When we moved to the North East, we were happy to have found a community made up of a great bunch of Heathens. Not only that, but we were lucky to have been welcomed and included by this bunch. It is hard to over-emphasise just how difficult and disorienting it can be to move to another continent, but the the way we were welcomed into the local community really helped to make us feel better about the whole thing.
For the most part, we both really love the way that local groups do things in this area, there's a rightness to it, a feeling of agreement with the sidu of the groups here. During our travels, my husband and I have come across many Heathens and either the world view of these individuals has been odd to us, or their groups haven't seemed to 'click' together, or they've just seemed plain crazy and we've had a good laugh about it on the way home. But the comfort we feel around these people and the way that the groups in this area do things, is pretty much how J and I would do everything if we were starting our own group.
Except for one thing, and this isn't just something that I've observed in the North East, but in a lot of American Heathen communities:
The lack of goddess worship.
Most groups have deities that they go to the most, but in the vast majority of cases that I can see, they're all male deities. Sure, there are women that offer to the goddesses, but for the most part, when you have a mixed group, it seems to be a godly sausagefest. Now I can understand that groups go with luck, and if a group's luck grows and the omens are good from offering to a deity, the group tends to stick to offering to that deity, but has this really only been the case with male deities? Or did no one ever think to try asking the female deities for help? Maybe people think female deities are the domain of Wicca? Maybe people think that for big favours, they're best going to a big, powerful god instead of a goddess that they don't perceive to be as powerful?
Even when it is done, it's in a limited way, and the goddess being offered to is far more pidgeonholed than her male counterparts.
This is the one aspect of Heathenism that I experienced in Germany, that I miss the most, that inclusion of female deity to the same degree as male. I can't change the sidu of the groups I live around, that's their sidu. Nor would I want to, because it works for them, but more and more, I want to find a place where we can place offerings to Frija into the waters and honour the Spinning Goddess.