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Author Topic: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice  (Read 1633 times)

Carla

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Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« on: September 26, 2013, 08:43:52 pm »
I have been researching Heathenry mainly through books and a couple of websites I found that seemed decent (Sunnyway and Temple of Our Heathen Gods). What I have learned is fascinating and I feel that this is the right way for me to go. I really want to learn more and I would love for that to eventually be through meeting actual people in real life who are practicing Heathens.
I searched online and found very little in my area, and I am not even sure the info I found is current. Before trying to reach out I have some concerns. One of the groups I found that is local-ish says they are Germanic Heathen. A lot of the groups who call themselves "Germanic" from what I have found so far seem questionable. They range from being very folkish (I hope I am using that term correctly) to downright racist.
I realize that these types represent a minority of the overall Heathen population, but it looks like Texas was at one point ground zero for the type of groups I want to avoid. I am nervous about contacting someone in my area and finding that they are like this. What should I do if that happens? Is there a tactful way to say "thanks, but no thanks" to someone I reached out to initially?

bobthesane

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 06:49:40 am »
Quote from: Carla;123309
I have been researching Heathenry mainly through books and a couple of websites I found that seemed decent (Sunnyway and Temple of Our Heathen Gods). What I have learned is fascinating and I feel that this is the right way for me to go. I really want to learn more and I would love for that to eventually be through meeting actual people in real life who are practicing Heathens.
I searched online and found very little in my area, and I am not even sure the info I found is current. Before trying to reach out I have some concerns. One of the groups I found that is local-ish says they are Germanic Heathen. A lot of the groups who call themselves "Germanic" from what I have found so far seem questionable. They range from being very folkish (I hope I am using that term correctly) to downright racist.
I realize that these types represent a minority of the overall Heathen population, but it looks like Texas was at one point ground zero for the type of groups I want to avoid. I am nervous about contacting someone in my area and finding that they are like this. What should I do if that happens? Is there a tactful way to say "thanks, but no thanks" to someone I reached out to initially?

One thing I suggest you do is find out if they have any sort of a probationary period for prospective members. A means of finding out if you are a good fit with the group and vice versa. If they don't, chances are this is a group that is either about to fall apart completely due to fractiousness, or it is dominated by one person who is looking to expand his/her power base. Either way, walk quickly the other direction.

There are many, many good groups throughout TX. There are many bad ones as well, unfortunately. If you like, I would be willing to help you locate a local group to contact, as I know many Texas heathens (aka Texatru :) ).

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 08:08:44 am »
Quote from: bobthesane;123358
One thing I suggest you do is find out if they have any sort of a probationary period for prospective members. A means of finding out if you are a good fit with the group and vice versa. If they don't, chances are this is a group that is either about to fall apart completely due to fractiousness, or it is dominated by one person who is looking to expand his/her power base. Either way, walk quickly the other direction.

 
This is good advice.  I would also probably let them know that you are just starting out, and kind of still finding your way.  You can explain the things that drew you to Heathenry.  If it were me, I would probably be pretty blunt about the racism thing too, perhaps telling them I had seen a lot of pretty extreme groups online and was not looking to be a part of that.  It has been my experience that the really cliquish (and racist) groups tend to run off anyone who doesn't fit their mold.

But really, if you get a bad vibe from a group, or it just isn't quite your cup of tea (for whatever reason), telling them that you don't feel it is the right group for you is perfectly polite.
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Carla

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 08:47:12 am »
Quote from: Kylara;123368
This is good advice.  I would also probably let them know that you are just starting out, and kind of still finding your way.  You can explain the things that drew you to Heathenry.  If it were me, I would probably be pretty blunt about the racism thing too, perhaps telling them I had seen a lot of pretty extreme groups online and was not looking to be a part of that.  It has been my experience that the really cliquish (and racist) groups tend to run off anyone who doesn't fit their mold.

But really, if you get a bad vibe from a group, or it just isn't quite your cup of tea (for whatever reason), telling them that you don't feel it is the right group for you is perfectly polite.

 
Thank you for the advice! Hopefully I would be aware of anything questionable before getting too involved, but you never know.

Bob, I love the term Texatru. :)
Any groups you could recommend would be much appreciated. I was not able to find much of anything so far.

bobthesane

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 06:09:26 pm »
Quote from: Carla;123372
Thank you for the advice! Hopefully I would be aware of anything questionable before getting too involved, but you never know.

