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Personal Profile for...
Magickal Path: Heathenry / Asatru
Age Group: Adult
Relationship Status: Domestic Partner
Located in: Summerville, South Carolina
Likes: Conversation, Drum circles, Interaction with nature (beach, mountains, rivers, etc.) , friends
Dislikes: Stupidity, Intolerance, Rudeness
Bob Fifield's Profile...
You hear the gentle call of the old ones. You don't know what it means or where it comes from, but you hear the call. You know that what has always been “the way things are done” just doesn't quite fit. You don't know why, or what that means, exactly...you just know it doesn't work. So, you begin to explore. You research. You find other people who seem to be going through the same thing. You learn from them. You continue to research and study, looking for that indefinable "thing" that resonates within your soul.
For me, it started in my teens. I was raised Christian, so I started out by studying the Christian theological texts. The Bible, the Book of Mormon, hundreds--if not thousands--of religious texts and commentaries. The more I studied, the more I realized that this religion just did not fit me.
I explored beyond the bounds of the prevalent faith. I learned about Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis. I studied with the Golden Dawn and the Thelemites. I devoured the teachings of Austin Osman Spare and Heinrich Agrippa. While they were interesting, none of these gave me even a momentary twinge of “it.” I went on in my pagan studies, learning Wicca in a multitude of varieties. This seemed closer….but still not right. I met some wonderful people in the process, and kept exploring. I visited reservations and learned native American traditions…this seemed promising. I delved deeply into Santeria and Vodoun. Ah…now this was beginning to resonate, a little. I studied more, learning about the native tribal worldview that spawned these religions. This was very close…I almost felt as though I could grasp that elusive resonance that I had been searching for.
Then, family issues happened. My travels drew to a close as I settled into a small town in the South to care for my newly widowed, elderly mother. My studies, however, did not end. Nor did my desire to find the “tribe” that I now knew was necessary. I met some nice people in the pagan community…and was introduced to a Heathen. Much discussion…continued research…and the light went off. *This* was the tribal worldview that I had been searching for over the last few decades. The family stories my grandfathers had told meshed so nicely with the lore of the Germanics that they could have come from the same storybooks. (Later research showed that they probably had….I’m still not sure which family stories were actually passed down through the generations, and which were gleaned from the written lore.)
We hear about people having a bell go off when they know they’ve come to the right path. For me, it was a hammer. Literally. I was at work early one morning, trying to get the kitchen opened. Thoughts of Odin and Thor while working. Considering, debating, asking myself “Is this truly it?” After years of finding not quite the right path, did my worldview allow that the right path actually exists? And a hammer slipped, cracking me between the eyes. (Ask me, and I’ll show you the scar.) I may have lost consciousness, but I don’t think so. There was no discontinuity in time. But, there was a definite masculine voice saying “Gotcha!” and the sound of multiple voices laughing. Yes, after being hit fairly hard between the eyes with a hammer, there is the possibility that I was hallucinating, but I heard it nonetheless. And I knew. I was hooked. I had found the religious path that had been eluding since my teens.
But, heathenry is not really a religion in the classic definition. It is not a “work six days, and go to church on Sunday” kind of thing. Nor is it a “meditate to find your connection to the divine” kind of thing. No, Heathenry is a worldview. Heathens do not need a “personal relationship with the divine”. We know that they are there. We know that they will help us if they decide they want to. We know that nothing we can do is going to convince them to do anything. Odin is not my “Supreme Overlord.” He’s my grandfather, my uncle, my older brother. Thor is not going to be offended when I use the hammer on my altar to bang a nail. I have no doubt that he’ll be greatly amused when I miss and hit my thumb instead of the nail.
These elder kin have accepted me into their tribe. They dragged me in, and made me drink the mead. No, Heathenry is not my religion. It is my worldview. Everything I see is filtered through the eyes of a heathen. Maybe I continue some of the mystical/spiritual practices that I learned in my travels, but, now they are not done as a means to connect to the divine, but as a means to share with friends on a level they can handle. Frigga doesn’t seem to mind much if I use my experiences to help someone who is not a heathen. It certainly doesn’t interfere with the brewing of the mead and the feeding of the vaettir.
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