Happily Heathen: Winternights — The Heathen Samhain?

Winternights is one of my favorite holidays. I love when summer finally gives way to Autumn—the smell of the dying leaves, harvesting the last fruits, starting to hunker down for the winter. To me, it is a natural time to start pulling inward and focus on family, hearth, and home. But is it the Norse version of Samhain? No, it is not. [Read more…]

Happily Heathen: My Heathenry

The recent discussions around definition and limitations in Heathenry got me thinking about my own version of Heathenry. Last fall I wrote about why I love Heathenry and what is the heart of Heathenry. So, let me wrap it up and tell you a bit about what is my Heathenry. [Read more…]

Happily Heathen: Dealing with Discrimination – What’s An Inclusive Heathen Supposed To Do?

I’ve been Heathen since 1999. In that time, I’ve been to a lot of Heathen events. I’ve followed and participated in a lot of email threads and blogs. I’ve watched as the endless “Who can be Heathen?” discussion went around. I’m tired of it. You may be, too. Or you may not have strong opinions either way, because hey, it doesn’t affect you directly. Or does it? [Read more…]

Lamp & Labyrinth: Who’s Responsible for Speaking Out Against the AFA

Paganism is a Eurocentric thing. Non-european indigenous religions seem to prefer not to be called Pagan, a pejorative word that has been used against them for centuries. If you were to draw a diagram of pagan traditions, organizations, people and movements on which you placed these, prioritizing them by research and scholarship so that groups who value these things fall toward the center; you’d see that those who are getting closest to the moments before Christianity rolled in are the reconstructionists. [Read more…]

Irish-American Witchcraft: Álfatrú – Believing in the Hidden Folk

Labels are always a fun game to play in Paganism, Polytheism, Heathenry, what-have-you. Within the context of Heathenry I have toyed for a couple years now with the label of Álfatrú for myself as a more precise descriptor of my belief system [Read more…]

Wyrd Words: Did the Vikings Have Totem Animals?

Greetings, and welcome back to Wyrd Words. Keeping the Thor in Thursdays, here on Agora! There’s an interesting debate that I’ve seen drifting about the edges of the Heathen community for years, and (interestingly) it’s one of the only topics that I’ve ever seen debated more often in person than in the general Heathen “Blog’o’sphere”. Did [Read More…]

A Lakeside Hearth: Organized or Independent?

No matter what you do in Heathenry, you’re doing it wrong. Heathen practice is wide and varied, and in many ways, we’re feeling our way along and trying to figure out what works for us as individuals and as groups. It’s a natural evolution for a religious practice, but it’s not without its struggles and pitfalls. [Read more…]

Happily Heathen: Freyr Isn’t Going to Bless those PopTarts

Today I was preserving some peaches I received from a local farmer, and it occurred to me that most people really aren’t in touch with their food. Oh sure, you go to the grocery store and buy stuff. Maybe you plant a small garden, if you have the space, but many people don’t. So, you buy your food from who knows where, and pray to Freyr that maybe he’ll accept your thanks. [Read more…]

Happily Heathen: Receiving The Blessings

Blessings can take many forms and come from many places. Make sure to claim your share of the blessings by actively participating in this exchange between us and the Heathen powers that be. [Read more…]

Wyrd Words: What is Valhalla, and Who Goes There?

Many aspects in our tradition end up getting oversimplified into easy to swallow ‘Christianized’ binaries. This is most evident in the modern concept of Valhalla. [Read more…]