A Small Decision

I think, in part, an issue that I’m having is that I’m floundering in a sea of uncertainty regarding my Paganism.  I’m not sure where to go and what to research, what to do, and how to orient myself.  Since my trip to Rome, I’m actually pulling more towards my Germanic/Anglo-Saxon side, for whatever reason.  It feels more comfortable.  I’ll still tentatively explore my Roman interests, perhaps on an individual basis as opposed to a larger focusing.

The truth is, I feel that in Germanic Polytheistic Paganism there’s only so far that someone can go without having access to either an external source of inspiration (Spirit work) or a group and a framework for education.  I’m notoriously thick headed, to butcher Diana Paxton’s words in one of her books, about things outside.  I have flashes of insight and intuition, and can throw energy around like nothing, but other than that…I’m sort of stuck in the dark

So I made the decision to look about and try to find a Heathen/Germanic group that would fit my predilections.  Which brings me to an issue I quickly discovered: There are few that aren’t involved in a kinship or “community structure”.  Not only am I relatively distant from most established groups (Even if the Troth is in Connecticut), but I’m pretty well a loner.  My ideal organization would be one that allows courses and correspondence without the requirements of being either a part of a brick-and-mortar group or forming one on my own, with the possibility of a clergy program should groups operate

There’s also my peculiar outlook.  I have friends (very good ones, mind you) in circles of the Northern Tradition that would get me verbally attacked because I was on friendly terms with them.  I don’t brook the argument for folkish belief, exclusive religion, or any of the other crap that some people espouse.  I am on good terms with followers of various etinous beings, and even wrote an article on one of them myself.  I have views which would run contrary to what is established in the Christian-influenced Lore, and I vocally argue for the rights and inclusion of people who are attacked by cowardly keyboard warriors.

I also believe that magic, spellwork, and “woo” is okay, and have shamanic influences in my life that I want to continue to work on.  I don’t want to have to be shoehorned into some fanciful recreation and living history of a period that is gone forever.  I want to explore esotericism as much as I want to explore a living spiritualism.

Because of this I consider groups focusing on kinship, kingdoms, or inherent communities to be something out of reach for me right now.  I’ve just recently come to the revelation that I want a larger community to operate in and around, and throwing myself into a group right away is something that I’m unprepared for.  I’m more Anglo-Saxon/Continental German than I am Icelandic/Nordic in my outlook, so Asatru is out.  Theodism necessitates the emphasis on group work and theods, so groups like the White Marsh Theod and the Troth are likewise out.

I had thought that I would attempt to join the Fellowship of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry (Geferræden Fyrnsida), and put forth an application as a non-paying member.  Dishearteningly, it appears that the English version of that site is defunct, as it has been more than a week with no response from any administrative figure.  I suppose I could contact the group through Facebook, but if they cannot keep their flagship page up and running (and linked blogs being more than a year past updating) then I don’t have hope for the group’s activity level.

So.  I’m at a loss of what to do and who to approach.  I suppose I could look into the Northern circles of ADF for inspiration, but I don’t think I’d be too happy there.  I’m really at a loss for what to do as some kind of meta-community group.

There have been calls for me to try to form the groundwork for such a group.  I don’t know that I’m even remotely qualified to do such.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue my “back to basics” trend.  Hopefully I can make some progress.

Thanks for reading.

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~ by thelettuceman on August 20, 2013.

11 Responses to “A Small Decision”

  1. I am part of a group in the Midwest who seems to be oriented towards what you are looking for. The cool thing is that I am the “educator”, as well as connected to quite a few other things you are interested in. Please feel free to email me at lcward@live.com and I can link you into our facebook group, as well as just have a conversation about some of the things you are looking for. 🙂

    • Thanks! I’ll have to look into it. I’ve got a lot on my plate coming up within the next week (Hopefully last semester of my Master’s). So there’s going to be a bit of a back-burner to this search.

