30 Days of Heathenry – Day 15 “Advice”

Silhouette, Father And Son, Sundown, Chat, Advice
Public Domain via Pixabay

Question:

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about the Heathen path? Your biggest influences?

Answer:

To me, some of the best advice I’ve been given is to be selective on what sort of information one reads, and do research on authors before you get into them. One of the members of the group I’m interacting with a lot, said this to me. They had a lot of knowledge of some of the most prominent authors in the Heathen movement – both good and bad. With Heathenry being infiltrated, and sadly built on the views of racist people from the past, its hard to keep yourself “pure” from running into these ideas. I’ve run into many many many books that look promising only to find out that the author is either overtly racist or leans heavily that direction.

Take, for example, a Journal that was recommended to me from a Facebook group that I generally trusted not to be a hive of this sort of thought – it turned out to be written by Carolyn Emmerich – an avid racist that pushes that agenda into pretty much all of her writings. It started innocently enough – a book on Germanic Folklore, “cool that’s right up my alley!” I thought! Then the red flags started popping. She talked about foreigners a few times, then outright decried Jewish people at a later point when talking about Grimm’s more troubling bits of folklore (The wrote ones that fueled Nazi propaganda a tad). I then ran Google to look into my concerns and BOOM – huge Neo-Nazi leanings.

From that point on, I am careful to vet all of my prospective book choices. yeah, its easy to fall into the “everyone’s a racist!” idea, and yes some authors hide it more than others. You see this in metal music a lot – bands getting accused of having Nazi ties left and right – its gets tiresome, but its usually easy to spot the legit idiots out there. You also have to avoid blogs entirely founded on the idea of cancel culture for authors that they see as problematic for various reasons aside from their work – sometimes you DO have to separate the art from the artist, and honestly the real shitheads out there are exactly trying to hide it.

As for biggest influences, I’d have to say that YouTube personalities do great work, and I take a lot from them currently. People like Survive the Jive, and Jackson Crawford are weekly watches for me, and give me the sort of information I crave most of the time. Yeah, their stuff is far less practical than scholarly, and they have clear biases at time, but it gives me a great jumping off point to run with.

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 1

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 2

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 3

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 4

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 5

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 6

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 7

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30 days of Heathenry – Day 9

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 10

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 11

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 12

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 13

30 days of Heathenry – Day 14

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 14 “Best and Worst”

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Question:

What’s the best thing about being heathen? The worst?

Answer:

I think the answer to both is sadly “other Heathens”. At their best, heathens are some of the nicest, most sharing people and really know how to have fun. I have had a great sense of community with other Pagans that I have lacked for many many years. its great to feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself, and its hard if you have no way to scratch that itch otherwise. At their worst, there are many that call themselves Heathens that are insane sociopaths, racists (or both) with little to no care for the actual religious movement as a whole. Sadly I have seen my fair share of both sides, and I’m still a relative novice. I mentioned my previous Kindred, and the stuff that was going on there that led everyone to basically quit – it would have been easy to allow that to cloud my judgement of everything.

Around my area, at least, there seems to be a slight issue with tribalism. Some groups have more power than others and try to become the local Heathen Popes, whilst others try to kick the whole “community” thing to the curb, and ignore any sort of rules or actively antagonize other groups. both are VERY tiresome, and reek of people that have no matured past High School suddenly finding themselves in a leadership position they should not be in.

Its easy to allow people like this to make you turn into something very similar, but its important to try to be the change you want to see in others – those hate-filled terrible groups have a way of self-destructing after a while on their own. There’s no reason to go down with them.

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 1

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 12

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 13

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 13 “Learning”

Book, Asia, Children, Boys, Education, Girl, Indonesian
Public Domain Via Pixabay

Question:

What’s on your agenda to learn more about? What topics are interesting you lately?

Answer:

This is actually something I try to do a lot, Ever since I left school, I have vowed to never stop learning – to gather as much information and experiences that I can to better myself, and hopefully help enrich the lives of others as I impart some of my knowledge to them. I need to organize this better TBH, but I can come up with a rough list of five topics I am currently into and am actively trying to find out more on…

Image

I am trying to learn Norwegian – I am truthfully not certain where my Scandinavian portion of my ancestry is from – I did not know my father, but I know he was from Wisconsin at one time, so he likely was either part Swedish or Norwegian. This largely wasn’t why I started this, but I felt like it helped me along the path to choosing a new language to try to learn. I could have done German, but it seemed too hard LOL! A few months ago, I decided to dive into Duolingo’s Norwegian class, and it has been pretty fun. I’ve heard its one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn, and can help with understanding Danish and Swedish as well, so I figured it would be beneficial.

I had, at one point, wanted to get back into Spanish as I had taken two years of it in High School, but honestly its really hard, and its been too long so I would have to start from scratch more-or-less. My ultimate goal for this is to read some Historical books from Scandinavia that may not be translated over here, and perhaps travel there one day.


