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Torshelgd Revisited

My plan was to update this blog once a week with pictures, tales of Heathen life in Brooklyn, and recipes from my (usually untidy) kitchen.

Instead, I posted about Torshelgd back in December and then quickly got busy, tired, sick, even more tired, and busy again.

I’m here now, a bit late and covered by a sleeping Haggis, but showing up has to count for something.

In the weeks since my last post my family has observed Torshelgd every Thursday – even the Thursday we were at Disney World. Sometimes it was rushed, sometimes it was well planned and perfectly executed. Either way, it’s happened every week without fail.

In a perfect world, my family would sit at the table and eat our homemade supper after toasting Thor and Freyja. We would eat our meal and play card games and laugh and relax there at the table. We’d be happy just to be together.

But I have a toddler and my husband gets home from work around 7pm. If supper is ready to go when he gets home we are doing well. More often than not it’s not only not done, it hasn’t even been started. More often than that we don’t eat at the table and the toasts to Thor and Freyja are completed without much fanfare.

And you know what? That is okay.

Torshelgd isn’t about the kitchen table or the fancy candle holders I got at East Coast Thing. It’s not about the meal or the card games. It’s about family time and building a tradition. To borrow a phrase from my buddy Lea (and her Grandfather), it’s about keeping the gods close to us and us close to the gods.

Do I wish that Torshelgd was awash with reverence and the heady scents of a home cooked meal shared with my family? Of course, I do. Am I going to shame myself for ordering pizza, lighting a half-forgotten candle, and toasting the gods with water and a few store brand Oreos? Nah. I’ve got bigger shit to tackle.

My Heathenry is less about form and more about function and that is okay too. It’s more than okay – at least in my opinion – because it’s the practical application of Heathenry in a modern family setting. Who knows, maybe I’m doing it all wrong. Maybe Thor and Freyja would rather I serve dinner at the kitchen table and toast them with fancy beer or juice.

Until they come to my apartment and say so my family and I are going to keep Torshelgd our own way because we’re our deeds, not our plans.

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