You know that feeling, as a child, when you have been away at your granparents house or someone elses house for an extended holiday, and that moment, feeling, smell, when you step back into your home?
That warm, safe feeling when your mum or dad wraps their arms around you and give you that strong, safe hug. The type of hug that makes you feel like nothing in the world could hurt you?
(Don’t worry, because I never actually experienced that as a child myslef, but I did read about it.)
Well it is that feeling, the feeling I got when I first stepped my foot into Heathenry.
No matter how many Pagan hats, shooes, dresses etc I tried on, none of them seemed to fit right. It wasn’t until I found Asatru/Norse Reconstructionism that I had a sense of home. That feeling of ‘this is where I belong’.
If you don’t feel like that in your current path, keep searching becasue you are not where you belong.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the Pagan religions, from Buddhism and Celtic Druidry through to Wicca. They all have their good points and their not so good points. If it wasn’t for those other Pagan paths, I may never have found my home… Well I probably would have, but it probably would have taken me a lot longer.
You see I didn’t have the most loving childhood, or pleasant for that matter (another story for another time). I spent most of it fighting monsters. When I was about 10 years old (or maybe 9) I had this dream, a dream I could and will never forget. Now some will call me crazy, but that’s ok, crazy is better than some of the names I have been called in my life.
This dream, there was a man, a big strong man, he was blonde, blue eyed… Just like I was as a kid. I felt safe, not scared, he was kind, well he gave off that energy. He said “I am Thor. You have strength child, but if you ever doubt yourself, think of me and I will lend you some of mine. You are a survivor. Search for me. Come and find me” and then he was gone.
Now I was a 10 year old, living in rural Australia, I had no idea who this Thor was, I didn’t know about Marvel comics or even Pagansim at that age. I grew up in an agnostic household. Religion was never spoken about, I never went to church, I attended a coupl of Religious Educaton classes in school but only ever walked out with more quesntions and confusion because the babble they talked about was just that too me, babble.
So who was this kind man? I know Thor is a big Red-headed, red-bearded hulk of a man, but I have talked to a few people and some have seen him with blonde hair, others with darker hair. Maybe the Gods come to us in an image that is safe and familiar to us.
It took me a long time to embrace anything other than pain and misery. I battled monsters and demons as a child and teenager. There was no internet, social media, no yahoo threads. Just me and my oun heart, mind & soul.
Fast forward to the 90s and the decade of Wicca. Everyone (or girl at least) wanted to at the very least dip their toes into Wicca. I tried really hard but just couldn’t get my feet to fit the Wiccan shoes. I used to say I was a Lazy Pagan because I couldn’t be bothered with the tiresome amounts of ritual and initiation that was involved. It was just like Sunday School… Too many rules, too many ‘have to do it this way’, just too many, too much, and not the right fit… But I did like Paganism.
I had always loved the histories, the Greek mythos, Egyption mythos etc. I even chose Ancient History as an elective for my final years in high school… Unfortunately only 3 of us wanted too, the rest chose Modern History… But I still enjoyed it… It was history after all.
I found Greek mythos easy to navigate. I could easily identify with some of the traits of the Gods & Goddesses. Even though Thor didn’t fit in with the Greek Myths, he was still a part of my deity list. In 1993, I even got my first tattoo of a Pegasus, and I still don’t regret getting it because it is a part of my journey.
It wasn’t until about 2008 that I really embraced what the internet could offer as far as information goes. It is then that I had a glimpse of the Norse Mythos… But then my world came crashing down as my family fell apart.
By the time 2010 rolled around I was an out & open Pagan, with my little toes still in the Wiccan waters and needing a place to call home. I started looking into the Norse Mythos thinking that I still had to be Wiccan to be a part of any ‘Mythos’. I found my gods & Goddesses but still hadn’t found my home. By 2011, I had resigned myself to being a lazy Pagan that believed in the Norse Gods and some of the Greek ones too.
Then in 2012 again my world was torn apart by yet another family tragedy, this one was so horrible that it was literally hanging on by a few threads. For the first time I needed that strength that Thor had offered me all those years ago. I was tearing at the seams, and the ground was falling out from under my feet. Within 4 months my family had suffered a traumatic event and a 1400km relocation, to a place where we had some family but knew no-one.
My whole perspective of life had changed in those 4 months. I knew there was more to life than the bubble I had been living in. I needed a home I couldn’t find, I needed Gods I couldn’t find, I needed something that I just couldn’t find.
Then it happened…
I opened up Facebook one morning and there it was… Asatru… It was like Thor was standing there with his arms open waiting to greet me with a huge hug. That hug that I spoke about earlier, the one that made you feel safe, secure, warm, made you feel like you were finally home.
And so began my path, I had walked through the doors of a world that had been there the whole time, I just couldn’t see it until then. The more I read about Asatru, the more I realised that I had always lived there, my morals were the same, my personal ‘code’ was the same, my philosphies were the same. It was all the same, there in front of me the whole time. I was home.
It has been 7 years since I found Asgard, and nearly 5 since I realised I had been living on Midgard my entire life. It has been nearly 5 years since Thor lead me to the Hammer that I wear around my neck 99% of the time. It has been nearly 5 years of navigating my place within the Heathen community and nearly 5 years since I took my foot out of the Wiccan shoes that didn’t fit and into my own clothes, that fit me perfectly.
I know this post is long and about nothing interesting, but I wanted to share with you how it took me a long time to find my home and my place within the Pagan world. I have many Pagan friends, Wiccan’s, Druid’s, Heathen’s, Buddhist’s. I just felt like sharing part of my story on how I found Heathenry and how I knew it was for me. As the saying goes:
“If you don’t feel passionate about your path, maybe it isn’t your path to walk”.
Maybe it is time that I share more of my home with you all. Maybe this post will give you some food for thought.
Anyway, until next time my Crazies, don’t let the straight jacket get too tight.