This is a follow up to this: https://facingthefireswithin.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/separating-the-teaching-from-the-teacher/
Others are writing of community, rules and outrage. I think those are worthy discussions but they are not mine to lead or have.
Instead, in honor of Freya and her blessings, I want to write today about Worth and Worthiness. An abuser strips a person of their sense of worth, telling them to hide things and using shame as a weapon. They convince a person that they are less than they are or that only the approval of the abuser matters. Abusers assault the victim’s personal sovereignty and their pride until they become convinced that they are unworthy. In fight terms, they get knocked down to the ground and are stunned. They have forgotten that they have the ability to stand back up again, themselves.
Help them stand. Show them how to do so and that they have value. Then, encourage them to teach the same to others. It is a duty worth pursuing and can be very rewarding.
I have found this to fall well under Freya’s auspices. Worth and Sovereignty fall well into her interests. For me, those are lessons from both Brisingamen and the recovery of Thor’s hammer.
Consider helping someone to stand again. It is quite rewarding.
So, this is first and foremost a Norse heathen blog about rage, anger and heathenry but I do not live in a vacuum and have ties to a lot of pagan groups (my wife is not heathen, for one). It is prompted by the charges announced against a semi-prominent person yesterday. I have never been a member of his tradition buy I know a number of them.
I would concentrate as much on the Times Picayune article
I did actually meet this person a few times, although he made little impression on me.
I think the key thing to remember in cases like this, as I have learned painfully myself, is that we sometimes have to separate the teaching from the teacher. Teaching, philosophy and spiritual truths are valid IN SPITE of the teacher. Take what you can use, recognize how they have failed, and move on with your own path.
The deeper meanings of ancestry. A rather excellent take on the philosophy of ancestry and why almost any form of heathenry should reject racism categorically.
While those who embrace Folkism and those who reject Folkism disagree on a lot of things, there are a handful of things that both schools of thought agree on. One of them is the importance of ancestry and one’s own ancestors. It forms a philosophical backbone for just about every flavor of Heathenry, and even the most pro-synchretic, non-Folkish Norse Polytheist in the world is going to look at a Heathen cross-eyed if they declare ancestor veneration/worship to be optional or (even worse) irrelevant. It’s one of the most primal conceits of our faith, regardless of denomination, and it’s importance cannot be overstated.
It is not as widely acknowledged, but certainly not thought of as contentious, that…
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My oldest connection in Norse myth and heathenry being to Heimdall, I frequently find that I walk between many disparate groups of people who may even see others I contact as threats or enemies (or even anathema in the modern context rather than the original). Perhaps it is the inspiration of the Bridgerider and Watchman that helps me, or perhaps I am just good at seeing many points of view. I walk between fairly conservative heathens and very liberal (not just politically) Northern Tradition pagans who honor more than the Aesir and Vanir.
I don’t believe in heresy or pure interpretation. Our ancestors traded everywhere and saw many things and peoples, taking what they thought worked. I see no signs or proof that they would even think in terms or pure interpretation of anything. They were spiritual AND pragmatic.
Perhaps I am just lucky to see the positive traits in so many and be a bit realpolitik. For whatever reason, I end up walking a lot of places and the most I have been called is “naive”.
Then again, perhaps it is not only Heimdall but Hermod’s inspiration to have the courage to ride into dark places on a mission. I have seen darker things since I started than I realized were around be before. The trick is to have the endurance to keep riding and not panic.
So, wherever you may fall in my travels, know that I likely honor some part of you and your work. There are the few that I call “wretches” but, at that point, you have reached the Columbine or Newtown stage. That is true even if you detest someone else I know for whatever reason. I do not expect everyone I know to get along. That is true in my “mundane” life as well as my spiritual one.
Luck to any who read this in finding their path.
Sharing as much for the comments on initiation and continuing to work afterwards as for our inability to live precisely like our ancestors.