Saturday, May 2, 2015

Oh boy, here we go again.

Well, Vice has managed to piss me off.

I'm not gonna do an indepth thing on the so called "article" written by one of their tools claiming all american Asatru is racist because honestly I don't think it's worth my time to do so. Also, I advise you to go to the Ulv Hamre youtube channel later on, because I imagine Wulf will be tearing this to shreds.

Anyone who knows anything about us will be able to tell by the end of the thing that the kid clearly didn't do his research, or there would have been six different articles on the subject from at least two thousand four hundred and six separate viewpoints. Why yes, that is a random number isn't it.

That being said, I will link the archive version at the bottom so that you folks can judge for yourself. Do not give Vice any more views. Also, I advise you to go to the Ulv Hamre youtube channel later on, because I imagine Wulf will be tearing this to shreds.

Is also apparently a refutation by the guy the writer of the vice article cites as an expert.

The guy who wrote this even went so far to use an Avengers hashtag and made it quite clear throughout the article that he was mocking us with comparisons to the Marvel Thor. Whoever this Rick Paulas character is, he's clearly got a chip on his shoulder about something. Must be a fluffy bunny.

"Which is why, every now and then, you'll hear a loud horn blast rattling the cold prison walls before the mead cup is passed, and why prisons are now, if not chock-full (there are no stats kept on inmate religions), then at least somewhat comprised of large, angry, heavily-tattooed white guys wearing necklaces that your precocious pre-teen Avengers fan may have on his Christmas list."

Is a quote directly from the fucking article, which for some reason has spoiler bars over it in the actual link. Just highlight it with your mouse and it should work.

Vice even goes so far as to call this article related to one on the KKK, for those who don't know, a CHRISTIAN, white supremacist group.

So there's some information, arm yourselves.



So, I know i've been gone a while. School is taking a fair chunk of time, and before that I was dealing with medical issues out the wazoo and didn't really feel like I had anything to say. This one probably won't be very long and is mostly my opinion, so feel free to disregard as needed.

I should note that I don't have any ancestral ties to Iceland, so I feel in no way like they are above criticism.

Also, I know this has been largely talked to death lately in a bunch of different circles. I should also make it clear I don't mean any disrespect to the Icelandic Asatru folks when I post this, not that any of them are likely to read this. All that out of the way.

I'm so damn tired about hearing about the temple in Iceland and how it's changing the face of heathenry world wide.

First off, Heathenry here in the states tends to differ widely between state to state. What we do here in West Virginia in Ulv Hamre is way different from what is done out in the Midwest or up in the north east. So it's vastly different from what they'll do in Iceland. Sure, some traditions and aspects are gonna be the same, but they're in Iceland. The entire culture there is vastly different from what we've got here, and that'll affect everything.

Second off, good for Iceland. A temple is good, not that I'm gonna travel there to use it. That's their temple, not mine, not Ulv Hamre's. We'll build our own temple when the time comes and it'll be for us and any future members.

Which leads to the next and somewhat vaguely related point which requires a bit of brief explanation. I was born, raised and still continue to live in West Virginia. I hope to live here for the rest of my life and eventually die here. I've often said I consider myself a West Virginian first and a American second when it comes to politics. I pay more attention to issues affecting West Virginia and I don't pay a whole lot of attention to issues outside of WV beyond a cursory glance when I browse the news.

Now what I meant when I talked about that was, I generally have more to do with my day than celebrate that a temple is being built in Iceland. I'd probably not even be overly excited if one was being built in Ohio. I put my effort into helping and working with my tribe here in West Virginia so that we can one day build a temple here, because that's where it's going to matter most to me.

Heathens need to be active in their local community, and build up in that. That's what I believe and that's the other members of Ulv Hamre believe. We should focus more on building up our own temples than rushing off to Iceland as if it's some kind of Asatru Mecca.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Life is life.

So it's been about a month since my last post. Nothing major has happened unless you count I gave my two weeks notice at the job I didn't like, got registered for classes in information technology and am suffering a headache because I'd forgotten how bad dealing with financial aid offices can be. It's even worse because Suddenlink, the local/regional Internet service provider, has apparently decided now is a perfect time to do service upgrades, causing all kinds of problems for my post work gaming...which admittedly has lead to more post work reading, so that's always good. 

Ulv Hamre and Drage Ulv met up at Four Brothers back in the first weekend of the December, was a damn good time even if poor Terra's tire did seemingly implode. Ask her for more information on that, it's still a mystery. 

Yule is coming up for everyone, but for us in Ulv Hamre, it's especially important because it's our first real major holiday as a group. Winternights was there true, but this will be all of us in one place with at least two bottles of mead, food and somewhere on the list of importance, my batch of buttermilk biscuits. I'm looking forward to seeing what Wulf & Frank have put together for the ritual portion and I'm reaaaaaally looking forward to using my drinking horn for mead.  

