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Vanir
Thursday, April 28th, 2005, 08:55 PM
by Asbjřrn Jřn

While coming to deeply consider the nature and practices of Finnic shamanism, it is important to recognise the vital role that shamanic godheads, such as Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen, Lemminkäinen and Joukahainen have played in the Finno-Baltic pagan tradition as well as in the development of deep cosmological understanding and unity within a specific mortal shaman.

[...] Additionally, such mortal religious leaders may have influenced popular conceptions of Finno-Baltic pagan cosmology - through their powerful and influential role within pre-Christian communities.

Therefore, deep analysis of the cosmology and shamanic practices of pre-Christian Finnish society largely depends upon the accurate mapping of the aforementioned deities, and the recognition of any elements that may have been transferred upon their godheads at a later time due to the contact with other cultures.

As scholars such as Peter Andreas Munch, Sophus Bugge and Wolfgang Golther have come to suggest - with relation to the now disproved hypothesis that the Ásatrú tradition was heavily influenced by Christian mythology - it is very hard to overestimate the power of the traveller's tale in relation to the process of cultural transference.

Wide ranging lexical exchange between Finno-Baltic and Northern Teutonic peoples during the main composition period of Finno-Baltic magic and shamanic epic poetry (ca 200 B.C.-550A.D.) is now largely accepted by scholars, and has in most cases been attributed to such early contacts (see Branch 1985: xxi).

Therefore, it is also highly possible that some theological conceptions were also exchanged between the Teutonic and Finno-Baltic peoples during such early meetings. Such a theory highlights the possibility that an analysis of the Teutonic shaman god, Óđinn, focusing upon commonly recognised shamanic features may lead to a future recognition of ways in which both the shamanic Finno-Baltic gods and that godhead may have to some degree influenced each other.

Accordingly, in the following paragraphs Óđinn's major shamanic attributes will be outlined with some of the close parallels to the shamanic practices of non-Teutonic peoples or deities being carefully noted.

There are several features of Óđinn's persona which indicate that he should be viewed as a master-shaman. In recent decades, many scholars have recognised this aspect of his persona, and many have even come to compare his various efforts to gain greater spiritual knowledge to those of shaman from geographic locations as diverse as Siberia and North America. However, most have limited their descriptions of his shamanic role to the like of Simpson's following comment:

"Odin is the god of wisdom, especially the occult wisdom of seers and sorcerers [He] was the patron and the divine prototype of seers and magicians, especially those who (like shamans in Arctic Europe and Asia in modern times) undergo terrifying initiations and communicate with other worlds in ecstasies and mediumistic trances (Simpson 1971: 215)".

The first and most obvious indicators of Óđinn's shamanism are to be found in the myth of 'Óđinn's Ordeal'. The best surviving record of 'Óđinn's Ordeal' appears in the portion of the Hávamál that is generally called the 'Rúnatal'. In this myth, as A. G. van Hamel has suggested (van Hamel 1932); Óđinn submits to a shamanistic ordeal that ritually magnifies his ásmegin (divine strength). This ritual was enacted as an attempt to gain knowledge of and power over the runes - an eternal magical element, that are unique to Teutonic cosmology. Their nature is perhaps best illustrated by considering that their 'actual mysteries are timeless and were created - or more properly, «came into being» - with the emergence of the Nine Worlds out of Ginnungagap' (Thorsson 1991: 3).

To enact the ritual, Óđinn hung himself on Yggdrasill for nine nights, during which he received neither food nor wine. He also pierced himself with the point of a spear. Upon the completion of this ritual, Óđinn was able to recognise the runes and make them submit to him as their Rune-Master. This myth corresponds with the shamanist initiation rites of a number of peoples. Pipping has noted the similarity of the ordeal to the initiation rite of Finnish shaman (Pipping 1928). A similar technique is also used by shaman in Nepal. In Nepal, at the moment of a shaman's spiritual birth, they are required to tree-sit in a pine, which is regarded as being symbolic of the Tree of Life. During this period the initiates are left by themselves and are forbidden to eat; yet the rest of their tribe conducts a public feast. The initiated shaman is also blind-folded for the ritual. The fasting element is also common amongst shamanic initiations, with perhaps the most obvious parallel being the fasting of the Caribou Eskimo initiate shaman (see Rasmussen 1927: 82-85). We can also compare the moment of Óđinn discovering the runes, to the climax of the Siberian shaman's initiation. We have been told that at this moment:

"he [obtains] the flash or illumination - a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in the interior of his head. He is now able to discern things hidden from other human beings (Hunkin 1987: 678)".

Additionally, with the aid of the work of the Boeotian biographer, Delphic priest and municipal officer of Chaeronea, Plutarch; we can confirm that parallels of this shamanic ritual have been used by Óđinn's Cult as a form of human sacrifice from at least 100 B.C. Plutarch recorded that the Teutonic tribe known as the Cimbri sacrificed themselves to appease their gods after being defeated in a battle. The said battle was fought against Caius Marius, and took place in ca 110 B.C. Plutarch's passage is significant here, because it clearly states that the tribe's preferred method of sacrifice was hanging by the neck, from tres. However, in this instance, because there were no trees in the area the Cimbri had performed the sacrifice by having themselves trampled to death by cattle and oxen.

Other indicators of this role are the myths that reveal that Óđinn's horse Sleipnir could carry him to the Underworld. Verrier Elwin has noted that the Muria people's shaman hold a belief about being carried to another world on the back of an eight-legged horse (Elwin 1947: 150). This belief contains many parallels to the Teutonic tales about Sleipnir. Furthermore, Elwin also recognised that the Muria people have created mythicised songs about this type of voyage. These songs probably represent the same theological processes as a Teutonic song, such as Baldrs draumar.

Óđinn also possesses the shape-changing power - sjónhverfing (taking on false appearances through the power of optical or magical illusions), a shape-changing power which in many ways reflects an ability to exude hypnotic suggestions upon all who are, in an immediate vicinity. When using this shape-changing power, Óđinn can take on the shape of a 'fugl esha d&yakute;r, fiskr esha ormr' (Sturluson 1952: 12), and travel to far off places. In this way he fulfils errands for either himself or for others - sometimes even travelling between worlds. From a variety of sources though, we know that this practice was extremely physically demanding. Interestingly, we may note that Celia Green has scientifically recorded the practice of similar out-of-body phenomena in modern times, suggesting a deeper truth to the myth (Green 1976: 13, 59, 68, 75, 82-84, 86, 93-100, 112-118, 120, 126, 129, 133, 138, 154, 161). It is an ability that is a common attribute of the shaman. Shaman usually employs such a trance induced mechanism of self shape-changing to travel to other worlds and fight spirits. By employing this technique, the shaman 'controls his trance movements between the world of men and the spirit world' (Zweig 1981: 86), moving between them with great speed and efficiency. There are many examples of the use of this power throughout both Teutonic and Finno-Baltic myth and folklore. As Kvideland and Sehmsdorf have suggested, tales of this kind are so common that they have come to hold their own classification, as Legend Type 3080 (Kvideland & Sehmsdorf 1994: 71-74). Eliade has also commented about the close relationship between to Óđinn's shape-changing, and 'the [shape-changing] practices of Siberian shamans' (Eliade 1989: 381). Additionally, we can note similar practices amongst the shaman of many other cultures, such as those of the Sora people. Piers Vitebsky, the Head of Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge's 'Scott Polar Research Institute', has noted that the Sora shaman have the shape-changing power to 'slip out of their bodies and their souls also turn to monkeys' (Vitebsky 1995: 92).

Óđinn's animal companions are also reflections of his shamanism. Óđinn's most commonly explored connection to shamanism through these animals is his connection to ravens. These two birds often perch on his shoulders. 'Ţá sendir hann í dagan at fljúgja um allan heim ok koma ţeir aptr at dögursharmáli' (Sturluson 1988: 32); bringing him news from the four corners of Mishgarshr. As Eliade has suggested, Óđinn's birds, Munin and Hugin, probably represent:

"in highly mythicised form, two helping spirits in the shape of birds, which the Great Magician sent (in true shamanic fashion!) to the four corners of the world (Eliade 1989: 381)".

Spirits taking the form of birds play a large role in the shamanism of many cultures, and Óđinn's relationship with the raven may even suggest some distant parallel to the shamanic Inuit belief in The Raven Father.

Furthermore, Óđinn's companions, the Valkyrja, also reflect his shamanism. However, in order to recognise this, we must first consider the history of the interpretation of the name. In 1899, Professor H. Munro Chadwick suggested that the Anglo-Saxon word, walcyrge (wćlcyrie), 'may reflect an earlier conception' (Chadwick 1899: 47-48) of these spirits, than the Old Norse word, 'Valkyrja'. He also suggested that walcyrge would have probably originally referred to those women who performed human sacrifices, and then used that blood for divination. Chadwick did acknowledge that the walcyrge possessed supernatural powers, yet suggested that these powers 'appear [...] to have been of the werewolf class'(Chadwick 1899: 48). In this way he saw their ascent to the Valhöll as a later development. This interpretation would function in perfect unison with the label, óskmeyiar, which has been applied to the Valkyrja; reflecting the usage of óskasynir to refer to the Einheriar who were the mortal warriors chosen to fight with Óđinn in Ragnarřkr. Therefore, we may in one way see the Valkyrja as former humans, who were sibyls in life, who assist warriors to travel to the Valhöll. This corresponds to the shamanic notion that it is the deceased shaman who assist the newly dead to find their path to the underworld.

This may be contrasted with the beliefs of the Sora people, who also believe that the souls of the chosen deceased, 'help [... them] on the difficult path to the underworld' (Vitebsky 1996: 92). The Siberian shaman also believe in such beings, and see them as female spirits who have a close connection to an individual shaman. Therefore, as Eliade has suggested, the image of the Valkyrja does become a difficult image to separate from that of the '«celestial wives» [...] of the Siberian shamans' (Eliade 1989: 381). Moreover, we can note that the Maori's shaman tradition also believes in spirit-wives, yet we do not know enough about their nature to make a firm comparison between them and the Valkyrja at this point.

The Valkyrja also possess the power of shape-changing. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is that they often took 'the form of crows and ravens on the battle-field' (Davidson 1989: 73). Therefore, we must note that these servants of Óđinn possess at least some shamanic powers themselves. This emphasises Óđinn's role as the master shaman, positioning the Valkyrja as lesser shaman in his service. The master/pupil power relationship between Óđinn and the Valkyrja can be loosely compared to the relationship between Väinämöinen and Joukahainen.

Additionally, we know that Óđinn taught his sacral priests how to perform the Ásatrúarmann's religious rites. This reflects the practices of the Votyak people. V. M. Mikhailowski has noted that among the Votyak, the position of shaman is often granted directly by their foremost deity. Correspondingly, this deity then becomes the shaman's mentor, providing him with lessons both in waking visions, and in dreams (Mikhailowski 1894: 62-100, 126-158).

To some extent, Óđinn's position as a great shaman god is also reflected by the beliefs of the Oglalla Sioux, who possess a culture which is generally recognised as shamanic. The Oglalla Sioux believe that their greater god, Wakan-Tanka, holds many of the powers that the Teutons attribute to Óđinn. The Oglalla Sioux believe that it is only because of Wakan-Tanka's generosity that their shaman have 'wisdom and the power to heal and to make holy charms' (Curtis 1907: 38). This belief would seem to correspond with the Germanic ideal that Óđinn selected his sacral priests, and then taught them how to perform his ceremonies. When loosely comparing the two cultures in this way - the Oglalla Sioux's holy charms then be connected as a parallel to the runes. Further strengthening this comparison is our knowledge that the runes were used in Teutonic pagan magico-medicine rituals.

Therefore, in summary conclusion, it should be noted that Óđinn's shamanic qualities manifest in ways that are closely parallelled by the master-shaman of distant cultures. This observation, in conjunction with the pre-existent knowledge of early contact and lexical borrowing's between the Finno-Baltic and Teutonic peoples, would suggest that deep analysis of the development of both Finno-Baltic shamanic deities and Óđinn may reveal instances in which tales that were traditionally associated with the exploits of one of these figures were transferred upon another. Such a discovery would certainly support the study of Finnic shamanism, as it would speed the process of recognising purely Finnic elements of shamanic practice and belief.

--

originally posted by Atlanto-Med9000 on Forum Germania

Sigel
Thursday, April 28th, 2005, 09:41 PM
Very informative article. I've always felt Odin had these qualities.

Sifsvina
Friday, April 29th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Óđinn's most commonly explored connection to shamanism through these animals is his connection to ravens. These two birds often perch on his shoulders.
:haha I wear raven earings. They don't come out unless I'm doing historical re-enactment. I had made the Odin connection but not the sitting on shoulders one :doh Not really trying to emmulate Odin that closely:-) But I do shaministic work.
A really good book, particularly for tracing the influences from the Finn and Sami, is "Nordic Religions in the Viking Age" by Thomas DuBois. It is one of my very favorite books and I highly recomend it to anyone serious about northern heathenry. :valkyrie

TisaAnne
Wednesday, July 6th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Shamanism is another one of those subjects that has always left me both captivated, and mystified... There is just so much power and knowledge, a current of otherworldly vibration and ancient, sorcerous thaumaturgy, to be discovered in the esoteric ways of the Shaman/Mystic.

As children, we see lure and enchantment in everything... our imagination wills us to take flight upon the wings of vivid, illusory winds; open-minded and receptive are we in the child's age of innocent curiosity. In that time when anything seems - and is - possible, I feel that that is when we are closest to understanding the plausibility of the true existence of Magic.

Yet over time, as our youthful exuberence and receptiveness to the imaginary and fanciful fades into sober reason and logic, most people abandon the notion of "real" magic... passing it off as the stuff of story-book legend, and impossible child imagination. 'Growing up' is supposed to mean growing wiser, but I feel that in many ways it is becoming ignorant toward ideas and practices that cannot be explained in the tangible realm of logic, or pre-concieved reality.

But, I believe Magic does exist... When I refer to 'magic' I am not talking about the kind of abracadabra, hocus-pocusly Merlinesque hogwash that generally comes to mind when visualizing the word, but more of an ancient, deeply spiritual kind that relies on nature, spirits and arcane ritual. The embodiment, and harnesser of this type of power is the Shaman...

Acting as a medium between the visible world and the invisible spirit world, the Shaman practices "magic", or sorcery, for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events... and also with the use of 'journeys' to hidden worlds otherwise mainly known through myth, dream, and near-death experiences. His/Her position has played a valuable role in history for thousands of years; both in our own Germanic history and that of other culture's...

On this night, instead of relaying practices, beliefs, or specific shamanistic lore, the following is more focused on the detailed history/archeological references, and other such types of knowledge about Shamanism, and how it became a part of our culture.

I've a few different, wonderful pieces of information on the ways of Shamanism, rituals and practices, etc., archived away for a future thread... but tonight, it is going to be a little bit of a history lesson, and I'll save the 'magic' for another time. ;)
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I have found 3 interesting articles which segue rather nicely into one another, and have much knowledge to impart on the subject of Shamanism in our culture. The first of the three will be offer a general view of what Shamanism is; the second is a very detailed history of how shamanism became a part of Germanic history, as it investigates the roots of the Cult of Wôôden; and the third article explains, indepth, the meaning of Wôôden (this is the best of the three).

These articles relate information to us from a very impartial and learned point of view, with historical reference/factual information as well as lore and tradition, and are quite interesting to read... I hope you enjoy them!
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Part One:



The Religio-Mystical Experience in General; Shamanism




Comparative religiology has shown that among historically early or non-literate peoples, there have always been many individuals who were and are trained to experience a death-like relaxation of the brain's control over consciousness and a simultaneous "knowing" of an utterly different reality. These "religious specialists" were and are able to melt themselves into the Worldsoul and thereby partake of its infinite intelligence and its existence beyond time and space.

Now there are various ways to achieve this state, but the way used by the religious specialists of northern Siberia and Europe is called "shamanism." This word is taken from the language of the Siberian Tungus peoples, who use the word shaman to refer to those who habitually and professionally enter upon this condition of temporarily dissolved personality.

The word was originally used to refer to Buddhist monks and comes, (mediated by the Indo-Germanic (also called "Indo-European"), Tocharian language [6th to 10th centuries] of central Asia), ultimately from the Sanskrit çramañás "an ascetic," "Buddhist or Jain ascetic." The term çram-añá- really means something like "mortifying the flesh," and is based on the root çram- "grow weary, fatigued."

Shamanism itself, however, is not merely mortification of the flesh. It is a conceptual complex characterized by religious and magical thoughts and practices, although not directly integrated with any religion. It was first recognized and studied scientifically in circum-arctic and Central Asian areas in the nineteenth century, but various forms of the phenomenon have since been found in a great many other areas and climates.

Shamans can be either male (shaman) or female (shamanka); they can use their powers to help either individuals (e.g., by healing them) or the community (e.g., by giving success in the hunt). Typically, they are virtually walking libraries of ethnobotany regarding their place and people, with amazing knowledge of the medical values of their environments' plants and animals.

Both birth (that is, being the son or daughter of a shaman) and vocation (i.e., being "called" by a supernatural being in a vision) enable one to become a shaman. After considerable training, and with the help of assistant spirits, the novice undergoes an extremely grueling initiation, "dies," and then returns to life. The initiate (often with the aid of a drum or rattle) usually goes into a trance during this "death." During it, he either undertakes a journey into the beyond (from which he, remaining in the death-trance, may also never return - a phenomenon also known in Zen Buddhism) or is possessed by spirits. As the "escort of souls" (technically called a psychopomp), he will often guide the souls of the newly dead to the abyssal depths where they are integrated with the Worldsoul. He or she is healer, sorcerer and soothsayer, and sometimes also a priest, mystic and poet.

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Part Two:


Germanic Mysticism and Shamanism -
(The Roots of the Cult of Wôôden)



In the vast, river-crossed plains between the southern Baltic and Black Seas (i.e., eastern Poland, White Russia [or Belarus], western Russia and Ukraine of 1995), a number of different peoples known collectively as the "Rider Peoples" (whose warriors were mounted) lived from about the ninth or eighth century B.C. for the following five or six centuries.
Archaeologists have found evidence of their presence as far as Central Europe: their horse harnesses and, often, various noise-making instruments (especially the rattle) obviously used for shamanistic purposes.

Two of the peoples of the South Russian steppes were of Iranian stock: the Scythians and the Sarmatians. From the Sarmatians came a tribe called the Alans who later accompanied the Goths as far west as Gaul (modern France). Of the Scythians, the Greek historian Herodotus (490-423 B.C.) reports that after a funeral they would purify themselves by inhaling the vapors from hemp seeds placed on red-hot stones under felt tents. They would then "yell out in ecstasy, enraptured by this vapor bath." Herodotus says he fails to understand this ritual. As we now know, however, smoking hemp (i.e., marijuana) is the classical manner of putting oneself into trance. He likewise mentions that the Scythians also had a custom of divining the future by throwing twigs into the air and reading them when they fell. A practice of the Ukrainian-steppe peoples such as this was probably one of the sources on which Wôôden's prototype drew to create the divining system of the runes, a kind of very early version of tarot cards.

The Germanic folk itself originated in the fusion of the Jutish Battle-Axe people and the Nordic Megalithic farmers in the area of northern Germany between the Elbe and Oder rivers (i.e., lands adjoining the southwestern Baltic), with a gradual expansion to the Weser and Vistula rivers in western Germany and in Poland, respectively; to the low mountains of middle Germany to the south; and towards southern Scandinavia (over a low land bridge probably connecting Denmark and Sweden in those days) to the north. It is likely that only the Jutish Battle-Axe people were Indo-Germanic (Aryan) speakers, and that they were a small minority, but superior in military and, hence, political power.

