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Author Topic: I have a few questions...  (Read 1284 times)

SkepticReader

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I have a few questions...
« on: June 06, 2014, 10:06:02 pm »
So, I'm a writer and I have a character that is a Norse pagan raised in a Lutheran household.  Being an ex-Christian myself, I know a fair deal about Christianity.  However, I have not been able to find much in-depth reading on modern paganism on the internet.  I'd like to invest in books in the future, but I'm a broke college student right now and will have to settle for the internet for now.  So, as the title suggests, I have a few questions...

1. How does one know what deities call to them?
2. Do moralistic values and standards vary depending on what deities call to you?
3. What are the most common rituals performed, and how regularly are they performed?
4. Does the ways in which one celebrates certain holidays vary depending on what deities call to them?
5. How much do the deities you identify with affect your action in the religion?

Also, if there are any pages someone can link me to that can give me information like this, can you please link it?  Thank you very much!

Jack

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Re: I have a few questions...
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 10:43:19 pm »
Quote from: SkepticReader;149540
So, I'm a writer and I have a character that is a Norse pagan raised in a Lutheran household.  Being an ex-Christian myself, I know a fair deal about Christianity.  However, I have not been able to find much in-depth reading on modern paganism on the internet.


Out of curiosity, what kind of search terms are you using? "Norse pagan" can actually be a pretty broad description. Do you have a specific kind of Norse paganism in mind? The Asatru and Heathenry SIG is currently rounding up links so you may find resources of use to you there. Knowing what kind of Norse religion your character is doing will probably also give you better search results.

Anyway, on to your questions...

1. It varies
2. Yes
3. It varies
4. Yes
5. It varies

I'm only being a little facetious.

Quote
1. How does one know what deities call to them?


It varies. Sometimes the deities make it pretty clear (say, a dream where a guy with a floppy hat and an eye patch and two ravens tells you he's Odin), sometimes you get hints (a guy with a floppy hat and an eye patch and two ravens doesn't tell you who he is) and sometimes you're kind of left to do the best you can with instinct, divination and waiting it out.

If you want to see if any deities are calling, I'd suggest browsing/reading mythology and seeing who, if anyone, jumps out at you. But for fictional purposes, I'm guessing you want the former?

Quote
2. Do moralistic values and standards vary depending on what deities call to you?


Yes. Some values and standards do stand across an entire pantheon - hospitality is a big one for the Norse, for example - but many others are deity specific. Tyr's going to have different feelings about how honorable and just you should behave than Loki is.

Quote
3. What are the most common rituals performed, and how regularly are they performed?


It varies. If your Norse pagan primarily socializes with an interfaith pagan group (ie. not all Norse pagans), odds are good that they celebrate some variation of the wheel of the year. If your Norse pagan primarily socializes with other Norse pagans, he or she might celebrate a variety of holidays - some celebrating well-known Norse pagans from the conversion era, some 'blot' and 'sumbel's, which are include community celebrations of seasonal changes.

Quote
4. Does the ways in which one celebrates certain holidays vary depending on what deities call to them?


Yes, in that you are likely to take into account your own deities' relationships to any deities associated with the holiday when celebrating it. However, it's more likely you'll take into account what the community as a whole is doing for the holiday, if anything. If you're celebrating with a group, generally there will be group rituals and standard ways of honoring the holidays, while if you practice as a solitary pagan, you're more likely to celebrate the holiday as it relates to you personally.

Quote
5. How much do the deities you identify with affect your action in the religion?


It varies, both from deity to deity, from person to person, and from community to community. My action as a Lokean in the heathen religion tends to be very different than it would be if I wasn't Lokean, for example, because of the way Loki is perceived. The difference between the actions of a Thorsman and a Freyrsman may not be all that different, however.

If you wanted to share specifics about your character, we might be able to give more specific feedback.
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SkepticReader

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Re: I have a few questions...
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 11:05:27 pm »
Quote from: Jack;149543
Out of curiosity, what kind of search terms are you using? "Norse pagan" can actually be a pretty broad description. Do you have a specific kind of Norse paganism in mind? The Asatru and Heathenry SIG is currently rounding up links so you may find resources of use to you there. Knowing what kind of Norse religion your character is doing will probably also give you better search results.

Anyway, on to your questions...

1. It varies
2. Yes
3. It varies
4. Yes
5. It varies

I'm only being a little facetious.



It varies. Sometimes the deities make it pretty clear (say, a dream where a guy with a floppy hat and an eye patch and two ravens tells you he's Odin), sometimes you get hints (a guy with a floppy hat and an eye patch and two ravens doesn't tell you who he is) and sometimes you're kind of left to do the best you can with instinct, divination and waiting it out.

If you want to see if any deities are calling, I'd suggest browsing/reading mythology and seeing who, if anyone, jumps out at you. But for fictional purposes, I'm guessing you want the former?



Yes. Some values and standards do stand across an entire pantheon - hospitality is a big one for the Norse, for example - but many others are deity specific. Tyr's going to have different feelings about how honorable and just you should behave than Loki is.



It varies. If your Norse pagan primarily socializes with an interfaith pagan group (ie. not all Norse pagans), odds are good that they celebrate some variation of the wheel of the year. If your Norse pagan primarily socializes with other Norse pagans, he or she might celebrate a variety of holidays - some celebrating well-known Norse pagans from the conversion era, some 'blot' and 'sumbel's, which are include community celebrations of seasonal changes.



Yes, in that you are likely to take into account your own deities' relationships to any deities associated with the holiday when celebrating it. However, it's more likely you'll take into account what the community as a whole is doing for the holiday, if anything. If you're celebrating with a group, generally there will be group rituals and standard ways of honoring the holidays, while if you practice as a solitary pagan, you're more likely to celebrate the holiday as it relates to you personally.



It varies, both from deity to deity, from person to person, and from community to community. My action as a Lokean in the heathen religion tends to be very different than it would be if I wasn't Lokean, for example, because of the way Loki is perceived. The difference between the actions of a Thorsman and a Freyrsman may not be all that different, however.

If you wanted to share specifics about your character, we might be able to give more specific feedback.

 
So, I did a little bit more googling to try and narrow down exactly what religion he adheres to, and Vanatru seems to be what I'm looking for.  He lives in a primarily Lutheran, and is subsequently alone in his practices and beliefs.  However, his parents were rather accepting of him growing up and allowed him the religious freedom to do what he pleased, so he wasn't really given a hard time about it growing up.  His parents thought it a little odd, but his brother (who is roughly ten years older than him and an atheist) encouraged his exploration.  I have it planned out that he was exploring spiritually from a very young age, going through several temporary phases before feeling a calling at around age fifteen.  Having read around about several different branches of paganism and non-Abrahamic religion in general, he vaguely recognizes this calling and that sets his spiritual path in motion.  It's kind of background, but I want to be thorough and seize this opportunity to learn.  Thank you for answering the questions I posted!

catloverkid

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Re: I have a few questions...
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 01:47:39 am »
Quote from: SkepticReader;149540
So, I'm a writer and I have a character that is a Norse pagan raised in a Lutheran household.  Being an ex-Christian myself, I know a fair deal about Christianity.  However, I have not been able to find much in-depth reading on modern paganism on the internet.  I'd like to invest in books in the future, but I'm a broke college student right now and will have to settle for the internet for now.  So, as the title suggests, I have a few questions...

1. How does one know what deities call to them?
2. Do moralistic values and standards vary depending on what deities call to you?
3. What are the most common rituals performed, and how regularly are they performed?
4. Does the ways in which one celebrates certain holidays vary depending on what deities call to them?
5. How much do the deities you identify with affect your action in the religion?

Also, if there are any pages someone can link me to that can give me information like this, can you please link it?  Thank you very much!

 
I wasn't raised Lutheran, but I was raised Christian, and I'm now a Norse pagan, so-

I'll answer your questions based on my own experiences, given that I've little contact with an outside community apart from online.

Quote

1. How does one know what deities call to them?


Le Internet, for me. I kept getting drawn back to Sigyn in my research, and that was how I came to her, and from there I did more research, honoured Vali and Narvi, and Loki poked his nose in to see what was going on.

How did I know it was him? I can't say for sure- I extrapolated based on who I was already honouring, but he felt... trickstery. So it was an educated guess.

Quote

2. Do moralistic values and standards vary depending on what deities call to you?


I guess, I haven't worked with any of the Aesir so I can't say if it's different, all the gods I've worked with are connected to Loki in some way.

But the core values of honour are something that mean a lot to me, and would if I was working with Thor instead of Loki, they really resonated with me, so I suppose it's the core morality that called to me rather than Sigyn or Loki per say giving them to me.

Quote

3. What are the most common rituals performed, and how regularly are they performed?


I really can't help here; the most I've done in way of 'ritual' is write Loki's name in sparklers and sit outside and talk to the sky and talk to the candles on my shrine. There is a SIG for Asatru/Heathenry, which would probably have more info on traditional rituals, though.

