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Cultivating A Compassionate Community

Back in December 2019 our staff collectively wrote a piece about The Wolves of Vinland to raise awareness of this group after the Crown declared War on them 10 November 2019. Just a quick reminder: they’re a violent Neo-Nazi organization that borrows from Heathen culture (practice, mythology, teachings) to justify their agenda. A branch of the group operates in Minnesota, brushing up against our own home terf. The King and Queen’s declaration was meant to be a stand against hatred, violence and exclusion; all things which are in direct opposition to our values. 

Since then, Tom and Laura have taken necessary measures to ensure the safety of our group while upholding our principles. People have been stripped of titles, excommunicated, and banned from interacting or associating with us. Matters of gender, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion and so on are non-negotiables. Meaning, we will not compromise for your individual beliefs- you know, the ones that are slightly racist, just a little ignorant, a tad fearful, or a touch harmful. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Not in our house. 

We will continue to watch, monitor, and act when and where necessary to maintain the integrity of our community, without exception. For those of us in the community, the work is not yet done. This article serves as a reminder for ways in which it is appropriate to foster a producing community. For without this, how can our Kingdom grow? Just as important as building physical structures, so too must we make a priority of building the foundation for intangibles- compassion, honesty, safety, trust, respect and loyalty. 

This is an ongoing discussion of the ways in which we should speak and act, but here are some quick reminders for going forward. 

  1. Teach others as you wish to be taught:
    1.  This is an expansion of the Golden Rule- treat others as you wish to be treated. When you pluck a bunch of strangers from all corners of the globe and stick them into one room (virtual or otherwise), you should expect that nobody knows exactly what you do. More common, though, is that nobody will know even a quarter of what you do. We all come from such wildly different backgrounds, informed by age, race, socioeconomic status, health, nationality, heritage, interests and life experience. If you come across a situation where another citizen does not have the knowledge you do, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that knowledge is a privilege in our capitalist world. Then, if you’re able to, gently educate that person. We are all teachers, we all have great things to share with one another. Let’s remember to create a learning-friendly environment so that everyone can grow together. The consequence of alienating people based upon your judgement of them is that they do not learn, cannot grow, and then neither can the rest of us. 
  2. Attitude is everything:
    1.  You know how it feels to have one of those days where everything is fucking perfect? You like the way you look and dress, your hair isn’t a mess, you can breathe deeply, the world is bright and shiny and full of coins. Yeah yeah yeah, I know that sometimes those days are few and far between. The silver lining of life is the good stuff- the truly good stuff (however that looks for you), and the rest is usually social conditioning and punch clocks and taxes. But you, let’s return to the perfect days. You can crank out your to-do list like it’s nobody’s business and still look good. That’s the kind of energy we need stimulating this community. We still love you every day of the week, but when you’re feeling on top and life is good, please share that with us! It’s inspiring to witness, and not only that, it can be contagious. When you win, we all win. That’s the kind of attitude that fuels positive growth.
  3. Take pride in your position and your work:
    1.  A Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country.” And then another old white guy said “I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, ‘Fool me once… shame on… shame on you. Fool me… can’t get fooled again!’” If you’re a citizen of Hrafnarfjall, if you’re titled, if you claim territory, if you’re here for the long haul, consider how you can contribute to our success. I might be redundant on this point, but I’ll keep saying it until I’m purple in the face and not just the hair. What awesome skills, talents, experiences, and educational background do you have? How can you utilize those qualities to benefit the Kingdom you’re participating in. The bottom line is this: passive citizens don’t create an active Kingdom. I love this quote, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” You’re damn right. And Romulus was a mythic man- an amalgamation of different characters that all contributed to the rise of a productive empire. While their names are now lost to history, their work is not. We still study their philosophy, their architecture, their culture, their mythology. Why? Their citizens wanted and needed Rome to work, so they made it happen. They did. Not Romulus. The citizens. 
  4. Learn to listen:
    1.  Hard times are hard, and we all get put through the ringer. The Gods (or God, Universe, Spirit, the Void, Nothing at all?) have a funny, kinky way of exercising their desires on our fragile human lives. I am, in fact, reading a book on exactly this subject. It’s called “Existential Kink” and I would highly recommend checking out the first couple of chapters, which are available online for free (https://en.calameo.com/read/005570974d5b24fd4e863). But my point here is this: there is no substitution, no replacement for good friendships. Maybe we don’t know where our friends exactly live, or what they do, or even what they look like yet. That doesn’t have to be a roadblock toward nurturing intimate relationships!
  5. You can say Hi first! 
    1. Yes, I said it. Hi! The common denominator for all of us is Hrafnarfjall. Start there, ask questions, develop a rapport, share interests. I challenge you to reach out to someone in the Kingdom you haven’t talked to yet. And while you’re doing that, I’m going to think about setting up some sort of online speed-”dating” event for us to participate in. Perhaps not for romance, but just to be able to connect with one another. Sometimes a couple of minutes is all it takes to have your life completely changed by meeting someone new.

Special Note

While this article is meant to be educational in nature, it also hinges on a satirical perspective. The views and opinions expressed within are solely those of the writer, Kendall Belopavlovich, and do not necessarily reflect anyone else’s relating to the Hrafnarfjall Times or the Kingdom of Hrafnarfjall. 

By Chancellor Kendall Belopavlovich, Princess of Hrafnarfjall

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