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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Heathenry

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
What Odin doesn't stand for

Odin is a god of many, many things: wisdom, inspiration, exploration, shamanism, prophecy, kingship, rune magic, language and expression, expanding and altering consciousness, creativity, death, blood magic, self-sacrifice, and yes, even warfare, savagery and bloodshed at times.  But do you know one thing He does not stand for?  Racial hate crimes.  Seriously people, I defy you to find anything–anything at all–in the northern lore that supports this kind of atrocity.  As my friend Heather Freysdottir posted today, hate is not a Heathen value–not in any way, shape or form, and I for one am thoroughly sick and tired of having my God’s name used as an excuse for racist violence.

You know why I don’t primarily identify as Heathen?  Know why I am not able to call myself an “Odinist witch” or “Odinic witch” (the way some of my friends will refer to themselves as “Lokean witches”)?  This.  This is why.  Because, thanks to assholes like this (and others like him in the past 100 years or so of history), my God’s name is now identified with racially motivated violence.  And from these maniacs, the poisonous notion that Odinism=white supremacy and racial hatred seeps into the community, until you can’t hold an “Asatru meet-up” without having one or two white-supremacist-leaning individuals show up. (Yes, this truly was my experience when I was still trying to organize meet-ups back east.)

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  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    I should add that (as it says in the title of this blog) I usually do loosely self-identify as Heathen when I am among a more gene
  • Beth Lynch
    Beth Lynch says #
    Mike, this was meant to be more a response to the shootings than about what I call myself, or don't. But since you asked about th
  • Mike C.
    Mike C. says #
    I have a lot of feelings about people honouring Germanic gods, but declining the label. How will perceptions change, unless people

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Hate Is Not a Heathen Value

On April 13, 2014, a white supremacist perpetuated a hate crime on a Jewish Community Center. Some mass media outlets have attempted to identify the shooter as a Heathen, but I'd like to take a moment to reiterate that his values (or rather, his lack thereof) are not shared by Heathenry or Northern Tradition Paganism at large. The Troth has already issued a statement on using the Northern Tradition as a justification for hate crimes and bigotry.  And there are Heathens who feel that words are not enough, and have organized a fundraiser to help the families affected by the shooting.

Y'all know that I don't primarily identify as a Heathen, and there are some reasons for that. One is that I don't consider my practice reconstructionist in nature, and that's a large one, but truth be told, the problematic issue of hate groups claiming Heathen identity is also part of why I back away from most Heathen groups. The Troth is the ONLY  Heathen org that I've ever joined because it has explicit, defined mission statements that are committed to racial diversity, "Membership in the Troth is open to all who seek to know and honor the Gods, ancestors, and values of the pre-Christian Germanic traditions, regardless of gender, race, nationality, or sexual orientation."

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  • Amoret BriarRose
    Amoret BriarRose says #
    Well said!
  • Shirl Sazynski
    Shirl Sazynski says #
    Well said, and heartily agreed. (Other than that I still identify as Heathen/Rodnova, because that's the historic and modern term

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

When the whole Kenny Klein issue hit the news, I was appalled but not surprised. I had met the guy in New Orleans and been less than impressed, in fact i"d found him energetically filthy and obviously lacking in any moral sense. I thought thought "well, here at least is an issue that all Polytheists, Pagans, and Wiccans can staunchly stand behind: child abuse and molestation, sexual assault. coverups --  and anything that furthers those things is wrong." How naive I was and how incorrect. 

Since the affair de Kenny hit the Pagan blogosphere I have been sickened by the number of Pagans and Wiccans who have come out publicly excusing these behaviors and moreover attempting to silence his victims. Just check out the wildhunt.com coverage for a sickening sample. 

That's why today when I saw this piece by a respected Pagan elder here at Witches and Pagans http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/ok-everybody-breathe.html it was just too much. 

