Thursday, May 27, 2010

Absolute distain is aimed at a tiny assembly of peaceful Odinists in a Southern California public park

Odinist Group Files Lawsuit Against NOR Parks Department

Group Claims They Were Discriminated

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Odinist group has now formally filed a complaint with the North of the River Parks and Recreation Department and also began the process to file a lawsuit with the ACLU.

Two weeks ago, ABC23 reported on the story of a group of pagans practicing a harvest ritual at Standard Park, and the confrontation that occurred as a result.

ABC23’s Elaina Rusk sat down with both sides to find out what will happen next.

The night of Aug. 12, a group of Odinists gathered at Standard Park for a harvest ritual and were thought to be white supremacists by park-goers and neighbors, two of whom called 911.

[One of two 911 calls which led up to this incident]

Deputies responded after each complaint, but the Sheriff's Department couldn't comment on the situation because no report was filed, which means the deputies did not find any criminal activities taking place.

Don Parkins, an Odinist, said, “We're not breaking the law, because if we were, we'd be in jail." The Odinists' complaint is with the NOR Parks and Recreation Department. They say the ranger who responded to the second call told them they weren't allowed to practice their rituals in any NOR park.

After ABC23's first story aired, NOR officials told the station that they received that complaint, and conducted an internal investigation.

Roger Perez, NOR public relations director, said, “I believe there was a claim that the religion was being disrespected, and we take those types of claims seriously. But in our internal investigation, that wasn’t believed to have been said, was not said, by our deputy. And unfortunately, I think it just got blown out of proportion."

But the Odinists were not satisfied. They began the process to file a civil lawsuit with the ACLU which is considering whether to take the case.

But the Odinists said NOR could have easily resolved the issue.

Collin Bentley, an Odinist, told ABC23, “All it would have required for them is to simply acknowledge that their ranger was in the wrong, and for a formal reprimand."

"Again, we've done our investigation,” Perez told ABC23. “And as far as we're concerned, it’s an issue in the past, and we will definitely keep it in mind for the future, and make sure that there isn't even a question of this type of thing in the future."

Rusk received viewer phone calls and e-mails after the first story aired, claiming that no matter what happened in the park that night, the Odinist religion -- and this group -- is racist.

Other people told Rusk that the group should be allowed their freedom of speech.

The Odinists confirmed theirs is a Viking religion that only allows people of Germanic descent into their brotherhood, but they deny they are racist.


This incident actually occurred in August of 2009. What is possibly the most remarkable part of this unfortunate story, is just how distanced certain European-Americans are from their roots; occasionally bordering on a strange type of self-hatred. All one has to do is read some of the comments at the bottom of the above article link for proof of that. Roots that go back about forty thousand years. For example, the raven flag couldn’t be more foreign to them. What a shame it is upon this land that these people couldn’t at least be given the benefit of the doubt. It should be noted that this type of behavior is very unusual for park rangers as a general rule, especially the “MY park” part.

What if some of our brothers and sisters from Comunità Odinista were treated this way? What if people adhering to our own ancestral faith of Cernism were disrespected in this manner? The ancient flag of Langbard, when it is flown with pride, could be called “Nazi” by some of these paranoid people. One can only take so many steps back against the edge of the cliff. It should be also noted that there are many types of European-related heritage festivals, attended by many thousands of people, where there is not this problem.

The above link to one of the actual 911 calls, in which a person actually is heard giving a false report, which is illegal. In fact, the caller even asked for an officer by name, which seems to suggest that she was a frequent caller. Even beyond the American Constitution, these men were denied their basic rights and freedoms as human beings! As far as this group only allowing those of “Germanic descent” into their society. Well, of course! That is their “folk family.” Is that any different than an Irish club or Greek Orthodox Church? Those institutions are not public.

It appears that there is a perception that, because they are of Germanic descent, they should have fewer rights than others. At least that is the subconscious perception that exists now with most people. From personal experience, I know that there are some members of Odinist groups who are not specifically of northwest European descent. The main point being that the construct is based on this ancient Germanic paganism, originally from northern Europe; however, those ancient tribes migrated to many different places all over Europe.

All to often, people’s minds are wired to react by what their perception of something is, especially if it’s different to them, and dismiss any evidence to the contrary. The CCNA condemns the totally unacceptable treatment dished out to the three Odinists in that Bakersfield public park on August 12, 2009. They were not even seeking any attention, and yet were bullied by a number of citizens and park rangers. Even worse than the bullying, was the cultural humiliation. At a minimum, a letter of apology by the NOR Park officials would seem to be acceptable.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cernunnos: The Astronomical Connection

Sometimes, if you poke around, evidence can be hidden in plain sight. An article which we republished a couple of years back, entitled 'Strange Occultic Tradition Excavated in Valle Camonica' (Silvano Danesi; 1999;, is a good case in point.

Before we go on, we would like to point out that the development of an honorable, historically accurate, and folkish "Cernic Rite" is now a part of the mission of the Camonica Club.

When reading Silvano Danesi's article about the excavation near Cevo, Brescia (Val Camonica), it's very clear that this occultic traditon was deep in astronomy. Early man, for so many thousands of years, looked to the stars for answers to many of the same questions that we ask today. Questions regarding god, the meaning of life, the spirit world, man's place in the universe, the cycle of life, as a compass, the cycles and patterns of the stars in relation to the earths seasons, and even astronomical patterns which repeat at longer patterns than just once a year (ex. "every twenty years").

