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"Woods Theodish"


>Could you go into this "Woods Theodish" and
> "Way of the Forest" a little more?
> It's fascinating.

I thank thee kindly. I do not comment much, being why you seldom see my words herein.

I'd like to say I have enjoyed the discussions your questions have sparked.  You perceive well and question well in my view.

My delay in replying is due to a need to consider my answer, so it might sound at least half-witted.

Prepare for many words, and a possible ramble...

Frankly, many terms I use flow from a freeform of thought as I compose emails.
Quite often, when I am writing a reply off the cuff, words will occur to me to "label" a thought stream I have, and no one else lives inside my head and sees what I do, so the terms are unfamiliar.

These words may or may not explain "Woods Theodish" and "Way of the Forest" as well as you might like. If not, ask more questions, please.

How to start...

I am a lifelong Heathen, well suited by the tacit polytheism of my Roman Catholic upbringing to accept many Holy Ones.
I am a lifelong Heathen, well suited by the Custom and Thew binding the extended family which surrounded me in my youth.
I am a lifelong Heathen, well suited by the way my mind and heart work together; Hearing the Holy Ones, Knowing Our Way of Faith.

I am a Lifelong Heathen, but have only been in Community with other Heathens a fairly short time.

I am an Uller's man.

I have been so, since He gifted me with a Visit to His lodge in the Yewdales just before Midnight July 9, 1989.

How can I be so specific, you wonder ,-)

He welcomed me during a sweat lodge ceremony in which I participated that night, commencing at that time.

Other men and women herein, Know of that which I write, in their own way, with Others of the Holy Powers.
I am by no means henotheistic (one who is polytheistic, but who elevates one of his Gods or Goddesses as supreme above the  others).

I look to Uller as the Elder of my own family line. He is my favorite Elder from amongst all the Holy Ones. They are my Elder Kin, all of Them, I believe.
As my Elder, I owe them my Respect, Honor and Worship, and just a little bit of Awe and Wonder, too.

For while I consider Them Kin, They are Gods and Goddeses, too. A little within, but mostly beyond, my knowing.

As far as I can tell there is no direct analog in Anglo-Saxon Belief or Lore to Uller. Some point to Wuldor as being such; I don't know.

* Point to ponder here; a philosophy professor from whom I once received instruction had a sign above the chalkboard at the front of the classroom: "I can only Know, that I Believe." *

In the Far Northern Kinlore, Uller is known as Forest God, Bow Lord, Snow Sender, Beast Slayer, Oath Witness, Shield Sailor, Einvigi or Holmgang (dueling) Jarl and so forth.

Since I came along and identified my self as an Ullersman, a surprising number of other Ullerfolk have popped up, some I like, some I do not. But, as far as I can determine, I was the most vocal "First Case." (Kind of like the first case in a viral epidemic ,-)

About 10 years ago, I found "organized" heathenry. This was through the offices of a merchant at an historical re-enactment event. He had Heathen (particularly Asatru) reading materials for sale. I purchased a couple of pamphlets, went back for more and a magazine, then went back and bought a copy of each item he had. Within 3 hours I had over 30 pieces of reading material.

I had found OTHERS, who believed and gave worship as did I!!!

I wrote to the addresses I found in one of the magazines, hoping for some human contact.

The first men who welcomed me and answered my inquiries were Valgard Murray of the Asatru Alliance, Stephen McNallen of the Asatru Folk Assembly and Garman Lord of the Winland Rice. These three men have earned my lifelong friendship because they have returned to my curiousity - information, to my courtesy - kindness in manner and to my caution - their respect.

I have met many, many others since then, both online and face to face (in Theodism, I recall fondly my contacts with Gert McQueen, Aelfric, Ursula, Hildiwulf the Frisian, Kevin, Micha, Billy, and others). I do prefer and give greater weight to the actual sharing of Horn and Board with folks over electronic message swapping. (I'm odd that way 8-)

Long and long ago, Garman Cyning explained to me the Theodish concept of "going to the woods." This is a time when one faces the Reality of Troth and Thew, and may be overwhelmed by such realization. One then disappears into the dark forest of one's self, so to speak, and retreats from Community.

Sometimes one returns from "the Woods," sometimes not.

I am a man who follows his tribe's beliefs. Which is the essence of Theodism, in my understanding.

My tribe consists of those who acknowledge the Ases and Wanes within the Scandanavian - Icelandic Lore Knowledge. It is both equal to and dissimilar to the Theodish Way of Faithful Being, I think.

Asatru is much less set in its community form than Theodism. Asatru is a Lawed Society and has no Kingship. The oldest groups have a well functioning Thing, which is the annual meeting of Freefolk to Read, Make and Ward the Law. One can also be brought before the Thing if the Law has been broken and made to stand before the Folk in answer thereto.

A trend, recent in origin, in Asatru towards Tribal Ways has been happening. Some, with a better idea of things, I believe, are letting the change happen in an organic, slower, evolutionary way. Other have pushed things a bit and may or may not succeed.

I am also glad to see a growth of the idea of Chieftainship in Asatru. I do think that Kingship will grow from this, but not soon.

I am a man who frequently "goes into the woods." I confront a lot of ideas and am confronted by them in turn. The "Wood" is a good place for one to wrestle one's self.

I think a lot about Mannish forms of Honoring the Holy Ones, those which are very strictly Lore-based, those which are a boend of Lore and Inspiration, and those which are <shrug>.

I am a man who looks to the Poetic Significance of Our Faith and Ways. I try to capture a bit of it within the verse I write.

I am of a Mystic Bloodline. A cousin of my maternal grandfather was created a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church earlier this year (Padre Pio, he and my grandfather shared a grandfather) - [said grandfather lived to the age of 113 in an Italian village which got its first modern street in the mid 1970's and running water - electricity in the mid 1980's].

Despite (because) of this Family "Sacralness," I am Heathen. I believe that my bloodline speaks in my poetic ability.

But this does not actually speak to your question.

Woods Theodish, hmmm...

One could say that this is a poetic way to say, simply, Heathens who do acknowledge that a Sacral Kingship is a Good Thing for Folk and Land. But, we "Woodsrunners" are not bound by any Oath to the Kingship. We know its Worth, we are glad of the King. But, we see him in the distance, as he and his folk ride by the fastness of our woodland. We go about our lives, doing the best we can for the Faith and Folk we have about us. We are also a bit leey of Kings, and Jarls, and Thanes and such...

We may never even meet a King. We may never even Know a King, but we know Kingship.

So, I suppose, the "Way of the Forest" is to be hospitable to others. ...to acknowledge the Kingship (Chieftainship). ...to be respectful of the person of the King (Chief). ...to give what support one may, to those who are in Troth to the Holy Ases and Wanes, despite being of differing community. ...to tend to one's own work and clan. ..to give Honor, Respect, Affection and Worship to the Holy Ones, above all.

But in the end, I am simply, we are simply, men and women who are True to the Holy Ases and Wanes.

Our families matter.
Our friends matter.
Our communities matter.

Whether one is of the Woods, or one is solidly within the Innangard.

We must ever strive to do that which is right, with wisdom, generosity and personal honor.

I am a man of the borderlands.
I am neither fully Asatru nor fully Theodish.
I am more in community with Asafolk than Theodish.

I am a woodsrunner who seeks to be welcome at trading post, tavern and temple, for an essential need of man is Community, however short the time.

I wish you well. I wish all who see these words God Speed.

In Frith under Troth - Pip