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Weka
May 5, 2019


Here's the original study.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2688-8

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Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


A fun related fact: The etymologi of Dane may be "the people who use yew / yew bows" - heathens go nuts over this, as one of the aspects of both Frej and Yggdrasil itself is the yew tree.

Elmnt80
Dec 30, 2012




I wondered if you had any good information about the general worship of Njord? I've always had an interest in sailing/the ocean/water in general and find it fascinating how different groups have all paid tribute to their various ocean/sea gods and the personalities that surround them, but Njord is one I know next to nothing about.

Alhazred
Feb 16, 2011






Tias posted:

There's a paywall, but yeah, some vikings definitely claimed to be 'Danes' and to come from the 'Dania', which we now think is in southern Sweden.

People generally didn't care or know weather or not the vikings were norwegian or danish. Rollo for example is described as both a dane and a norwegian.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES



There’s also the confusion that comes from trying to figure out historical ethnonyms and toponyms. People moved around a lot and there were people who identified as multiple different affiliations that came from the same place at different times.

Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



Does any of you have any info about meditating in nature at night ("udesidning")?

I've been drawn to this vision-quest/sequestering yourself in nature thing for a while. But being danish, it makes more sense for me to adopt a norse angle to it. I can't really find a lot of info about it though, even in danish.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Hej ven! :) Ja, der er masser af danskere der praktiserer udesidning, isćr nu hvor vikinger, asetro og sejd er mere sexet end nogensinde fřr. I'll write the info itself in English, but please ask more or to have it in Danish if something puzzles.

Sitting out, usually mentioned by the corrupted term "utaseti" (from 'sidde ude or sida ute' in Danish and Swedish respectively) is discussed and done by heathens all over the world. It is considered a principal form of 'seidr' or heathen magic/mysticism. As you read Danish, I cannot recommend "Jorden Synger" by Annette Hřst enough. She's a self-taught norse animist shaman who clearly researched the process and does it from an eclectic shaman/norse position. It should be available in public libraries and has recently been reprinted. It's a great read, even if you're not a believer or seidrworker yourself.

Essentially: Go to some undisturbed wilderness, the deepest forest you can find is a favorite, but any place where you think you'll be undisturbed by humans will work. You can start off with opening sacred space, making offerings or praying, and once you're satisfied you have demonstrated intent to enter the other world, you just sit and wait. At a certain stage, you will find the animals, rocks, plants and noises communicating to you, answering your questions or offering other insights you need.


Elmnt80 posted:

I wondered if you had any good information about the general worship of Njord? I've always had an interest in sailing/the ocean/water in general and find it fascinating how different groups have all paid tribute to their various ocean/sea gods and the personalities that surround them, but Njord is one I know next to nothing about.

I'm largely stumped as well. I can tell you that his worship has been very persistent, lasting in some form until the 1900s among fishermen, and with the advent of reconstructionist heathenry, is now again widespread among heathens everywhere. It is customary to offer to him when you travel or when you fish or generally when using boats or ships.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES



Fun fact: “Utiseti” is one of the most commonly banned by name forms of witchcraft in Scandinavian laws during the medieval period. “Finns” were believed to be especially good at this and all other types of magic at the time, and were viewed with suspicion. “Finn” is kind of complicated because at that point it was used somewhat interchangeably for people from Finland as well as the Sámi. The Catholic authorities were very concerned by it judging by some of the sources I’ve read lately. I recommend Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages for anybody interested in more detail.

It lost prominence in laws and legal cases after the Reformation and as the Early Modern period progressed and in the minds of the legal authorities witchcraft took on a more explicitly demonological cosmology (for example the concepts in the Malleus Malleficarum, or the accusations at Salem) that spread northwards form France and Germany and the like. The actual practices that were prosecuted seem to have changed at a much slower rate, and in many cases it seemed like the witches being tried had to be fed information during the interrogations to even meet the definitions of witchcraft as demonology.

Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



Tias posted:

Hej ven! :) Ja, der er masser af danskere der praktiserer udesidning, isćr nu hvor vikinger, asetro og sejd er mere sexet end nogensinde fřr. I'll write the info itself in English, but please ask more or to have it in Danish if something puzzles.

