End of an Era

Effective Eostre of this year, Miercinga Theod will be no more. Thus says an official abanning from their Steward (which can be seen at http://boards.englatheod.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37). This ends an era that began June 21, 1996. At that time, there was only one group serving Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, the Wínland Ríce. But on that day, Winifred Hodge Rose and myself took the first official oaths of the Angelseaxisce Ealdriht. Of the people that joined at that time or shortly thereafter, Ælfgar (Dave Noel) remained until the end. He is the current Steward of Miercinga Theod. The Ealdriht grew to be the largest Anglo-Saxon Heathen organization ever. It ran an effective clergy program ordaining several people, held four national gatherings, published one of the largest and most informative websites, as well as a journal, and two books. The Ealdriht was formerly dissolved November 19, 2004 after a year of turmoil in which Theodish and non-Theodish factions had been at odds over the future of the organization. Miercinga Theod was formed immediately upon the Ealdriht’s dissolution and inherited its website and other publications. The clergy program was closed. New Anglia Theod was born at the same time, had a brief fosterage under Normanni Theod, and then it too dissolved in August, 2007. Of it were born New Anglia Fellowship and Sweartfenn Theod. They soon will be all that remains of the Angelseaxisce Ealdriht’s legacy. Miercinga Theod did not have it easy. Most of the Ealdriht membership left when it was dissolved. And later problems in my personal life affected much of the theod’s operations in 2006. I left Miercinga Theod in  October in 2006, when it became apparent that problems between my former wife and I could not be resolved. I had stepped down as Ealdorman in June of 2006, and handed the mantle of leadership over to Teresa, who has lead it quite well ever since. I then joined Englatheod when my brother Eric formed it in July of 2007.

 Yet, even though I have left Miercinga Theod, I had always hoped to return someday. Whether people know it or not, we have lost one of the greatest resources to Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, and Theodism as well. And I am not sure if the current Anglo-Saxon Heathen organizations, Englatheod included, can step up to fill its void. Despite its problems in recent years, Miercinga Theod had the legacy of the Angelseaxisce Ealdriht behind it. Its membership was made up of largely long term, experienced Anglo-Saxon Heathens, and it had perhaps the largest wealth of information on Anglo-Saxon Heathenry on the net. It had the potential to become greater than the Ealdriht had ever hoped to have been. In its time, it had effectively bloted the Gods, changed the way Theodism was viewed, and served as a well of information for many. It will be sadly missed. Ten years of my life went into its formation, and I feel that loss dearly. I do not question the reasons my former wife Teresa is resigning as hláfdige, nor their Witanagemot’s choice not to go on without her. Their intentions are fully honorable, and they have their families, and local communities to look out after. I am sure for them, Miercinga Theod’s disbandment is a bit of a relief, one less thing in too busy lives to worry about. With the disbandment of Miercinga Theod while many great things will be lost, a few bits of turmoil and drama will be left behind. But that does not lessen the impact the loss of Miercinga Theod will have on Anglo-Saxon Heathenry or Theodism.

Theodism has seen several losses this past year. Beginning with New Anglia Theod’s dissolution in August, Sahsisk Thiod decided it was no longer Theodish, and became Thea Marklosahson practicing their own brand of Heathenry. Englatheod too is struggling with the current concept of Theodism, questioning whether it was wise to abandon many of the Ealdriht’s practices in favor of something more in the flavor of Garman Lord’s version of Theodism. I see only more changes to come. Overall, I have to wonder whether Miercinga Theod’s disbandment will have much of an impact on Theodism. Most of the theods, Miercinga Theod included, seem to have isolated themselves from the general Heathen community and each other, and this will greatly lessen the impact. It is in potential that Miercinga Theod’s loss will be felt, not in what necessarily has been done. Miercinga Theod changed the face of Theodism forever. It was until Englatheod, the most authentic theod in existance in my opinion.

The impact will be felt greatest in the area of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, where the Ealdriht, and Miercinga Theod after it served as major sources of information. True, most of the information on the Miercinga Theod website will move to Englatheod’s website as most of the articles were written by me. But this is not where the true loss will be felt. The true loss will be in that of folk, and that is what will really hurt. Ælfgar, Sam, and Teresa, the leadership of Miercinga have served as mentors to many in the Anglo-Saxon and Asatru communities. They were inspirations to new Heathens, and were always informative in their correspondence. Teresa especially so as she was one of the few Heathen leaders that was a woman. When a Heathen woman wanted information on their role in the religious activities of Heathenry, they could turn to her. Her loss will be felt the worst, and I hope in time she will see that she is badly needed by Heathen women everywhere. It is the loss of folk to the national scene that will hurt Anglo-Saxon Heathenry more than anything.

The question now is what will a future without Miercinga Theod will be like? I have already commented on the current state of Anglo-Saxon Heathenry at http://swainblog.englatheod.org/?p=23, and have heard from other Anglo-Saxon Heathen leaders on it. I am not sure what will be done to change the current trend of losses and no gains in Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, but I think both Theodish and non-Theodish Anglo-Saxon Heathen groups are on the brink of something great. It would be better if Miercinga Theod were with us. We could use Teresa’s feminine input, as all the other leaders of Anglo-Saxon Heathen groups are male. Never the less, Englatheod will be making changes to its self to make its self more appealing to the general Anglo-Saxon Heathen. It may make us less Theodish, but so be it. The GFS is on the move as well, and no doubt will have a much greater impact on the Anglo-Saxon Heathen movement. Anglo-Saxon Heathenry will survive and eventually once again prosper. An era has ended, and a new one is about to be born.

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