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: Stanza 13

I started questioning EVERYTHING about my choice in modern day heathenism and the kindred but quickly realized 2 things: 1-The argument with my husband was a great influence on my feelings and 2- My horrible thoughts in my head are telling me that the kindred isn’t a right fit for me. This doesn’t mean I should quit altogether because I do still believe in my chosen path. I can still participate in Sumbels and Blots with them and participate in the book club but I can’t get comfortable with myself to be open OR even speak out. Even though I’m still a little bit of an emotional wreck here we are at stanza 13 (again stanzas 10-14 are kind of similar).

Hollander:

The heron of heedlessness hovers o’er the feast;
and stealeth the minds of men.
With that fowl’s feathers fettered I was
when I was Gunnloth’s guest.

Pocker Havamal:

Oblivion’s heron ’tis called over
drink hovers; he steals the minds of men.
With this bird’s pinions I was fettered in
Gunnlods dwelling.

I happen to love this analogy with the use of the heron. I can just imagine this beautiful bird peacefully flying over the heads of men as they sit around and enjoy a hot meal, drink, and company. Quietly taking with and consciousness of speech and actions from the people below. Lines 3 and 4 remind me that I need to re-read parts of the Eddas. There are a lot and full of information.  Thanks to Our Temple of Our Heathen Gods, it reminds me that Odin is the narrator and speaking of his winning of poetry from Gunnloth. So, these two lines refer to Odin being affected by the heron (or bird) from the first two lines…when he had consumed all of that mead at once.

Part of the argument between my husband and I was the drinking during events. He overindulges and acts stupid. I tried reminding him that it’s not all about drinking and he tried telling me that it’s a major part of it. I disagree. I think moving forward this will be a personal journey. I’m ok with that.

Productive 1st Week

I can’t begin to say how proud of myself that I am with the first week of the year. Unfortunately, I may not be able to keep to the schedule today due to outside obligations. This morning, I got up early and read the book that the kindred is covering for the book club meeting. Heroes of Asgard is a short book and easy read because I’ve heard these stories and variations from different sources. The Kindred is also supporting each other in their healthy choice of lifestyle. I’ve already been working with Weight Watchers and decided to participate to help lose the pesky 20lbs that just can’t be dropped. For this week I’ve participated in and accomplished the necessary goals with the kindred and learning journey not to mention my own personal (not daily) study of the Havamal. Oh, I even did my time on the treadmill.

The 365-Day project has been awesome and shitty all at the same time. I can take an awesome picture one minute and WTH was that photo the next. The Skillshare class helped a great deal and I have a couple more that I want to watch. The best part is that they are all short and cut right to the chase so I can learn, try, and grow through a swift transition. Trying to remember all the tips and tricks is what I need to try harder at. Maybe making my own notes or flashcards to carry will help like little-reminding nods. I think my favorite photo is from day 4. The puddle experiment was scary to try but I’m glad I did. I’m glad I stepped out of the car. I have a horrible feeling that today’s photo won’t be all that great because of the events I have happening today.

The short story that I wrote made me feel good. It was great to write something other than the journal entries, weighing-in, or Havamal study. I already have an idea for the next one and hope that I can keep it short.

My comic…Oh my! All I can say is that the app I found took longer for me to draw with than doing it by hand. My goal was a simple stick figure comic to bring a little chuckle but it was lacking. I can either watch the tutorials or go balls deep and do it by hand. If I’m going to do that I need to stop by the store and either get a small sketchbook or a grid composition. I did find my Wacom tablet and pen in the garage so I’ll try my next one with that.

How did your first week of working towards goals pan out for you?  I’m going to work damn hard on making sure I get a photo for my 365-Day project. Happy Sunday everyone.

 

Back to Normal-ish

This weekend was busy and tiring. I am one of those people that after a holiday are over I CAN’T WAIT to put the house back to rights again. All the decorations and furniture needs to go back to where it was pre-festivities.

Our ‘Yule’/’Christmas’ tree was the first to come down. We enjoy real trees but the needles! We kept that sucker watered and taken care of all month but the needles were relentless. The tree is now resting behind our garage drying out for our next year’s Yule log burning. I learned about this while attending our first Yule with the kindred. I’m super excited to be able to do this-saving the tree for next year. All the evergreen trimmings and lights were the next to go along with my Christmas village. It was such a breath of relieving fresh air to have the house back to normal again.

This morning my son (poor little guy) came into our room crying about his stomach hurting. You guessed it-he caught the stomach bug. Just when I thought my house was no longer ground zero for this nasty thing it decided to rear its ugly head. It survived my chemical warfare of Lysol and Clorox. My husband has today paid off while I had to come to work. I’m so thankful that he can stay home with our son. He’s even helping clean up our room and house so we don’t go into the next year with procrastinated chores. Tonight, I have some planning to do with writing, trying to nail my 365-day project (also boosts portfolio) and finish developing my simple comic character. I will be ringing in the next chapter of yearly time with a sick little guy, clean house, pizza and hopefully creativity.

Is your house back to normal? What New Year traditions are you gearing up for? Happy Monday Y’all!

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