Something that really bothers me about the Southeastern heathen community is the fact that we're such a small group but there are so many divisions. I think they're unnecessary. I think if people made the choice to put aside personal differences and work toward the common goal of furthering heathenry, it would be a much larger and stronger community.
I know several people that have been involved with the heathen community that have some really great ideas about developing more Vinlandic heathenry thought. Some of them also happen to be white supremacists/ nationalist. This is a major problem with me. #1 The history of those groups is filled with violence, crime, and deceit. #2 The science they use is inconclusive and outdated. #3 My culture is not synonymous with the color of my skin. Nobody whose family is from the South can say their culture is without 'color'. #4 The other platforms that most of these groups run are counter to what I believe. IF ONLY they disposed of this outdated rhetoric and fought for something that's true and has a future in this world, then they would be good allies.
Also, I understand that symbel can be a place to laugh and joke. It is also one of our most sacred rites. A good symbel will end after much laughing, crying, and bonding. Using language that is unfriendly to the majority of the people present, like cuss words, sexual remarks, etc is inappropriate. If you are too drunk to mind your manners during symbel, then you should excuse yourself. Im afraid this situation was one catalyst in splitting part of the southeastern heathen community. Im not saying symbel should be stuffy and formal, but the horn should be held with a certain reverence.
The power structures in the heathen community, in general, are still forming. Other than the major organizations in the United States: the Troth, the AA, the AFA, etc., individual kindreds and small state and regional organizations are forming. Most of them have informal by-laws and are still in their first generation. Many have not survived, many are quite different than their original form. Have we changed that much as individuals? That we enjoyed each others company so much two or three years ago seems ancient history now. That I supped and drank with friends who have broken bonds of kinship makes me wonder who will not be speaking to each other in five more years.
It seems that many are paranoid at those who hold power. Power in any official or unofficial sense. People in power are often uneasy about relinquishing that power once there are others capable of handling it. Instead of resolving these issues, a break seems more likely. Instead of addressing the real issues at hand, personal issues become the reason for the break. Power hungry bitches and racist bastards. Childish men and bad mothers.
We should be careful about whom we align ourselves with and they should be equally as careful whose counsel they follow. For it seems that the last few years have been fraught with unnecessary conflict. We are family and that should not be forgotten. Individual choices should not automatically be seen as personal attacks. Communication should be paramount. For a few years we can get away with so-called growing pains. But theres a point when our growing faith will be held to a higher standard and demand cooperation to survive.
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