I cant help it, sometimes when i see Amercan Heathens i feel like i´m watching some bad Viking LARP.
That goes for all the talk of “Folk” and all the “hails” too.
I dont know any Swedish people that greet eachother with “Hail” or “Hielsa” (witch just sounds like misunderstood Swedish).
As a general rule you can hardly distinguish between Swedish Christians,Heathens and the secular majority (not to mention those that are kind of a mix of these…..witch in a sense is our entire culture).
I should make clear that:
1: I do NOT intend to insult anyone here, Heathen,Christian or other.
2: Neither will i deliberatly call all “Folkish” Heathens racists or all “Universalist” Heathens airhead neo pagans (Besides, we actually ARE neo pagans per defenition, EVEN if we are reconstructionists or grew up in a culture saturated with the folklore and extentions of cult and myth as i am).
3: And i do not think the fact that American Heathenry differs from Swedish (generalizing my ass off here) is in anyway “bad” or “wrong”. On the contrary i think its good. The custom SHOULD be adaptable to individuals, circumstances, places and communities. It always was. Even within what is today the nation of Sweden, Heathen cult and customs differed depending on when and where.
You organize in kindreds, we dont,Some of you use terms like “Thorsman”, i have never heard a Swede, even one focusing on Thor calling himself that or having an “patron God” attitude towards it (individuals and even whole areas in Scandinavia sometimes focus on certain mights as etymology shows, but it seems very de emphasized in actual cult, even today in most cases).
Non of this is what i´m talking about.
Its simply that when i watch an Asatru Kindred video where “the dangers of a monoculture” is discussed where one guy leads the meeting while another guy sits on a chair, doing his best “viking chieftain” with a girl with a logo T – shirt on each side of him, a model longship on a shelf above him and two drinking horns on a table……
…..it feels weird and a bit cult (in the modern use of the word, incorrect as it is) ,LARP ,survivalist…..”i wish i was part of something cool and had a special heritage”….alien, silly.
It also gives me a feeling of self indoctrination by pastor, evangelical style.
I have nothing against boat models or drinking horns and definetely not girls…..especially several of them and in combination with drinking horns (horny?), i guess i just wish fate (not faith), and a trust that our culture(s) are biological enteties that takes care of themself quite well with much less attitude, roleplay, pretend uniqueness and heritage would more of a base.
Mock history,science or hertage is a much bigger threat to culture than another culture ever was.
Dont believe me? Ask a viking. They loved to mix their culture with others.
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Yup, i´m whoring myself out!
The excavations in Uppåkra just south of Lund has been found the remains of the heathen temple that stood here for hundreds of years before its demise in the late 900s. Then the entire area of the building could be dug up and then the place is intact from the recent burial was in this way for the first time a heathen temple could be studied in its entirety by purely archaeological methods.
Remnants of the building itself consists of burying the poles and wooden walls that once existed on the site. Different floor layers have also been identified and it has also been able to establish that the temple over the centuries been subject to the necessary alterations. Materials have been around wood also been buried in the ground.
The building is not large, only 13 meters long and 6.5 meters wide. It has been slightly curved long walls of coarse, vertical oak planks, or “sticks”, which are buried in a trench in the earth at more than one meter deep. In every corner of the house has been a pole which was buried to considerable depth. The building’s middle section, which remained independent of outside walls, consisted of four huge timber posts. The holes for these are unusually wide and depth is very remarkable, more than two meters.
The building had three entrances, two in the south and one in the north. Each opening has been framed by heavy side poles and the South West has also had a prime lot. This input should have been the temple’s main entrance.
The wall trench and post holes found excavators a hundred so-called golden guys. These are thin, small gold plates engraved with human figures. Its size means that these gold plates can not have earned such as trading gold, but should have had with the then cult to do. That they found in a large amount of burial for Uppåkra temple pillars and wall planks suggest that you sacrificed those golden old men in connection with the construction of the temple.
The building’s exterior walls have been in the so-called rod construction between sharp corner poles. The technique is familiar from found remains of stave churches in Lund from about 1050thThe following planks must have been the top fitted in a horizontal block of wood, so-called safe-conduct, which has been on corner poles. The deep trench that rod walls were set in and the deep holes for corner poles show that the building’s exterior walls must have been high. The holes are of course the task to resist lateral loads to walls not crashed down. In Hemse church on Gotland have been found preserved wall pieces in full length of three meters from the early wooden church. A height of the temple’s outer walls of up to four meters above the ground is therefore not impossible.
The roof between the outer walls and the four corner posts that served as the supporting structure in mittornet should have been covered with wood shavings, which required a fairly steep roof. From a long wall to the tower wall, this should have risen about two feet. How high was the tower itself ? Two feet deep postholes indicate a very large structure, not least because the four pillars formed a square which enabled efficient bracing by check works. With a length of the posts on the suggestion of ten meters, the tower’s walls gone up more than three feet above the nave ridge.
