A Simple Blót for Freyr (and others) Building Right Relationship: Part 1 A More Personal Heathenry BREAKING NEWS: Texas House bill could prevent Heathens from fostering or adopting children Skaði’s Protection: A prayer for troubled times Fun With Eggs: Celebrating Oschdre Handspinning for Beginners – Finishing Your Yarn A blurb from a Scandinavian on Vikings! Book Review: “The Basics of Heathenry: For Kids” By Jennifer Lohr Anterior líder de Bifrost Stine Helen Skår Buscando Establecer Lazos Oficiales Con La Asociación Yggdrasil de Costa Rica Bifrost’s Former Leader Stine Helen Skår Looking to Establish Official Relations With Yggdrasil Association of Costa Rica The Rational Heathen: Honoring Ancestors: Do I Really Have to Worship Aunt Mabel? Então você quer ser um heathen Why Heathenry is Awesome: A Detailed List Folkish owned company takes stand against racism Book Review: “Norse Mythology” By Neil Gaiman History Channel’s “Vikings” has gone down hill. Loki in Fjölvinsmál: Lævateinn and Lýr Paying the Price Arizona man files suit against The Asatru Community, Heathen Talk Network, and The Troth Making Your Own Butzemann So you want to pronounce Old Norse names… Ranting Recon: ¿Cuáles son las festividades Heathen? Equality and Gender in Heathenry So you want to be a Heathen The (Other) Most Wonderful Time of the Year The Rational Heathen: Is it Time to Abandon the Irminsul? The Ancestors as Bridges Instead of Barriers Asatru Means Faith, Not Hate Heathen Spirituality Heathens Deface Historic German Landmark The Last Breath of the Old Year Exceptionally rare buckle discovered with possible depictions of Loki My Vision for Heathenry Handspinning for Beginners – Plying Yarn 12 Devotional Days of Yule The Sacred Duty of Food The Skirnismal: How (And Why) Freyr Won Gerd Canadian Heathens Spearhead Pagan Declaration Lusse – Midwife of the Sun The Rational Heathen: Getting B!%¢#-Slapped by the Gods [NSFW] Fast-growing Swedish Asatru org exposed Rare Bronze Age Petroglyph Discovered in Denmark Heathens Around The World Take a Stand With Standing Rock Sioux A Heathen’s Journey to Devotional Polytheism Over 200 Oath Rings Just Discovered in Sweden Sigyn: Lady of Oblation and Victory Alvablot and Winternights Declaration 127 The Rational Heathen: Blood Sacrifices and Other Moronic Things The Reconstructionist Method O maior inimigo de Odin – Depressão no contexto Heathen The Rational Heathen: Women’s Role in Cultures Women In Heathenry: Their Words Women in Heathenry Grief and Loss in a Heathen Context A Dedication Contract for Freya São Paulo, A Thriving Hub of Heathenry? Handspinning for Beginners – Starting to Spin Celebrating the Feast of Zisa Michigan Heathen Runs For US Congress Building a Stronger Community The Rational Heathen: When Did the AFA Join the Westboro Baptist Church? Freyja Detroit Harvest Festival: How Some Heathens Are Giving Back To Their Community Urglaawe: One of History’s Best-Kept Secrets How To Write Old Norse In Runes Is Heathenry Really Missing Something? Writer’s Block from a Heathen Perspective The Real Story Behind ‘Camp Courage’ And The AFA Offerings for the Gods, Part 3: The Jotnar New Leadership Takes A.F.A In More Bigoted Direction What You Reap is What You Sow Offerings for the Gods, Part 2: The Vanir Creating Sacred Space Freyr isn’t going to Bless those PopTarts The Younger Futhark Runes: An Instructive Guide Approaching the Gods: Building The Vé “What is Valhalla, and who goes there?” The Rational Heathen: Can a Heathen Follow Christ? Deconstructing the Brisingamen Myth Urglaawe – An Introduction The Elder Futhark Runes: An Instructive Guide Heathen Families’ Summer Camp Offerings for the Gods, Part 1: The Aesir ¿Tenían los vikings tótems animales? Did the Vikings Have Totem Animals? Teaching Heathenry to my Kids Odin’s Greatest Enemy, Depression in a Heathen Context Where Strong Gods Are Found Tales of Ragnarök Hail Frigga What is Forn Sed? Everyday Heathenry: Making Midsummer Heathen Marriage: Anatomy of an Oath A Step In The Right Direction? T.A.C. Takes Action. The Rational Heathen: So, What IS a Heathen, Exactly? Heathenry is a Religion of Questions Handspinning For Beginners – Pre-Drafting and Drafting Fiber Ranting Recon: Becoming The Beast

Heathen Families’ Summer Camp


Räv Skogsberg is a Swedish heathen and a goði for "Forn Sed Sweden". He tends to focus on the melding of folklore and pre-Christian ideas and practices in a family and blotlag/hearth context. Räv believes in a here-and-now approach to a Heathenry that is eternally changing.

