Saturday, July 23, 2005

Approaching the Holy Ones


On a few of the lists to which I subscribe, the topic of words and actions in  Approaching the Holy Ones has arisen.  Here's one of the replies I wrote in answer on one of the lists, which is populated by many folks not of the tribe to which I believe I belong...

This will be one of my usual non-scholarly views.

I'll go over my background a bit.

I am neither a recreationist, nor a reconstructionist; I am Asatrú.  I use this word in the sense that I am in Troth to the Holy Powers as known by my Northern Forebears.

I read the Lore, think on it, learn what I can and live my life as best I can within a Northern Worldview and Lifeway.

In 1975 I made a conscious decision to leave the innangard of Roman Catholic Christianity, with no thought of entering any other Christian Garth.

My time "in the woods," during this period led me into and out of many garths of thought and belief.  I learned many ways of approaching the Holy, many ways of knowing the Holy, many ways of being...

Nothing in these garths sang true in my heart.  But they helped me mightily in an important area; I unlearned thinking as a "son of Mother Church.

"In 1989, during the High Summer, I first got a glimpse of Uller and the Yewdales during a sweat lodge ceremony.  Not knowing what I saw and goaded to effort thereby; I read whatever I could find about early European history and folklore.  Later that year, in Early Winter, I believe Uller welcomed me by offering me the Oathring.

I found some indications that others believed, as I did, in 1991.

I made first contact with others who believed, as I did, in 1993.

I was alone in my devotions for several years.  This is the base of what I do when Offering Worship to the Holy Powers.

Most of my dealings since 1993 have been with folk who bow before no one, neither Gods nor Men.  This has shaped much of what I do when Offering Worship.

I have, though, been a traveler, guesting with those of tribes not my own.  What I do has been changed by what I have learned from them.

I am especially fond of what I have learned from Théodism about the use of poetry and song in Offering Worship.

We are, by virtue of being human, tribal animals by nature.

Different tribes will have different folkways.  This is a given.

The differing tribes of our Beloved Forebears had different ways of approaching the Holy Ones.

Unfortunately, we have little (relatively) documentation of these differences, or even the samenesses.

Different tribes have, I think, different ideas about what is and is not dignified in approaching the Holy.  Different ideas abound about what is correct in the Approach.

I will stand, sit (always in a chair or on a stool, never on the ground) or go down on one knee as I believe, and feel, honors the moment within the Offering.

There are times in Giving Worship that the moment is just too weighty to stand, so I kneel.

There are times in Giving Worship that the moment is so powerful, I can do nothing but stand there.

There are times in Giving Worship that the moment is so meaningful, I can do nothing but stand there and bow my head.

There are times in Giving Worship that the thoughts flying back and forth are so much like a good conversation that sitting at board with the Holy seems so right.

I have never, though, felt or believed that the Holy wants me in kowtow or to bow AND scrape, within the tribal view I have grow in as a Heathen.

Other tribes have other ways, which is good.

In closing, I'll just offer the old adage:  it takes stones of many different shapes and  sizes to build a strong, lasting wall.

May the Holy Æsir and Vanir smile on our efforts.
May the Holy Forebears of our Kinlines nod in approval.
May we be of Worth to our fellow Heathens.    


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