This journal, long ignored, shall be recast with a new purpose.
The author herein considers himself both a Heathen and a Druid. He considers himself a Heathen insofar as he honors Germanic deities and spirits as his primary spiritual allegiance. He considers himself a “druid” of the ADF variety insofar as he pursues a modern eco-friendly religion based loosely on ancient Indo-European cultures and expressed through 8 public rituals a year.
The author is currently a dues paying member of The Troth, a dues paying member of ADF, and an oathed member of a local, private heathen Kindred.
The author has met Heathens who feel Heathenry stands on its own, and any influence from other religions, especially if they contain “foreign” pantheons, is tantamount to adulteration of the faith. The author also has met Druids who feel Druidry is best expressed, or perhaps solely expressed, through Celtic deities and cultures only. This journal respectfully disagrees with both viewpoints.
Heathenry can be a bit myopic at times in focus, and can learn much from the Indo-European cross-cultural perspective of ADF Druidry. Heathenry also stands to benefit from the dynamic mysticism available in Druidry. Finally, Heathenry is all too often practiced by testosterone laden young males who view the religion solely in terms of expressing Viking Warrior Values; Druidry’s emphasis on peaceful earth worship, and its inclusion of women, are necessary antidotes to this view point.
Meanwhile, any self-described Druidry will obviously be influenced heavily by Celtic sources and viewpoints. However, Druidry can learn much from Germanic Heathenry. The Well and Tree, 2 of 3 of ADF’s central cosmological symbols, arguably find their best expression within Norse mythology. Moreover, it is often said that Heathenry places a great emphasis on family, tribe and personal honor between individuals; this serves as a constructive contrast to the (at times) bureaucratic church mentality of some Druid groups.
This, then, is the mandate of this journal: to find a respectable and practical median between ancient Germanic religion and modern eco-friendly spirituality, especially as it exists within the context of ADF Druidry.
The author is certainly not the first person on this path, nor certainly will be the last, and he has no desire to reinvent whatever wheel is already in place. Rather, this journal will seek to add another splash of color in a mosaic of existing practices. Hopefully his addition to said mosaic will be considered constructive and sincere.
As a note on methodology, the following criteria are used in forging this spiritual path, and are listed in roughly the order of importance:
- Primary texts, archaeology, documented folklore and modern general academic inquiry for Germanic Heathenry in all eras and regions of historic practice.
- Comparative Indo-European studies is used to good effect to provide background information and context to the aforementioned Germanic studies.
- The modern Wheel of the Year, an invention of Ross Nichols and Gerald Gardner (but loosely based on an amalgam of old Irish and Anglo-Saxon holidays), is accepted as the most practical way to structure of a liturgical year in the modern era
- Individual insight and mystical experience – sometimes termed Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) – is accepted and even actively sought to the degree it supplements, rather than contradicts, established historical fact.
- Pursuant to the latter point, the use of Germanic esoteric practices – namely runes and seithr – are of key interest in allowing individuals and groups to ascertain the will of divine powers.
- While otherwise politically neutral, this journal accepts modern environmental sympathies as providing context for a modern Neopagan religion. Concurrently, the elevated status of an “earth mother” figure as defined by ADF is also accepted, and her place within a modern Germanic Neopaganism is actually a prime inquiry of this journal.
In Neopaganism one can construe a dichotomy of approaches with, at one end, scholasticism and historical reality, and the other end consisting of mysticism and modern innovation. The author of this journal tries to chart a middle ground, incorporating what is presumed to be the best of both worlds, in what he understands as the best traditions of ADF. Those at one end of the pole or another who object to this approach are free to ignore this journal and chart their own preferred course through spiritual waters.