I miss writing and after reading this wonderful post from Owl Hill Farm I realized I really have no need to be silent any longer about what exactly has changed, and what has stayed the same. Dagan wrote out my perspective better than I could express. So that is out of the way…
I refuse to repudiate any of my Heathen/Asatru brothers and sisters regardless of their political views. I am not going to advocate or denounce any person of my faith for speaking their thoughts, any of their thoughts, I will not sign any petitions, causes, or further nonsense for/against anything outside of my immediate purview. I do not condone physical violence unless it is in self defense against physical violence. Words are words. My concerns are for my homestead, my family within, my friends and those who share specific time with us in good Frith, no matter who they may be or where they may reside, in person or online.
This blog is not static- it is an evolution of myself as a Heathen and a human being- over time, my stances change and I am able to be flexible and reconsider things I once denounced and denounce things I once embraced. I will and have contradicted myself- assume that out of two posts of contradictory ideas, the more recent one will be the most pertinent. I follow both AFA and Troth leaders and try to keep open lines of communication with both.
Right now, I see you- and every other pagan as my sibling in our ancestral faith- regardless of who you are. ( But like most families, there will always still be grudges I hold against people who have harmed me that cannot be easily erased or forgiven- even with time.) Nonetheless if I talk to you, if I have befriended you on social media you are not one of those few I hold any ill will towards, even if we may find ourselves occasionally in disagreement.
I have realized that instead of bemoaning the deterioration of convenience of having community so close I can hop over to an event in a weekend and feeling pathetic in my loneliness, I have neglected opportunities and invitations to greater things within easy driving distance-
To travel to an event is to make it more meaningful, more sacred, and more special. It is easy to give up an hour and be half involved, but to give a day, a weekend is truly a better tribute to the Gods
First of all, to Gladsheim Hof– for years, the premier Hof of our region- I have had no valid reason to not visit where we already have friends who I have learned much from and wish to see again such as Laurel and Wulf. It is likely I may be the only Heathen in Pennsylvania who has not made the trip at least once and I regret that; Ed and I will remedy that in the coming months. The insanity is that this Hof is actually a very short drive across a state line and we would not even require to board our dogs to attend and reconnect with the fantastic souls I have met in earlier years at several other events.
To my friend Aurora Lightbringer and her group events held at Mountain Mysteries– I will do my best not to miss the chance at reconnecting with such a great friend with the long history we shared going back to adolescence to see the beauty she and her people have created. I am proud to have her in my life and I am excited to meet her family and tribe after over a decade. I hope to see you this summer.
And the wake up call of the open invites to Owl Hill Kindred– with my dear friend Lynn who has encouraged this blog and my writing for so long I feel as if we have already met- Edward and I have committed to bringing ourselves and our canine family to celebrate with you in February.
I have yet to ever attend the famous ECT (East Coast Thing) , honestly out of my own fears of rejection from places and people entirely unrelated. I have been in this community openly for well over a decade and have yet to meet so many people I interact with online- and online is such a poor substitute for real life- and to not take the chance to reconnect with close friends we have met at Winternights and other events has not been right
What all these places have in common is they are open, unaffiliated with any political view or organization (that I am aware of) and intentionally free of drama and politics. I have feared that I would be a disruption despite multiple invitations I have declined thinking I was doing so out of good grace and not to admit it was truly out of cowardliness.
I also need to recognize the Lehigh Network of Unified Pagans who have welcomed Edward and I with open arms locally even if we have had ill luck in making most events on account of illness. You remain the primary group that we refer local people of all pagan faiths to for shared worship of holidays and your hospitality and kindness means more than I can express.
Thank you to Lynn Grim and my family of Lunar Dust in my hometown in Havertown, Pa. Your Samhain and occasional Yule gatherings with my childhood friends is always a highlight of my year, even if the events do not occur every year.
To everyone at MUM of Allentown Pennsylvania, particularly my first and greatest teacher Rose Moyer who has guided my spirituality since the age of 12 and allowed me to read cards at her events or even tag along to her tables faires- the brightest and oldest metaphysical faires of our region. I have missed the past year on account of illness but I will strive to return if not with a table representing Heathenry, but to resume my place helping friends made over two entire decades of every facet of the metaphysics community. Instead of squawking at Heathen leaders of the National Organizations I realize that perhaps, it is the place of myself and Eddie to hold the responsibility to hold a table for our Faith and be the entry to Heathenry with information for everything Heathen both unaffiliated as well as for all organizations fairly and to publicly accept the role of “sorting hat” that I have been doing in private for years guiding people to the AFA, the Troth, or to specific kindreds, people, and pathways to explore. As a Heathen I should never have allowed myself to feel estranged or ashamed.
To the shops Mystical Tymes and Gypsy Heaven of New Hope, Celtic Myth and Moonlight of Reading, Into the Myst of Bethlehem and Bey’s Rock Shop. Eric, Dottie, Tammy, Lauren & Lauren, and the entire Bey Family, you provide so much not just to us, but to the entire community of our region- as has Luciferian Apotheca online for supplies and statuary for our house of alters that are a bit harder to locate.
I realize my “place” is to be neutral to all if I did not- I could not be as helpful for seekers to find people of like mind objectively and help them find what they need for their own spiritual paths.
