When my family and I headed out with another kindred member for a two-hour road trip, we didn’t know what to think. The member that rode with us has stayed at the camp a couple times before so he was telling us about how much land there was and how it was donated for pagan groups to have a safe place to practice.
We arrived and it was exactly like I was hoping it would be. I only had one bar of reception which was enough for my girls to get a hold of me if needed. It was quiet, calm, and an overall relaxing experience. No, I didn’t get time to draw or anything and kept pretty busy. Now, with my social anxiety, I wasn’t prepared to go out and be a social butterfly but I did talk to people. Saturday, I made pancakes for everyone (I’m most at home in a kitchen) and made sure the kiddos had breakfast first. Other heathen believers from other kindreds came for the meeting and that’s when I learned (quickly) that there are people that look down on anyone including people that are trying to learn and follow the same path and beliefs as them.
Picture it, we are all sitting around the table, passing the horn and making introductions. I’m literally trying not to vomit on my boots. At the other end of the table is our host (the individual that donated his land for us and others to use) and sitting next to him are 3-4 men representing other kindreds. At first, their knowledge astounded me and made me realize that there is A LOT I need to learn. Then came the condescending tones and the group of men didn’t teach any of us ‘newbies’ anything to help us along our journey. One thing that frightened me a bit was the talk of organizing heathenry. That shook me a bit to the point it felt like history was repeating itself. I chose the heathen path BECAUSE it wasn’t an organized religion/belief. I admit that I would like to me more traditional in that way but not to the point where heathens need one leader and follow them. Then there was the discussion about enforcing accountability. I stood up and stepped away from the table. Enforcing accountability will lead to people not wanting to heathen and encourage hate. I believe in my Gods and Goddesses and trust myself.
Then the article came out. One of the members from a visiting kindred that sat and drank and supped with us decided that he was going to write an article that was rather condescending. Now, it takes A LOT for me to speak in front of my own kindred but I felt utterly stupid reading what he had written and labeled me as a ‘newbie’ as if it was bad. Instead of imparting wisdom and some basic information he used us as guinea pigs for his article. He mentioned the men that were seated next to him that had the most knowledge but not one female. He also came across as one that is folkish or believes you need direct ancestry and lineage to follow the heathen way. The bloodline, HIS bloodline is all he really boasted about and gave off the vibe if anyone isn’t on his level of knowledge need to get their ass in gear but ONLY if they have the pedigree.
I know I made that sound all negative and that I didn’t have a great time but that was only a small part. He wrote an article (poorly written) with his opinions and STILL didn’t educate others. What I did learn and experience is a sense of community and bond between other people from different walks of life. I learned that we are all at different levels of our journey and it’s completely acceptable. This one guy taught me that there are others like him out there and it’s ok. They are going to be who they are and we can learn from them.
Sunday morning I was able to make everyone biscuits and gravy (southern style) and it felt great doing something I love and being able to share it with others. I was able to connect to other people including one person that understood me almost as well I do. Kids were kids and we even had a Scottish man playing guitar. Lots of laughs and learning bringing in an all in all great weekend.
This is just a mild recap as there is more to come about my week. Any heathens that have opinions I would like to hear from you. Any knowledge and advice you have pass it on.
Happy Thorsdagr Y’all!