Friday, January 30, 2009

Thoughts on Asa-clergy

There has been a community-wide discussion, sometimes hot and heavy, about the nature of any certification program and who could or should be "Godfolk."

As we grow, we will all have to address the idea of Heathen clergy, professional and/or otherwise.

Just another stone in the wall of the Innangard ,-)


If I may?

A little meandering of thought...I am not a man whose mind is brimful of Lore, nor do I have skill in elder tongues. Nor can I list great learning of other sorts. Nor have I as broad a range of gatherings in which I have taken part as have others.

I do, however, know a few things about Lore and Words, Learning and Life.

I am grateful that there are those who think me a speaker of good rede and a wordsmith of note.

Throughout my life I have met many Godfolk, of many beliefs. The best of them have neither been bookish, nor hard minded, nor ruthless in manner.

One can take from their skill in the back and forth of sharing thoughts that they are well read and learned folk. Their ideas about life and faith are well spoken, well chosen.

In every one of them, as I have found them, it has been their faith, their beliefs and their troth with the Holy as they knew it, which goaded them to learning.

Their wanting to do good in the name of the Holy is what drove them to become better.

One starts life knowing nothing, believing nothing. With every breath, one learns and becomes closer to mind full; a state of being, which one (hopefully) never reaches. With mind fullness, one has a tool chest. Knowledge is only that, a set of tools. But, such a set of tools: sharp, shining, ready to work rightfully for kin, kith and clan.

With every breath, one also learns heart feeling, which one must always try to keep growing larger and larger in one's inner store.

Underlying all, though, must be (as I alluded to above) a bedrock layer of faith fullness.

I call myself Heathen first and foremost because I believe and have faith in the Holy Ones we have come to know as the Aesir and Vanir.

What I have learned over the years, from the little bit I knew in 1989 until now, has just deepened that Bond of Troth with which, I believe, I was born.

My beliefs were shaped by those of my kin and kith. They were further formed, I readily admit, by learning from others and their beliefs. I grew into my faith.

What I seek in Godfolk is fully grown faith foremost. I seek beliefs,which are alike to mine. I seek one who is learned, but uses knowledge for wisdom's sake.

To my mind, Our Way should be one strengthened by wisdom, rather than bookishness. It should be clear that I do find learning of great worth. I am bettered by the knowledge gleaned for me by those who can and do mine the Lore and history.

Would a great sage be the Godman I need?
Would a deeply holy man be the Godman I need?
Would one whose beliefs are in lockstep with mine be the Godman I need?
None of these are enough on their own.
And one who has not lived enough of life would be of little use, either.

Just a few thoughts from my mind fullness.


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