These sources are some of the most prevalent that are available on the internet and can even be found in book stores. They are found in places like Wikipedia, the New Age section of Barnes & Noble, personal websites, and Facebook posts. Perhaps the most disturbing location is when they are found written by people masquerading as scholars.

With a large number of Heathens who are not scholars, these kinds of sources are a wonderful way to communicate the current trends in Heathenry. Many times the quality of research and citation to back claims combined with the personal experiences of the author can provide wonderful insights into Heathenry.

Unfortunately, these are not often represented as personal trends but rather as facts. The common term for this is Unverified Personal Gnosis or “UPG”.[1] Spirituality is a very personal thing, in most cases, but when it encroaches into others’ spirituality it can be problematic. This is a separate problem that will be discussed at a later date.

The bottom line when it comes to non-academic sources, is they have to be regarded with a little more scrutiny than may be necessary with academic sources. However, as there are many bright Heathens out there who might not be considered academics it would be foolish to dismiss them outright. The saying “take [them] with a grain of salt” is very true here.


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