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  • Bourdon Bee
    Bourdon Bee says #
    I'd like to see some discussion of grey areas as well, and perhaps some discussion of what the lines are in "sex positive". Becau
  • Hec
    Hec says #
    Galina, I've posted a reaction to your comments over at my blog: http://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/clarification/
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    I apologize if you feel that I mischaracterized your initial post and thank you for taking the time to clarify; I'm glad to see th
More about that Polytheist Devotional Meme

Well, folks,

Firstly, happy spring. Winter is slowly starting to loosen its grip--I know it may not feel like it for those of us in the east but soon, very soon we'll be complaining about the warm weather. I for one, can't wait.

In the meantime, I've been working through more of my devotional meme. I would like to share the next few questions with you. Feel free to post links to your own blogs in the comments section, if you too are tackling these.

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  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    I am so behind on emails and this was one that I wanted to read. Interesting, what you triggered this morning was remembering thi

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Terms of Engagement

"You know when wolves run free and alone? when they're mentally or physically diseased."

--Sannion

 

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  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus says #
    Indeed--and very well stated!
1-10 of a Devotional Polytheist Meme

 

Over the past couple of weeks I've been slowly working my way through my Devotional Polytheist post. I wanted to share my answers to the first ten questions. If any of you are also participating in this meme, please feel free to share the links to your blogs in the comments. I would love to read how everyone approaches these issues and concepts. 

 

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  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    Gallina, this is extraordinary, and such a gift. I sit here right now with the aftermath of three hours on a root canal, and this
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Actually, thank you. reading your comment was immensely inspiring to me. there is something that happens when we enter into the de
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I had the notion that I would bang these out once a day . . . HA! These are deep questions, and not so easy to answer. A friend

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Devotional Polytheist Meme

While interfaith discussion with neo-pagans is valuable, I'd personally like to see more discussion of our own traditions and religious praxis. So, I came up with a bunch of questions to get the ball rolling. I'm going to answer these over the course of this month via a series of posts here and anyone else who likes them is also free to participate. 

 

1. What wealth have the divinities brought into your life?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
When a Child's Pet Dies

 

 

Last night I received a heartbreaking email from a reader. He was emailing me because his child's cat had been hit by a car and he and his wife were at a loss as to what to tell her (the girl is about six). They have an active devotional practice and an active practice of ancestor veneration. They neither wanted to approach death as something wrong and to be hidden, or to lie to their child, but neither did they want to cause their little girl an iota's worth of unnecessary pain. They asked me what I suggested. With their permission, I'm going to share with you what I told them, but I want to preface that by a disclaimer and a story. 

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    wise advice. I agree, no point in hiding death from children. it is part of life.
  • Linda Armstrong
    Linda Armstrong says #
    Your article moved me very much. I'm a long way from being a child (67) but sooner than I would want, I'm going to need to say go

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Sannion, Chantelle d'Eros and myself just got back from checking out hotels for the Polytheist Leadership Conference and have decided to go with the Quality Inn in Fishkill, New York. They were clean and spacious and economical and most importantly we were impressed by the efficiency and friendliness of the staff. So we signed the contract and this thing is now officially a go!

The Polytheist Leadership Conference will take place Friday, July 11th through Sunday, July 13th – though we’ve made arrangements so that you can get the block room rate if you want to come in earlier on Thursday.

We’ll begin on Friday at 3:00pm with an opening prayer to our collective dead and polytheist predecessors and then have a lecture and roundtable discussion with the rest of the evening devoted to socializing and networking.

We’ll start at 10:00am on Saturday with a full day of workshops, lectures and roundtable discussions ending at 8:00pm. There’ll be half hour breaks between each session and an extended lunch and dinner.

Sunday begins at 10:00am and has two sessions with a social lunch and then a closing ceremony at 3:00pm.

