A Leaf On The Current

While I’ve been quiet on this blog, my life has been a riotous kaleidoscope of activity because having kids will do that to you.  The older Thadd gets, the busier I get: Scouts, Soccer, Track, various Science team competitions, and Finn isn’t too far behind with Scouts and Soccer coming up. They also have kept me busy with playing nurse to their flu/upper respiratory infected / allergy and asthma suffering selves. And somehow, through it all, I still manage to teach part-time, volunteer in PTA, be a Scout and Den Leader, keep up an active social life, and continue to be OPEN to new opportunities that come my way.

Spiritually I’ve been on a whirlwind ride of ecstatic discoveries about the Norse Gods, Anglo-Saxon paganism, my ancestry, and things that organically fit so well in my household cult. When I took those first tentative steps towards Odin’s outstretched offered hand, I had no idea what I was getting myself into or what to expect. Odin has a well deserved reputation for rocking your world down to the foundation if that what it takes to make you heed His words, and so I took the advice of others and made a contract with Him: a safety net of sorts to protect my family from any harm. He in turn promised me that I would learn about who I am and my ancestors and why it’s important for me to be at least familiar with the Norse Gods.

Making these sort of contractual agreements with Gods is a very alien idea to me. In Hellenismos and Religio-Romana there’s not a need to have such a binding agreement in place before working with the Gods because, as a general rule, The Gods don’t get involved in every aspect of your personal life and try to muck it up on an epic apocalyptic scale if you don’t do as your told.

The Norse will.

I’ve been doing my part: learning, studying, researching, and trusting when He nudges me to look deeper into a subject. One of the biggest things I’ve been wanting to know is about my ancestors before they came to America, more specifically, I wanted to know what ethnicities make up my family tree. After all, Odin did say it was because of my ancestors that it’s important that I am at least familiar with Northern European traditions. About two months ago I submitted my DNA to 23andMe, and all though the results are not at all shocking, I did have a good laugh.

dnac

So, yeah… it might be important for me to learn about Northern European polytheism/paganism if I want to learn more about my ancestors and where I belong.

Right now I’m in a Heathen women’s study group and we are doing The Troth’s Introduction to Heathenism and we have gotten into the Wights, Disir, Alfs section.  I’ve had two moments of “OMG!” already in this section that went with a click in my head of things falling into place and making sense.

1) One of the wights mentioned is the “house ghost” (Harry Potter fans will be familiar with it being a House Elf). The Norwegian the nisse  and the Swedish  tomte are gnomes; they are entities that are attached to the family who help keep things running smoothly. In Anglo-Saxon paganism they are called the cofgodas – the house gods – and are equivalent to the Roman Penates.  I have a small collection of gnomes in the house and garden. I love them completely and to find out that this whole time my dear little gnomes are our house spirits thrills me (and the cross reference of Roman stuff doesn’t hurt either).

2) I’ve heard people speak about their personal Disir, but nothing was clicking for me: I don’t have past Queens or Goddesses in my posse, but I do have a great-great grandmother. From my reading, I learning more about the familial Matronae cult which I have a stronger pull towards since my personal practice revolves around my home and family. There’s a passage that says the Disir were represented by three women holding specific items and I’m thinking of trying my hand at a clay sculpture of my interpretation of it.

To be honest, I still feel like a leaf that fell into a fast moving current. I no longer have a firm answer to what culture my Polytheism belongs in: there’s bits of Hellenismos, Romana, and Heathenism. I’m not going to stress over it too much, after all my Romano-Britain ancestors did a great job merging differing cultures and practices to create a new vibrate religious life.

I think that’s where I’m headed.

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2 thoughts on “A Leaf On The Current”

  1. That sounds awesome! I haven’t been able to send my DNA in quite yet, though a friend of mine has helped me sort through all of my family records and because of their help I now know most of my family roots – I was suprised at how much overlap there was between the Gaels and the Norse, especially through the Scottish clans and families.

    I think, and I could be completely wrong mind you, that some people tend to think or assume that you need some famous or noble female ancestor way back in your family tree in order to qualify to have a “”proper” Disir. But the simple truth is that your Disirs are just awesome female family members who tend to watch over their kin more so than others. While I have found some “famous and noble” women deep down in the family history, the most powerful of my more recent female ancestors happens to be my great grandmother who was one of those German American Christians who also practiced a little bit of folk healing. I love the fact that Great Grandmother still watches over and I easily feel her presence, especially when I walk by the old abandoned house where she used to live before she passed on from this world.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome updates and musings.
    Rob

    1. Thanks for sharing your insights, Rob! How great it is that you count your Great Grandmother among your Disir and can still visit her home (abandoned or not). I too have a few noble/royal women in the family wood pile, but I do not have a strong connection to them.

      Getting the DNA testing is something I’ve been doing for a long time. I know a good chunk of my paternal family, but not that much of my maternal, so now a lot of questions have been answered.

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