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Author Topic: Non-Recon Heathenry  (Read 15584 times)
Aeto
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« Topic Start: June 10, 2011, 07:40:28 am »

I understand what I am about to ask probably is not going to be very popular among alot of Heathens and Asatru but I'll ask anyway. Is it possible to be a Heathen/Germanic Pagan without being a Reconstructionist? I consider myself to be more of the eclectic variety, I've never been one for reconstructionism or traditionalism. Is anybody here a non-recon Heathen or an eclectic Norse/Germanic pagan and could help me out? 
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« Reply #1: June 10, 2011, 07:42:42 am »

I understand what I am about to ask probably is not going to be very popular among alot of Heathens and Asatru but I'll ask anyway. Is it possible to be a Heathen/Germanic Pagan without being a Reconstructionist?

There's Norse Wicca, so it is definitely possible.
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« Reply #2: June 10, 2011, 07:00:53 pm »

There's Norse Wicca, so it is definitely possible.

There is, but it isn't really accepted as a part of the wider Heathen community.

There was a recent topic on this, but I think non-recons in other predominantly recon traditions tend to refer to themselves as a "____ Pagan" (Norse Pagan, Hellenic Pagan, Kemetic Pagan, etc). I've recently adopted the term "Vanic Pagan" to refer to myself because, while I honour the gods of the North, I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm too eclectic to refer to myself as Heathen.
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Aeto
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« Reply #3: June 10, 2011, 07:52:42 pm »

There is, but it isn't really accepted as a part of the wider Heathen community.

There was a recent topic on this, but I think non-recons in other predominantly recon traditions tend to refer to themselves as a "____ Pagan" (Norse Pagan, Hellenic Pagan, Kemetic Pagan, etc). I've recently adopted the term "Vanic Pagan" to refer to myself because, while I honour the gods of the North, I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm too eclectic to refer to myself as Heathen.

I've heard a lot recently about Vanic Paganism, it sounds very interesting. How would you say that you worship the Vanir gods and goddesses? Would you say that you worship them in a more Heathen way or based on other traditions?
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« Reply #4: June 10, 2011, 09:30:02 pm »

I understand what I am about to ask probably is not going to be very popular among alot of Heathens and Asatru but I'll ask anyway. Is it possible to be a Heathen/Germanic Pagan without being a Reconstructionist? I consider myself to be more of the eclectic variety, I've never been one for reconstructionism or traditionalism. Is anybody here a non-recon Heathen or an eclectic Norse/Germanic pagan and could help me out? 
To me, "Heathen" implies some sort of reconstruction. Heathen implies a cultural / historic world view that incorporates religion. Do you just want to worship exclusively Norse gods? No problem, and you're definitely welcome on this SIG. But I might hesitate to call yourself simply "Heathen" at that point. I prefer the term heathen and I'm not a serious serious recon, but there is definitely that slant to it and I wouldn't really call myself eclectic either.

Just my two cents.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #5: June 11, 2011, 12:14:21 am »

To me, "Heathen" implies some sort of reconstruction. Heathen implies a cultural / historic world view that incorporates religion. Do you just want to worship exclusively Norse gods? No problem, and you're definitely welcome on this SIG. But I might hesitate to call yourself simply "Heathen" at that point. I prefer the term heathen and I'm not a serious serious recon, but there is definitely that slant to it and I wouldn't really call myself eclectic either.

Just my two cents.

I dont think I would call myself Heathen either to be honest, I dont subscribe to any Asatru, Odinist or Theodist thought, or Wiccan for that matter. I just wish to worship the Norse gods. But not sure on how to do it.
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« Reply #6: June 11, 2011, 07:57:37 am »

There is, but it isn't really accepted as a part of the wider Heathen community.