hfscI write quite a lot about children and Heathenry, since my wife and I have two kids and we bring them up in a heathen way, in a heathen context. We try to teach them what we know and include them as much as we can – or as much as they’ll allow us, at least – by taking them to blóts and making them part of the ceremonies we do at home like Torshelgd, but we live in a small village in rural Sweden, and they’re pretty much the only heathen kids around. Usually, it’s not something that they notice, kids usually don’t talk that much about religion, though there has been some notable exceptions. Like when we lived in Gothenburg and the kids started to understand that not everyone was of the same religion as their own family, and they’d ask “are you muslim or christ?” When I answered that we’re heathens they got a bit confused and then asked “but what are you allowed to eat?”, and when told that we could eat anything we want, they pretty much filed us away under the same heading as the christians. (It can be rather refreshing to get a kid’s perspective on religion at times.)

What usually brings the issue to the surface, though, is unthinking school policies and and other adult interference. In Sweden, a lot of schools – at least in small towns and rural areas – often have their end of school year gatherings in churches. I guess it made some sense back when I was a kid as we still had a state/national church, the Church of Sweden, but the state church was abolished 16 years ago, though they maintain some special privileges (all their ministers have automatically the right to wed people, for example, and the vast majority of all graveyards are administered by them). However, religion is a difficult subject in Sweden. We’re always ranked among the most secularised countries in the world (according to the Washington Post Sweden is the second least religious country in the world after China) where only a few percent of the population goes to church every Sunday, but a lot of cultural Christianity remains. Also, since so few people take organised religion seriously, there’s kind of a feeling that the church buildings belong to all swedish people rather than to the church organisation. Having had a state church for so long will do that.

The current church in Fröskog, built in 1730 after the previous church burnt down.

So, a heathen family is odd because they’re religious, because they belong to an odd religion and because they are opposed to things like using the local church to gather in – “it’s such a pretty place”. (And it is. Our local church is an amazing 300 year old wooden structure, built on the site of previous churches that burnt down*, eventually going back to the 13th century. And that church was possibly built on top of a cultic site sacred to Freyr – but I digress.) This lack of kids in the same or similar positions can be tough for our kids. There’s a lot of pressure on them to conform in order to be one of the gang, so to speak. When end of school celebrations became an issue for my eldest he at first didn’t want to go to the one in church, because he didn’t want to sing any christian songs. In the end he changed his mind, because he wanted to be together with his friends from school, naturally.

I started a Facebook group called “Hedniska föräldrar” (“Heathen/Pagan parents”) back in 2008, just after our first son was born. For the first few years the members on it only shared ideas and stories and discussed how to raise one’s kids in Heathenry and other polytheist religions, but in 2012 we organised our first summer camp. It was quite a success, both the children and their parents enjoyed it immensely, and we have held one each year after that (except for 2015 when IASC was in Sweden so the people that usually organise our summer camp were busy with that).

We’ve had various levels of ambition. Sometimes we haven’t had very much of a program, but rather let the kids enjoy running around freely and play with all the fun stuff around: swim in the pond, ride the canoe, roast (well, burn) marshmallows over the fire and play with stones and sticks. Other years we’ve been more organised, and since we’ve had the luxury of having a professional storyteller among us we’ve made use of him. He also created something like a mix of storytelling and larping for the kids, and one year they had to recover from the jotun Aurbaute for Freyja the ruby that gives the red colour to the rainbow. It was amazing, and the kids absolutely loved it! We’ve also had craft workshops, carving in wood, baking and such. This year the kids got to try a bit of wood carving to make godpoles. My eldest carved “Tor och Freyja” (“Thor and Freyja”) in runes into a stick and put it on the harrow/hörgr.

The harrow/hörgr where we held the blót, decorated with arts and crafts made by the children and their parents

One of the major benefits as I see it is that the kids get to see others of the same age taking part in ceremonies, and every year we have a blót were we try to get the children as involved as possible. It’s amazing to see the kids I’ve known since they were babies stand infront of the gods and speak confidently (or at least speak, some of them are a bit more shy) to a fairly large group of people. And even the younger kids take part as much as possible. We stood together in a circle and everyone got to say what they were happy about with the weekend, and everyone took part – except my youngest who fell alseep on me… – and everyone had such great things to say. They were happy about seeing the other kids, they were happy about the hens and other animals, they were happy about the pond (you can imagine my pride when my eldest thanked the god of the pond for the good times swiming and canoing).

When we got home on Sunday we were tired, muddy and smelled of wood smoke, but in a really good mood. We had been outside in the woods and meadows virtually non stop for four days, something that I see as integral to the heathen experience that I really hope my kids will grow up with and see as something natural, like I did. I think that’s one of the main reasons I became a heathen, and I want to give them that opportunity. I want them to learn their way around the woods, what to do when you get lost, how to make a fire and what to eat and not to. Not to fear nature, but to respect it. Like a heathen should.




* Two of them were struck by lightening. For real.

2016 Huginn's Heathen Hof