Sitting out, usually mentioned by the corrupted term "utaseti" (from 'sidde ude or sida ute' in Danish and Swedish respectively) is discussed and done by heathens all over the world. It is considered a principal form of 'seidr' or heathen magic/mysticism. As you read Danish, I cannot recommend "Jorden Synger" by Annette Hřst enough. She's a self-taught norse animist shaman who clearly researched the process and does it from an eclectic shaman/norse position. It should be available in public libraries and has recently been reprinted. It's a great read, even if you're not a believer or seidrworker yourself.

Essentially: Go to some undisturbed wilderness, the deepest forest you can find is a favorite, but any place where you think you'll be undisturbed by humans will work. You can start off with opening sacred space, making offerings or praying, and once you're satisfied you have demonstrated intent to enter the other world, you just sit and wait. At a certain stage, you will find the animals, rocks, plants and noises communicating to you, answering your questions or offering other insights you need.


Fantastisk, tak for det. Har lige bestilt bogen.


Internet Wizard posted:

Fun fact: “Utiseti” is one of the most commonly banned by name forms of witchcraft in Scandinavian laws during the medieval period. “Finns” were believed to be especially good at this and all other types of magic at the time, and were viewed with suspicion. “Finn” is kind of complicated because at that point it was used somewhat interchangeably for people from Finland as well as the Sámi. The Catholic authorities were very concerned by it judging by some of the sources I’ve read lately. I recommend Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages for anybody interested in more detail.

It lost prominence in laws and legal cases after the Reformation and as the Early Modern period progressed and in the minds of the legal authorities witchcraft took on a more explicitly demonological cosmology (for example the concepts in the Malleus Malleficarum, or the accusations at Salem) that spread northwards form France and Germany and the like. The actual practices that were prosecuted seem to have changed at a much slower rate, and in many cases it seemed like the witches being tried had to be fed information during the interrogations to even meet the definitions of witchcraft as demonology.

You have to shake your head sometimes at how christianity has tied itself in knots because "Everything has to be just so". You can't even just sit there if you're not sitting there for Jesus.
Funny story: In Vendsyssel, where I grew up, there's a lot of "Jättestuer", old bronze-age burial-mounds. One church I've been to a few times has a wooden belltower built right on top of one of these mounds. Like "Now you're a 5000 yo. burial-mound for Jesus"

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES



There’s a few sites around Europe like that where there’s a cathedral built on top of an older church but on an older church and on and on until at the bottom there’s a Bronze Age chieftain’s grave or similar.

Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



Yeah, it probably means that it has been a holy place for a long while.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Pondex posted:

Fantastisk, tak for det. Har lige bestilt bogen.


You have to shake your head sometimes at how christianity has tied itself in knots because "Everything has to be just so". You can't even just sit there if you're not sitting there for Jesus.
Funny story: In Vendsyssel, where I grew up, there's a lot of "Jättestuer", old bronze-age burial-mounds. One church I've been to a few times has a wooden belltower built right on top of one of these mounds. Like "Now you're a 5000 yo. burial-mound for Jesus"

Oh word! You don't know a guy named Jens Urth, do you?

(I know, I know, Vendsyssel is a big place. This guy is very loud, though.)

Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



Tias posted:

Oh word! You don't know a guy named Jens Urth, do you?

(I know, I know, Vendsyssel is a big place. This guy is very loud, though.)

No, doesn't ring a bell. This was out west, near Frederikshavn.

E: No, east

Pondex fucked around with this message at 08:08 on Apr 26, 2021

Otteration
Jan 3, 2014




Grimey Drawer

This article just came to me. Was going to post in the ancient history thread, but just stumbled on this thread right now, and thought folks here might like it. Apologies if already posted (scanned back to the article date, and didn't see it).

"The Journal of Archaeology Science has published a paper by the Haffenreffer Museum’s Deputy Director, Kevin Smith, that uses new approaches to analyzing radiocarbon dates to document a Viking Age ritual site deep inside Iceland’s massive Surtshellir Cave, and that he thinks was linked to the Vikings’ beliefs about Ragnarök, the end of the world."

https://hma.brown.edu/news/2021-03-08/surtshellier-cave-publication

March, 2021.

Otteration fucked around with this message at 22:36 on Apr 26, 2021

Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



Holy sh*t.

