Disclaimer: The Views expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views of Real Heathenry, but of the author alone.
By Larz Silcott
As a young Heathen I personally did not know where to find proper source to educate myself. I couldn’t separate Historic vs UPG. I was lost in this world we call Heathenry. Well, after many hours with my nose in as many books i could get my hands on, I finally learned something. So, I have compiled a list of advice for the newest of the Folk.
1. Question everything.
The first mistake I ever made was “learning” from famous Heathens and taking their word as law and truth. Its been my experience that on occasion these “Leaders” surround themselves with people that refuse to challenge them on their philosophy. Also when you do your own study you may just find that the information they were putting out was just flat out incorrect. Also, never take anything you read on social media as correct until you do your own research.
Check the wording of topics that you read. If a topic reads “the vikings believed…. ” This is probably a bad source. First thing, “VIKING” was a job not a people. To go A Vyking translates loosely as “going on a free-booting journey.” But if the terms Arch-Heathen, Saxons, Danes or any of the other known Heathen tribes are used, pay attention.
2. Strive to meet other Heathens face to face.
Heathenry as a whole is a communal belief system. The stories of our ancestors and gods were shared vocally with the folk. Fellowship was a main part of all of this. A simple search on social media can find groups of Heathens to connect with. Many groups have great gatherings known as Moots that are open to attend. I learned more about being Heathen at one such event than i ever did on a forum post.
3. Unverifiable Personal Gnosis “UPG”
Visions, dreams, special connections to gods, ancestors etc. As a matter of respect to those that came before you, please keep these things to yourself and to the ones closest to you. I am not saying that these events are not real. I can fully believe that these things are real for the people that they happen to. However, these types of events do not occur to everyone and I have found it discourages some people from trying to move forward in their personal belief.
4. READ READ READ, And when you’re done READ it again.
Many of the main books that most of the reconstructionists suggest are public domain now. Many Heathen webpages have a files section to download PDFs. My suggestion is take advantage of this. It can only help you. Perfect examples: [wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=1 linktext=’Culture of the Teutons’ /]([wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=2 linktext=’Part 2′ /]) is free. READ IT! [wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=5 linktext=’Road to Hel’ /] is free. READ IT!
These academic texts can be hard to fully comprehend at first. Just keep at it. I suffer from a learning disability and struggled through. It is worth it. All you do is run the risk of learning something that you did not know before.
5. Studying is great but living life is better.
Having tons of knowledge on all things Heathen is amazing and is something to strive for, But in my opinion going out and living your everyday life in a manner that will please your ancestors is a better way to go through life. Take care of your friends, share stories and joy with them. If you wrong someone, fix it.
All that knowledge is worthless if not put to practice.