At any rate, the fusion was complete by about 2000 B.C. Then, almost two millennia later, around the third century B.C., the first Germanic groups began to move toward the Black Sea: first the Bastarns ("The Mixed-Blooded Ones" who arrived at the Black Sea ca. 280 B.C., then the Skirians ("the Pure Ones," cf. Gothic skeirs "clear [as pure water], lucid"), later the Goths (= the Geats of the Anglo-Saxon epic of Beowulf; their name means "the Ejaculates" [of the male fertility god]) reaching that Sea's shore about A.D. 170, along with Herulians, Burgundians, Vandals, Gepids and Rugians.

What became the Germanic numbering system was taken from the Babylonian-Assyrian duodecimal-sexagesimal system based, not on ten, but on twelve and sixty (like hours and minutes). Proto-Germanic *hundan "hundred" had the value "120" (and not "100"). Thus it is clear that there were extensive cultural contacts between the Germanic nations migrating to the southeast and the peoples they found there. Further, because of their early arrival at the Black Sea (ca. 280 B.C.E) and their intermarriage there, the Bastarns were probably also the first disciples of the institution of Aryan shamanism, and after adapting it to Germanic tastes passed it on to the rest of the Germanic world.


The close relationship between the eastern Germanic peoples and the shamanistic peoples of the Ural-Altaic expanses is also shown by the later (eastern) Ostrogothic alignment with the Huns under (King 434-53) Attila (Gothic for "Little Father," "Daddykins," with the accent on the first syllable), at whose court the (western or Visi-) Gothic skalds (court poets) also found shelter and could continue their oral tradition. In spite of their feeling of cultural superiority over the Huns, the heathen Ostrogoths and the skalds of the Visigoths needed and took temporary refuge from the religio-political advance of Imperial Mediterranean Christianity in a historically brief military union with their former eastern neighbors on the steppes, the fierce Huns. It was a cultural haven made necessary after the Visigoths had defected to Arian Christianity under Bishop Wulfila ("Little Wolf") and his immediate predecessors. The alliance with Attila enabled the main body of the Ostrogoths and their allies to maintain the cultural heritage of their ancestors, their poetic creativity and their oral tradition, all of which the converted Visigoths had rejected and abandoned.

Thus even when, after the Huns had been stopped at the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields (A.D. 452), with the death of Attila himself a year later, the three Germanic nations of the Gepids, the Ostrogoths and the Herulians had thrown off the Hunnish yoke and driven the Huns from Europe, the intense and traumatic Germanic memories of Attila and the Huns were sung for centuries in the heroic poetry of the North. Testimony to that time of the "Migration of Nations" are the Old Norse Atlakviða "Lay of Attila," the Middle High German Nibelungenlied "Song of the Nivelings" and many other Germanic epics and songs. The remnants of the Huns, finally, were eventually absorbed by the Avars, the Volga Bulgars and the Khazars.

So it came about that, from their encounters with the steppe peoples, the early Germanic folk acquired, among other things, the knowledge of how to alter their states of consciousness profoundly and in such a way that they could perceive the ghostly undergirding of the universe and use this perception for mantic purposes. ("Mantic" means "having to do with soothsaying, prophecy, etc.," and in general, "divining the future.")
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Part Three:


The Name "Wôôden"




The name which the early Germanic folk gave to this altered state of consciousness was derived ultimately from the ancient Proto-Indo-Germanic root *wât - "mantically inspired," which also appears in the Latin word vâtês "soothsayer; poet." This root was accented in two different ways, depending on the appended suffixes and their meaning. Where the stress preceded the "t," a Proto-Germanic form *wôþ- (þ = "th" as in "with") developed, meaning "occult soothsaying in (alliterating) poetic verses," "poetic oracles," "mantic poetry." Poetry in fact has its historical origins among all peoples in a consciousness more primitive than that of modern man, a brain state to which it is still possible to "regress" under certain circumstances.

In a section, "Poesy and Possession" of his book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes quotes from Plato (427-347 B.C.):

...all good poets, epic as well as lyric, composed their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed....there is no invention in him until he has been inspired and is out of his senses and the mind is no longer in him. - Io, 534


This poetry-generating state of possession designated by Proto-Germanic *wôþ- "mantic poetry" later resulted in Old English wôþ "poetry, song; voice, noise" and in Old Norse óðr "poetry, song; mind."

On the other hand, where the accent followed the "t" in the pre-Proto-Germanic form *wât'-, Proto-Germanic *wôð- was produced. The first time we see a descendent of this latter root, it is in the Gothic word wôð- (without the ending) and means "possessed" (as by a demon). The word is used in the Visigothic translation (done between 350-380) of the Gospel of Mark (5,15-18), of a man possessed by a "legion" of unclean spirits. When exorcized by Jesus, they entered a nearby herd of swine which thereupon rushed headlong down into the lake and drowned. Here the stress is unambiguously on the invasion of a man's body and mind by the paranormal. The modern English derivative of Proto-Germanic *wôð- is wôôd (rhymes with "food") and is practically obsolete. Now in all the non-Gothic Germanic languages (Old Norse, German, Dutch, etc.) in which it is attested, wôôd and its cognates mean "furious, berserk," and the original reference to the paranormal has been obscured. But Wôôden meant "he who is wôôd," that is, "he of possession, who is possessed."

It was because the Germanic warriors of the ferocious first millennium of our era, the epoch of the migration of nations, needed literally supernatural power to secure their futures, that the eleventh-century Adam of Bremen (in his History of the Bishops of Hamburg) said of Wôôden's name, "it means 'furor'" (id est furor). But the warrior dedicated to Wôôden was not merely a man enraged; he did indeed have preternatural power. About 1220, two centuries after Christianity had subjugated the North, Snorri Sturlusson handed down to us a faint echo of the unearthly might once possessed by the followers of Wôôden:

"...his men went without mailcoats, and were frantic as dogs or wolves; they bit their shields and were as strong as bears or boars; they slew men, but neither fire nor iron could hurt them. This is known as 'running berserk'." -- Ynglinga Saga, 6

This provisional definition of wôôd and Wôôden will have to do for the moment. We will, however, explore its meaning in full depth later, in the section on "possession."


If we can believe at least some part of the reports of Wôôden's origins as reported by Jordanes (sixth century), Saxo Grammaticus (twelfth century) and Snorri Sturlusson (thirteenth century) about Wôôden having been an actual human being, then the name "Wôôden," like the names "Christ" ("The Anointed One" - a translation of the Hebrew Mashiach [Messiah]) and "Buddha" ("The Awakened One"), was in fact originally a title given to a Germanic shaman who possessed supernatural (i.e., psychological and parapsychological) powers and was acknowledged as divine after his death. Indeed, he had so many similarities to Christ that the Visigothic Christians used the shamanic word "gallows" (Gothic galga) to translate the word "cross" (Greek staurós) in the biblical description of the crucifixion of Christ. Both the Christian cross and the Germanic gallows are representations of the religiologically universal world tree, itself the brain's symbolic visualization of the central nervous system (cf., e.g., also the "tree of life" and the "tree of knowledge of good and evil," mythically the same tree, in the Garden of Eden as described in Genesis).

The ancient Norse Hávamál contains a very realistic description of the initiation rites of Wôôden on the shamanic gallows, the Awe-drasle, in a short passage (Hávamál - 138-140) which, in spite of its having been written down in the tenth century, may in content be a thousand years older than the rest of the poem:

I know that I hung
on the windy mast
nights full nine,

Wounded with the spear
and given to Wôôden,
me to myself -

On that mast
of which none knows whence the roots run.
None did me kindness with loaf
or with drinking-horn.


Finally, physically overcome, Wôôden left his worldtree-body and plunged down to discover the runes, the mysterious "secrets" which underlies the visible world. These he took up with a shamanic trance cry and returned to his body, thereupon descending from the gallows-tree and returning to normal consciousness:


Down I delved:

I took up the runes,
yelling out, took them;
then fell back down from there.

From that time on Wôôden, like many moderns who have had a "near-death experience," had the ability to foretell the future, and other psychic capabilities (including the casting of spells) to a degree unknown to normal mortals:

Nine mighty chants
did I take from [my mother's brother, Mime,] that famous son
of Bale-thorn [the giant], [my mother] Bestle's father.

And I got a drink
of his costly mead:
the ladle, "Manticpoetry-stirrer."


SOURCE (http://www.harbornet.com/folks/theedrich/hive/Shamansm.htm#CH_ONE)

Sigurd
Monday, December 5th, 2005, 09:09 PM
Woden - The Shaman God
Wulf Hengestsson

Before I begin, I should make the point that this is a highly individual viewpoint of Woden, and in no way do I either intend to demean others' views of him, or to impart the view that he is uniquely of more consequence than any other god / goddess in the Northern Tradition.

I use the Anglo-Saxon / Germanic name form intentionally, as Woden comes over as a very different character from the Norse Odin although they share many characteristics. To me, Woden embodies the nature of a true shaman, and for that reason I have great difficulties in associating him with the more familiar Odin, which builds on a lordly warrior / leader figure with paradoxically unleaderlike modes of behaviour.

There are very few shamanic leaders of tribes or peoples in history. They tend to be present in an advisory role, more often working 'in the shadows' steering, or weaving out of sight. Prime examples of this are the Celtic British Merlin or the Irish Druid Cathbad. One comparatively recent Shamanic leader was Tatanka Yotanka, or Sitting Bull, of the Oqlala Sioux tribe in North America. Contrary to popular belief he was not a tribal chief, but a Medicine Man or Shaman, who united many Native American tribes who were inspired by his visions of a new beginning for his people.

It could well be that Woden rose to prominence among the Northern deities in similar circumstances. With the Heathen ways very much on defence against a new religion which had the technical advantage of being directed from a central point, it seems likely that heathens would have tried to fight fire with fire, possessing their own pierced god who had hung on a tree, impaled, and worked magic. It is hard to see how else a shadowy shaman mocked for the practice of seith magic, disfigured by the loss of an eye and often mentioned as doubtful battle ally would be a prime choice. While his Shamanic image has been veneered with the grandeur of the Great Hall and other trappings of a Warrior god, the Shamanic credentials still remain.

Woden's wolves and ravens are clearly 'totem' animals or fetches, perhaps even an aspect of himself. Both creatures have strong traditions as spirit messengers and inhabit the wild regions, bordering on human settlements. This, too, is the preferred territory of the shaman; crossing the barriers between civilisation and wilderness - Midgard and the other worlds. The wolves and ravens are clearly more than the battlefield scavengers as which they are often represented. Woden's choice of weapon is also clearly shamanic.

The spear, while a primary weapon has never held the mystique of the sword, although named spears were evident among the heathen Anglo-Saxons. The sword was the great warrior's or lord's weapon of choice and symbol of status. A battle-based or 'lordly' god would surely be seen with sword rather than spear, especially given that the long iron swords of the Germanic tribes gave a significant advantage over the short Roman or brittle Celtic blades. Woden's spear 'Gungnir' is clearly a Shaman's weapon rather then a warriors. Planted in the ground, it represents Yggdrasil, or the Irminsul. On Woden's travels it serves as a stave, and on the World Tree according to tradition, it is used to pierce his own body. Shamanic visions through pain induced by self piercing are well documented in may tribal cultures.

It seems quite possible that the battle-god aspect of Woden came about as a result of some blending of the original Woden and the god Tiw or Tir. Interestingly, the Anglo-Saxon weekdays show a clear definition between Tiw's Day and Woden's Day which suggests that the Woden of the Jutish and Saxon settlers of England could well have been a very different figure form the Odin of Ragnarok, particularly considering that Tiw's Day mirrors the Roman Mar's Day and Woden's Day, that of Mercury - a very unwarlike god. The frequent mention of Woden as a wanderer or traveller is a further shamanic indicator and to be blunt, I can't see him sat on his backside glued to a mighty throne, even for a moment.

The High Seat given mention in the text seems to me more a reference to the practice of far-seeing, an allusion perhaps to the Eagle atop the World Tree. Woden's connection with shape shifting is copiously mentioned in many texts (although not exclusive to him) and the use of bird form for seeing from afar is a shamanic technique common to many tribal European and Amercian cultures.

I can't say that my conclusion of Woden as the Shaman-God will sit well with all who read this, as it is my own conclusion drawn from personal experience. I can, however say that I have met Woden twice, and each time I felt myself in the presence of the Shaman God of the Anglo-Saxons.

Source (http://www.thorshof.org/thunder15.htm)




Woden

Woden is usually regarded as the head god of the Heathen Anglo-Saxons, one reason being that there are far more references to Woden in Old English literature than any other god or goddess. We find the name Woden in the word Wednesday, which comes from the Old English Wodnesdaeg, or the day of Woden. The Anglo-Saxon kings looked to Woden as their ancestor god and creator of their lineages. As contradictory as it sounds, some authorities have suggested that the claiming of descent from the Heathen god Woden was actually a Christian introduction used for political and and social gains, and that his inclusion in royal genealogies replaced the original ancestor gods of the Anglo-Saxons, those being Seaxneat of the Saxons and Ingui of the Angles. But whether Woden is or is not the 'true' ancestor god of the Anglo-Saxon kings, it cannot be doubted that Woden was regarded as a great and powerful god amongst the Heathens. God of death, battle, wisdom, discoverer of the runes and leader the Wild Hunt, his cult was widespread. Certain place names are proof of this, as we find names such as Wodnes-beorh (Wodens barrow), Wodnes-denu (Wodens valley), Wednesfileld (Wodens plain), Wednesbury (Wodens fortress). Other names that incorporate
the name of Woden are Woodnesbourgh, Wornshill, Wednesley and Wansdyke. The last name, Wansdyke, means dyke or ditch of Woden, and it's attached to the words dyke or ditch that we have more evidence of the belief in Woden. This comes in the form of the word Grim, which was a 'nickname' for Woden, and means masked or hooded, and was a reference to the image of Woden as being attired in a hooded cloak. We find several of these place names in Southern England in the form of Grimsdyke or dyke of Grim. And this is evidence that the belief in Woden was so great that he came to be known by more than just one name. It's written also that the Heathen Anglo-Saxons sacrificed to Woden or UUoden before battle, which was a common practice amongst all Germanic peoples, and considering the amount of battles fought by the Anglo-Saxons during this era, the custom of pre and post-battle sacrifice to Woden must have been a regular occurrance. The reason for this type of sacrifice was to win the help and blessing of the god in question during battle, and no doubt if victorious there would have been much post-battle sacrifice. Woden was also seen as a sort of shamanistic wizard, the font of knowledge and discoverer on the runes. The Old English rune poem, that could possibly be a reference for Woden, says:


'Mouth is the chieften of speech,
the mainstain of wisdom
and comfort to wise ones,
for every noble warrior
hope and happiness.'


(Translation taken from Runelore by Edred Thorsson)


Although the poem says mouth and not Woden, this could actually be a 'punning' reference to Woden, who, as mentioned was regarded as all wise, and the mouth reference could then be seen as a reference to the speaking forth of the runic 'alphabet' or futhark. Evidence for Wodens character as a kind of shaman is contained in the charm known as the Nine Herbs Charm, where part of it says:


'These nine have power against nine poisons,
A worm came crawling, it bit a man,
Then Woden took nine glory twigs,
Smote the adder so that it split into nine,
There ended apple and poison.'


People tend to agree that the glory twigs are bits of wood or twigs inscribed with the runic character corresponding to the initial letter of each of the nine herbs mentioned earlier in the charm. With the use of rune magic, the healing properties of each of the nine herbs is transferred to each of the nine twigs, which then become glory twigs, and are then cast by Woden to attack the illness, which is visualised as a crawling serpent or worm, to cure the afflicted person of whatever he or she is suffering from.
One of the most enduring aspects of Woden is his leading of the Wild Hunt, a ride through the sky with his army of noisy lost souls. The Wild Hunt takes different forms depending on which country and which period in time it was recorded. The best example of the Wild Hunt in Anglo-Saxon tradition is the much quoted passage in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 1127 c.e, it reads:


'Let no one be surprised at what we are going to relate, for it was common gossip up and down the countryside that after February 6th many people both saw and heard a whole pack of huntsmen in full cry. They straddled black horses and black bucks, while their hounds were pitch black with staring hideous eyes. This was seen in the very deer park of Peterborough town, and in all the woods stretching from that same spot as far as Stamford. All through the night monks heard them sounding and winding their horns. Reliable witnesses who kept watch in the night declared that there might well have been twenty or even thirty of them in this tantivy as near as they could tell.'


(Translation taken from-'The Lost Gods of England' by Brian Branston)


This description of the hunt was written down well into the Christian period, and could have a couple of explanations. Either, as the passage was written down by a Christian monk, the enduring legacy of the Wild Hunt was eventually demonised and made a thing of evil, like much of heathen lore was, or the description is an accurate one and what the witnesses heard and saw were common folk carrying on a tradition based on the Wild Hunt or some other Heathen tradition. Whatever the monk recorded in the woods and deer park between Peterborough and Stamford it has an uncanny resemblance to Woden's Wild Hunt. Another mention of Woden in Old English literature can be seen in the Anglo-Saxon Maxims, where the line Woden worhte weos can be read, translated into modern English it means Woden made idols. It is difficult to know exactly what is meant by Woden made idols, but it could be a slight insight into how Woden and other Heathen gods were worshipped. In that the gods and goddesses may have been represented in physical and visual appearance by idols that were probably carved out of wood. And as the idols came to represent the 'evils' of Heathenism to the Christians, who at every opportunity destroyed them, they may have blamed Woden for their creation if he was seen as the head Anglo-Saxon god. There fore Woden worhte weos or Woden made idols. The image that the Heathen Anglo-Saxons may have had of Woden was probably best summed up by Richard Branston in his book The Lost Gods of England:


'The Woden of the Old English never became the warrior king in golden helmet, exclusive patron of princes and jarls, such as Snorri depicted in his Edda, he was never pre-occupied with the problem of organising his battalions of slain into a doomed army to oppose the Children of Muspell at Ragnorok. Instead the Anglo-Saxon Woden stalked the rolling down land, one-eyed and wise beyond all knowing in cloak and hood when the weather was fine, stopping at crossroads to recognise his own dangling from the gallows, but on black and stormy nights he racketed across the sky at the head of his wild hunt of lost and noisy souls.'

Source (http://www.englishheathenism.homestead.com/textwoden.html)

Sigurd
Wednesday, December 7th, 2005, 03:58 PM
Woden - The Shaman God
Wulf Hengestsson

Before I begin, I should make the point that this is a highly individual viewpoint of Woden, and in no way do I either intend to demean others' views of him, or to impart the view that he is uniquely of more consequence than any other god / goddess in the Northern Tradition.

I use the Anglo-Saxon / Germanic name form intentionally, as Woden comes over as a very different character from the Norse Odin although they share many characteristics. To me, Woden embodies the nature of a true shaman, and for that reason I have great difficulties in associating him with the more familiar Odin, which builds on a lordly warrior / leader figure with paradoxically unleaderlike modes of behaviour.

There are very few shamanic leaders of tribes or peoples in history. They tend to be present in an advisory role, more often working 'in the shadows' steering, or weaving out of sight. Prime examples of this are the Celtic British Merlin or the Irish Druid Cathbad. One comparatively recent Shamanic leader was Tatanka Yotanka, or Sitting Bull, of the Oqlala Sioux tribe in North America. Contrary to popular belief he was not a tribal chief, but a Medicine Man or Shaman, who united many Native American tribes who were inspired by his visions of a new beginning for his people.

It could well be that Woden rose to prominence among the Northern deities in similar circumstances. With the Heathen ways very much on defence against a new religion which had the technical advantage of being directed from a central point, it seems likely that heathens would have tried to fight fire with fire, possessing their own pierced god who had hung on a tree, impaled, and worked magic. It is hard to see how else a shadowy shaman mocked for the practice of seith magic, disfigured by the loss of an eye and often mentioned as doubtful battle ally would be a prime choice. While his Shamanic image has been veneered with the grandeur of the Great Hall and other trappings of a Warrior god, the Shamanic credentials still remain.