The above interpretation, here called Foteviksmodellen, the temple published in 2004. Another interpretation was published in 2006, here called the Lund model. The latter has the choice not to see the four middle pole FREQUENCY different dimensions and huge foundation depth as a design for a tower. The outer walls have instead entered into a mighty height, nearly six feet.
Inside the Uppåkra temple has been found a bronze beaker and a glass bowl. The approximately 20 cm high cup is decorated with bands of thin gold plate with stamped images. Glass dish comes from the area north of the Black Sea. The bowl, which is made with two layers of glass mass, can be dated to around 500 AD.
Hávamál (“Sayings of the high one”) is presented as a single poem in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking age. The poem, itself a combination of different poems, is largely gnomic, presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom.
The verses are attributed to Odin, much like the biblical Book of Wisdom is attributed to Solomon. The implicit attribution to Odin facilitated the accretion of various mythological material also dealing with Odin.
For the most part composed in the metre Ljóðaháttr, a metre associated with wisdom verse, Hávamál is both practical and metaphysical in content. Following the gnomic “Hávamálproper” follows the Rúnatal, an account of how Odin won the runes, and the Ljóðatal, a list of magic chants or spells.
The Hávamál is edited in 165 stanzas by Bellows (1936). Other editions give 164 stanzas, combining Bellow’s stanzas 11 and 12, as the manuscript abbreviates the last two lines of stanzas 11. Some editors also combine Bellow’s stanzas 163 and 164. In the following, Bellow’s numeration is used.
The poems in Hávamál is traditionally taken to consist of at least five independent parts,
- the Gestaþáttr, or Hávamál proper, (stanzas 1-80), a collection of proverbs and gnomic wisdom
- a dissertation on the faithlessness of women (stanzas 81-95), prefacing an account of the love-story of Odin and the daughter of Billingr (stanzas 96-102) and the story of how Odin got the mead of poetry from the maidenGunnlöð (stanzas 103-110)
- the Loddfáfnismál (stanzas 111-138), a collection of gnomic verses similar to the Gestaþáttr, addressed to a certain Loddfáfnir
- the Rúnatal (stanzas 139-146), an account of how Odin won the runes, introductory to the Ljóðatal
- the Ljóðatal (stanzas 147-165), a collection of charms
Stanzas 6 and 27 are expanded beyond the standard four lines by an additional two lines of “commentary”. Bellow’s edition inverses the manuscript order of stanzas 39 and 40. Bellow’s stanza 138 (Ljóðalok) is taken from the very end of the poem in the manuscript, placed before the Rúnatal by most editors following Müllenhoff. Stanzas 65, 73-74, 79, 111, 133-134, 163 are defective.
Stanzas 81-84 are in Malahattr, 85-88 in Fornyrthislag. The entire section of 81-102 appears to be an ad hoc interpolation. Stanza 145 is also an interpolation in Malahattr.
The first section Gestaþáttr, the “guest’s section”. Stanzas 1 through 79 comprise a set of maxims for how to handle oneself when a guest and traveling, focusing particularly on manners and other behavioral relationships between hosts and guests and the sacred lore of reciprocity and hospitality to the Norse pagans.
The first stanza exemplifies the practical behavioral advice it offers:
- All the entrances, before you walk forward,
- you should look at,
- you should spy out;
- for you can’t know for certain where enemies are sitting,
- ahead in the hall
Number 77 is possibly the most known section of Gestaþáttr:
- Deyr fé,
- deyja frændr,
- deyr sjálfr et sama;
- ek veit einn,
- at aldri deyr:
- dómr of dauðan hvern.
- Cattle die,
- kinsmen die
- the self must also die;
- I know one thing
- which never dies:
- the reputation of each dead man.
It is introduced by a discussion of the faithlessness of women and advice for the seducing of them in stanzas 84-95, followed by two mythological accounts of Odin’s interaction with women also known as “Odin’s Examples” or “Odin’s Love Quests”. The first is an account of Odin’s thwarted attempt of possessing the daughter of Billing (stanzas 96-102), followed by the story of the mead of poetry which Odin won by seducing its guardian, the maiden Gunnlöð (stanzas 103-110).
The Loddfáfnismál (stanzas 111-138) is again gnomic, dealing with morals, ethics, correct action and codes of conduct. The section is directed to Loddfáfnir (“stray-singer”).
“Odin’s Self-sacrifice” (1908) by W. G. Collingwood.The younger Jelling stone (erected byHarald Bluetooth ca. 970) shows thecrucifixion of Christ with the victim suspended in the branches of a tree instead of on a cross.Rúnatal or Óðins Rune Song, Rúnatáls-þáttr-Óðins (stanzas 138-146) is a section of the Hávamál where Odin reveals the origins of the runes. In stanzas 138 and 139, Odin describes his sacrifice of himself to himself:
- Veit ec at ec hecc vindga meiði a
- netr allar nío,
- geiri vndaþr oc gefinn Oðni,
- sialfr sialfom mer,
- a þeim meiþi, er mangi veit, hvers hann af rótom renn.
