View Full Version : Questions for Heathens
01-08-2009, 12:33 PM
I'm a non-religious person who is quite curious about heathenry in general :).
Could the heathens here tell me about how you came to embrace your faith? What specific heathenry form do you (or do not) identify with, and why? Since when have you been one?
01-08-2009, 12:37 PM
I turned real heathen after/during some love-problems. one day I just felt it to be right, and I've allways ment that every ethinc scandinavian is a heathen. Like a verse in one of my songs:
Født med hedning blod
Døpt te kristen tro
Born with heathen blood
Baptised to christian faith
I don't know to much about the heathen believes, but I strives to learn more every day:)
I came to embrace it after sloughing off Christianity and Atheism. It's the natural beliefs and traditions of my race. I just felt a pull towards it. I identify more with Irminenschaft (http://www.irminenschaft.net/), personally. I've been a self described heathen for about 6 years now, I think. It was a slow process for me, it started out with just reading the old myths and then coming to realize that the old gods are just as valid as others. I started looking on the internet only to discover others believed the same and that kind of solidified that maybe I wasn't crazy.
01-08-2009, 01:30 PM
Could the heathens here tell me about how you came to embrace your faith?
The Three Sisters wove my wyrd in such a way that I just so happened to read my first book on Norse mythology, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Varg's Vargsmål in the span of a month or so. All of those, combined with my prior readings of Campbell and Jung set me up perfectly to embrace Folkish Heathenry. However, it wasn't until 2005, when I was stationed in Northern California, that I got to see Heathenry in action. I was fortunate enough to live within the hub of the AFA's influence for two years, was able to attend two of their camping trips, and to speak at length with Stephen McNallen. We joined the AFA soon after, and I've been working as a Folkbuilder for the AFA ever since I was unlucky enough to be stationed in Hawaii.
What specific heathenry form do you (or do not) identify with, and why?
Although I'm an AFA member, I've always eschewed the term Ásatrú. Since I'm not predominately Scandinavian, I've never felt comfortable using Northern terminology. My experience has always focused on the Continental Germanic faith and, now that I've got clear proof of Gallic ancestry, has begun expanding to incorporate certain Gallic elements. However, the deities that I hail regularly are by no means the most popular. Night has always been the deity that leaves me utterly awestruck, and her beauty is only comparable to that of her kinsman, the Dawn. I hail the Sun, Moon and Earth, the Thunderer, the Spear God and his Queen of the Heavens. I hail the Lord and Lady of the Woods, the Fair Folk, and the memories of all of my ancestors.
Since when have you been one?
I'd say that I began walking down this path about five years ago, but it wasn't until my son was born, three and a half years ago, that everything completely sunk in.
01-09-2009, 02:24 AM
Could the heathens here tell me about how you came to embrace your faith?
Well, it’s a long story. The story of my life of course..
When I was a boy I was fascinated by Norse Mythology. There was just something about it. Then one day when I was 14, I was watching Highlander and in it there was this fellow called Kanwulf the Viking (http://www.yak.net/ian/jinjifore/67homeland.html) who was a Heathen. Something clicked and for the first time I realized that all the mythology I had been reading was taken very seriously by my ancestors. And, that it could ( but not necessarily should..not yet) be again.
A couple of years passed, and I had a job and some money. I’d go to the book store, and check out what they had in the New Age section, and buy whatever struck a chord with me. I bought Ralph Blum’s The Book of Runes complete with a nifty sack of Runes and The Rune Mysteries by Nigel Jackson & Silver Raven wolf ( I still have them, and I know now that they are not the best books in the world ..I even cut the Valknot on my shoulder out of the latter and took it to the tattoo shop) and go to the woods and just try to find myself. One day I bought “Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft”, in the back was a list of groups and one of them was for the AFA. It said something like “group dedicated to the worship of the Aesir and Vanir”. That was the first I had heard of such, and it reminded me of what I felt watching Highlander. I would go to the library a lot and play on their computers. So, one day I typed in Asatru. I read a whole bunch of stuff, and printed out some things. I contacted a kindred and they invited me to a blot. It was in Knoxville,Tn and I was in Chattanooga,Tn. I never went.