Really tonight, as I sit here trying to decipher what patch I next want on my vest and waiting for the iron to warm up, I just wanted to talk briefly about how important it is to me to be a part of Ulv Hamre. Knowing that I've got a group I belong to who share semi-similar opinions, who are also working through life with me, who I can sit around and eat a good sandwich with while talking, has made these past couple of months at work and in life in general a lot easier. 

Sure I have friends outside of Ulv Hamre. My Buddy Mat, who I've known since 4th grade, who is routinely there if I need it, is a good example. Got Josh as well, though he's living in Columbus nowadays and never calls, but when we meet up it's a good time. There's James, who I've been friends with since...well I doubt he remembers either, but it was about the time the first Starcraft was released. He works at Twitter out in California now though and I'm a terrible twitter user. 

Ulv Hamre is easily on the same level as the ones mentioned above, and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. Ulv Hamre is my tribe. I'll always have friends and family outside the tribe, but the tribe is equally, if not slightly more so, important because to me it represents a chance to help make my mark on something bigger in West Virginia by helping to build a community of heathens here. I suspect Wulf already knew he'd have my help in it, but this is me reaffirming it to the ones who read this,

Ulv Hamre!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We find our way, we might just stub our toes every now and again.

I know last time I said I would be covering what all changes had happened since I joined Ulv Hamre, but I've been thinking a fair amount lately about a bunch of topics and wanted to drift off a bit this time and to touch on a subject I've thought on a lot over the years. 

We all have our own ways to do things and each way is going to be different for each person or on a larger scale, for kindreds and groups within Heathenry. What works for you may not work for me and what works for Ulv Hamre may not work an example..a kindred in Alaska or Canada. It may even be that what works for us may not work for Drage Ulv, the other kindred currently in the works in our central region of West Virginia.

Ulv Hamre is still defining itself. Hell, I'm still defining myself as a man and as a heathen. I suspect I'll be defining myself till the day I'm either chucked in the ground or burn with my vest. I also suspect that Ulv Hamre will always be expanding and defining itself as well. Our definition of heathenry isn't for everyone and doesn't apply to everyone.

Which is just damn fine with me.

I understand this is a bit shorter than normal, but it's been a long day at work and I'm still recovering from a sinus infection. Next time I'll try to be a bit longer.

Ulv Hamre!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Living it. 

So I'm Stevan, Moxxie as some of Ulv Hamre likes to call me. That's a story for another time though. I've had lots of stories over the course of my life, and a good many over the several years I've been calling myself a Heathen. 

How I came to Asatru and Heathenry is a bit of a tale all on it's own, so I'm not really planning to start there. The short version is, I am now and always have been a tech junkie and a science fiction/fantasy/history nerd. That'll likely never change, but it's helped lead me down the path that started me on heathenry.

I also apologize for any grammar or spelling errors in advance. I try to proof read these, but it doesn't always work because over the years I've somewhat forgotten most of what was taught in elementary school grammar courses, and college didn't really help a whole lot in that regard.

That all being said, I suppose a bit of context for this first entry is needed. Over the years I've noticed that one question, be it in person or over Asatru boards/reddits/facebook groups has pretty consistently come up. "How do I tell my" normally you can insert christian here if it's an American board, "family/parents/girlfriend, etc."

Well I can answer part of this, but normally my past girlfriends have never had an issue with it, so for that, you may want to talk to James, Ulv Hamre's Gothi. He is a married man after all.

When it comes to dealing with family, you've got to remember that we're a faith based around community and family. It's hard to be a solitary heathen, I would know, I was one until James messaged me one night and asked if I wanted to meet up with him and Wulf at the coffee shop in downtown charleston.

My folks have always been skeptical about heathenry and it's never helped the issue that I'm really terrible at explaining things in a face to face setting. Also didn't help that for some of the early years I didn't really live up to the virtues of Heathenry. I admit those mistakes and am working to improve on it every day.

You should be honest with your parents and family. At the same time, if you think they'll take poorly, you don't have to be upfront about it. If asked, don't lie and tell them the truth, but you don't have to state it bluntly if your living situation is living with them, which is still a common thing in this day and age due to the economy making it harder for younger folks to live on your own. If asked, answer, if not, practice as you can, live nobly and honorably.

I generally didn't advertise to my folks and family what I was, but I did answer the questions when asked. Family was always a little more difficult, because I come from a distinctly protestant one, especially on Dad's side. Mom's side has a history of Serbian Orthodoxy, Things were always a bit tense when religion came up, but they're still my family and even at the worst I always and continue to love them.

I know this was a little on the short side, but this is the very first time I've ever done a blog for myself, so next time will likely get better. Next time I'll try to touch somewhat on how things have changed between myself and my parents since I actually joined Ulv Hamre and started wearing the cut.

Stevan, Ulv Hamre Scribe.