Can you imagine? A cave that appeared in a volcanic eruption. Possibly in living memory. And it's named after the guy who will burn up everything at the end of the world. And leaving an offering of beads brought from Baghdad.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle



While it is not directly related to old norse heathenry, there is a common thread of spirituality, nature and the ways of old.

Sadly, there is no longer a living witch in Rold Skov, the by far most well-known Danish witch Dannie Druehyld has passed away :(

For decades, she's been active in educating all of Denmark about the stories and traditions of witchery and witches, about herbs and the cycles of the natural world, about the spirituality that permeates the countryside and especially the forests. She was a gifted storyteller and ambassador for a deeper connection with the natural world, and for the climate and the environment.

KozmoNaut fucked around with this message at 19:57 on May 3, 2021

BattyKiara
Mar 17, 2009


I half remember a story. That sort of, but also real don't fit in here, but not sure which thread it fits into.

It happened in Denmark. Someone was redecorating or fixing up a church. Found weird coins. This was then linked to Satanism. Something about a tiny island with weird altars, more coins, and possibly dead rabbits? Full Satanic panic ensues. More stuff happens, something something secret society? Turns out it was all some eccentric artist behind the entire thing.

Anyone know what I'm talking about here?

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Yes! You're referring to the 2013 Danish 'documentary' Satankulten pĺ Anholt (lit 'the Satanic Cult on Anholt', Anholt being a small island in Kattegat, the sound between Denmark and Sweden)

I haven't seen it, but I think maybe one of the two filmmakers were behind the twist. I'll have to read more into it.

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell


Tias posted:

Hej ven! :) Ja, der er masser af danskere der praktiserer udesidning, isćr nu hvor vikinger, asetro og sejd er mere sexet end nogensinde fřr. I'll write the info itself in English, but please ask more or to have it in Danish if something puzzles.

Sitting out, usually mentioned by the corrupted term "utaseti" (from 'sidde ude or sida ute' in Danish and Swedish respectively) is discussed and done by heathens all over the world. It is considered a principal form of 'seidr' or heathen magic/mysticism. As you read Danish, I cannot recommend "Jorden Synger" by Annette Hřst enough. She's a self-taught norse animist shaman who clearly researched the process and does it from an eclectic shaman/norse position. It should be available in public libraries and has recently been reprinted. It's a great read, even if you're not a believer or seidrworker yourself.

Essentially: Go to some undisturbed wilderness, the deepest forest you can find is a favorite, but any place where you think you'll be undisturbed by humans will work. You can start off with opening sacred space, making offerings or praying, and once you're satisfied you have demonstrated intent to enter the other world, you just sit and wait. At a certain stage, you will find the animals, rocks, plants and noises communicating to you, answering your questions or offering other insights you need.


I'm largely stumped as well. I can tell you that his worship has been very persistent, lasting in some form until the 1900s among fishermen, and with the advent of reconstructionist heathenry, is now again widespread among heathens everywhere. It is customary to offer to him when you travel or when you fish or generally when using boats or ships.

I'm a little late on this one, but I can attest personally to the practice of sitting out as being widespread globally and as a living practice. We'll wander into the woods, sit down, and start listening. Sometimes it's very blatantly mystical, other times not - sometimes it even occurs on the way back after a 'failure', when the light strikes a certain plant a certain way, or that night or the next as you sleep, the shape of the creeks is revealed to you as what it is you're looking to know. I can't say mine is as methodologically rigorous as some of the serious shamans (and it's certainly coloured by the fact I will also ask questions of the local dreamings), but it's still within the sitting out tradition (for bonus points: I always carry the requisite staff in the form of a walking stick with certain staves scratched into it.)

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


I doubt there's any "methodogically rigorous" way to sit out, some unbroken shamanic traditions in Peru, Siberia and NA notwithstanding. All way know about the nordic form is that it was potent enough to be banned in all christian state penal codes when those came along.

