Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Establishment of Local Heathen Communities is a Holy Act

The establishment and growth of an active and tight-knit Heathen community here in Kansas City is quite literally a Holy act on the part of everyone involved. It is a right and worthy deed to which all of us can contribute and benefit. It is not about individual needs, though clearly many individual needs will be met. It is not about personal glory, though as a group our efforts may obtain some level of recognition. It is a community effort. We are each a cog in the machine working toward the same community-oriented goals. We are each important to the effort, but no one of us is more important than the effort, or each other. It will take dedication, generosity of time and effort, and sacrifice. But, in the end we will have built something that no one of us could have accomplished on our own. We will have created something from nothing, and be able to pass our efforts on to those of our children that wish to carry the torch forward. And what will this effort require?

It will take a willingness to be there regularly, once a month, so that we may build bonds, honor our Gods and Ancestors, learn together, and begin to work together. It takes the dedication to give the practice of your religion and community-building efforts some priority in your life. Family and being able to support that family always comes first, but where does your loyalty to your Gods, your Ancestors, our Ways, and your fellow local Heathens fall in your life? What priority are you willing to give these things? It means getting involved. Offering to help with things that need doing. It means reaching out and opening yourself up to making new friendships with those that share your beliefs and your practices. It means a shift in how you view yourself...so that you see yourself as an integral part of the Heartland Hof & Hall effort. And why do it?

Being involved in the Heartland Hof & Hall effort will enrich your life and the life of your family. Involving yourself in the local Heathen community assists you to be more focused on your native Folkway. It makes it easier to learn and grow more solid and knowledgeable in your beliefs. It allows you to put your Heathen world-view into practice, as you interact with an entire community of Heathens who share that same world-view. It allows all of us to be there for one another, when each of us inevitably needs a little moral support. For me, there is also the spiritual aspect of knowing that our Gods and Ancestors watch us every day. What are we doing to remember them and honor them? What are we doing to ensure the survival of the Ways of our People? What are we doing to pass our ways onto the next generation of Heathens? And that brings us full circle. Our involvement in building and growing an active and tight-knit Heathen community here in Kansas City gives our Gods and Ancestors their answers to these questions. This effort is quite literally a Holy act on the part of everyone involved.

I think it is important to be very intentional in your deeds, and to understand exactly what drives you.  Living intentionally requires understanding the meaning of your own actions in your life and the lives of others.  I believe that every effort to bring Heathens together into local groups and communities is a spiritually important and Holy act.  If you don't see your own efforts in this light, think on it a bit.  If the establishment of local Heathen communities is not a Holy act, of the greatest importance to ourselves and our families, then I don't know what is.  Seeing these efforts in this light, can bring new focus and energy to your own efforts, whatever stage of success you find yourself.

To learn more about the Heartland Hof & Hall effort, visit the HHH Page.

Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun's Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods

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