I will still never encourage people to say “Ren/Tyrienne told me about you”, but what I can assure you is there have been pubmoots that have included people that I have sent directly to all of you with the names of exactly who to contact for the region who have found their Asatru (and other) homes among you. I am still aware of your schedules of open events even though I do not attend them for the sake of others. Strangers met in supermarkets or waiting rooms- people met in passing wearing a Helm of awe or other Heathen symbolism, especially in visible tattoos or wearing the Mjollnir necklace seeking their tribes and people of like minds I intentionally make conversation- and with a few strokes of a pen I feel proud to have been a guidepost for another person’s spiritual journey- although I do not get out much, what little I do, I try to make the most of in this respect.
And to my most favorite of all, The Odin Brotherhood . You are my online home- each one of you has educated me beyond description, and although I try to limit my time online lately, I still read your posts even if I do not comment for weeks at a time. You are the home I send every seeker online to find, you are the place that I feel the most at home with kindred spirits among my brothers and sisters- you are truly my family and I am your quirky, out-of-the-broomcloset sister who will always point the way to you always for your wisdom and acceptance- for everything you continue to teach and the backbone of honor you instill (secretly or not so secretly) in every community that hails our Gods.
My absolute favorite book on Odinism remains “The Odin Brotherhood” by Mark Mirabello. It remains the only book I recommend outside of the Eddas to people who have been called to our home religion by our ancestors and Gods.
With the advent of so many upheavals in our community of brothers and sisters divided being Lokean, I realize, no longer seems to matter….and being Lokean, well- that has never been a fully accurate reflection of who I am and what I represent as a human being. I am the child of my Heathen ancestors, I am the granddaughter of a living Latvian Heathen with her own community of Dievturiba in Philadelphia, I am a Hildebrandt Hexerei with a proud lineage in my own Berks county with the stories of my great grandmothers, and after returning to our ancestral home, their speech patterns and a small part of the land on which they walked long before I was born.
I am not “just a Lokean”- I am a polytheist. I see all Gods and pathways have validity to people and my own pathway is watched by not just Loki but the living Gods of my family beyond just Loki and Tyr.
We are reconnecting with friends who are also not Heathen- people who over the years we lost contact with for any number of reasons, but we realize have left holes in our lives by their absence, and to our surprise, awe, and regret- our absence was in theirs as well.
Ed has a Celtic family of Catholics with beautiful souls who adopted him as a teenager as one of their clan and we will join hands with them on their holidays as well. Their Jesus gives them comfort, and although he is not my God- I was taught that to pray for the welfare of another person who does not share our faith to pray to their God for our Gods might not know them.
I can resent Christianity only in that it forced my family traditions into hiding and created a hundred year prohibition against writing down our folklore and traditions- but that time has passed and the Christians and the Hexerei lived in these Pa Deitsch lands in harmony for centuries prior to my German family being forced to abandon their language publicly by government, not religious initiatives after World War II. I do not harbor resentment towards Christians individually, one thing I hold with polytheism is that one can worship any God they choose- even if I do not share that God, it does not make their existence less than my own Gods. A Christian can be more honorable than a Heathen- and I have met many who live by our ways more truly than some who hail Odin the loudest at sumbels.
My ancestry is mine, your ancestry is yours- we can honor all and slight no one as polytheists. For those who say there is “One True Way”- I say to them, “Perhaps- there is only One True Way for you- but for others, their pathway is their own.”
Ed will once again wear the Mjollnir of his Swedish ancestry, and for those who say I have “betrayed my Norse blood”- understand that I am no Scandinavian, I am German, I am Baltic- our tribes traded blood, but the God of both lands is Tyr under the name of Ziu for polytheistic Deutschlanders and Dievs of panpolytheistic Latvija. The symbols I wear do not include Mjollnir personally, but honor my own heritages.
That may be why Tyr is the main archetype I aspire to emulate in my life. Most known for his courage- a trait of which I have fallen short many, many times and instead of facing it I have made excuses or tried to pretend to myself that I was without a right of place at events on account of fear based on negative experiences of the past that have no reflection on the reality of the present.
My husband and I endeavor to keep improving our homestead- we are breeding Flemish Giant rabbits, and are in the process of purchasing a pick up truck to terraform our land into gardens of crops and healthy foods. We have our altars in every room to every tradition that has ever given us wisdom and may grow more as time passes. (We still need to refinish the basement floor, though- dogs destroyed the carpet and we plan to paint and lacquer it back to respectability after taxes…I hope).
My husband and I have walked many pathways- him through Buddhism and LHP- myself through Sufism, Unitarianism, and Baha’i (among others) but we are, in fact, Heathen by blood no more and no less than anyone else with our Gods reading this blog post.
We are getting older, and perhaps it is time to stop hiding and take some responsibility for whatever small or large we have offer our community, as much as we are able by expanding our “home” to where we have been invited and show no fear in accepting these invitations…and if the the time seems fair, to open our home once again in return with old friendships renewed and new friendships honored. If we are treated well or poorly, we will take that as it comes as per the Hamaval:
Young and alone on a long road,
Once I lost my way:
Rich I felt when I found another;
Man rejoices in man,
A kind word need not cost much,
The price of praise can be cheap:
With half a loaf and an empty cup
I found myself a friend,
The only caveat is if you are farther than an hour or two- we come with our two dogs. But, I have heard in our Faith that is far from unusual for our kind.
Hail to the speaker,
Hail to the knower,
Joy to him who has understood,
Delight to those who have listened.