What activities might people get involved in?
Heathen Outreach is about promoting the Heathen Identity especially as signifying a desire for a more autonomous self-directed life created collaboratively in community. It is about encouraging the development of Heathen Attitude - one that values the small-scale and organic and tends to shy away from what is giant, uncontrollable and immoral. It is about promoting Heathen Ethics which are community-developed assistance to the individual in acting in life-promoting ways. It is about showing ways of fostering the Heathen Character - not in fact one single uniform character - but the kind of person who naturally does what is needed to support the Heathen Process.
Heathen Identity, Attitude and Ethics can be developed through cultural activities which change peoples way of thinking and build their commitment to act differently. Heathen Character can only be developed by actually taking part in the activities that are organised on Heathen lines (on a small-scale where the objects of the activity relate to those who partake in it - where individual participants have an influence on the shape of the whole and the whole responds to the needs of the individual) .
Heathen Supper Club
A Heathen Supper Club is a group that comes together regularly - weekly, fortnightly or monthly - to source, prepare and eat a meal together in such a way as to nurture the Heathen life.
The aim is promote the use of local food, encourage development of cooking and other skills, build community spirit and provide opportunity for socialising.
Attempts should be made to source food grown by members of the club or by people they know or by local farmers they know the name of. Where this is not possible then food should be purchased from an independent retailer rather than a large chain. Ideally food should be organically or traditionally grown with concern for animal welfare and the environment.
Attention should also be paid to the social dynamics of the club to encourage people to participate in activities such as buying and cooking food so that they have a chance to develop and build relationships with others.
We think it will be easiest to set up Heathen Supper Clubs among people who already know each other to some extent or at least have something in common apart from interest in the Supper Club itself.
Heathen Cultural Activity
Cultural activity that supports the Heathen identity and is rewarding and fosters community spirit. This might be based around story-telling or ritual.
Heathen Craft Activity
Some activity (yet to be thought up) which encourages people to develop their practical skills and abilities to produce things for themselves that they need for their lives - an activity that encourages and facilitates the development of craft & technology skills (Heathen Technology = Alternative Technology). One possible idea is a Heathen craft & technology competition.
How can we communicate with each other over distance without relying on the tools and infrastructure provided by the corporate giants? Possible avenues of thought:
a) Heathen computer and networking systems
For the moment we may have to rely on giants for the components of the system like the computer chips, but can we put them together ourselves so we know what they do and they do what we want them to do? Can we get computers to network with each other directly without using corporate internet service providers (e.g. with peer-to-peer wireless systems)?
b) Heathen operating system and software
This already exists to a large degree with the Linux operating system and open source software movement. But are there enough people in the area who know how it all works? Can they extend and adapt it the particular requirements of non-technical people.
c) Heathen publishing and social networking
There is concern that so few corporate giants control the software tools and servers used for most social networking today. Can we set up our own systems - e.g. using distributed and open source designs and home servers. Heathens into publishing and social networking should be using software like Wordpress and Diaspora. The more technically minded might set up their own Wordpress and Diaspora servers on plug computers.