A Heathen Learning Experience

When my family and I headed out with another kindred member for a two-hour road trip, we didn’t know what to think. The member that rode with us has stayed at the camp a couple times before so he was telling us about how much land there was and how it was donated for pagan groups to have a safe place to practice.

We arrived and it was exactly like I was hoping it would be. I only had one bar of reception which was enough for my girls to get a hold of me if needed. It was quiet, calm, and an overall relaxing experience. No, I didn’t get time to draw or anything and kept pretty busy. Now, with my social anxiety, I wasn’t prepared to go out and be a social butterfly but I did talk to people. Saturday, I made pancakes for everyone (I’m most at home in a kitchen) and made sure the kiddos had breakfast first. Other heathen believers from other kindreds came for the meeting and that’s when I learned (quickly) that there are people that look down on anyone including people that are trying to learn and follow the same path and beliefs as them.

Picture it, we are all sitting around the table, passing the horn and making introductions. I’m literally trying not to vomit on my boots. At the other end of the table is our host (the individual that donated his land for us and others to use) and sitting next to him are 3-4 men representing other kindreds. At first, their knowledge astounded me and made me realize that there is A LOT I need to learn. Then came the condescending tones and the group of men didn’t teach any of us ‘newbies’ anything to help us along our journey. One thing that frightened me a bit was the talk of organizing heathenry. That shook me a bit to the point it felt like history was repeating itself. I chose the heathen path BECAUSE it wasn’t an organized religion/belief. I admit that I would like to me more traditional in that way but not to the point where heathens need one leader and follow them. Then there was the discussion about enforcing accountability. I stood up and stepped away from the table. Enforcing accountability will lead to people not wanting to heathen and encourage hate.  I believe in my Gods and Goddesses and trust myself.

Then the article came out. One of the members from a visiting kindred that sat and drank and supped with us decided that he was going to write an article that was rather condescending. Now, it takes A LOT for me to speak in front of my own kindred but I felt utterly stupid reading what he had written and labeled me as a ‘newbie’ as if it was bad. Instead of imparting wisdom and some basic information he used us as guinea pigs for his article. He mentioned the men that were seated next to him that had the most knowledge but not one female. He also came across as one that is folkish or believes you need direct ancestry and lineage to follow the heathen way. The bloodline, HIS bloodline is all he really boasted about and gave off the vibe if anyone isn’t on his level of knowledge need to get their ass in gear but ONLY if they have the pedigree.

I know I made that sound all negative and that I didn’t have a great time but that was only a small part. He wrote an article (poorly written) with his opinions and STILL didn’t educate others. What I did learn and experience is a sense of community and bond between other people from different walks of life. I learned that we are all at different levels of our journey and it’s completely acceptable. This one guy taught me that there are others like him out there and it’s ok. They are going to be who they are and we can learn from them.

Sunday morning I was able to make everyone biscuits and gravy (southern style) and it felt great doing something I love and being able to share it with others. I was able to connect to other people including one person that understood me almost as well I do. Kids were kids and we even had a Scottish man playing guitar. Lots of laughs and learning bringing in an all in all great weekend.

This is just a mild recap as there is more to come about my week. Any heathens that have opinions I would like to hear from you. Any knowledge and advice you have pass it on.

Happy Thorsdagr Y’all!

 

A Quick Daily Study: 48

It’s morning and I’m up. That’s about as good as it’s going to get since my head is still fuzzy. I don’t think it helps that I haven’t been following my diet or really exercising. I did great until the weekend then I had Ostara with the kindred and after that, it was downhill from there. I’m going to try today and a get back on track. I did sleep through my first alarm to get up and exercise but I’ll get on the treadmill today. I’m going to start here with my Havamal study:

Pocket Version

Generous and brave men lie best, they
seldom cherish sorrow; but a base-
minded man dreads everything;
the niggardly is uneasy even at gifts.

I think this stanza is saying that brave men rarely talk sweetly about a loss like they would a brave act. We don’t share much about a sad occasion in our lives as much as we do about something we can boast about that took some sort of courage. It’s ok to cherish the sad events because it’s what helps make up who we are. As to the second part of the stanza, I’m a little lost. I think this is talking about two more different types of people with the base-minded man is a person that doesn’t grow or travel beyond his own backyard so everything that is new to him is frightening. The second I had to look up the meaning of the word ‘niggardly’ which states that it’s a person who is not generous and stingy. So, this person being uneasy at giving gifts would be uneasy for the obvious reasons of being stingy. It could also mean that the person doesn’t care for receiving them as well because now they are obligated to return the favor. This is what I think this stanza says.