I was 18 now and still trying to find myself. I called my Dad and he offered me a job hanging and finishing drywall in Kentucky. I went up there. He said we were just animals and when we died we were dead. And, that some tree would make two seeds but when it was a drought they would make six. I was raised a Christian, and I went to church with my Granny ( who pretty much raised me ) until I was a teenager. I always had a spiritual side of some sort. I remember asking her about God when I was a little boy. She always said read the bible. So, I was 18, and I finally read the bible. I would walk around early in the morning and late at night and pray. I’d pray to the Holy Ghost to give me the mind of Christ, and all that good stuff. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer a lot..you know “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven“. I really did believe I had been saved.
I left up there and lived in my car and played with my runes again.
Then I was 19, and in jail for DUI and attempting to allude. I had all kinds of religious knowledge in my head. And there was this dude in there a couple of years older than me who knew a bunch of stuff too. We would talk and talk and talk. What got it started was me writing something in runes on the TV guide. By now I had already just took all the stuff in my head and made a big ole’ mess out of it and I didn’t know what to believe. He got really bad off into the bible like I had once been and it showed me just how not a Christian I really was. It was there I got the bind-rune on my other shoulder.
I was in and out of jail after that for a month here, 5 months there, 6 months there..that kind of thing. Mostly for pot. It gave me a lot of time to think. My Momma would always buy me whatever books I wanted and mail them to me. So, the next to the last time I was in jail for a long time she sent me a Poetic Edda, A Teach yourself Swedish book, and Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and On the Genealogy of Morals. Reading On the Genealogy of Morals did away forever any notion of Christianity as a viable religion for me. And the Poetic Edda really started sticking in my head. I was 21. That is where I got the Swastika tattooed on my Solar Plexus with 60 of the “meanest coloreds“ I’d ever seen watching ( there were only 5 white dudes and about 15 Mexicans ). Their “leaders” respected me immensely for it, and every day they would ask me if I was reading my “poetry book” and many a night I’d read from it to them and tell them what the stories meant to me.
I got out of Jail and she rented me a trailer. I stayed in there a few months and got drunk.
Then I was in jail again. She sent me Myths of the Norsemen, by H.A. Geurber, Sagas of the Icelanders, The Masks of God, by Joseph Campbell..all four volumes, and his Power of Myth ( which I had watched on PBS when I was in some motel room when I was 19 ). I was 22.
I got out of Jail and she said I could come live with her if I didn’t drink. So I lived with her, and stayed sober, for about 9 months until some idiots decided they would cook some meth in the apartment under hers and burnt the place down. It was there that I found the Heathenfront and read Vargsmal for the first time. There wasn’t much of a Vinlandic Heathenfront then, but I sent in my little application thing and all that. I hoped something would come of it. I read everything I could about Germanic Heathenism. So the house burnt down and they gave me a nice apartment for free for a few months. I printed out Vargsmal and Our Troth and a whole bunch of other stuff, and went to live in the woods. I moved from campground to campground to campground. I started drinking real bad again. Something like a half-gallon of vodka a day. I ended up in jail again. For 5 days. I got out and slept under a bridge for a month. Called my Dad, and he offered me a Job down in Florida. So I went down there. About six months later we had a falling out and I lived on the street in Panama City for a couple of months. Then I went to Mexico. I stayed there for about 4 months and drank myself silly.
Then I came here to Scottsboro, called up my old childhood girlfriend, and she came to live with me. So here I was still a mess. Not even a man yet at 25. I knew if I was to take care of her, and treat her like I would have her treated. And, make a good life for us. I would have to be who I always knew I was. Who I’d been preparing myself to be all this time. The best that I can be. A real flesh and blood Heathen.
I’ve had to have left a whole bunch out of this story but that’s the way in general.
What specific heathenry form do you (or do not) identify with, and why?
Something I call Creative Heathenry. Vaguely described as a Heathen perspective influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell and Friedrich Nietzsche. Other than that probably Odinism, because, on one level, I like a psychological reading of the lore.
Since when have you been one?
Well I was born one of course, but I’d say a good two years now I’ve acted like it.