BattyKiara
Mar 17, 2009


Weirdly enough, your Sitting Out doesn't sound very different from my silent solo prayers. When I find a relaxing place in nature, like a beach at night. Sit down, and focus on what I need to pray about. If it is someone in need of healing, I will try to envision a happy outcome. The person being happy and surrounded by loved ones? And open myself to listen inwards, to hear if God has something I need to hear. This is very difficult to put into words, but an important part of my Quaker faith.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Will ancient spirits emerge from the darkness and give you advice from the hidden world? ;)

No, seriously, the act of communion is not only sacred, but a lot alike in many cultures. It's possibly only the nature of the powers contacted that vary, really.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


We just completed the Hřstblót (Danish, "Harvest Blót"), which is dedicated, largely, to Frejr, but also to Sif and Thor, being gods of fertility, hearth, home and related bounties. We give thanks for what we have gotten in the year until now, and express wishes for the gods to grant us good health and good reserves in the winter to come. Our blót-spot was taken by a bunch of Spanish people adepty singing 90s classics, so we relocated to our secret location, an altar within the woods. This is the life of the modern pagan, but we had a great time, and many deep emotions were shared, particularly as pertained to problems with our children, the fight with the municipal government for help for those of our families who struggle, or members themselves.

Sacrificing a lot of elderberry liquor at one point gave the old school impression of a blood sacrifice, which I thought was kicking rad, but ones mileage may vary.

Do anyone reading here play CK III by the way? I'm considering doing an analysis of what they do wrong and right with it.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006

were
he
wehre is my dbere
'
back tooo tfr luv u

p.s. I see you weather thread no one with any kind of authirty will fix the climate they all want moneyh moe than the yh want you to have an livabl e enviornment in ten yhears

pps i dont' know wht forum this is now.



Tias posted:


Do anyone reading here play CK III by the way? I'm considering doing an analysis of what they do wrong and right with it.

I'd love to read your thoughts on that. I've played a bit of it, played more CKII.

Having my background I know playing HOI4 can be an interesting experience, as I can see where they took liberties for the purpose of having a playable and interesting game.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES



My immediate gut reaction was annoyance at calling the Norse religion Ásatru. I’d love to hear your analysis.

As for me my class work hasn’t really been too relevant to my heathenism, and my heathenism has definitely taken a back seat lately, which I’m trying to be more consistent about at this point.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


One could argue that they use a term readily understandable to the user, though I'm not entirely sure how much overlap there is between nerds and norse heathens or religious scholars familiar with the term (who are we kidding, it's all of them!) - but yeah, Ásatrú is a composite term from -modern- icelandic. An Icelandic pagan might have said 'Forn Sidr/Sidu', but it's really hard to tell. I'll make sure to ruminate a little on that as well.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES



That’s actually tangentially something that came up in some of my reading about Islam recently. It seems like viewing a religion as something that even can be granular enough for a name other than just “my beliefs” is a Christian thing, in the European tradition at least. Even words like heathen come from being used to differentiate non-Christians from the people who did most of the writing. Writers like the Romans discuss the gods of the Germans a little and some of the practices, but I haven’t really seen anything to suggest worshipping different gods was viewed as completely different belief systems. It’s an interesting paradigm shift from how I was acculturated.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Internet Wizard posted:

That’s actually tangentially something that came up in some of my reading about Islam recently. It seems like viewing a religion as something that even can be granular enough for a name other than just “my beliefs” is a Christian thing, in the European tradition at least. Even words like heathen come from being used to differentiate non-Christians from the people who did most of the writing. Writers like the Romans discuss the gods of the Germans a little and some of the practices, but I haven’t really seen anything to suggest worshipping different gods was viewed as completely different belief systems. It’s an interesting paradigm shift from how I was acculturated.

That Icelanders (and some Swedes and Danes) use 'forn sidr' - lit. "Old/Ancient Custom" - is clearly a reaction to widespread christianization. Most pre-christian belief systems did not originally have words to describe them. It's just a part of the natural world, no more in need of a colloqial term than any other part of it.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Analyzing Crusader Kings III take on "Ásatrú", part I: Heathen Virtues

Hello, and welcome to what will probably be a lengthy digression about popular culture! It assumes you know something about Paradox Interactives' Crusader Kings series, which are a highly addictive series of medieval rulership simulations that pull no punches about how nasty, brutish and insane life in the middle ages could be.

DISCLAIMER: I am a practicing heathen, and while I have some religious analytical training, my Bachelor's Degree is in another field completely, so don't necessarily expect a rigorous historical method being applied. You are very welcome to poke holes in my use of historical analysis, because there will probably be reason to, and I don't mind learning more.

The latest installment, which we'll be taking on in this series, gives each religion a set of 'virtues', traits that will increase the owners prestige in the eyes of other members of the faith, and 'vices' which give an opinion hit instead.