No, it isn't, but that doesn't really show anything about what the Gods involved think of it -- just what their human followers think. Smiley
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Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #7: June 11, 2011, 01:19:20 pm »

I just wish to worship the Norse gods. But not sure on how to do it.
If you want to be traditional / reconstructionist about it, I would look into the blot ritual as a starting point. Sumble is the other main Asatru / Heathen ritual, but it requires more than one person.
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #8: June 11, 2011, 02:34:27 pm »

I understand what I am about to ask probably is not going to be very popular among alot of Heathens and Asatru but I'll ask anyway. Is it possible to be a Heathen/Germanic Pagan without being a Reconstructionist? I consider myself to be more of the eclectic variety, I've never been one for reconstructionism or traditionalism. Is anybody here a non-recon Heathen or an eclectic Norse/Germanic pagan and could help me out? 

I would note - while I'm not a heathen - that all of the reconstructions have fringes.  Not talking about "Norse Wicca" here, either, but people who think that the ancients had sound ideas about how to interact with, honor, and worship the gods but who do not pursue the level of historical concordance that reconstructionists do.  What level of acceptance these people find within the associated recon community or the broader, more eclectic community, varies wildly.
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« Reply #9: June 11, 2011, 03:46:01 pm »

No, it isn't, but that doesn't really show anything about what the Gods involved think of it -- just what their human followers think. Smiley


I've heard that, in most ways, worship is a contract between god and man. The man offers and the god either rejects or accepts- acceptance of course meaning that the god is entering into a contract with man.

Jotuns Bane Kindred is a group that I don't necessarily agree with 100% (they aren't a recon group, per se, but they definitly focus on making history modern. From what I get, anyway). Yet this group is huge, has a lot of influence, and is pretty well appreciated by the larger community even if there are some disagreements with them occassionally. They've worked towards building their luck and reputation and community-standing succesfully, so I would feel somewhat comfortable saying that whatever contract or offers they've made with the gods appears to be working. Conversely, there are other groups that are just completely disregarded and that have little luck and influence.  It does seem possible to observe what the gods involved think of their followers in some instances, rather than just solely the human audience*.

Back to the OP: keeping in mind this contract between man and god it would seem that having a bit of history as to what's acceptable to the gods would be helpful to you, but you can always explore and develop your own contract with the gods on a trial and error basis.


*Not being argumentative, just exploring the concepts of what's observable.
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bobthesane
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« Reply #10: June 11, 2011, 05:55:56 pm »

I understand what I am about to ask probably is not going to be very popular among alot of Heathens and Asatru but I'll ask anyway. Is it possible to be a Heathen/Germanic Pagan without being a Reconstructionist? I consider myself to be more of the eclectic variety, I've never been one for reconstructionism or traditionalism. Is anybody here a non-recon Heathen or an eclectic Norse/Germanic pagan and could help me out? 

I think at this point (and I see further in the thread that you seem to have reached the same conclusion) that the word 'heathen' definitely at least strongly implies certain qualities when used in the context of northern European/Germanic spiritualism, and very prominent among those qualities is at least a some effort at reconstructionism. As others have stated, there are of course the northern 'flavored' pagans like the self-titled Norse Wiccans, just as an example. Pagan and Heathen, as descriptors in conversation, convey different thought symbols, if you take my meaning, and the word 'heathen' is now fairly well established (at least among the various pagan religions) as meaning some brand of recon, likely Germanic but fairly certain to be northern European (I know Celtic recons who also identify as heathen).

Having said all that, there is not one thing wrong with being a northern pagan, Norse Wiccan, or anything else. If you are leaning more towards the eclectic and modern but wish to incorporate honor to the Regin of the north, by all means do so! You will find a wealth of resources online (some of course better than others Smiley ).
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Lokabrenna
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« Reply #11: June 11, 2011, 09:07:28 pm »

I've heard a lot recently about Vanic Paganism, it sounds very interesting. How would you say that you worship the Vanir gods and goddesses? Would you say that you worship them in a more Heathen way or based on other traditions?

I would say I fall more on the modernist end of the spectrum. I was heavily into Goddess spirituality (in a more general sense as well as specific traditions like Dianic Wicca/Witchcraft) in university, and much of the ritual work in that tradition is very experimental and "do what feels right" (IMHO). I sort of became sick of all the bad scholarship that I saw coming out of these groups. They know how to tell a good story, I'll give them that, but the quality of the research was just...just...I'm going to stop right there.

