A couple of weeks ago I was waxing philosophical about the cycle that we experience as we become Heathen. The model I have constructed is a 5-stage cycle, but it should be noted that some of these stages can, and likely are, repeated several times over our lifetime. This model isn’t perfect but I think it can provide some insight into how we develop and grow, and where we can get stuck. I think this works on a personal level and on a larger scale, demonstrating the advances of different developments and approaches to Heathen troth.
1. Re-awakening: We become aware that the old gods are still there and they call to us to return to them.
2. Renewal: We reject what has been imposed on us and choose the old ways. This is when we realize that the old faith still belongs to this world and that it is our faith. We start our journey to bring back the old ways.
3. Reconstruction: Tradition and history matters to us. We study available sources to learn what we can about historical practices and build upon the framework we can construct out of the past.
4. Revival: Expanding upon history, we look to living traditions and customs for further development. We bring out the heathen elements and remove what doesn’t fit.
5. Revision: The rebirth of the old ways is a messy process and from time to time we have to take stock of what we are doing. We need to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Like tending a garden, we cultivate what works and we weed out what fails.