Woden's wolves and ravens are clearly 'totem' animals or fetches, perhaps even an aspect of himself. Both creatures have strong traditions as spirit messengers and inhabit the wild regions, bordering on human settlements. This, too, is the preferred territory of the shaman; crossing the barriers between civilisation and wilderness - Midgard and the other worlds. The wolves and ravens are clearly more than the battlefield scavengers as which they are often represented. Woden's choice of weapon is also clearly shamanic.

The spear, while a primary weapon has never held the mystique of the sword, although named spears were evident among the heathen Anglo-Saxons. The sword was the great warrior's or lord's weapon of choice and symbol of status. A battle-based or 'lordly' god would surely be seen with sword rather than spear, especially given that the long iron swords of the Germanic tribes gave a significant advantage over the short Roman or brittle Celtic blades. Woden's spear 'Gungnir' is clearly a Shaman's weapon rather then a warriors. Planted in the ground, it represents Yggdrasil, or the Irminsul. On Woden's travels it serves as a stave, and on the World Tree according to tradition, it is used to pierce his own body. Shamanic visions through pain induced by self piercing are well documented in may tribal cultures.

It seems quite possible that the battle-god aspect of Woden came about as a result of some blending of the original Woden and the god Tiw or Tir. Interestingly, the Anglo-Saxon weekdays show a clear definition between Tiw's Day and Woden's Day which suggests that the Woden of the Jutish and Saxon settlers of England could well have been a very different figure form the Odin of Ragnarok, particularly considering that Tiw's Day mirrors the Roman Mar's Day and Woden's Day, that of Mercury - a very unwarlike god. The frequent mention of Woden as a wanderer or traveller is a further shamanic indicator and to be blunt, I can't see him sat on his backside glued to a mighty throne, even for a moment.

The High Seat given mention in the text seems to me more a reference to the practice of far-seeing, an allusion perhaps to the Eagle atop the World Tree. Woden's connection with shape shifting is copiously mentioned in many texts (although not exclusive to him) and the use of bird form for seeing from afar is a shamanic technique common to many tribal European and Amercian cultures.

I can't say that my conclusion of Woden as the Shaman-God will sit well with all who read this, as it is my own conclusion drawn from personal experience. I can, however say that I have met Woden twice, and each time I felt myself in the presence of the Shaman God of the Anglo-Saxons.

Source (http://www.thorshof.org/thunder15.htm)

barry
Wednesday, December 14th, 2005, 02:20 AM
If i havent made a mistake , if we take the initials of the nine herbs, from the nine wyrt galdor ,as they are given at the end of the charm, as the names are given in old english, we get in order, in anglo saxon runes this ,, MAN,, WIN, LAGU, AESC, MAN,NIED,WIN, FEOH, FEOH,..i think thats right if i havent cocked up. i have been trying to see if theres a particular significance to these rune staves not sure, MANKIND, JOY, WATER, ASH TREE OR AESIR, MANKIND, NEED WANT, JOY, CATTLE WEALTH, CATTLE WEALTH, hmm , anyone got any ideas? Speaking about the lord Woden, is it possible that the english traditions of phantom black dogs , which , are said to haunt lonely beaches , and the moors of northern england, could these hounds be connected to Woden and the wild hunt traditions?:thumbsup

Cythraul
Wednesday, December 19th, 2007, 03:52 PM
A couple of people expressed an interest in my entry in the "what is your faith?" thread regarding my belief in Shamanism. So I thought I'd put together a quick (hopefully) thread on the subject. I imagine some of you are unfamiliar with the Shamanic belief system so I'll approach this as a kind of introduction from my own personal perspective.

First and foremost, Paganism is Shamanism. When you hear about the Pagan gods, strange entities like elves, faeries, gnomes - these are beings that exist outside of our plain of existence. They are not make-believe like Judeo-Christianity (the great suppressor of spiritual knowledge) would have us think. You have to ask yourself why these fairy-tale creatures have such a historical, deeply-ingrained connection with our collective psyche. Shamanism is the practice by which we go beyond merely believing that gods and 'mythical' creatures exist, and discover them for ourselves.

You may have heard of the 'spirit world'. It is an extremely universal concept, important to the Heathens, Celts, Native Americans, Siberians etc. In fact, it is vital to the beliefs of every single pre-Christian culture for at least the last 40,000 years. It is, quite simply, another dimension... another plain of existence. We all exist on more than one plain, but nearly all of us are only aware of the dimension in which our physical bodies are active. Everything has a spirit. Every person, plant, tree, rock, and flame. Furthermore, we are all - animal, rock, tree and flame - connected in ways we cannot see, and when we learn how to, we can harness and manipulate those relationships in ways we wouldn't believe (this is the basis of magick, but I won't go into that here, mostly because it's an aspect I'm currently quite unfamiliar with).

The spirit world, or 'Otherworld' as it is often known, is a place of learning and creation. Our ancestors would journey there by various methods to heal themselves, heal others, discover knowledge about the past, the present, the future and to enhance relationships with manifestations of themselves or other spirits. It is commonly known that Shamans would use natural hallucinogenic drugs to propel their astral self into the Otherworld, but this is one method among many. The aim is to reach an altered state of consciousness and this can also be done by drumming repetitively, meditating, dancing, and even sleeping.

Now I know... this all sounds incredibly "New Agey" and until fairly recently, I couldn't have agreed more. What helped me to try and understand it was the phenomenal way in which this belief system is found in almost identical forms across the globe, and across tens of thousands of years. A few books helped too.

Now a little about my personal experiences: I am new to Shamanism. I discovered it through reading some Occult literature a couple of years ago and my curiosity grew and grew. I've 'journeyed' just a handful of times (by use of meditation techniques only) and despite currently lacking in the abilities that allow for vivid visits to the Otherworld, I have learnt an incredible amount about myself and about the nature of spirit.

I'll give a brief example from my very first Shamanic journey:
"...After a short while, a human-like figure appeared in the distance darting from strange tree to strange tree. He was just a shadow, a silhouette. I don't know what he was doing but after a few minutes he saw me and immediately swam across the river to get to me. As soon as he reached me on the restricting grass bank, he placed his hands firmly over my eyes and wouldn't allow me to see. I could just make out extremely bright lights through his hand and I asked him why he wouldn't let me see. He told me that the river had turned into fire and he was protecting me by not allowing me to see it. He said that I could only cross back to the other side when the river turned to earth and I responded by asking him if the river cycles through the 4 elements. He said yes and that the only form of the river I should cross is its earth form. I asked "even water is dangerous?" and he said that water wasn't for me, yet. The fire river soon turned to earth and we crossed back to the other side..."

After much after-analysis (an important aspect of Shamanic journeying), I realised, rather suddenly, that the element of fire represents my spirit, and by being censored to the river of fire and encouraged to cross it while in its earth form (representing my physical self), I was being warned about a spiritual imbalance that it was necessary for me to correct. I have other examples too.

I realise this has become quite lengthy so I'll leave it at that for now. I hope you find this interesting at least, and if anyone wants me to elaborate on anything, or to add their own input, please say.

Lyfing
Wednesday, December 19th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Hi,

A few years ago there was a website called Munins Voice. (http://www.saxonworld.org.uk/muninsvoice/) It had a lot to say about shamanism. I wonder what happened to it. Anyway though this is from that site and I think it is pretty nice.. so enjoy


First there is the Tree. This is the Northern shaman's traditional vehicle of passage to the worlds. It takes the form in dreams sometimes of a building with many rooms or a tower or a journey through many landscapes, or flight somewhere, a staircase, or even a kind of film or theatre set with many scenes, and, of course, sometimes a large tree. When you're not dreaming you can just imagine it as a great Tree, the name of which is Yggdrasil. Move towards it and look at it. There is a trunk area where we are now with Midgard (our earth landscape) stretching out around it, filled with a multitude of life forms and resting on great rock-hewn altars which contain deep wells of lava, subterranean rivers and the cradles of oceans. The roots of Yggdrasil absorb liquid from the sacred wells in the underworld and take them up to the Tree's extremities where they are shed upon the valleys and plains as glittering dew. Stop awhile and watch the falling droplets drift down in hazy showers through the sunlit air. Feel the dews move over you. It is a kind of initiating ritual, a blessing. Now we shall enter the Tree.

Approach slowly, breathing steadily, the great door of the ancient edifice that marks Yggdrasil's earthly realm. This is the door of roots. Enter. Feel the shadow fall over you as you pass through the gnarled arches and deep mossy caverns of the transition. Look around and see runes, sunwheels, spirals, animals, plants and figures carved and painted on the root-braided walls and on the roof. Find bones and offerings lying among niches in the roots and feel the temperature drop as we go further into the great mouth of the doorway to the Underworld. Smell the scent of earth powerfully increasing as we move further into the rich darkness. This is where existence begins for all plant life. This is earth's womb. All our crops, our vegetation, our flowers and grasses spring up from the soils of earth. Imagine these soils all around you and now, as we go deeper, above you. Yellow, red and black soils, deep rich loamy soils, friable soils and waterlogged clay as well as sandy soils, desert soils and coastal soils. These contain all the binding plants that prevent erosion and loss. Imagine the massive rootwork of forests just above your head now as you move deeper through the pungent root world of Yggdrasil. Gardeners and farmers will have sudden nostalgic memories of fresh wet ground and the smell of compost, spearmint sweet and rich with the humus of the seasons.

Darkness is deepening and we are nearing the opening of the rooted tunnel to Hel, the Underworld home of the wells and of Mimir and Urd and the great gushing fountains of Hvergelmir, the pantry and laboratory of the species and the world of the dead. Here is the judgement seat of the Gods, at the roots of Yggdrasil. Here Odin, the Lord of the Dead, comes every day with his Holy retinue to meet the souls who have departed Midgard and to give the soma drink of the wells that revives pale spirits.

Pause awhile at the end of the tunnel of roots and imagine yourself standing on its threshold to the Underworld of Niflheim, the Kingdom of Mists. On the outer reaches above and below are the realms of Jotunheim, of the Frost Giants and the realms of the Fire Giants, the natural enemies of the Gods and of man. Observe the vista before you and see the crystal waters of Hvergelmir gushing from the spring that feeds the third root of Yggdrasil. Hear these waters, they are the waters of life, cool, and slightly bitter with the salts and minerals of the earth. See the well of Mimir with the reeds of poetry growing round the edges of the pool and find the well of Urd. You'll recognize it by the two white swans on its surface and the canopy of gold above. There will the threads of wyrd be spanned between the All-Father's hands, among the worlds and through the fingers of the Norns. Move towards the web and see your own life woven and part of it still to be woven and strands being woven as you watch.

Be aware of the scope and magnitude of the Underworld as you look across the glittering fields and see Mimir's store of species. This is where the seeds of new life are gathered and resown and where regeneration springs from the fires of Ragnarok. Inside a protective shield of wood lie Lif and Leifthrasir, the prototypes of our folk who remain within their protective shield and are the source of the generations after civilizations end. We are in the gallery of the dwarves. Look around and see the horn of Heimdall lying beneath Yggdrasil's root and find many objects of fine craftsmanship, some with magic power. Find the seat of Judgement at Urd's fountain and in the soft dark soil at the fountain's root, find the footprints of the Gods.

There is a place prepared for us where a silver horn stands filled with clear liquid. Move towards the massive root near the gleaming well with its fringe of reeds. Drink from the horn and feel the crystal clear cool liquid pervade your being. There is a woman sitting under the golden canopy by the well with the snow white swans. She inclines her head and we see the strands of wyrd twist an image of wings. We are going to change our mode of travel. Stay awhile and become as the air. The kingdom of mists is vast. There are many regions. Allow all of your preconceptions about the underworld to melt away as we rise like birds from a still lake and glide through the shafts of light that illuminate the fields of eternity and drift across the realms of the children and of the virgins. We are among the living dead. Drift closer to the folk who stand waiting for us on the banks of a fast-flowing river. These are the ancestors. We may not speak to them. We are merely visitors from beyond the Kingdom of Mists. We speak only when we are given this right by shamanic revelation, special envoy or death itself.

See the great hound called Garm that rears up snarling when we go too near. He is the guardian of Hel Gates and his duty is to let no undead soul pass into his jurisdiction before the appropriate time. Only the shamen may pass Garm's fangs and very seldom is this allowed to happen. Look at the glow illuminating the forests of the Underworld. It is the light emanating from Balder's Hall where he and his wife Nana wait for Ragnarok when they will return to Asgard as the sun and the blossom return to the earth with the spring.

Hover awhile above the great roots and listen to the sound of the dragon Nidhogg feeding on the roots underground. He is also the devourer of corpses and consumes all that is placed underground. His gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil is balanced by the activity of the Norns who water the roots constantly from the wells.

Now take a deep breath and together we will plunge through the gateway of judgement and into the region of wrongdoers who lie bound in caves while the saliva of serpents drips onto them from halls roofed with serpents' spines. This is the mythological cavern of Loki when he is bound by the Gods and the place where Loki lies during the time that is golden above and in Midgard. When the wheel turns and the Wolf Age approaches the ground will tremble and the underworld will shudder as the bonds loosen round the bodies of Loki and around the jaws of Fenrir and the great Midgard serpent called Jormungand will begin to thrash itself back and forth and the ship of souls that houses the evil of Niflhel's dark regions will come adrift and move towards the battlefield of Ragnarok. The ship of the damned is made out of the finger nails of the dead and called Naglfar. As yet, all are still bound, but they are stirring and the bonds are slipping. Yggdrasil feels through its roots the vibrations of impending chaos. The Tree is an ancient survivor. Yggdrasil and the cycles of time are what makes wyrd manifest in our existence. Dark Dwarves guard the cavern of Loki and Loki's wife holds a bowl above his body to catch the poison that drips from the serpents' mouths. Loki has grown dark with malice and his hair is like spear shafts. He is in his most powerfully suppressed state when the fetter of the Gods keeps him still. But he is beginning to move. His eyes glow with anticipation and pain. His suffering is self-inflicted. He is the Lord of Chaos and the catalyst of changes. Look on him and understand the forces of the giants as they struggle to be free of the rocks that confine them and the elements that contain them. Look over to the vales of fire where the sons of Surt, Loki's kinsmen glow among the shadows. Watch the fiery comets of Muspellheim streak overhead, lighting the deep caverns of the underworld and glittering above Midgard as stars.

See the Frost Giants far below the surface in their world of primeval cold. They too are looking up at the sound of Jormungand and the echoing cries of Loki. They are waiting for their destiny to come when they will cross the atmospheric sea with their kin and launch an assault on the gates of Asgard and tread heavily upon the Rainbow Road, their desperate need for destruction driving them on to Asgard's battle field of Vigrid. (But that's another story!)

The Northern Underworld is complex and interesting. It houses so much and yet we hardly notice these aspects in the sunlit plain of Midgard. We are hardly aware of the Great Tree or the Nine Worlds or the ancestors waiting and guiding from beyond the river of spears. We have been led away from these things. Most of us have become lost among the religions and many have given up belief altogether and pin their hopes instead on politicians and social engineers. Take a good long look at the Underworld, see the great Goddess of Hel, whose kingdom encompasses both the blessed and the damned and whose aspects are accordingly manifested in the mythology as a wise witch and a negative sorceress. The Urd persona of Hel guards the well of wyrd and is the ancient sister of Mimir. All of the Fylgia are hers to command. The Gullveig persona is the keeper of Niflhel, the regions below the Underworld where the rocks imprison the forces of evil. She is represented in the mythology by disease and wrongdoing. The souls given to her are given a drink of the wells laced with serpent poison and their destiny is to experience the effects of their own wrongdoing by being forced to experience their own poisonous thoughts and actions. Only the truly wicked go to Niflheim. And they go without their guardian sprits who abandon them in life because of their negativity and so cannot plead for them at the judgement seat of the Gods. To be evil in the Heathen world is to be responsible for your actions and to be punished is to inherit the consequences of Divine Orlog, the unavoidable law of the Gods.

We are ready to leave and go to Asgard. Take one last look at the Underworld and its riches. We have only touched on their wealth. A horn of golden mead awaits us at Yggdrasil's Door. It is time to change once more and become as falcons. Go to the table once more and drink the golden mead from the horn that is carved with wings and with images of the sunwheel. Feel the light drawing us to the Door. Enter and be transported in shafts of glorious light, through golden drifts of dew along the rainbow road and stand before the great palace of Heimdall, guardian of the Bridge of Bifrost. A wall of flame lies between us and the gates. Close your eyes and enter the wall of flames. They burn only enemies. We are just imaginary visitors, real travellers from Midgard are only permitted through the shaman's door. On the Gate are carved eagles and wolves. The gates will open for us and we may look but not touch or speak to anyone. This is the abode of the Gods and Goddesses who made the shell of their world out of Ymir's skull. This is the home of the wind, this is the home of the eagle of the sunwheel and this is the home of the All-Father and his retinue of Einheriar. This is where the Halls of the High Powers are found and this is where the Valkyries ride out when they take to the skies. From their horses' manes glittering dew falls onto Midgard. They are Odin's messengers and they are the wyrd bringers of the Norns.

As the gates open and the ravens come to guide us through the realm remember that this is not "heaven". This is the abode of the Northern Gods. This is the home of Frigg, Thor and Sif, Tyr and Ull and all of the Aesir. These are the shining Halls of the creation Gods. Remember also that among them live some of the Vanir Gods, although their original home is in Vanneheim. There has been an agreement between the Elfin and the Aesir powers to co-operate and to remain as brothers and sisters of the worlds in the name of peace and justice. When these two races of deity came together in this bond Midgard flowered as never before and think also that when humanity runs to Ragnarok of its own doing we destroy the bond between ourselves and the Gods and we run the risk of losing everything that is important to us when we neglect to acknowledge the fine threads of connection that bind the worlds and that weave our lives into the web of wyrd.

So we fly now as falcons over the glimmering fields of the Asa lands and we see the rainbow road travelling through the realm of the Gods. It is a shimmering hoop that has no ending and connects all worlds by two routes - downward from Asgard to the Underworld and the Judgement seat of the Gods and upward from there to Asgard once more. Midgard, by its very name and nature, lies between and is that part of existence that manifests above the root world and below the branches of Yggdrasil.

See the branches of the Tree spread high above us and see the sparkling stars caught in their nets of leaves. See the jewelled fruits hanging on the boughs that will fill with the souls of the unborn and drop into the wombs of mothers in Midgard whenever the conflagration of union takes place and a child is conceived. When fruit falls from the Tree Of Life then it is a gift from the Gods.

The ravens are flying with us now, one on each side as we move over the great halls of Odin and Freya and Thor. Below lies the field of Vigrid before Valhalla and there is the field of Thrudvang before the Hall of Thor. The dews of Yggdrasil glitter on the roofs of the halls and the dome of Ymir's ancient skull rounds the skyline in the atmospheric sea. Eagles fly across the sun and we are coming to the end of our journey. The Gods remain hidden from us. They will come to you when you seek them from your reality in Midgard and appear within the world as you look with new eyes at what was once seemingly devoid of spirit.

The ravens are guiding us to the gates of the sun. We see them sweep away in an arc as we fly through the gates and are plunged into the darkness of the descent. We find ourselves once again within the Tree and fall to earth at the door of roots where we began. We stop where the great trunk rises from the Underworld and walk out into our world. We are home.

Later,
-Lyfing

Cythraul
Thursday, December 20th, 2007, 02:11 PM
A wonderful read. Truly captures the imagination. And the imagination, of course, is a tool for crossing to the various Otherworlds. I would recommend that anyone who claims to practice Heathenry read that piece and pay great attention to it.

Brynhild
Thursday, December 20th, 2007, 02:21 PM
Thank you. It validates my path as a Death walker, who has walked through those areas of the underworld many times now. I'm still learning my craft, but I always will, and I get blown away by the new experiences each time.

Odin was a shaman, that is how he found the runes. His nine days hung from Yggdrasil tell of his underworld journey and initiation. Shamanism plays a big role in both the Celtic/Norse pantheons that I practice, and my Heathen outlook as well.

