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Posts Tagged ‘whiteness’

Heidi Klum as Kali

Warm sunny days and new moons make for wonderful outdoor revelry, but are disastrous to websites and blogs. This gives me hope that no matter how enticing binary code is, a cloudless sky will ultimately win the day. And, such has been the case around here. Creativity for many of our writers has been found in other changing-of-the-seasons events, so we were a little quiet the last two weeks. Fear not. We’re here and will be slowly returning to the punch.

In the meantime, check out The Wild Hunt‘s latest piece on Hindu cultural appropriation. It’s a great read that tries to unpack some of that sticky morass we call “identity” and is directly related to anything a white identified person (WIP) tries to get into, especially regarding things spiritual and occult. The article is particularly interesting in that it looks at appropriation of Hindu deities from a neo-pagan lens, by someone who is now Hindu “proper,” but was born outside the tradition. We’ve touched on this in the past, and, rightfully so, it has proven to be a polarizing debate. Enjoy!

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LERWICK, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31: Locals dressed as Vikings march through the streets of Lerwick January 31, 2006, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.... The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 paraders will throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

At These New Old Traditions we talk a lot about reclaiming lost heritages and spiritual traditions (here and here), and how our hyper-capitalist consumer culture has made doing so rather difficult (here and here). Personally, I am, at times overwhelmingly, interested in the myriad of ways in which people of European descent handle these issues without doing once again to other cultures what they have done for quite some time now. How does a descendant of Europe reclaim and honor one’s own heritage without being just a touch racist? Is it even possible?

I start with a quote from Ward Churchill whose take on this discussion I have kept close to home since reading it in Derrick Jensen’s book of interviews Listening to the Land. Churchill states,

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Recently I’ve come across a handful of interesting articles dealing explicitly with paganism and the politically conservative-minded people who embrace it. The most recent take came from the ever-wonderfully informative blog The Wild Hunt titled “Asatru and the Alternative Right.” This is a subject that I find extremely fascinating, both because of its constantly volatile nature, due specifically to the inherent race/whiteness politics that inevitably comes along with it, as well as the potential for real discussions on the effects and actuality of an exiled so-called “white” race from its own indigenous heritage. Fun, no? Yes.

We’ll be commenting heavily on this debate in future posts. For now check out the linked articles and let us know what you think…. My take is in the editing phase. Need a little more time.

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