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Author Topic: Exploring Heathenry: Experiences and Advice  (Read 1652 times)


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Exploring Heathenry: Experiences and Advice
« on: September 08, 2011, 06:01:15 pm »
I hope this isn't a redux of another thread somewhere....

When I first became interested in heathenry (or Asatru, as I thought it was simply called then), I was at a loss. I looked into websites but there wasn't much. The information I could find didn't seem very organized, or to the point, and it was over-whelming trying to figure it all out... Especially when I was going from neo-paganism that had 101 stuff out the whazoo.

Not being able to pin-point exactly what heathenry was, or what the holidays were, or even how to worship really, halted my progress when it came to exploring heathenry earlier and more in-depth. All I knew was that there were some gods and some characters with unusual names, with a murky history and even murkier worship. It seemed complicated and confusing and time-consuming. It also seemed incredibly alien and unapproachable.

When I really decided to commit to exploring it, I knew that I couldn't just read a book of mythology. It was great, but it told me almost nothing about living as a heathen. Not anything that I could recognize as a newbie, anyway.  I picked a random academic book from a discussion and started skimming through it. The one thing I think that really helped me set my course was the realization that to approach the heathen gods you have to accept that they are real. You have to be a hard polytheist. In my experience, anyway.

Once that mindset was down, I was able to see heathenry as a living thing, rather than a practice, or a set of rites, or a calander. I can't really articulate how this helped me to start sorting out all the info and make sense of it, but it did. Maybe it's because I no longer read the myths as a set of stories but as a folk-loric history. Maybe I stopped seeing how the gods related only to me, and started growing a curiousity for all the people before me. I'm not sure what it was, but it helped. I certainly don't know all that much when it comes to heathenry, but I'm definitely able to see where it's all coming from and how to place and sort all the info.

Did/does any one else have these over-whelming feelings when exploring asatru/heathenry? What has helped make all the information fall into place for you? What was your stumbling block and building block?
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Re: Exploring Heathenry: Experiences and Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2011, 05:29:13 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;18611

...Did/does any one else have these over-whelming feelings when exploring asatru/heathenry? What has helped make all the information fall into place for you? What was your stumbling block and building block?

Really good post Juniper. :)

I don't consider myself a heathen, but it's something I am slowly exploring, because it really speaks to me on many levels. So I hope an 'almost-maybe-a-heathen' can chime in :p

One of the biggest single things when it came to understanding a deeper dimension to heathenry was the realization that it's not a religion. It's not something you can say you go to once a week and follow a few rules. It's a dynamic way of being in life that extends beyond religious/secular, and ties them all together.

That brought the whole heathenry thing into a different perspective, one that really appeals to me. But at the same time, it means that it takes a lot of refocusing to orient yourself; it's not something you can read about for a week and then say "I understand it all!" - it's a continual path in developing your connection with the ancestors, gods, & wights.

But anyhow, I might've totally jumped the gun lol. I still don't consider myself a full heathen, but as time goes on I find that it more appealing and engrossing in a way most other religions aren't for me.
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