Edit: The New Agers have drawn their knowledge from these ancient practices. :)

Cythraul
Thursday, December 20th, 2007, 03:39 PM
The New Agers have drawn their knowledge from these ancient practices. :)
Absolutely!
It's great to hear that other people have experience in the field. Brynhild - unless it's too private and you'd prefer not to, I'd love to hear an example or 2 of what you've discovered through visits to the Underworld.

And yeah, Odin was a Shaman... either that or he was the god whose purpose it was to set an example of Shamanism. Hugin and Munin would have been his guides, and the loss of his eye is a classic example of Shamanic initiation where the body is broken or severed in some way in order to bring the subject new spiritual wisdom.

Carl
Thursday, December 20th, 2007, 07:27 PM
Well - today is ?c one of the great fire festivals of old (- and new?) .... a turning point in the year (c). Distinct from the quarter days of Mayeve and NovemberEve -- but these, endorsed by the very fire of the Sun. So -


Winter Solstice 2007.
Merry be !

Brynhild
Thursday, December 20th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Absolutely!
It's great to hear that other people have experience in the field. Brynhild - unless it's too private and you'd prefer not to, I'd love to hear an example or 2 of what you've discovered through visits to the Underworld.

And yeah, Odin was a Shaman... either that or he was the god whose purpose it was to set an example of Shamanism. Hugin and Munin would have been his guides, and the loss of his eye is a classic example of Shamanic initiation where the body is broken or severed in some way in order to bring the subject new spiritual wisdom.

I'd be glad to dig through some of my stuff! Might take a while with Xmas/Yule/Litha coming up but I definitely will.


Well - today is ?c one of the great fire festivals of old (- and new?) .... a turning point in the year (c). Distinct from the quarter days of Mayeve and NovemberEve -- but these, endorsed by the very fire of the Sun. So -


Winter Solstice 2007.
Merry be !

Another fire celebration in the Southern Hemisphere relating to Summer Solstice/Litha. We just need more sunny days! :D

Wassail!
Jenni

Brynhild
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007, 11:20 AM
I thought this would take longer for me to do, but as it turns out I have some time on my hands! :D

I did a thread on Astrology and Heathenry http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=2610

I also have 2 rituals that I wrote up and conducted last year:

2737

2738

The rituals were conducted in an open coven, and they're mine to do with as I wish. In this case I would like to share them.


This piece is from a meditation that my pagan group had done a few months back, pertaining to soul retrieval:

Going along the road, I was joined by Thor and Odin, along with a raven and a green tree frog. The road spiralled downwards and we were walking through a mist. Down at the end of the road, there was a mound and we walked in. I asked to be able to find a piece of my soul. I knew what it would be, before I even went in.

Thor would normally lead the way, but this time it was Odin. We walked inside the mound. As we rounded a bend in the tunnel, I came across a scrying mirror. I walked to it, and started talking to myself, as a four year old child. (I've known in recent times that my mother had wanted me to be a boy, and had resented me for being another girl.) I reassured the child that no one and nothing could hurt us any more. I'm the one who has control over what happens to me. I asked little Jen if she would join me. She wasn't ready just yet. Odin and Thor were reassuring me that I'm doing the right thing, not to push little Jen. I wanted her to know that I had a rough time with my menses, and it wouldn't get better for me until I have resolved this. I told little Jen that it was never up to my mother, she can't cause any more trouble.

Little Jen was still reluctant, afraid to grow up. I told her that it's been a good life, come with me and find out. Little Jen finally agreed, and I put her gently into my obsidian stone. Around the next bend, I saw a big cauldron and there was Cerridwen. Her hair was a violet colour. She asked little Jen if this is what she wanted to do. Little Jen agreed. Cerridwen anointed us all over with her oil to aid the healing process.

We then took our leave from inside the mound and back to normal waking consciousness. The final step was to place the stone over our heart and release the retrieved soul back into it.

I pretty much summed up what was going on for my self in brackets. But I finally realised that it was what my mother had imposed on me and I carried a lot of guilt because of it. It wasn't what she did physically, but metaphysically manifested, and children pick up a lot of that stuff.

I have one more meditation that came out of the blue for me one day at home:

As I was going in, I was looking for my guide. I saw a set of horns first off, but a clearer picture showed me a man wearing a Viking helmet. In his words "This is how you're used to seeing the horns, but think of Cernunnos or Pan." I felt more relaxed as he held my hand and led me through a forest. He started running, and I had to keep up, wondering whywe ran. He just said "You'll see."

We came to a clearing in the forest, there was a table laden with food. ****** was already eating. First off, I thought "Why didn't you wait for me?" Then I thought "Should I be here?" I was answered by a yes. Then I saw them.

Sitting around the table were some of the Norse Gods and Goddess. I soon realised that I was the horn bearer, handing a horn full of mead to each and every one. I was being honoured for this!

Odin sat to the left of ******, as the all-father. I gave him the horn first. He just smiled, drank, and gave me the horn to refill. I gave it next to Frigg, the all-mother. She said to me "You belong here," drank her share and gave me the horn. She was a beautiful blonde woman.

The next was Thor, God of thunder. He had a head full of red hair, a true warrior. He took my hand and kissed it. I felt a bit odd about that, specially in front of his wife Sif, but when it came to her turn, she winked and said "Thor always admires the pretty maidens" I smiled and laughed. Sif was a voluptuous blonde.

Having had her drink, she returned the horn, and I moved onto Baldur the Beautiful. I may have said something like "You're alive!" He replied "Welcome, fair maiden." I thanked him, but I also said "I'm a bit old to be a maiden, I am a mother after all" to which Baldur replied "You are a maiden in our eyes, according to your age. You're still very youthful, don't lose it." I smiled and moved onto Nanna. She was a strawberry blonde, very much a woman's woman.

Next came Loki, of whom I was wary, but he was one of them at the start, so I honoured him. He was scarred from the venom. Next to him was his wife Sigyn. She looked like a mermaid. Baldur's twin brother Hodr was next. I was surprised to find that he could see! His companion was Fenrir. Now I was getting worried. He bit my right hand as I gave him the horn, but it wasn't to hurt me. He was honouring me, for honouring my own shadow side. His salive as power, and it went through my hand, to my body. Next was Tyr. I was in awe of Tyr, because Iwas born on his day. He had long auburn hair, and he had his hand again. Tyr said to me "I will show you your warrior spirit, and to fight with honour." Next to Tyr was his companion, a wood nymph.

For a moment, I saw a spare chair, but that was soon occupied by ******'s daughter and her boyfriend beside her. Then I saw an empty seat. I soon realised it was mine, on ******'s right hand side. I filled his horn, it looked like ivory. He drank gratefully, and for a moment I held my breath. He then filled the horn and gave it to me so I could drink it.

This one was more like an initiation and I received the Aesir's blessings!

Both were interesting experiences, and I gained much from them. The last lot that I tried to do, though, had put me to sleep and left me frustrated. It was like having a block and that I couldn't experience them in the same fashion like I always have. But there had been a lot of stress at that time, and I think that can play havoc.

Anyway, enjoy!

Cythraul
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007, 08:40 PM
Thanks Brynhild. That was really fascinating. Funny how the capturing of the lost soul piece into a crystal or stone is common across different Shamanic traditions. Also interesting how you meet both the Norse and Celtic pantheon of gods in your journeys. I haven't met any of the gods yet myself, because I believe I have some work to do in the middle Otherworld before I can journey to the Upper or Lower worlds. My work so far has been with aspects of myself and with guides.

One of the major difficulties with modern Shamanism is that the modern way of life is not condusive to free and easy Shamanic practice. For most of us, there us rarely a time or place where we can be fully alone and undisturbed. So much emphasis is placed on our material existence and the hustle and bustle of the rat race. We are bombarded with advertising, noise and technology at all times so for many, meditating and reaching the appropriate state of consciousness for this kind of spirituality is nigh on impossible at times.

Brynhild
Saturday, December 22nd, 2007, 11:04 PM
You might find also that it will just all fall into place. I've been meditating on a regular basis for more than 12 years now, both on my own and with my group. The dynamics within a group can make it much easier, as everybody is projecting a similar energy.

It is hard at times for finding the right moment, with all the hustle and bustle like you mentioned Cythraul, but sometimes all you need is 5 minutes or so. I will meditate to refresh my tired body and mind, just long enough to scan through my body and wake it up - without calling on anything. Sometimes my mind just won't do anything and I've fallen asleep a lot of times as well! :D

I've worked with the Norse pantheons only within this last year, but finding them has been the best thing for me, and I've worked with the Celts for a while now. The trick is not to rush the process, or anticipate too much. It comes to you, it just unfolds and that's when you can get the real mind blowing moments.

Crabby Badger
Wednesday, September 17th, 2008, 07:48 AM
Shamanism is a fundemental part of many modern Pagan and Heathen practices.

Some of the modern practices I have seen are really powerful and deeply transformative to the participants and observers alike. I will never forget my first exposure to it. It deeply affected me. I have never forgotten the sense of something else, all consuming and transformative. Deeply powerful, deeply something outside yet fundementally a part of this world. There are far more things to this life than what we think we understand.

It really is life changing.

Ocko
Friday, September 17th, 2010, 06:54 PM
Excerpt from Mircea Eliade, Shamanism, pg 380.



......We will cite the most striking instances. The figure and the myth of Odin - the Terrible Sovereign and Great Magician - dispay several strangely 'shamanic' features. To acquire the occult knowledge of runes, Odin spends nine days and nights hanging in a tree. Some Germanists have seen an initiation rite in this, Otto Hoefler even compares it to the initiary tree-climbing of Siberian shamans. The tree in which Odin 'hanged' himself can only be the Cosmic Tree, Yggdrasil; its name, by the way, means the 'steed of Ygg (Odin)'. In Nordic tradition the gibbet is called the 'hanged man's horse' and certain Germanic initiation rites included he symbolic 'hanging' of the candidate, for this custom is abundant documented elsewhere. But Odin also ties his horse to Yggdrasil, and the occurence of this mythical theme in North and Central Asia is well known.

Odin's steed, Sleipnir, has eight hooves, and it is he who carries his master, and even other gods (e.g. Hermundur), to the underworld. Now, the eight-hoofed horse is the shamanic horse par excellence; it is found among the Siberians, as well as elsewhere (e.g. Muria), always in connection with the shaman's ecstatic experience. It is propable, as Hoefler supposes, that Sleipnir is the mythical archetype of a many-footed hobbyhorse that played an important part in the secret cult of the men's society. But this is a magico religious phenomenon that goes beyond the bounds of shamanism.

Describing Odin's ability to change shape at will, Snorri writes:'His body lay as though he were asleep or dead, and he then became a bird or a beast, a fish or a dragon, and went in an instant to far-off lands......' This ecstatic journey of Odin in animal forms may properly compared to the transformations of shamans into animals; for, just as the shamans fought one another in the shape of bulls or eagles, Nordic traditions present several combats between magicians in the shape of walrusses or other animals; and during the combat their bodies remained inanimate, just as Odin's did during his ecstasy. Of course, such beliefs are also found outside of shamanism proper, but the comparison with the practices of the Siberian shamans is inescapable. And all the more so since other Scandinavian beliefs tell of helping spirits in the shape of animals visible only to the shamans, which is even more clearly reminiscent of shamanic ideas. Indeed we may ask if Odin's two crows Huginn ('thought') and Muninn ('Memory') do not represent, in highly mythical form, two helping spirits in the shape of birds, which the great Magician sent (in true shamanic fashion) to the four corners of the world.

Odin is also the institutor of necromancy. On his horse Sleipnir, he enters Hel and bids a long-dead prophetess rise from the grave to answer his questions. Others later practiced this kind of necromancy, which, of course, is not shamanism in the strict sense, but belongs to the horizon that is extremly close to it. the scene of divination with the mummidied head of Mimir should also be mentioned, suggesting, as it does, the Yukagir method of divination by the skulls of ancestral shamans.



there is more written but I don't want to extend it sofar.

We have here the shamanic journey (on his horse Sleipnir), divination, necromancy, shapeshifting. Later on he describes soul retrieval, a practice which is today also used, many times with PTSD or other spiritual dis-eases.
(Have done those myself with amazing results).

Landers
Friday, September 17th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic by Bill Griffiths

Leechcraft - Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing by Stephen Pollington

Rudiments of Runelore by Stephen Pollington

All from http://www.asbooks.co.uk

Below photos Stephen Pollington...

http://www.ulfhednar.de/Mitglieder/England/Steve.jpg http://www.ulfhednar.de/Mitglieder/England/Paul.jpg

http://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/images/imgstore/463_nmx7kqh0t5.jpg

Fyrgenholt
Friday, September 17th, 2010, 07:35 PM
I'll be sure to take a good read of this as soon as I have the time. Great post.

Does anyone know anything of this particular book and whether or not it is worth puchasing? I've been considering buying it over the past few weeks:

The Quest for the Shaman: Shape-Shifters, Sorcerers and Spirit-healers of Ancient Europe (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quest-Shaman-Shape-Shifters-Sorcerers-Spirit-healers/dp/0500051348/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284744691&sr=8-2)

I was recently reading about the grave of a 'cunning woman', an Anglo-Saxon priestess of pre-Christian burial, earthed with various pouches assumedly for herbs and plants, miniature drinking horns, charms and so forth. It has been theorised she were a shaman. I was going to make a post regarding it, but with the post being so long I started typing it up on Word and then forgot all about it. I'll provide a link to related information when I come across it.

Ocko
Sunday, September 26th, 2010, 02:34 AM
Here an article of Asbjoern Jon


To enact the ritual, Óđinn hung himself on Yggdrasill for nine nights, during which he received neither food nor wine. He also pierced himself with the point of a spear. Upon the completion of this ritual, Óđinn was able to recognise the runes and make them submit to him as their Rune-Master. This myth corresponds with the shamanist initiation rites of a number of peoples.

Pipping has noted the similarity of the ordeal to the initiation rite of Finnish shaman (Pipping 1928). A similar technique is also used by shaman in Nepal. In Nepal, at the moment of a shaman’s spiritual birth, they are required to tree-sit in a pine, which is regarded as being symbolic of the Tree of Life. During this period the initiates are left by themselves and are forbidden to eat; yet the rest of their tribe conducts a public feast. The initiated shaman is also blind- folded for the ritual.3 The fasting element is also common amongst shamanic initiations, with perhaps the most obvious parallel be- ing the fasting of the Caribou Eskimo initiate shaman (see Rasmussen 1927: 82–85). We can also compare the moment of Óđinn discovering the runes, to the climax of the Siberian shaman’s ini- tiation. We have been told that at this moment:

he [/---/ obtains] the flash or illumination– a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in the interior of his head. He is now able to discern things hidden from other human beings

(Hunkin 1987: 678). Additionally, with the aid of the work of the Boeotian biographer, Delphic priest and municipal officer of Chaeronea, Plutarch; we can confirm that parallels of this shamanic ritual have been used by Óđinn’s Cult as a form of human sacrifice from at least 100 B.C. Plutarch recorded that the Teutonic tribe known as the Cimbri sac- rificed themselves to appease their gods after being defeated in a battle. The said battle was fought against Caius Marius, and took place in ca 110 B.C. Plutarch’s passage is significant here, because it clearly states that the tribe’s preferred method of sacrifice was hanging by the neck, from trees.

However, in this instance, because there were no trees in the area the Cimbri had performed the sacrifice by having themselves trampled to death by cattle and oxen.

Other indicators of this role are the myths that reveal that Óđinn’s horse Sleipnir could carry him to the Underworld. Verrier Elwin has noted that the Muria people’s shaman hold a belief about being carried to another world on the back of an eight-legged horse (Elwin 1947: 150). This belief contains many parallels to the Teutonic tales about Sleipnir. Furthermore, Elwin also recognised that the Muria people have created mythicised songs about this type of voyage.

These songs probably represent the same theological processes as a Teutonic song, such as Baldrs draumar. Óđinn also possesses the shape-changing power (taking on false appearances through the power of optical or magical illusions), a shape-changing power which in many ways reflects an ability to exude hypnotic suggestions upon all who are, in an immediate vicinity. When using this shape-changing power, Óđinn can take on the shape of a ‘fugl eđa dýr, fiskr eđa ormr’ (Sturluson 1952: 10), and travel to far off places. In this way he fulfils errands for either himself or for others– sometimes even travelling between worlds.

From a variety of sources though, we know that this practice was extremely physically demanding. Interestingly, we may note that Celia Green has scientifically recorded the practice of similar out-of-body phenomena in modern times, suggesting a deeper truth to the myth (Green 1976: 13, 59, 68, 75, 82–84, 86, 93–100, 112–118, 120, 126, 129, 133, 138, 154, 161). It is an ability that is a common attribute of the shaman. Shaman usually em- ploys such a trance induced mechanism of self shape-changing to travel to other worlds and fight spirits. By employing this technique, the shaman ‘controls his trance movements between the world of men and the spirit world’ (Zweig 1981: 86), moving between them with great speed and efficiency. There are many examples of the use of this power throughout both Teutonic and Finno- Baltic myth and folklore.

As Kvideland and Sehmsdorf have suggested, tales of this kind are so common that they have come to hold their own classification, asLegend Type 3080 (Kvideland & Sehmsdorf 1994: 71–74). Eliade has also commented about the close relationship between to Óđinn’s shape-changing, and ‘the [shape-changing] practices of Siberian shamans’ (Eliade 1989: 381). Additionally, we can note similar practices amongst the shaman of many other cultures, such as those of the Sora people. Piers Vitebsky, the Head of Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge’s ‘Scott Polar Research Institute’, has noted that the Sora shaman have the shape-changing power to ‘slip out of their bodies and their souls also turn to monkeys’ (Vitebsky 1995: 92).

Ocko
Sunday, September 26th, 2010, 02:46 AM
Odin was the only god in Scandinavian mythology to demand human sacrifice at the Blóts. Adam of Bremen relates that every ninth year, people assembled from all over Sweden to sacrifice at the Temple at Uppsala. Male slaves, and males of each species were sacrificed and hung from the branches of the trees. The practice of sacrifice is one reason why Thor was much more popular among the commonfolk. Committing suicide was also considered to be a shortcut to Valhalla.

It seems that the 9 years sacrifice is in tune with the hanging of 9 nights at the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil.

Ocko
Sunday, September 26th, 2010, 03:32 AM
The tollund man is a good example of a sacrifice to Odin



http://www.tollundman.dk/gifs/illustrationer/1c-haengning-farve-stor.jpg

The Tollund Man was examined as if he was the victim of a murder. The examination took place at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark shortly after he was discovered.

The forensic examiners's report states among other things that "the robe, judging by the way it was placed around the body's neck, was most likely not used for strangulation, and because of that it is of less importance that the cervical vertebras were undamaged since that sometimes happens when a person is hanged".

X-rays had revealed that the Tollund Man's cervical vertebras were not broken but despite of that the forensic examiner was certain that the man had been hanged. Later examinations done by other doctors proved that he was right.

New examinations reveal among other things that his tongue had become distended - a characteristic often seen in a hanged person.

At the time of the Tollund Man there were various burial customs in Denmark, but the one thing they had in common was that cremation was part of them all - except for the small group of people who were sacrificed. They were placed in the bogs without being cremated. That is also why it's most likely that the Tollundmanden was sacrificed to the gods.


The Tollund Mans rope reconstructed.
Big picture
The entire village probably witnessed the hanging of the Tollund Man. Maybe people even came from the surrounding villages. A human sacrifice was probably something that might be of importance to everybody from near and far. Were the gods going to accept the sacrifice? Were they going to let the people live in harmony with nature and each other in the years to come? Would they be friendly disposed towards them, when they used the gods' sacred bog?
After the hanging the Tollund Man was cut down from the tree and carried to the bog. In the peat bog an excavation had already been emptied of water. The grave was located right next to a pathway paved with planks which cut across the bog. Tollund Man was carefully and respectfully placed in the grave because now he belonged to the gods. His eyes and his mouth were closed as if he were asleep. Within a short period of time the water rose in the grave and it soon covered him. The gods had accepted their sacrifice.