Bob, I love the term Texatru. :)
Any groups you could recommend would be much appreciated. I was not able to find much of anything so far.

Sadly that is likely to be the case. There has been a very strong push the last few years towards a local focus to heathenry (I am very strongly in this camp). One of the terms coined for it might be 'tribalist' heathenry, where our focus is almost entirely on our local community, both religious as well as secular, and how we can best fit into it. As such, race quite literally has absolutely nothing to do with how we interact amongst ourselves as well as with society around us. It all revolves around our 'inner-yard' and 'outer-yard' concepts.

What this also means, is we're not out there campaigning for members. We don't even tend to advertise our existence at all. Not even meetups. While it's not necessarily true that we're hiding or anything, with our focus almost entirely concentrated on our oath-kin we just aren't very noisy. Some of us, though, it must be said have gotten so fed up and disgusted with pan-pagan political crap that we have intentionally withdrawn and 'gone dark' with regards to the other pagan groups in our areas.

Carla

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 06:49:07 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;123406
Sadly that is likely to be the case. There has been a very strong push the last few years towards a local focus to heathenry (I am very strongly in this camp). One of the terms coined for it might be 'tribalist' heathenry, where our focus is almost entirely on our local community, both religious as well as secular, and how we can best fit into it. As such, race quite literally has absolutely nothing to do with how we interact amongst ourselves as well as with society around us. It all revolves around our 'inner-yard' and 'outer-yard' concepts.

What this also means, is we're not out there campaigning for members. We don't even tend to advertise our existence at all. Not even meetups. While it's not necessarily true that we're hiding or anything, with our focus almost entirely concentrated on our oath-kin we just aren't very noisy. Some of us, though, it must be said have gotten so fed up and disgusted with pan-pagan political crap that we have intentionally withdrawn and 'gone dark' with regards to the other pagan groups in our areas.

 
I can understand not wanting to be very public, especially online, considering some of the nonsense I found on forums. Most of those have not been active for quite a while, either. I guess between here and the forum on Temple of our Heathen Gods I might eventually find something. I can just do my best to wing it on my own with what is available. I think I will find it worthwhile to wait for the right people to come along when the time is right. With me being such a newbie it may be best to research some more and get a little more comfortable. I definitely want to make sure I have pronunciations of those crazy Old Norse words and names down before embarrassing myself! :p
I'm not usually so worried about finding others to socialize with, and it feels weird to actively search for people (maybe that's why I don't know what to do). It might be different if at least my husband were interested in Heathenry, too. He is Lutheran and not budging. lol

Fireof9

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 07:33:10 pm »
Quote from: Carla;123407
I can understand not wanting to be very public, especially online, considering some of the nonsense I found on forums. Most of those have not been active for quite a while, either. I guess between here and the forum on Temple of our Heathen Gods I might eventually find something. I can just do my best to wing it on my own with what is available. I think I will find it worthwhile to wait for the right people to come along when the time is right. With me being such a newbie it may be best to research some more and get a little more comfortable. I definitely want to make sure I have pronunciations of those crazy Old Norse words and names down before embarrassing myself! :p
I'm not usually so worried about finding others to socialize with, and it feels weird to actively search for people (maybe that's why I don't know what to do). It might be different if at least my husband were interested in Heathenry, too. He is Lutheran and not budging. lol


Temple of Our Heathen Gods is kinda the opposite of what Bob is saying. They are very active and I guess "loud" LOL. I guess that can be either good or bad depending on your perspective, and I know to some they don't have a great reputation in the heathen community.  Their site does have some great resources for reading however.

If I were you, I would take Bob up on his offer to help you locate some good people in Texas, and maybe check our Raven Radio while you are at it. I know both Bob and Raven Radio have a 99% great reputation.
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bobthesane

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 08:16:47 pm »
Quote from: Carla;123407
I can understand not wanting to be very public, especially online, considering some of the nonsense I found on forums. Most of those have not been active for quite a while, either. I guess between here and the forum on Temple of our Heathen Gods I might eventually find something. I can just do my best to wing it on my own with what is available. I think I will find it worthwhile to wait for the right people to come along when the time is right. With me being such a newbie it may be best to research some more and get a little more comfortable. I definitely want to make sure I have pronunciations of those crazy Old Norse words and names down before embarrassing myself! :p
I'm not usually so worried about finding others to socialize with, and it feels weird to actively search for people (maybe that's why I don't know what to do). It might be different if at least my husband were interested in Heathenry, too. He is Lutheran and not budging. lol

