Two worlds combined
One thing many of you know about me and many more do not know is that I was, at one time in my life, a practicing Pagan. Weird right? Now I’m known in many circles simply as Padre. Due to my devotion towards Christ and the Christian religion. While my belief in Christ is unwavering. Ultimately, there is a part of me that has clung to, and at times, even desires the path of the old ways.
I’ve come to the realization over the past year that I am different than most Christians. I have a deep desire and respect for the earth. I depend on the earth for food and medicines. When I hunt and kill an animal, I thank God for the bounty. Then I thank the animal for giving its life for my family and me, a tradition that goes back to my Native American Great Grandmother.
I have a desire to be in contact physically with the earth. To immerse myself in the deepest forests and amongst the mountain peaks. To feel a cold mountain stream flow over my body. In essence, to feel the spirit of God’s creation all around me. The spirit of the earth.
When I practiced paganism, it was a mixture of Druid and Germanic.
Which made sense to me as my ancestry is Celtic and Germanic. Don’t look at me that way; we’re all mutts. But back then, practicing the old ways lead to a more liberal lifestyle and mindset. I firmly believe my pull towards conservative Christianity came because of my mindset shifting to being more conservative.
So, I have marched onward. Devoutly Christian, yet secretly longing for the earth. Secretly always being pulled back to the old ways. How have I managed over the years? Simply put, I’ve combined them in my lifestyle.
I no longer worship a pantheon of deities. I no longer attend Druidic circles where chants and spells were cast. I no longer partake in witchcraft and heresy. I bow my knee only to Christ. He is my king and my savior: my God and the subject to my spiritual devotions. Yet, I don’t fit into most Christian circles.
This has bothered me for years. My devotion to God’s creation is overwhelming. My favorite quote is by John Muir, “I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains.”
This goes against everything every church has taught me. My devotion should be to the building: Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening. Minimum three times a week at the church, and if I miss a sermon, I better have a good reason for the pastor.
Do not get me wrong, I enjoy going and hearing a sermon. I enjoy the fellowship with the church family. I encourage others to attend church. It feeds us, and the bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. So yes, going to service is essential, but for me, it isn’t enough. There’s more to a walk with God, more to being a Christian and that involves His creation.
There is another topic that I’m sure not many people will argue with me about when dealing with the church today. It’s been feminized. It is full of weak men bowing to their wives instead of bowing to Christ. Something seems to be missing. Honor, courage, integrity, hospitality, hard work, and loyalty to family, seems to be missing.
These are all values that I hold dear. I live them. I teach them to my children. But they are missing from the church. As much as I love my church, it is full of deceit, backstabbing, lying, scheming, lack of honor, and lack of work ethic, which does not seem to be isolated to just my church. It is world-wide. Fear and cowardice have overtaken the churches.
I have found a place where what is missing from my faith is the moral standard. There is a religion that embraces my standards as well as my love and appreciation of the earth. It is actually a fairly new religion and one I have studied greatly because, again, it comes from my ancestors.
This religion started back in the 19th century, beginning in Europe and spread to America. It really began picking up steam in the 1970s. With The History Channels Viking show in 2007, it has skyrocketed in America since then. So has the fascination with Viking culture.
The Vikings have always been an area of fascination for me. I have ancestors that were Danish Vikings and have also traced genealogy to Iceland. To see the culture of my ancestors become so popular has been exciting to watch. But that is a whole other thread.
Back to Norse Heathenry, or Norse paganism, or whatever it is, you want to call it. There are, for lack of better terms, denominations of it as well as any other religion. Some branches being more conservative while others being much more liberal, almost Wiccan in practice. But Heathenry in America is deeply conservative.
So, what does all this mean?
It means I have embraced the morality of Norse Heathenism. Yet I still cling to the cross and my Christ that died upon it. I am a Christian Heathen. I will never abandon my God as my church has done, yet I can not abandon the things that I hold dear to me. My morals and values.
If my morals and values must set me apart from the Christian world, then so be it. I will travel this path alone. If my morals and values align me with Heathens, then so be it. The company I keep directly affects my life. Your religion does not determine if your company is one that I keep.
My brothers and sisters are not necessarily of the same faith as me, as this applies to most practicing Christians. But as we covered, I am not like most practicing Christians. My brothers and sisters are people of honor and people of values. My brothers and sisters are people who will toast their gods while I toast mine and then grab a sword and stand shoulder to shoulder with me.
They are my tribe.
I am a Christian Heathen, and I am building my tribe; I am selecting my kin. I am solidifying my clan. I invite you to join me.
Questions or Thoughts? Leave them in the comments.
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