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First of all, it would be enormously difficult to sum up everything we believe as a kindred on one webpage, and tie it up with neat little bow.  You could write whole books about what we believe (and we have ).  But, if you clicked this link then we at least owe you our best attempt at a summary.

WHAT JOTUN'S BANE KINDRED BELIEVES...

Jotun's Bane Kindred is a family-oriented kindred with a clearly defined group of members.  We believe in our Gods and Goddesses, we honor our ancestors, and we gift and attempt to build positive relationships with the Vaettir of the land.  For the most part, our spouses and children are fully involved in our kindred and its activities.  We believe that working closely as a committed group, we can accomplish much more that we could working individually.  We strive to lead honest hard-working lives, showing those we meet along the way fairness and generosity whenever possible.  We seek to teach our children to be strong and brave, and to focus their efforts and have enough self-control to make positive things happen in this world for their families. We are an very active kindred, seeing each other frequently at scheduled events every two weeks and then getting together in-between scheduled events.

DIVERSE BELIEFS AND PRACTICES WITHIN ASATRU

Jotun's Bane Kindred has traditions, beliefs, practices, and thew that we have developed over time.  It is the result of trial and error, successes and failures, and carefully considered decisions as to what will work best for us as a group, and as individuals within that group.  We understand and accept that our traditions, beliefs, practices, and thew will be different than the traditions, beliefs, practices, and thew of other kindreds and groups.  We recognize that our ancestors approached our Folkway in widely diverse ways depending on who they were, when they lived, where they lived, and how they lived.  The same should be true today of modern Heathens.

So, occasionally someone will point at our website or the books we publish, and claim that we want everyone to be just like us.  Or that we are telling everyone else what to do and think.  Or that we are trying to dictate to others how they practice their religion.  This is absolutely false.  We believe that kindreds and families should respect the autonomy of other kindreds and families. It is amazing how just sharing some information about what works for us could lead to such a backwards claim.  But, the internet is filled with ridiculous claims of that sort.

We are tribal Heathens that strongly support the idea that each kindred and family develops its own ways. We gather and work with Heathens from across our region that do things differently than us, and differently from each other. We participate as an equal part of a Regional Thing here in the Midwest, where we have no special position or authority. Just one kindred among many that are striving to work together and move Heathenry forward. So, we do have a resource website that shares many free resources.  We do publish books and allow people to download them for free.  But, over and over again we've made it clear that we have our ways, and you will have your ways, and that doesn't threaten us or bother us at all.

RACE AND ETHNICITY IN ASATRU

Here are the simple facts. Jotun's Bane Kindred has in the past had non-Northern European members.  We currently have members that are not fully Northern European.  And in the future, we will continue to have non-Northern European members. JBK has always welcomed all people to our events and gatherings, regardless of their apparent race or ethnicity. We go further and state very clearly that anyone making anyone feel uncomfortable based on their race or ethnicity will be removed from our events immediately.  This is as it should be. I've written a number of essays on "Race in Asatru" and all of them clearly state that it is not our job or anyone else's job or place to tell people they are or aren't Asatru based on their race or ethnicity. So, Jotun's Bane Kindred's position on Race and Ethnicity is one of acceptance. All of our members support this position.

SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN ASATRU

Here are the simple facts.  Jotun's Bane Kindred has in the past had homosexuals among our membership, we continue to have homosexual members, and we will have homosexual members in the future. All Heathens have been welcome at our events and gatherings, regardless of their sexual orientation. We've never had it happen, but anyone insulting one of our guests based on their sexual orientation would be made to leave immediately. This is as it should be.  We don't believe it to be our job or anyone else's job or place to tell people they are or aren't Asatru based on their sexual orientation.  So, Jotun's Bane Kindred's position on sexual orientation is one of acceptance.  All of our members support this position.

OUTREACH IS NEEDED

Asatru or Heathenry has roots that go back thousands of years.  But the conversion of our people to Christianity, both voluntary and coerced, effectively interupted or buried our religion for at least the past thousand years.  It is true that many Heathen traditions and beliefs were kept alive in folklore, holidays, and in the culture of our people.  But, Heathenry has effectively existed as a reconstructed religion only since the 1970's, and we still represent a very small percentage of the overall population.  The fact we are fairly small and new, means that the vast majority of people have never even heard of Asatru or Heathenry.  Jotun's Bane Kindred believes that information and answers about Heathenry should be readily available for those that learn of us.  Further, we believe that holding open Asatru events, providing public classes on Asatru, and other forms of public outreach are necessary to at least let people know that Asatru exists as an option.

FACE-TO-FACE HEATHENRY

Heathenry is about community, gathering as a people, shaking a man or woman's hand, looking them in the eye, hearing their voice, telling stories, getting to know each other. Its letting your kids play together. Letting your spouses get to know each other. Its about laughing at dumb jokes, and telling stories from your life. Its about taking the measure of another person, finding them of worth, and building bonds of friendship.  All of these things happen face-to-face.  While the internet is a valuable tool for communication and education, it does not replace or remove the need for face-to-face Heathenry.  if you "know" someone from internet interaction only, you really don't know them.  For this reason, Jotun's Bane Kindred has travelled  to Heathen gatherings across the Midwest and for years we hosted two public Heathen gatherings a year.  The gathering we hosting in September, Lightning Across the Plains, was the largest Heathen gathering in the world for 5 years.  Our public approach has and will naturally change over time, but our commitment to face-to-face Heathenry has not diminished. 

GRASSROOTS - LOCAL AND REGIONAL GROWTH  

Jotun's Bane Kindred believes in the lasting strength of grassroots growth.  We believe the best way to advance Heathenry forward is to put time, resources, and effort into starting, building, and maintaining local kindreds.  Heathens banded together at the local level, learning, practicing their religion, and working together is the foundation upon which we can build a future.  These local bonds, local support, and local events fuel the growth of our Folk.  As people find out more about our religion and become curious about it, there is no greater resource that we could provide to them than a local kindred whom they could meet and from which they could learn. 

As kindreds from an area meet face-to-face and build bonds of trust and friendship at a regional level, these kindreds can pool their knowledge and resources to accomplish things more easily than any one kindred could have accomplished on its own.  Key to this process, is the concept of kindred autonomy and a lack of centralized authority.  Diverse and autonomous kindreds working together are able to move forward side-by-side, without giving up their own individual control, traditions, practices, beliefs, or thew. 

TRIBAL LAND AND A HOF

As a long-term goal, Jotun's Bane Kindred would like to eventually have tribal land, where we can build a Hof and Hall.  Many of our kindred activities would be held there, and we would center future public outreach efforts there, such as classes and workshops on traditional crafts, Northern European culture, and our religion.  We would establish a Heathen burial ground on the property.  A physical location of this sort, owned and maintained by the kindred, would then be passed down to the next generation of Jotun's Bane Kindred when it was their turn to take things forward.

HAVE QUESTIONS?  JUST ASK.

We've done our best here to summarize what we stand for as a kindred.  These are beliefs that we back up with both words and deeds.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at mark@heathengods.com

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