Sunday, May 05, 2013


Do our parents and grandparents hate Pagans because Hitler loved them??

You bet, says historian Malcolm Gaskill:  

"…the Nazis … endorsed Pagan ideals to highlight the church’s oppression of authentic volkish [folk] culture.”

All of which, says Malcolm, soured the postwar generation on all things Pagan -- including the notion that witches might have been benign people smacked with a smear campaign.

The idea that witches might have been cool dudettes and dudes was actually popular in the 19th century.  For example, the French historian Jules Michelet (1798-1874)  “repackaged” witches “as protorevolutionary heroines battling feudal oppression.”

However, warns Gaskill, scholars who think everyone tried for witchcraft was innocent of wrongdoing, are currently way out of style.

(from Witchcraft:  A Short Introduction.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.  Gaskill, Malcolm.  2010, pp. 101; 116).
This radically fab image was done by Susan Sedon Boulet.  Bless you for all you've done for us, Susan.


mea said...

i wonder how many "wrongdoing" christians were tried for evil christianity. (besides the romans). Certainly abusive monks today aren't tried like they should be. maybe we are just getting around to it. this still doesn't address the bigotry of christianity, islam and judaism. basically "pagans" were not organized like the churches of the forementioned. to prosecute one for witchcraft with witchcraft as an evil is bigotry. i think christians would be the first to point out that because some priests abuse children does not mean all christians do; hence burning all christians at the stake for vague abuse isn't happening. maybe its time!

mea said...

also i think Mein Kamph has some quote which relate Hitler as a Christian.

certainly my parents did not hate pagans because of Hitler. my dad had a swastika on some mocassins he make which he hid because of the anti hilter feeling. but he had no idea what the swastika meant in lore. my parents were christian and had closeted links to paganism; which they did not fully understand. christians have as many pagan attributes as hitler did in their ceremonies.

mea said...

actually my dad got upset at a maltese cross i put on my banjo when i was a hippie. he thought it was a swastika. nope. when if found out it was actually a christian symbol or close to it... he was rather sheepish. actually the maltese cross was identified in ww1 in the blue max in germany; a symbol for excelence in flying. poor dad. so confusing! hatred in fear have silly consequences sometimes. the supersticious value of symbols is a grave error. i think witches are correct in not relying on them too much and relying on the magic of reality more. we have so much natural magic around us that to pursue the elusive is rather comical.

Athana said...

Mea, thanks for your comments! I'm beginning to look at what the Church did to European Pagans the same way I look at what (Christian) European/Americans did to Native Americans. The goal in both cases was to wipe out an entire culture, an entire way of life.