Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nordic Paganism In Iceland And America

Nordic Paganism In Iceland And America Cover In the early 1970s, groups of people in Iceland, the United States, and Britain simultaneously formed new religious associations devoted to reviving the ancient religious beliefs and practices of pre-Christian Northern Europe, particularly those of pre-Christian Iceland and Scandinavia but also the related traditions of the Germanic Peoples of continental Europe and the Anglo-Saxons of England. In this chapter, the word Nordic will be employed to denote peoples and cultures of Northern Europe. Norse will designate the culture and religion of pre-Christian Iceland and Scandinavia in a general way, with Old Norse or Old Icelandic referring with greater specificity to the language and literature of those past times.

The Icelandic, American, and British Nordic religion revival associations of the early 1970s were not in contact with each other nor even aware of each other’s existence. Each had separately arrived at the same inspiration—that the Pagan religious traditions of the Nordic past should be revived for the benefit of modern people.

In Iceland, the poet and farmer Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson and a group of friends, many of them also poets and devotees of early Icelandic literature, formed the association known as Asatruarfelagid, “the fellowship of those who trust in the ancient gods,” often abbreviated as Asatru (Strmiska 2000). In the United States, Stephen McNallen and Robert Stine formed the Viking Brotherhood, which was soon renamed the Asatru Folk Alliance. In Britain, John Yeowell and associates formed the Committee for the Restoration of the Odinic Rite (Kaplan 1997). These Nordic Pagan revival organizations of the 1970s have since branched and split as larger numbers of people have become involved and introduced new ideas and sometimes divergent directions, while remaining united in their devotion to the religious and cultural traditions preserved in the ancient literature of Iceland and other Nordic nations.

Most modern Nordic Pagans speak of their religion as Asatru (believing in or trusting in the ancient gods) and of themselves as Asatruar (Asatru believers); alternately, they refer to themselves as Heathens (the ancient Germanic term for non-Christians) and their religion as Heathenry. The terms Nordic Paganism, Asatru, and Heathenry will be used interchangeably in this discussion. Nordic Pagan revival associations have also sprung up in many other lands, including Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Canada, and Australia. This chapter will provide a brief account of the history and development of the Icelandic and American forms of Nordic Paganism and offer a sketch of Nordic Paganism at the start of the twenty-first century, based on interviews and field research in both nations.

Previous studies of Nordic Paganism in the United States have tended to emphasize (and perhaps to overemphasize) certain racist and Neo-Nazi elements within the Nordic Pagan Community (Kaplan 1997; Gardell 2003). The majority of modern Nordic Pagans are both enthusiastically devoted to Northern European cultural heritage and firmly opposed to Nazism and racism. The minority of Nordic Pagans with Neo-Nazi leanings are firmly denounced by most modern Nordic Pagans as members of fringe groups that they wish to have nothing to do with. The pride in ethnic heritage felt by Nordic Pagans should not be mislabeled as racism, nor should devotion to Nordic culture be flatly equated with Nazism.

Of the American Nordic Pagans interviewed for this article, one is a lesbian with an Asian lover, another participates in a Nordic Pagan association with an African American member, and yet another has adopted Korean children whom he encourages to investigate their Korean spiritual and cultural heritage and only to become Heathens if they feel a strong motivation to do so. These are hardly the profiles of would-be Nazi goose steppers.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Anonymous - Pagan Stones And Gems
Mourant Brock - Rome Pagan And Papal
Frater Fp - Sigils In Theory And Practice
Mindy Macleod - Bandrunir In Icelandic Sagas
Richard Roy - 13 Questions On Paganism And Wicca

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Does Folkish Mean

What Does Folkish Mean Cover In the recent past, several discussions have arisen about the term Folkish. In its simplest terms, Folkish means one thing: an unbending will and dedication to one's Folk. An unbending will and dedication means that the Folk come first, above all else. Our forbears lived a challenging life in the wilds of Northern Europe and Scandinavia. They relied on their own skills as individuals to establish the family. Families worked closely together to establish the clan. Clans worked closely together to establish the tribe. Tribes worked closely together to establish a Nation. That Nation, the Aryan people of Scandinavia and Northern Europe, is our Folk.

In today's world, we are faced with a society that has been bred to soil themselves like newborn children. We have sex offenders on every corner, informants on every doorstep, and government eyes everywhere, all looking for an opportunity. None of these things align with being Folkish. A sex offender hurts women and children, leaving emotional and psychological scars for life. Such actions are not geared toward lifting the Folk. An informant downgrades his/her life by putting friends and family in jail or prison. Such actions do not lead the Folk forward, but strive to bring the Folk down by incapacitating good people while the informant goes free. Such actions are not Folkish.thus, sex offenders and informants are not Folkish. That is why these types of people cannot become a link in the chain.they are weak and unreliable. They are not worthy of holding the Nine Noble Virtues within or standing up to fight for our beliefs and culture.

