Two-Way Bifrost: Conversations about commonalities between Heathenism, Paganism, and beyond.
My blog will be predominantly focused on Heathenism and it's interaction with the broader elements of the PanPagan movement. There is a lot of hostility within Heathenry towards the broader elements of Paganism, though I'm not really sure why. My goal is to address some of that, and build bridges through our commonalities and with a touch of humor.
A Multi-Directional Bifrost
My name is Harrison Hall. You might know my writing from the work I at "Kvasir Amongst the Gods" over at Wordpress. A few months ago, one of my fellow bloggers suggested that I apply to write over here at Witches and Pagans, as she thought my writing style would be a good fit. I did so, and I was graciously and somewhat surprisingly accepted. This process took about a month. That neatly brings us up to the present.
That's not very interesting. Feel free to pretend that the month of processing was actually a cover so I could go forth and battle an army of genetically enhanced velociraptors that were trying to take over the world. You're welcome.
My blog at Wordpress is about my religious views, but the scope of such writing tends to be all over the place. That's not accidental, as I enjoy having the ability to just let loose with whatever thoughts or ideas I feel needed to be shared the most. When I was asked to select an area for my W&P blog to focus on, I decided to write about something that is close to my heart and has been coming up more and more over the last few weeks. The various denominations and interpretations of devotional, polytheistic, Paganism have always struggled with getting along with one another. This seems to be especially true when it comes to Heathenry and Norse Polytheism. I don't like that.
I have been a practicing Heathen for approximately five years now, but I had been a spiritual seeker for at least ten years prior to that point. No matter what realm of Paganism I found myself exploring, I found myself at odds with the bile and acid that seemed to be common place. Speculative finger pointing to the perceived catalyst was always easy to find, but I could never seem to get very invested at the sources and destinations for such nonsense.
This isn't talking about ideologically opposed parallels either. I don't think that there is enough peace, love, and rock and roll in the entire world to get soft-polytheists and hard-polytheists to break bread at the same table without both groups also trying to break a few other things over a few offending heads. These were groups that had every reason to get along, and all the commonalities in the world to support such unity.
The famous go to example within Heathenry is the Loki debate, which rages on continuously in contradiction of frith, grith, and just plain common sense. I've seen Heathens clash with those outside of their own tradition as well however, and I've seen other factions clash with Heathens. In both cases, it's really hard to determine what the squabble is about. Sometimes it's traceable back to some theological concept or another, but usually all I can find are people fighting amongst themselves. Just raw egos, fighting over the last scraps of relevance.
It would be easy to sling mud at whoever or whatever one sees as the source of a problem, but that's the very heart of a very prominent problem. While many of the Pagan faiths have extremely ancient and venerable roots, much of modern day practice remains in it's infancy. As in most things, momentum is frustratingly hard to establish. It is far easier to cut down our shortcomings rather than improve them into strengths.
I've become a believer in being the change you want to see. There are segments of the Pagan community trying to reach a better level of unity, and I like that idea. You see I've had moments where I've talked across the isles, both to practitioners of Pagan traditions and non-Pagan traditions, and it has consistently awarded me with a better understand of my own beliefs and convictions. I think we could all be a little stronger with more of such conversations or, if nothing else, less yelling.
So, what we're going to be talking is about getting along. The focus will be about how to do this from the Heathen perspective, as that's what I know. It doesn't stop there, however, because I want to find ways to generate commonalities and dispel differences. We should be actively looking to living the faith that we want to live, rather than being the kind of religions where beliefs are tarnished by hubris, politics, and scorn.
That goal is why many of us left the religions of our birth and looked for new paths. That was what brought many of us to ask different questions, seek different books, and thing different thoughts. Let us all continue what we all have started. Welcome to my attempt at a mutli-directional Bifrost. Have a seat, hail the Gods and Goddess of your choice, and lets get started!
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