Ocko
Thursday, October 7th, 2010, 02:23 AM
The last battle where Scandinavians attributed a victory to Odin was the Battle of Lena in 1208 [2]. The former Swedish king Sverker had arrived with a large Danish army, and the Swedes discovered that the Danish army was more than twice the size of their own. Naturally, the Danes got the upper hand and they should have won. However, the Swedes claimed that they suddenly saw Odin riding on Sleipnir. Accounts vary on how Odin gave the Swedes victory, but in one version, he rode in front of their battle formation.

Rogue
Thursday, October 7th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Excerpt from Mircea Eliade, Shamanism, pg 380.



there is more written but I don't want to extend it sofar.

We have here the shamanic journey (on his horse Sleipnir), divination, necromancy, shapeshifting. Later on he describes soul retrieval, a practice which is today also used, many times with PTSD or other spiritual dis-eases.
(Have done those myself with amazing results).

I want to just post a quick thank you.
I have only been here for a couple of days and have learned TONS.
It is so taxing to try to find resources of Germanic/Norse Mythology that is not tainted with Christian or New Age influence.
I am so thankful to this group for being here.

Fyrgenholt
Friday, October 8th, 2010, 11:31 AM
Excerpt from Mircea Eliade, Shamanism, pg 380.

Is this the book? Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shamanism-Archaic-Techniques-Ecstasy-Bollingen/dp/0691119422/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1286529765&sr=8-1)

If not, could you provide a link or the correct title of the book please? I'm considering buying it, you see. Thanks :D

Ocko
Saturday, October 9th, 2010, 03:25 AM
It is from that book: Shamanism by Mircea Eliade.

It is mostly a scholarly work. He shows no techniques nor ways how to do certain things. It is descriptive from the outside and finds links between different cultures.

It is good to get an overview but pretty meager on what I was interested in.

Practice is always the best way to know. I started with Harner's Core Shamanism. He freed shamanism from all cultural baggage and boiled it down to what it is.

I also take courses from A. Villoldo, which is powerful but filled in with peruvian culture though he changed it to adapt it to western people. They actually want to give their knowledge to western people.

I started now also with rune-shamanism and take the ideas from Ragnar Storyteller. They are simple but work well. He encourages to find your own rituals and thinks the olden germanic rituals don't work anymore. I find that to be true too.

I did invocations on Odin and ask for something which was granted. The last couple of days I have been in the bush to work on things concerning Odin and all the time I had a couple of crows/raven around.

So for me things work well.

Ocko
Monday, October 11th, 2010, 04:37 AM
Othin, whose name in saxon is Woden, most likely means 'Wut ' (modern german), means fury in english.

Odin has therefore a similar meaning. Under 'Wut' or fury a shaman would understand a certain state one is using to do shamanic techniques.

In his famous poem about the discovery of the runes he describes

'sacrificed, myself to myself'

What that most likely means is a sacrifice of the ordinary 'self' to the state which is called 'Odin'. he identifies then 2 'selfs'. The one the ordinary one and one which is a state, a mental condition.

'Pierced by a spear, a pledge to the god,'

He describes his higher state also as God. the god in himself.

the 'spear' is a weapon to kill, most likely an exercise which 'kills' his lower self


His everyday life has to be calmed and die, in order to produce a higher state.

'on that tree which none can know the source'

seems to be equally a symbolism for something else. The tree is called Yggdrasil. Ygg is another name for Odin and drasil is a horse.

He describes it as a tree but the name means his 'horse'.

He is using the 'tree' to be in the theme of 'hanging' (hanging from his 'horse' wouldn't make sense). For the time he was hanging he uses the measurement of 'nights'.

'nights' are indicating darkness, a state, where one does not see. obviously it was also a preparation for what was happening later.'nine nights'.

It seems a describes a period to reach a yet higher state as before. 'hanging' in a state he describes as his 'horse'. a state in which he usually does his magic. But this time he tries to go to a still higher state. Something which was not easy for him to reach and needed a long struggle. 'nine' periods of darkness. Obviously he needed a long time to struggle against his old state to reach a higher place. Comparable if we go into 'meditation' we have to struggle against mundane thoughts, sometimes they are nasty and don't want to go. So he had to reject his usual higher state 'his horse, his tree'
to establish himself in the next higher state.

I read that as a kind of self initiation.

In that new state, he gained more 'wisdom'. wisdom was one of the main aims of Odin and in order to obtain more wisdom one has to change 'states'. Therefore in that new, never before reached state,

'Then low to earth I looked.'

Here he describes his far distance to the 'earth', his normal state and from his newfound state he saw and could interprete out of it the runes.

'I caught up the runes, roaring I took them,
And fainting, back I fell. '

So he grasped the runes by interpreting life from a newly gained 'consciousness'

'fainting, back I fell' A hanged man cannot fall, he described here the falling back into normal consciousness, his normal state. 'Fainting' means losing consciousness. in his case, losing the higher consciousness which cost him so much to reach.

Rogue
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010, 01:46 AM
In his famous poem about the discovery of the runes he describes

'sacrificed, myself to myself'

Could this also be a reference to the Practice of Sado-Masochism?
There is a Path called the Ordeal Path made popular by Raven Kaldera.
He calls himself a Northern Shaman. He is a Transgendered (female to male) and is practicing a worship of the Jotun.

Ocko
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010, 04:51 AM
I don't think you can make a sensible explanation of the whole poem from that point of view. How would you fit the finding of the runes into that point of view?

One might be able to take a line out of context and underlie any point of view you want but a whole poem is a bit more difficult.

For sure in that time period rape, torture, murder and so had be more common than today in white communities. But I don't believe that was what was underlying the Edda.

The Edda seems to be a religious/mythologetic book.

Rogue
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010, 12:28 AM
Finally, an person to have an intelligent discussion with, thank for your time.

I agree, to a point, Shamans, do practice some kind of "Ordeal" be it bodily or mentally to find enlightenment.
People have been known to have visions when in a state of "Ecstasy".
I have been witness to persons into masochism, find that the pain sends in what they call, Sub-Space (sub here is short for submissive).
So, think that if a human can have a religious experience, why not a God?
I also believe that Edda's (Wotan forgive me) might not be accurate.They were written by Christians and "to the victors go the spoils."

Ocko
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010, 06:05 AM
I think the purpose of sado masochism is sexual arousal. It might create interesting states but the idea is to connect pain with sexual arousal. That pain might facilitate a bigger kick than usual but honestly I am not a guy to discuss that with as I have no experience with it.

While training as a shaman one gets in connection with spirits. I can ask them questions and they answer. I may interprete the answert correctly or not but answer they do. For sure I don't use pain to get into a state to get into connection.

As far as I understand it this 'information' I get is connected to perception exercises I do and as well as states in consciousness.

On the other hand I know that during vision quests I goes through sufferings. No food, sleep deprivation for 4 days, temperature changes without proper protection,weatherchanges (rain, direct sun, winds etc), confinement into a small place, moodchanging from boring to fear to whatever you may call it and so on. That is some sort of payment. But I can assure you of something: It has nothing to do with sexual arousal.

The idea is not exactly submission, I would fight any being which tries to overwhelm me, it is not about possession in any kind, like the subspace might be. The idea in those exercises is to get rid of the interference of the body, it gets overloaded with shit and then gives up and let your spirit free to do what your will makes it to do. The idea is contact and guidance, advice, energy etc. It is not willingly to offer your body to spirits/ghosts (or in the case of a submissive to another human) etc to do with it what they want.

As a shaman you work on behalf of others, most teachers do not allow you to work for yourself. That is called sorcery and an entirely different thing.
(Odin worked in that poem for humanity to bring them the gift of the runes, the other tasks he followed was in behalf as a leader of the Aesir, not for himself)

For working on a task you cannot submit to spirits. There are helpful and benevolent spirits who also work on the improvement of humans. Generally you make trades with them on behalf of your client. But it is never giving up yourself, in the contrary you always have to be I-strong, a strong self. Weak people get into trouble in that world. If you give up yourself basically you are gone, you are possessed.

Rogue
Thursday, October 14th, 2010, 01:39 AM
I understand what you are saying, but, I also look at the South American tribes that swat the prospective shaman with biting ants and let him sit to suffer. This is said to strengthen his body.
The Native Americans have tribes that have hung men by hooks in there flesh for a time for enlightenment. I see a lot of that poem in this practice.
As you stated, you are a shaman, were I would be referred to as a Sorcerer, I guess. I do what I do to help others and myself.
In my opinion, not using my abilities to help myself is like making Shaq play basketball while kneeing. But that is me. I respect others ways and opinions.
But I can see why you and I look at this differently.
I think this is a case of agreeing to disagree.
I hope that you and I can banter again.
Peace to you

Rogue

Ocko
Friday, October 15th, 2010, 06:44 PM
I have nothing against sorcery as I know how to protect myself.

It simply is a different direction. The methods to gain power seem to be the same the difference is the use of power.

Suffering on a physical level is like gaining money. What you buy with it is the difference: sexual arousal, energy, certain outcome of a dilemma, etc.

Rogue
Friday, October 15th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Suffering on a physical level is like gaining money. What you buy with it is the difference: sexual arousal, energy, certain outcome of a dilemma, etc.

I use it more for the energy raising, it is self-inflicted.
For me, even the act of getting a tattoo can heighten my energy.

Thornheim
Friday, October 15th, 2010, 11:50 PM
a tattoo is a blood sacrifice,and the 4 i have,i designed,and had put in my skin,my blood,for a certain purpose of sacrifice.

i am a norse-germanic shaman,so i agree with most of what you guys are saying here,although one thing ide like to point out,is intention.
what your intent is when you are doing a ''blooding'',matters a great deal.

there is no secondary meaning for a blooding. it is a specific sacrifice,for a specific reason. if you perform sexual self mutilation,and claim a secondary reason,as well as primary,your dedication to the primary cause is half assed.

the falice is a sacred symbol,as well as the vagina in our lore,and together they represent procreation and the order of the family,child birth. they are sacred. they shouldnt be mutilated in any way.

if he/she is a jotun worshiper,it makes sense to go against that sacredness,but for tru asafolk it does not,and i dont advise any tru asafolk to participate in that kind of blood sacrifice.

Rogue
Saturday, October 16th, 2010, 01:28 AM
My use of pain is not sexual in nature.
The pain is physical. I used it as a sacrifice to the gods to show my devotion and willingness to endure whatever it takes to serve them and my kin.
Also for a psychological effect. No one can hurt me more then I have done to myself. "If you had no fear, what would be able to accomplish?"

Fyrgenholt
Monday, November 1st, 2010, 12:37 AM
The following article (link at the bottom), using comparative methods, discusses Odin's status as a shaman. Please excuse the crappy line lengths!


There are several features of Óđinn’s persona which indicate that he should be viewed as a master-shaman. In recent decades, many scholars have recognised this aspect of his persona, and many have even come to compare his various efforts to gain greater spiritual knowledge to those of shaman from geographic locations as diverse as Siberia and North America. However, most have limited their descriptions of his shamanic role to the like of Simpson’s following comment:

Odin is the god of wisdom, especially the occult wisdom of seers and sorcerers [. /---/ He] was the patron and the divine prototype of seers and magicians, especially those who (like shamans in Arctic Europe and Asia in modern times) undergo terrifying initiations and communicate with other worlds in ecstasies and mediumistic trances (Simpson 1971: 215).

The first and most obvious indicators of Óđinn’s shamanism are to be found in the myth of ‘Óđinn’s Ordeal’. The best surviving record of ‘Óđinn’s Ordeal’ appears in the portion of the Hávamál that is generally called the ‘Rúnatal’. In this myth, as A. G. van Hamel has suggested (van Hamel 1932); Óđinn submits to a shamanistic ordeal that ritually magnifies his ásmegin (divine strength). This ritual was enacted as an attempt to gain knowledge of and power over the runes – an eternal magical element, that are unique to Teutonic cosmology. Their nature is perhaps best illustrated by considering that their ‘actual mysteries are timeless and were created – or more properly, “came into being” – with the emergence of the Nine Worlds out of Ginnungagap’ (Thorsson 1991: 3).To enact the ritual, Óđinn hung himself on Yggdrasill for nine nights, during which he received neither food nor wine. He also pierced himself with the point of a spear. Upon the completion of this ritual, Óđinn was able to recognise the runes and make them submit to him as their Rune-Master. This myth corresponds with the shamanist initiation rites of a number of peoples. Pipping has noted the similarity of the ordeal to the initiation rite of Finnish shaman (Pipping 1928). A similar technique is also used by shaman in Nepal. In Nepal, at the moment of a shaman’s spiritual birth, they are required to tree-sit in a pine, which is regarded as being symbolic of the Tree of Life. During this period the initiates are left by themselves and are forbidden to eat; yet the rest of their tribe conducts a public feast. The initiated shaman is also blindfolded for the ritual. The fasting element is also common amongst shamanic initiations, with perhaps the most obvious parallel being the fasting of the Caribou Eskimo initiate shaman (see Rasmussen 1927: 82–85). We can also compare the moment of Óđinn discovering the runes, to the climax of the Siberian shaman’s initiation. We have been told that at this moment:

he [/---/ obtains] the flash or illumination – a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in the interior of his head. He is now able to discern things hidden from other human beings (Hunkin 1987: 678).

Additionally, with the aid of the work of the Boeotian biographer,
Delphic priest and municipal officer of Chaeronea, Plutarch; we
can confirm that parallels of this shamanic ritual have been used
by Óđinn’s Cult as a form of human sacrifice from at least 100 B.C.
Plutarch recorded that the Teutonic tribe known as the Cimbri sacrificed
themselves to appease their gods after being defeated in a
battle. The said battle was fought against Caius Marius, and took
place in ca 110 B.C. Plutarch’s passage is significant here, because
it clearly states that the tribe’s preferred method of sacrifice was
hanging by the neck, from tres.4 However, in this instance, because
there were no trees in the area the Cimbri had performed the sacrifice
by having themselves trampled to death by cattle and oxen.
Other indicators of this role are the myths that reveal that Óđinn’s
horse Sleipnir could carry him to the Underworld.5 Verrier Elwin
has noted that the Muria people’s shaman hold a belief about being
carried to another world on the back of an eight-legged horse
(Elwin 1947: 150). This belief contains many parallels to the Teutonic
tales about Sleipnir. Furthermore, Elwin also recognised that
the Muria people have created mythicised songs about this type of voyage. These songs probably represent the same theological processes as a Teutonic song, such as Baldrs draumar.

Óđinn also possesses the shape-changing power – sjónhverfing (taking
on false appearances through the power of optical or magical
illusions), a shape-changing power which in many ways reflects an
ability to exude hypnotic suggestions upon all who are, in an immediate
vicinity. When using this shape-changing power, Óđinn
can take on the shape of a ‘fugl eđa dýr, fiskr eđa ormr’ (Sturluson
1952: 10), and travel to far off places. In this way he fulfils errands
for either himself or for others – sometimes even travelling between
worlds. From a variety of sources though, we know that this practice
was extremely physically demanding. Interestingly, we may
note that Celia Green has scientifically recorded the practice of
similar out-of-body phenomena in modern times, suggesting a
deeper truth to the myth (Green 1976: 13, 59, 68, 75, 82–84, 86,
93–100, 112–118, 120, 126, 129, 133, 138, 154, 161). It is an ability
that is a common attribute of the shaman. Shaman usually employs
such a trance induced mechanism of self shape-changing to
travel to other worlds and fight spirits. By employing this technique,
the shaman ‘controls his trance movements between the
world of men and the spirit world’ (Zweig 1981: 86), moving between
them with great speed and efficiency. There are many examples
of the use of this power throughout both Teutonic and Finno-
Baltic myth and folklore. As Kvideland and Sehmsdorf have suggested,
tales of this kind are so common that they have come to
hold their own classification, as Legend Type 3080 (Kvideland &
Sehmsdorf 1994: 71–74).6 Eliade has also commented about the
close relationship between to Óđinn’s shape-changing, and ‘the
[shape-changing] practices of Siberian shamans’ (Eliade 1989: 381).
Additionally, we can note similar practices amongst the shaman of
many other cultures, such as those of the Sora people. Piers
Vitebsky, the Head of Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge’s
‘Scott Polar Research Institute’, has noted that the Sora
shaman have the shape-changing power to ‘slip out of their bodies
and their souls also turn to monkeys’ (Vitebsky 1995: 92).

Óđinn’s animal companions are also reflections of his shamanism.
Óđinn’s most commonly explored connection to shamanism through
these animals is his connection to ravens. These two birds often
perch on his shoulders. ‘Ţá sendir hann í dagan at fljúgja um allan
heim ok koma ţeir aptr at dögurđarmáli’ (Sturluson 1988: 32); bringing
him news from the four corners of Mišgaršr. As Eliade has suggested,
Óđinn’s birds, Munin and Hugin, probably represent:

in highly mythicised form, two helping spirits in the shape of
birds, which the Great Magician sent (in true shamanic fashion!)
to the four corners of the world (Eliade 1989: 381).

Spirits taking the form of birds play a large role in the shamanism
of many cultures, and Óđinn’s relationship with the raven may even
suggest some distant parallel to the shamanic Inuit belief in The
Raven Father.

Furthermore, Óđinn’s companions, the Valkyrja, also reflect his shamanism. However, in order to recognise this, we must first consider the history of the interpretation of the name. In 1899, Professor H. Munro Chadwick suggested that the Anglo-Saxon word,
walcyrge (wćlcyrie), ‘may reflect an earlier conception’ (Chadwick
1899: 47–48) of these spirits, than the Old Norse word, ‘Valkyrja’.
He also suggested that walcyrge would have probably originally
referred to those women who performed human sacrifices, and then
used that blood for divination. Chadwick did acknowledge that the
walcyrge possessed supernatural powers, yet suggested that these
powers ‘appear [...] to have been of the werewolf class’(Chadwick
1899: 48). In this way he saw their ascent to the Valhöll as a later
development. This interpretation would function in perfect unison
with the label, óskmeyiar, which has been applied to the Valkyrja;
reflecting the usage of óskasynir to refer to the Einheriar who were
the mortal warriors chosen to fight with Óđinn in Ragnarřkr.
Therefore, we may in one way see the Valkyrja as former humans,
who were sibyls in life, who assist warriors to travel to the Valhöll.
This corresponds to the shamanic notion that it is the deceased
shaman who assist the newly dead to find their path to the underworld.

This may be contrasted with the beliefs of the Sora people, who
also believe that the souls of the chosen deceased, ‘help [... them]
on the difficult path to the underworld’ (Vitebsky 1996: 92). The
Siberian shaman also believe in such beings, and see them as female
spirits who have a close connection to an individual shaman.

Therefore, as Eliade has suggested, the image of the Valkyrja does
become a difficult image to separate from that of the ‘“celestial
wives” [...] of the Siberian shamans’ (Eliade 1989: 381). Moreover,
we can note that the Maori’s shaman tradition also believes in spiritwives, yet we do not know enough about their nature to make a
firm comparison between them and the Valkyrja at this point.

The Valkyrja also possess the power of shape-changing. Perhaps
the most obvious example of this is that they often took ‘the form of
crows and ravens on the battle-field’ (Davidson 1989: 73). Therefore,
we must note that these servants of Óđinn possess at least
some shamanic powers themselves. This emphasises Óđinn’s role
as the master shaman, positioning the Valkyrja as lesser shaman
in his service. The master/pupil power relationship between Óđinn
and the Valkyrja can be loosely compared to the relationship between
Väinämöinen and Joukahainen.

Additionally, we know that Óđinn taught his sacral priests how to
perform the Ásatrúarmann’s religious rites. This reflects the practices
of the Votyak people. V. M. Mikhailowski has noted that among
the Votyak, the position of shaman is often granted directly by their
foremost deity. Correspondingly, this deity then becomes the shaman’s
mentor, providing him with lessons both in waking visions,
and in dreams (Mikhailowski 1894: 62–100, 126–158).