01-09-2009, 02:32 AM
Well I am not a heathen in a partitioning kind of way. I only try to embrace what little I can of our old culture and slowly dream of a day when my children or their children can grow up in a society free from any Christian values...
I read from time to time on religious sites dedicated to heathenry that they are infested with Christian values or contemporary modern views, filled with Political correctness, Main reason why I never joined one. to be honest.
many give the impression of being nothing more than a bunch of hobbyists that had they had their throats to a knife they would cry out and praise Allah to save their lives..
As of now I sit in my solitude pondering the myths and sagas but also the old lessons from folktales’.
For me it is not so much a religion as a culture and an identity.
Soldier of Wodann
01-09-2009, 02:37 AM
I am not quite sure if I would be considered "Heathen" by most of you. I came to embrace my spiritual path due to the works of (surprise surprise) Julius Evola, who presents a fundamental, unbreakable link between all Aryan spiritualities. Therefore I believe as much in Asatru as I do in Buddhism, they all have redeemable and indeed disposable aspects, but are all ultimately oriented towards the same goal, spiritual enlightenment. Either by the path of the ascetic or by the path of the warrior, the goal is the same.
01-09-2009, 02:46 AM
For me it was a natural attraction.
I was baptised a Christian and raised in a moderate Protestant household.
We went to church, but I would sneak off and search for ghosts in the church basement or disappear into the woods and look for trolls rather than hear about the White Christ. Folklore always held a unique attraction to me; it seemed like some buried secret embedded in my psyche. I just KNEW there were land-wights out past the line of sight when I went walking beyond the city limits.
I eventually gave up on Christianity altogether and became a diehard atheist.
Christianity felt foreign and alien - not just in the history and origin of it but also in the practice. I could not fathom loving thy enemies or forgiveness or the concept of sin. I still can't. And conversely I was always fascinated with Norse mythology and hoping for it to be real.
I'm a little different than most heathens though; I've never had any real interaction with the gods or the wights. I'm not sure if I see them as true entities, but I see them and the way the Germanics honored them as an exemplar of how the Germanic spirit is. I feel Heathenism is the true expression of the Germanic spirit and it is for that reason that I consider myself a heathen.
01-09-2009, 03:47 PM
How my family and I became heathen has a lot to do with having gotten in touch with our ancestral roots a few years ago now. My father had done most of my family's genealogy way back before the advent of the internet--he'd be in heaven today I can assure you. It was his real life's work for some 20 some odd years.
Anyway, my husband and I had only each of us really been nominally Christian, he from a United Church of Canada backgound (Protestant) and I from a Roman Catholic one--well once a Roman Catholic always a Roman Catholic I suppose (they do tend to get them while they're young ;)), however....Growing up I had my own ways of being spiritual, nothing elaborate at all. I rarely attended church other than for funerals and weddings. When I was a wee little girl, my sister and I would do our own mass and pray to the Christian God. Our cue was always the peals of the church bells in our community. When the rest of my relatives would be heading out, my family would be staying in and my sister and I would do our own communion. Could never get a piece of bread as flat as the bread in church though, for all the squishing down. ;) I could just imagine what the priest-curate of the day would have said knowing that two little girls were playing at being priests! Well, I seem to have escaped any holy wrath for now, so lucky me. ;)
Invariably, for me, growing up in such a non-religious family, Roman Catholicism was more of a cultural thing and growing up I found that it bound me to very limited ways of expressing my spirituality. In fact, there was nothing out there for me. I studied Christianity and other religions and interpretations of spiritual traditions at university in my early adulthood, and other than Wicca and New Age Thought being the predominant alternatives, I had not, quite unfortunately ever heard of Asatru or Heathenry before later on in my life.
Fast forward to about 3 or so years ago now, in picking up some genealogy thread that I wanted to pursue on both my side of the family and my hubby's, my internet researches led me to a thing called 'Asatru'! Lo and behold, we had finally found 'Home'. It was funny because in reading more about this spiritual path, we both came to the realisation that we had always been Heathen and had been raising our son (not ever bapstised or introduced to Christianity by us at any rate) along solid Heathen values.
