At the time of writing this I am not currently, nor have I at any recent point been involved with any groups, but if at some point I do in any way, shape, or form get involved with any group (unless it is one I have founded and am the leader of) it does not in any sense imply I am following or at all loyal to whatever tradition the group is related to.
Often times when people become active within a group other members make the (often times false) assumption that this person has somehow (without that person actually pledging such) dedicated themselves to following the tradition of the group. But the truth is that often times the person is a spiritual-tourist. What this means, spiritual-tourist, is someone that is there to observe and learn things from some of the ideas of the group picking and choosing what aspects of the groups tradition they wish to adopt for their own personal spiritual tradition and also rejecting the parts that are not useful to them. This is not at all a bad thing to be a spiritual-tourist, and it is important that members of the group that have decided to adopt the tradition of the group not negatively judge spiritual-tourists. Another reason why someone may become active in a group who is not there for the purpose of following the groups tradition, are those who are looking for a social outlet. This also is not a bad thing. It is a normal healthy human need to have social outlets. There is many verses from northern lore that talk about this exact need as a normal valid thing, the need for people to have the company of other people. When members of a group whom are the ones there because they have devoted themselves to the tradition of the group start to negatively judge spiritual-tourists and social members this often times creates more of a cult like vibe within the group, which leads to such groups getting very negative reputations. This is something needs need to be careful about. It is important that members of any open public group are light and playful enough about things to accept that not all will wish to be as serious about things as those who have devoted themselves to following the groups spiritual path.
The point I am making in explaining all this here is that if at some point I do get involved with any Heathen or Pagan (or any religious or spiritual) groups or organizations of any sort I am doing so as either a spiritual tourist or as a social member and not as someone wishing to dedicate myself to the tradition of the group. I have my own personal Heathen tradition I follow which is my own and I shall not give that up to follow someone else’s tradition. This post is also related to this one.
No matter what we may consider our religion to be labeled, Heathenism, Asatru, Vanatru, Norse-Paganism, Anglo-Saxon Paganism, Northern Tradition Paganism, we still all follow various separate traditions within any one of those various religions, with tradition being a sub-path within the larger label of religion. I have my own tradition. It is mine. I may choose to share it with others who are interested in it, if there is any such, but that is not at all my purpose in having my own tradition. I have my own tradition simply because it is what works for me spiritually. I don’t expect what works for me will be what works for and/or is ideal for others. In some cases it may be, but that is not for me to decide, only each individual can decide if they wish to follow another persons tradition or even make their own. Just because I may take some elements from or gain some ideas from or be in some ways inspired by some other traditions does not in any way make what I follow that other person’s tradition. My tradition is only my own. There is not a tradition existing that does not take ideas from other traditions and remix them with their own ideas to make their own tradition. This borrowing and remixing is how all new traditions are made. People of other traditions need to keep in mind what may be good or bad for practioners to do in their own tradition’s system does not hold true in other people’s traditions. Each tradition has it’s own basis for how things work and why. I do what I do in my own tradition because that is what works for the basis of mine. I am not a heretic of your tradition, because I am not even a member of your tradition. Unless you are someone who follows my exact tradition than even you have no concept of why I do whatever I happen to do.