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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Heathen

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Novel Gnosis part 26: Njord

Njord is a sea god in heathen mythology. He is the father of Freya and Freyr. The lore does not say who their mother is, but it is hinted that it might be himself, or his counterpart. That would be Nerthus, except that Nerthus and Njord never appear in the same story. Nerthus appears in lore written by Tacitus in the Roman era, and Njord appears in lore written in the Viking Age. Linguistically the name Nerthus probably became the name Njord, and thus, Nerthus the goddess probably became Njord the god.

In Viking Age heathen mythology, Njord was briefly married to Skadi, the frost giantess who became a goddess of winter. That story took place in Asgard, though, and Njord, Freya, and Freyr all settled in Asgard as adults, with the status of hostages after the First War. So, Skadi is a stepmother, and after the divorce, a former stepmother. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Asatru FAQ: Authentic Viking Tattoos?


A frequently asked question is: How do I get an authentic Viking tattoo? There are lots of art designs that Asatruars and other heathens wear, but if you you want something historically accurate to the Viking Age, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Picture the Platonic ideal of a cloud. Is it oval, white and fluffy? Set against a blue sky? Pretty, static, happy in a mild and calm way? Or did you imagine a thundercloud squirting rain and lightning and booms and rainbows and wind in all directions, wild and raw? Starting wildfires and putting them out? Fertilizing the earth, growing crops, and also flooding them, knocking them over, sheeting them with ice?

We are not always talking about the same ideal when we picture something as natural and observable as a cloud. How much more nebulous-- how much cloudier, as it were-- is the picture when we talk about such a thing as masculinity, in toxic and non-toxic flavors? Or any other quality that is socially constructed?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Smell the Flowers

There is always something good somewhere, even in hard times, even in hard lives. "Stop to smell the flowers" has become a cliche, but we said it so much because it's useful.

In Taoist and Buddhist traditions they have the concept of the yin and yang, which are depicted always having a tiny spot of their opposite inside. Like the good in Darth Vader (lol, sorry, I'm such a geek I couldn't resist.) Heathen philosophy doesn't put this concept so starkly in a visual symbol, but in our mythology the entire universe was generated out of the dynamic combination of two opposites, the runes fehu (primal fire) and isa (primal ice.) So everything we see around us is both matter and energy, both power and pattern, both potential and the universal laws of physics that make potential reach its physically manifested form.

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My new book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path is now available for preorder. It is scheduled to be published in August, and preorders will turn into live orders automatically when the book goes live.

I'm really excited about my new book! Of course I won't be able to go to as many in-person events as I had hoped. Any festivals and so forth I miss out on this year I hope to be able to get to when they reopen. I'll just have to plan on a post-pandemic belated book tour.

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Asatru FAQ: What's With That Dude Snorri?
Oh, Snorri. OK, the first thing to understand is that he was a Christian writing down heathen stories. He was both trying to preserve his ancestors' dying culture AND trying to stamp it not only with his true believer Christian convert religious views but ALSO his pro- King of Norway political views.

Secondly, he was writing specifically for other poets, to explain the stories behind kennings, which were essential code for court poets of the time period. Basically poetry of this time read like "Grimnir at TEnagra, his arms wide" or some stuff like that. The point of Snorri's writing was a decoding manual.
The Prose Edda is NOT to be treated like an inerrant Bible.
My upcoming book Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path now has preorder links!

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound (independent bookstores)
Image: drinking horn, photo by Erin Lale
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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In planning my kindred’s Ostara ritual for this year, which we canceled, I ran across an interesting association with similarly named dawn goddesses. The goddess Ostara may be older than we think.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember Deep Space 9 sufficiently to get the analogy.
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, glad it was clear!

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