Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sacred Space Conference 2017

Sacred Space Conference 
March 9-12, 2017 
Hunt Valley, MD

Among the topics will be the following: 

Zisa: Ancient Lore and Modern Understanding 


The Troth: Modern Heathenry in a Complex World -
Inclusion, Growth, Balancing Identity and Community

This information has been posted for educational purposes and may or may not represent the beliefs and practices of many members of The Troth.

Monday, January 9, 2017


The Troth Blog has served its purpose well, but Troth News may now be seen on our new website!

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Website!

Hail The Troth!

Big news!

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Tech Team, the new Troth website is slated to go live tomorrow!

Members will be receiving an email with their login credentials. Should you have any trouble logging in, or if you experience anything not functioning properly on the website, please send an email to

The Tech Team has done an amazing job these past six months, and the list below does not reflect the full scope of each team member's endeavors.

Hail to the Tech Team!:

Robert Lewis: Overall lead on the project! Interface and backend functioning. Robb has spent countless hours programming, training others, tracking things down, troubleshooting, and much, much more. 

Bobby Fabian: The database man! Always happy to turn around currently-needed reports while simultaneously working on fixing, creating, and implementing the new database functionality, troubleshooting, advising, and reporting... and a lot more!

Mike Brooks: Facilitator of the flow of work. Kept us on task and organized. Advised, trained, Made the new org chart. Provided design ideas and more.

Jack Cole: Jack created the In-Reach and Merchandising databases... and has his hands in quite a few projects.

Rory Bowman: idea man... Contributed  ideas and insights and will be instrumental in training.

Camille Crawford: Designer of the new banner that graces the website!

We already have plans in place for more features and improved reporting. Public Relations and the individual teams will be updating the content and verbiage on the site.

Get ready! It's coming!

Hail the Tech Team!
Hail The Troth!

This post represents official Troth policy or is an official Troth statement.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yuletide Verbots and Completing Projects

Yule starts at sunset tonight.

In the Urglaawe tradition, recommended practice is, prior to sunset, to open projects that you wish to work on and to complete before sunset on December 31 (the start of Twelfth Night and Berchta's feast day). Currently-open projects should be completed by Twelfth Night or abandoned completely and restarted in the New Year. Ongoing projects can identify a goal of a phase completion or a stopping point. New projects should be delayed until the New Year once Yule begins; focus instead on completion of that which is still in process. 

Historically the oldest references to Verbots (bans, taboos) on new projects were to spinning and weaving but Pennsylvania German oral tradition also extends it also to smithing, canning, and carpentry. Urglaawe examines the mindset behind the need to complete open tasks and the Verbot on starting projects during Yule, and we apply the concept to all aspects of our lives wherever it is practical and possible.

Job requirements may make some of this difficult or impossible to avoid, but the mindfulness applied to figuring out appropriate areas in your life to recognize the need for completion does matter.

Berchta and the lesser-known Berchtold are deities associated with the end of something or the completion of a cycle prior the the restart. There are many considerations that go along with the mindfulness: responsibility, deprivation, organization, preparation, and being willing to abandon partially-completed work if procrastination is a problem.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Story of Mistletoe

There are many myths that surround the Yuletide.  One of the oldest is that of the death of Baldur.  The main myth cycle is dramatic and the focus of much song and poetry, but inside the larger myth are a number of lesser stories also worth telling.  One of those is the story of Mistletoe, the plant that was at the heart of the murder of Baldur, whose small but tragic part bears examination in its own.  This is a tale of consequences and forgiveness, of love and redemption.


A Tale of Santa

When I became a Heathen parent, the question of how I was to treat the holdiays became a critical one to answer.  My children were raised in a Heathen household, yet went to public schools in a society that was largely current or post Christian, so at least socialize with largely Western Christian traditions, even if fairly secularized in practice.  Now I could demand we ignore the world and do things our way, and isolate my children, or I could choose to bridge the gap.  What we in the west celebrate is mostly Yule already.  Santa is a barely disguised Yule Father, so rather than re-invent the wheel, we decided to bridge the gap between the Yule father that is, and the Santa they know.  Put the sacral reason back in the season, and we can celebrate along side our friends and neighbors, understanding the sacred purpose of what we are all doing already.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Standing Together

Today, many Heathens are posting this video to express our solidarity with the Standing Rock protesters, and I would like to share my personal sentiments as well.
The opening of the video makes a reference to the forces of nature, personified in the giant troll women, turning against King Frothi for his unjust leadership, thereby bringing down his kingdom. 
We Urglaawer just completed the observance of Allelieweziel. Part of our observance is the recognition that the settlers of Allemaengel had violated a social contract that exists among all living things, thereby causing the plants and animals to abandon them. Had the settlers not recognized their error and been instructed by Hexes and Brauchers to make amends, the colony would have perished. 
Standing Rock presents the potential for the same circumstance. I recognize that the matter has some complicating angles. For example, I drive vehicles for my private use as well as for part of my paid job. I recognize that fuel is necessary for our society to continue. However, does the pipeline need to be built through the sacred lands of the Dakota and Lakota? Does their water supply really need to be put in jeopardy?
The history of the relationship between the tribes and the US government is well known: Broken promises, broken treaties, broken arrows, and wounded knees. The Standing Rock Indian Reservation is itself the result of a broken treaty that unilaterally altered the Great Sioux Reservation. A feature of this action was to break up the tribal culture and relationship that existed among the tribes and bands in the region. Something about that undermining of a folk culture sounds familiar to this Deitsch man.
The broken promises and broken treaties are of critical importance to me as a Heathen. The keeping of oaths is central to our religion and our social integrity. The US breaking treaties affects our Wurt as a nation, and our government's actions toward the tribes diminish our honor and imperil our future. 
Additionally, the pipeline construction endangers burial grounds of the tribes' ancestors. As a Heathen who owns a cemetery, I recognize the importance to my own soul of honoring my ancestors. 
To allow for the disruption or destruction of the tribes' sacred graveyards is beyond reprehensible and places a stain on us that will last from generation to generation. How would the average American feel if his or her ancestors graveyards were overturned for someone else's profit? It is appalling that we are even having to talk about this in the current era. Have we learned nothing since the 19th Century?
Apparently we have not. We are seeing the violation of Standing Rock sovereignty and Dakota/Lakota dignity in order to feed the corporate machine. We are seeing a disrespect for the land, for the land spirits, and for those who have gone before. We are witnessing the violation of promises and treaties. This is unacceptable.
Robert L. Schreiwer