“Alright, I’m interested in this Norse stuff. Where do I even start?”
First off, let me give you the bad news: when people say that Heathenry is a religion with homework, it’s not really a joke. You will have to read a lot. There’s no getting around it. How much you read will vary by individual and by what final “flavor” of path you’re going for, but regardless, you will have to read.
I will reiterate: You. Will. Have. To. Read.
Elves, Wights, and Trolls
If you have any interest, at all, in the various types of alfar, vaettir, trolls, duergar, etins/jotnar, rises, thurses, huldufolk, water-wights, etc…
You will want to get Elves, Wights, and Trolls by Kveldulf Gundarsson.
Gundarsson did his research. Not only is it packed with information, it’s very easy to read. $12 is a steal for this amount of information.
- Lani: Luci stopped counting how many brothers he had after Raphael. xD
- Lani: Just "Dad made too many of you after the four of us I give up."
- MK: ...YES. Headcanon accepted.
- MK: How does math, everyone else is not important. FOUR.
- Lani: YEP. FOUR IS THE ONLY NUMBER THAT MATTERS. ALL THE OTHER NUMBERS GO HOME
- MK: SOUNDS LEGIT
- Lani: -coughcough- Michael stopped counting at Lucifer...."How does more than two?
- MK: WAIT, WHY DID THEY MULTIPLY, CANNOT KEEP TRACK ANYMORE.
- MK: -looks at the four of them, points to Gabriel and Raphael- Two. -points to himself and Lucifer- Two. STILL TWO, IT'S FINE.
- Lani: So legit it's not even funny
- Lani: Except it is
- MK: IT'S FANTASTIC.
- Lani: FOUR IS THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING UNLESS YOU'RE MICHAEL AND THEN THE ANSWER IS TWO
- MK: WHAT'S TWO PLUS TWO, MICHAEL?
- MK: STILL TWO. SEE? -separates people into groups of two- TWO.
- Lani: I'M NOT STUPID, LUCI. I JUST /KNOW/ IT'S TWO.
- MK: BUT WHAT IF IT'S FOUR, MIKEY?
- MK: NO, LUCI, IT'S /ALWAYS/ TWO, STOP QUESTIONING ME.
- Lani: I AM THE PRINCE OF HEAVEN. IF I SAY IT'S TWO THAN IT IS TWO. THAT'S FINAL
- MK: WELL FINE, I THINK IT'S FOUR, SO I'M GOING ELSEWHERE.
- Lani: UGH FINE. JUST LEAVE AND TAKE YOUR INCORRECT MATH ELSEWHERE
- MK: real reason Lucifer left -smote-
- Lani: I was totally thinking that too
- Lani: And then Gabe's like: You dumb bitches know there are more than four of us now anyway, right? I'm leaving before I catch your stupid.
- MK: Gabriel and Raphael were smart. Michael and Lucifer were too busy going, "IT'S TWO." "NO, IT'S FOUR." to learn anything else.
*during chem lab*
- Guy: Oh, thank God! You guys just made me so happy. I want to bake all of you bread!
- Me: You bake bread!?
- Him: Yes!
- Me: Peeta!?
- Him: No; sourdough, rye--
- Me: No, not pita bread Peeta. P-E-E-T-A
- Him: What?
- Me: Are you Peeta Mellark?
- Him: *confused look* Who?
- Me: Have you read The Hunger Games?
- Him: *keeps staring at me*
- Me: Have you seen the movie?
- Him: Yeah.
- Me: Well the guy Peeta he's a baker.
- Him: *still stares blankly at me*
- Me: You know the guy who won...
- Him: Uhhh...
- My friend: The moment has passed...
- I hate it when that happens. I make a book reference and no one is there to understand it. Sigh. I need to know more bookworms in real life. P.S. We talked some more during lab and we're baking each other bread now. Haha.
Question: Do you have any really good recommendations on books/such for reading up on the Norse Myths themselves without throwing religion into it?
Do you have any really good recommendations on books/such for reading up on the Norse Myths themselves without throwing religion into it (I have this weird obsession with both reading on the religion but also the myths that have nothing to do with worshipping the gods)
This may sound a bit odd to you, but most of the books on my recommended newbie list aren’t exactly religious instructional books. They work perfectly well whether you’re simply wanting to look at the myths and culture and worldview from the perspective of a curious outsider or whether you’re looking for information for forming personal praxis.
Here’s the book rec post. Just ignore Exploring the Northern Tradition, the link to the recommended rune books, and the list of Raven Kaldera’s books at the bottom (as all of these are more towards the end of religious gnosis, devotionals, mysticism and magic practices, etc.) Everything else (with the exception of Kveldulf’s book) is written or translated by non-Heathens and thus will be more from the perspective of mythology, folklore, cultural studies, what have you.
Please let me know if you want more recommendations or want to know if there are materials out there about a particular subject in the myths. I can poke around in my collection and see if I have something to offer.
When a book puts into words what you can't...
I’m currently reading “Keeping Faith” by Jodi Picoult. And came across a passage that touched me deeply. That described just how I have felt in my darkest moments, how I’m sure a lot of us have felt at some time. And I wanted to record it here.
“Let me tell you what you feel like when you know you are ready to die. You sleep a lot, and when you wake up, the first thought in your head is that you wish you could go back to bed.
You go entire days without eating, because food is a commodity that keeps you here. You read the same page a hundred times. You rewind your life like a videocassette and see things that make you weep, things that make you pause, but nothing that makes you want to play it forward. You forget to comb your hair, to shower, to dress. And then one day, when you make the decision that you have enough energy left in you to do this on, last, monumental thing, there comes a peace.
Suddenly you are counting moments as you haven’t for months. Suddenly you have a secret that makes you smile, that makes people say you look wonderful, although you feel like a shell, brittle and capable of cracking into a thousand pieces. I was looking forward to dying. I remember holding the razor blade and hoping to make the cleanest, deepest cut. I remember calculating how long it would be until I heard the voices of angels. I wanted nothing more than to be rid of myself, of this body and this person who had nothing coming to her but pain. In short, I have been there. I, of all people should understand wanting to give up, when the ache is too great. But instead, I feel myself fighting furiously, grasping at straws to keep Faith from succeeding where I once failed”
I have nothing to add to this. It speaks for itself. I just wanted to put it out there.