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Garb part II

By: Bodvar

...an excellent topic which comes up every now and then among the fashion conscious -- and, unfortunately, dismissed by the spiritually conscious all too often -- but addressed very well here.

We *should* -- as we individually feel the need to -- "dress for dinner" as it were, separating times spent coming together to address the High Holy Ones from more "this-worldly" times. We are, after all, speaking across worlds when we do so, seeking the company of ancient kin, and it is a long-established tradition to put one's best foot forward on special occasions.

If we believe, as Hjuka has often told me, in von List's assertions that heathenism wasn't stamped out, but went "underground", existing within the Christian world as a holdover of our more original identity, then dressing for the occasion has deep roots. We dress for weddings, for funerals, even for trips to Grandma's house for a Thanksgiving visit.

It shows that we honor the occasion and the person we visit or mourn or the persons assembled by making an effort *outside* the mundane course of existence. We haven't rushed from work, and will then rush away to play, stopping short-of-breath to do a duty. It shows that we meant to do a thing.

Mind you, this isn't an excuse to trot out the Wiccan-ite flowing robes, all stars and taffeta, trying to look like a Tolkien character with a bald spot and a bad beard. I'm sure that the Ancients of Asgardh can see through a poser or a re-enactor.

And, I wouldn't think it a cause for sartorial snobbery. Making the effort is the key. Merely stopping to don a hammer one only wears for rites -- I have one -- or something as simple as removing one's hat when rushed does the same as donning a hand-made, Norwegian wool tunic and breeches with real tablet woven trim. Either is making an effort.

I'm all for stopping the world to let the Ancient High Ones know that they're worth stopping the world to talk to. It shows that we're prepared to listen, as well. And, it shows our young ones that we're doing an important thing.

Finally, as Hjuka points out, we once had outward signs, readily identifiable, of our tribal-ness. "He is dressed in Gothic fashion" was once a way a Roman might identify a stranger. I think that this has merit. It'd be hard to get folks to agree on a "style" -- it's hard to get our folks to agree on anything -- but, it's an idea with merit.

For instance, I cleave to Thorsteinn Thorarinsson's admonition, stated in an early Vor Tru, that our godhar *should* wear beards. Not practical at all times in our secular world, but I've often told the inmates I minister to, and my co-workers (when they question why I have a straggly hedge sprouting out of the neck-hole of my t-shirt) that I have a religious admonition to grow a beard.

I believe that this is an outward sign to the world that we're a self-identified and self-contained folk.

It seems to work.

-- B


Garb part I