A Beginner’s Journey In Heathenry II: Honouring The Gods.
Beginner’s Heathenry by D. Watson
In my last article I gave you an introduction into who I am and how I came to discover Heathenry as well as a (very) brief overview of my take on it. If you read the article you will know that I myself am new to Heathenry and its ways, though I am ever expanding my knowledge and experience in the subject which I would recommend that all who want to know more do. For this article though, we shall go through my take on honouring the Gods, Housewights, and Landwights.
Honouring the Gods
You may wonder why I say “Honour the Gods” instead of “Worship the Gods”. Although I am sure some will disagree with me here, I feel that the Gods we choose to follow and devote ourselves to aren’t looking for sheep or people who will grovel at their feet for a scrap of acknowledgment. The whole Nordic world seemed built upon doing things for the betterment of your kin and yourself as I have previously said and I apply that too in my Honouring the Gods. By living your life in their image and applying yourself to the nine noble virtues you will be gaining their favour. Don’t beg for them to do something for you, go out and do it yourself in their name and if you feel it appropriate ask that they watch over/guide you in this task. Not only will you feel more accomplished yourself but you will also be proving to the Gods that you are worthy of their attention. There are plenty of documents out there on the web and in books that can give you an insight into certain rituals and practices such as a Blót or Sumbel but that isn’t what we are going to be going through today. Today will be the average and bog standard ways in which you can do your bits to Honour the Gods apart from living your life fully and to the nine virtues.
For the Gods there are many things you can do. If you feel an attraction to one of them, then talk to/about them, It may seem strange at first but that’s something that you must push through and get used to(the oddness you feel is just a hangover from societies conditioning your beliefs on what is “normal” and what isn’t). Set up a shrine in place for them or the God you feel a connection to, it doesn’t matter how simple or elaborate it is as long as it is done with thought and a clear purpose within your mind. Our ancestors are known to have regularly left offerings to the Gods and there is no reason we can’t do the same on a regular basis. Items to leave could include mead, ale, honey, fruit, meat or something you have crafted yourself for them. Something nice and in keeping with what they have come to expect from our ancestors but also that is applicable in today’s world. If you have spare time, why not dwell on some of their great deeds and perhaps share some of your deeds to them as well. A great story is enjoyed by everyone, Gods included.
Other Norse Beings – Housewights and Landwights
Housewights are not as well known as many of the Gods are, but arguably are just as important. Being that you share the same house it is really something you should be working to build a healthy relationship with when you give it some thought. Firstly, if you do not know much about them find out more. Go and do some research and get a firm understanding of what Wights are. I could give you an explanation here but not everything should be handed to you on a plate, find out more won’t take much and hopefully will push you deeper into finding out more for yourself. To begin with, I would suggest simply letting the Housewight know that you want to welcome them in and begin a good relationship. Give them a small space in your home and dedicate it to them, some even go as far as to make a small “house” to further represent them. In the same way you would give offerings to the Gods, you can do the same for the Housewight. Perhaps leave some things of importance by their dedicated space and share with it food, drink and other items of the like. Once a relationship is formed you can ask for favours as you would a friend, whether It be minding the house in your absence or helping rid it of pests.
Landwights can be dealt with very much the same way as Housewights. If you tend to lean towards leaving your home to honour the Gods, then don’t leave out the Landwight of that area. Perhaps make them a pil;e of stones or wood with some decorations and other offerings when you pass by. I have some woodland behind my house and intend to set up something for the Landwight there. As I said previously, this may all seem odd or strange for you at first but that feeling passes with time and you will soon feel the benefit of doing as our ancestors did. To have a Landwight on friendly terms can really be of great benefit as I hope you will soon find out for yourself.
Conclusion for Beginning Heathenry
In conclusion, honouring the Gods and Wights isn’t something that requires you to grovel, beg and scrape for. By honouring yourself you honour them. I like to think of it as if I was honouring my ancestors, which essentially we are. The offerings you leave are signs of respect, we talk to build up bonds and we think well of them, remembering what great deeds they have done. Live life so they can look down on you and be proud. You have been given this one life to live, don’t waste it away for that would surely dishonour them all.
–D Watson, England.
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