To some extent, Óđinn’s position as a great shaman god is also reflected by the beliefs of the Oglalla Sioux, who possess a culture
which is generally recognised as shamanic. The Oglalla Sioux believe
that their greater god, Wakan-Tanka, holds many of the powers
that the Teutons attribute to Óđinn. The Oglalla Sioux believe
that it is only because of Wakan-Tanka’s generosity that their shaman
have ‘wisdom and the power to heal and to make holy charms’
(Curtis 1907: 38). This belief would seem to correspond with the
Germanic ideal that Óđinn selected his sacral priests, and then
taught them how to perform his ceremonies. When loosely comparing
the two cultures in this way – the Oglalla Sioux’s holy charms
then be connected as a parallel to the runes. Further strengthening
this comparison is our knowledge that the runes were used in
Teutonic pagan magico-medicine rituals.

There are bits and pieces of this that I do not necessarily agree with (primarily that the runes 'submitted' to Odin - I do not believe they did), but, it is an interesting article none the less and is certainly worth the time of day.

http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol10/pdf/teuton.pdf

Fyrgenholt
Monday, November 1st, 2010, 01:02 AM
I just noticed that this article has actually been posted on here before, I did have a look-see before I made the post but I couldn't find it anywhere :|

velvet
Monday, November 1st, 2010, 06:51 PM
I wanted to add something to this passage:

Furthermore, Óđinn’s companions, the Valkyrja, also reflect his shamanism. However, in order to recognise this, we must first consider the history of the interpretation of the name. In 1899, Professor H. Munro Chadwick suggested that the Anglo-Saxon word, walcyrge (wćlcyrie), ‘may reflect an earlier conception’ (Chadwick 1899: 47–48) of these spirits, than the Old Norse word, ‘Valkyrja’. He also suggested that walcyrge would have probably originally referred to those women who performed human sacrifices, and then used that blood for divination. Chadwick did acknowledge that the walcyrge possessed supernatural powers, yet suggested that these powers ‘appear [...] to have been of the werewolf class’(Chadwick 1899: 48). In this way he saw their ascent to the Valhöll as a later development. This interpretation would function in perfect unison with the label, óskmeyiar, which has been applied to the Valkyrja; reflecting the usage of óskasynir to refer to the Einheriar who were the mortal warriors chosen to fight with Óđinn in Ragnarřkr. Therefore, we may in one way see the Valkyrja as former humans, who were sibyls in life, who assist warriors to travel to the Valhöll. This corresponds to the shamanic notion that it is the deceased shaman who assist the newly dead to find their path to the underworld.

Both parts of the compound "walcyrge", wal and cyrge / val and kyrja mean "(to) choose", it is a very common way in Indo-European languages to make the meaning of a word stronger by combining two words that essentially mean the same.
We have both terms still in German, wal/val = Wahl (choice, vote) and the verb "küren" (although the noun is lost meanwhile, the ending in kyrja / cyrge makes them a noun) "to choose", "to elect". It may very well be that they chose those to be sacrificed.

It seems to be a little far fetched what then follows in that article, to assert the term óskmeyiar directly to walcyrge/valkyrja and give it the same meaning.

Oski is one of Odin's many names, and Oski means "wish" (which in this ancient meaning has far more the meaning of "need", "requirement" than "desire" or "wish"), and it is HIS choice that is meant in óskmeyiar as well as in óskasynir (wish-daughters and wish-sons; rather "adopted", "taken"), not the choice they make in their priest business; and it would be misleading to say that they were literal daughters/sons of the wish/Oski (a mistake also Grimm already made).

Odin did neither get all of the "wal" (choice/chosen) from a battlefield (half of them went to Freya) nor did he get all of the (human) priestesses who passed away as valkyrja into his wild horde or Valhöll. In both cases it wasnt an automatism.

It would be interesting to know where those valkyrja went to who were not adopted by Odin after passing away. Did they too go to Freya, or just like most others to Hel?


What does Chadwick mean by "walcyrge possessed supernatural powers, yet suggested that these powers ‘appear [...] to have been of the werewolf class", what does werewolf class refer to? Is this just a derogative version of saying that they had the shapeshifting powers of a shaman, or is there more to the "werewolf" classification, do you know?


And I agree with you, btw, that the runes did not "submit" to Odin. They allowed him to read/understand a certain portion of them, to use and employ them and to pass a part of these down to humans, the very most rune-energies though remain hidden from both Ćsir and humans (as they arent of concern for Miđgĺrd or Asgĺrd anyway), and after all, it costed Odin quite a bit to obtain even these, his eye, a wound and nine days of torture hanging head down from a tree. His efforts made him worth to receive a selected part of the rune-energies, this is not exactly the same as submitting.

thirsty
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010, 03:42 AM
Reminds me of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akashic_records

svartleby
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011, 04:48 AM
This thread actually reminds me of Byzantine accounts I've read about that describe a wolf dance the Varangian guard would participate in before battle, as well as sagaic accounts of berserk shape shifters.

But to the point, has anyone else heard rumors (and I stress the word rumor because no one has been able to prove this either way to the best of my knowledge) that the berserkers of old would consume amanita muscaria before entering into their battle rage? Your thoughts?

Rich Becker
Thursday, May 10th, 2012, 08:15 PM
There was a time when all men knew their place in the world. The gods and the stars he understood. There was a time when all species practiced eugenics. There was a time when kings and priests took psychoactive eucharists and understood the meaning of life. Whether he was one of the vastly intelligent Nordids or an unevolved aboriginal, he at least shared the same perspective of reality.

The effects of psychoactives bring man to nearly the same metaphysical conclusions no matter what part of the world the culture was developed. For example, he mapped out the psyche with a pillar or swastika in the center. Up and down this axis he was able to glance at the infernal, celestial or paradisical dimensions. This tree and it's dimensions can only be understood by taking psychoactive substances.

The 60's movement was hijacked by Marxists. Any true psychonaut has been converted to tribalism, which by definition implies blood loyalty and inferiority/superiority.

Heathenry and truth are psychoactive. Ignoring or censoring this fact is the agenda of degrading or enslaving agents.

Aedan
Friday, May 11th, 2012, 12:13 AM
drugs is *one* method. not the *only* method.

Shaman is not even our people's word for it. Siberian in origin if I recall.

Those men and women, also used sweats, drum beating, depriving the body of food and water for a time.

If you want to excuse drug abuse, that is your choice, but it paints an unbalanced picture.

Sigurd
Friday, May 11th, 2012, 02:53 AM
Good shamanic experiences of sorts can be had without psychoactive agents, anyone who tries to argue different is bound by the spell of whichever substance he/she is taken to and painting an over-simplified picture. As Aedan said, it is but one method but by far not the only method to attain spiritual awareness and a heightened perception of the otherworldly. ;)

Likewise, if you are under the impression that shamans the world over came to the same conclusions and perceptions of reality, then you are again painting an over-romanticised and over-simplified picture that does not seem to conform entirely with what memory was collected, and heralds that your actual knowledge of the different cultures of this planet, their history and their ways is alas rather limited once it reaches those parts which conflict with your carefully styled worldview. :shrug

paraplethon
Saturday, May 12th, 2012, 09:13 AM
Drugs?

We'd rather climb a mountain. (http://store.innertraditions.com/isbn/0-89281-657-0)

Bearkinder
Saturday, May 12th, 2012, 03:33 PM
Interestingly enough, I've been doing some reading on Seidr, and other forms of Norse shamanism, and while they say there is some alcohol consumption (as in blot) at the beginning of a journey, they are specific that the traveler NOT drink enough to become inebriated, as you are after communion with gods or other spirits, and not hallucinations.

Ćgir
Friday, June 29th, 2012, 04:17 PM
Drugs are not required...however (and most strongly in Celtic lore) there is evidence in the North of using certain types of mushrooms and the smoking of herbs. Pipes existed in northern europe long before the comming of tobacco afterall.

Ocko
Friday, June 29th, 2012, 10:28 PM
Shamanism is a method o get firsthand knowledge about Gods and celestial beings. It teaches it's adherences ways to improve perceptions, intuitions different states of existence and a lot of other skills.

It does not give you prescribed knowledge, dogmata, ways to behave etc.

It is a purely spiritual way and not religious in any way.

There was a time when everybody was his/her own shaman and needed no priest.

It is the most natural way to obtain insights and thus is intricately connected to nature.

Knowledge can also obtained through plant spirits, which means in the beginning ingestion in some form, when a sound contact is established that isn't necessary anymore. But shamanic use of plant drugs is fundamentally different than the recreational use of drugs.

arvak
Sunday, July 8th, 2012, 12:57 AM
Shamanism is the initiation and the initiator.
The drug is the catalyst and is the spirit power you will travel with.
Each plant has a spirit power which opens up the soul to its spirit.
The spirit you must call by name and a clear intent on the soul journey when made. As you ride the bifrost bridge many colors will appear before your eyes.
The body lies inert in the posture of death but the soul spirit travels to other dream worlds a power you bring back a gift from the spirit world.
The world you see, will never be the same, and wisdom you will always speak for you will know the journey of death and its return.

NO NO FEAR
DO NOT EXCEPT DEFEAT
AND BACK DOWN FROM NOTHING

This is the path of the warrior.

Catterick
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016, 05:17 PM
Compare the two cognitive ravens with Prometheus and Epimerheus perhaps. One of whom was bound: a bit more speculatively this leads back to Hoenir and Lodhurr/Loki. It certainly involves the number three and it suggests to me a distant identity of Zeus and his brothers, at one point, with threefold Pan/Hermes and resurrecting gods of the master of animals type such as the wolf god Odhinn.

Catterick
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016, 05:29 PM
Svartleby: they are known to have consumed henbane not Amanita, which was rarely used by shamans though its hallucinogenic property was known. Shamans in reality were flexible in their use of entheogens think how the word soma has changed association with specific plants. Supposedly its original meaning was Ephedra, a bizarre gnetale conifer, but I still hold out for Amanita because the Vedic ritual involved urination.

Drottin
Sunday, October 16th, 2016, 07:00 PM
I see alot of threads about shamanism and vikings, and Germanic people and Shamanism etc. I believe this is a wrongdoing.

If we are to relate Germanic culture with shamanism the same should be related to Christian culture where the priests are the shamans in my eyes. Actually i think christianity releates more with shamanism.

Wikipedia: The fourth definition identified by Hutton uses "shamanism" to refer to the indigenous religions of Siberia and neighboring parts of Asia. According to the Golomt Center for Shamanic Studies, a Mongolian organisation of shamans, the Evenk word shaman would more accurately be translated as "priest". The word "shaman" probably originates from the Evenki word "šamán," most likely from the southwestern dialect spoken by the Sym Evenki peoples. The Tungusic term was subsequently adopted by Russians interacting with the indigenous peoples in Siberia. It is found in the memoirs of the exiled Russian churchman Avvakum.

If we where to use the word shamanism in Germanic culture, I would perfer using the word "shamanic-like"

Germanic people have their own descriptions of "shamanic-like" people in their culture and i suggest we use them. In Norway it would be "Volve" and this was done by women, not men.

Elessar
Monday, October 17th, 2016, 01:41 AM
This is all semantics.
Pagan Germanic peoples certainly had "(especially among certain tribal peoples) a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc. "; as defined by Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/shaman?s=t). The Wiki definition is as it says, one of four definitions as described by Mr. Hutton, a widely renowned historian of pre-Christian and prehistoric Europe.
The issue separating paganistic "shamans" from Christian "priests" is one of social function and religious duty. Shamanism revolves around altered states of consciousness, divination, and ceremonial rites. One could argue that a Catholic priest is no different, and in a universalist perspective of religion, quite so. The starkest difference being the use of mind-altering substances, which Christianity is more or less against, not to mention song and dance. The sober, repentant mind is the truest path to God.

What's more is the cultural divide. Priest could denote a member of a primitive culture's spiritual caste, but no one has ever heard of the Arch-shaman of Canterbury. The words we use are colored by our civilizational upbringing of Christendom.
The English language is full of terms that describe facets of our society or adjectives that have origins outside the European lexicon. For example the word Paradise stems from the Persian pari-daiya. Should we not use it to describe beautiful places? The strata of word-borrowing and language shifts is unceasing, especially in English, and I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. The term Shaman is perfectly acceptable to use in terms of early Germanic tribal priests and healers

Catterick
Monday, October 17th, 2016, 02:29 AM
Shamanism has no fixed definition, however as per Hutton's definition the Norse possessed shamanism as they shared their Circumbaltic culture area with Uralics. IE (Aryan) religion itself shares motifs and plots with religions across to Japan at the other end of Asia and it might be reconstructed with practices similar to Turkic and Mongolian shamanism. These might be less obvious among Mediterraneans of recorded antiquity but Odhinn is definitely a shaman similar to his Asian counterparts.

Ahnenerbe
Monday, October 17th, 2016, 04:17 AM
If we are to relate germanic culture with shamanism the same should be related to christian culture where the priests are the shamans in my eyes. Actually i think christianity releates more with shamanism.

Not at all. Shamanism and Priesthood are two different things. Shamans are doing rituals to deal with the lower spirits, the gods, the entities of the natural world (for mundane purposes such as healing, prosperity, victory over enemies, etc), while a priest is an intermediary between the common people and the Godhead, or the Absolute (whatever it is called in every tradition).

Of course, it would be possible for a person to practice both at the same time, but in most cultures, the two have been separated.

So shamanism is Occultism (a horizontal path), while priesthood is related to Spirituality (a vertical path). That is one of the many meanings of the Cross.

There was a lot of shamanism going on in ancient European tribes, and the reason the Christians fought them was to restore devotion to the Divine, rather than to some low entities. Of course a lot of shamanic wisdom was lost in the process, but there were very ugly things also.



According to the Golomt Center for Shamanic Studies, a Mongolian organisation of shamans, the Evenk word shaman would more accurately be translated as "priest".

This is the case in those Siberian tribes, where the shaman is also be the priest. Most of them deal with the spirits of nature and the entities/egregores, but they also recognize and worship the Godhead (most often called Tenger in Siberia, Mongolia and Central Asia (hence the denomination of Tengrism (https://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=152468)).



The word "shaman" probably originates from the Evenki word "šamán," most likely from the southwestern dialect spoken by the Sym Evenki peoples.

This word's etymology seems to be even deeper, as an Armanist would say that 'saman' is made of the two runic root-sounds 'sal' and 'man', which (according to the kala) would roughly translate to "man of power" or "man of healing".

This is verified also through the Buddhist tradition (which originated much further south), where a Samana (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śramaṇa), or Sramana [the -a is added behing every consonant in Sanskrit and Pali] means an ascetic and "someone who has pacified evil"...



If we where to use the word shamanism into germanic culture i would perfer using the word "shamanic like". Germanic people have their own descriptions of "shamanic like" people in their culture and i suggest we use them. In Norway it would be "Volve" and this was done by womans, not men.

Shaman has become an accepted English word, just like the dozen of foreign words (French, German and others) that make it every year in the English language. Just like we call it a pizza nowadays and not 'flat bread pie' or anything of that kind... The wolvas are seeresses, one of the subdivisions of shamanism.



the Norse possessed shamanism as they shared their Circumbaltic culture area with Uralics. IE (Aryan) religion itself shares motifs and plots with religions across to Japan at the other end of Asia and it might be reconstructed with practices similar to Turkic and Mongolian shamanism. These might be less obvious among Mediterraneans of recorded antiquity but Odhinn is definitely a shaman similar to his Asian counterparts.

Hence the practical importance of Tengrism (https://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=152466), which has an unbroken tradition, to learn true shamanic techniques.

Aeternitas
Monday, October 17th, 2016, 11:53 AM
Shamanism is one of the oldest professions known, several cultures and civilizations practiced some form of it (some still do today). It needn't necessarily have been called "shamanism" by all those that practiced it.

There are several mind-altering substances which can make one feel one with the universe or about to meet their "Creator", even without possessing a certain type of faith, so it could be argued that making use of hallucinogenic, psychedelic and/or dissociative natural remedies, concoctions or drugs enhanced and influenced spiritual experiences.

If shamanism is defined as a practice of entering an "ecstatic" state with the purpose of connecting with certain spirits/forces and entering spiritual worlds with the intention of accomplishing some specific purpose, then it can be found in many religious and spiritual traditions of the pre-Christian era, e.g. animism, wizardry. It's the practice of Seiđr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sei%C3%B0r) which was typically female, but which Odin himself practiced - and was subsequently accused of being "unmanly" for, though Seiđr was by far the only spiritual practice.


The Fundamental Importance and use of Seidh, by Graena Vanswynn: "In Nordic History there have been two kinds of magick practiced among the peoples of the Ancient North. One being Galdr, the other being Seidh. Galdr develops one's will and self control of their conscience and environment, Galdr implements the usage of symbols for communication or divination; these symbols being Runes, staves, et cetera. Seidh, however, is about the loss of one's control of self, conscience, and environment; it is about the inhibited sumbersion of one's self into something outside the practicer's persona. Seidh has been called the Shamanism of the North. It was the Vanic Goddess Freya who first taught the art of Seidh to the Aes, specifically the Alfather Odhinn. Seidh is the original magickal art of the Wanes, thus Galdr is of the Ases..."
Source (http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/seidr.html)


In any case, there were other forms of shamanism that were much more socially acceptable for men to practice. One of the central institutions of traditional Germanic society was the band of elite, ecstatic, totemistic warriors. In earlier times these took the form of tribal militias or warbands, and by the Viking Age they had become more informal groups such as the berserkers. These were no ordinary soldiers; the initiation rituals, fighting techniques, and other spiritual practices of these bands were such that their members could be aptly characterized as “warrior-shamans.”
Source (http://norse-mythology.org/concepts/shamanism/)

Odin himself was said to possess shamanic traits or even considered a true shaman. Sorcery is one of the traits associated with Odin. Some go as far as interpreting the etymology of the name, Old Norse óđr which can be interpreted as mind, wit, soul, sense, but also inspiration, rage, frenzy, or even state of ecstasy, what relates to shamanic practices.

http://www.thunderwizard.com/page26/page44/page45/files/page45_2.png


The above right photo is a cave painting of an ice age proto-Teutonic Shaman in an animal skin and headdress. The painting is estimated to be 16,000 years old and was discovered in a cave in France. Modern DNA evidence suggests that the Teutonic people have been in north-western Europe for at least 50,000 years. As we emerged from the ice ages, the hunter-shaman tradition would have evolved into the warrior-wizard exemplified by the god Woden or Odin.
"Od" in Old Norse can be translated as "Shamanic Ecstasy." And "in" means "Master." Od-In means "Master of Shamanism." According to the Norse Myths, Odin sacrificed himself on the World Tree by hanging himself upside down for nine nights. He is said to have "sacrificed himself to himself" in order to gain forbidden spiritual knowledge.
Source (http://www.thunderwizard.com/page26/page44/page45/Odin.html)


Odin’s name can be translated as “Master of Ecstasy.” His Old Norse name, Óđinn, is formed from two parts: first, the noun óđr, “ecstasy, fury, inspiration,” and the suffix -inn, the masculine definite article, which, when added to the end of another word like this, means something like “the master of” or “a perfect example of.” The eleventh-century historian Adam of Bremen confirms this when he translates “Odin” as “The Furious.”[1] Óđr can take countless different forms. As one saga describes Odin, “when he sat with his friends, he gladdened the spirits of all of them, but when he was at war, his demeanor was terrifyingly grim.”


Odin, like shamans all over the world,[14] is accompanied by many familiar spirits, most notably the ravens Hugin and Munin, the wolves Geri and Freki, and the valkyries.

The shaman must typically undergo a ritual death and rebirth in order to acquire his or her powers, and Odin underwent exactly such an ordeal when he discovered the runes.

We’ve already, albeit briefly, discussed the berserkers and other distinguished “warrior-shamans” under Odin’s patronage. This was the form of Germanic shamanism that was the most socially acceptable for men to practice.

