ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Heathen Rites of Passage

Updated on September 7, 2011
Coming of age fire
Coming of age fire

Rites of passage are one of the most important elements of a religious tradition.

Unfortunately, especially in the United States, this practice has been stopped, to the ill luck of many. Today, instead of our children participating in a learning experience about themselves, they are forced into an unguided stumble into adulthood. Instead of the experience of learning to hunt, they learn to smoke pot and binge drink. Instead of forming strong bonds and relationships with family and community, they join gangs. Instead of self-appreciation and confidence, they are forever engulfed in a whirlwind of self doubt and low self-esteem. Instead of loving themselves and seeing opportunity, they walk in an antisocial cloud of hate and depression. There were sociological reasons for these rites of ascension. And our general society is now reaping the consequences of our lost of them. But, we can change this.

There are actually four general rites: Naming, Coming of age,Marriage and Death. There can also be rites added for other events such as graduation from school, first job, etc. These are usually family affairs while the first four should be community affairs.

Naming:

When a child is born, our ancestors considered that it did not yet have a soul or a place in the family orlog until nine days later when it was named. By naming the newborn and sprinkling it with water, its personal being was tied into the hamingja and luck of the family, clan, and tribe or community. The sprinkling of water was called, “Ausa Vatni” which originated long before the coming of Christianity. One may choose to call forth various gods and goddess and the norns to recognize and bless the child being named. Such ceremonies are expressed in various sagas like Egil’s Saga, Njal’s Saga, and Eyrbyggja Saga to name a few. There were traditions of naming children after dead relatives to help bring about that ancestor’s luck. In modern day, there is a growing trend to bring back some of the older, heathen names into family lines once again. There is one other time that a naming can take place and that is when the child has finished his/her rite of Coming of Age, they are allowed to ask for another naming ceremony to present themselves to the Gods as an adult. The name they choose is usually their Heathen name.

Coming of Age:

Rites of Adulthood among many cultures always seemed to follow a general pattern. The male rites of adulthood seemed to follow tightly with various warrior cults of Northern Europe. Unfortunately we do not have much of an idea of the female rites but do know that most assuredly the women of the tribe or clan saw to her initation into the realm of womanhood.

The same check list can be used for both male and female with small variations:

1. The desire to participate in the ritual, and the participant expecting something

to occur.

2. Isolation, vigils, fasting or abstinence, and time for reflection.

3. Noise of one sort or another.

4. Real or symbolic drink or potions.

5. Threats or frightening happenings, usually staged and not real danger.

6. A symbolic death and resurrection.

7. New acceptance into the desired group and the giving of an item.

8. All of the events are always kept secret from the participant and any future participants.

An example would be the vision quest of the Native American tribes for their youth, where they were considered a man and a warrior on the completion of the quest. Similar such elements can be created for our youth of today. The key is to be sure that the activity teaches the youth something about themselves and helps to bind them with their community in some way.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)