Root, Stone and Bone: Honoring Andvari and the Vaettir of Money

Root, Stone and Bone: Honoring Andvari and the Vaettir of Money
Fuensanta Arismendi and Galina Krasskova Asphodel, 2008

4/5 Broomsticks

In this slim volume, co-authors Arismendi and Krasskova explore their devotions to — and the lessons they have learned from -- Andvari and the different vaettir of money. To my knowledge, it is the only such volume, making it a rare and fascinating treat.

In the Northern Tradition, Andvari is one of the Duerger, or dwarves. He makes one memorable appearance in the lore, in a Reginsmal tale in which he loses his magic ring Andvarinaut and his golden hoard to Loki. As the authors reveal, though, there is much more to Andvari than one might first think. He is the “God of deep places/ And of deep and far-reaching consequences,” the “forger of consciences” who teaches powerful and important lessons about right ownership, right consumption, integrity, frugality, luck, and fair trade. In other words, he teaches us how to relate to money; not in the unhealthy ways so many of us do now (we fear it, we hoard it, we obsess over it, we despise it), but in creative and healthy ways. Money, this book teaches, is not inanimate; it is sacred and alive. When it is hoarded, it rots. When it is exchanged fairly, rightly-traded, rightly-owned, it is a force for creation and transformation.

Read more: Root, Stone and Bone: Honoring Andvari and the Vaettir of Money

Old World Witchcraft : Ancient Ways for Modern Days

Old World Witchcraft : Ancient Ways for Modern Days
Raven Grimassi, Weiser Books, 2011

4/5 Broomsticks

Author Raven Grimassi states that the goal of this book is to allow what he calls “The Old Ways witch” to emerge by clearing away the large mounds of debris that surround it. He has done an excellent job at that task. Old World Witchcraft is a beautifully- researched and well-written book, and gives those who read it a sense of what real witches and witchcraft were all about before being falsified, fantasized, and maligned throughout history.

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The Goat Foot God

wp-24_reviews_03The Goat Foot God

What Rough Beast!

How could I resist? When I — who takes his name in honor of Pan, whose shoulder wears a laughing Pan tattoo, whose production studios have been named for the Goat Foot God — received a copy of this book, I immediately had to read it.

Sadly, The Goat Foot God (misspelled on the book’s back cover as “The Goat Food God”) often stumbles. As an unwittingly accurate appraisal on that back cover states, “Diotima takes a scholarly yet idiosyncratic look at Pan.” Indeed, “There are more questions than answers herein.” But although that approach is debatably “in keeping with the eponymous subject,” the incomplete treatment did not satisfy this curious Son of Pan.

Diotima starts out well, summarizing the primal appeal of Pan and drawing vital distinctions between logos and mythos: between insistence upon the rationally provable, and acceptance of the sublimely mysterious. Working outward from the Homeric Hymn to Pan (reprinted in the first Appendix), Diotima presents an array of classical Greek sources regarding Pan and his lineage.

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Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition

Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition
Galina Krasskova, Asphodel Press 2009

4/5 Broomsticks

This book is a compilation of personal meditations and sacred poetry for the northern gods of the Sun and Moon.

It is a deeply powerful book, one that shares the worshipers of these gods’ memories and blessings with an honesty and connection that calls from the pages.

The book opens with introductions to both Mani, then Sunna through the author’s experience of them. A true devotional, it is sourced from the ritual and ecstatic experience of the author, rather than strictly in lore or tradition, so, like pretty much the entire backlist of the publisher, your evaluation of this specific book is likely to depend on your stance about the use of personal gnosis in guiding Heathen/Northern practice.

Read more: Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition

Real Germans, Real Scholarship

wp-24_reviews_00Real Germans, Real Scholarship
Barbarian Rites: The Spiritual World of the Vikings and the Germanic Tribes


This book is neither an account of rituals ancient or modern nor a list of popular gods nor a retelling of the myths and legends of the tribes of northern Europe.

It is a scholarly work that seeks to discover who the Germani (as the Roman authors called them) were and where and how they lived. “If it is hard enough to say for sure who the Germanic peoples were,” Hasenfratz writes, “it is more difficult to know what constitutes ‘Germanic’ now. There have been those who thought that they knew what it meant, and their knowledge caused worldwide catastrophe” (p. 2). That is, from Tacitus to Hegel to Alfred Rosenberg (a theorist devoted to Hitler), terms like “genetic purity,” “love of freedom,” and “stern morality” were used as “hallmarks” of “the ‘Aryan (Indo-European) racial soul’ most typically embodied in the Germanic race, so that dominion over ‘less worthy’ peoples must in some way be an inherent entitlement of the Germanic human being” (p. 2) — well, yes, we know what the Nazis made of German history. Hasenfratz says that we can define Germanic people in terms of the language they spoke, which had made certain changes from the Indo-European root language.

Read more: Real Germans, Real Scholarship

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