Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Gathering the Folk - One's own place

Blessings of the Holy Ones to you,

Building community is one of the important tasks that we have as adherants to the beliefs, ethics, morals and worldview stemming from Northern European Folkways.

I am not expert in this.

After many years as a Heathen, I am in a Kindred because two friends found me of worth and asked me to join with them. My own efforts over the years have fallen short.

I shall, however, offer some observations from my own experiences, which may help others avoid some pitfalls.

I'm not going into community building, but into building one's self first.

The first topic of concern, and the most important I think is: Be sure of yourself. As the old advice states: "Know thyself."

Ask of yourself, and think very hard on, these questions:

Why am I Heathen?
Who am I as a heathen?
What do I owe to myself and others as a heathen?
When did I start believing, thinking and living as a heathen?
Where is my place in heathenry?
How can I do the right things to help others in heathenry?

Write yourself an essay based on these questions. No one else need ever see your words, but it is important to define yourself.

Secondly: Evaluate your personality.

Look at how people react to you.
Listen to your own words as you speak with other folks.
Pay attention to your feelings as you react to the world around you.
Pay heed to your own thoughts.
Consciously latch onto your own reasons for acting and appearing as you do.

Thirdly: Turn your sight onto the world around you.

Where are you most comfortable?
What sort of folks/personalities appeal to you most strongly?
How is your life shaped by your surroundings and by others?

For many years I was on "cruise control."

I rarely looked at myself, and it was most usually just a surface scan.

Some things have happened over the course of the past couple of years, which have lent themselves to further introspection. It is definitely a skill, which takes a lot of practice to get good at it.

I'm not quite where I want to be just yet, but I'm getting there.

And part of the process is:

Number Four: Admit that you do need other folks.

Allow yourself to have Friends, rather than friendly acquaintences.
Repair broken links with Kin and Kith, if such is possible.
Move on, if such is not possible.

And finally, Number Five (a point I've made before): "would have," "could have," and "should have" are the three worst phrases in the English language for tripping yourself up.

Look to That Which May Become in your life.
Speak and act to influence this in a way that is Right, for yourself, for family, for friends and for community.
Then Good will follow.

Live; well and deliberately - Pip

"Living a Heathen life need not be hardfought at all. Hallow the Holy Æsir and Vanir, the Disir and other Wealful Wights. Hallow your Kin, Kith, Friends and Forebears. Give heed to the Lore, and to your own thoughts. Do That Which is Right for Clan and Garth; with Wisdom, Openhandedness, Steadfastness of Heart and Trustworthiness in Word and Deed. Hold Goodness, Troth and Frith as worthy goals. Read, Write, Love, Laugh, Hate, Cry, Cook, Build, Sit quietly with children, watch the birds fly by... Be the best of that for which you are able as a Man. Remember that everything you do adds Layers in the Well of Wyrd, for Good or Ill." - Pipsbók


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