As alluded to on the Lore page, there are various types of sources available to study the Heathen worldview. Most often a single source can be identified using many labels. During well-meaning conversations using these sources, a misunderstanding of what the types of sources are – and possibly more important how they are best used – can lead to additional problems.
To people new to researching things which are important to them, sometimes it’s even hard to determine where to look for sources.
It is important to use sources in our discussion about our worldview, not because everything should be merely an academic pursuit – far from it! It is important to understand the “why” behind the “how” and the “what.” Many people are accustomed to being passive participants in their spiritual understanding, South East Kindred opposes this stance. We must be active in growing our Heathen understanding both personal and in the broad community.
With the goal of aiding by clarification, there are sub pages created for each of the common descriptions. As to why its important to look for information written by others, a good place to start is here with the hope that it clears up a point. The next step is considering the author’s influences, or potential agendas, of the reference. Reflection on this may bring value added or cause it to be removed from these sources… but ultimately will bring forth a better informed Heathen society.
Many people are polarized about what it is that we should be focused on – living by the sources or what someone feels. Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) is often seen as the antithesis to research and substantiated practices… which is not a need. Application of things we better understand through research will result in personal experiences that cannot be applied to others. Personal experiences are essential to growth, but it cannot be the sole substitution for critical thought and personal analysis. Ideally, using both one’s experiences informed by the research of those who are found worth trusting, a combination of these approaches to Heathenry is possibly the most fulfilling.