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On honour

I am currently reading a very interesting book about “Compensation Tariffs” in medieval Frisia. Of course I will review the book when I finish it. The book speaks about the “feuding society” in which honour is of high value. The author explains the ancient idea of honour very well.

Compensation systems, of which the Old Frisian penalty lists are an example, appear in many societies. […] The meganism flourishes in a society without a strong (central) authority – in which the government has the monopoly of violence – and where free men form a constitutional state. Such a society is often typified as being a feuding society. In a feuding society an insult or physical violence (sometimes) leads to revenge and revenge (sometimes) to a feud. The state of enmity that rises between two groups of people can be reconciled, compensation plays an important part.

p. 53 (my translation from Dutch to English)Read More »On honour

Regional religious history

Many times I have thought about the subject and recently there has been discussions about it: does the focus of many European “pagans” not lie too much on the North? Does the term “Asatru” not refer to much to the god of the ancient Scandinavians? Why do we refer to “Odin” and “Thor” and not to the same gods in our own tongue? What actually do we really know about these local versions of the old faith? I have tried to to make some sort of inventarisation and initial investigation into a subject that proves to be quite difficult.Read More »Regional religious history

Germanic concepts of Fate

Der Germanische Schicksalsglaube by Walther Gehl (1939)

A couple of things made me want to have a look at the explanations that I was offered of the terms “Ørlögr” and “heilagr” and this book was suggested. I got a copy through my library, so I had only 3 weeks to study the book. The Germanic Belief In Fate is a very interesting work, offering tons of information about the subject. Gehl does not really work towards the explanations that I was after, but there are things to work with. I want to introduce you to this book and because this text is too lengthy for a book review, this turned out to be an ‘article’. Of course I read the book with a certain idea in mind, so this review may turn out to be a bit onesided.Read More »Germanic concepts of Fate

Traditionalistic Asatru

I had plans to write about the subject for a while. There is a small group of people familiar with a particular line of thought. Current events (summer 08) make that these ideas may fall victim to forgetfulness, so I decided to speed up my plans somewhat. On the other hand, there seem to be people who think that Traditionalism and “paganism” is a combination growing in popularity in certain music scene circles. I personally have my doubts about that. In any case, what you will learn below is a hypothesis of its own. I do not intend to display a complete system. I only want to present a hypothesis (or a few if you like), a line of thought so to say and in the process introduce the English speaking world to a couple of books that are only appreciated by a few and completely unknown to many which… Read More »Traditionalistic Asatru

“Music scene Traditionalism”

Last week I ran into the “blog” of Mark Sedgewick, the author of Against The Modern World, a scholarly investigation of Traditionalism that I haven’t read. On his “blog” Sedgewick puts novelties, thoughts, new leads, etc. One of these new leads is what he calls “music scene Traditionalism”, of which he writes “It is one of the most important and fastest growing forms of Traditionalism in the West today.” In the course of his investigation, he ran into an article with a similar subject in a new periodical called Journal for the study of radicalism (see volume 1, issue 2) which is published by Michigan State University. Apparently it is under editorship of Arthur Versluis who is also one of the editors of the esoteric publication of the same university (some university!). In the second volume of the Journal for the study of radicalism is an article by Stéphane François… Read More »“Music scene Traditionalism”

Heithni

Today I ran into the review of the Tyr Journal on Northvegr. In quite strong words the reviewer Ári Óðinssen takes distance from the content of this journal. we should not be allowing the voices we hear in this publication to be the only voices pushing the edge of philosophy in this age. They are, by our silence, representing us. I repeat this to make it clear: they are, by our silence, representing us… Óðinssen seems to think that Tyr stands for a radical traditionalist form of “Asatru”, while in my own idea, Tyr is a “radical traditionalist” publication (as an umbrella term) with here and there a ‘pagan edge’. Óðinssen fears that Tyr tries to make some kind of extremist system of the ancestral faith. I doubt that this is the aim of the authors and I personally never saw the publication that way. The interest of the editors… Read More »Heithni

Thor and Loki in Utgarda Loki, an interpretation

A few months ago I had a little talk about the story of Thor and Loki who travel to Utgarda Loki for a selected group. This little talk took a couple of months in preparation and I have yet to start working on the reworked version of the in depth analysis, but I thought it might be nice for you to show a few aspects of the story here. The story The story in short goes that Thor and Loki (for an unknown reason), decide to travel to Utgarda Loki, which is both the name of a kingdom, as the name of its ruler. In the beginning of the story, Thor and Loki need a place to sleep and they find a farm with a family that is willing to let them spend the night. For dinner, Thor slays his two goats and tells the farmer to throw the bones… Read More »Thor and Loki in Utgarda Loki, an interpretation

Externsteine

On my article about Irminsuls I get comments which are mostly questions about the Externsteine. Since it would be silly to put the information and images in the comments under that article, I decided to make a separate piece about the Externsteine. Nothing in depth, but with a few images that you might not have seen yet. Most images are from a book that I also reviewed, so I probably make copyright violations. Risking that, here some images and short information. I have visited the Externsteine several years ago, probably before I had a digital camera, so nothing here is mine. In the article that I mentioned I wrote a few things about the Externsteine. Please go there for the starting information. The Externsteine are strange natural rockformations which were obviously regarded sacred by the ancient inhabitents of the area. There are several very interesting elements to them. “Felsenschiff” or… Read More »Externsteine

Thor in Utgarda Loki

I have been working on a talk about the story from the Prose Edda in which Thor and Loki travel to Utgarda Loki. Since the talk was in Dutch, but the text is hardly available in that language, I translated the text for my ‘audience’. Maybe some Dutch speaking people will appreciate the translation to be available, so I decided to post it here. The translation is based on the English translation of Anderson (http://www.northvegr.org/lore/prose2/014.php). I decided to keep the ‘viscous’ writing style intact. I consider posting the result of my endeavors too some time. De Avonturen van Thor uit de proza Edda 45. […] Het begin van dit avontuur is dat Oku-Thor op reis ging met zijn geiten en blokkenwagen en met hem ging ase die Loki wordt genoemd. In de avond kwamen zij bij een boerderij en daar werden kamers voor de nacht geregeld. In de avond nam… Read More »Thor in Utgarda Loki

Örlogr and Heilagr

In Tyr journal volume 3, there is an article from the hand of Nigel Pennick about the “Web of Wyrd”, three fates, Norns, etc. In this article he mentions the term “Ørlög” a couple of times, but he seems to mix up this term with “Heilagr”. In this short text I use different spellings for the word, when quoting Pennick I write “Ørlög”, which is probably the most correct spelling, but not too easy to type. Besides, a final -r to the end would probably be even more correct. Easier to type is “Örlogr”. In this way you will at least see when the tem comes from Pennick of from me. On one occasion also Pennick writes “örlog” which seems to be on purpose, almost as if it is the singular version of the word, but that would be a weird idea. The first time the term “Ørlög” is mentioned,… Read More »Örlogr and Heilagr