If you want to read this book, you better first read the other book by Wodening that I reviewed (click on the “browse” link), because this book takes it that you are familiar with “Theodism” and in many cases even that you are part of a “Theod” or about to form one. Théodisc Geléafa is “a handbook on Germanic heathenry and Theodish belief” as the subtitle states. As stated earlier, “Theodism” is a reconstructionist pagan current with its focus on the Anglo-Saxons. The book offers a very formalised reference book on many aspects of the heathen faith. This goes as far as “law and virtue”, “theod structure”, “hierarchy”, “worship” and “symbel”. For more information and my ideas about the system, see the other review. This time I will let the book speak for itself.
[…]Theodism[…] has roots in both Wicca and Germanic Heathenry. (p.21)
The only thing truly agreed upon is that a single individual cannot be Theodish. Being Theodish requires a tribe. (p.6)
Theodism is about reviving not just the worship of the Heathen Gods and Goddesses, but also the entire belief system and social structure of the ancient tribes, to take all it can from the ancient mental culture. (p.9)
For that first step one must choose which tribe one wishes to revive, and whether or not there is sufficient information to do so. If there is not enough surviving lore, one may be better off founding a new tribe, or reviving another ancient tribe. (p.40/1)
One must keep in mind they are trying to develop the following things, a common identity, a common history, shared customs and traditions as well as a common ancestry. (p.43)
One cannot take a mishmash approach and hope to achieve anything. One cannot afford to pick and choose. (p.40)
There will be, and must be differences between the ancient tribe and the modern due to gaps in information, changes in our host society, and simply that we are not the ancient Heathens. (p.41)
There are two major forms of worship in Theodism. One is commonly called faining, and consists of a libation of mead or the giving of another gift such as a sword. The other is blót, the gifting of an animal to the Gods and Goddesses. […] The reasons for faining or blót are basically the same. We give to the Gods and Goddesses for gifts in return. (p.84)
Symbel is the other major rite of Theodish Belief. […] “With respect to the symbel, only three types of activity are central: drinking (and in related actions such as passing the cup), speech (with the related recitation and singing), and gift giving.” […] Symbel like faining consists of certain ritual actions. Primary amongst these are the gielp and béot. […] A gielp is a boast of one’s ancestry and past deeds. The béot is a vow to do something. […] A flÍtung is basically an insult contest between two members of the symbel. (p. 91/2)
Hold oaths bond people together in must the way kinship does, and therefor are seen as having the same strengths of kinship. (p.73)
Other misconceptions are because not all Theodish groups have gone the same direction as the majority, but have stayed with older, unauthentic forms of Theodism, thus placing them outside the current definitions of Theodish Belief. (p.8)
These quotes of course just give a minor peek into the content of the book, I just wanted to give a few quotes to show the tone and character of the book and the system it describes.
The book itself is about 100 pages, after that follow another 50 pages with appendices with alternative rituals or more in depth information about certain subjects.
“Theodism” is not my system, but I understand and sometimes agree with some elements of it. Also it is a more serious event than most heathen currents or groups. I hope my reviews the two books of Wodening give you enough of an idea if “Theodism” is something for you or not.
2007 Englatheod, isbn 1419671979