Today we find ourselves in a precarious era. While many of the technological advancements we enjoy make our lives easier and more convenient, we have also sacrificed our relationship with many of the natural processes that must occur in order for us to not only survive, but to flourish. It could be argued that these advances have allowed us more time to enjoy life, since most of us no longer have to toil in forest and field to earn a day’s meal or a winter’s warmth, and we have free time to spend in any way that we choose. However studies repeatedly show that Western peoples are exceedingly unhappy with our existence and sense a great longing for something ‘else’, some unknown ‘other’ that cannot easily be articulated. A portion of our very souls has been lost, something that was at one time a tremendous part of our core being.
In many ways, the grasp that Christianity once held on the Western mind is sloughing off, but in its place we see the dispiriting materialism which has taken root, a profane humanist rationalism which negates all that cannot be scientifically or physically quantified. Our ability to view traditional folklore from an “insider’s perspective” has been grossly impeded, and myth even more so. We’ve placed limitations on our own abilities to truly imagine - to be awed completely and totally by the greater mysteries of our world. The results of this compromise are plain for all to see. In sacrificing this part of ourselves to the gods of an industrial age we have lost a once profound and intimate relationship we shared with the natural - and supernatural - world.
Cody Dickerson, The Language of the Corpse: The Power of the Cadaver in Germanic and Icelandic Sorcery