Fort Wayne Heathens

Heathen/Ásatrú Community of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana

What is a Heathen?

Heathen (Old English - hǣþen, Old Norse - heiðinn) literally translates to "dweller on the heaths." This term went on to be used by the Medieval Christian Europeans to describe peoples that adhered to their pre-Christian native religion, instead of Christianity. As modern followers of the pre-Christian religions of the Germanic peoples, we prefer the term Heathen over Pagan. Pagan originates from Latin speaking people to describe individuals in and around the Mediterranean who followed their own pre-Christian native religions. Heathen is a term from the north and is a term that described simple, wholesome people that has since been poorly used to describe atheists or hedonists . 

The Fort Wayne Heathens Saga

It's ups, downs, smiles, and frowns. Our story continues to be told.

From the yawning void, a group is born

In November of 2013, the group was made physical, but the idea began in 2011 when our Lawspeaker, Mark, moved to Fort Wayne and was shocked to find no Heathen community in the second largest city in the state of Indiana. He joined a Pagan social group in Fort Wayne called Three Rivers Pagans searching somewhere for another Heathen to share a horn of mead with. He met some Heathens there, many were not interested in forging a physical Heathen community, until he met a couple named Jason and Mary (who would go on to become co-founders of Fort Wayne Heathens.) The idea of Fort Wayne Heathens was made in 2011. It began as a small website with three pages and a contact button. Jason and Mary met Mark through this website in 2013 and forged a group called Storm Haven Kindred. Storm Haven Kindred has since disbanded, but when it was active, it managed and founded Fort Wayne Heathens as a large and inclusive Heathen community in Fort Wayne and for the surrounding area. Many of our first events were managed, funded, and hosted by Storm Haven Kindred.

Our first events

Technically, our first event was a drinking horn making class hosted through Three Rivers Pagans. Then we had a Midsummer event hosted by them as well. The need to be made more separate from Three Rivers Pagans arose, and Jason and Mary (representing Storm Haven Kindred) volunteered their home as venue for our events. The first Lore Night was held there, and it covered the Saga of Ragnarr Loðbrók and his Sons. We moved on to cover the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, various deities, and runes at Bon Bon's Coffee House in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We held our moots and religious gatherings wherever we could, and eventually these gatherings grew.

We got bigger

From 2013 to 2015 the Fort Wayne Heathens Facebook increased by over 100 people, and our gatherings increased from half a dozen to nearly 20 people at times. Bon Bon's can be cramped with all of us now, and rune night at Jess's home is snug at times. We grew from a couple of interested people, to a collection of families, couples, and friends.

We got more involved

We were invited to do a sumbel at Fort Wayne Indiana's Pagan Pride Day in 2014, and came back to do the Main Ritual (the creation of a sacred frithstead [Heathen holy place] for the event) in 2015. Mark also taught a class on Heathenry/Ásatrú at the Chrysalis Moon Festival in July of 2014. The Indiana Kindred Registrar and Hoosier Heathen Veteran programs were started in 2014 and were inspired by local connections made with The Troth. Fort Wayne Heathens has been asked to do the closing ritual for the Chrysalis Moon Festival in July of 2016 as well.

We changed things up a bit

Katherine was elected as Gyðja at our Midsummer moot in June of 2015. Mark stepped down as Goði and the leadership of Fort Wayne Heathens had officially shifted from Storm Haven Kindred, to Mark alone, to a team of officers with specific duties set forth by the bylaws. Katherine faithfully served Fort Wayne Heathens offering up her home as a meeting space, volunteering her time to teach the runes, and leading rituals at Pagan Pride Day and at our moots. She stepped down in April of 2016 and Jessica was voted as Gyðja by the common vote of the officers at the time.

We're pushing towards the future

Our first annual Althing held in Muncie, Indiana in June of 2016 saw two new officers elected, and three personal and group feuds ended. There will be an Althing held each year to ensure that the integrity of the group is strong, that new leadership opportunities can arise, and that we can all have a day of the year to define our focus and push towards the future.

Our Officers

Elected to serve the idea and group of Fort Wayne Heathens

Jess

Gyðja
Jessica is the Gyðja of Fort Wayne Heathens. She has studied and taught various forms of "Alternative Religion" since the 1990's. She currently teaches classes on Runes and Witchcraft, and is honored to share her abilities in this capacity with Fort Wayne Heathens.

Noah

Goði
Noah is our up-and-coming Goði. He was recently elected in the Summer of 2016 at out first annual Althing in Muncie, IN. He is full of ideas, passion, and has a clear idea on what direction to spiritually lead the group to. One of Noah's plans is to complete a Heathen's desk reference for the many terms in our lore.

Mark

Lawspeaker
Mark is the Lawspeaker,  and a co-founder of Fort Wayne Heathens. He is the former Goði (priest) for Storm Haven Kindred, has served as a leader for various eclectic Pagan groups as a representative of Ásatrú and Heathenry to the greater Pagan community, and regularly volunteers to assist with local programs and events in the Fort Wayne area.

Brittney

Treasurer
Brittney served as Fort Wayne Heathens' Scribe until the officer position of Treasurer was left vacant, and she was appointed over to this new role by the majority vote of the officers at time. She has since then raised several ideas on fundraising and has kept close eye on the assets for Fort Wayne Heathens. Her latest fundraiser is the adoptable stuffed troll doll named Ragna Rok.