Homesteading & Heathenry
Tyr's Good Hand was meets at a small farm, tucked into the side of a small mountain. Here I raise sheep, dairy goats, pigs, poultry, rabbits, gardens, and honeybees. They provide wool, meat, milk, cheese, soap, vegetables, honey and mead. There is a pond with fat bass, a running stream, and wood lot for firewood and fenceposts a like. There is no tractor, but a strong draft horse. The sheep are managed with a pair of border collies, not an ATV. This place is my dream come true, my therapist, my gym, and my playground.
As idealistic as it all sounds, do not think of it as a LARPing compound or an Amish dream. It is a very modern and practical operation. Compared to the tools and resources of our ancestors - homesteading in the 21st century is cake. We have the knowledge, science, medications, and pre-packaged feeds people could never even conceieve of. Saddles like the one pictured above are light, waterproof, and syntheitc. My fridge at th farm is stacked with antiobiotics and my hardware store sells organic chicken feed. Easy street compared to the hard scrabble of the Beforetimes.
So I don't mean to compare the work to the Heathens of the past, but there is something to be said about the lifestyle. And I don't mean riding on horseback, throwing axes, or archery practice - but the presence. Homesteading, even in 2016, requires your constant energy and time. It doesn't matter if you are tending a few raised beds or running a breeding and dairy operation like I am - you need to be home. That connection is what relates Homesteading to Heathenry for me.
Things are far from perfect. As a freelancer of design and writing, money isn't always easy to come by. This place is usually barely holding it together. But so far, it has, and that fight to keep my home and my dream is fueled and inspired by those who came before me. I need their strength. Every day.
We are a faith focused on Community. There are no solitary, eclectic, Heathens. We are tribal. And those tribes of the past did not live anything like we do today. Which has nothing to do with technology or HBO, but the lack of presence in our home lives. Too many of us are not needed at home. Too many of us look outside our closest kin and backyard for entertainment and meaning. Meaning is literally waiting for you in the dirt three steps from your backdoor.
To most people our home is where we sleep and sometimes eat. It isn't the focus of our lives, the focus is outside. It's our plans, vacations, jobs, travel, shopping malls and sporting events. It's the world apart from the home, that is where the excitement is. But when you make your home your job, your passion, your recreation, your temple, and your grocery store you get to taste more of thatconnection to a place that our ancestors had. You get to feel the import and the pride. You understood why they fought for it, what it meant, how it created honor and reputation. And when you get a taste of that you stop looking outside your inneryard and your community for meaning. You grow as a person by making what you already have, thrive.
A farm of your own is better, even if small.
Everyone’s someone at home.