Heidens Jaarboek 2012

Nederlands HeidendomJust before the Yule weekend the 10th edition of the heathen yearbook is made available by the Dutch group Nederlands Heidendom (‘Dutch heathenry’). The new volume is again a well printed and well-bound booklet of 100+ pages and it contains translations and original texts. For the translations the remaining two chapters of Jan de Vries’ “Geistige Welt Der Germanen” (‘spiritual world of the Germanic peoples’) are published. The longer chapter is a very interesting chapter about fate, the primal law and related subjects. After this comes a nice piece of personal investigations by Boppo Grimmsma. He investigates the word and the concept “rune”. Starting with showing the word “RunoR” (‘runes’) indeed did refer to characters inspite of what the two Dutch scholars that he refers to early in the text wrote. The proof comes in runic quotes and leaves little to contradict. It appears that the word also had another meaning though, especially in the singular form runa or runo. That other meaning is “secret”, but can also be deliberation, or council. Things become more interesting when looked at the word as a verb and pretty soon Grimmsma is talking about Germanic mysteries. The author investigates different mysteries and comes back to the Germanic ones. One of his conclusions I do not fully agree with (mysteries are to ensure the initiatant of a life beyond this one), but when Grimmsma finds out that Germanic mysteries are fundamentally different from the better known mysteries in regard that most mysteries are individualistic and aiming for ‘unio mystica’, the Germanic (and other shamanistic) mysteries always have the community in the center. The initiatant is not looking for personal gain, but the benefit of the family or tribe and this goes perfectly with the Germanic state of mind in general. This is a thought-provoking path that deserves further investigation.
Next up are 5 stories of the story-contests that are held annually. Each story has to be exactly 999 words, heathen and according to the chosen theme. Added is a story that was written by Boppo Grimmsma, but since he is also the jury, his story did not partake in the contest. The stories that did make it into the finals are (respectively) of the hands of Gerard, Axnot, Arianne, Draak and Gijsbrecht, very different stories based on the same instructions. The 10th heathen yearbook ends with a short text of Gerard investigating the symbolism of three and five dots that can be found in a variety of sources all over the world.
You will have to read Dutch, but the yearbook is not expensive and always a nice read, especially when you just spent the weekend with the lot.

One comment

  1. Hi Roy/readers,

    Thanks again for your nice and speedy review of yearbook.

    Germanic mysteries, and I do not mean the initiation mysteries of young adults into manhood, since these have been sufficiently dealt with by Höfler, Weiser and Kershaw, but Germanic adult initiations, are a field of investigation yet to be discovered.

    If any reader of this blog is curious about the subject, and wants to do some investigative reading, I suggest starting with the book “The rites of Passage” by Van Gennip. Then continue on with scholarly works on Greek Mysteries like “The Road to Eleusis”, and of course books on Siberian (Arctic) Shamanism. Why the rites of these two peoples? Well they are both initiations for “grown-ups”, and a fair amount of information on both subjects has survived the destructive effects of christian wrath, and last; the Greeks and Siberians are neighbors to the south and north.

    With this information as “Grundlage” one should weed through the Norse myths and Saga’s. A good starting point is the wonderful and mysterious Hávamál.
    Then let your association neurons go into overdrive.
    I know mine will 🙂
    Heathen greetings
    Boppo Grimmsma

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