Common Misconceptions
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How Heathens interact with each other socially can determine the approaches they have to their practices. These practices can be solo, familial, communal, or cultural.

Solo Practices

Solo practices are just what they say on the tin; a practice someone forms for themself. This is a typical approach for someone just starting a Heathen practice, and often the solo practitioner tailors their practice to their needs and sensibilities. In some heathen paths, solo practice may sometimes be referred to as a “hearthcult.”

Family Practices

Family traditions survived and were passed down through generations. These are family Heathen practices and may have a long legacy behind them. Other family traditions are new, forming a new lineage for Heathenry to be passed through.

Community Practices

Sometimes Heathens seek out groups and communities to be a part of and celebrate together, whether it’s through small gatherings or larger organizations. These communities offer guidance and spiritual services similar to many other religions.

Cultural Practices

Practice styles are different across countries. What’s culturally found amongst Heathens in one country may not be found amongst Heathens in another. For example: Some US Heathens will give themselves spiritual names that demonstrate patronage to a deity (i.e. “Odinsdottir”), but this is viewed as disrespectful in Danish traditions. Another example: Loki is thought to cause spilopper (tricks both good and bad) in Norway, but in Denmark this is thought to be caused by the nisse. During Midsummer celebrations in Denmark, massive fires are lit along the shores that can be seen from Sweden.

A Note on “True” Heathenry

Sometimes Heathen discussion ends up being very focused on finding the truest, least-Christianized version of Heathenry. But Old Norse religions were decentralized and we never may know much about them without first-hand accounts.

Because of this, pre-Christianized Heathenry may not be possible to find, but de-Christianized Heathenry certainly is. It requires understanding what concepts are Christian in nature as opposed to religious in nature. This can be done through comparative religious studies.

Common Misconceptions
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