Virtue 1: One-Eyed

Lol. So, of course Odin the all-father is one-eyed, and gave his one eye to Mimir to obtain knowledge of hidden things. This is true, but emulating him to become him would probably have been more true in simulated or ritually dramatic settings, like the chief's helm that has been found with one eye shield made out of red crystal. I won't dismiss it out of hand, as many animist peoples have considered 'like for like', and the idea that you can ritually amputate yourself to obtain magical power is not beyond the pale - there's just not a lot of archeological or historical evidence that this has been the case with nordic heathens. Sort this one under 'unconfirmed but unlikely.'

Addendum: Many sagas describe a man with one eye appearing and bestowing insight or magical skills to the farm or hall they live in. Off the top of my head is Hrani in Rolf Krakes Saga, and Harbard in Harbardsljod (where he poo poo-talks Thor himself) - and the name Harbard was also used to involve him in HBO's Vikings. Could this be a culturally sanctioned way to gas up people who had lost their eye a little? We just don't know - Odin wasn't necessarily a completely trustworthy and loved figure, and being thought to be him could invoke dread as well.

Virtue 2: Brave

Probably less controversial, at least in a conventional reading of the history of heathenry. A Brave person would show better prowess in battle, and not shirk from fights that could kill them - this, in turn, means a better chance of entering one of the two afterlives reserved for great* warriors, Odins Valhalla, or Freyas Folkvangr. The prevalence of lauded warriors, berserks and vengeful fighters in the sagas, and the many documented raids and mercenary activities of nordic heathens, says that this has some truth to it.

At the very least, we have Odin's word for it in Hávamál:

Ósnjallr mađr
hyggsk munu ęy lifa,
ef viđ víg varask;
ęn ęlli gefr
hǫ́num ęngi friđ,
ţótt hǫ́num gęirar gefi.

Attempt at translation:

A not-quick man
thinks he will ever live,
if warfare he avoids;
but old age will
give him no peace,
though spears may spare him.

And this stanza, the sixteenth, is one of the sources we have for the heathen belief that man's fate is preordained (the other being the tale of the fate-weaving Norns, and also quotes from warriors in the sagas). If this is indeed an old nordic way of thinking, then bravery and aggression in battle not only becomes easier from a simple point of reference ("I firmly believe what I do does not matter towards my eventual fate"), but may also aid in ferocity, as you see less convinced foes avoid harm and fear you.

* This part should be taken with a grain of salt. Not only does the valkyries who 'reap' said warriors sometime trip them up or distract them so that Odin gets them before time - itself probably a way to explain away the fickle acts of chance that bring skilled warriors down - Valhalla itself is not a completely attractive destination, at least not to modern sensibilities. I'm thinking this idea of the afterlife appeals because it makes sure to have enough beer and food for everyone - and that the vagaries of raiding, receiving wounds and being cold and afraid are done away with at last.

Virtue 3: Vengeful

Here is Brave on the flip side! I'm not really convinced this a religious trait as much as a cultural one - the cycle of retribution, like the cycle of gift-giving, is common to iron age scandinavians, and is explored in exhaustive detail in the sagas of the icelanders. While not reliable historical sources, both these texts and law texts give us the impression that everyone knew that the murder of a man invited retribution from his family, and that many attempts were made to legislate ways out of these destructive spirals.

However, religious figures, particularly as human ones as the nordic gods, reflect the concerns of the society that worship them, and so we know that Odin's son Viđarr is going to avenge his father's death at Ragnarock. Wikipedia takes this to mean that he is the "nordic gods of vengeance", but this seems like quite a reach to me.

Virtue 4: Wrothful

(This trait means the person is 'wrathful', having anger management issues.)

This one I don't really get. It may well be connected with some of Odins many different names, like 'Herteitr' ("Glad-of-War") or 'Viđrímnir' ("Contrary Screamer") - - but, as I've mentioned often enough, Odin isn't considered a trustworthy or emulate-able figure even by zealous heathens! Perhaps it's connected to Berserker myths, but we will note here that there is a Berserkr trait, and it isn't included as a virtue! Also, even if this was the case, there's no ready evidence that people enjoyed having berserkers around in any capacity except during wartime, and even then they're considered kind of sketchy.

