The elephant

It seems that you can’t have a group of Heathens without also having the elephant being somewhere in the room. I refer to the issue of racism. That ugly word that almost always seems to pop up in Facebook groups and organizational meetings of the Heathen flavor. Whether it’s accepting these ideas of racial superiority or decrying it it never seems to be a dead issue.

I perhaps am uniquely qualified to write about this issue. A proud Heathen of over two decades and also married to a Jewish man and father to a beautiful African American daughter. Oh and grandfather to an adorable African American grandson. So my radar is always on high alert for this. I obviously don’t take too kindly to attitudes of racial superiority. But why does this subject seem to be in the shadowy background of our spiritual path?

The modern history of these misguided beliefs perhaps can be traced back to Guido von List. He was an Esoteric worker who came up with the modern ideas of Runic thought. He worked over 100 years ago. And he was violently anti Semitic. A true precursor to the thoughts that later bloomed into the Nazi mindset. The Reich used his works to bolster their attitude of racial purity.

And the Nazis. Their use of our symbols put our path squarely on the minds of the general public. The use of these symbols as part of the Nazi propaganda helped solidify attitudes of racial purity and superiority as being part and parcel of those on our spiritual path. The Nazis were the cement that put and held these attitudes firmly in place.

So it’s been in modern society. These attitudes of racial superiority bled through to factions of our path. Unfortunately the loudest and most visible factions. General superiority views of all those not “purely white” became more and more attached to our path as disturbed individuals kept doing crazy things like shooting people of color with guns inscribed with Norse path symbols. Or marching and chanting hate slogans against others while wearing badges of our symbols. The list of examples goes on and on.

Why is this true today?  I postulate the theory that as a minority there are those who look to twisted ways to make themselves feel better by attacking other minorities. It’s the old “I’ll show you who’s better” mindset at work. There are unfortunately those who take it upon themselves to rant and rave and scream their insecurities to the world.

Of course I’d make the argument that those of this mindset are not truly on this path anyway.   Anyone who’s read the Eddas knows that racial mingling is in the lore. Where else do etin brides cone from anyhow?  To be true to the Norse path is to understand that even our ancestors had a vastly different attitude towards race issues than we currently have. There was a feeling that permeated their beliefs so strongly that it made it into the lore!  We need to look to the past in these regards to build a stronger more inclusive future.

So what to do about this all?  Fight. Whenever an attitude of racial superiority rears its ugly head on a Facebook group shout it down. Be the voice of inclusion rather than letting it slide. Look to elders in our community who hold inclusive attitudes. Shun those who believe that white is somehow better. If these folks are frozen out often enough they will remain quiet. And perhaps reflect on these issues with a cool head. We will never be taken seriously by the mainstream as long as these attitudes remain part of our public picture. We must show the face of inclusion to the world at large. We must each as individuals address this form of thought in our own lives. We must personally be examples for those new to our path to emulate. Never be silent. Never give in. Shoot the elephant every time you see it. And with enough bullets it will surely die.

What I do…

Being a full time Vitki is a challenge!  But here’s a list of the things I do almost every day…

Rune reading. Almost no day goes by without my doing a rune reading. For myself or for others. It’s part of the backbone of my practice.

Contemporary Seidr sessions. These I generally do at least once a week. Keeps me in contact with the deities.

Blog. If you’re reading this you know it already!  I try to blog at least once a week. Sometimes more.

Write. I have two books available in paperback or Kindle editions on Amazon. “Vitki Musings” and “On Contemporary Seidr”. Just type in my name Kurt Hoogstraat and they come up. I promise you I’m the only author you’ll find under that name!

Help create curriculum. I’m in the process of helping create an Esoteric curriculum for a group I belong to.

Post on YouTube. My channel A Vitki Gothi Speaks is relatively popular. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Mentor my apprentices. This is totally rewarding. I learn as much as I teach!

That’s a quick rundown of how I spend most of my time. Pretty rewarding!  I am looked down upon by the gods in a most favorable way…

Me and my toolbox

As a Vitki I have a toolbox for things I can use in doing my work. Techniques I’ve picked up in my two plus decades of studying. I’m always on the lookout for new items to add to my toolbox. In my opinion it can never be too full.

The greatest tool in my toolbox is my mind. It is the biggest item I use constantly to do my work. It is the home and beginning of imagination. Intention. And all other matters concerning doing my work. If I’m having a day where my brain is mush my work certainly will have little or no power. The home of my will my brain serves me in that regard as well. All this stuff necessary to my work gets its start with my brain. My brain is the heart of my Esoteric body feeding all the other aspects of my work. Hopefully my brain holds out and I can continue this work for years more!

Then there are the things I can hold in my hand. Tangible items. Of these in my practice the greatest tool is my drum. I use it in ritual to call upon the gods. I use it to assist me in my Contemporary Seidr travel work. Vital aspects of my Vitki work are touched by my drum. I never leave home without it!

A journal is another big tool in my toolbox. I use a journal to write down all the sendings I’ve done and it’s where I plan new ones. It helps me follow my growth and development as a Vitki. It helps me focus on the work at hand. Very valuable in my opinion.

These are but a few of the important tools in my toolbox. I urge you to create your own. Fill it up with cool things to help you do your work. Never stop adding to it. Make it the source of your power. But mostly make it your own!

My mind is a mess

I’ve been going through a phase were my mind is an absolute mess. A jumble of Contemporary Seidr sessions and Runes and no one thought gaining enough traction to stick. A jumbled mess. So what to do?

I know from experience that during phases like this I need to do something physical. So I cleaned. That helped. Now it’s time to turn to the work of being a Vitki. That almost always helps.

The act of focusing on an Esoteric task gives me focus. I can zero in on a Rune reading or Contemporary Seidr session to keep my mind occupied. Or more likely to keep my mind open to the multiverse. I know however that I need a filter to keep the useless thoughts at bay. Doing the work offers me that filter. All the other thoughts seem to vanish as I focus on the work at hand.

This is just one of the ways Vitki work is important to me. It gives me something to grab onto when I  feel myself slipping. Spending so much time in other Realms has its dangers. You could spend up unintentionally in Asgard when you need to be right here in Midgard. So I practice my grounding quite a bit to remain solidly in the here and now when needed. There’s a time for journeying and a time to be present. It’s the balance that gets tough…

So I think I’ll do a rune reading on the topic of “What can I do to successfully get through this phase?”  Then I’ll do a trace session to get some ancestors to offer me wisdom. Those two things should help me regain control of my messy mind. Wish me luck!  Here goes…