Saturday, January 26, 2008

A reply to a nonHeathen

Hail all;

I originally sent this on 12/31 to the "Spiritual Deism" discussion list. It was in response to one correspondant thereon mentioning Heathenry in one of his posts, particularly the "Jungian archetype" way of looking at the Gods.


Something I like about this group is the invitation to (what I remember as) good debate on topics of interest, plus the devotion to what I see as a purposeful provision of information on Spiritual Deism.

I'll speak up as one of the Heathens on the list.

I use the name Asatru for the faithway/belief system in which I live. It is a deceptively simple word; a 19th century literary construct meaning having faith in the gods. As an Asatruar, I have plighted mytroth to the holy Aesir and Vanir.

Opinion of the nature of the gods and goddesses worshipped historically and currently is very wide-ranging. We have atheistic Asafolk (there were those called 'Godless" in the Sagas) at one end ofthe spectrum and those who believe they have seen the Holy Powers fully personified in their individual lives at the other.

Jungian archetype folk are a part of this picture as are Campbellians, Dumezellians, Rydbergians, Simakicists, Grimmists and so forth.

I am likewise a part of this picture. I suppose one could think of me as a man who has "seen" the Holy Ones in a personal way (reacting to both Genius and Animus); much of my poetry is inspired by this interaction and my worship is conducted by speaking to them as individuals.

I am also Numenistic in my approach; feeling their Power in the "footprints" they leave in creation; again, poetic inspiration....and yes, I do take some of my inspiration from the philosophy of the Religio Romana of some of my ancestors.

I am also somewhat Deistic (panentheistic) in my thoughts. For me,the question always remains, what is/was the Initial Causation? What set the Dance of Fire and Ice in motion to fill Ginungagap and start Life in its course? I think that this Ultimate Source is both Unknown and Unknowable, to large extent, by the mind of man. But, the individual gods, goddesses, giants and heroes, descended from this Ultimate, are in some part known and knowable.

Otherwise I suffer from neither heterodoxy, orthodoxy, heteropraxy nor orthopraxy, just being myself in my understanding and worship ,-)

--May the Holy Aesir and Vanir strengthen us. May our Blessed Forebears see us as worthy. May we ever build for Kin, Kith and Community.

In Grith under Troth - Stefn Ullarsson Piparskeggr
Catamount Grange Hearth - Husband
Oak Shadow Kindred (an independant kindred) - Skald

Asatru Folk Assembly - Folkbuilder
IL, IA. MO, WI, MN, east NE, east KS, west KY

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Monday, January 21, 2008

On common places and one of my purposes here

Part of the Town Common in my home town, part of the history of which is explained here:

Community is very important to me, though I am fairly solitary by nature.

I've described myself as a traveler amongst the differing Asatru, Odinist, Heathen, Theodish and other tribes within the Reawakening to the Faith in and Worship of the Holy Powers of the Northern Folk.

I have used the analogy of being a roving warder from the wilderlands. I ave described myself as one who comes into the main community to lend a hand when needed, then goes on about his own business until his hand is useful again joined with others.

I think my hand is useful to this work of building community (particularly within the Asatru Folk Assembly), of trying to gather those who hear the Northern Wind in their hearts.

In my home town of West Springfield, MA, our original Town Common is a carefully preserved, and wisely used, area at the heart of the town's first settled area (mid 1630's). The first European settlers in the area were John Cable and John Woodcock of Plymouth, who encamped on the west side of the Connecticutt river in the fall of 1635. They moved to higher ground on the east side of the river upon the advice of friendly Indians, becoming two of the founders of Springfield in 1636.

West Springfield's oldest surviving house is adjacent to the East Common.

The oldest part of the Day house was first built in the mid 1640's, a woodframe house; it is thought to have been West Springfield's first parsonage. The brick Saltbox-style front of the house, which was thought to be the old part, was added in 1754. The day family occupied the house until the turn of the 20th century, when the house was obtained for preservation by a local historical society.

Having a common area is important to a village or town. In older times it was a place used as grazing land for the yeomanry's livestock, where the town militia would drill, where the Town Crier would report news of significance, where travelling orators would was a good place to be in the center of things.

It is important for Folk to have a Good Place.

It is a place for lovers to stroll...for mothers and fathers to watch their children run and play in joy and safety...for memorial stones to the honored war have memorial stones about historic events...for band concerts and town festivals.

It is a special place to those who hear the call to community and the neighborliness one finds therein.

I hope this blog can be a place where we can "sit on the grass and talk and plan and dream," whatever our ideas of an Heathen community may be.

One of my goals as an Asatruar is to build up places, many places, from all Heathen intentional communities to "Little Trondheims" in larger towns and cities, to kindred and hearths and fellowships.

We are the shapers of that which is becoming and that which may be.

Well come one and all, be right well come.
May the Holy Ones smile on our efforts.
Piparskeggr - Commons Walker

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hammersign in Asatru Ritual

The "classic" Hammer Sign is a modern construct in the opinion I've formed over the years.

Does this diminish it's meaning?

I think not.

I am of the opinion, for modern Heathens, that which aids us in being able to bond with the Holy Powers is in fact, good.

I use a variation on the "traditional" Hammer signing.

I start with my hand raised to Asgard as I face North, feeling the touch of the Holy Powers upon me.

I then clench my fist and bring it to my forehead, while saying "Odin;" to the middle of my chest - "Tyr;" to the base of my chest - "Uller;" to my left shoulder - "Thor;" to my right shoulder - "Frey;" and back to the base of my chest - "Balder."

For me this acknowledges: Wisdom - Law - Guardianship - Strength - Prosperity - Hope.

I find that using this Hammer Sign gives me comfort and eases me into a state of mind, which opens a "path" to feeling the Holy Powers when I am Standing before Them to Offer Words, Drink and Spirit.

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