Happy Tuesday!

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 45

I’m late posting (writing in general) this morning due to my having to search vectors for a logo to incorporate on a shirt for work. Why am I doing it from home? Because I’m BLOCKED from most sites. I’m even blocked from viewing images just to see if that’s what’s needed. But here we are at stanza 45:

Pocket Version

If thou a hast another, whom thou little
trustest, yet wouldst good from him
derive, thou shouldst speak him fair, but
think craftily, and repay treachery with lies.

This is a follow up not only to yesterday’s stanza but also to Stanza 42. I think that this stanza is advising that if you were to have a person that you call a friend but not one that you fully trust or even call to confide the most embarrassing or difficult situations in, it’s ok to still be friends and to speak nicely of them. Don’t talk about them behind their back and keep the knowledge of their true self you yourself. Think before speaking with them. If they have done you wrong in some form or another, the next time you speak with them, don’t tell them the truth in anything about what is going on with yourself. ‘How’re things going at work?’ Instead of me telling them that it’s a toxic place I would simply reply, ‘Things are good. What’s new with you?’ If I were to tell them what was truly happening that could come back and bite me in the ass. Another lesson for the kiddies.

Happy Tuesday Y’all!

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 42

Morning Y’all. I’m trying to start the day with a positive vibe but my depression isn’t really giving me a chance to do so. I thought I’ll start my Havamal study early this morning rather than rushing through it so I’m able to get to work. We are still in the Gestaþáttr (guest/traveler/hospitality/behavior section) and it’s covered a lot so far. One thing I’ve learned and I hope you have too is that it some way it is still relatable in these modern times. Here I am at Stanza 42:

Pocket Version:
To his friend a man should be a friend,
and gifts with gifts requite. Laughter with
laughter men should receive, but repay
treachery with lies.

I do not have other translations at the moment from people such as Chisholm or Terry at the ready. TOOHG has been a great help with my journey so far but as I go further I will need to seek other translations for help. I happen to really like this stanza as it’s relatable through some of my own life lessons. I feel that it’s highlighting gifting between loved ones and friends to be equal and enjoyable for both parties. The fact that laughter is mentioned as a gift goes with Stanza 41 that not all gifts are measured in materialistic ways. If you are able to bring a smile and joy to a friend or loved one in a time when needed the gift, in turn, is worth a whole lot. This is especially true for me because there are times that a good laugh and company is something that I desperately need. This could also be when someone is will to sit with you and just be there without speaking and you being able to do the same speaks to the soul of a person and those types of gifts are not measured in price.

The last line pertaining to repaying treachery with lies speaks volumes. Why spend anything or gift a piece of yourself or time to someone that has betrayed you in some form or another? It may not necessarily mean with a ‘lie’ but a fake smile or laugh in passing is an empty as their worth to you. I think the lesson here is don’t waste any time or money or your true self on someone that is fake. This stanza is applicable to a modern heathen and I need to apply it more and remember to be just as treacherous as the people I work with.

Happy Wednesday Y’all.

 

 

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 41

Thanks, WP. My comment section is back so I will be catching up on them. Lack of sleep makes me super cranky and losing an hour due to DLST, it’s just worse. I’m going to start here with my stanza study.

Pocket Havamal
With arms and vestments friends
should each other gladden, those which are
in themselves most sightly. Givers and
requiters are longest friends, if all goes well.

Chisholm:
One should not have too much need of the goods
he has gotten. Often one squanders
on enemies what was intended for loved ones.
Many affairs go awry.

So here it seems that the stanza suggests that you should not be greedy and give up everything seeking material items along with money. Then the last two stanzas illustrate how some people don’t recognize the true friends from the false friends and spends too much on the false. It reminds me of people only want to be your friend because of what you may have to offer or what they can get from you. Perhaps lack of wealth, living comfortably and have real friends is the lesson in this stanza.

Happy Tuesday Y’all!

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 39

It’s Thursday or Thor’s day (again learning something new) and I’m here at work taking a break from a negative supervisor. I’m trying to figure out how to make the impossible possible but have hit a brick wall which brings me here.

