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The tremendous weight of our responsibility

Posted by Rob Phoenix on March 13, 2022 at 7:05 PM

For 2 decades I have been proclaiming myself to be a Powwow, committed to the preservation of the tradition in its true historical, cultural, and religious roots. I've learned from countless individuals. I've taught in classrooms, lecture halls, new age shops, zoom meetings, YouTube videos, this website, social media, and even published books. I can say with all honesty that my life's work has become sharing proper information about the tradition of Pennsylvania German Powwow while giving equal energy to dispelling the misinformation.


I've been accused of being a liar, a "pagan hater", "having an unhealthy obsession with discrediting" misinformation, and "making things up" to satisfy my own "agenda". I've been targeted by witches, pagans, and even other Christians. 


But I persevered.


On March 12, 2022, I did a YouTube interview with a young Braucher from Germany and a documentary filmmaker in Berlin. And it changed my entire perspective on the work I've been doing. In some ways, I wish I hadn't done the interview so I could live happily in the bliss of my ignorance prior to yesterday morning. But what's done is done, and I can't go back. And now my work is given even more meaning than I thought it already had..


I put the blame on our poor American education system. But I also put the blame on those Americans who refuse to acknowledge history. I also lay the blame at the feet of those who just want to pretend history is whatever they want it to be and that's that. And I put the blame on myself for not researching even further. But now I feel exhausted and horrified and am not sure how to go forward from here with this new information.


Did you know that when Hitler took over Europe, he successfully eradicated much of the folk identity of the German people? He wiped it out. All of it. Their folk culture, their art, their history, their folk beliefs. And yes, even their magic.


And he rewrote Germanic occultism to fit his twisted ideal of an Arian race and viking gods and whatever else.


And because he was so thorough in his eradication, the people of Germany today look to the Pennsylvania Germans for OUR preservation of their folk identity.


I had no idea.


This means that if a German person (a friend I know quite well, in fact), is looking for Braucherei practices in Germany, she is instructed to look into what the Pennsylvania Germans have preserved, as our folk history was not affected by Hitler.


I was horrified when I learned this. it floored me. I couldn't get it off my mind all day and night and now the day after. It's affecting me.


And it's strengthening my resolve, moreso than ever.


The other day, someone said I had an "unhealthy obsession" with discrediting a neopagan author and her made-up nonsensical version of "Braucherei". And I even wondered, briefly, if that were true.


But then I learned how CRUCIAL it is for us to preserve TRUE history and FACTUAL information and not give in to fantasy based on the Nazi ideal of occultism. Because THAT is what modern heathen traditions are founded on...the ideas put forth by Hitler himself.


None of that nonsense is the truth about Germans and their practice of Braucherei, which was entirely Christian and well-known amongst the people until Hitler came along and wiped it all out.


Luckily for Germany, we have the tradition preserved here in Pennsylvania. The PROPER tradition. Literally all the books and sources used, records of practitioners, and even modern people keeping the tradition alive.


However, thanks to the neopagans who like to make up their own versions of things, now we also have false narratives added to the mix, muddying the waters to anyone who wants the truth. And this does not just do a disservice to those of us in Pennsylvania who want to learn Powwow, but to the very German people themselves who wish to reconnect with their lost folk cultural identity.


They look to us to learn their past. And when they look to us, they also find the nonsense that has been like a virus in our culture. The neopagan nonsense that has its roots right in the Third Reich.


So yes, I DO have an obsession with dicrediting the remnants of Hitler's occultism here in Pennsylvania. We see traces of it in heathen groups all around the world; with their Arian leanings and white supremacist attitudes. But there is NO place for that nonsense in Pennsylvania German Powwow. And I will fight against it for the rest of my life, if necessary.

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