Hello, dear readers. I will be moving on; this is my last post here at Patheos. Jason Mankey and the Patheos Pagan team have been very supportive to me, and I’m sad to go. However, I’ve needed to pare down my blogging schedule for some time now, and with the latest changes in the Patheos blogger’s contracts, it seemed a good time for me to do so. I wish Patheos Pagan the best of luck, and will continue to follow the posts of several of their bloggers.
I myself will still be blogging over at Huginn’s Heathen Hof, home of the Daily Havamal and Declaration 127. I am working with Xan Folmer and many other talented Heathen bloggers at HHH, so please come see us! I also blog irregularly at Freya: The Gold Thread and A Community of Gods Surround Me, my neglected personal blogs that will hopefully see more action now that I’m leaving Patheos.
A few words of advice and inspiration for my fellow Heathens, before I go:
Only YOU can do Heathenry the way you need to do it. Your fellow Heathens (and Northern Tradition Pagans, Norse Wiccans, and what have you) will have a ton of opinions about what you do and how you do it. It’s not their business to tell you what to do, think, or believe, ESPECIALLY in a religion like Heathenry where we pride ourselves on being strong, independent-minded people who can do it on our own, thanks. You do it how you need to do it, and as long as you don’t start berating other Heathens for not doing it your way, we’re all good.
That said–to the best of your ability–don’t be a bigoted asshat. If your Heathenry says that you need to go around telling other people why they aren’t “true” Heathens or that they can never be Heathens because of x, y, or z, you might want to double-check why you are in Heathenry in the first place. There are plenty of other religions where you can go play politics or power games to your heart’s content; join one of them, and leave us out of it.
In my opinion, Heathenry’s strong points are our focus on community, our shared reverence for the Gods, and our connections with our ancestors and the landspirits. Focus on these things. Find people who also value these things, and talk to them–in person or online. You can be an independent Heathen, yes; but in my experience, Heathenry is better when you can share it with someone else. Participating in a blot or sumbel with like-minded people is a powerful experience.Yes, the Gods exist; yes, they can interact with you in some way. If you want to build a relationship with one of them, you can. Many others have before you, with many different deities, on many different levels, and in many different ways. If you don’t want to build a personal relationship with them, don’t. You can still fully Heathen without it.
Don’t have a connection with your ancestors? Feel that your ancestors aren’t worthy of your devotion? Look deeper into your ancestry. Broaden its scope. You don’t have to honor just the recently departed or your blood-related ancestors. You have literally hundreds of other ancestors, in your blood family as well as your family of the heart, to turn to if you want to develop a healthy ancestral connection.
Yes, magic existed in Heathenry, both then as well as now. The pre-Christian Norse and Germanic cultures were full of runic spells, hexes, and spirit-workers who talked to the dead and used magic wands. (Seriously. Check out the archaeological finds as well as the myths.) So, if you are interested in Norse magic, go find out about it! Keep in mind these cultures also valued hard work in the real world, too.
I think that about wraps it up. Thank you to Patheos for hosting my blog for two years, and thanks to all of you who have read and shared my articles!
The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began
Now far ahead the road has gone,
And I must follow if I can.
– J.R.R. Tolkien
Till we meet again