Thor is another source of reference, being a 'working class hero' or 'common man's god', and we know that his temper is extremely volatile. This makes him an uncontrollable force and a wanton murderer at times, and I'm pretty certain it is his pride and bravery that is held up as desirable, not his hotheadedness. This is more likely a way to identify with the gods, 'cause most people have a temper somewhere, not as this amazing thing you should hold up.

Going on other analyses of medieval society, we may infer that people with extreme anger problems aren't really well-liked or appreciated members of their society, but that warrior-led chieftainrics or feudal areas could mean you had to obey one such person. This doesn't in any way get us closer to it being a 'heathen virtue' however.

Virtue 5: Poet

This is where it gets good! Digression time:

After the Aesir-Vanir War, the gods kind of 'sealed' the peace agreement they'd made by spitting in a vat. As an embodiment of this truce, they created from their spittle a man named Kvasir. Kvasir was so brilliant that there were no questions he could not answer. Like a one-dude wikipedia, he went around Midgard dispensing knowledge to humans - but on a fateful, he visited the dwarves Fjalar and Galar. They killed him and poured his blood into two vats and a pot called Bođn, Són and Óđrerir. They mixed his blood with honey, thus creating a mead which made anybody who drank it a "poet or scholar" ("skáld eđa frśđamađr"). The dwarves explained to the gods that "Kvasir had suffocated in intelligence."

Then follows some fuckery where the dwarves kill a guy and his wife, whereafter their son, Suttung, imprisons them and threatens to drown them, whereafter they offer the mead to Suttung in compensation. Recognizing a bargain, Suttung takes it, and the mead of poetry is also known as Suttung's Mead for this reason.

Odin, in the guise of another, then convinces Suttungs brother Baugi to convince him to let him have some of the mead, but Suttung doesn't give a poo poo and denies them even a drop. More deception follows, and Baugi drills a hole into the mountainside, whereafter Odin in the guise of snake sneaks in. Realizing he's been fooled, Baugi tries to crush him.

Eventually, Odin seduces the keeper of the mead, Suttungs daughter Gunnlřd, and asks if he can have a wee sip. She agrees, but Odin sucks the entire container dry, then repeats this act the following two nights, gaining all of the mead, before ghosting her. At this point, Odin turns into an eagle, and tries to escape, but Suttung, enraged, turned into an eagle himself and followed suit. The other gods saw him coming and prepared vats he could spit it into, but in his haste and fright, he let some of the precious liquid 'fall from his anus'. It fell onto the world, where anyone may 'drink of it' - known as the "rhymester's share" ("skáldfífla hlutr"), it creates bad poetry in them.


artist's rendition

Many, many sagas detail the lives of 'warrior-poets', including men who have actually lived and composed, like Egil Skallagrimsson and Bragi Boddason (who may actually be the root of the God Bragi, god of poetry and music!), and so we know that poetry was a skill that was highly praised - Skaldic bards being the primary way of gaining reknown for chieftains and kings in heathen society! That said, we may once again be conflating culture and religion, and in pre-christian societies, where there was no real concept of separating religious and magical spheres from the mundane and common ones, this is probably hard to avoid.

That's installment one! Feel free to give feedback or ask questions :)

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Analyzing Crusader Kings III take on "Ásatrú", part II: Heathen Sins

Hi gang! School is picking up in a big way, so I won't be posting as often as I, uh, haven't been doing. On to part two!

We don't have much in the way of knowledge of traditional heathen "sins", though it's safe to say that courage, strength and honesty is good, and so the related vice traits have found their way to the game. Let's dive in!

Sin 1: Deceitful

This is, in spite of a lack of nuance, pretty spot on, if viewed through the myths that we have access to. The great Trickster, Loki, constantly aggravates the Aesir and Vanir with his, on their surface, evil schemes. He simply can't let well enough lie, and if things are quiet for too long, he'll get the idea to, say, con the blind brother of the most beloved of all gods to murder him with an arrow made from the only plant he knows to be able to harm him. At other times, boredom or spite may lead him to help a powerful jotunn kidnap the goddess of youth, leading the gods to deteriorate and almost die from old age.

Whether these myths are moral plays designed to teach the listener about right action, or (as I think is more likely) filtered motifs of a primordial trickster loving up the program every two weeks to ensure there is balance in the cosmos - they certainly give the impression that deceit is really bad, and that honesty is really good. It must be added, though, that the Icelander sagas, kings' sagas and even recorded history shows a fair amount of norse vikings tricking others, and being admired for their ability to do so.

