Living At Loki’s Feet
Living At Loki’s Feet
by Trickster’s Daughter
I never expected to be devout, and certainly I never expected to be devoted to not one, but two Gods, living in communion with both of them.
I had a relatively religious-free childhood and what limited knowledge of religion I did have was Christian. I remember having a couple of Bible stories which I listened to on my Winnie– the– Pooh record player. Occasionally, I attended Vacation Bible School with a friend, but that was about it. Religion was not something discussed in my house.
When I was thirteen my mother decided that it was time for the entire family to attend church. I much preferred to sleep in or watch Sunday morning cartoons but was reluctantly dragged off wearing my Sunday best.
by Patricia Lafayllve
One thing that appeals to many people drawn to Heathen culture is that we Heathens (Asatruar) have a solid system of ethics. Four of the most important concepts in modern Heathenism are as follows:
My Dear Lord
This is a sidebar to the article: Way of Wyrd an interview with the author.
In the autumn of 1972, I moved across the state of Missouri and soon lost touch with the Pagans I had known. It was a different time — without the Internet, without cell phones — when it was much more difficult to stay connected.
For many years after that, one god in particular watched over me. Some might call Him my “patron god,” although the term “patron” traditionally refers to a deity’s role as a protector of a group (city, nation, tribe) or conceptual area of life (archery, blacksmiths, animals).
By then I had heard of Wicca, which was a word used by Gardnerian witches to describe themselves. After the move, it seemed like everyone I met was using the word “Wicca” or “Wiccan,” so I began doing the same. I was soon initiated by an Osirian Wiccan. I could relate well enough to the “Great Goddess” as the Earth Mother, whom I knew as Herthe. In 1974, Buckland’s The Tree was published, and his Seax tradition seemed to confirm that the old gods were indeed a part of the Wiccan movement.
And so, after a time, I began to think of all gods as a mash-up of Horned God, even though most of the gods were never depicted with horns or antlers or anything of the sort. And all goddesses, from all cultures, became (in my mind) facets of Herthe, one more name for a single Great Goddess.
Way of Wyrd
Photo © Liza Lepczyk
Way of Wyrd
Alaric Albertsson embraced polytheism in the summer of 1971, and never looked back. Over the years, his spiritual practice developed as a synthesis of Anglo-Saxon traditions, country beliefs, herbal studies, and rune lore. For Alaric, a reverence for the earth and respect for ancestral and indigenous spirits are defining qualities of Pagan religion.
Alaric and his partner Scott co-founded the Saxon inhíred Earendel in 2003. Like all inhírdas, Earendel is an extended family (and not open to the public), but its members strive to foster a greater public awareness and appreciation of Pagan Saxon traditions in southwestern Pennsylvania. As an author, speaker and drýmann, Alaric travels around the United States giving presentations and classes throughout the year. Alaric has also served on the Board of Directors of the Heartland Spiritual Alliance, and is currently a member of the Druidic organization Ár nDraíocht Féin and serves as the Anglo-Saxon Vice Chieftain for the ADF Germanic kin, Eldr ok Iss.
The author of Travels Through Middle Earth: The Path of a Saxon Pagan (Llewellyn, 2009) and Wyrdworking: The Path of a Saxon Sorcerer (Llewellyn, 2011), as well as (with Taren Martin) The Martin Rune Deck, Wolf Den Publishing, 2011. Mr. Albertsson chatted with our interviewer in a wide-ranging conversation during the spring of 2011.
Be sure to read the sidebar: My Dear Lord written by the author.
The Saxon Sorcery of Alaric Albertsson
How did you first come to Paganism?
I’ve been Pagan for a long time (over forty years!), some times that can seem embarrassingly long, but I try to reassure people that I don’t make a big deal out of it. “This just means I’m old,” I tell them, “It doesn’t mean I’m really great or anything, I’m just an old man.”
When I was young, I was a devout Presbyterian. But in my mid-teens, I found that path had stopped working for me, and left the church. Doing so left a big void in my life; but fortunately not too long after, I ran into some people who called themselves “polytheists” (nobody used the word Pagan back then!) These people also described themselves as Witches. Although I didn’t know it then, the deities that they called “the Witch gods” were actually Anglo-Saxon deities. Of course, at that time my knowledge of non- Christian religion was pretty much limited to the Greek mythology I’d had in high school English class, so I just went with the terminology that my new friends used.
Restoring our Ancestral Contract
Monotheist ideas still plague Heathenism. It’s time for them to go.
In this column for the Heathen/Northern Traditions issue I was initially planning to write about Loki, perhaps the single most controversial deity in any Northern tradition. Loki is a God so associated with chaos (and hence, evil) that some denominations of Heathenry won’t even speak His name. But upon reflection, I concluded that the fact that some question whether or not a being clearly counted amongst the Gods by our ancestors is holy presupposes such a fundamental hole in the foundations of the Northern Tradition that I felt led to discuss a more fundamental point: eradicating monotheist dualism from our traditions, once and for all.
Law and Order 101
Discipline is essential to a mature spirituality.
So the theme for this issue is “law and chaos” and I have to completely admit that the concept of law warms my warrior’s heart. Sometimes I’ve gotten the feeling that my love of order makes me rather unusual within the generic Pagan movement, yet the key secret underlying law is discipline, a mode of being that lies at the heart of the warrior’s path. Moreover, that quality of discipline is a fundamental building block of engaged and passionate spirituality; absolutely essential.