Stonehenge, Monument, Prehistoric, Salisbury, Britain
Public Domain via Pixabay

I am currently really into learning about the Neolithic and Bronze Age – I chalk this up to me seeing a Stonehenge exhibit last year in Kansas City, reading a book about it, and playing Farcry Primal on PS4 all at around the same time.

Once I have time to re-arrange my books (currently dealing with repairs due to water damage) I want to create a nice reading area in my downstairs area. Perhaps I can get back into my 1 book a week reading schedule that I once had. Some books I plan to read soon are above.


Halloween Countdown:Goddess Hel of Norse Mythology
Public Domain Via Pixabay

I am trying to study some lesser-known Gods –This one is tough if you want to read well-researched books and monographs that go in-depth with some of these figures. Sure you can jump on Amazon and find books on Deities like Hel, for example, but you have like a 50/50 chance that the book is a cheap, poorly researched mess by a racist.


Candle, Magick, Ritual, Magic, Ceremony, Pagan, Occult
Public Domain via Pixabay

I want to learn more practical Magical work – One thing I also need to implement more is magical work. This will come along as I start working more on my altar, and my goal is ultimately to have a daily practice that I do – something to focus energy on, and hopefully help sway the Gods towards me. Its hard to find things that have been settled on as “official” Norse Pagan rituals, as a lot of the magick we do is honestly Wiccan magic due to the almost complete loss of source material on what actually was practiced, but its a start.

and finally –

Via Previous review HERE

I am trying to seek out more Viking and Pagan comic books – One of my hobbies is comic books and graphic novels, so I have been trying my hardest to find ones that deal with the themes of ancient Pagan Europe or Paganism in General. Luckily with a renewed interest in Vikings (for better or worse) this has lead to more choices. I am trying to get to where I have a pretty good idea of Vikings in sequential art, maybe start blogging more about it – who knows.


So there we have it, that’s what I’m currently trying to learn and work on – what are some things my readers are learning about or working on? Please let me know in the comments!

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 12

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 12 “Communication”

5 Bible Verses For The Anxious Soul
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Question:

How do you communicate with your gods?

Answer

One of the hardest things for me when I followed the path of Gnosticism was the vague notion of how to achieve “Gnosis”, or what that even meant. Most people did this by taking drugs such as ayahuasca to see the Gods, or spirits of the other side. Not even knowing how to procure something like that in a safe manner this side of booking a vacation to South America seemed highly unlikely and who knows if that’s even what the ancient Gnostics were talking about. This confusion was aggravating and a bit disheartening, and seemed like a way for people to take the personal side of it away from the layman. This is one of the many reasons I left Gnosticism.

So what does speaking to the Pagan Gods entail? Is it just as vague and troublesome? A bit of “Yes”, but mostly “No” thankfully, as we know that there are many ways to communicate with the Gods, few of which are explicit as “you better see a God and talk to them!” To me, it seems like this can be achieved through many means including the aforementioned drug trips, trances, hypnosis, and small things like divination, offerings, even scrying through fire or a black mirror. Who knows what will work until you try it – and thats where I am – trying to find what works for me.

This has been somewhat covered in previous prompts, but the sort of it is that I pray, give offerings, and make promises to the Gods to hopefully raise my standing with them and show that I am serious in my devotion to them. My biggest issue right now is that I have yet to fully get in the groove of having a full-on daily practice that I adhere to. That is one of my ultimate goals, thus hopefully leading me to the sort of unverifiable personal gnosis (UPG) that most spiritual people crave.

I have had a few small showings in this regard, but I have yet to be able to have an elaborate dream or somesuch that seems to be the most clear connection to the Gods. I need to work on getting back into meditation or self-hypnosis for this to likely happen. I’d love to get some binaural drum beat recordings and attempt to put myself into a trance sometime next year, I have some friends that are more in-tune with this and I hope to experience it without having to take a mind-altering substance (boo! work dis-allows it).

I also need to attempt divination at some point, as you may have seen, I read books on runes and rune divination a lot, but have not had the time to set-aside to memorize the meanings of them in order to incorporate that into my daily practice – yet another goal for 2021 I presume.

If anyone reading this has any ideas, feel free to shoot them my way, I’d be willing to give it a shot. I’ve done things that are basically guided hypnosis meditation, and they really make you feel great sometimes, if you know of a good one, let me know.

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 11

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 11 “Gods”

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Public Domain via publicdomainpictures.net

Question:

To what gods do you feel closest?

Answer:

I have an affinity to knowledge Gods, so when I initially embarked on this path, I saw myself drawn towards Odin quite a bit, much in the same way thaat I was drawn to Thoth when I was dabbling in Gnosticism and Hermeticism, some have even tried to link the two in various ways. Now, I am honestly searching for my patron deity more and more. I always hear about issues with being a devotee of Odin, and need to look into some of the other knowledge gods even more. However, my search my bring me back around to the Allfather, if it does I will be satisfied.

As I stated more eloquently in my previous post about prayer, I feel that Thor has been watching over me this year, as he does with most common people. I like his way of helping people, even at the risk of being a bit rash. Not sure this fits my personality a bit. I have also been looking into both Hel and Tyr as gods that I like aspects of. My plan for 2021 is to really nail this down and let myself become a true follower of a God that truly represents me.