  2. I work with the Greek Gods myself and have yet to find a group that I would fit in either since I personally am not a Recon. Keep the faith and blessings to you and yours: )

    • You could find a Recon group to work ?

      My recommendation is to find (or create) a local meetup or group for people who are just nominally interested in Greek mythology. I think you’ll find that there are loads more people who are “Spiritually Hellenic” than are actually Recon.

    • I find that recon methodology works for me up to a point. I take a stricter line to the feasibility of actually instituting a living religion in the modern day as opposed to play acting or presenting a faith as living history. I get this because I’m a reenactor, and a lot of Recon groups that I stumble across seem to enforce a stagnation of belief in light of what we understand in the modern world. Nova Roma is one such group that feels that they HAVE to have a mock government (the explanation is that Roman religion is a civic religion, and has to have a political arm). A lot of people end up leaving NR because of the drama, the playacting, and the pointless nature of the grandstanding politics.

      Recon groups are often good for resources, like Magickfromscratch suggested to me. It’s a reason why I’m looking for something more open-ended and non-intrusive.

      From what I understand, numerous Hellenic groups exist but they’re relatively stagnant. Or they are sort of closed-groups with a less-flexible ideology. I’m not sure. I’m not Hellenic. My forays into dealing with those deities extend only to Roman counterparts and the Roman experience, and even then, it’s relatively unlikely that I will be linked to anything from that region.

      But good luck!

  3. Waincraft, perhaps? It’s a path which I am finding myself more and more drawn to. Or maybe it’s Vanatru that speaks to you more than Asatrau (for much the same reasons you give above, I avoid the reconstructionist groups).

    A lot of times, the only way forward is to flounder and hope. Now and again I search for groups which fit and then realise there ARE no groups that fit. I can still touch base with some eclectic folks but mostly I’m on my own with it, unless I want to create my own group – and I’ve considered the latter, and still am.

    I wish you luck and a flash of inspiration.

    • And I you. It generally falls to the end result that I’ll more than likely have to put something together. But at present, other than a few Truths that I am aware of, I’m nowhere near capable of crafting something that will last in this manner.

      It’s not so much the Asa/Vana to the Tru, it’s the cultural significance. I’m predominately Anglo-Saxon in outlook, more than Nordic. While I use the Norse deity names for convenience (and, by in large, it is one of the areas where I will flat out say that the deities by and large are the same God figure with different name spellings), the Icelandic/Scandinavian focus is sort of out of my approach.

      I’m not sure whereabouts my path is going. Early on I was on the path to being a Freysman, but that stopped feeling right, and I’m much more of a generalist now. I didn’t receive the confirmation that I was on the right path, and so shifted gears.

      Good luck, and I hope inspiration is fair to you, as well!

  4. ADF is a great group.

    You know, if you just stay open, and carefully observe the human side of effective ritual from many different traditions, you’ll learn a lot.

    Religion is a symbolic language for expressing a truth too big for words, in my opinion. Listening to lots of people try to use that language to express their dance with the universe, and trying to understand the connection between their inner dance (their theology) and their outer dance (ritual) is a pretty decent approach for broadening your ideas, and your experience.

    At some point, for me, it crystalized, and I sort of knew what sources I wanted to look into so that I could start crafting rituals and ritual tech that worked better for me than any pre-packaged tradition.

    Good luck!

    • Oh, most definitely. It’s not the prepackaging, it’s more of a formal educational process. I think that’s probably due to being in some form of higher education for seven out of the past ten years of my life. I have a pretty thick foundation of self-taught knowledge from sources outside the standard spectrum of most of these organized groups.

      But, like I said above, I’m thick headed so trying to get my own training in these methods is difficult. I’d like some kind of direction. Perhaps a group which offers questions that can lead to thought or idea.

      I’m going to hold ADF in reserve. I’m not a Druid, and I feel like I’d be imposing for associating with them. And yes, I understand they have expanded to be a more Indo-European inclusive group, but still… I’m shy. 😛

      Good luck to you! Thanks for jumping on board!

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