In more complex terms, one must break the word down into its root word and suffix. The root word is Folk. Folk is capitalized because it is a proper noun and has significant meaning to an individual Odinist. The Dictionary defines the word as:

* adjective 1 characteristic of ordinary people or traditional culture. 2 resembling folk music. folk /fok/

* plural noun 1 (also folks) informal people in general. 2 (one's folks) one's family, especially one's parents. 3 (also folk music) traditional music of unknown authorship, transmitted orally. 4 before another noun originating from the beliefs, culture, and customs of ordinary people: folk wisdom. - ORIGIN Old English -ish

* suffix forming adjectives: 1 (from nouns) having the qualities or Characteristics of: girlish. 2 of the nationality of: Swedish. 3 (from adjectives) somewhat: yellowish. 4 informal denoting an approximate age or time of day: sixish. ORIGIN Old English

In looking at the roots of the word Folkish, the truth becomes apparent. The word Folk- is simply one's people. Everyone who walks this earth has Folk. The significant difference in the common usage of "folk" and Our Folk is how we view each other and treat each other. We stand proud and true in the name of Our Folk, regardless of the cost. We are Our own Family! We are Our own Culture! We have Our own Beliefs! We have Our own Customs! All of these things are what make us Our Folk. What we are not is dependant on others. We have Values, Wisdom, and Knowledge.all instilled from countless generations of love and compassion, battles and bloodshed! These are things one cannot buy with money or manipulate through government. They are Folkish!

Books in PDF format to read:

Israel Regardie - The Art Of True Healing
Stephen Mcnallen - What Is Asatru
Thomas Voxfire - What Was Aleister Crowley
Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - Chapters Of Life
Arthur Edward Waite - What Is Alchemy

Monday, April 7, 2008

Vatni Ausa

Vatni Ausa Cover The traditional basis for the Vatni Ausa rite comes from the ancient Rigsthula. In that great work, in which we are told more of the origins of different human beings as the ancestor-God Rig traveled among ancient man, we see the fathers and mothers of newly born Children "casting water" upon their infant offspring and giving them names. In verse 35, for instance, we read:

"A son bore mother / in silk they swathed him,
sprinkled water on him / and called him Jarl
Was his hair flaxen / and fair-hued his cheek,
his eyes awfully / like an adder's, blazed."

It should be noted that "flashing eyes" were seen as a token of noble birth by the ancients, as Tacitus recorded.

In the Vatni Ausa rite, a child is formally accepted by its father on its ninth night of life, and sprinkled with water made sacred by Blots, and given a name. Of course, in the modern day, most children will typically have "mainstream" names and a separate name by which they are known in the Asatru faith-community. I sincerely hope that one day we have more children whose Vatni Ausa name is the same as the one on their birth certificates, but until that fine day, we go on as we are.

In this particular Vatni Ausa, our Steersman Thorgrimmr drummed slowly (30 beats a minute then 15 beats a minute) while the Blots were taking place. Jorhild acted as our Horn-dis, filling horns for me (I led the rite) and holding the hlautbowl when the time came to pour and sprinkle the gathering.

four Blots were made, one to the Allfather, one to the Disir or ancestral guardian spirits of the families of the mother and the father of the child, one to the Thunderer, and one to the Earth Mother.

To the Allfather we make a Blot and ask for wisdom and guidance on the child; to the Disir, we ask that a Fylgja-Dis or a protecting spirit attach itself to the child and follow him Through his life, protecting him; to the Thunderer, we ask for protection from the designs and baneful powers of Ill-wights, and to the Earth Mother we ask for health for the child.

Each time a Blot is done (and the text of the Blot calls is given below) a few drops of the consecrated ale is sprinkled into the water that will later be used to sprinkle the child.

When the four Blots are done, the father (and mother if she is participating) carries the child up to the harrow and dips the hlauteinn into the water. Looking at their child, they say "I acknowledge you as my son/daughter and name you _____". As they are saying this, they sprinkle the water lightly over the child's head.

At this point, the father and mother make their parental vows to the child- in the name of the Gods, they make whatever vows to the child they feel the need to make; to protect the child, to love it all their lives, to always support the child, etc. As long as these vows are kept, the luck-force binding the parents to the child, and the luck-force that surrounds their family, cannot be defeated.

That's our Vatni Ausa; below are the calls we use. Bear in mind that the mother, who is not Asatru, was not present for the blots. She was, however, present for the sprinkling.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Anonymous - Divination Spreads
Tuesday Lobsang Rampa - As It Was
Stephen Mcnallen - What Is Asatru