Hello everyone, I’m Bat! Welcome to my blog. Here you’ll find a wide swath of writing related to pagan spiritualities, inclusive Heathenry, witchcraft, spirit work, urban homesteading, and more. This may include but won’t be limited to poetry, personal narratives, essays, reviews, rituals, spells, instructional guides, and recipes. A few posts you may recognize as revised versions from my previous blog, but the vast majority of content moving forward will be new.
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I often use the phrase “inclusive Heathenry,” but what does it mean?
In a general sense, this phrase means modern worship of Germanic or Northern gods (i.e., Norse) that welcomes people of all races. There is no racial or ethnic requirement for the worship of these gods, this culture is open, and restriction of worship to those of a specific “ancestry” is white supremacist garbage. The idea of Northern Europe being equivalent with whiteness is also nonsense but that’s beyond the scope of this page. Many inclusive Heathen groups also make an attempt to welcome queer people, disabled people, and other people with experiences of oppression.
My use of “inclusive Heathenry” is a cue to others that I support and welcome people of color (I am one!) and people with marginalized identities. To me, my version of inclusive Heathenry also indicates openness in spiritual beliefs in two main ways:
1) Respectful eclecticism is fine by me (i.e., worshipping gods from multiple open or culturally appropriate pantheons, not just Heathen gods). Yes, even pop culture paganism. Yes, even Christopaganism. Go for it, so long as the practices are respectful and appropriate for each.
2) Within the Norse pantheon, I don’t believe in condemning worship of certain gods just because sparse lore may present them as (seemingly) more destructive, chaotic, or “monstrous”. This extends, of course, to Loki, who incites controversy by straddling the line between Aesir and Jotnar, and all of his children, but extends far beyond as well. Just as on “one side” I honor Odin, Frigga, and many others, I also honor Angrboda, Surtr, and many others on the “other side”. I honor the Vanir, too. (“Sides” is oversimplified and too dichotomous.)
The level of time and energy I spend on devotion to each specific god varies based on personal experiences and connections, and evolves over time. But I believe all the Norse gods are complex entities worthy of respect. If someone does not choose or is not chosen to work with specific deities, that’s fine. But ideas of good versus evil need not apply.
There is also a valuable critique to be made that the phrase “inclusive Heathenry” is not a strong enough denouncement of white supremacy within Heathenry: that Heathenry must be explicitly anti-racist. Agreed.
Indeed, while I’ve chosen to use the term for its colloquial simplicity, “inclusion” narratives can also obscure oppressions and/or forced assimilation exerted over marginalized groups that are folded “into” larger structures. Words like diversity and inclusion, while useful in some shared meanings, ultimately say little about how people are treated and what systems of power are in place. Keep this in mind, and keep questioning.