It is something that bothers me at times, and I don't know why. I just struggle to label my own practices and beliefs into some box that can be commonly understood. Most of the times I just call myself Vanatru, I mean at the heart of my beliefs are the Vanir, Freyja first and foremost, with Freyr a close second. I also try and work with other Vanic gods such as Njord, and Gerd, on a fairly regular basis as well. When I call myself Vanatru, it simply refers to what I do know more than anything,that the Vanir gods are those that call to me.
But even this has its downfall, with people who associate Vanatru with the reconstructionist tendencies of Asatru, as well as those who would question the validity of Vanatru, or even in some cases consider it somehow an insult to the Aesir. So what is left.
Vanic pagan, Vanic witch, but then comes the unfortunate association with the idea of Wiccatru. I am in no way a Wiccan, I possess no beliefs in dualism, feminine and masculine energies, etc. I do not agree that we should sit back and let ourself and our family be attacked because we wish to "harm none." I simply don't believe there is anything wrong with using harmful magic in the necessary circumstances.
Earth witch describes the practical aspects of my beliefs and what I do, but does not address my connection to the Gods and the divine, therefore it doesn't feel as right as Vanatru. I could call myself heathen, obviously much of my practice is derived directly from historical and literary sources. But the association between the Aesir and the world heathen is so strong, it simply doesn't seem to fit.
It's such a tangled web, and a part of me knows I may as well let it go, that no matter what I call myself there will always be someone willing and able to misunderstand and insult it. I realize this, so why does it bother me on rare occasions?
Perhaps I am simply tired of anyone and everyone that feels like they own the gods. Like there particular knowledge, culture, and other vagaries give them a sense of ownership over a spiritual path. And that this place gives them the right to deem others work worthy or unworthy.
I am tired of people who claim that one has to "prove themselves" in order to be treated like a human being with worthwhile opinions. I honestly just think...who the fuck do YOU think YOU are? No one owns the gods, and certainly no mortal does.
Oh well. It seems like the Gods are moving to make it right themselves with certain of these groups. I suppose the best thing is for me to smile and perhaps gloat a little in silence.
At the end of the day, I KNOW what I am. A Vanatru, a woman of Freyja, and a witch with a deep connection to the earth. If people are Hel bent on misunderstanding, that represents a flaw within themselves to me from now on.