We’ve got the website for the Polytheist Leadership Conference up and running and are now accepting registrations.

polytheistleadershipconference.wordpress.com/

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  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Very, very excited to see how this manifests. Thank you so much for doing the organizing work!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Laissez les bons temps rouler

One of the things that I find particularly enchanting about this city is the music. It's everywhere, from jug bands playing on the sidewalk, to raucous zydeco coming from the bars on Bourbon street, to the lone musician or singer busking on the corner. From the moment we leave the hotel, there's music. It counterpoints the natural rhythms of the city itself, and all the spirits that dance and wander here. It connects me to the city, to all its many layers like nothing else. 

 

New Orleans has such a rich musical heritage. We know it as the birthplace of jazz and that's true. With its rich blend of African and Spanish influences it's a musical hot spot, a rich melting pot of rhythms and sounds and somehow, generation by generation magic happens. It's everywhere here.  (I believe the first opera house in the U.S. was even built here in New Orleans). On a good day, hardly a street corner in the French Quarter seems bereft of a busker of some kind and not just musicians. Since we've been here, we've been spending a good five to seven hours a day just walking around the quarter : seeing what we could see and hearing what we could hear. We've seen fiddlers, jug bands, lone hippie musicians (with unfortunate lack of pitch), jazz bands, horn players, but also living statues, performance artists, and visual artists selling their wares. Most interestingly for us as diviners, there are "psychic readers" everywhere. We've seen dozens in the parks, Jackson square, on street corners, in shops selling their services. Magic is in the air here and there are plenty of people ready to capitalize on it. 

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  • jen z
    jen z says #
    I am sad to see this site as a book burner. Yes Kenny Klein screwed up, but to remove old blogs is wrong. Censorship in any form i
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    excuse me? I think they ought to fry him. At the very least his blogs and books should be taken down. He's filth. He didn't just "
  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    You write, "Magic is in the air here and there are plenty of people ready to capitalize on it." Maybe that very fact encourages p

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
City of the Ghede

As much as New Orleans may be the city of Bacchus, first and foremost it belongs to the Ghede, the family of  lwa that govern the powers of death and the dead. Their presence, their energy is everywhere. It surrounds, seeping out from every crack, bristling and snaking up from every paving stone. The houses are awash in it, and it lurks in the twilight air along every street. I knew this coming down to visit, but once here, i was swept away by the siren song of the city itself. I allowed myself to become distracted.

 

I really should have known better. Usually when I arrive at a new city, I will settle in at the hotel and then first thing, before anything else, walk the city, allowing my intuition and the city spirit itself to guide me. I"ll make offerings to the city spirit and to any governing spirits or Deities that I sense in whatever place I happen to be sojourning. It's the protocol I was taught and I almost never, ever deviate from it. This time, I did. I grew complaisant. I didn't forget to make offerings, but for some reason it seemed like a good idea to wait, to find the perfect time and perfect place. Maybe that would have been all right, but we proceeded to shop and dine and enjoy the delights New Orleans has to offer and the time of our offerings got pushed farther and farther forward. We both knew better and it was only a matter of time before we got "schooled." It's good to be shaken out of one's complaisance once in awhile and I'm grateful for the finesse and grace with which the Ghede did so today. 

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  • Marybeth
    Marybeth says #
    Lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
City of Bacchus

 

So my partner and I are currently vacationing in New Orleans. Neither one of us had been to this city before but oh I am glad that we came. This is a city belonging to Bacchus if ever there was one! We've been here only about twenty four hours, and most of that time has been spent meandering through the French Quarter with no destination in mind. We have plenty of time to do cultural things and to shop. For now, we've been trying to get a sense of the city spirit, and a taste of the energy of the city itself. 

First of all, there is music everywhere. We're staying in the French Quarter in an old, land-mark hotel and from the moment we walk outside, there are street performers, sometimes several along the length of a block, plying their trade (some with more finesse and talent than others, needless to say). There are living statues, and today a man doing gymnastics on stilts. Wow, that boy could jump! Made my knees ache just watching him. Bacchus is everywhere. Every shop that we've gone by, somewhere there has been His image. It's become a game for my partner -- a Dionysian--and I: who can find the image of Bacchus in this shop? So far, he's winning.  There are diviners everywhere. I don't mean psychic shops (though there are those as well doing what they can to capitalize on the notoriety of Voudou mambo Marie Laveau) but rather diviners setting up shop with table and chair all around Jackson Square. I think I counted fifteen in a row and all the while they were reading clients, a jazz band was serenading us in front of the Cabildo.