Over the years, we went from being 'Asatuar' to being 'Heathen' to being 'Odinist'. We tried a couple of different orgs. Some were to our liking for a very short while; some not. Our home affiliation is with the Odinic Rite. It is the premier org for Odinists in my humble opinion, but then again I am heavily biased. ;)
As for nomenclature, Heathen/Asatru/Odinist...I don't much care for the 'Asatru' designation for the simple reason that it can easily denote non-Folkish (thus Universalist) Heathens as it can Folkish. And believe me there is such a thing as a non-Folkish Heathen. Generally when meeting the general public, I use the less descript 'Heathen' designation; it's always good as an icebreaker with Christians dontcha know ;). Among Heathens and other pagans, I use either 'Heathen' or 'Odinist' as the culture of the group warrants. I get quite tired of having to explain to others, folkish Heathens included, that Odinism does not necessarily mean being solely a devotee of Odin. In the end I'm a hard polytheist, and though Odin is talked about as the Allfather, his rank in my worldview of my Gods and Goddesses is equal to the others. :)
Hail the High Ones!
Faith, Folk and Family...Aemma
01-11-2009, 10:18 PM
Myself, I suppose my relationship with heathenism may be a little different than others. I'm much more of a spiritual person than a religious person so I wouldn't call myself "practicing" anything. I also cannot say that I believe in physical manifestations of the heathen gods, but in their spiritual and symbolic importance to one's life. That aside, heathenism has been an integral part of my life for the last 7 or 8 years, so much that I've devoted my studies, occupation, and future to it. As such, I am far more interested in studying the subject of Germanic heathenism and reconstructing it or writing on it based on fact rather than interpreting it through modern eyes.
My fascination with Germanic heathenism began in 2001 and arose shortly after my interest in Burzum and the writings of Varg Vikernes (cliché, I know). Another reason for my interest was a result of looking into the family tree and the words of my maternal grandfather who had died only a little before. He often claimed that our family were "descendants of vikings" but nobody ever really believed him enough to look into it. Shortly after his death I decided to do a high school history essay on Scandinavian mythology, and it was during the writing of that essay that I decided to do some research into my family's origins. It seemed my grandfather had been correct in what he'd said. From there on I continued to direct high school assignments toward the subject of northern European history and mythology, and one day came across the AHF and Odalism. Becoming a member of the AHF allowed me to learn from other members, broadened my reading list, so to speak, and really made me understand that this was what I wanted to dedicate my life to. So though I may not be "practicing" in the same sense that others on this forum are, I have a deep spiritual connection with Germanic heathenism that demands that I continue to feed that interest through lifelong research.
If you want to know what it is that has caused that connection, it's difficult to say, but I've always felt myself to be very appreciative of nature, rural life, as well as the aspects represented by Odin (hence my current specialization). I suppose I saw all too much of myself in the subject, wanted to connect myself to the past instead of tinging my view of the past with modern eyes, and rebuild a belief that has been misinterpreted and abused for well over 100 years now.
01-11-2009, 10:49 PM
I've always been pagan and drawn to sacred sites and attuned to the cycles of the natural world. I grew up around Jungians who shaped my sense of the spiritual. American Indian writings shaped my paganism but found my not being Indian myself an obstacle.
A Skin who stayed with me when he got out of prison introduced me to Asatru. As I had just learned that I had significant, recent Swedish heritage, I took my encounter with Asatru as synchronicity in Jung's sense. The Skin was having a hard time adjusting to freedom and I had to take some strong measures to break him of his drug addiction. With the Havamal, I helped him rediscover his own backbone and break free of his addiction.
A pilgrimage to Gamla Uppsala consolidated my identification with the Aesir and Vanir. I hold informal blots on the major holidays but my main form of communication with the Gods is gardening. I have sought out kindreds, but so far those I have met have either been so NS as to be incompatible with my sense of society and history, or so New Age as to be incompatible with my sense of physics.
01-12-2009, 09:29 PM
There was just a need for me to find spirituality after wallowing in darkness for so long.
I initially was quite fond of Wicca, like many, then went on to look for greater spiritual basins from which to lap from.
I admit I enjoyed Wicca for it's somewhat Celtic connotations initially, but once you realize it is truly a "kitchen sink" faith, it kinda waters it down a bit....