It should be pointed out that "occultic" simply means hidden, therefore is neither good nor bad in of itself. As has been acknowledged more and more in recent times, most people have separated themselves from the natural world. Nothing reflects this more than the fact that many, or most, people don't even really see the stars in the sky due to the lights emitting from the urban sprawl. When viewing the night sky in a basically rural area, we can see the type of sky that the ancient Camunians saw. 'Our Haunted Planet' (1971), by the late John Keel, gave a deep look into the ancient past; as well as providing possible explanations for the direction of early man.

The Cevo site links the ancient past with the Middle Ages, spanning thousands of years. The megalithic circles connect complex ancient astronomy to the origin of Cernic tradition. One of these altars is in the form of a serpent's head, and is clearly tied to the Ofiuco constellaton, which was percieved by it's shape and symbolized by a man holding a snake. This early serpent cult represented the beginnings of what was to become Cernism. As the article stated: "local legends and feasts of the pagan hinterlands have survived and give the idea of an ancient cult linked with the serpent."

It should be noted that many stone formations were once foundations for structures. In the article, it's also interesting to note that these mostly circular standing stone altars are simply referred to as "churches." As stated in the article, the "Androla Chapel" has probably the best view of the sky in the Camunian Valley. The evolution of this faith over the centuries can be pieced together, and would include influence from the ancient Camunni, the early "serpent people," the Celts, and later Cernic witches who apparently also made use of the deep dark nearby tunnels leftover from ancient copper mines.

The legend states that the witches guarded the serpent of the golden ring in the Androla caves and the serpent is an element of great importance for the study of local traditions and in identifying possible ancient cults. In Andrista, for example, the tradition of the Basilisc is still observed. It's interesting to note how "the serpent" and "the golden ring" sound a lot like the snake and the torc of the depictions of Cernunnos (see image above).

From the article: "In January, according to traditions, the Brescian valleys and countryside, especially in Val Saviore and in Franciacorta, see the arrival of the Basilisc, a serpent that the legend says is stumpy with cows horns on its goatskin head." It continues: "The Cernunno is associated with many animals, but particularly with the bull and the stag and is similar to the mythical serpent with a ram's head (goat – ram). Usually the Cernunno is represented with stag's horns, accompanied by a serpent with a ram's head."

Many aspects of the ancient life in the valley, and the surrounding regions as well, were named after the Basilisco (from basilìskos, little king – the king of serpents). Everything from festivals of the seasonal equinox, to place names, to various local dishes, etc. They would seem to be connected in some way to the harvests and harvest festivals.

The "cult of the serpent" seems to have been mainly associated with the Celts, which would seem to mean that it was from a period after the ancient Camunni, which would be about 500 BC. This cult was also present in other parts of the nearby northeast Italian peninsula and southern ancient Germany. The basic gist of all of this is that the god Cernunnos was most often represented as a man holding onto a serpent and a torc in each hand. All of this originates with the Ofiuco constellation, and ultimately goes deep into pragmatic astronomy as it relates to our planet. It appears that the deeper that one wants to go, the deeper that it will take you as far as the meaning of all of this.

The article goes on to state: "The reference to the serpent, however, could infer stars of particular interest when aligning the megalithic circles. The symbols of the Zodiac, correctly interpreted, should be based on 13 and not 12 signs. In fact, the ecliptic, in fact, after Libra enters Scorpio which occupies only a few degrees (241-248) and then in Ofiuco, which occupies from 248 to 266 degrees. Sagittarius arrives after Ofiuco. The Ofiuco constellation, associated with that of the Serpent, is represented by a human figure holding a serpent in his hands and sometimes entwined with it. The name derives from the Greek ofiòkos, or 'he who holds the serpent.' In the period between November and January, Ofiuco is particularly evident in the sky to the East, before sunrise. Therefore it is not improbable that 'he who holds the serpent' or Cernunno, was identified with Ofiuco.

"If we observe the sky of 1998, we see that the sun rises (at 7.40) for the first time in Ofiuco, abandoning Scorpio, on December 1st and rises for the last time in Ofiuco (at 7.55) on 18 December. The day after, 19 December, the sun rises in Sagittarius. In 1998, therefore, the period influenced by the presence of Ofiuco as a reference for sunrise goes from 1 to 18 December. If we now leap back to 500 B.C., in this period the Celts at Cevo could observe the sky through their megalithic finders. The sun rose at 6.50 in Ofiuco on 1 November leaving Scorpio where it had remained until 31 October. The sun remained in Ofiuco until 18 November (when it rose at 7.15), then to pass, on 19 November, into the sign of Sagittarius. The period influenced by the presence of Ofiuco in 500 B.C. was therefore that between the 1st and the 18th of November.

"Festivities linked to the serpent, therefore, will all probability can be collocated in the period between November 1 and 18 (now December 1 and December 18). A period in which there was the Celtic New Year which began at Samain (the solar rising of Antares with the Moon in a particular position) granting the possibility of contact between the human world and the divinities. The period was dedicated to Lug in his acceptance of Cernunno and the goddess Morrigan."

The article then goes on to many other facinating traditions and connections, many that directly tie in Cisalpine Gaul to Gaul itself. It also seems to prove that their were indeed Druidic traditions in Cisalpine Gaul, but the jury is still out on that as it's generally believed that their were no Druids there. There have been more than one study on this which say yes however.

It concludes: "Visits and the first surveys can reasonably lead us to affirm that the localities Androla and Molinello (we could add Dòs Merlin at Saviore) were places dedicated to the cult and observation of the sky. It is equally reasonable to think that the megalithic circles, dolmen and stone constructions are to be associated with the traditions relative to the 'serpent', or “divin biscio” (divine snake), which represent the survival of ancient cults concerning Cernunno (the Celtic god Lug), associated with the Ofiuco constellation. The number of places visited allows us to say that Cevo, with suitable studies and appropriate surveys, should be an area of considerable archaeological and anthropological interest."