30 Days of Heathenry – Day 19 “Library”

Old Books, Book, Old, Library, Education, Archive
Public Domain Via Pixabay

Question:

What are your favorite books in your heathen library?

Answer:

I do a lot of my reading on my Kindle, but I have collected a few solid Heathen books in physical format (which is what I suppose the spirit of this question is). I could post a number of cool books that I purchased, but have yet to read, but I figure I will use this as a way to recommend some books rather than to simply show-off. Here are three that really stand out:

The German Legends of the Brothers Grimm, Volume 1 (Translations in Folklore  Studies): Donald Ward: 9780915980727: Amazon.com: Books

Deutsche Sagen a.k.a. The German Legends of The Brother’s Grimm by Donald Ward

This was my white whale for a while. I listened to a podcast about the Pied Piper of Hameln sometime last year, and was excited by the hosts description of a book by The Brother’s Grimm on German Folklore – not the Fairy Tales, but crazy folk tales. They used parts of the book in order to try to pinpoint whether or not the story was based on a true story in any way, and surprisingly discovered that there were multiple versions of the account (Not just in this book), and that it was likely a real event. Later that week, I jumped online and tried to get an E-Book of it – NOTHING. Okay, maybe I can find a used copy on Amazon – NOTHING. Maybe an illicit scan? NOPE!! this book appeared to only be released in English once in 1979 and vanished from Earth. If I knew German at all, I’d be set, but no such luck.

I was FINALLY able to find both volumes of this for around $100.00 in fairly decent quality at a vintage books website called AbeBooks– I now know why this is likely a rare book – there are a handful of folk tales that are explicitly anti-Semitic, so I can imagine re-publishing this book could be an issue. That said, this book is pretty awesome despite the issues, and I am glad to finally own it.


The Hanged God: Óðinn Grímnir by Shani Oates

An excerpt from my previous review here:

Who would have thought that a small Canadian occult book publisher would publish perhaps one of the most interesting books on Ancient Scandinavian religion and customs this year? This is exactly what has happened with Anathema Publishing’s newest book – The Hanged God: Óðinn Grímnir by Shani Oates.

me

I assume this not the best bit of Germanic scholarship out there, but this monograph takes an interesting look at the topic of Odin and why he did some of the bizarre stuff he did (like hang himself) and expands that to discuss possible shamanic practices that may have occurred in Scandinavian countries during the migration and Viking eras. She does this by using accounts of neighboring areas (Like Russia) by people like Ibn Fadlan, and how we can assume Norsemen could have practiced the same way.

I love Anathema Publishing due to their low-Print run gorgeous leather-bound books that they produce. Some are insanely dense like most occult books, but they are entertaining none-the-less. Shani Oates actually recently released a sequel to this book that I do own, but have yet to start reading.


The Complete Sagas of Icelanders edited by Vidar Hreinsson

Not much to say here other than, I wanted a hardcover version of some Icelandic Sagas and these definitely fit the bill. I do not have all of the volumes, as this near 25 year old set has a few that are rare and cost-prohibitive, but I occasionally scroll Ebay or Amazon to see if copy pops up. I enjoy these due to inclusions of maps and other materials when talking about specific areas such as the norm for many of these stories.

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 16 “Sacred”

Como ter o dom da mediunidade? - Holofote
Public Domain via Pixabay

Question:

Five items you feel are sacred. Go! (These could be on your altar, items from your ancestors, texts by you or someone else, etc)             

Answer:

Family pictures: I spoke in an earlier prompt on my loss and eventuall rediscovery of some of my precious family pictures – long story short, there was a flood that destroyed my Mom’s photo albums, but I found some film negatives in her belongings after her death – I was able to recover about 150 images from my past, in rural Kansas, including pictures of my Grandparents and me as a child. My plan eventually will be to have an ancestor place where I pray to some of these, but that have not gone much further than a simple idea.

My Grandfather’s Military briefcase: Somewhat like the above, I am in possession of my Grandfather’s military briefcase including his Army yearbook and some of his miscellaneous paperwork, as well as knives, watches and other knick-knacks. yeah, some of it is obviously junk that he threw into the trunk, and other pieces seem to be things my grandmother tossed in after his death (like old checkbooks) but even the smallest thing like a book of Korean words (He was a vet of the Korean War) is an awesome glimpse into the past.

My Music: I am an avid music fan, and a big part of what brought me into paganism, in the first place, is music. Some of my favorite memories from last year were the concerts I attended – those more than a lot, felt like “church” to me. Seeing Bands like Arkona and Metsatoll live were amazing experiences in 2019. I no longer buy a whole lot of physical media due to alack of space, but what I do have, tangible or ephemeral digital items, are sacred to me. I have music for any occasion, any emotion, and any problem I might be having.

My Books: As above, I have a book collection, some rare books, mostly not. As Odin strived to gain as much knowledge as he could, I try that myself to varying degrees of success. Yes, I sometimes buy more books than I’ll likely ever read, but it feels good to have a big healthy library to meet any occasion. Some of my faves are books from Anathema Publishing – rare limited edition occult books like The Hanged God, especially. another was a copy of a Grimm Brothers folklore set that has only been released once in English over 40 years ago and never since.

My altar goods: I don’t have much of this stuff yet, but what I do have is awesome. things like pieces of reindeer horn or runes, oils, and types of sage are always things I enjoy having. I have some statues, and other art pieces as well, all things that truly help me communicate with The Gods.

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 7

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30 Days of Heathenry – Day 13

30 days of Heathenry – Day 14

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 15

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 15 “Advice”

Silhouette, Father And Son, Sundown, Chat, Advice
Public Domain via Pixabay

Question:

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about the Heathen path? Your biggest influences?

Answer:

To me, some of the best advice I’ve been given is to be selective on what sort of information one reads, and do research on authors before you get into them. One of the members of the group I’m interacting with a lot, said this to me. They had a lot of knowledge of some of the most prominent authors in the Heathen movement – both good and bad. With Heathenry being infiltrated, and sadly built on the views of racist people from the past, its hard to keep yourself “pure” from running into these ideas. I’ve run into many many many books that look promising only to find out that the author is either overtly racist or leans heavily that direction.

Take, for example, a Journal that was recommended to me from a Facebook group that I generally trusted not to be a hive of this sort of thought – it turned out to be written by Carolyn Emmerich – an avid racist that pushes that agenda into pretty much all of her writings. It started innocently enough – a book on Germanic Folklore, “cool that’s right up my alley!” I thought! Then the red flags started popping. She talked about foreigners a few times, then outright decried Jewish people at a later point when talking about Grimm’s more troubling bits of folklore (The wrote ones that fueled Nazi propaganda a tad). I then ran Google to look into my concerns and BOOM – huge Neo-Nazi leanings.

From that point on, I am careful to vet all of my prospective book choices. yeah, its easy to fall into the “everyone’s a racist!” idea, and yes some authors hide it more than others. You see this in metal music a lot – bands getting accused of having Nazi ties left and right – its gets tiresome, but its usually easy to spot the legit idiots out there. You also have to avoid blogs entirely founded on the idea of cancel culture for authors that they see as problematic for various reasons aside from their work – sometimes you DO have to separate the art from the artist, and honestly the real shitheads out there are exactly trying to hide it.

As for biggest influences, I’d have to say that YouTube personalities do great work, and I take a lot from them currently. People like Survive the Jive, and Jackson Crawford are weekly watches for me, and give me the sort of information I crave most of the time. Yeah, their stuff is far less practical than scholarly, and they have clear biases at time, but it gives me a great jumping off point to run with.

30 Days of Heathenry – Day 1

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30 days of Heathenry – Day 14