there are still followers of our ancient religion is, "How can you believe that non-sense?" That's quite a question from a people who usually have to resort to, "The Lord works in mysterious ways." To answer your question, though, you have to consider what it is that we actually believe.

In your religion, you have one God who creates both good and evil and then has it battling out for some reason. This has led to serious philosophical and ethical concerns such as why good people suffer. You also run into the problem of where your God comes from and where He exists. Your typical answer to that is that He just is and He is everywhere. This is akin to the cosmologist explaining that he has no idea what existed before the Big Bang. To overcome some of these dilemmas, some Christians had to come up with a separate afterlife place called Limbo just to cope with the idea of an un-baptized not going to Heaven.

We Heathens are also not interested in what may have existed before. To us, at one time there was Fire (energy) and Ice (matter) existing on the Wyrd (similar to the dimensional membranes the physicists talk about these days). When Fire and Ice interacted, all the other things came into being. Some of the earlier entities to exist were the ones we consider Gods. If you have a problem referring to the as Gods, you can call them by their group names such as the Aesir (Os in Old English) and the Vanir (Wan in Old English). These entities realized that all living things exist only as long as there is a dynamic balance between the Fire and Ice. Too much energy and thing come apart; too little energy and things don't move at all.

If the Aesir and Vanir can come into existence, then so can other things. That is where we get the Bad Guys of our religion, usually called Ettins. These creatures prefer either Fire or Ice and want more of that to be in control. For that reason, they will strive constantly to upset the balanced Universe in which we live.

To help fight this fight, the Aesir and Vanir created allies to help. In each environment, they created a people appropriate to that place. In our world, they created humans. It is our job, as Allies of the Gods, to help hold off the forces of Chaos (Fire) and Order (Ice). Easy examples of these forces are Anarchists and Terrorists (Chaos/Fire) or Fascists and Communists (Order/Ice). Less obvious examples are the gangs on the city streets (Chaos/Fire) or overly hostile law enforcement officials (Order/Ice).

For a real world example of a balance of Order and Chaos, we can look at law enforcement. In most places in the United States, fighting in public is illegal. If two drunk guys are slugging it out on the sidewalk, someone will call the cops and at least one patrol vehicle will show up, and probably more because they need to get control of a couple of violent persons. At the scene, the officers get to make some decisions. We have the laws so violent people who want to go around hurting others (Chaos/Fire) are stopped. The law says the officers muse arrest, process, lock up, and punish these people for their crimes (Order/Ice). However, the officers on the scene get to decide if all of that serves the greater peace or if the two combatants should be sent to their respective homes to cool down. That's the dynamic balance.

Of course, these are just easy, tangible examples, and there are those who go on to fight in other, more spiritual ways. For now, though, this explains how we have answers to some of the harder questions with which Christianity struggles.

Why do good people suffer? Simply put, there is a war on and in war everyone suffers. The forces of Order and Chaos want to exist where we are and that would require that they create an environment hostile to our existence. If we did not fight back, they would wipe us out completely.

What is Good and Evil? We know that those are subjective (one entity's good may be another entity's evil.) The forces of Chaos don't see themselves as bad guys; they just want to exist and grow and expand, just like we want to. We keep them from doing so because we want to grow and expand, but that doesn't make us bad guys. When we say something is evil, it usually means that it is threatens our existence or is just unwholesome.

Where did the Gods come from? Well, they just popped up. You know what? We don't care that we don't know anything more than that, any more than Christians care where their God came from. I think we will have to just agree not to argue about the details of that question or we will all waste time and be no closer to knowing anything.

How should I live my life? We do have some differences on this, but we also have some similarities. Christians have their Ten Commandments. When they adhere to them, they tend to be fairly tolerable. For Heathens, there are the Nine Noble Virtues that give more general guidance for handling anything that comes up rather than the detailed laws that the Christians have. That's OK; as long as we each follow our respective paths we will probably be able to get along.

In conclusion, I hope you've learned a little about us and can understand that you aren't going to convert us or otherwise get rid of us. Likewise, we aren't out to convert you, though we would appreciate it if you behave yourselves and show some respect to the natural world in which we all live. Other than that, we will all just do our part to keep the world working and then we will all get together in the afterlife and share our tales. You'll like our afterlife; there isn't really any punishment and you don't need your hand stamped to get in.