I am truly interested in both sides of my predominant Celto-Germanic heritage, and I am always seeking for greater understanding of both of them.
01-12-2009, 10:52 PM
It seems to me that I didn't seem to find Heathen so much as it finding me. I was raised as a devout Roman Catholic, but I somehow always knew that there was more to my beliefs than the dogmatic 'Fire and Brimstone' that the establishment always wanted to scare little children with.
I grew up with a deep love of Greek and Egyptian mythology, Polytheism has always been a bent for me, there's something romantic somewhat about the trials and tribulations of the deities.
I've always been interested in Magic, but didn't really know what that entailed of course. Faeries and other such lore held an interest for me as well. In my late teens I began to dabble in various methods of the occult, but for that moment I lived more in the physical rather taking the spiritual too seriously.
I've always wanted to know more about my ancestry, and I've been able to do some research as best as I can for the last 20 odd years, but tracing my ancestry back to somewhere like Ireland is very difficult.
After my first two children were born I went through some major difficullties and swung back towards practising my spiritual path - this time I found meditation and the early seeds planted for Shamanism, although that was still a seed then.
When my dad passed and I ended my marriage (third child was also born and he is of the autistic spectrum) something else happened. I could now describe it as the weaving of the Wyrd, because I was pushed along in a direction which I felt to be beyond my control sometimes. I learned about some healing modalities and other such practises.
At that time also, I met a woman who I thought was a friend, until she accused me of being in league with the devil and needing to see a priest! HA! It was then I realised "Fuck this, I stopped believing in the God and Devil bullshit a long time ago!" It hurt at the time the way this woman went about it, and my family and I live in a small town, I feared the repercussions because this place is predominantly Christian. What I didn't realise at the time was I was actually tapping into the Shamanic ways - hence the outcome of the accusation against me. Best thing that's ever happened to me!
I started meeting a new lot of people through Pagan groups and I've been involved with one group in particular for the last 3 years now. They are like my second family to me, despite the fact that they are mostly Wiccan - which I knew wasn't my path.
It was after a conversation with a Heathen online who put me onto a contact through the AET (see link below), as well as reading Burzum's musings and rantings (a lot of what he says is true but I don't necessarily agree with all of it) that finally made me realise that I had come home. I had been practising with the Celtic pantheon for a number of years already - I always loved anything Irish - but the doors had also opened for the Norse pantheon. I knew about some of the major gods but now I embrace this tradition with a passion.
The AET isn't a big group but it is a close knit one, and I've been involved with them now for just over a year. Heathens are very much among the minority in Australia so when you find those with whom you're compatible, it makes the journey a lot easier.
I, too, am a pragmatic person, and I knew there had to be an alternative that fell somewhere between the peace, love and mung beans mumbo jumbo and the more extreme NS views that I've never been comfortable with.
I call myself a Dual Traditionalist, in keeping with my Celtic and Norse ancestry. I respect the differences in both traditions and practises and keep them separately as best I can, but I have no such qualms about having both of them side by side.
In truth, I've always been a Heathen deep down, but I always just said that I wasn't religious - as far as the mainstream goes anyway. Once I found out what it was that I've always been practising in one way or another, I thought I finally found it. But no, it found me!
01-13-2009, 05:25 AM
I was raised in a Scots folkloric family, we called ourselves simply `heathens`. Never knew any different, in fact my first encounter with christianity was upon going to school where, as a heathen, I was spat at, bullied (I learned to fight pretty hard and frequently got into trouble for standing up for myself whether I won or not) and my parents were often called into school on my behalf. Thing was, they were proud of being heathen, hell even my auld granny, ill and in hospital after an operation, on having the obligatory priest sent to her bedside, loudly announced to the entire ward "Get the damned priest away from me! " and also told the appalled nurses that her granddaughter, me, was a witch and would hex the next priest they sent to her. (In fairness, they did seem to want to make her see `the error of her ways`, which annoyed the Hel out of her ;) ).
So I grew up with an awareness of xtianity`s disgust and fear of heathenry. Trouble was, almost all xtians never knew what heathenism was, believing it only to be lack of xtianity, or, at worse, satansim. :rolleyes:
As I grew up I researched my family tree, culminating it when my own children were born and so found out more about my Swedish blood which led me to read what my Swedish heathen ancestors would have practiced.
