Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky


Proto-Indo-European Deities

I know I wrote about Proto-Indo-European (PIE) gods and goddesses, some time, some where, but I can’t find it now, so I’m going to throw up this quick sketch while I try to remember what I might have said. I have a post “Spread of the Indo-Europeans” (2015) over at Swan Knight, but that’s not what I’m remembering. At one of the predecessor sites to this site I...

Home As Cult Place

I’ve been meaning to blog about this presentation by Luke Murphy for quite a while. It shifts the emphasis away from the grand public cults toward the localized household cult. I wish I could find a better link, but this seems to be the only option. Murphy, Luke John. “The Home as Cult Place in Pre-Christian Scandinavia: Domestic and Household Religion in the Pre-Archaic North“...

Pagan Priesthoods

How do neo-pagans create priesthoods from nothing (ex nihilo)? I often talk to people who see this as an issue facing modern pagans. We don’t have an “apostolic succession” going back to the ancient priests. The interrupted transmission is a barrier to the legitimacy and credibility of pagan priests in modern times. Elsewhere, in some Indo-European cultures we see hereditary...

Tribal Religions

One of the fundamental difficulties faced by neo-pagans is that one cannot reconstruct the homogeneous cultural experience in a diverse modern world. Where most of our pagan ancestors lived in communities so uniform they did not need words for race and religion, nor were their communities large enough to created notions of nationalism. They simply belonged to a particular culture. Efforts to...

We Did It to Ourselves

One of the most transparent lies white supremacists tell themselves is that Christians forced their religion on Europe. No. No, they didn’t. Everywhere across northern Europe, people looked at Rome, so rich and sophisticated, and decided they wanted some of that for themselves. Back then, if anyone was forcing you to become Christian, it was your own leaders. #PaganSoyBoys...

Essence of Paganism

Here we have Tom Rowsell saying that all paganism in Europe is defined by dedication to deities. He thinks it’s all about the gods and worshiping the gods. I think he has the wrong end of the stick there. Rowsell’s emphasis on the gods leads him into some needless complexities, as well as some blind spots. The essence of everyday paganism–the mentalit√© we want to...

Hyper Masculinity

Ever run into one of those hyper-masculine LARP types, who make themselves into a cartoon Viking while thinking they’re reconstructing old Norse religion? These Viking wannabes go and on about Odin, Valhall, and their fighting spirit. One of the ways to spot someone who is still a baby in the faith is that they’ll riff to orgasmic heights about how the Norse refused to a bend a knee...

This Land

I’ve been wanting very much to read This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption Are Ruining the American West, by Christopher Ketcham (2019). Then I cried the whole way through. “A hard-hitting look at the battle now raging over the fate of the public lands in the American West–and a plea for the protection of these last wild places.“ If modern paganism will mean...

Norse Baptism

Even in the days before Christianity the Norse “baptized” their children. Meaning that babies were sprinkled them with water, apparently as a sign of accepting them into the family line.

Jackson Crawford, “Norse Pagan ‘Baptism’“, YouTube (Apr. 12, 2017).

Banning Anglo-Saxon

This is just sad. And I don’t mean the prospect of “academia” eliminating Anglo-Saxon as a category. I mean Tom Rowsell having a public meltdown, and using overwrought emotion, hyperbole, and ad hominem attacks to support his position — the very tactics he accuses his opponents of using. I would expect robust debate on a subject like this, not hysteria. If the accumulating...

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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