Since i have aired my frustration sometimes, and perhaps (unintentionally) in a way that might seem like i´m targeting whole groups rather than certain tendencies (some of them “fringe” but that might have bigger consequences in the long term) it feels only fair that i also open my mouth about some pros.
There are whole groups as well as very learned individuals within heathenry everywhere outside of Scandinavia and some basic things we do will be the same or similar,others might differ, and in my view that is how it should be.
Even in the public cult, Norse customs where more “related” than “the same”.
Cult practices differed some. Things where not identical but certain cult practices or customs where of a similar nature rather than the “same” in every detail.
Among the Sviar (Swedes) the king was part of the cult, in Iceland they had a republic from the get go with a cult reflecting this for an example.
Some good stuff
- American heathenry seem to congregate more and often form in “kindreds”. These are not only a support system but also a place for a number of social activities, learning and everything else that comes from getting together.The Havamal says that “Men delights in the company of men” or in short, mankind has a place to grow in eachothers company.
- Scandinavians might be surrounded by Norse history and artifacs and their culture might be a direct extension from things of both pre Christian, and later nature. But familiarity breeds contempt. As they say, you dont miss something until it´s gone. It is very easy to get blind to the things right in front of you.
- For the same reasons, a person outside of Scandinavia will have to actually look for information. They cant just relax and pretend to know simply by virtue of being born in a certain place. With some non Scandinavian heathens i get the feeling they really hit the books. You value something more if you worked for it than if you got it for free it is said.
- Without being naive, freedom of speech and religous freedom are traditions that are at the core of what built the US. Despite right wing wingnuts it is a good place to be of a different religion (some Euopean countries only recently got religous freedom, though nobody would enforce the law ).
- Heathens outside of Scandinavia have often managed to adapt the customs to their circumstances, mindsets and time in a way that seems to work for them. I have seen kindreds and individuals all over the world that are both impressive and very interesting. Related but distinct so to say.