In that, I saw little difference between Scandinavian heathenry and Scots highland heathenry. ( a view that appalls the purists, but what the hell, they can live my life awhile if they object too much ;) )
So today I live with a marriage of a Scots heathen past that I do not disrespect by discarding, allied to a bloodline link to Scandic heathenry of the past that resonates closely with the lifestyle I live and the beliefs I hold.:)
Heathenry has no need of a `bible`, no priests need intervene between my gods and I, and much emphasis is placed on self reliance and personal responsibility, two values I`ve always held dear.
It`s second nature to me, as I believe xtianity is for many xtians.
I guess a `test`, if you like, of how deeply your beliefs go, is when true crisis hits you. Which god do you beg/petition/pray to or curse? ;)
01-21-2009, 12:51 AM
Through my love of nature and the feeling that we are all interconnected somehow, I was drawn to nature veneration.Through my ancestry, I was drawn to the European native religions.Put those together and add a huge love of the Ancestors, for me Asatru was the obvious selection, with Thor leading me along the whole way.:)
02-21-2009, 02:38 AM
It took me a good twenty years of searching before I found out about the faith of my Germanic ancestors. I call myself a Northern Tradtions Pagan, but the labels are really neither here nor there. I wanted to find a faith that had a sense of ethic and morals that I did not find either insulting or impossible. The virtues of my ancestors make sense to me. I meditate on the gods and goddesses (all of them, yes, even ones the Troth thinks are 'dangerous and evil'), the disr and the ancestors, and try to live my life as close as I can to what is I see as right.
03-01-2009, 06:42 AM
My father, despite having a Catholic father, was not raised in a religious way at all. In fact, there is a story about my lovely grandmother picking up a priest and throwing him out their living room window. Something about him deciding to inform her that because she was Presbytarian that she and her sons were going to hell but Tom was Catholic so that was okay......never say such things to a Scottish woman that stands 6'1 and weighs in at 220lbs. Just. don't.
My mother was raised in the United Church of Canada and she considers herself to be fairly "Christian". A lot of the traditions that they passed on, though, are distinctly pagan in nature. I can remember being small and being told every time that there was a thunder storm that it was Thor riding his chariot across the sky. If there was visible lightning, we'd be told that this was Thor throwing his hammer at giants.
Oddly enough, we were given quite elaborate descriptions and stories about the gods of Northern Europe, as well as stories about the Morrigan, Brighid, Rhiannon, and Cerridwen. We were never given as much about Jesus and the gang, just that he was the real god and no one worships these other ones anymore. We thought these other guys were much more interesting, LOL, as children.
My maternal grandmother practiced a lot of folk magic and she was known in her area of Cape Breton as someone you could go to in times of trouble. She would cut cards and read tea leaves, and scribble runes in the oven with chalk, among other things. My mother was horribly embarrassed by this, and it was made worse by the fact that I was insanely interested in it.
I grew up at odds with myself spiritually, because not only was I interested in the things that my Nana did, I was good at a lot of it, without having to try very hard. By Christian standards, this was a bad thing to pursue, so I shut myself off from it as a teenager. When I went to university, my first degree was in Classics because I had this insane urge for something spiritual, but I didn't know what. I thought maybe - ROFL - I should become a minister. After a semester spent on comparitive religion at the age of 17, I came to the conclusion that Christianity was a cut and paste job from every other Middle Eastern religion that came before it, and that if people could believe this Jesus Christ character was real then I could bloody well believe that Thor was real. As far as I was concerned, we were something before we were Christian and if that something was so bloody wrong then our gods would have ceased to exist, but instead, we kept them alive even if we didn't worship them.
Along the way I met Wiccans, Ceremonialists, Universalist Asatruar, Garden Variety Pagans, Blonde Indians, Druids, and Buddhists. I'd read a lot about Asatru, and it all sounded very interesting and correct, but then I'd meet the people involved and think "......but this is like Wicca with beer!!!" so I mostly kept to myself and made close friends in the Druidic community, because they also liked homework. I had a lot of friends in the general pagan community, and when others in Nova Scotia started looking to build a heathen community I found them through networking.