Now, having said that, I do find the more traditional Heathen rituals to be valuable, but (and I'm sure many Heathens will agree) sometimes one simply doesn't have time for a blot with all the bells and whistles, and since I don't have a community to practice with, I can't hold a sumbel. Lately I've been interested in seidr, but that too would be difficult to practice by oneself (although Katie Gerrard's book "Seidr: The Gate is Open has suggestions for incorporating seidr into solitary practice).

As I said, I don't like to limit myself to the traditional forms. I'm also interested in traditional "folk magic" as well as Wiccanesque spellwork, and magical systems that are sex and fertility-based. I try to live a "green" lifestyle, which is definitely not something that's found in Heathenry. I just figure that if I choose to worship deities that primarily (though not exclusively) associated with nature, I should try to do my part to clean up the planet, but others might not see an association between their religion and their lifestyle.

Again, your mileage may vary. Some choose to worship the Vanir in a more traditional manner, others do not.
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« Reply #12: June 11, 2011, 10:12:51 pm »


Now, having said that, I do find the more traditional Heathen rituals to be valuable, but (and I'm sure many Heathens will agree) sometimes one simply doesn't have time for a blot with all the bells and whistles, and since I don't have a community to practice with, I can't hold a sumbel.

One thing I appreciate about heathenry is its worldview and how that (to me) seems more important than the religious aspects. For instance, if I'm not around heathens but around my family at a gathering I still find I'm being heathen if I toast to my late grandmother amongst my family. And this is sort of more appropriate and spiritual for me because of the fact that I am around my loved ones, my kin and remembering our line. I may not suggest to them that we pass a horn around but I don't think it's the objects and the details of those rituals that make them important. Yes, community is important to a heathen, but I think nourishing and respecting the actual LIVING community (neighbors, friends, school, work, etc) is more vital than the gathering of like-minded heathens. And there are ways to practice heathen ritual in this context without the traditional details.  ....Oh yeah, IMO. (I'm learning to say that- yay, me! Cheesy)

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Lately I've been interested in seidr, but that too would be difficult to practice by oneself (although Katie Gerrard's book "Seidr: The Gate is Open has suggestions for incorporating seidr into solitary practice).

Interesting. I was always under the impression that seidhr or spae was an individual thing. (Priests going beneath the cloak, men laying down and spirit traveling, that sort of thing). Though spakonas or volvas would often share their talents with a community I always assumed it was more about one's talent than a community or coven-esque practice. I haven't looked into much, does Gerrard explain this community basis in her book?

Quote
As I said, I don't like to limit myself to the traditional forms. I'm also interested in traditional "folk magic" as well as Wiccanesque spellwork, and magical systems that are sex and fertility-based. I try to live a "green" lifestyle, which is definitely not something that's found in Heathenry. I just figure that if I choose to worship deities that primarily (though not exclusively) associated with nature, I should try to do my part to clean up the planet, but others might not see an association between their religion and their lifestyle.

I'm actually a bit surprised by this but maybe I'm misconstruing what you mean by 'green'. Most heathens I know are really into sustainable living, gardening, being self-sufficient, composting...you get the drift.

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« Reply #13: June 11, 2011, 10:34:25 pm »

I try to live a "green" lifestyle, which is definitely not something that's found in Heathenry. I just figure that if I choose to worship deities that primarily (though not exclusively) associated with nature, I should try to do my part to clean up the planet, but others might not see an association between their religion and their lifestyle.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa, back that bus up there. Why would you possibly think we don't live a 'green' lifestyle or that it is not found there? You will find a HUGE number of people in the modern heathen community who are extremely interested in things like going 'off grid', modern homesteading, sustainable farming, land conservation, etc. There are entire forums and newsgroups dedicated to heathen homesteading.
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« Reply #14: June 11, 2011, 10:46:56 pm »

the self-titled Norse Wiccans,

tangent -

'Self-titled' seems somewhat pejorative to me and it made me wonder - who titled the rest of the heathen groups?  Would most heathens even accept titles applied by someone other than themselves?  Is there a central body responsible for titling heathen groups and do they dislike the Norse Wiccans to the extent that they were obliged to title themselves?

/tangent


Absent (very tired and on painkillers so might not be making a lot of sense)
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