Method: A short socratic essay in four pretentious parts

Part I: Reconstruction You are given a jukebox from 1952. You do not yet know if it is in working order, but chances are, it isn't. With that juke box, you are given some artwork featuring jukeboxes in the 1950's, as well as some songs and poetry about jukeboxes and…

On Lone Learners

I feel for the lone learner, just starting out. Its a terrible place to be, and I empathize with that. I was once there, so were most of us who weren't, raised in the religion. But its a swamp out here, full of quicksand and mud, disease and other filth.…

Ambiguity and Danger

My pursuit of heathenry is a pursuit of the ritualized life, a life replete and fecund with meaning, where ambiguity is confronted, analyzed, and ultimately conquered by meaning through ritual. Ambiguity is to meaning as entropy is to order. It is the breakdown of meaning, the natural state of potentiality…

What is Ritual X: Funerals

Let us return to the examination of ritual. Our last case study examined the Communal/Recieving emphasis of a Naming Ceremony. This time I want to look at the Communal/Giving aspect, and to help us examine those elements, I want to turn our attention to Funerals. When examining ritual…

Heathenry's Identity Problem

I have often said that the biggest problem I have with Heathenry is unfortunately my fellow co-religionists, which is to say Heathens. We’re a ridiculous pastiche of testosterone and wounded feelings, unable to abide even the mildest of rebukes or challenges to our understanding. I’d blame the over-culture,…

Heathenry's God Problem

Heathenry has a God Problem. And it will continue to do so for so long as heathens continue to refuse to tackle our own inherent biases and understanding of the Divine. We need to be careful, clear eyed, and above all ready to slay our own egos in trying to…

Heathenry's Authority Problem

This week, I’m taking a break from my examination of ritual. I’ve spent the last 10 days on travel back home to Georgia, and between wedding, working remotely, and social obligations to family and friends, I had to let a few personal projects slip. But I want to…

What is in a Name? (What is Ritual IX)

A Commugenic / Receiving Ritual Explained Birth alone does not automatically make a human being a member of the sib, just as death does not exclude an indivual from that community. Entering and leaving the community are marked by certain rites of passage. Hasenfratz (1992:64) describes the following ritual at…

The Unity of Purpose: Blót (What is Ritual VIII)

Before we look at the different types of rituals in the context of what they emphasize and deemphasize according to the concept of the ritual plane, I think it will behoove us to look at the single ritual where all elements (cosmogenic, commugenic, giving, and receiving) are in perfect harmony.…

What is Ritual VII: The Gift of Food

Last week, I laid out an argument for understanding ritual as the interplay of two axes of ritual purpose, between the commugenic, or community generating, and cosmogenic, or cosmos generating, purposes, and then the Gift giving / receiving axis. Along this plane, any all ritual actions occur. Depending on the purpose,…