The other main form of Germanic shamanism is contained within the magical tradition known as seidr, of which Odin and Freya are the foremost divine practitioners. In traditional Germanic society, for a man to engage in seidr was effectively to forsake the male gender role, which brought considerable scorn upon any male who chose to take up this path. As the sagas show, this didn’t stop some men from practicing seidr anyway.
Source (http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/the-aesir-gods-and-goddesses/odin/)

The shamanism practiced by modern Germanic pagans is described as a blend of the ancient shamanic traditions of many of the peoples of northern Europe - the German, Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and a little Saami, Russian and western Siberian.

Bärin
Monday, October 17th, 2016, 02:35 PM
I agree, it's exoticism and a wrongdoing! Shamanism is at least in this age practiced by neopagan hippies, wicca feminists and anti-racist, world citizen heathens with dreadlocks as an excuse to do drugs with the excuse to enhance their spirituality and communicate with gods, and practice decadent behaviour like getting naked and engaging in sexual activities around fires. The same kind of people who think they can practice 'magick' and cast spells. It's a New Age phenomenon. They also have a fascination with fortune telling and gypsies. They use tarot cards and bone readings. People need to understand to draw a line between mythology, which doesn't come from myth for nothing, and reality. At least they should keep it Germanic. Why do we need to incorporate the practices of Turkics and Eskimos into our culture?

Drottin
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 12:08 AM
This is all semantics.
Pagan Germanic peoples certainly had "(especially among certain tribal peoples) a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc. "; as defined by Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/shaman?s=t). The Wiki definition is as it says, one of four definitions as described by Mr. Hutton, a widely renowned historian of pre-Christian and prehistoric Europe.
The issue separating paganistic "shamans" from Christian "priests" is one of social function and religious duty. Shamanism revolves around altered states of consciousness, divination, and ceremonial rites. One could argue that a Catholic priest is no different, and in a universalist perspective of religion, quite so. The starkest difference being the use of mind-altering substances, which Christianity is more or less against, not to mention song and dance. The sober, repentant mind is the truest path to God.

What's more is the cultural divide. Priest could denote a member of a primitive culture's spiritual caste, but no one has ever heard of the Arch-shaman of Canterbury. The words we use are colored by our civilizational upbringing of Christendom.
The English language is full of terms that describe facets of our society or adjectives that have origins outside the European lexicon. For example the word Paradise stems from the Persian pari-daiya. Should we not use it to describe beautiful places? The strata of word-borrowing and language shifts is unceasing, especially in English, and I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. The term Shaman is perfectly acceptable to use in terms of early Germanic tribal priests and healers

It is a word used to describe a culture it dont belong to. A plain fact. The use of substances is not mentioned in releation to Volves and Seidr as far as i know. The use of alcohol by priest on the other hand is well known. Paradice should not be used either as it is..a persian word..

I

Elessar
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 12:18 AM
It is a word used to describe a culture it dont belong to. A plain fact. The use of substances is not mentioned in releation to Volves and Seidr as far as i know. The use of alcohol by priest on the other hand is well known. Paradice should not be used either as it is..a persian word..

I

Could you elaborate further? Seems like you just reiterate your original points without further substance ("because I said so" kind of argument). There are plenty of words we use whose culture is not our own. My question is why is this bad? The use of entheogens isn't exactly well documented about ancient Norse peoples but they don't define the entirety of Germanic culture, or by wider extent Indo-European cult practices which there are evidence for. Why should we be policing our words just because they don't fit this puritanical ethnolinguistic framework?

Drottin
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016, 02:24 AM
It is perhaps difficult to read between the lines. But for some, I hope it's obvious. If we are to salvage Germanic culture then this is one of the many topics we have to sort out. We can not continue to mix culture, language, religious interpretations and religions from around the world in our own. It will eventually become impossible to promote Germanic culture, race etc.

Friedrich
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016, 09:11 PM
I wouldn't have a problem with being called a Nordic/Germanic/European shaman.

It might not be perfect, but if it makes younger people more interested in their own culture and heritage, then why not?

Ultimately (at least where we are a small minority) it won't be up to us.

It's increasingly the radical left and other races who are excluding us and accusing us of cultural appropriation.

Very often they are wrong (European peoples also wore dreadlocks) and ignorant, but it's gonna get increasingly difficult calling yourself a "shaman", unless you have some African, Asian or Native American admixture.

The sooner we think of better words, the better.

Ocko
Friday, October 28th, 2016, 01:31 AM
The word Sal-mon seems to be the original germanic word\

The salmon is a fish which is born in sweet water then swims to the ocean and comes back fully grown to spawn at its place of origin and then dies.

The dying and rebirth at the place of origin seems to be the middle of the allegory.

One also finds salmons on prehistoric paintings.

The wordmeaning Sal= Holy, sacred, heal/heil etc and mon as man also falls into this category.

Hersir
Friday, October 28th, 2016, 01:51 AM
The term "salmon" comes from the Latin salmo, which in turn may have originated from salire, meaning "to leap". Sćl means satisfied, healthy, happy. So when one says "Heil og/ok sćl" (fem.) or Heill ok sćll (Mas.) it means "healthy and happy" or "whole, unharmed". "Ver heill ok sćll" means be healthy and happy. "Heill" litteraly means healthy. I have never heard any connection of sćl and sal in salmon.

Ocko
Friday, October 28th, 2016, 07:59 PM
The old german word for Shaman was Lachsner. Lachs is the german word for salmon.

The syllable 'Sal' has been used for holy/sacred in german language, numerous locations and other words in the german language attest to it.


Word Origin and History for salmon
n.

early 13c., from Anglo-French samoun, Old French salmun (Modern French saumon), from Latin salmonem (nominative salmo) "a salmon," probably originally "leaper," from salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)), though some dismiss this as folk etymology. Another theory traces it to Celtic. Replaced Old English lćx, from PIE *lax, the more usual word for the fish (see lox). In reference to a color, from 1786.




The connection to 'salire' is a propability, it isnt a sure or confirmed word origin. And Salire isn't close to Salmon, its just the first syllable which is the same, the second has no relation. As it is written its folk eymology and often dismissed. which means Salmon has not latin origin.

The connection shaman-salmon-Lachsner I got from Wolf Dieter Schorl, an Anthropoligst who went rogue and became a shaman. In wintertime he writes books and in one of his books he describes the connection.
http://storl.net/

The word Lachsner is confirmed to mean what we say today is a shaman.

as you can see here the old Anglo French word was samoun, which is pretty close to shaman, As I said the salmon also was on old cave paintings from France.



As as skandinavian you know the word Sami, and they have been famous for doing shamanism and moreso sorcery. the word so might have a connection to shamanism too, as nobody knows the origin of this word, shaman is a valid suggestion.



shaman (n.) Look up shaman at Dictionary.com

1690s, "priest of the Ural-Altaic peoples," probably via German Schamane, from Russian sha'man, from Tungus saman, which is perhaps from Chinese sha men "Buddhist monk," from Prakrit samaya-, from Sanskrit sramana-s "Buddhist ascetic" [OED]. Related: Shamanic.


As it seems Shaman has an IE origin.

The arabic word samiyy means exalted, which also seems to have a connection to shaman.

The word Sal is described by Guido von List. He studied word etymology the sanskrit way, not the modern word-science, which goes by Form and its changes, sanskrit way goes by meaning.

as you mentioned Heil which has connection according to him to whole, heal, holy, therefore means also sacred.

Ocko
Friday, October 28th, 2016, 08:15 PM
as a side:


Der Teil Norwegens, den Pytheas besuchte, wurde als Hĺlogaland in Nord-Norwegen identifiziert. Deshalb ist es sehr interessant zu sehen, dass Hĺlogaland als „das Land der Eingeweihten“ und „das heilige Land“ übersetzt wird, von einer Genitivform des frühen nordischen Wortes hálugr, das sich als “heilig” und “eingeweiht” oder „einweihen“ übersetzt. Obwohl hálugr sich als “heilig” übersetzt, ist die originale Bedeutung des Wortes „die hohe Flamme“. Dies ist ein Name der Sonne – das Auge Odins – der letztendlich synonym wurde zu den Wörtern „heilig“, „eingeweiht“ und „erleuchtet“.

From Varg Vikernes

https://verbotenesarchiv.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/heidentum-ultima-thule/

so your translation of Heill is therefore a bit off from Vikernes' translation.

Wulfaz
Saturday, October 29th, 2016, 01:54 PM
In the common speech the Shaman means Siberian, Turkic or Finno-Ugric pagan wizzard. They are not priest in the aspect of view of the Muslims or the Church, but in own society they are. It is a historicaly and cultural anthropolicaly fact that every natural people or the ancestors of the modern civilization use this kind of wizzard-priests. Everything is lying in the aspect of view and the terminus technicus. F.e. here Hungary the ancient Finno-Ugrian shamans are called "Táltos" (Taaltosch), what was a absolutely same thing as a Siberian shaman, just the terminus was different.

Bärin has mentioned that with the New Age. This "shamanism" has becomen a large heap of hippi junkies whos jump around the fire in their vanes several kind of drugs. This is truly nothing to do with the Siberian shamanism.

I think all the religion of the world, including the most powerfulls, the Church, the Islam are descendants of Ice Age shamanism. However the Iron Age heathen priest were not shaman, but priest, wise men, or wizzards whos Adam von Bremen saw. In the aspects of the Germanic heathen priesthood or the Japanese Shintoists saw the Christians were "pagan" or "shaman".

This is very simplyy. If you give the people a cup of vine as this is the God's blood, you were not a shaman or pagan. If you kill a goat in Mekka for the glory of Allah, you were not a shaman or pagan. However you give a cup of vine to the people as the vine of Tyr and after it you kill a goat to the glory of Freyja, you are sick, deviant, pagan swine. The ambulance car will carry you to the Asylum, the police car will carry you to the jail, because you kill an animal. :D

Plantagenet
Saturday, October 29th, 2016, 08:33 PM
I figured I'd share some other perspectives for further food for thought. I personally haven't reached my own conclusion on whether ancient Germanic (or Celtic, etc.) religious practices would constitute shamanism, but I do personally believe that shamanism is on the whole inferior to true initiatory and esoteric traditions, such as authentic yoga/tantra, Daoist alchemy, Sufism, traditional Western Hermeticism/alchemy, etc. and that any sort of revival of or inspiration in relation to Germanic (or Celtic, Slavic, etc.) paganism should come from those sources rather than shamanism.

In any case, here's what Rene Guenon had to say on shamanism:


If we consider 'shamanism' properly so called, the existence of a highly developed cosmology becomes apparent, of a kind that might suggest concordances with other traditions in many respects, and first with respect to a separation of the 'three worlds', which seems to be its very foundation. 'Shamanism' will also be found to include rites comparable to some that belong to traditions of the highest order: some of them, for example, recall in a striking way the Vedic rites, and particularly those that are most clearly derived from the primordial tradition, such as those in which the symbols of the tree and of the swan predominate.

There can therefore be no doubt that 'shamanism' is derived from some form that was, at least originally, a regular and normal traditional form; moreover it has retained up to the present day a certain 'transmission' of the powers necessary for the exercise of the functions of the 'shaman'; but as soon as it becomes clear that the 'shaman' directs his activity particularly toward the most inferior traditional sciences, such as magic and divination, a very real degeneration must be suspected, such as may sometimes amount to a real deviation, as can happen all too easily to such sciences whenever they become over-developed.

In other words, Guenon sees shamanism as possessing some power, but overall in most cases being a degeneration of a higher tradition.

An article by Jere Fleck arguing against ancient Germanic religion being connected to shamanism:

http://www.germanicmythology.com/scholarship/jere_fleck.html

A snippet from the article:


"If no shamanism per se can be established, this raises the question of the meaningfulness of noting 'shamanistic features' in our material. It is true that the similarity of genuinely shamanistic documentation and Germanic parallels is often striking;--but similar results can be obtained by comparing Christianity and Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, the religion of the vedas and that of the Avesta. In such cases we accept the validity of the comparison because we are aware of a genetic relationship which supports and explains structural similarity. As long as we were working along Eliade's lines, there was little point in questioning the genetic interrelationship of a heterogeneous body of 'free variants' with a worldwide distribution.

But once Vajda's strict definition is used as a basis, historic questions of source and flow become practical. The meaningfully integrated religious type in question is indigenous to North Central Asia;-and there is little room for doubt as to the constant religious and cultural influence from the South typical for that area. For our purposes, it is legitimate to sidestep the question as to the historic/cultural level on which the type first developed. It is sufficient for us to note that much of its external machinery-cosmology, mythology, ritual form; in short, the trappings which we have become accustomed to hear called 'shamanistic features'-shows a remarkable consistency in its comparability to parallel features of the culturally superior Indo-Iranian complex.

Certainly, a genetic determination of shamanism as nothing but a degenerate off· shoot of Aryan religion would be an over-simplification;-on the other hand, North Central Asiatic cultural and religious dependence on neighbors to the South provides the genetic bridge most satisfactory for explaining 'shamanistic/Germanic parallels'. Schröder and de Vries, among others, accept Indo-Iranian/Germanic correspondencies to be the result of mutual dependence on an Indo-European tradition but seem somehow less willing to accept the likelihood that 'shamanistic elements' are of similar provenience. In any case, scholars who accept the absence of genuine shamanism in the Germania will be forced to go one of two ways.

The first of these would entail the postulation of cultural Traditionswanderungen-to use Waldemar Liungman's term-to provide early and direct linkage of a far more substantial sort than 'substrata-seepage' up from a Lapp population in Scandinavia could offer. This solution I find far less viable than the second possibility: a reevaluation of Indo-Iranian/Germanic parallels as a source of interpretation of the so-called 'shamanistic features' of primitive Germanic religion."

Ocko
Sunday, October 30th, 2016, 02:13 PM
Odin is considered a master shaman.

Jesus healed people through magic

It looks more that shamanism is the core of any religion.

To criticize shamanism you should practice it. Otherwise you criticize what you have no experience with.

Shamanism is about different realities, the entities there in and the use of laws which are not known in ordinary reality.

Through Christianity it became a bad thing, mostly because of competition of power over the people.

Shamanism can be used for evil purposes as is Christianity today and in the past.

So religion isn't a betterment of shamanism but a deterioration of it.

Religions are believe systems written in books. Shamanism is practical experience, exploring non-ordinary realities. Which religions describe in books without having direct experience.

Shamanism is something everyone can do to a certain extent, real shamans have just a talent for it.

The name one gives to the practice has little meaning. Comparing the practises shows great similarity.

There are also numerous parallels to religions
Like between Odin and Jesus
Odin and Mohammed and so on.

If you are a shaman and are reading the bible from a point of view of shamanic spiritual development it is like a manual. As is the Edda and the Koran.

The grandiose pictures there are description of a nonordinary reality, and how to get there.

Though it is not the crude reading of non-initiated people like the vast majority of believers

Ahnenerbe
Tuesday, November 1st, 2016, 06:19 AM
To criticize shamanism you should practice it. Otherwise you criticize what you have no experience with.

Indeed. It is 100% an experienced thing. That's why it's always a bit ridiculous to read PhD thesis about shamanism, written in a very academic language, as if this was something you observe and analyze instead of practicing ;) .

Here is more info on Germanic male shamanism: Seiđmađr and Earl – The Male Sorcerer or Shaman (https://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?p=1201125)

Plantagenet
Tuesday, November 1st, 2016, 04:30 PM
Odin is considered a master shaman.

Jesus healed people through magic

It looks more that shamanism is the core of any religion.

If I recall correctly, there is never a time when Odin is called a shaman. He was a master of all things magical, whether dealing with runes or seidr or poetic inspiration, but seeing those things as "shamanic" is retrospectively applying a particular interpretive lens toward the data we have. Whether the ancient practitioners of these magical forms would have seen their magic or their magical deities (like Odin and Freya) as having anything to do with circumpolar shamanism is unknown to us.

Part of the problem is the definition of shamanism. This is touched upon on the Wikipedia entry on shamanism:


"There is no single agreed-upon definition for the word "shamanism" among anthropologists. The English historian Ronald Hutton noted that by the dawn of the 21st century, there were four separate definitions of the term which appeared to be in use. The first of these uses the term to refer to "anybody who contacts a spirit world while in an altered state of consciousness." The second definition limits the term to refer to those who contact a spirit world while in an altered state of consciousness at the behest of others. The third definition attempts to distinguish shamans from other magico-religious specialists who are believed to contact spirits, such as "mediums", "witch doctors", "spiritual healers" or "prophets," by claiming that shamans undertake some particular technique not used by the others. Problematically, scholars advocating the third view have failed to agree on what the defining technique should be. The fourth definition identified by Hutton uses "shamanism" to refer to the indigenous religions of Siberia and neighboring parts of Asia."

Going by this, the first definition is so broad as to be meaningless since anything dealing with direct experience of spiritual realities would be "shamanistic." The second and third definitions are also sufficiently vague, but in any case while it is certain that the ancient Germanic people had spiritual healers and prophets (the volur, etc.), it is also certain that witch-doctors and prophets are a far cry from true initiates, i.e. those who have attained self-mastery and gnosis/transcendence/immortality. The latter goal, which also was thought to often bring with it supernatural power (siddhis, etc.), is the esoteric core of any true higher "religious tradition" as Guenon discusses. In this regard, shamanism is indeed a deterioration or at least inferior aspect of the higher Tradition.

This is why I believe that any attempts at reconstruction or revitalization of a Germanic (or other European pagan tradition) should not look toward shamanism but some of the higher esoteric traditions I mentioned in my previous post. To take the ancient Greek example, one should be seeking a Germanic equivalent to the Eleusinian Mysteries, Hermeticism, and Neoplatonism rather than shamanism.

Ocko
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 07:41 PM
To expect that the Edda calls Odin a shaman is a bit silly.

Odins practices like shape shifting, hanging in a tree, going through a death experience etc are plain shamanic practices.

Wulfaz
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 08:49 PM
To expect that the Edda calls Odin a shaman is a bit silly.

Odins practices like shape shifting, hanging in a tree, going through a death experience etc are plain shamanic practices.

The classic European concept "Wizzard" or "Witch" can do this things. However the Ancient Gods (Germanic, Roman, etc.) were so anthropomorph, they had this kind of journeys, contrast Yahweh, who all day plays Texas Hold'em with Jesus, Holy Maria, the Kerubims and the Archangels in the 7th Heaven.

Plantagenet
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 11:28 PM
To expect that the Edda calls Odin a shaman is a bit silly.

Odins practices like shape shifting, hanging in a tree, going through a death experience etc are plain shamanic practices.

Again, I guess it depends on what your definition of shamanism is. Going through a death experience is something that existed in the ancient Greek Mysteries and other forms of esoteric initiation but neither are connected to shamanism, unless one calls all such experiences shamanistic. Shape shifting was something various Daoist wizards or Hindu yogis claimed to do, but again these don't derive from shamanism.

As to the tree Odin was hanged on, from what I've read the tree was apparently Yggdrasil, the cosmos itself, not a literal tree, though it is possible that it reflected some sort of actual practice.

In any case, I am not saying that there is no connection to shamanism, just that it is up to debate as to whether the ancient Germanic religion was shamanism or connected to it. If it is indeed connected to shamanism, I'd say that it would be of ultimately pre-Indo-European/non-Aryan origin and perhaps connected with surrounding Northern people such as the Lapps. I would also maintain what I said earlier, namely that true esotericism is different to and superior to shamanism, and shamanism is only superior to religious traditions who have lost nearly all transformative and experiential dimensions (such as most of modern Christianity, especially most Protestantism.)

Ocko
Friday, November 4th, 2016, 03:33 AM
If you look at the Venus of Brassempuoy


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Venus_de_Brassempouy.jpg
You see a woman without mouth, she cannot talk, she is silent.

Compare that to St.Pauls 'women have to be silent in Church'

You see a direct line from Paleolithic shamanism to Christianity.

I don't see the idea that the Paleolithic time was religious.

