What We Do

I don’t really have a name for what our group does.

We practice seidhr, as well as incorporating other shamanic techniques in our practice. Most of us have some Wiccan training, a couple have ceremonial magician backgrounds, and we have one former Druid.

We study the Nordic worldview, the beliefs and practices of the ancient and medieval Germanic people as well as other Northern European people, and we adapt them to modern life.

We are Reconstructionists, but we are not fanatically about it. UPG(unproven personal gnosis) plays a big part in what we do.

We are modern mystics, most of us have one foot in the mundane and one foot in the other realms.

But we are not Heathens, in the Asatru sense, nor are we Wiccans.

This is my opinion based on my experience. This does not apply to every person I have ever met; rather it illustrates a general trend I see in practice.

Mainstream Heathenry is a Reconstructionist religion whose practitioners either dismiss mysticism altogether or perhaps consider themselves mystics but only within certain paradigms. They are often conditionally comfortable with oracular seidhr, and either dismiss magic altogether or see only things such as rune work to be valid within a Heathen practice.

Most feel Loki and his kin are evil and to be avoided at best, reviled at worst.

Invested in the idea that if it wasn’t written down in the lore, it didn’t exist, these practitioners think that anything outside those practices and beliefs is a way to play pretend at best. At worst, anything with a shamanic bend is ahistorical, fuzzy thinking, or the ultimate insult from their perspective, Wiccatru.

And in a way, they are right. We don’t have Old Norse historical documentation for what we do. We reconstruct based on the sagas and UPG. That can be a very tricky thing; especially if my UPG doesn’t match someone else’s UPG (which I have had happen).

However, there is a fantastic rise of practitioners that are interested in seidr and other shamanic practice. One of our guidebooks is Diana Paxson, one of the major founding members of modern Asatru’s book “Trance-Portation”.

Wicca is a modern religion influenced by a variety of pre-Christian beliefs. It views the spiritual and material worlds as overlapping. It stresses personal experience with both divinity and the larger world. Their rede is “Do as you will but harm none”

And we have no restriction on doing harm, other than “You pay for what you get.” Curse someone, do harm with what you know and learn, and you will pay the consequences. Are the consequences worth it to you?

Wiccans find Asatru frightening or racist or sexist (I had a Wiccan high priest illustrate his opinion of Heathens to me as a faith for bikers). While their system for magic is useful, many of the beliefs that surround it are not.

Establishing a group that works with aspects of the Aesir, Vanir and Jotnar (and we have people that have affinities and blood ties to all three of those tribes of the Nine Worlds), as well as a pantheist and a Celtic Reconstructionist, has been challenging, not only from a getting along with one another inside the group, but playing well with others outside the group.

Basically, we do what works. We’ve been doing it for 3 years now in Heimdrifandu.

Your mileage will most certainly vary.

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2 Responses to What We Do

  1. Nornoriel says:

    Hi Piper,

    For what it’s worth I totally agree with your observation about what mainstream Heathenry is/does. Yeah, it doesn’t apply to every single person equally, but it is what I’ve seen as being the mainstream of attitudes and practice of Heathenry in this country… and it can be weird being a Norse Pagan who falls outside the bounds of that, whose beliefs aren’t easily put into neat boxes.

    Nonetheless, the need for the Work is there, so it’s good you’ve got a group that works and is exploring seidhr. I’m looking forward to reading more about it here. :)

  2. Piper says:

    Thank you, Nornoriel. I’m hoping that we can put out some good info.

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