Then, in April, 2010, something happened that changed my life forever. I went to my local Borders bookstore to order two of Kveldulf Gundarsson's books on Teutonic Religion and was told I could not because I did not have a computer and therefore did not have an e-mail address which was required. I do not like being told no to. Period ! So I went out bought an 8 GB computer, hooked it up to high-speed internet and ordered them from Amazon. com. I also ordered a book called, Exploring the Northern Tradition, by an author I did not know called Galina Krasskova. I was greatly disturbed by her chapter on how our religion had splintered into different denominations. So one of my very first e-mails was to tell her that our religion should be about our love of our Gods and Goddesses and not about petty differences. Well, after several more e-mails she suggested I start a blog to tell our folk that loving our Gods and Goddesses is paramount, and that, as Galina says," The rest is just conversation".
Since then I have gotten many e-mails, some nice and some not very constructive. But from all of them I have learned a little more to add to my expanding knowledge of our religion. I now have several, "acquaintances", (hard to call folk you have never met friends), and through them I have learned 100 times more then I ever learned through reading books for the last 20 years.
I have been asked to join several organizations and receive literature from one of them which also shows me more of what is going on in our Pagan world. I even helped a young woman with her friend who she believed was losing faith. That was one of my happier moments this year !
There have been painful moments this year as well. Several Pagans I was just beginning to read about, and appreciate for their contributions, passed away this year. The Lady Sintana, who was suffering from ALS, passed away in September. She was a Wiccan Priestess and leader of the Ravenwood Church and Seminary of Wicca. The Ravenwood Center was known for the compassion it showed to abused girls and battered women. A cause that is very important to the Goddess Freyja. If you get a chance to read about her, please do. As my father used to say, "she is quite a pistol ". I have immense respect for her. The other was Isaac Bonewits, who passed away on August 12, 2010, from a rare form of cancer. He was a man who wore many ,"hats",
writing books on the Druid religion and Wicca, and recording Pagan music. From what I have read he sounds like he was a wonderful person.
I also learned of happier moments that took place this year as well. The Druids were finally officially recognized in Great Britain in October and the Wiccan Reverend Patrick McCollum, who does great work with Pagans who are incarcerated, won the Mahatma Gandhi Award for the advancement of religious pluralism, from the Hindu American Foundation . Overseas has seen the Asatru religion continue to grow and gain more and more acceptance. They are even beginning to by land for their own cemeteries.
I still have a huge mountain of learning to accomplish, and I'm not even sure I've reached the first base camp yet, but the future is now mine to control. Next year, 2011, I am going to try meeting others in our religion, and the Gods and Goddesses want me to meet with local church leaders to try to build bridges and dispell myths and misunderstandings they may have about us. That should be very interesting ! 2010 was an excellent learning year, but I am going to make 2011 even better !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !