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!

 

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A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 52

I have been running around like a mad woman trying to get everything packed for our heathen camping get together. I didn’t get to bed until late last night and I was up early full of nervous energy with my second interview this afternoon. After I’m done (hopefully with a job offer), I head home to finish packing the last minute cooler and we’re off. My goal is to come out of my shell and meet more likeminded people and get a little sketching done. I’ve been practicing on my phone posting my 365 Day photos and I think about have that nailed. Lots of nervous energy but it’s all for a good reason. To help calm myself a bit I thought I would read a stanza (here at work):

Pocket Version:

Something great is not always to be
given, praise is often for a trifle bought.
With half a loaf and tilted vessel I got
myself a comrade.

Again, this goes in hand with the last 3 stanzas advising about ‘fake’ friendships which can do more harm than good and ‘real’ friendship that both benefit and grow. The first line I mulled over for a bit and having a hard time with. What I think it’s implying is that friendly words are not always real and with unreal friendships that the favor is expected and entitled. The second line explains further that even though a friend may not have much to offer there’s a ‘real’ friendship there hiding in the imperfection.

Happy Friday Y’all!

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 51

I have been in an awful state since this weekend. I barely take photos and write so I’m going to try and start back with my Havamal Study.

Pocket Havamal

Hotter than fire love for five days burns
between false friends; but is quenched
when the sixth day comes, and-
friendship is all impaired.

I’m not sure what the timeline significance means but it doesn’t go to 9 days which 9 is important in Norse beliefs. However, the stanza as a whole is something I’m sure that we can all relate too. With fake friends or basically, people that aren’t on your side the friendship can seem new and awesome in the beginning. But, over a short period of time, the friendship isn’t what it once was. No one is getting anything from it. Weight is also lifted off your shoulders when you no longer have to visit with them.

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 50

Busy, anxiety-filled morning. I had a horrible dream last night that I failed at the job interview that I have scheduled today. I have checked and double checked my presentation and I just need to clean the screen of my laptop. I’m kind of upset that I can’t find the Windex especially since I just used it. UGH. I’m going to finish this and get ready for work. Then I’ll rush home and change into my interview clothes. I want to do a stanza today to help me calm down.

Pocket Version:
A tree withers that on a hill-top stands;
protects it neither bark nor leaves: such is
the man whom no one favours:
why should he live long?

This stanza goes further to explain yesterday’s stanza. It examples that a tree can still suffer when not protected by a cover of some sore (bark and leaves). The same goes for a person that no one cares about. Everyone needs someone to care about them or some form of companionship. We need affection and companionship. Helping someone through difficult times even if it’s just being there to listen to their problems is a huge help and believe me, it helps.

Happy Thursday Y’all!

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 47

Today is going to be a busy day and even busier when my kiddos are in tow. The hubs is working late so our Friday errands are all being completed by me. But, he works hard and things still need to get done but in this way, I can take my time. I also need to get ready for our Ostar celebration with the kindred tomorrow which normally I’m on top of but I have NO IDEA what I’m going to make for a dish to pass? I’m still super excited and I’m working up the nerve NOW to speak up in front of the kindred. Here we are at stanza 47.

Pocket Version:

I was once young, I was journeying
alone, and lost my way; rich I thought
myself, when I met another.
Man is the joy of man.

How true is this? Being young and finding a friend that you can relate too? Being a teen was a difficult time for myself and I’m sure many others. It’s those friends that you find and it seems to make everything a little more bearable. Then growing up happens but I’m sure that’s a different story. Friends, even in adulthood, bring so much happiness in your life. I’m super happy to be traveling a little ways this weekend to meet with the kindred. As the more I get to know them the more I can feel a friendship form.

Happy Friday Y’all!

 

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 44

I have Mr. Rogers on TV this morning (it’s super early) and I needed a break from the news and I’ll get to that in a minute. The episode that is airing is ‘giving and receiving.’ Mr. Roger’s gave the deliveryman, Mr. McFeely a box with cookies as a gift. The deliveryman thanked him, appreciatively and Mr. Rogers explained how the thank you, appreciation and excitement was a gift in itself. Made me smile because that reminds me of Stanza 39.

The news is breaking my heart here lately. The brutality of the New Zealand attack to the senseless murder of a young girl. I’m a heathen, not a white supremacist and I wish the symbols used in heathery and/or paganism wouldn’t be stolen and used for hate. Everything on the news this morning was hard to understand. Here it is, Monday, and I’m going to read today’s stanza, try and understand it, and get to work.

Pocket Version:

Know, if thou hast a friend whom
thou fully trustest, and from whom
thou woulds’t good derive, though shouldst blend
thy mind with his, and gifts exchange, and
often go to see him.

The Havamal is huge on having true friends. When did that become a concept that no one understands anymore?  What I understand from this stanza is that if you have a true friend, first, nothing but good could come from that. A friend that has a positive effect on your life and you to there’s.  Have a visit with them, or spend time with them and learn from each other but also enjoy each other’s company. Now, the exchanging of gifts doesn’t necessarily mean materialistic/physical items but laughter, appreciation, and time are given during the time being with each other.

I like this stanza as it’s one of the more positive ones and it highlights the benefits of having true friends. I have spent so much time being burned by other people that I don’t really have a true friend. Maybe I should place an ad?

Happy Monday Y’all!

 

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 43

I got up, weighed in, and decided to work out. I also wanted to take time this morning before the weekend hits to read a stanza. It seems that on the weekends there is so much going on and it starts on Friday. No, I’m not going out and partying. Nope, I’m grocery shopping, running errands, and doing mom stuff. This is me taking the time to read my stanza.

Pocket Version:
To his friend a man should be a friend;
to him and to his friend; but of his foe
no man shall the friend’s friend be.

I grew up with my dad telling me some similar advice, ‘don’t be a friend to an enemy of a friend.’ He said there is no loyalty or integrity to be a friend to your friends enemy. I wish more people understood this as there are more backstabbing and fake friends these days. No good can come from such a friendship. Stay true to yourself and your friends. Here’s a lesson for the kiddies.

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.

 

 

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