- I know that I hung on a windy tree
- nine long nights,
- wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
- myself to myself,
- on that tree of which no man knows
- from where its roots run.
- Við hleifi mic seldo ne viþ hornigi,
- nysta ec niþr,
- nam ec vp rvnar,
- opandi nam,
- fell ec aptr þaðan.
- No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn,
- downwards I peered;
- I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
- then I fell back from there.
The “windy tree” from which the victim hangs is often identified with the world tree Yggdrasil by commentators. The entire scene, the sacrifice of a god to himself, the execution method by hanging the victim on a tree, and the wound inflicted on the victim by a spear, is often compared to the crucifixion of Christ as narrated in the gospels. The parallelism of Odin and Christ during the period of open co-existence of Christianity and Norse paganism in Scandinavia (the 9th to 12th centuries, corresponding with the assumed horizon of the poem’s composition) is also evident from other sources. To what extent this parallelism is an incidental similarity of the mode of human sacrifice offered to Odin and the crucifixion, and to what extent Christianity exerted direct influence on the mythology associated with Odin, is a complex question on which scholarly opinions vary.
The last section, the Ljóðatal enumerates eighteen charms (songs, ljóð), prefaced with
- Ljóð eg þau kann / er kann-at þjóðans kona / og mannskis mögur
- “The songs I know / that king’s wives know not / Nor men that are sons of men” (stanza 147).
The charms themselves are not given, just their application or effect described. They are explicitly counted from “the first” in stanza 147, and “a second” to “an eighteenth” in stanzas 148 to 165, given in roman numerals in the manuscript.
There is no explicit mention of runes or runic magic in the Ljóðatal excepting in the twelfth charm (stanza 158), which takes up the motif of Odin hanging on the tree and its association with runes,
- svo eg ríst / og í rúnum fá’g
- “So do I write / and color the runes”
Nevertheless, because of the Rúnatal preceding the list, the Ljóðatal has been associated with the runes, specifically with the sixteen letters of the Younger Futhark.
Müllenhoff takes the original Ljóðatal to have ended with stanza 161, with the final three charms (16th to 18th) taken as late and obscure additions.
The difference of sixteen runes of the Younger Futhark vs. eighteen charms in the Ljóðatal has notably motivated proponents of Germanic mysticism to expand the row by two extra runes. The best-known attempt to this effect are the Armanen runes by Guido von List (1902).
Various proponents of Germanic Neopagan groups place an emphasis on Hávamál as a source of a Norse pagan ethical code of conduct. The “Nine Noble Virtues”, first compiled byOdinic Rite founder John “Stubba” Yeowell in the 1970s are “loosely based” on the Hávamál. The Northvegr Foundation cites the Hávamál among other Old Norse and Old English sources to illustrate “the ethical ideal of the Northern spiritual faith of Heithni.”
The social constructionists
In recent years, some academic writers have described religion according to the theory of social constructionism, which considers how ideas and social phenomena develop in a social context. Among the main proponents of this theory of religion are Timothy Fitzgerald, Daniel Dubuisson and Talad Assad. The social constructionists argue that religion is a modern concept that developed from Christianity and was then applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures and European pre Christian cultures.
Similar views to social constructionism have been put forward by writers who are not social constructionists. George Lindbeck, a Lutheran and a postliberal theologian, says that religion does not refer to belief in “God” or a transcendent Absolute, but rather to “a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought … it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.” Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, says that “The comparative study of religions is an academic discipline which has been developed within Christian theology faculties, and it has a tendency to force widely differing phenomena into a kind of strait-jacket cut to a Christian pattern. The problem is not only that other ‘religions’ may have little or nothing to say about questions which are of burning importance for Christianity, but that they may not even see themselves as religions in precisely the same way in which Christianity sees itself as a religion.”
The blót (Old Norse neuter) refers to Norse pagan sacrifice to the Norse gods and the spirits of the land. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast. Related religious practices were performed by other Germanic peoples, such as the pagan Anglo-Saxons. The blót element of horse sacrifice is found throughout Indo-European traditions, including the Vedic Indian, Celtic, and Latin traditions.
The verb blóta meant “to worship with sacrifice”, or “to strengthen”. The sacrifice usually consisted of animals, in particular pigs and horses. The meat was boiled in large cooking pits with heated stones, either indoors or outdoors. The blood was considered to contain special powers and it was sprinkled on the statues of the gods, on the walls and on the participants themselves.
It was a sacred moment when the people gathered around the steaming cauldrons to have a meal together with the gods or the Elves. The drink that was passed around was blessed and sacred as well and it was passed from participant to participant. The drink was usually beer or mead but among the nobility it could be imported wine.
The old prayer was til árs ok friðar, “for a good year and frith (peace)” They asked for fertility, good health, a good life and peace and harmony between the people and the powers.
Modern adherents of the reconstructionist religions Theodism and Ásatrú continue to practice the ritual of blót, which is one of the most important ritual observances of their religion, in addition to symbel.