Further, if you count the number of sections in her hair you will find it is 30.

The number 30 you also find in the bible: Jesus started to teach at age 30.
(Also related: every hair is counted ((the 'hair' is a single thought and 'counted' means being present to it, most likely one of the 30 exercises)

The 30 most likely means exercises to be mastered, or the reaching of a certain stage.

After which one is silent on the insight.

Woman in general in the bible (and most likely prehistory) means 'emotions'. So 'woman' have to silent in Church, the inner sacred place, as for Christians, while in prayer, meditation etc.

The prehistoric S expressed that through a little figure, the bible uses words.


Through shamanism one can see the developement.

It might well be that, what you understand as religion, was a combined practice in prehistoric with shamanism and that the separation is a distinction of newer time.

During and shortly after the missionary succeeded in 'convincing' the old believers to convert, you find a lot of superstition and folk-practices in the people, to this day, practically. These 'superstitions' and practices have a source, which is most likely a sort of shamanism.

Shamanism is seeing what is behind the veil of appearance. Ordinary people see the same as a shaman, but the shaman can connect the dots because he knows. Omens, signs etc are part of shamanism (and also Christianity)

Oracles like that from Delphi, or the ones of the Nornes, given about any newborn, saying what the child was in former lifetimes, what it is going through in this lifetime and which task it has are very basic shamanic exercises.

Interestingly Odin was not able to foresee the future, that's why he had to resurrect the Vala, he also didn't know the past, as he has to coax the knowledge from the Giants.

Obviously Odin was versatile in all shamanic practices but the use of it was familiar to him.

Nachtengel
Sunday, July 30th, 2017, 12:23 AM
Odin’s Inner Visions

By Nigel Pennick

Since the earliest times, it seems, people have tried to gain visions of the future. The belief that it is possible to foresee what is to come may have its origins in the world of dreams. In dreams, people are able to visit places long since destroyed, or places that do not exist in the material world. They can talk with the dead, meet beings who have no material existence, or sometimes even see events that come to pass later in the real world. Similarly, the delirious visions experienced by the drugged, sick, and dying often involve visions of the world to come.

In the same way, carefully employed techniques of envisioning and meditation can produce experiences beyond everyday consciousness, allowing us to journey into the inner space of the mind and thus gain valuable knowledge. Such techniques have been used by soothsayers and seers in order to enter this dangerous and uncharted inner landscape. They may climb alone onto almost airless mountaintops. They may enter deep trances that mimic death itself. They may eat and drink dangerous and sometimes toxic substances. They may fast and perform ceremonial rites of self-injury, willing undergoing ordeals at the edge of death. As a result of these dangerous practices, they experience dreams, hallucinations, or visions. Those returning to some level of sanity after such experiences (for some are destroyed by them) are believed to have brought back with them information about other worlds, including that of the future.

In legend, the runes were discovered by the god Odin through a self-inflicted ordeal. Some of the signs in the ancient rock carvings are identical to the characters of the alphabet that gave rise to the runes, so it is probable that a gifted individual joined the two systems together, bringing the runes into being. This act of creative insight is symbolized in the Norse poem Havamal, written as the words of Odin. It tells us:

I know that I hung on the windswept tree for nine days and nine nights. Stuck with a spear, bloodied for Odin, myself an offering to myself, bound to that tree whose roots no one knows where they go. No one gave me bread, no one gave me drink, down into the depths I looked to take up the runes. Screaming, I fell back from that place.”

In the Norse pantheon, Odin is the god of magic, poetry, divination, and inspiration, qualities that, in ancient societies, were possessed by shamans. The word “shaman” comes from the Tungus of Siberia, and means “exalted” or “excited.” A shaman, therefore, is a person who combines the functions of diviner, medicine-person, and mediator between the worlds of humans and transcendental powers — spirits, demons, or gods. Shamans were important people in ancient tribal societies before established priesthoods came into being. The remnants of Northern European shamanry exist to this day in the surviving guising and mumming traditions of midwinter.

Shamanry gives direct access to other-worldly states of being that cannot be reached in normal consciousness. To gain access to this otherworld, shamans undergo self-destructive processes. They experience the psychic trauma of being dismembered, scattered through the worlds, and finally re-assembled. Anyone who survives this ordeal overcomes the horror, becoming reintegrated as a person with special powers. Sometimes this happens spontaneously, as the result of an injury or illness. But more often it is done knowingly. Odin’s ordeal is a good description of just such a shamanic initiation. His torment was concluded by a flash of insight that allowed him to release the full potential of the runes for human use. Such moments, when the two sides of the brain, analytical and intuitive, are linked by a unified response, are rare in human experience.

Such visions as Odin’s have a basis in neurological fact. Neurophysiologists have discovered what they call “phosphenes,” geometrical shapes and images in the brain’s visual cortex and neural system. Phosphenes are present in everyone. We can see them with shut eyes. They also appear to us when our consciousness is altered, such as in a trance or during meditation, when geometric shapes resembling alphabetic letters often appear in the early stages of the trance state.

The legend of Odin seems to recall a conscious realization and classification of the inner phosphene patterns of the brain. If this is true, the runes relate to the “nerve circuitry” of each human being.
http://www.renegadetribune.com/odins-inner-visions/

Dagna
Friday, September 8th, 2017, 08:25 AM
Core-shamanism, oracular seid, and what Seidr really is

Unfortunately, shamanic tradition has been infected by Harnerism, which has further corrupted those in Heathenry today who claim to practice and teach Seidr.

Dr. Harner and his Foundation for Shamanic Studies have single-handedly tainted the definition of ‘shaman’; which is understandable in the neopagan community, but bothersome within Heathenry. ‘Bothersome’ because, as a Heathen, this is my personal folkway – the ‘way’ of my ‘folk’ – which is historic fact, not alternative fabrication.

You see, Harner introduced his non-cultural approach to shamanism back in the 1970s; toss in a side of Castenada (from the 1960s), and you have the impetus of the modern neoshaman movement. If its adherents were more upfront about what they do this would not be an issue, but they continue to identify themselves as ‘shamans’ when they are simply drumming neopagans without a community to minister to.

You see, “core-shamanism” (akin to “oracular seid”) is a non-cultural hedgerow upon the path, one where most people stop and reside without ever making the effort to look over the boundary, let alone continue the journey.

Regarding core-shamanism, it assumes that “the West overwhelmingly lost its shamanic knowledge centuries ago due to religious oppression”, and that all said “medicine men and women” employ “drug techniques”, “repetitive drumming”, and “soul retrieval”. Then, regarding “oracular seidr”, Paxson describes it as “analogous to the "core" shamanic practices identified by Michael Harner, which could then be combined with mythology and historical examples from given cultures to recreate versions of the practice appropriate for use in traditions such as the Celtic or Greek.” (She fails to mention that what she has 'combined' here is her Wiccan and Umbanda Voodoo practices.)

In these circumstances the comparative relationship between “god” and “ego” becomes clear; for example, there is the ‘god complex’ and the ‘ego complex’. Likewise there is: ‘ego authenticity’ and ‘god authenticity’; ‘ego voice’ and ‘god voice’; ‘ego consciousness’ and ‘god consciousness’; ‘ego centeredness’ and ‘god centeredness’; ‘ego traits’ and ‘god traits’; and the list is endless. This is an important point because of the commonly held definition of shaman is, “an intermediary or messenger between the human world and the spirit world", or, "a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds." So that, those who practice core-shamanism, or oracular-seid, or any method that places itself between “gods and men”, is bound to be mired in ego.

However, the challenge is not so much in Harner and what he has done to genuine shamanic practices, or Paxson and how her technique has promoted slothful research and passionless “performances”, but in how the word shaman is now defined; namely (and again), “an intermediary or messenger between the human world and the spirit world", or, "a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds".

You see, this definition comes either from the outside – from anthropologists and historians who research or study tribal shamans and/or shamanics – or from those who have been schooled in core- or unauthentic shamanism. For example, let’s examine a few of the most popular shamanic books:

1-Shamanism : Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, 1951, Mircea Eliade
Eliade never actual met an indigenous shaman. His over generalizations lie at the root of non-cultural shamanic practices today. Further, his lack of empirical support and far right / political conclusions continue to overshadow genuine work being carried out in both the field of research and practice.

2-The Way of the Shaman, 1990, Michael Harner
Harner originated ‘core shamanism’, which “does not hold a fixed belief system, but instead focuses on the practice of shamanic journeying and may on an individual basis integrate indigenous shamanism, the teachings of Carlos Castaneda and other spiritualities.” Overall, his works propagate the practice of cultural appropriation, and so encourage misrepresentation of the various cultures he claims to have been inspired by. Harner’s works have almost single-handedly laid the foundation for massive exploitation of Indigenous cultures by "plastic shamans" and other cultural thieves.

3-Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, 1996, Ted Andrews
Andrews as a “clairvoyant and aura interpreter”, who did “past-life analysis and dream interpretation”, “numerology and Tarot”. He was a public school teacher who was interested in “esoteric forms of healing with sound, music, and voice”. He never trained as a shaman.

4-The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968); A Separate Reality (1972); and Journey to Ixtlan (1971), Carlos Castaneda
From his first book, notable anthropologists specializing in Yaqui Indian culture questioned the accuracies of Castenada's work. This is worth remembering in that Castaneda wrote all three books as an anthropology student at UCLA, and was awarded a bachelor and doctoral degree based on their content. From the numerous contradictions regarding time, location, sequence and description of events, to eyewitness accounts that he was never in Mexico during the periods his books detail he was, to the lack of Yaqui vocabulary, and to the clear synthesis of shamanisms from elsewhere (not particular to Mexico, and in some cases, that hemisphere), his work has been resoundingly discounted.

5-The Celtic Shaman: A Handbook, 1991, John Matthews
An attempt to reconstruct Celtic shamanic tradition from a gaping absence of any such practice; better to describe this as Celtic neopaganism with various shamanic techniques added in. Animal totems and their numerical correspondences, to their directions are typical examples of core-shamanism. Couple this with no internal citations, no foot- or endnotes, and this “pivotal book to the practice of modern shamanism” is an incomplete understanding of even the most fundamental of shamanic concepts.

6-Shamanism As a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, 1996, Tom Cowan
Cowan trained with Michael Harner, and according to his bio “he combines universal core shamanism with traditional European spirit lore to create spiritual practices”, and “Tom met Michael Harner from whom he learned core shamanism which continues to be Tom's primary spiritual practice.”

7-Soul Retrieval, 2006, Sandra Ingerman
Ingerman is a psychology counselor who has trained extensively with Michael Harner, and has worked as the Educational Director for his foundation.

8-The Book of the Shaman: Walk the Ancient Path of the Shaman and Find Inner Peace, 2001, Nicolas Wood
According to his website, “His own practice is a mix of Mongolian, Tibetan, Siberian and Native American traditions.”

9-In the Shadow of the Shaman: Connecting with Self, Nature & Spirit, 2002, Amber Wolfe
Wolfe’s website describes her as “follow[ing] an American Shamanic path”, a “Ban Drui” or a “Wise Woman, Druidess, White Oak Woman and Faerie Doctor”, and as a “Wiccan author”.

10-The Book of Shamanic Healing, 2002, Kristin Madden
According to Madden’s website she “blends Eastern and Western mystic paths”, is a “Druid and tutor in the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids”, a “member of the Druid College of Healing and is on the Board of Silver Moon Health Services.” She self-identifies as a “Pagan”.

The argument here is that these works all have a common root: core-shamanism, which is recognized by anthropologists and historians as not only inaccurate but cited as “cultural imperialism” by indigenous tribes worldwide. In the examples cited above, the authors introduce a form of thinking and language, dress and personal adornment, music and art, social behavior and religion that is far removed from their indigenous cultural contexts. Native Americans and First Nations activists have coined a term for such individuals and their writings: Plastic Shamans. Specifically, plastic shamans are “individuals who are attempting to pass themselves off as shamans, holy people, or other traditional spiritual leaders, but who have no genuine connection to the traditions or cultures they claim to represent. In some cases, the "plastic shaman" may have some genuine cultural connection, but is seen to be exploiting that knowledge for ego, power or money.” Further, “plastic shamans are believed by their critics to use the mystique of these cultural traditions, and the legitimate curiosity of sincere seekers, for personal gain; in some cases, exploitation of students and traditional culture may involve the selling of fake "traditional" spiritual ceremonies, fake artifacts, fictional accounts in books, illegitimate tours of sacred sites, and often the chance to buy spiritual titles.”

Over the years I have heard the reasoning for “incorporating” practices not native to Northern Europe, and to each there is a ready answer: Delve deeper.

You see, there is in fact a great wealth of information available to us on the subject of Heathenry, likewise Seiđr. Two of my favorite observations on this fact come from H.R.E. Davidson:

“Devotion to the past which is so characteristic of Norse literature has left us such a record as is offered by no other early literature in North-West Europe”

“As far as Old Norse literature is concerned there is little reason to complain of the scantiness of the filed, which is bewildering by its richness rather than depressing by its barrenness.”

So that over the years I have taken Davidson’s advice to heart; namely, “The necessary first step in rediscovering the nature of heathen thought in Scandinavia is to discover how much has been caught up and preserved in the literature we possess, and to assess carefully the extent of the wealth at our disposal before we trace out its origins.”

And this is exactly what I have been doing for the past thirty plus years: delving deep into the historical record to discern from the many Northern European tribes the very nature of their most intimate connection to the divine. And I have been a diligent gardener; for, as a Seiđwoman – a culturally specific ‘magic’ user – not only have I carefully weeded out, at every turn, the external influences and interpretations, but have been ever mindful to exclude a biased interpretation (or to reimagine Seiđr in my own image). Certainly, this has been the road least traveled, the path overgrown for lack of use, but ineffably rewarding for the remarkable insight and application that can only be had from such determined diligence and enduring patience.

Therefore, unlike the books above, which are examples of outsiders looking into a cultural structure, or worse still, ignoring an existing cultural structure and abundant history, I am an insider exploring from the heart of my own cultural structure.

Returning again to the standardly applied definition of a shaman, “an intermediary or messenger between the human world and the spirit world; a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds". Let me state simply what a true shaman does – an individual who is cultural attuned to the spiritual roots of their folkway – and so therefore a true Seiđfolk: They are intermediaries between the human community and the larger ecological field. They ensure that there is a felicitous flow of nourishment from local land, sea and sky back to human folk. For through their vigilant observation of celestial and terrestrial tides, Sitting-out, and accessing of Wyrd Consciousness, Seiđfolk ensure that the relationship between the Old Ways and modern ways, the Above and Below Worlds and Middle World, the Past and Future and the Present, the human and the wights of nature, all remain composed and reciprocal. In this way, the tribe never takes more from land, sea and sky than it gifts to it – materially and prayerfully, and with gratitude and praise.

Both harvest and hunt are constant paradigms of reciprocally negotiated and so mutually supported activities between tribe and nature. Hence the dual importance of kindred; first as a human support element, and second in that every member of a kindred is responsible for working at being attuned to the Others – those beings, influences, vibrations, and the like that surround, support, sustain and so influence daily life. And though every Heathen should be engaged with the Unseen, it is the Seiđu alone that leads the way, the sole voyager into the Between, the singular strategist and negotiator in all dealings with Otherkin.

Clearly then, this is not a task left to new age sojourns and externally influenced cultural intrusions. As such, the guarantee of Heathenry’s future is the due diligence of those who would bear the Stang and Stone, of Wyrd and Weave.

Source: http://vinlands-volva.blogspot.com/2011/03/core-shamanism-oracular-seid-and-what.html

Ocko
Monday, September 11th, 2017, 05:00 AM
As one can divide into the everyday world and the hidden spiritual world (I know both is interwoven, but for the sake of argument I keep the distinction).

Cultural in this case is an element of the everyday world. Thus cultural most likely then means the technique to get into the spiritual world. When successful mist everyone deals with a strange world, no matter how you got there.

Therefore I wouldn't dismiss 'core-shamanism' as it shows a way to get there.

The way to get there has elements which are at least similar in different cultures.

What might be the big difference is the entities you are attracting/approaching. A heathen would be naturally tending to his/her own folk spirits.

It is also a question of your interest. What do you try to get from 'shamanism'?

Insight, foresight, power, healing, methods to help people, fight enemies of your folk, be a support for 'Gods' etc pp.

Sooner or later you will find a group of entities you 'resonate' with and which support you with your and most likely their aims.

So, for me the cultural aspect is interesting but not that crucial, the bigger and more important part is the spiritual world.

For me to be Aryan is not so much the physical existence as the spiritual existence, as it transcendents time and location. It is the spirit, or better my spirit, which makes me who I am. (To use your 'ego'/'God' comparison.)

As humans are tripartite there is a temporary aspect, the physical existence, and a timeless existence the duo soul and spirit. (Compare the atoms of a neutron/positron ((positive and neutral)) and the temporary electron ((negative)). It is actually one of the highe laws belonging to the 3).

To the physical belongs the culture, which are emanations from other souls/spirits and thus worthy to uphold for refinement and nourishment for the soul.

To connect to your soul/spirit and use it to get to their level is entering the spiritual world. The technique may differ but the end result should be the same.

As everyone is connected to everyone and everything through very refined (Feinstoffliche) 'energies' or emanations, one is able to connect and communicate with everyone and everything. That is part of shamanism.

That is why remote healing works as well as curses, or manipulations.

Therefore it is necessary to have a sound set of ethics and morals. Otherwise you are consumed/enslaved by certain spirits.

And therefore I am more interested in what our ancestors have to teach about this aspect, not so much about cultural elements.

Spjabork
Monday, September 11th, 2017, 08:17 PM
That is why remote healing works as well as curses, or manipulations.
You have really no idea, you truly can't imagine how many people I have already cursed in my life -- and how many more I would like to -- yet them idiots are still alive n kickin, and grinning into my face.

And no, remote healing does not work. I have seen my one grandfather, my one grandmother, my mother and my father dying, and I could not heal them.

Shamanry gives direct access to other-worldly states of being that cannot be reached in normal consciousness. To gain access to this otherworld, shamans undergo self-destructive processes.
Yeah, and this is what drugs do, and what our "white" junkies do.

If someone wants to destroy his own body by himself, "shamanism" seems to be a fast & effective way.

But you know: it is not needed anymore, because we are already flooded by drugs.

Our bodies get destroyed by the alien flood from without, and by the drug flood from within.

The word “shaman” comes from the Tungus of Siberia, and means “exalted” or “excited.”
The Tungus are the ancestors of the Huns. The Huns did great harm to Germanic people, destroying and removing their Lebensraum, and almost exterminating them, forcing them to "migrate" west, and so on.

The Huns/Tungus did the same to the Gemanics in the 4th century, as what the Mongols did in the 13th, and the bolsheviks in the 20th.

In the Norse pantheon, Odin is the god of magic, poetry, divination, and inspiration, qualities that, in ancient societies, were possessed by shamans.
In the "Norse" pantheon, but not in the Germanic. Odin/Wotan was originally not the highest God, which was instead Tyr/Tiwaz.

Tiwaz was the God of law & order, not of the junkies, rowdies and rascals.

Significantly, Wotan/Odin only became the highest Germanic god during the "age of migration", that it to say: after the Germanics came in direct contact, that is, after they came in close combat with the "Tungus", and were heavily alterated, and deeply traumatized by that "experience".

Neurophysiologists have discovered what they call “phosphenes,” geometrical shapes and images in the brain’s visual cortex and neural system.
Yeah, and an acquaintance of mine, a nurse working in a mental hospital, recently told me -- I did not know that -- that the intake of drugs cause holes in the brain. The junkies get repeatedly x-rayed, and on the x-ray photograph series one can see the brain holes getting bigger.

Before I was told this, I always believed that drugs somehow "disturb" the brain, maybe "damage" the "structure" of the brain. But it's not like that. Nay, the drugs literally dissolve the brain, turn it into thin air, until the skull of the yeah so cool, so "experienced" trip-goer is HOLLOW.