What a total waste of time, apologising for things your ancesters [sic]
Only surpassed by asking for such an apology.
Hmmm. . . I wonder. The past. All dead and gone. No need to apologize for ancestral deeds. Actually, to this seiðman, the attitude sounds more like remnants of the Industrial Age.
Let's throw out the spiritual mystical stuff from the argument for a minute and just stick with some general physical principles.
Let's look first at the concept behind the word "apology" and it's common application:
Most of us, however, buy into the theory of "restitution": above, the
wife divorces the jerk, gets child support, and he pays the neighbor for
the dog. Even if it doesn't get to this point, the situation demands
some type of change in the mode of action (on the part of the husband). Right?
Wrong. According to the newsgroup post above, we should "let bygones be bygones,"
get on with life. After all the past is the past.
Take it as you will.
Let's talk about luck for a minute. The Catholic Church's luck has been somewhat poor of late. "Well, they deserve it" you say. True. Its attitude toward, hmmm, women, indigenous peoples, non-Christians, pro-abortionists, gun control, birth control, etc. might have something to do with declining popularity. Pedophiliac priests being protected by the Mother Church might also have something to do with the problem–hard to tell. Do you think that maybe if the Church reviewed it's behavior of the past 1000 years, it might find where it was at fault, perhaps discovering a pattern of mistakes, so it can readjust its attitude in the present? Do you think the attitude displayed towards the non-Christians and "different thinkers" of the Middle Ages might be related to the attitudes of the Church towards black people during the last century, towards Jews during WWII, and towards indigenous peoples of today? Do you think the cover-ups of the witch trials might be related to the techniques used to cover-up pedophilia? Do you think that the right to "clean up your act" is something that only good Ásatrú folk do and does not extend to other people? Because if you do, you may want to pull your head out of your hypocritical ass and take a whiff of the real world.
As a seiðman, I have one of those mystical, spooky views of the time-line. I know that past action is important, making restitution on debts owed never goes away by itself. Very often, I deal with people whose luck has disappeared. I can follow the river of their lives into the past and look at the the little cesspools that they have made in their ancestral streams, and me and my ghosts can help clean up those things. For some folks, without someone going back into the past to see the screw-ups and where they originated, there is no such thing as "going forward and getting on with life." They are sometimes like the fisherman who has a tangled mess of the lines. True, sometimes it is better to throw out the reel (I don't normally condone murder, though), but if the reel and line can be saved, sometimes it is worth the little extra effort.
Sometimes, the cesspool is inherited rather than created by the hapless one. Sometimes, generations of drugs, killing, drinking, and prostituting the family lineage results in some nasty work to get back to a functional life. Sometimes nothing can be done, or if something can be done, it is a long involved process. These folks didn't mess up the fishing reel; it's the one that grampa left them!
Regular folks with industrial age eyeballs can't usually see what I see at the graveyards. Folks who go around preaching that the "dead are dead" have, for the most part, a functional worldview, just very narrow. Usually, these folks have no sense of luck until they lose it. We have what we have because we are provided for by our ancestors, genetically, psychologically, financially; if you have industrial grade eyeballs with an industrial age philosophy of life, you can call it inheritance, if you want. Occasionally, one of the narrow-minded ones will just piddle away his luck and die a miserable little death. More often than not, he will become a powerless, whimpering ghost who isn't accepted into the ancestral household by his folks, so they hang around to harrass and welch a theiving afterlife off the Living. Pretty harmless, usually, like pesty little mosquitos: irritating but getting by on the little scraps he can steal. Luck is a little broader in scope than this guy was able to understand.
Pissing off the dead can be somewhat different than dealing with the little whimperer described above. It really depends on the strength of the individual ghost. Wimpy little ghosts are harmless and are a dime a dozen. There are others, though, who are not so powerless: it is best not to piss them off. These were real men and women who led decent lives and, who even after death, love to take restitution for wrongs committed. Quite a different matter entirely. These can do some real damage. Setting oneself in line with the dead can work to one's benefit. If it requires reopening trials, repaying old debts, and changing behavior/ attitudes, it might be worth it.
There seem to be a large handful of modern Ásatrú folk who say that they adhere to the philosophy that "the past is past," that welching on debts left by their ancestors is OK. It's odd, though, that many of these same don't mind the concepts of laying blame and taking responsibility. I would venture to guess that not many of them would mind, for example, suing an Archdiocese if the local priest had committed sodomy upon their 10 year old son, or who wouldn't go after the local HIV positive drunk/ drug addict who penetrated their niece with bloody fingers. I doubt that any would hesitate to make good on a bad check that they had accidently written or would feel no remorse for accidently breaking the neighbor girl's leg in a car accident. It's a matter of personal honor, after all.
Why is it then that we do not shoulder the blame for the slave movement in the US? The Holocaust? We are of the same line. I don't like the idea any more than anyone else, but my ancestors DID it. I know it, and I admit it. I've looked at the past, examined it, and I have chosen to take responsibilty and alter the current behavioral pattern of my lineage. That is my right; no not right–that is my duty! In my experience, my ancestors were wrong during their time in the past, and I choose to stop the pattern in the present. I choose to make peace with the ghosts of those my ancestors had wronged, and, if they (the ghosts) agree, I choose them as allies. There is power there. The dead are not just dead. But, then, I am a seiðman, and I live by that kind of power.
I say, if the Holy Mother Church can make peace, can make restitution,
with the dead and, thereby, change her nasty attitudes towards Jörd
and her inhabitants, let her. We've nothing to lose by it.
If we deny the Church her chance to do good for once, then we're either
narrow-minded, living by double standards, or just plain stupid.