|Posted by Vithur Odinson on May 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM|
So you think that you’re the only Heathen around? Well I think we’ve all felt that way at one time or another, but let me tell you that it’s not true. We’re everywhere! You’ve probably stood behind or in front of one of us while getting your morning coffee or passed us on the street. Here are a couple resources that might help you locate the fellow Heathens near you.
This is an excellent resource and when you go to it be sure to send an email and get yourself added to it.
The Facebook “where are you” question: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=question&id=200828936619417
Just click on where you live to get your answer noted and to see who else lives in that state go click on the pictures over on the right
The Asatru Alliance Kindred Locator: http://www.asatru.org/aakindreds.php
The Asatru Folk Assembly Folkbuilder list: http://www.runestone.org/contacts/afafolkbuilders.html
Irminsual Aettir list: http://www.irminsul.org/aw/awusane.html
Get yourself added to this list as well
There’s also a large number of yahoo groups and forums that a simple google search will pull up.
So still couldn’t find anyone close by? Well that just means as of yet they haven’t found their way to any of the lists yet. If you are serious about having a HEATHEN COMMUNITY near you than it is up to you to start building it.
Here is a copy of an email that I sent a few people that outlines the steps we took here to build up that community. The community that we’ve built now supports two Kindred’s and the Kindred that I belong to has developed a relationship with numerous Kindred’s and individuals all across Michigan and the U.S. both in person and online. Let me stress that the internet is no substitute for face to face hands on meetings with fellow Heathens. It’s tough work to build a community but also well worth all the effort that you will put into it.
You are about to start on a very hard but rewarding journey. Just remember your main goal at first it to build a Vibrant Heathen Community, not a Kindred. From this community one or more Kindred’s might form as people find others that they feel most comfortable with.
These are the steps that we took here in Metro-Detroit, you might like some and not others so feel free to use which of those you like. I can say that it was effective here and two Kindred’s have been formed from our efforts, Odinsvin and Blue Water.
Your first step sounds stupid but you will need it for step 2 and maybe a few of the other steps. You need a Logo! My suggestion and probably the easiest is to find a good quality photo of the most recognizable landmark in your area and superimpose a basic Hammer over it. This is easily done in photoshop.
The next step we took was creating a Metro-Detroit Heathen Networking website. Or in your case a Greater “whatever city or state” area Heathen Networking site. We used a server called WEBS. The nice thing about WEBS was they have a free option that will give you everything you need for a site such as this. Multiply pages and plenty of options such as a Forum that you can use for networking and setting up and announcing events. Here’s the link to WEBS (if you use this link they double your storage space or something like that), you can also check our Kindred page out at www.odinsvinhof.webs.com ours is pretty basic and I’ve seen much nicer ones that use WEBS. The other nice thing about WEBS is no design skills are needed it’s type and go, just like writing an email.
Next get some Business Cards made up. Nothing fancy just a Hammer and the web address and your email. For under $10 you can get 250 good quality ones here www.vistaprint.com Over the next couple weeks you’ll be putting these everywhere that you think people who might be interested go, Coffee shop bulletin boards, Pagan stores, inside relevant books at the local library, etc. think of it as Guerilla advertising.
I'd also do some basic "What is Asatru" trifold pamphlets that you can put in the local Paganish stores. Make sure to include your contact info. There are some premade ones that you can probably find by doing a simple Google Search.
Get on as many contact list as you can to make it easier for people to find you. Irminsul Aettir, Asatru Heathen Pagan Kindred networking Organizing page here on Facebook, the Temple of Our Heathen Gods Forum and on various yahoo groups, etc.
There’s your first day. $10 and a few hours at the computer and the community building has begun.
Over the next couple weeks you’ll spend a couple hours here and there doing the following things. This is where the pamphlets and the business cards will be coming in.
Most Universities have a Pagan Group on campus open to all Pagan religions so I'd make contact with them, they’re usually listed with the Student Union. See if the Pagan Group will let you address on of their meeting so you can explain a little of what you are trying to build and a little about Asatru.
Also think about holding a Folklore Study group or Heathenry 101 Class. The Campus Pagan Group or Pagan shop are good places to hold these. Occasionally local Libraries have space available for these kind of events as well. Some groups like to hold Rune workshops (personally I don't like Rune workshops at first because not all Heathens work with them) .
Lastly think about Holding an Open Heathen Meet and Greet or Pubmoot. It’s a good laid back, casual way to get to know people. There’s a good article on organizing a successful pub moot here http://heathengods.com/temple/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2703&forum=2#forumpost23184
Well there you have an outline on what we did. There’s also some really good information in Mark Ludwig Stinson’s book “HEATHEN GODS” which is available as a free download at http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/heathen-gods---first-edition-print-version/11033977 ; you can get the hardcover version here http://www.lulu.com/product/hardcover/heathen-gods/10903086?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/3 ; or in the paperback version here http://www.amazon.com/Heathen-Gods-Collection-Concerning-Folkway/dp/1451570589