Walking Toward Yggdrasil and The Whisperings of Woden

Walking Toward Yggdrasil and The Whisperings of Woden
Galina Krasskova, Asphodel Press

2.5/5 Broomsticks

In the world of Heathen spirituality, finding a devotional based on personal experience can be challenging, due to a tendency in the community to concentrate on ancient traditional texts of the Eddas and Sagas. Personal gnosis, celebrated in Neo-Paganism, is underrepresented, even discouraged, in reconstructionist Heathen circles.

Galina Krasskova, a self-described “free range tribalist Heathen” and priest of Odin, has written these two slim personal volumes — Walking Towards Yggdrasil and The Whisperings of Woden — for those seeking a closer relationship with “The Old Man” beyond what is written in ancient texts.

Read more: Walking Toward Yggdrasil and The Whisperings of Woden

Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru Mist

Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru Mist
Megalithica Books, 2011

1/5 Broomsticks

Mist offers up a book that is intended to help the reader find a patron within the ranks of the Aesir and Vanir with Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru. Alas, instead of spending time focusing on what is promised, the book takes a turn for the worse early on when the author professes that she is “not an expert” and “everything in this book should be taken with a grain of salt.”

The book is set in a personal tone, with an underdeveloped voice as the author tells her own opinions and beliefs, but never gives any underlying theory to back up her assertions. The entire book has a distinctly neo-Pagan flavor, as it spends a lot of time talking about meditations to become closer to the Gods, Jotun and traveling within the Nine Realms, but less than nothing about the existing lore regarding these topics, which will be a deal-killer for any reconstructionist readers.

Read more: Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru Mist

Angles and Saxons and Witches, Oh My!

TRAVELS THROUGH MIDDLE EARTH

Travels through Middle Earth:
The Path of a Saxon Pagan

Alaric Albertsson, Llewellyn, 2009

In The Path of a Saxon Pagan, Alaric Albertsson decides to share his experiences and his beliefs of this Anglo-Saxon tradition relative to his personal path instead of speaking for all Anglo-Saxon Pagans, and he does this quite marvelously. Travels provides an introduction and more into Anglo-Saxon Heathenry today, while still honoring and reflecting on the contributions of the ancestors and the journeys through Middle Earth, and the other realms and customs within the fyrn sidu, or the “old ways.”

Read more: Angles and Saxons and Witches, Oh My!

Root, Stone and Bone: Honoring Andvari and the Vaettir of Money

Root, Stone and Bone: Honoring Andvari and the Vaettir of Money
Fuensanta Arismendi and Galina Krasskova Asphodel, 2008

4/5 Broomsticks

In this slim volume, co-authors Arismendi and Krasskova explore their devotions to — and the lessons they have learned from -- Andvari and the different vaettir of money. To my knowledge, it is the only such volume, making it a rare and fascinating treat.

In the Northern Tradition, Andvari is one of the Duerger, or dwarves. He makes one memorable appearance in the lore, in a Reginsmal tale in which he loses his magic ring Andvarinaut and his golden hoard to Loki. As the authors reveal, though, there is much more to Andvari than one might first think. He is the “God of deep places/ And of deep and far-reaching consequences,” the “forger of consciences” who teaches powerful and important lessons about right ownership, right consumption, integrity, frugality, luck, and fair trade. In other words, he teaches us how to relate to money; not in the unhealthy ways so many of us do now (we fear it, we hoard it, we obsess over it, we despise it), but in creative and healthy ways. Money, this book teaches, is not inanimate; it is sacred and alive. When it is hoarded, it rots. When it is exchanged fairly, rightly-traded, rightly-owned, it is a force for creation and transformation.

Read more: Root, Stone and Bone: Honoring Andvari and the Vaettir of Money

Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition

Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition
Galina Krasskova, Asphodel Press 2009 http://asphodelpress.com/devotionals.html

4/5 Broomsticks

This book is a compilation of personal meditations and sacred poetry for the northern gods of the Sun and Moon.

It is a deeply powerful book, one that shares the worshipers of these gods’ memories and blessings with an honesty and connection that calls from the pages.

The book opens with introductions to both Mani, then Sunna through the author’s experience of them. A true devotional, it is sourced from the ritual and ecstatic experience of the author, rather than strictly in lore or tradition, so, like pretty much the entire backlist of the publisher, your evaluation of this specific book is likely to depend on your stance about the use of personal gnosis in guiding Heathen/Northern practice.

Read more: Day Star and Whirling Wheel: Honoring the Sun and Moon in the Northern Tradition

Real Germans, Real Scholarship

wp-24_reviews_00Real Germans, Real Scholarship
Barbarian Rites: The Spiritual World of the Vikings and the Germanic Tribes

HANS-PETER HASENFRATZ, PH.D., TRANS. BY MICHAEL MOYNIHAN INNER TRADITIONS, 2011

This book is neither an account of rituals ancient or modern nor a list of popular gods nor a retelling of the myths and legends of the tribes of northern Europe.

It is a scholarly work that seeks to discover who the Germani (as the Roman authors called them) were and where and how they lived. “If it is hard enough to say for sure who the Germanic peoples were,” Hasenfratz writes, “it is more difficult to know what constitutes ‘Germanic’ now. There have been those who thought that they knew what it meant, and their knowledge caused worldwide catastrophe” (p. 2). That is, from Tacitus to Hegel to Alfred Rosenberg (a theorist devoted to Hitler), terms like “genetic purity,” “love of freedom,” and “stern morality” were used as “hallmarks” of “the ‘Aryan (Indo-European) racial soul’ most typically embodied in the Germanic race, so that dominion over ‘less worthy’ peoples must in some way be an inherent entitlement of the Germanic human being” (p. 2) — well, yes, we know what the Nazis made of German history. Hasenfratz says that we can define Germanic people in terms of the language they spoke, which had made certain changes from the Indo-European root language.

Read more: Real Germans, Real Scholarship

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