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Author Topic: Why do you practice your faith?  (Read 3799 times)

Meritmut

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Why do you practice your faith?
« on: June 18, 2012, 06:07:33 pm »
Hi everyone so I have been looking into Heathenry for about two years now and I am stuck. I can not decide between Egyptian polytheism or Heathenry. So I thought maybe if I heard from other people on why they believe what they do it would help me decide.

Some of the issues I have with Heathenry: No information from the actual practitioners of the faith, the concept of the soul not being able to leave the body (how do you go to an afterlife then?), the belief the Gods are somewhat distant, I am not sure lets say you are having trouble conceiving a child could you ask Frigg or Freyja for help or would it be more appropriate to ask the disir?

These are some of the "problems" I have run into, I know the fact that there is nothing from the actual practitioners can't be fixed lol but I guess its hard figuring out what was a actual heathen concept and what was christian influence. For instance I have seen differing opinions on the Baldur myth.

TonupGael

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 07:21:08 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;60673
Hi everyone so I have been looking into Heathenry for about two years now and I am stuck. I can not decide between Egyptian polytheism or Heathenry. So I thought maybe if I heard from other people on why they believe what they do it would help me decide.

Some of the issues I have with Heathenry: No information from the actual practitioners of the faith, the concept of the soul not being able to leave the body (how do you go to an afterlife then?), the belief the Gods are somewhat distant, I am not sure lets say you are having trouble conceiving a child could you ask Frigg or Freyja for help or would it be more appropriate to ask the disir?

These are some of the "problems" I have run into, I know the fact that there is nothing from the actual practitioners can't be fixed lol but I guess its hard figuring out what was a actual heathen concept and what was christian influence. For instance I have seen differing opinions on the Baldur myth.

 
I practice my faith because I can relate to it. When I say relate to it, I mean I can fit with it because it was apart of my people's culture. I don't think I could believe in another religion outside my culture because it just doesn’t feel right to me. My religion feels right and its very special to me; makes me even more proud to be what and who I am culturally.

Its interesting how you say the Norse had no concept of a soul. In some Scottish folk tales, your soul lives in something else (living or non living) and if that something is destroyed, it kills you too though this depends. The concept of a spirit departing from the body into a next life is never explained properly or is varied in Scottish myth. Some examples include being “taken” by the Faeries, opening a west window and allowing the soul to depart, the Goddess Brìghde guides you there..ect..there is no true way of what happens to ones soul after death in Scotland.

I suppose it depends on you as an individual and what you believe.

Meritmut

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 09:06:53 pm »
Quote from: TonupGael;60687
I practice my faith because I can relate to it. When I say relate to it, I mean I can fit with it because it was apart of my people's culture. I don't think I could believe in another religion outside my culture because it just doesn’t feel right to me. My religion feels right and its very special to me; makes me even more proud to be what and who I am culturally.

Its interesting how you say the Norse had no concept of a soul. In some Scottish folk tales, your soul lives in something else (living or non living) and if that something is destroyed, it kills you too though this depends. The concept of a spirit departing from the body into a next life is never explained properly or is varied in Scottish myth. Some examples include being “taken” by the Faeries, opening a west window and allowing the soul to depart, the Goddess Brìghde guides you there..ect..there is no true way of what happens to ones soul after death in Scotland.

I suppose it depends on you as an individual and what you believe.

 
I do believe our soul goes somewhere else after we die and we get to be with our ancestors. The cultural part you mentioned is important to me and one of the problems I have. I am of mostly Irish, British and Germanic descent and I feel a really big pull towards those cultures. Especially to the Irish culture.

hlewagastir

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 06:09:31 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;60673
Some of the issues I have with Heathenry: No information from the actual practitioners of the faith, the concept of the soul not being able to leave the body (how do you go to an afterlife then?), the belief the Gods are somewhat distant, I am not sure lets say you are having trouble conceiving a child could you ask Frigg or Freyja for help or would it be more appropriate to ask the disir?

These are some of the "problems" I have run into, I know the fact that there is nothing from the actual practitioners can't be fixed lol but I guess its hard figuring out what was a actual heathen concept and what was christian influence. For instance I have seen differing opinions on the Baldur myth.

Actual practitioners of the religion(!)? Do you mean historic or modern practitioners (we have good information on both)?

Your afterlife do not need to be far away from where you lived/died... Thorstein Codbiter and his men where able to travel from where they drowned to Helga Feld in Eyrbyggja saga.

Depends. You could ask all of them. The important part is the sacrifice (and the gods are not distant in historical heathenry, they where in the local temple, holy lake or another relatively close place).

The Balder myth is a hard nut to crack. On the one hand Snorri and the medieval writers of his tradition have fitted the Death of Balder into the chain of events leading up to Ragnarok (which is most definitely, heavily Christianized).
On the other hand it is perfectly plausible that a pre Christian myth, of a god killed by a twig and residing in the underworld, exists.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 06:10:39 pm by hlewagastir »

Holdasown

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 10:50:38 am »
Quote from: Meritmut;60673
Some of the issues I have with Heathenry: No information from the actual practitioners of the faith


There is enough out there to form a reasonable opinion and many of today's practitioners who have rites and concepts that are working well enough for them they feel they work.

Quote from: Meritmut;60673
the concept of the soul not being able to leave the body (how do you go to an afterlife then?)


I don't recall every reading this. There is a lot of information on the soul and afterlife out there. It is my understanding that the burning of the body relates to that.

Quote from: Meritmut;60673
the belief the Gods are somewhat distant, I am not sure lets say you are having trouble conceiving a child could you ask Frigg or Freyja for help or would it be more appropriate to ask the disir?


While I don't think they are constantly meddling in our lives we can ask the gods for guidance and help. In fact they are often asked to join ceremonial feasts and rites.

