Welcome to Heathen at Heart!

Welcome to Heathen at Heart! May 11, 2015

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I stand at the center of the Earth,
the thick trunk of the Ash Tree that spans all worlds.
I call to the depths of the roots that rest in the Well of Fate,
my ancestors who see all steps.
I call to the highest of boughs that brush the heavens,
dew shining with the Fire of the Gods.
Hail to the spirits of the land, hail to my ancestors watching my way,
hail to the Gods and Goddesses who place guard over all.
May this space be sacred, may my words be wise.
May all be welcome, may all visit in peace.

Hello, and welcome to Heathen at Heart!  Here I hope you will find a thoughtful commentary on Heathenry, polytheism, and Paganism in general; as well as practical information, prayers, and rituals.  I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you, and I hope you will stick around and get to know a little bit about me as well.  When I titled this blog Heathen at Heart, I meant it – I’m a big fan of scholarship and research, but community and friendship come first for me.  I can’t wait to share this new adventure with all of you!

MollyKhanThree years ago, I was a shy mousey-brown haired girl, looking around 18 (though thankfully I had long passed that awkward stage), very soft-spoken and with a penchant for making eye contact with the ground.  Walking into a small Pagan study group on Lughnasadh with a stack of books, heavily armed with knowledge but painfully hesitant to speak up, I wasn’t quite sure how to make the transition from solitary Pagan to more of a community focus.  My name is Molly Khan, and I’m not a newbie to Patheos – you may have seen my posts over at Pagan Families – but now here I am, in charge of my very own blog!

I’ll get the details out of the way first: I identify primarily as a Heathen, with an emphasis on Anglo-Saxon deities and worldview but I enjoy studying and have found myself following a few deities from around the Germanic world.  As a hard polytheist, I believe in the separate and distinct existence of the deities and spirits I’ve encountered, though I think it’s fascinating to explore where the lines get fuzzy.  I am devoted to Nerthus, a shadowy Earth Mother Goddess, and through Her I have developed relationships with many of the oft-titled Vanir.  I offer to and honor my ancestors and the land wights around my home daily, they are as important to my practice as the deities I honor.  That’s my personal practice.

familyI also place a very high emphasis on the Pagan community, especially locally.  I am a member of a local Kindred, and a Scribe for my local ADF Grove.  Though our beliefs differ significantly, I am also heavily involved in a local Wiccan coven, because I so highly value the spirit of camaraderie and the connections I have formed doing inter-faith work between all of our various Pagan groups; including being on the committee for our local Pagan Pride celebration.  Beyond my local community, I have maintained a few blogs on Heathenry and Paganism in the past, and currently am expanding into doing more work with ADF on an organizational level.

So how did I come from this shy and awkward place into a full-fledged membership in the Pagan and Heathen community?  I am also a wife and a mother of three, and this has heavily influenced how my beliefs have changed and taken shape over the years.  A solitary Pagan for ten years, it was the birth of my children that encouraged me to branch out from a solitary practice and engage with the community at large.  At that first study group, I met a fantastic woman who was also a member of ADF, and we ended up working together to found a Protogrove which has now become a full-fledged Grove.  In those early months, I attended as many rituals and meetings for as many local groups as I could, and this re-integration into a religious society helped me grow immensely as a person – getting thrown into leading ritual was a bit like being thrown into a pool and learning how to swim, but it worked!  Over the past three years, I’ve become pretty comfortable with my role in the local community, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.  But growth is all about challenging our comfort zones, right?  So here I am, putting myself out there to the general Pagan and Heathen audience, ready to experience some growth – hopefully mostly gentle – and I hope I’ll have a few of you with me along for the ride!

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