Heirs of Bifrost

(This is the script notes I used for a 30 minute introductory lecture to modern queer heathenry from the Conference of Heathen Women 2018. I had a short amount of time to introduce the audience to an infinitely diverse subject, so by nature I wasn’t able to fully go into anything in detail)

Before we start, I have half an hour. That means to say the things that I want to, I’m going to have to focus on some things at the expense of others. This is going to be the short, short version of what is a hugely complex subject. I’m going to be talking about gender, and sexual orientation, and looking at queer heathenry among modern Asatruar. The sagas and the myth cycle do hold traditional gender roles, but also give plenty of examples of queering those roles, such as Thor’s wearing of a wedding dress. I hope that I will be able to explore some of those examples with you and look at the development and recognition of queer heathenry alongside the emergence and acceptance of queer identities.

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What If? Subjunctive Theological Reflection in Heathenry

(This article is a little longer, but it’s worth it)

Theological reflection, aside from winning lots of points at Scrabble, is something that’s easy to write down, but rather harder to explain. In essence it’s thinking about your faith, resulting in an approach that might be new, or modified. Theological means ‘about faith’; reflection means ‘having a good think’. So: what use is theological reflection to heathens, or to pagans in general? Why would we spend some our of (probably limited) time thinking about how we practise our faith?

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Welcome, lovely reader to the new blog for Gytha in Jeans, you may have arrived here from Frithcast, from my twitter feed, or from a random internet search. Either way, I’d best let you know what to expect. There’ll be irregular posts on inclusive heathenry, I’m aiming for posts short enough to read in one sitting.
They’ll be from the standpoint of supportive, inclusive, queer heathenry. If you don’t share that perspective I don’t owe you an explaination, or debate on why I understand inclusive heathenry to be my choice of how to express my faith. Debate, comment and exploration on the points I raise is just fine, but questions based around ‘why inclusive heathenry?’ are not. I will cheerfully delete your unpublished comments, as surprisingly, this is my blog and my space.

Introductions are probably in order. I’m Suzanne, my pronouns are she/her, I’m a queer geek inclusive heathen from Derbyshire in the UK. if you like what I do on this blog, or you enjoy what we do on Frithcast, and you’re financially able, you’re welcome to give a donation on our Ko-Fi site: https://ko-fi.com/frithcast There’s a whole About Me page on this blog if you’d like to read a bit more about me, I hope you enjoy the posts.

Content vs Creator: Ethics of Inclusive Heathenry

Like many pagans I have a hardbound blank book into which I put favourite things: prayers, images, ritual openings and closings, full rituals on occasion, becoming a collection of words and images that resonate with me and a record of my spiritual practice as I go through the years. Recently I’ve had occasion to look back through some of my old stuff, and aside from finding words and dedications to a particular Vanir a lot further back than I’d been aware of at the time (Hello Freya) I also found a prayer to the Disir that I had copied in, not once, but on two separate occasions some months apart.

Hold that thought right there, sidestep: pagans tend to hold to the maxim that you find wisdom in many places, and something can resonate with you at the most unexpected of times. Wisdom is where you find it. If someone says something that profoundly resonates in that moment, it’s as valid as hearing it from a priestess, a gytha, or a member of the clergy from another faith. Something profound can be found in the smallest of things: a fallen leaf, a stone catching the light just so, the raindrops on a window, a thank you, a spiritual connection, not only in things, but in words.

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Learning about Learning

Asatru, or Heathenism, is known as the ‘one with the homework’ and for good reason. For many people new to the faith, and those who have a deeper experience, the push is for books. Books and more books. Which, spoiler alert, I have a total love for. Although there’s a lot of information you can learn, and books are a way to do that, there are other ways. Books might not be your thing, you might have severe dyslexia, be unable to keep focus on written texts, or not have pennies to spend on copies for yourself. So, before you go asking Book-Santa to bring you a whole mini-library of texts that you then have to do the hard work of slogging through, there’s a few things to consider first.

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