“But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.” – Deuteronomy 7:5, King James Bible
“For Yahweh is a jealous God, and all the peoples that Yahweh has given unto thee thou shalt extinguish without mercy”. Thus the books of Moses told it and thus it happened: the wooden temples of the old gods were burned in blazing fires, the Irminsuls fell, came down creaking under the chops of axes, the life trees no longer found water to drink and the wise men were eradicated with the sword.
Charles “The Great” orders the grand Saxon Irminsul to be cut down.
Fatherland-less men from the South, who couldn’t get a single foot in the door of the old faith, got assistance from armies; the sword pierced both man and woman and thus “the Holy Spirit” conquered the Germanic people, as “civilization and culture” were introduced to the godless heathens. Just like the Spanish conquerors brought the holy bible to South America along with alcohol and venereal diseases and thus destroyed the cultures in that land, who also suffered under the massacres and the gold-lust of the Latins, so did the Carolingians and their comrades defile the Nordic society.
After the holy places, the sacred groves, temples and forests, had been destroyed, the books of laws, sagas, epics and virtues were burned, the local names were Latinized on command and the local folk festivals were either Christianized or forbidden. What does the Bible say of this again? “I hate and despise your festivals and feasts and I cannot even come to smell your sacred days. Remove from my ears the sound of thy holy songs for I cannot stand to hear your lute play. I will change your feasts into hymns of grief and your feasts into cries of despair”. Thus Amos said, and thus it happened.
The conquerors came and said: “friendship with the world is a sin against God”. Their swords ploughed flesh and the fields remained empty and barren. Their cloisters came, the halls of the farmer nobility and the freemen collapsed and servitude was introduced to the world. Superstition, lack of virtue and unnatural-ness harassed the Nordic race, as priests went out to “convert” the “sinful world”, to abolish the sinful nature of Nordic man and woman and to make them submit to the only road to salvation: the church.
St. Boniface cuts down the Frisian oak tree consecrated to Thunor, an action he would later pay dearly for.
Frisians wreak havoc among Boniface and his followers for destroying their spiritual centers. Redbad of Frisia was one of the last and only kings of the peoples of the North Sea coast to actively resist Christian and Frankish influence in his lands. The Frisians under Redbad still lived under the old Germanic regime where free and rich farmers made up the local nobility and also acted as judges. They were ill accustomed to the machinations of the feudal system and would long remain as free farmers even under the thumb of the Holy Roman Emperor, where their governmental system was known as “Fryse Vryheit” (Frisian Freedom).
The natural religion of the Germanic peoples was hereby done for. It was forbidden to see an oak or an elm tree as symbol of your own life. It was forbidden to jump over a fire as a symbol of purification. It was forbidden to praise the eternal cycle of the Sun at summer and winter solstice. Farmers and sailors only dared to look at the stars in secret, out of the fear that they would be recognized as heathens. Holy mountains had become places for the hanged, the tortured and the burned. The holy woods had suddenly become home to all kinds of superstitious evil and exceptionally beautiful young women were researched in the cisterns of monasteries to check if their beauty was not an unnatural and devilish one. i.e.: Red hair? Hair of the Devil!
The religious person of the North, humiliated and bound by this strange power saw how his cosmic worldview was trampled on, how all things that made his life worthwhile were despised and how his Heill was shattered. The youth grew up burdened by strange and heavy weights, lacking understanding and full of superstition, every step they took being heavy with the sticky sin.
The new God from the East is quiet, he hangs silent and broken, a frail and bleeding body, nailed to a cross. And God is silent. Why? The people cannot understand. The only ones who do not stay quiet are his “servants”: “We know that we are born from God and that the entire world is bathed in sin.” Yes, the entire world, which this supposed “God” loves so much. Looking at a beautiful woman, having a child, adoring the flowers from the field or singing of the heroic deeds of the forefathers, everything is now a sin and a vain illusion. If one wants to fare through the spring fields naked to catch the morning dew with one’s hands the strangling cord and the pyre await. Will girls and boys still dance together? Will they still be able to freely choose each other and laughingly embrace each other in honor of Mother Freya? Will they still hand each other Ostara’s eggs? Save their souls! How evil is the world, that it exists and is fertile every year. The monasteries are big and cool, and so are their stables and stockpiles.
A common factor in all Christian art is the idealization of function over form and that of spirit over body, instead of spirit and body being one. This makes Christian art the art form of old men, frail bodies and unhealthy pallid and pale forms.
Blue eyes and blonde hair. And as strong as the oxen. Although the world became dark, although the nobles became servants and the servants men of power, the soul did not die. Maybe she wanted to die, maybe she was burned out when the age-old pagan culture died. But destiny has decided otherwise. Folk-soul and will to power started an unequal battle: soul against the intellect, feeling against ratio, and thus a Romanic church started to arise on the place of the old burned down temple, and from this Romanic church arose the Gothic cathedral.
Despite the hatred of anything beautiful and natural inherent in Christianity, stonemasons find many ways to express the old sacral signs in their work, this window being a representation of a sun wheel.
Despite the might of Byzantium, with its strict schemes and its insistence on form over reality, the old holy wood and sacred grove arose in the stone architectural pillar-trees of Germanic churches. Even the Light, which was so long banned from life intruded again in the newest creations of Nordic man: the glowing windows of the cathedrals, where the sun wheel once again is inlaid in the finest masonry. The holy script of our forefathers, the runes, comes alive again in the sigils of craftsmen and farmers, appearing on balustrades and mazeworks. Towers, higher than even seen before, pierce the sky like the old holy mountains, although on the rooftops still lurks the fear of hell, fed by strange priests. Here and there sculpture once again starts to remind us of the noble women and heroes of old and woodcarvers and stonemasons use their pieces cleverly to make fun of the greedy and fat clergy.
Some of the craftsmen of the medieval age mocked the greediness and the gluttony of the clergy, which kept demanding more and more temporal power while claiming to be otherworldly, in their sculptures. This sculpture depicts a foolish monk, drunk on wine.
In the eras after the Christianization, many craftsmen unconsciously began to assimilate the artwork demanded by churches and other sacred buildings with that of their forefathers. This saint implicitly resembles the facial characteristics of the old Germanic hero Siegfried.
Instead of the holy mound or mountain, strange towers arise to the skies, their sight a remembrance of the oppression of the new religion and their priests and monks propagators of an alien creed, but their masonry and symbolism that of the old order.
The monopoly of the arts is finally pulled away from the grasp of the church too as frescoes come loose from church walls and paintings start appearing on the walls of citizens. The miniatures from mass halls and old books become movable panels, created by artists working under the protection of the city. It is not possible anymore to portray as the work of the devil the singing of birds, the mist over the land, and the beauty of virgins. The smell of the earth is too strong and plant and animal are so innocent looking that churchly dogmatism no longer blinds the Nordic race. The result: the tearing of the web of lies made up by the professional liars of the church. In a new light the world opens itself up before us, shining and reborn; the Renaissance has begun.
– This is a translation of an article titled De Noordse Ziel from Der Vaderen Erfdeel 1938, October edition.