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 10 “nature”

Forest Autumn Trees Foliage
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Question:

What importance does nature have in your practice? Do you honor the wights or spirits of the land around you?

Answer: Truthfully, not as much as it should. I do try to honor the wights when I can, I’ve given offerings of apples and other small things to the animals that I see in my neighborhood (groundhogs and rabbits), but honestly need to do more. Some of the festivals and blots I have done are in the woods, but I honestly need to get out there more and do more nature work – perhaps camp, or go on some hikes etc. I know I keep blaming Covid-19 as a stop-block to a lot of my spiritual activities, but planning more outdoorsy activities has been hard. Most campsites and parks have been absolutely overrun with people due to people being blocked from doing other “summer stuff” one normally does, such as the pool, or theme parks. I feel trying to commune with nature in the backdrop of hundreds of randos walking around is not possible.

Once my girlfriend’s son gets older, I’d love to do things like take him camping, but he’s honestly too young now. For right now I will try to revere nature as I can, and treat the spirits the best that one can for these trying times.

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30 days of Heathenry – Day 9

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 9 “Holidays”

Unusual Christmas traditions from around the world | Cottage Life

Question:

What holidays do you celebrate as part of your practice? (Conversely, how do you celebrate secular holidays with a heathen flair?)

Answer: My family and I have been slowly, but surely, trying to incorporate Pagan feast days and major Holidays into our repertoire within the last year. Luckily the Kindred that I am associated with holds at least a quarterly Blot of some sort, while Covid-19 has made this exceeding tough to even attend those. Last year I celebrated Freyr’s Blot, vetrnætr, Yule, and a few smaller feats here and there. While it’s hard to do the more familial Holidays (such as Thanksgiving) like this, as my girlfriends family is Christian, we try to do as much as we can.

I’ve gone online and found some “Wiccanised” calendar wheels that attempt to give an idea of what the people’s of the past may have celebrated, but even then its tough to discern exactly what to do, so I feel its important to “do your own thing”. We’ve even incorporated some other pagan holidays into the mix when hanging with more “Eclectic Pagans” which as cool. As I recall, we celebrated Mabon last year, for example.

Here’s hoping 2021 returns us back to some sort of “normalcy” and all of the feasting and frivolity of many holidays to come is realized once again.

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 1

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 8 “Afterlife”

Jullie zetten mij tegenover de man die me wilde vermoorden' | RTL Nieuws

Question:

Do you envision an afterlife? Elaborate.

Answer:

I would like to think that my spirit is destined for Helheim, or at least what I can gather from the scant sources about it. It is said that those that either die of sickness or old age go there, and that one gets in as long as they help the poor in some way. I try to do as much as I can, when I can and hopefully will do more in the future. I know Snorri painted Helheim as almost an analog to Christian Hell in some of his writings, but you can tell he had the agenda of Valhalla = heaven and Helheim = Hell. I think the main reason I would want to go there is that could spend time with my ancestors, assuming they are destined for there as well. who knows, perhaps there are shared afterlife’s religions if there is one at all.

Some might say Helheim is for “slackers”, but I don’t think Hel would be for “slackers” at all, but for for people who just want some peace and quiet after death. Some might get bored out of their minds, but others would probably welcome the calm, the ability to rest, and the occasional feast

I know its easy to fall into the pop culture obsession with going to Valhalla that many seem to have, especially considering most modern Heathens you run into are not well-versed into the fact that the Gods all had their own Halls, and some professions were described in the Sagas to go to certain places. I can usually tell when someone isn’t too keen on their lore when you see stuff like this out in the wild:

brosatru hashtag on Twitter
The Brosatru view

me, not being a warrior in any way, is not going to delude myself with aspirations to go to Valhalla, not would I actually want to – eternally feasting and fighting isn’t really my thing.

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 7 “Ancestors”

How to Create Your Family Health Tree | OurStyle

Question:

Do you do ancestor research/work? What have you learned lately?

Answer:

Unfortunately, with my Mother’s death, I lost a wealth of knowledge on my family past. Before she died, we even lost our big family photo albums in a flood – thus making it hard to find pictures of a lot of the members of my family. Luckily, mere moths ago, I was able to find *some* photographs in my garage when I was going through some of her things – I managed to use a negative scanner to run some negatives that I found in an crumpled envelope. I got a handful of old images, upwards of a few hundred to be precise. This made me insanely happy to have this part of my life re-opened – I had thought I lost every image of my grandfather, but I now have gems like this:

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, child and outdoor
My Grandfather

Right now, its not really on the cards, but I may sign up to Ancestry.com at some point, and try to find more. I know I have relatives on there that have constructed elaborate family trees for that side of the family, and collecting some of that would be awesome.

How this relates to my religion is that I eventually want to make part of my altar n ancestors shrine of sorts. I want to get some photos and put them on a bookshelf next to my altar. This way I can give offerings to the deceased and honor their memories.

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 6