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  • Chas  S. Clifton
    Chas S. Clifton says #
    I like to comparison to Venice. In fact, I think I will steal it.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Magical Musings Podcast Interview

It's finals time, folks, as well as being one of the most intense Yule seasons that I can recall in a very long time. I"ve been swimming in work both academic and spiritual and so I must apologize for not posting as much here. That will change, I am sure, with the turning of the year. 

In the meantime, so y'all can see I'm not quite as much of a slacker as it may seem ^_^ I'm posting a recent interview that I did with Magical Musings podcast. We covered some topics that I think are tremendously important to the polytheistic community as a whole and Heathenry in particular and while the interview was close to two hours (not sure what the edited version here ended up being--I wasn't involved in whittling it into shape for airing) I had a hell of a good time. 

So take a listen here, folks, and I"ll be back soon with a few articles on Mani. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru and the Art of Nuclear Physics

Let's talk about zeal.

Though I am a member of several online forums, I rarely post to them- more frequently I use them to shamelessly raid the knowledge others have worked so hard to amass and then posted for the world to see.  I am not an archeologist, but I love reading the recent reviews of newfound Viking era settlements.  I am no theologian (despite short forays into the field), but the people with advanced degrees in religious study who can break down the Eddas and Sagas from both a historal and spiritual way are of endless fascination to me, as are their conclusions.  Like an Average Joe reading Psychology Today or Popular Mechanics, it is a great chance to get a wee bit smarter and maybe even find something applicable to my daily life.

For every windshield there is a bug.  In this case, the horsefly getting smeared across the glass by my unforgiving wiper is the overzealous "seeker of the path".

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Happy Equinox

With the school term having started again, things are crazy-busy for me here. Still, I wanted to post something for the Fall Equinox, since it begins my absolute favorite time of year. This is a little something I wrote a couple of years ago. Enjoy, folks. 

I adore this time of year. There’s a crispness in the air, the herald of colder, darker things to come. The leaves are just beginning to change into what, in my region of the US, will soon become a riotous panoply of color. I live in the belly of the mountains, in the Hudson River Valley and fall is something to be celebrated here for its beauty alone. It’s as if the lines of varied color show, for a few brief weeks, the very and varied musculature of the mountains, rippling, stretching and preparing for the long sleep of winter. It’s an awe-inspiring sight. 

 Of course I would celebrate Autumn anyway. I’ve never been a summer person and I greet the cooling days with immense joy. They bring me vitality, a renewed sense of purpose, and the feeling of an immense burden being lifted (i.e. the paralyzing heat of the summer!). Fall provides a feast for the senses: the smell of burning leaves, the sweet chill of cooling nights, the spice of Thanksgiving-time sweets, the rich tapestry of color inherent in the trees and harvest vegetables, and above all the transformation of nature’s green into the reds, golds, oranges, siennas, and browns of autumn. What a glorious relief! What a joyous sight! Moreover, these seasonal changes remind me that we’re rapidly passing out of the time of Harvest and moving instead into the time of internal reflection and quiet that can, ideally, be part of Winter. That is no small thing to honor. 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, Galina, for reminding me that facing the terror and expressing it out loud can help strengthen me, so I can become the

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Maybe it won't mean as much because for an alleged "Big Name Pagan / BNP", my name is pretty small outside a relatively tiny circle of Hellenists and other traditional polytheists, and it's not like I've moved my spiritual blogging to mostly over here... hell, I can barely keep to the minimum of a single post here a month, but I've researched some recent drama, weighed the words and intent (or at least likely intent) of all sides, and I've decided to step down from PaganSquare.