Quote from: Meritmut;60673
These are some of the "problems" I have run into, I know the fact that there is nothing from the actual practitioners can't be fixed lol but I guess its hard figuring out what was a actual heathen concept and what was Christian influence. For instance I have seen differing opinions on the Baldur myth.


You will have to decide what you think is too Christian and what isn't. You wouldn't be the only one to call Baldur too Christlike or that Ragnarök is not Heathen at all.

If you don't feel drawn to these particular gods no one can talk you into it. I hope you find a comfort zone.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 10:51:23 am by Holdasown »

Meritmut

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 12:27:40 pm »
Quote from: hlewagastir;61027
Actual practitioners of the religion(!)? Do you mean historic or modern practitioners (we have good information on both)?

Your afterlife do not need to be far away from where you lived/died... Thorstein Codbiter and his men where able to travel from where they drowned to Helga Feld in Eyrbyggja saga.

Depends. You could ask all of them. The important part is the sacrifice (and the gods are not distant in historical heathenry, they where in the local temple, holy lake or another relatively close place).

The Balder myth is a hard nut to crack. On the one hand Snorri and the medieval writers of his tradition have fitted the Death of Balder into the chain of events leading up to Ragnarok (which is most definitely, heavily Christianized).
On the other hand it is perfectly plausible that a pre Christian myth, of a god killed by a twig and residing in the underworld, exists.

 

Thank you all for your help. One of the points that was made was if I didn't feel connected to the Gods. That got me thinking so last night during a thunderstorm I simply prayed. I feel that I connect with the Gods in the Heathen religion and wasn't having that feeling with kemeticism. So I am going to stick with Heathenry.

Any good sites you guys can point me toward?

SatAset

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 11:18:01 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;61093
That got me thinking so last night during a thunderstorm I simply prayed. I feel that I connect with the Gods in the Heathen religion and wasn't having that feeling with kemeticism. So I am going to stick with Heathenry.

Any good sites you guys can point me toward?


Why do you feel you have to choose between them?   Your first post makes me think that you feel that you must choose between them despite being drawn to both.   Do you no longer feel a connection to either the Kemetic or Heathen deities?  

I follow more than one pantheon.  I have times during the year where I feel more connected to the Heathen gods (Midsummer, Yule) than I do with the Kemetic ones (New Years, Aset festivals etc).  Maybe that is what is happening here?
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Meritmut

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2012, 11:49:42 pm »
Quote from: SatAset;61157
Why do you feel you have to choose between them?   Your first post makes me think that you feel that you must choose between them despite being drawn to both.   Do you no longer feel a connection to either the Kemetic or Heathen deities?  

I follow more than one pantheon.  I have times during the year where I feel more connected to the Heathen gods (Midsummer, Yule) than I do with the Kemetic ones (New Years, Aset festivals etc).  Maybe that is what is happening here?

 
I have tried following two pantheons, and I believe all Gods exist but I find I end up feeling chaotic, and overwhelmed when I do that. In the end I feel like I haven't made any progress in either and actually a step backwards in some ways.

Lokabrenna

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 12:51:59 am »
Quote from: Meritmut;61162
I have tried following two pantheons, and I believe all Gods exist but I find I end up feeling chaotic, and overwhelmed when I do that. In the end I feel like I haven't made any progress in either and actually a step backwards in some ways.


It sounds to me that you might want to step back if you feel like you're actually going backwards. You don't need to necessarily embrace the entire pantheon right away, that would be overwhelming for most of us, and not every deity is going to like or be interested in you. I guess I don't really see the point of making twelve offerings if only two are really going to have an effect, you know?

Meritmut

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 05:21:54 pm »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;61170
It sounds to me that you might want to step back if you feel like you're actually going backwards. You don't need to necessarily embrace the entire pantheon right away, that would be overwhelming for most of us, and not every deity is going to like or be interested in you. I guess I don't really see the point of making twelve offerings if only two are really going to have an effect, you know?

 
I settled on a Heathen path. I haven't rushed head long into the entire path, I am focusing my worship on Thor, Frigg and Odin as of now. I just have never been able to focus on two paths which is why I wanted to decide. :)

Shine

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2012, 08:07:35 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;61448
I settled on a Heathen path. I haven't rushed head long into the entire path, I am focusing my worship on Thor, Frigg and Odin as of now. I just have never been able to focus on two paths which is why I wanted to decide. :)

 
I'm having a situation similar to you, except with Kemetic and Hellenic paths. I'm glad to hear you've found a situation that works for you.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Meritmut

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2012, 11:54:31 pm »
Quote from: Shine;61458
I'm having a situation similar to you, except with Kemetic and Hellenic paths. I'm glad to hear you've found a situation that works for you.

 
I hope you find yours as well. :) I use to practice Hellenism I just could never get past the myths and the portrayal of the Gods.

Shine

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2012, 09:32:30 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;61478
I hope you find yours as well. :) I use to practice Hellenism I just could never get past the myths and the portrayal of the Gods.

 
Thanks. After coming from Kemeticism, Hellenism is a big shock to the system.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Meritmut

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2012, 05:04:25 pm »
Quote from: Shine;61553
Thanks. After coming from Kemeticism, Hellenism is a big shock to the system.

 
Yeah I went from Hellenism to Kemeticism and that was a major change. They are really different in so many ways.

Shine

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Re: Why do you practice your faith?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 07:44:48 pm »
Quote from: Meritmut;61951
Yeah I went from Hellenism to Kemeticism and that was a major change. They are really different in so many ways.

 
The Theoi in general strike me as much sterner and, in some ways, more demanding than many of the Netjeru. Fffff, it makes me nervous because I screw up a lot. XD I like your new icon, btw.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

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