Sin 2: Craven

There it is. Like, to some extent belief in Valhalla was real, and so was the belief that while living right was important, so was dying right. Being struck in the back implied you were running away, and as such was bad. In general, life was so hard in the 9th and 10th centuries, that anyone( regardless of age, sex or class) who wouldn't pull their weight or was afraid to do so, would be despised for their perceived weakness.

Myths of Thor, as a working class hero sort of God, who would fight and challenge everyone, is probably a way to gas up the layers of society not inspired by Odin, Ullr and Heimdal. I won't necessarily buy that the ferocity of the viking raiders was a sort of holy zeal, but the promise of social mobility, lessened fear of dying in battle compared to their victims and good physical training was a potent cocktail.

Sin 3: Forgiving

Now this poo poo :eng99: ..has my hackles up. I understand that vengeance is held up in the sagas, particularly - it should be noted - in the sagas about humans, not gods. However, if we return to the view of what is righteous, many legendary heroes and many sagas of kings, present a man (usually a man, anyway), who has a rather broad heart, and doesn't react unless people insist on slighting his honour. I wouldn't go so far as to call forgiveness a virtue, not by a long shot, but it doesn't appear, leastways not to me, that a man capable of forgiving an enemy was thought weak - not unless he was a complete doormat and did nothing to react to people challenging him.

Of course, the sagas are, allmost to a text, written many hundred years after the conversion to christianity, and many of the greatest saga heroes actually have a narrative describing how they discover how awesome forgiveness is - which, of course, makes forgiveness a christian virtue, not a pagan one.

This leads me to conclude that the writers fall in the trap that many heathens, even ones practicing today, also succumb to: That being opposed to christianity is such a good idea, that what it means to be heathen should be defined in comparison to christianity, and as what being a good christian is not. In reality, however, modern heathenry (anti-modern völkisch heathenry explicitly excluded here) widely adheres to the 'golden rule' of modern religion - that everyone should be included and helped, not only because old texts can be applied that way, but because we want a society that accepts us as we are, and to do that we believe we should accept others as they are.

Tias fucked around with this message at 10:53 on Nov 30, 2021

Dumb Sex-Parrot
Dec 24, 2020

Merry, uuhhhh
hmmm....??

Merry Birdmas


Did you guys do anything cool for winter solstice? Do you celebrate jul?

Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



I don't actually know what the pre-christian meaning of Jul was but it's synonymous with Christmas in Denmark. Even if the word is older.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Dumb Sex-Parrot posted:

Did you guys do anything cool for winter solstice? Do you celebrate jul?

Glad you asked! I was suppose to lead the winter solstice blót sacrifice, then wear a costume to portray the Horned God, to which the other participants had to sacrifice their fears to gain courage until the light comes back. Unfortunately, Covid-19 numbers in Denmark spiked, so we did it remotely, which lacks a little something. I do have a bitching horned god costume now, though.

I celebrate jul - so does everybody in Denmark, save some immigrants. Today it means the same as christmas everywhere, and christians celebrate it as the birthday of Jesus. Many in Denmark are members of the state protestant church, but don't really believe in christ, but Jul has kind of it's own vibe, where you get together with family, exchange gifts and eat and drink - and THIS is definitely a leftover from heathen times.

The pre-christian Jól share these themes, it was a feast of pork, beer and mead, together with a sacrifice to the gods, and was meant both to boost morale during the darkest period of the year, and serve as a political and cultic focus point. We know that kings had to "drink Jól" with their subjects, toasting to the gods - it's a point of contention for later christian kings. Also, the original Jól was a midwinter celebration, and actually happened sometime in what would today be February.

Internet Wizard
Aug 9, 2009

BANDAIDS DON'T FIX BULLET HOLES



I’ve always been a fan of the mentions in the literature of the Yule boar, which you would apparently eat, but also you would touch it and swear any oaths that were needed to be considered especially binding. For my wife and I this mostly just means we make sure to get some BBQ.

American Christmas is vague enough that it’s easy for my wife (Wiccan) and I to fit in some of our Yuletide practices while with our Christian families.

