Wyrd Words: It’s The Simple Things

Wyrd Words: It’s The Simple Things May 19, 2016

Greetings, and welcome back to Wyrd Words. Keeping the Thor in Thursdays, every other week here on Agora!

Over the years here on Agora, I’ve written a lot of articles. Some were great, some were probably bloody awful, but I always tried to write about something I felt was important somehow. I’ve written about feminism, inclusive Heathenry, theology, depression, and idiotic Neo-Nazis. Big topics, complicated topics; These are things we totally need to be talking about. However, every once in a while it’s important to take a step back and look at the simpler things; so as to avoid missing the forest for the trees.

I don’t know about you, but when I started reading my first Pagan blogs, it wasn’t because I wanted to dive headlong into the complicated morass of religious politics. I started following the Pagan blog’o’sphere because I was exploring my own identity and something caught my eye and inspired me. In fact, I’d bet money that that’s why just about every single one of us started following our favorite authors, and that goes double for those of us who ended up starting blogs of our own. When we get bogged down in the (often grim) details, it can be easy to forget that sense of inspiration that brought us all here in the first place.

Finding Inspiration in the Simple Things

As part of my regular routine, I often peruse dozens of Pagan/Heathen blogs in order to find trending topics or ideas to explore in my own work. Sometimes I find something even more valuable. Something that that actually inspires change, not in the world at large but in myself.

a plant sprouting in a garden
Photo courtesy of the Author

Katla Hase runs her own blog as well as a column on Huginn’s Heathen Hof called “Homesteading and Heathenry”. Which is about exactly what you’d expect it to be about! She writes everything from tutorials on hand-spinning your own textiles to her own philosophy of industriousness. One piece in particular really touched me, and encouraged a small change in my life. In an article titled “Homesteading and Heathenry: Honoring The Gods Through Self-Sufficiency”, Katla wrote about honoring the gods and getting in touch with the ancestors by bringing some small part of their lives into our daily practice. To her, the idea of self sufficiency is not only a point of pride, but a mark of respect for the crafts of her predecessors. Now I’m no farmer, and living in the Valley of the Sun I’m certainly not going to be able to live any kind of “homesteading” lifestyle. However, Katla’s words still inspired me. I wanted to do something productive. I wanted to better myself and contribute something new to our home. So I started a garden!

I simple thing really. I dug up a patch of overgrown flowerbed about 6ft by 4ft, broke up the soil, dug the trenches, and procured some easy starter vegetables. It’s not much, and it’s a far cry from subsistence farming, but I’ve got a healthy crop of onions, beets, and potatoes. I tend to it each day, picking weeds, checking the tubers, and watering the greenery. It’s a little thing, but it’s one of the oldest crafts known to humanity, and it helps me feel grounded on otherwise hard days.

using a tool, the author clears weeds from his garden
Photo courtesy of the Author

I could turn this into a list that would go on for days. I could point out how Rhyd Wildermuth and his work at “Gods and Radicals” is what inspired me to make Huginn’s Heathen Hof is what it is today. Or how Jason Pitzl-Waters‘ work is what inspired me to start blogging in the first place. Cara Freyasdaughter regularly reminds me to pull my head out of dusty books and remember the spiritual moments that brought me here. I could ramble about these people for pages, but there’s a more important point to be made: sometimes we need to set aside the heavier burdens of deep philosophical questioning and social psychology, just for the briefest of moments, so that we can look at our community with fresh eyes once again, and rediscover our sense of wonder in the world.

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