Heathenry: it’s just one big hug really

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.

 

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Explain your intentions…

Well it turns out you do need to explain yourself to the universe…

My 2017 words of intention were Disconnect & Expand. Simple enough right? Wrong!

I meant Disconnect from social media not people & I meant Expand my knowledge not my body!

You really do need to explain things so the universe doesn’t twist your words.

This time I wrote a list explaining what my intentions were, in detail.

Please remember there is a difference between resolutions & intentions. Resolutions have an end, Intentions leave room for you to outshine your goals.

I know 2018 will be another rollercoaster year for most but this time you will have more control.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR my Crazies form your one & only, Southern Cross Heathen xxx

Intentions & Oaths

Hey my Crazies,

Happy Yule to those up in the Northern Hemisphere and Merry Mid-Summer/Litha to those of you here in the south.

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So another year has nearly come to an end and so much has happened this year.   I have been very distant this year and I think it comes down to not wording my intentions correctly.

I have, however, been participating in an instagram challenge created by Australian Witchcraft Facebook group:

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Anyway,  back to my absence and crappy intention setting.  You may recall from January that I posted my intentions on my Facebook Page, and I explained how much luck I had the year before.  Well…

This year I did get what I asked for just not how I expected… I certainly disconnected… From everything and everyone… I have blogged and vlogged before about mental health and this year was a huge year of mental health issues for me… I am okay and I did seek help.

My second intention was to expand… and I did by 15kg 😦 This was due to the disconnection, an injury and my mental health. The moral of this tale is beware the words you use to set your intentions.  In 2016 I said that I wanted it to be my year for love and to receive it in any form, which it did.  2017 I pretty much said that I wanted to dosconnect and expand.  I knew in my head what I meant and I did say it in my post but I did not say it with my intentions.

This coming January 1 I will be very wary of what words I say when setting intentions.  I also have another big move near the end of the year when I return to Far North Queensland.

In the mean time I have big things planned… I want to keep busy, do a couple videos for my YouTube channel, do some more connecting in the right way.  I have enjoyed not living on Facebook but it was a double edged sword as it was the wrong disconnection.

Keep your eyes on this blog my crazies as I will be back in January.

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This was me in August before my injury beginning my journey to getting better again.  Hail Sunna!

Modern Heathenry Around the World Aussie Style

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.

notreallythorI 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.

lokis-kidsGo 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 from 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.aust-size-vs

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)!

 

lamb-loinAnd 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.

queensland_mapvs-texasJust 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 unfortunately, so I only converse with this person via Facebook.  The closest Universalist Heathen is well and truly over 1000km (620 miles) away.

distance-between-cities-in-australia-2Distances 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.

Cairns_climate.svg.pngAnother 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.

xmas-australiaSo 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.

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So to all my crazies this is your SouthernCrossHeathen signing off…

N.B. All images were sourced from google.