Most of what I've learned over the years about Asatru and Odinism was done without the internet. For so many years the majority of pages were about Wiccatru that I just didn't bother to use the web as a resource. I consider it a blessing in disguise in that I didn't know who any of the "beautiful heathens" were and I was (and still am) completely out of the loop on about 90% of the BS that accompanies said Beautiful Heathens. I still don't even know where most of the forums are, but then, LOL.....I don't really care:tongue
I joined the OR a little over two years ago after spending a couple of years watching the orgs in action. In particular, I was interested in observing how the members treated each other. The OR struck me as supporting each other, when other groups were busy tearing themselves to bits from the inside out. There is also structure that I didn't see in the other groups that the OR has. They say "faith, folk, and family" and from what I've seen, they live it. There are programs and goals within the OR that are in keeping with Odinism as a belief system that exists in the modern world.
The gods are real. They are natural, nothing about them feels contrived, and I've known them since I was a toddler.
03-01-2009, 08:11 AM
I was raised Christian. I was baptized several times; Lutheran when I was an infant, Baptist when I was 12, and after the blessed divorce, my mom remarried, and the new dad is Pentecostal. That particular church was a cult. I was bapitzed a third time there. I think that I was 15. Notice something? I kept having to reaffirm my faith. I wasn't feeling anything. I tried to *feel* God's presence during the worship service, and I would go up for the altar calls all of the times that I felt the need to. I would have the cult leader pray, and touch my head, and I would fall down and weep, but there was really nothing. I tried so hard. I tried so hard to be accepted by those awful people as well, but I never fit in. I saw how fake they all were, and thought, "Is this what it means to be a good Christian?"
After finally jumping into the dating pool when I was 18, and out of high school, I went out with my first boyfriend. Nothing horrible happened, but I was told that I was sinful in the eyes of God, and I had to get myself right with the Lord. This was told to me by a girl who was supposed to be my best friend. I thought to myself, "We didn't really do anything wrong. Why am I supposed to feel full of sin?" Well, I left the church, and rebelled against my mom and new dad for about 6 months. When I was 19, I met my partner in life. He wasn't raised Christian, and when we had been having a talk about stuff, I told him I was afraid to die, because I thought I was going to go to Hell. I distinctly remember his response. "Why would such a sweet, nice, girl like you go to Hell?" That started to open my eyes.
I also had roots going back further. I loved fantasy books when I was younger. After I had read The Lord of The Rings, I was obsessed with Tolkien for a couple of years. I even did a report on JRR Tolkien in high school, when I still belonged to that cult. But, even further back then that, I read, and loved, Greek mythology. I think that that love of Greek mythology opened me up to the willingness to look into Northern Mythology. I got the book Norse Myths, by Kevin Crossley Holland. Disected that book to pieces. I then got Rune Lore by Ralph Blum, and then Northern Mysteries and Magick, by Freya Aswynn. I liked her book the best, as it seemed that she was sincere with what she was trying to say.
I've felt the most kinship with Frigga, but I love all of the Gods and Goddesses, as they are the enbodiment of our Folk's spirit and heart. I don't do offical blots, and I don't have an altar. I never knew of such things before joining the Odinist.net forum. I enjoy reading about what other people do, but I don't know if that is for me. I know the Gods, and I feel their presence in the things I see in the world. I feel close to Frigga when I spin on my wheel. I try to honor the Gods with what I do, not with what I think other people might do to honor them. Because otherwise, it's not my pure expression of my respect, and love, for them.
After I started to affirm my faith in the Nordic Gods, something interesting happened. I started to have dreams. I had dreams about the cult I used to belong to. I was dreaming that the church wanted me back, and was upset over the change I had made. I had to cry to the Gods in my dream state to finally help me, and it took a very powerful dream to conquer the spirit of that cult church, so that it can't try to dominate me anymore. It hasn't since. But, it lets me know that the spirit of other religions, and organizations are very real. And, it let me know that Odin, Thor, Frigga, Freyja, and all the rest of the Gods and Godesses are real as well, and if you call on them in need, then they will fight for you. I know that that has made me feel good as Heathen.
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