Pocket Version:
I have never found a man so wealthy,
or so hospitable that he refused a gift; or of
his property so abundant that he scorned a
repayment.

Chisholm:
I never found a generous man
who was so free with his food,
that he would turn it down, or so generous
as to loath a gift were it given.

Ok, there is apparently a LOT going on with this verse. At first reading of the stanza, it is more or less speaking of human nature. Why would we turn down a gift? It doesn’t matter what we have or how much we have of something a gift always seems to translate into thought and caring. After reading some on TOOHG, they talk about something I hadn’t thought about, gift debt. I know ‘debt’ has a negative tendency but it’s not always about material objects or money it could also be about friendship, time, loyalty and such. I personally appreciate loyalty and friendship but small objects are fun as well. Look how excited I got when my husband gifted me legos.

Society has taught us to be humble and to give gifts without expectations but this teaches that it wasn’t always so. Expectations are warranted in some form or another for gift giving. I know that sounds petty and materialistic but you can’t put a price on friendship or advice.

Happy Thor’s Day
‘Thursday means Thor’s day in Old English. Thor is represented riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer.’

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 38

I have been up for a while doing a little research on a subject that I don’t know much about other than the basics. I normally don’t rise to the occasion of proving an individual wrong but when it comes to dog ownership, particularly what is considered a ‘dangerous breed’ I’m a huge advocate. I own 3 of the most docile pit bulls so I felt compelled. I did my research and was reminded of all the stanzas about being overly boastful with ignorant knowledge. I only gave enough information to cause the individuals to think and not to feel stupid.

Today’s stanza is pretty straight forward, I think:

Pocket Version:
Leaving in the field his arms, let no
man go a foot’s length forward; for it is
hard to know when on the way a man may
need his weapon.

Chisholm:
A man should not step one foot
forth in the field without weapons.
One cannot know, when on the road,
when he will need his spear.

I think in a general sense for today’s society is to always be prepared. You never know what could happen and come your way. You may not need a weapon but having knowledge or even basic skills will help keep you safe or at least out of any drama.

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 37

I’m super rushed this morning only because my sleep was broken by the roar of my husband’s snore. Seperate rooms are sounding like a good idea the more I think about it. I’m taking time to do this for me this morning.

Pocket Version:
One’s own house is best, small though it
be, at home is everyone his own master.
Bleeding at heart is he, who has to ask for
food at every meal-tide.

Chisholm:
One’s own home is best, though it is small.
To each, home is hall.
His heart will bleed
who has to ask for each meal’s meat.

This is kind of like stanza 36 reminding me that no matter how small and humble my home it’s still mine. This stanza goes further to explain how painful it is for someone to ask for shelter and food. I know what it’s like to go without and how it hurt me to ask for help of any kind. I tend to ask someone if they would like something or ask if I can help so the other person doesn’t have to feel what I feel.

Be kind and happy Tuesday Y’all!

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 36

Yesterday I attended a pagan fundraiser and to visit with people from the kindred. I actually learned something new. You and I both know my recall SUCKS and when put on the spot I just can’t and could actually start to stutter. Luckily, my husband knew what I was talking about and was able to show what I was talking about. I learned how to pronounce certain words pertaining to Norse correctly. Ostara isn’t actually supposed to be pronounced with the ‘a’ at the end of the word and it’s just Ostar (now I’m giggling because my Grammarly popped up telling me it’s misspelled). It’s always awesome to learn new things. Here it is Monday, and I’m at stanza 36:

Pocket Version:
One’s own house is best, small thought
it be; at home is everyone his own master.
Though he but two goats possess, and a
straw-thatched cot, even that is better
than begging.

Terry:
Though it be little, better to live
in a house you hold as your own;
with just two goats, thin thatch for your roof,
you’re better off than begging.

There are several translations but they are mostly worded the same. The first part makes me think no matter how poorly conditioned or furnishing of your home…it’s your home. It’s something that you have worked hard for and continue to do so. I like Terry’s translation as the line, ‘thin thatch’ brings home the fact that it doesn’t matter how poor you are it’s a great feeling to have something to call your own. Somewhere you can be yourself.

Our house isn’t much and needs tons of TLC and we are working hard to get the funds to do so but it’s ours and we couldn’t ask for much more. Be proud of what you have achieved so far in your home.

Happy Monday everyone!

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