I said briefly in my “About Me” page that above all that, to me, tending my Hearth is the most important part of my practice. This is something I wanted to expand upon today. More so to get my own thoughts onto digital paper than anything else.
I often see throughout the Heathen circles of the internet that people’s main priority is their Gods, above all else. Before the wights of the land around them, and even their Ancestors. From the very get-go of my Heathen journey this never sat quite right with me. I could never get behind an omnipotent or omniscient god or gods. This is a reason why Heathenry felt so right within me.
So while my gods are not all-powerful, they still have tremendous and unfathomable power. They are gods after all. But “with great power comes great responsibility,” thank you Uncle Ben for that quote. This means that the Gods have their own duties and things that they have to do every day. They do not have time to cater and interact with every single Heathen at our beck and call. This doesn’t mean that they do not care, but I will elaborate on that subject in another post.
Now since the Gods are doing their Godly things, that leaves us with our Ancestors and the wights around us. And this, to me at least, is where the majority of a Heathen praxis should lie. Our Ancestors and Wights are closest to us in proximity. They are the beings that we can and should interact with on a frequent basis.
This is where I spend most of my time, tending to my Ancestors. I wish I could say the same of the local wights, but currently I live in a second-story apartment. As of this moment I’m not sure how I feel about wights inhabiting apartments. I suppose time will tell on this occasion.
My Ancestors are the most important part of my practice. I begin my day with them, and end it similarly. Oftentimes when speaking to them I don’t call them my Ancestors, I simply refer to them as my Family. They are just as important to me as any living relative.
Without my Ancestors I would not be here today. I am a direct culmination of every minute decision they have ever made. Thousands of generations of men and women have led to me. I am made from Them. Small fragments of their soul, including their Luck or Hamingja, or whatever regional term you would like to use, are passed down generation to generation. A quote from Culture of the Teutons by Vilhelm Grønbech describes what I mean far more aptly than I:
The soul is not a thing born with each generation and renewed with each brood of kinsman that steps in. It reaches forward; it will, as surely as anything is sure, flow through those sons’ sons which all good kinsmen hope and expect will follow one another. And it reaches back over the known part of the past, embracing all former kin, and extends behind them into the primeval darkness whence their fathers came.
This one paragraph rings true to me more than most things that I have read and plays a major part in my practice. My Family have given me pieces of them that I will carry with me eternally until I can pass it on, with a little extra, to my successor(s). So it is not only my responsibility, but my duty, to act in a manner that would make my Family, both living and dead, proud. To build the familial Luck so that not only I can profit, but my family generations from now. Nothing would make me happier, as a man who wants his family to succeed, but also as a Heathen. That is my focus, and also my goal.