Some Thoughts on Reincarnation

A Fayum Mummy Portrait, featuring Anubis

Reincarnation is a thing I am not sure whether I can put my weight behind, however there are a few things that make me think that it is a reality. Polytheistic traditions are ethnic in nature, no doubt about that I’m sure, of course there is no restriction on what race can worship the gods of Hellas or any other culture. But it does seem funny, why would a person of a different ethnicity worship the gods of another ethnicity and have an affinity to that culture?

Maybe that is something to do with past lives. Maybe I was a Greek in Egypt or a Hellenized Egyptian in a past life, or maybe by some chance I have Mediterranean blood even though I seem to be predominantly Anglo-Saxon. It is actually this puzzlement with ethnicity and cultural affinity that makes me consider getting a DNA test.

However I wasn’t drawn to polytheism by any Germanic god, I was first inspired by Athenê when I was eight and then Anubis (especially Anubis) when I was ten. If I was to just take my ethnicity into account, I’d be drawn to worship the gods of the Germanic tribes, but that is not so, the only gods from that pantheon I feel some draw to are Odin, Baldr and Týr. I love Norse mythology, Germanic languages and I do draw knotwork in a Nordic style, but it doesn’t really influence my religious practises.

Serpent Knot by Yours Truly

Now, lets think about personal affinities. An affinity is a strong, natural attraction to someone or something, which is a bit different to an interest. I find the Kingdom of Pontus and the Kingdom of France to be interesting historical subjects, but I don’t have an affinity for them or the culture. I grew to like those subjects after studying bits and bobs about them, eventually finding something about that subject interesting. For the Kingdom of Pontus, it was Mithridates VI and the religious and cultural syncretism that occurred in that kingdom (I might even write a bit about it when I get more knowledgeable on it). As for the Kingdom of France, I grew to like it after reading more into the French Revolution, the effects it had on the world after and the Vendean Royalists.

The Romanov Family

A country I do have a huge affinity for is Russia, no I haven’t got the ‘red’ fever, far from it since I’m a monarchist. But of all the regicides that have happened in the past, it is the shooting of the Romanov family that get me the most in the gut, why? I don’t know, maybe it’s just human empathy, but it seems more than that. The Imperial Coat of Arms, the Coat of Arms Flag and the traditional white, blue and red tricolour flag ‘sing’ to my soul.

There’s just something about Russian architecture prior to the Soviet era, the churches of the Russian Orthodox Church and the iconography of Saints which appeals to me. Of course, I’m not a Christian but there’s something about the Russian Orthodox Church which puts itself heads above the others, even though I find the pomp of the other traditional churches beautiful. Vatican City is one of my ‘must visit before I die’ locations after all. But it’s not only the culture of Tsarist Russia, it is also its rulers that have a ‘mystical’ allure about them. It is really quite an indescribable feeling, there is no rationality behind it, it just is.

What is odd, that even before consciously opposing Marxism, I never felt that much of affinity for the Soviet Period. Rather controversially, my affinity ‘shifted’ to Germany after Russia went Marxist, shifted to Nazi Germany that is. I politically oppose National Socialism, it’s republican in nature and really, I don’t buy into mystical racial theories, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. I study that period of time and call people out on their bullshit when they try to romanticise the period. But I also call people out when they try to demonise the German people and the German army.

Gold Scythian pectoral or neckpiece from a royal kurgan in Tolstaya Mogila, Ordžonikidze

Other than these two periods, I have an affinity for Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. But I’ve also been having a persistent feeling in the back of my mind to read more about the the Bosporan Kingdom (yes, Russia again!) since I used to be totally unaware of it until about a year ago. I’ve also been having the urge to dig up all I can find on the Scythians, who also dwelt in Russia. Of course, I have my English affinities too, especially for the Third Crusade and the English Civil War (Cavaliers, of course).

A German infantryman during WWII, possibly at Demjansk, Russia

Whether I’m going to try and do past life regressions, I do not know. I sort of fear what I will find if I do. Any times of gnosis (or déjà vu) I’ve had about possible past lives have been through awful events like World War Two, especially the Eastern Front when concerning that period. The dreaded Eastern Front…watching the ‘scenes’ from that ‘theatre’ makes my stomach churn more than any other event in military history.

Any gnosis I do get about past lives are normally those of a martial nature. I have a growing interest in military history and it was also my interest in military history that partly contributed towards naming my blog ‘Ptolemais.’

The one common trend I can find when I think about what my passions are, what upsets me the most when reading history and the small bits of gnosis I experience; that is the strong affinity I have for all things martial, it rouses my spirit more than anything else but it can also break my heart harder than anything else.

What I’m trying to say through all this rambling is, maybe one’s religious beliefs are also subtly influenced by past lives and as well as ethnicity. A person’s passions, convictions and philosophy are probably also influenced by past lives.

I guess, I’ll finish off this post by posting the song that pushed me to type all this out.

The picture of the German infantryman is slightly edited, the original is from the ‘Deutsches Bundesarchiv’

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6 Responses to Some Thoughts on Reincarnation

  1. paosirdjhutmosu says:

    This has given me some stuff to think about, and puts my affinity for Semitic languages and deserts in a different light. I’m still not 100% sure about reincarnation, but it’s an intriguing possibility, and one I won’t turn down out of hand.

  2. Kullervo says:

    And see, I have a hard-to-justify affinity for Finland.

    As far as reincarnation goes, I have never had any strong personal experiences that would lead me to intuit that the concept is anything other than an interesting concept. I don’t rule it out (why would I?), and I often think it is more than interesting, even compelling, but never to a point where I would stake any personal attachment to it as truth, if that makes sense.

    One of my favorite songs, The Highwayman (the country song written by Jimmy Webb, not the also-cool sorta-new-age one by Loreena McKennitt), is about reincarnation.

    • Ophiokhos says:

      Yes, it is a compelling concept that can explain a lot of things. I have also heard some interesting stories from folk who claim to have gained insight into their past lives, but I don’t think I’ll get a personal attachment to the idea of reincarnation unless I have some flashback from a past life.

      Also, thanks for sharing that song, I enjoyed it. Country is a genre I don’t delve into all that often.

      • Kullervo says:

        My pleasure! Like I said on the other post, I am Southern, after all. The real gem version of that song though is the one by The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VST2KKIYn50 ), although there’s a fantastic clip floating around out there of Glenn Campbell with the South Dakota Philharmonic Orchestra (I think) doing it.

      • Ophiokhos says:

        Thanks! I’ll keep an eye out for that other clip you mentioned.

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