Quote

4. Does the ways in which one celebrates certain holidays vary depending on what deities call to them?


Personally, I don't celebrate any Norse holidays, as a) I don't know what they are and b) my whole family is Christian. But, I'll probably try to celebrate Yule instead of Christmas this year.

Quote

5. How much do the deities you identify with affect your action in the religion?


I guess in every religion the deity/s you identify with affect what you do, yeah? You want to please them, so it's no different as a Norse pagan.

One thing I will say, as a Lokean, is I've tried to read more Asatru-friendly spaces and forums to get more information and have felt a bit spurned, even though I haven't participated. I feel like I'd be unwelcome as a Lokean. This isn't a judgment on Asatru, we all have the right to worship how we see fit and to acknowledge/see different beings as gods or not gods, and I would never try to tell those spaces they're wrong, because it's not my space.

But, it does affect how I see community in religion. I'd be cautious about attending an Asatru gathering, and much rather go to an interfaith gathering where we're more bound by being not Christian, than be a neo-Pagan Lokean in a Heathen space.

Given that your character is living in Christian home, gatherings probably aren't in the cards anyway, but if they are, or it comes up, that's just my two cents on the matter.

Long post, oops.

-Cat
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"Do they ever stop?"

Kyndyl

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Re: I have a few questions...
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 10:44:21 am »
Quote from: SkepticReader;149540
So, I'm a writer and I have a character that is a Norse pagan raised in a Lutheran household.  Being an ex-Christian myself, I know a fair deal about Christianity.  However, I have not been able to find much in-depth reading on modern paganism on the internet.  I'd like to invest in books in the future, but I'm a broke college student right now and will have to settle for the internet for now.  So, as the title suggests, I have a few questions...

1. How does one know what deities call to them?
2. Do moralistic values and standards vary depending on what deities call to you?
3. What are the most common rituals performed, and how regularly are they performed?
4. Does the ways in which one celebrates certain holidays vary depending on what deities call to them?
5. How much do the deities you identify with affect your action in the religion?

Also, if there are any pages someone can link me to that can give me information like this, can you please link it?  Thank you very much!

 

Interesting idea for a story. I would be interested to read it as it develops. I was raised lutheran (though a pretty messed up version of it) and now follow a Norse Pagan path. Since you say your character's path is most closely associated with Vanatru.. there is a list of vanic virtues floating around the internet. here's a site that lists both the Asatru virtues and the Vanic vitues: http://rheinwood.weebly.com/the-nnvs--the-vanic-virtues.html

now to your questions:

1.Time, meditation, and work is the short answer.
2. they can vary There are virtues to be found for each grouping of Norse Gods.
3. if you're looking for Asatru/heathen rituals.. *points to the SIG* if you're asking for Norse Pagan- that varies a great deal depending on the person .. the Gods and practices they are called to. at least in my experience. The local group's leadership follows a  Norse Pagan path and the group celebrates the wheel of the year, sometimes working with other Deities. Like for Imbolc this year we had a ritual honoring Frigga's handmaidens. Each had a part of the large shrine, and we gathered offerings for them, prayers, and then any non-perishables were sent to the permanent shrine a friend has for Them.
4. It can.. it doesn't necessarily have to. Some may follow cycles of the earth or a certain deity's mythological cycle- either based in lore or UPG(unverified personal gnosis) or some combination of the two.
5.It can affect a lot more than your actions. The deities you work with can affect your outlook, but they can also affect a lot of how people react to you, especially in Asatru/Heathenry. I don't work with Loki much, but I've seen the reaction/ways people I know have been treated because they work with Loki. or any one who works with the Rokkr(one term for the gods of the Jotun-giants in Norse Myth).

as others have said a great deal depends on what the people are able to do/access/choose. If they're living at home with parents that while supportive, may not understand. The ritual may just be sitting in meditation and honoring their Deities with a small shrine. If they have access to a local group that doesn't share their path entirely, that opens up more options. and if they're living at home and their parents are supportive and willing to be educated/ask questions then they may have the opportunity to celebrate more openly on a daily basis.

I know people who work with Odin, who celebrate his different aspects, and have special rituals/ritual times for the Wild Hunt. Others have to be a bit more closeted about their faith, but still have altars/shrines and celebrate in their own ways whether it is visiting a park/natural place and spending time among the Elements.. or volunteering at a charity that is connected to their deity

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Re: I have a few questions...
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 01:11:01 am »
Quote from: catloverkid;149554
There is a SIG for Asatru/Heathenry, which would probably have more info on traditional rituals, though.

 
Quote from: Kyndyl;149568
3. if you're looking for Asatru/heathen rituals.. *points to the SIG*

 
The Asatru & Heathenry SIG can be found here.

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