What are the runes? What mystery may be so powerful and essential that the mighty god Odin sacrifices himself upon the world tree Yggdrasil in order to gain them?
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It may take a day or so for the Kindle version to link up. If it is Kindle you use to read my works, then keep an eye out.
There are times in our lives when things change. It happens to all of us– that moment when you realise that you are a completely different person to a few months ago.
Recently I have realised that I have so little in common with the majority of Heathens. I do not worship– I pay homage and give thanks. I seek to learn the lessons of Odin that I may be at his side, next to Loki. I study the ways of Loki and learn the ways of manipulation from him. If Loki is Odin’s greatest student and confidant; I will be second only to Loki.
Am I Heathen? Yes, in the terms of what our ancestors would have believed. In terms of what the majority of modern Heathen groups practice– then no, I am not of the same beliefs as they. Stephen E. Flowers has coined the term Odian which best describes my approach– to study and emulate the ways of Odin. Odin and Loki are my tutors. They are not there to assist me– they teach me the tools and how to use them, but the application of these in my world is entirely down to the direction of my will. I have allowed my Heathen associations with the Troth and the Kith of Yggdrasil to lapse and cease. The Kith seems to be in stasis anyway as so little activity has emerged there in the last 9 months. The Troth is not what I believe it should be. I have found my group.
The gift is the potential. If you don’t take it out of the wrapping and see what you can do with it, then it may as well have not been given.
I believe in the Heathen gods and goddesses. I am a Heathen. I am an Odian. I am not what you think I am. I am what I desire to be.
Another note: I’ve update the playlist of Pagan/Heathen themed music I think is worthy of a mention…
It’s been a good time for this type of music recently with awesome new releases from Wardruna, Tyr, Amon Amarth etc. and the news that Grand Magus have a new album inbound. Enjoy the METAL!
There exist a number of misconceptions about Pagans as a whole that really bother me. Surprisingly, the general publics views are less bothersome to me than those of Pagans who should know better.
Some misconceptions held by the general public:
- all Pagans are Wiccan
- all Pagans are witches
- all Pagans hold Gerald Gardner in high regard
Now, those are all forgivable as they are the result of misinformation, lack of knowledge etc. Now, the misconceptions that really annoy me as they are held by Pagans who really should know better:
- we are all Wiccan
- we all worship the Goddess
- All Pagans hold Glastonbury to be the most sacred of sites
- we are all witches
- we all abide by the ‘harm none, do what you will’ rule
- Pagans, by default, are animal rights activists
- we are all vegetarian
- no Pagan supports the badger cull
- any Pagan thought is correct and should not be questioned
- a lack of historic evidence does not mean yours is not an ancient religion
- a recreated religion can be held up as historically accurate
- the Tories are evil
I’m sorry but:
- there are many more paths than Wicca
- the gods of many Pagan beliefs are equally or more important than an indescript ‘goddess’
- Glastonbury has a Tor and a well- so do many other towns in the British Isles. It is not that special, as can be said for Stonehenge- other stone circles are equally as magical.
- I am not a pacifist and do not believe in the ‘harm none’ mentality. I will put my family first at all costs.
- Animal cruelty is wrong. Animal testing is wrong. Inhumane hunting is wrong. Hunting what you need, killing it quickly and making full use of the animal is fine. I am not anti-hunting.
- I love meat. Meat is a standard food used to honour my gods. Vegetables are what food eats.
- I had a chance meeting with a farmer at a conference last week- they are sceptical about the badger cull, but they can’t afford to sit and do nothing whilst their cattle die and so they need the cull. I’m all for supporting the farmers on this. If they need to cull badgers, then let them so long as it is done humanely and with respect for the animals.
- Why such an uproar over the shooting of badgers? Is it because they can be made into cute cuddly toys? Fox hunting was deemed cruel and everyone couldn’t see what the issue with foxes was until some urban foxes attacked children in their beds. Wild animals can be dangerous and diseased. You can make a cuddly toy gorilla, but you wouldn’t want 100 of them running wild on the street. I think cows are beautiful animals- yet they are also one of my favourite meats.
- All thoughts and theories are their to be questioned. In some Pagan forums, the asking of tough questions is deemed as troll like behaviour. If your beliefs are so fragile that they cannot be questioned, then maybe this says something about them or you?
- The modern druids have nothing to do with the ancient druids. Nobody has any ideas as to the full roles of the druids, their beliefs or practices. We know they held sacrifices, were scholary priests and healers. We do not know which gods they worshipped or what their rites were. The modern movement is an attempt to recreate this, but with a lot of unknowns, the modern druid movement is essentially a new age movement with little link to the past. It’s also unlikely that the druids built Stonehenge and other stone circles in Britain and it makes no sense that they are granted the special access to the stones as such.
