Interview: Dr. Karl E H Seigfried talks Ásatrú, Heathenry and beards

Originally published at:


A very good interview, which I am happy to say represents my view of Heathenry, as a Heathen. :slight_smile: :+1:


This was an excellent read. Thank you @SeamusBellamy for this interview. Very enlightening.


Alex, I’ll take Things Missing from this Post for $100, what is a jump.


I always thought a heathen was simply a person defined as such by a religious group, as if to say ‘you’re not one of us and you’re not even religious’ - i.e. defined by what one is not. I thought I was a heathen till I saw this.

(Am I the only one who quickly scrolls the day’s headlines/teasers and opens interesting ones each in a new tab to read as and when I get to them? That was a lot of scrolling to get to the next topic. Maybe put long articles like this after a link, from a headline/teaser, to a dedicated post? Just a suggestion.)

ETA @SeamusBellamy (In the hope you might read these comments) seeing as I am not the only one this irks (and you do seem to have previous ‘form’ on this, though you are not the only more recent regular BBer who does this).


Yeah, no kidding. Scrolling for days to get past it.


I can only assume the majority of the BB admins use the default ‘lol, chronological order? Are you some sort of crazy, have our bizarre nonsensical order we’ve gone out of our way to force on you instead’ mode.

I don’t understand it. the default BB view is horrible and has been since the last big redesign. quite why they keep with it is quite beyond me. Makes the site worse in every way…

The /blog/ view is vastly superior, until you get broken articles like this that just post the full article into the feed sans preview.

Chronological order, that actually makes sense for repeat users… try supporting it…


This was a very interesting article. I am a practicing Heathen/Pagan. I have been a member of a Henge for many years now. I am also a practicing witch, having started a coven years ago that eventually sundered. Over the years I have practiced Celtic Druidism, and Norse and Germanic Seidh (witchcraft). It’s good to see this being accepted into the U.S. military, at least until the evangelists shut it down again. Hail the Folk!

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The term Heathen originated in the British Isles and it referred to the various plants known as heather and also referred to folk who lived out amongst the heather. They were generally poor folk who still clung to their Pagan ways and therefore, xtians called them Heathens.


I never would have made the leap to connect the two, myself. That is super interesting, thanks!

(For the curious, click to read the full entry. It’s pretty brief and to the point.)

Inaccurate. The the plant “heather” takes its name from the landscape, which has a well-attested Proto-Germanic origin. A “heath” is marginal land, untilled but not forested; what simple farmers, too far away from cities to bother keeping up with the times, would be making a living on. The term “heathen” is thus a direct analogue to the latin term “pagan”.

I usually find American root-searching cringeworthy, but albeit I disagree with plenty of his assumptions regarding modern paganism, this interview actually wasn’t too* bad.

*All these post-wiccan religions share the same problems arising from the necessity of redefining complex old concepts for norms and ethics in a modern (liberal-individualist-capitalist-rationalist) context.

If you had bothered to click the link I posted to read the full entry - which I recommended doing in my post, you’d see that it states:

Perhaps literally “dweller on the heath, one inhabiting uncultivated land;” see heath + -en (2).
…it may have been chosen on model of Latin paganus, with its root sense of “rural” (see pagan)

So I’m not seeing the inaccuracy in my post that you’re objecting to. Perhaps you’re objecting to the statement made by @YetiLives which I quoted in my post, though you chose to reply to me.

I apologize. You’re correct in your assumption, I meant to quote @YetiLives (not to pick on anyone in particular, just trying to string together the thread when replying). The claim in that etymological dictionary, “[…] Old Norse heiðinn (adj.) “heathen, pagan,” of uncertain origin […]”, is still rather inaccurate - the etymology is not uncertain at all.

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