Southern Hemisphere – Australia – Far North Queensland
Before I go on to tell you about Modern Heathenry in Australia’s Far North Queensland, I need to discuss with you about what I see as Modern Heathenry.
Modern heathenry in the 21st century will not and never can be like heathenry in the 7th, 8th or 9th centuries. To try to recreate it is illogical, in my eyes, and totally an unnecessary waste of time. Did Odin not wander so as to learn and grow? Did our ancestors not forge through the years learning new technologies to improve life? I see heathenry as an ever growing, ever changing, spirituality. If our ancestors were not able to change & grow with the times they would not have been so successful in trading or merging and assimilating with other tribes e.g. Irish, Scots, Rús etc.
Forget about the Christianised books that tell you how to heathen! Our ancestors didn’t listen or in fact read them! Deep down, when you meditate or just sit in quiet contemplation you will be taught how to heathen. Modernity is an inevitable constant in our lives and so we should embrace it.
I can just imagine it now, Thor’s Instagram filled with pictures of Mjolnir, Freya’s YouTube vlogs on how to achieve next seasons look, Nanna’s Etsy store for Oracle & Tarot readings, Loki’s latest book on Amazon on ‘How to Raise Unique Children’, Frigga’s ‘Cooking with Frigga’ T.V. show right after Ullr & Skadi’s ‘Wipeout’ and don’t forget Odin’s latest Periscope from his current world tour.
Go on, it may sound absurd but I bet you had a good laugh imagining it all. But is it really so hard to accept that you too could see the Gods in the same light? Living in the Now! So we should be doing it too, living in the present not the past. Utilise what the present has to offer and look forward to what the future has without being stuck in the past.
I know most people would have been expecting some sort of academic piece on Modern Heathenry, but let’s face it, there are already a multitude of articles on the subject, you just have to go to academia.com to find them. I wanted people to see how I view modern heathenry form a personal perspective.
Now on to the locality issues of being a Modern Heathen in Australia’s Far North Queensland. Australia is huge, I mean really, really big. Think North America without Canada or Alaska. Think the entire continent of Europe. Oh and we have some little neighbours off to the side that you would be familiar with too and no I’m not talking about the Hobbits… just because LOTR was filmed there does not mean there are actual Hobbits running around… It’s New Zealand.
Well about 2/3 of Australia is uninhabitable, 2/3 of the country is desert and it’s really hot and dusty out there… You can literally fry an egg on your bonnet (car hood), so hot that one desert town actually resides underground… Yes, underground (Coober Pedy)!
And it is not just the desert that gets hot… Most of the county does during our Summer months. If you want proof check out this news article: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/matt-moran-cooks-lamb-in-a-hot-car-to-show-danger-to-children-locked-inside-20151203-glf7xn.html
Ok so where do I live in the scheme of all things? Currently I live in the Far North of the country (I am relocating to a southern region in the new year for personal reasons.
Just to get an idea here is a picture of Texas compared to the state I currently live in…
Yeah, Texas isn’t so big anymore…
Australia has a very wide spread community and Heathens are not always close by. My closest fellow Heathen is 326km (202 miles) away, but unfortunately for me is a member of less than desirable group so I only converse with this person via Facebook. The closest Universalist Heathen (TAC) is well and truly over 1000km (620 miles) away.
Distances make it hard so most Australian Heathens are solitary or are members of their local Pagan Community groups. This is still not the same as having a group of heathens to bounce ideas and discussion off of. But at least it is community that we can engage with and most Pagan groups are all too happy to share their Celtic holidays with us or to learn more from us and most are inclusive.
Another part of the struggles of being in the Southern Hemisphere is the fact that our holidays are the opposite to most of yours. We are just coming up on Walpurgisnacht (May Day) whilst most of you will have just had Winter Finding or will be preparing for the Celtic Samhain. This in itself gets confusing, especially for those new to the path.
Another aspect that I find difficult living where I do,
is the seasonal changes. Where I live there really is only two seasons, the Wet Season (Nov – Apr) and the Dry Season (May – Oct). There is no real Autumn or Winter here. Our Summers are wet and humid and our Winters are dry and warm (not cold). So feeling the change is difficult in the tropical climate. Yule is a date on the calendar not a feeling of change in the season nor is it the autumnal colour changes that come with Winter’s Night.
So as you can see living ‘Down Under’ may seem great but it is hard work when we grew up with the tradition Gregorian Calendar dates that came with our Northern Hemisphere migrating ancestors 200-250 years ago.
I am a solitary heathen living in the far north tropics of Queensland Australia (for a few more months yet) in the Southern Hemisphere on the continent just above Antarctica.
So to all my crazies this is your SouthernCrossHeathen signing off…
N.B. All images were sourced from google.