- I’m a 100% lifelong Tory. I’m a Heathen and a Tory. My politics have nothing to do with my religious beliefs- please don’t assume that because you hate the Conservative party and that you are a Pagan, that every other Pagan hates the Tories too.
- Wicca is a 20th century religion. No matter what claim you make of it being handed down through the ages by word of mouth, Wicca is the creation of Gerald Gardner and is a syncretic Pagan belief. Wicca is not the original religion of these lands- that is more likely to have been the original and true Druid beliefs. There is no chance that Wicca survived the Roman invasion, the Anglo-Saxon invasion and the conversion to Christianity and that somehow the original religion survived by word of mouth regardless of 2000 years of replacement beliefs and the persecution of Pagan thoughts over the last 1000 years.
Now, that will probably upset a few people. Let me be clear- these are my views. I have no problem with Wiccans, animal rights protestors, Druids or those opposed to the badger cull- just don’t assume that every Pagan has the same beliefs.
After some frustration at remaining solitary, I sent out a request for Heathens nearby to shout out if they want to form a meeting.
The issue is always that so many events are in London, late at night or at times which do not work for anyone with children.
Much to my surprise, it seems to have only taken a few short hours before there is an initial interest from fellow Heathens in a similar place to myself. A meeting has been set at a time and place that should suit most who work or who have small children and it’s intended to be a family friendly event too, so I do hope the children come along.
I actually have no idea where I was going with this process, but the wheels are rolling now!
Also, I seem to have pushed my local pagan meeting to give me time to explain my beliefs to the group and also outline my own personal interests. I need to control that side of me which lands me in these situations!
I’ve recently reached a level of knowledge regarding the Elder Futhark that I am extremely happy with. Before commencing upon an equal understanding of the other Futhark’s, I feel the need to master another skill.
I have chosen Seidr. I have done elements of Seidr previously as a diversion from meditation, but I have decided I should now master this art regardless of the ‘ergi’ association. I have began with the works of Runic John and will look at those of Jenny Blain and Diane Paxson next.
The hope here is that not only will I expand my skill set, but that this will bring me closer to the gods and provide me with further insight into the runes etc.
Gudehovet: Ranheim, Norway.
Excavation of a Heathen Hof provides evidence that the saga’s are more factual than previously accepted by many.
Brilliant! Now, how do I go about building one of these for local Heathens in the UK? Well, I know how- but I need the land, the building consent and the finances. Is there a campaign in there somewhere? Do any Heathens want this?
After much debate, I have purchased an iPad with a keyboard cover.
I never saw the benefit of these gadgets and viewed them as a fashion accessory for the most part. The change came as I sought a way to make use of some of my travel time to or from work- I wanted to carry my laptop with me to finish work on my book, but that would mean carrying two laptops. An iPad and keyboard was the light weight option- and syncing to iCloud means my book will always be up to date no matter which device I open it on and continue my work.
I have no idea when the book will be finished, or if it will ever be published. At 15,000 words right now and estimating around another 10,000 to add before I am complete- it would be fair to say the book will be opinionated, but useful whilst heavy going for anyone venturing upon the path to Heathen beliefs.
It would be fair to also say that you can expect more frequent blog updates as a result of the purchase too.
Damn technology making me spend money!
After much delay, last night I actually met with a local Heathen group.
I admit to being nervous when meeting them. The nerves soon vanished I’m pleased to say as any fear of them not bring what they claimed soon was put aside. I’m pleased that they were a really nice, friendly and educated group that are non-judgmental.
One of the biggest bonuses for me is that they not simply know the lore- each and everyone of them lives their faith in their own ways. A variety of patron gods and goddesses are within the group which is nice to find. Weekly meetings focusing on education or blots with full interest in honouring the festivals.
An extra bonus is that two of the members actually are giving seminars at the Mercian Gathering 2013 event that I have been looking at going to- if the wife allows! As one of the members is giving a seminar on runes and galdr that are obviously something I work with closely then I think I will have to ensure that I’m there.
I can’t express what a relief it is to have found people to share and talk with when it comes to my religion. Travelling to London was looking like the only option.
After a few years of essentially operating on a solitary basis, I’m off to a gathering of fellow Heathens for activities and talks in London this January- I can’t wait. It will be worth the cost as one of my favourite Heathen authors is in attendance and I have some questions that I would love to be able to put to him and his knowledge.
Add to that and I received a reply from local Heathen group to confirm they are still operating…but alas no reply when asking when their next meeting was…Urd;s Well Kindred if you’re out there please answer me…I need to come in from the cold…
Finally, I’m actually attending my local Pagan meet next weekend- who knows if there are any heathens there.