Like Hermit Crabs

I went to the quiet place and, while seeking guidance, was shown an image of a place from my teen years. I had the feeling that someone in the Asatru community would find the information useful and that I was to write about it. It's all about housing and community.

In my teen years, I lived in Arkansas. There was a group of people who lived on land a few miles away. The locals called these people Gypsies, but I was never sure of who they really were. When I first noticed them, they all lived in campers except for one family that had a mobile home.

Before too long, the mobile home was joined by another, this one the coveted double wide. More mobile homes joined in until all of the campers were replaced by mobile homes. It was interesting to see how the community built itself.

The next big development came in the form of a more traditional house. This replaced one of the mobile homes. Then came another house, and another. Before a few years had passed, the field of campers had been replaced with a small housing addition.

The talk among those "in the know" said that the community had built itself in a specific pattern. The people there had a very clear hierarchy and a strong attachment to community. When they all had campers, they pooled their money until they could buy the land where they parked. Then they pooled their money until they could buy the first trailer. The head family moved into the trailer.

They pooled their money again to buy the next trailer. The head family moved into the new trailer. The second family moved into the first trailer, and everyone else got to move into the next best camper according to their social rank. This is reminiscent of how hermit crabs form a vacancy chain to move into a slightly larger shell. This group continued this pattern until everyone had a house.

I'm not sure exactly why The Silent One thought I should relate this. It is, perhaps, a lesson on how the Asatruar should work to help each other. We have a tendency to be small Kindreds or loosely associated individuals. Some of our larger groups have collapsed due to infighting. There is probably some room for a middle ground.

If you have a kindred, do you pool some of your resources? Do you work together to accomplish projects? I've heard of some kindreds saving up to buy land for their group. The usual problems have to do with the tax paperwork and the way people come and go.

If you know of a job opening, do you try to get word out to other Asatru people? If there is a business opportunity, do you get the word out? If you hear of a good deal on real estate or an apartment, who do you tell?

One of the strengths of many Christian churches is that they try to make sure that their members get first crack at opportunities. They do business with each other. They give discounts to their brethren. This may seem a little unfair, but that's life. They are going to do it, and we aren't going to change that any time soon. The important thing is, can we learn from it?

I sometimes imagine an Asatru town. Someone buys a house and business in a small town. They put the word out to other Asatruar to find employees who then move to the town. Gradually, others move to the town and start their own businesses. If the town is small enough to start with, there is little worry of harassment from other religions. Between online business and local, the small town could be prosperous. They could eventually host festivals that attract other Asatruar from around the country. The success could lead to seminars in how to do the same thing elsewhere. It's a nice dream, but it may be a while yet.

Please take some time and think about what you can do to help your fellow Asatruar. What can you do to help make the community stronger? A strong community is in your best interest.