Racism is the gigantic elephant in the room for traditional polytheism -- too many use their religious practises as an excuse for racism and vice-versa.  While, true, Heathenry has the biggest reputation for racism, here's the thing:  There is not a single recon religion without its racist baggage in some form.  I've met Neonazi Celtic Recons passing out literature at the Celtic Festival in Saline, Michigan, back when I was in high school.  In more recent years, I've seen Hellenists in North America describe Hellenismos as "kinda like Asatru, but for the Greek pantheon and, best of all -- no Nazis! ^_^" and then ten minutes later encounter Hellenic polytheists from all over the globe say some of the most appallingly racist filth.  Hell, at least the LaVeyans and Boyd Rice fanboys I used to hang with during my misspent youth had the decency to try and hide it.

This is an issue that is a HUGE deal to me, for lots of reasons.

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  • Frith Wierdman
    Frith Wierdman says #
    I am likewise sorry to see you go. I look forward to reading you elsewhere.
  • Hester
    Hester says #
    I'm sorry to hear it, I always enjoy reading your work. Thank you for posting the other places to find you!
  • Candi
    Candi says #
    I made my name here more by calling out unfair behavior than by writing articles. We are more than our interests. I will follow

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
More Devotional Q&A

 

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, folks, with lots of ritual work to be done as we move into fall. While we always honor our ancestors at the beginning of our rituals, autumn tends to be a a time when we focus even more strongly on our dead and that means a lot more rituals. I love it, but boy have I been busy!  Autumn really is, for me, the best season. It's so vibrant and finally after an entire summer of positively aching for fall, i've started smelling the teasing promise of crispness in the air, the faint sense of crisping decay as the leaves ever so slightly show the first signs of their inevitable decay. I love it. Of course, I also love that questions on ritual and praxis keep rolling in. I've gotten quite a bit of good feedback on this series and I'm enjoying it greatly. Y'all have been sending in some really thoughtful questions and I find crafting my answers makes me look at my own practice in new ways too. I thank you, my readers for that gift. For today's Q&A, I have a series of questions on how to handle offerings from reader Lenore. 

 

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  • Natasha Kostich
    Natasha Kostich says #
    Good questions! I also want to add that the more you do altar work the more confident you become. As time goes on, you will trust
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Rather than being inane, Lenore's questions are probably among the first anyone has! As I read your answers, I found myself addin
More on Honoring Mani: a Question Revisited

 

Having spent the better part of last weekend doing intense devotional work with and to Mani, I didn't want to let too much time passed before I returned to my 'honoring Mani' series. As with my devotional 101 series, I encourage readers to email me your questions about the Norse moon God. I'll do my best to answer them. Last week, Sparrow asked me a question that i covered in my last Mani post, but I wanted to revisit it again here expanding my earlier answer, because I've been thinking about it and it was a good question: 

"How can a person connect to Mani? I presume moon gazing and performing full moon rituals are good ways to get to know Him."

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  • Liza
    Liza says #
    I love Mani. When I was a small child, my grandmother babysat me once (and only once to my knowledge). It was one of those fall

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Devotion 101: More Q&A

 

Today's post is a continuation of my 'devotion 101' series. I am collecting questions from my readers about devotion and polytheism and one by one, week by week, I will answer them here. Today's question comes from Gary who asks: 

 

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  • Liza
    Liza says #
    Thanks, I am glad my night time ramblings made sense. And Gary, when I reread my comment (that nicely double posted, and I can't
  • Liza
    Liza says #
    I don't quite understand Taoist beliefs, even with what is shared, but I want to weigh in here too, because I think, for me,there
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    This is beautiful Liza and thank you. I think it actually answers the question better than I did. Devotion can be a deeply emotion
'He is Frenzy": my new book on Odin is out

My newest book on Odin: "He is Frenzy," a collection of everything (to the best of my ability) that I've written about Odin thus far, is now available. 

folks may order it directly through amazon.com

This book includes the complete texts of "Whisperings of Woden," and the English version of "Walking Toward Yggdrasil" as well as everything that I've written on the Old Man since then.  

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