Have you attended any sort of Heathen gathering? Why or why not? (And if “yes”, write a little about it. If “no”, what would you like to attend/what would you be looking for in a gathering if you were able?)
I am very lucky in that I have been able to attend a few Heathen gatherings in the past few years, although the Covid-19 Global pandemic has really hurt this in 2020. When my girlfriend and I first stepped into this adventure, we joined up with a kindred that was advertising on Facebook. We attended a few Blóts before most of the group had a falling out with the guy that called himself the “King” of the group. There was some shady stuff going on, but you basically had a case of a dude that wanted to be in charge of something without doing any work whatsoever to actually build respect. It sucked and it hurt because in a Kindred you are trying to become a family more-or-less.
I ran a few Blóts at my house, which honestly I should not have been doing considering I was less than a year into heathenism at the point, but when the main guys all decide to bail the day before a feat or something, somebody has to step up. It was around this time, I was able to attend Pagan pride Day in Kansas City. We went in treating it as a craft faire, which it honestly is, not realizing that we were ultimately going to be shopping around for a new Kindred at the same time. We ran into a new group that seemed to “really have their crap together” as I told them, and we started the process of making ourselves well-known to them.
With this new group, we have been able to attend a handful of feast days and celebrations which has been amazing. They are cool people and we hope we can officially join at some point. Having this community set-up is something I missed during my exile from church decades ago, so having it back, but not in the rotten world of organized religion is great. No matter where you are, I’d definitely recommend looking to see if you have a local Pagan Pride Day around. Ours is really solid.
Another great way to attend a “Pagan gathering” is to follow Pagan music and hope some of the bands come to your area. Last year, I was blessed to be able to attend a handful of such shows including The Pagan Rebellion Tour and Tyr, the latter not being Pagan themselves, but the crowd seemed to be full of dudes wearing Mjolnir necklaces LOL.
Don’t get discouraged if you run into a bad kindred like we did – network, look for other Pagans nearby, hell – make your own! all it takes is a few people to make a gathering, and the fun you will have is immeasurable.