#Norsevember: A Heathen is as a Heathen does

I grew up on the banks of Turkey Creek surrounded by towering Ash trees. If you were to drive there today, you would find them all dead, the land overgrown and untended. True also of my favorite stomping grounds, the haunted Mississinewa forest, now a sea of dead ash. A lot of those ash were planted to replace the elms that died one hundred years previous. Both trees succumbed to diseases spread, inadvertently, from Asia. As went the ash and elm, symbols of our Northern Folk, it is not lost on me how too our heritage struggles to maintain balance in these modern times.

I think it is important to embrace one’s culture, one’s roots. But as the ash borer laid low the ash, it seems that to speak of one’s cultural heritage, to try and revive that which was lost due the systematic dissection of our cultural folkways by invading crusaders, is saddled with labels such as white supremacy, racism, and such.

I judge no one by the color of their skin, by their sexual preference, or how they identify. Life is bloody short — too short to waste on bigotry, hate, or malice. As an animist I believe we are all equal parts of the whole of creation. but I also acknowledge that there are cultural differences. And that’s not a bad thing. We should all be as accepting of our differences as we are of our similarities. We are all in this dance together. We should lift one another up, not tear one another down.

The problem is these organizations that try to rope as many people under their umbrella as they can, establishing rules and membership fees and the like. A kindred should be a small gathering of family and friends, exclusive and binding. As soon as that reaches out beyond a tight social circle, agendas and politics mar the faith. We do not need to grow under a corporate church, with people placed on high above others. Gather your people close. Worship under the stars, and let their ambitions be damned.

If you’re filing for protected status, for tax purposes, with government entities, you’ve already lost faith in my eyes.

We are the Folk. We do not need such to worship freely. Each kindred should be a family — loving and accepting of those who are bound not necessarily by blood but by love for one another. No color. No gender. No orientation. Just a genuine affection for one another, bound in a circle about a fire, lifting up their voices in unison to proclaim an adoration for the gods and wights and ancestors of old.

It’s only complicated if you make it so. A Heathen is as a Heathen does. Defend what’s yours…

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