My only problem with ToOHG is that their 'godhi' is an admitted thief, miscreant, and oathbreaker (all while wearing the badge of the KCPD) who robbed his own mother of literally tens of thousands of dollars (which led to her eviction from her nursing home due to months of unpaid back rent, bills, and medical expenses). While that does not necessarily of course mean that the rest of Stinson's group are criminals, when viewed through the lens of my aforementioned focus on tribalist heathenry their group honor and reputation has been severely damaged.

In other words, they swore oaths to him and tied their honor to his. If they had quickly moved to reduce or eliminate their connections to him publicly and unequivocally, the damage might have been mitigated. But they didn't, and there are many, many heathens out there who are now unwaveringly mistrustful of that group and anyone associated with them. I am quite firmly in that group (any personal animosity I may have with a couple of their members aside). There's even a little used FB page called 'stinsongate' that has in the past posted things like the legal proceedings against Mark Stinson (and no, it's not my page :) ).

I have pinged one of the 'Texatru' for you. It would help if I had a better idea what part of TX you are hailing from so I can better help direct you to local people :)

Carla

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 08:30:44 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;123410
My only problem with ToOHG is that their 'godhi' is an admitted thief, miscreant, and oathbreaker (all while wearing the badge of the KCPD) who robbed his own mother of literally tens of thousands of dollars (which led to her eviction from her nursing home due to months of unpaid back rent, bills, and medical expenses). While that does not necessarily of course mean that the rest of Stinson's group are criminals, when viewed through the lens of my aforementioned focus on tribalist heathenry their group honor and reputation has been severely damaged.

In other words, they swore oaths to him and tied their honor to his. If they had quickly moved to reduce or eliminate their connections to him publicly and unequivocally, the damage might have been mitigated. But they didn't, and there are many, many heathens out there who are now unwaveringly mistrustful of that group and anyone associated with them. I am quite firmly in that group (any personal animosity I may have with a couple of their members aside). There's even a little used FB page called 'stinsongate' that has in the past posted things like the legal proceedings against Mark Stinson (and no, it's not my page :) ).

I have pinged one of the 'Texatru' for you. It would help if I had a better idea what part of TX you are hailing from so I can better help direct you to local people :)

 
I read about "Stinsongate" on their forum. I find it alarming as well considering the importance of family and honor. I requested membership to the site hoping that there can still be some good info to be found. If it turns out not to be a good source I can just stop visiting the site. :ashamed:

I am in Central Texas, Eastish of Austin.

bobthesane

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 08:47:45 pm »
Quote from: Carla;123415
I read about "Stinsongate" on their forum. I find it alarming as well considering the importance of family and honor. I requested membership to the site hoping that there can still be some good info to be found. If it turns out not to be a good source I can just stop visiting the site. :ashamed:

I am in Central Texas, Eastish of Austin.

Oh, don't get me wrong, they have an *excellent* library! Tons of good reading material, and frankly they have managed to preserve some things that have fallen off the Internet anywhere else. If what you are after is reading material, you would be hard pressed to find a better concentrated and convenient resource!

I just don't trust the people. But even untrustworthy people can have fantastic book-hoards :)

bobthesane

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 08:50:04 pm »
Quote from: Carla;123415
I read about "Stinsongate" on their forum. I find it alarming as well considering the importance of family and honor. I requested membership to the site hoping that there can still be some good info to be found. If it turns out not to be a good source I can just stop visiting the site. :ashamed:

I am in Central Texas, Eastish of Austin.

Incidentally, if you would like an 'official' report, here you go:

http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/06/4277225/ex-kc-cop-admits-stealing-75000.html

Materialist

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Re: Looking to Heathenry, need some advice
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 12:38:34 pm »
Quote from: bobthesane;123406
There has been a very strong push the last few years towards a local focus to heathenry. One of the terms coined for it might be 'tribalist' heathenry, where our focus is almost entirely on our local community, both religious as well as secular, and how we can best fit into it.


Interesting idea. I'm also a "local religion for local community" type, just never had  a word for it.

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