The Modern Heathen

For Northern European Pagans of all bents

Heathen Teacher’s Prayer

I saw a prayer for teacher’s in a class I was taking, and thought I’d give it a heathen bent:

  • Odin, give me the wisdom to help shape the mind;

  • Bragi, give me the tongue to explain my thoughts;

  • Norns, give me the vision to see how they will use the knowledge;

  • and may all the gods help me shape the world.

Return to an Old Book – And starting a new one — ¨Ancient Values for a Modern Age¨

So I have finally gotten back to working on the book ¨More Viking Rituals¨  with Tegan Hendrickson, and have started on the book ¨Ancient Values for a Modern Age.¨   I thought I´d post the first chapter:

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Nine Worlds Festival

Nine Worlds Fall Festival

October 17-20, 2013 Darlington, MD

Join us in celebrating the Norse, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon Gods and Goddesses! We’ll be gathering at Ramblewood, a large Pagan-friendly campground and retreat center, for four days (Thursday-Sunday) of workshops, discussion groups, rituals, and intensives.

We are offering a wide variety of workshops, panels, and rituals, covering theology, history, healing, crafts, and our personal experiences of our gods. Our presenters include Jane SibleyScott MohnkernGalina KrasskovaLinda DemissyTchipakkan, and Raven Kaldera. We are also offering four-hour intensives, where participants will explore a specific topic in depth through classes and participation. These include ancestor worship, poetryFrigga’s Handmaidens, ands hamanism. There will be vendors of handmade spiritual crafts, diviners, and many altars set up for the weekend.

Register online at:

Registration: $155- $170

Discount for early registration.

(Scholarships available – contact us.)

Ramblewood is a private campground in northeast Maryland, about an hour from Baltimore, 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, and about 2 hours from DC. Cabins are included with your registration (beds, hot showers, electricity) but camping is welcome, in tents or RVs. Ramblewood offers a very nice optional meal plan – $80 for all meals, or buy meals individually on site.

While this event is open to everyone, the focus will be on modern Neo-Pagan ways of honoring the Northern Gods. It is a place for diverse worshipers to come together and share. We expect folks to be respectful of all differing religious practices, the Gods of everyone present, and all other attendees regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or lifestyle.

For more information, email or contact Raven at (978) 928-9795.

The Nine Worlds Fall Festival is co-sponsored by Turtle Hill Events. (

Northern European classes for Free Spirit Gathering announced

Free Spirit Gathering has a tentative list of classes out.  My classes include:

  • Blots every morning
  • Two Sumbels
  • Runevaldr
  • Making a rune set
  • The Philosopher and Mystic
  • Pagan Publishing

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Wonderful Blessing

I ran across this on an email list I was on, and thought it was wonderful:

May Odin give you wisdom, may Freya give you passion, may Frigg give you comfort and fulfillment, and may Skadi make you keen.  May Tyr darken the lines between “will” and “will not” and “must” and “must not”, and may the Valkyries ever watch over your deeds and find them worthy.

Seiðr Workshop

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Seiðr workshop offered by Laurel Mendes in Columbia, MD.    While I won’t go into specific details to protect the privacy of those who attended, I thought I’d give a general outline of what’s covered for those who may be interested in attending this ritual in the future. Continue reading

Heathen Problems

I love this Tumblr Site.

Odr Blot

Óðr Blot

This blot was originally held on 7/25/2012 in North Potomac, MD

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Honoring our Ancestors – – Types of links

In a previous post I espoused using to to genealogical research, and how it could be used to honor our ancestors.    If you start doing research on your ancestors when you are linking one relative to another there are two primary methods to linking.

First is links to other people’s trees.   If you have a relative in your tree, and it seems to match another persons tree, you can attach information about their immediate family members to your tree.  (Why you can’t just grab their tree from that point forward and attach it to yours seems silly, but it is what it is).

The other approach to getting information about ancestors is through records.   Military records, census records, etc.

Now each of these has its benefits in detriments.

The big advantage of official records searching is that you can be reasonably sure they are accurate.   Sometimes there may be a misspelling, or  a year or off or two, but you won’t have anything way out of kilter.   The disadvantage to them is the information can be sparse.

This is particularly true for recent (20th century and later) relatives), and extremely old (prior to 1776) relatives.   In these two time frames you may encounter relatives that there are no records at all on file at

Now the big advantage of using other people’s trees is that there’s lots of information there that’s readily available.   However, you don’t have any documentation (other than that persons word) to back up the information.  In addition, you may have 2-3 people that have different information about a relative, such as a date of birth, parents, siblings, etc.   You are then left scratching your head not knowing how to evaluate who is correct.    In many cases you can use a “consensus” model to determine what facts are correct.  This is by no means a perfect approach to the problem, but it is a potential solution.

You could also elect to say if there’s a dispute at all, you don’t include it in your tree.

How do I approach it with an ancestor I’m researching?   Well first, I start with the records and look at them, are there any that appear to contain good solid information?   For example, a marriage certificate saying “abt 1625″ is in my mind, less likely to be accurate than “mar 25, 1626″   Look at the records that seem to be definitive and start by adopting those into the record for the ancestor.   After you’ve adopted all the good ones, then go back and compare your information on the person with others, and see how it matches up.   Sometimes you’ll find that you’ve adopted a record that is likely assigned to another person, or you may decided that “researcher X” is simply incorrect, based upon the records that you’ve seen.


On Honoring our Ancestors

Circumstances in my life (My parents moving to a location that isn’t horribly far away from me to retire) have caused me to consider ancestors and honoring our ancestors.

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