Still hoping to one day find a group to join for some blots, but Covid has other plans for me.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


The boar itself was a common part of stores, so you'd likely have one around if you had any wealth to speak of. That said, yes, the animal was extremely holy to Frej and Freja, Frej has his own heavy war boar +4 named Gullinbörsti ("Golden-bristled"), and to place your palm on a pig while swearing an oath at this time of year was binding.

This is what I as a Danish heathen do as well. My parents, siblings, in laws and nephews all expect me to attend traditional Jule Eve, though they have widely differing ideas of what that means. I celebrate first the winter solstice, and then a 'midwinter' party with fellow heathens when it comes to adhering to my own beliefs.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006

were
he
wehre is my dbere
'
back tooo tfr luv u

p.s. I see you weather thread no one with any kind of authirty will fix the climate they all want moneyh moe than the yh want you to have an livabl e enviornment in ten yhears

pps i dont' know wht forum this is now.



Tias posted:

The boar itself was a common part of stores, so you'd likely have one around if you had any wealth to speak of.

I'm a little curious about this, just because I'm familiar with boars in the Tudor-era English christmas tradition and there its a Big loving Deal if you have a boar (or more precisely a boar's head) on Christmas. We're talking kings and the like, to the point where there's a whole special christmas carol that basically centers around "hey, look at this, it's a really big deal, check out this boar's head we're taking to the table of the really important person. IIRC they still do it at one of the big, old british unis, maybe Oxford.

Interestingly, glancing at that Wiki page it claims some ties to Anglo-Saxon beliefs and sacrifice to Freyr.

Anyways, the religious connection aside, I was more curious about boar being a common part of stores in Scandinavia, since at least by the time you get to Tudor England it's a really big deal.

Weka
May 5, 2019


If you're talking specifically about wild boar as opposed to just a male domestic pig then boar became extinct in England probably during the Tudor era so I'm going to guess there was an element of rarity.

Tias how would you feel about posting a picture of this horned god costume?

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Personally, pretty good, but it's the property of the blót guild and a ritual object, which means some members might object to it being a public spectacle. I'll make sure to ask when we meet again :)

Cyrano4747 posted:

I'm a little curious about this, just because I'm familiar with boars in the Tudor-era English christmas tradition and there its a Big loving Deal if you have a boar (or more precisely a boar's head) on Christmas. We're talking kings and the like, to the point where there's a whole special christmas carol that basically centers around "hey, look at this, it's a really big deal, check out this boar's head we're taking to the table of the really important person. IIRC they still do it at one of the big, old british unis, maybe Oxford.

Interestingly, glancing at that Wiki page it claims some ties to Anglo-Saxon beliefs and sacrifice to Freyr.

Anyways, the religious connection aside, I was more curious about boar being a common part of stores in Scandinavia, since at least by the time you get to Tudor England it's a really big deal.

The Tudors are past 1400s, right? Anglo-Saxon heathenry, implemented after the Danelaw in 900, is basically nordic heathenry with extra steps.

A common part of stores for the well-to-do, mind you. You might need to get the priest or local chieftain (who might be the same guy!) to provide a pig, which seems cumbersome, but makes sense in the fiercely reciprocal political system of the age - swearing on his pig in front of him not only invites the gods to safekeep your agreement, but also recognizes his influence.

Tias fucked around with this message at 08:14 on Dec 28, 2021

Weka
May 5, 2019


Anglo-Saxon heathenry is presumably the cultural practices of the Anglo-Saxons who started immigrating in something like 4-500 AD. My understanding is that these were more aligned with German traditions, although I guess the differences are probably not as marked as they became later.
Does the Danish language, modern or as ancient as we have, distinguish between wild and domesticated boar?

E: thanks for asking after the photos.

Weka fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Dec 28, 2021

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Pondex
Jul 8, 2014



Weka posted:

Anglo-Saxon heathenry is presumably the cultural practices of the Anglo-Saxons who started immigrating in something like 4-500 AD. My understanding is that these were more aligned with German traditions, although I guess the differences are probably not as marked as they became later.
Does the Danish language, modern or as ancient as we have, distinguish between wild and domesticated boar?

E: thanks for asking after the photos.

Not sure about old norse, but modern Danish uses compound words.

Boar is "vildsvin" and domesticated pig is "tamsvin"

Vild = Wild
Tam = Domesticated
Svin = Swine/hog

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