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Blutwölfin
Sunday, December 11th, 2005, 02:30 PM
What is your view of the Gods? Please vote!

Do you think the Gods are physical beings, apearing like the beings in legend, or are they more spirutual? Do they have a form we can see or sense...do they actually look like what we usually claim they look like or is that a way for our ancestors to put a face on the Gods?

There is no right or wrong answer on this, so don't worry. :)

Vanir
Sunday, December 11th, 2005, 02:36 PM
Something like guides and symbols together, though it is not as simple as that

Cuchullain
Sunday, December 11th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Most definately symbols, for strength, honour, loyalty etc

Gorm the Old
Sunday, December 11th, 2005, 03:17 PM
All of the gods whom men have ever worshipped are but aspects of a single unknowable and inconceivable reality. As such, they are perhaps best regarded as symbols for certain aspects of the godhead. Given the inadequacy of the human mind, any attempt to conceive of the ultimate reality (that which the Vedantists call Brahman) are foredoomed to failure. This, of course, is why men have invented gods in their own image, usually based on the power figures with whom they were familiar. The Middle-Eastern despot is the model for both Yahweh and Al'lah. On the grounds of total inadequacy, all of the gods men have ever worshipped are false gods, however, as attempts to conceive of the inconceivable, as personifications of some aspects of the ultimate reality , whose potentialities are infinite, none of them is completely false.

Siegfried
Sunday, December 11th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Difficult to pinpoint. On the one hand I pretty much agree with what Egil Skallagrimsson wrote here, but I also tend to think of them as symbols and Jungian archetypes (which can function as guides). These views need not contradict one another, in my humble opinion. I voted for guides and symbols.

Weg
Sunday, December 11th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Symbols and Guides. Kin also, if I've ever understood correctly the meaning.

The Black Prince
Wednesday, December 14th, 2005, 11:19 PM
I voted symbols ;)

To me each God / Goddes represents certain values.
(for example: Thor represents strenght and primary courage)

freya3
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 01:26 AM
To me each God / Goddes represents certain values.
(for example: Thor represents strenght and primary courage)

I agree. But I see them as guides, more than symbols. I see them as "role models" to look at and to learn from and to take who they are and what they represent in our own lives.

Frostwood
Thursday, December 15th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Symbols and Guides. Kin also, if I've ever understood correctly the meaning.

I voted Symbols and Kin. Primarily symbols as conceptions and personifications of natural phenomena, for understanding them in the context of human life. Kin as well, since these conceptions of nature are tied to the observer who created them, and as the observer, my folk, acts upon that knowledge, it has an effect to the world - a two-way relationship. That way, the Gods of my folk are my Kin as they live through me.

I'm a little reluctant to call them Guides, though. However, in the sense of pointing a direction but leaving the finding of the path itself to the seeker, they could be called Guides, although a little disinterested, or "gray," ones. They are like the concept of rocks in rapids in your head as you blaze along the raging masses of water: they are hard, and will crush you and your vessel if you happen to rail against them with too much of a force. Considering that, you'd better take them into account to avoid unnecessary hardships in life.

Leofric
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006, 09:54 PM
I know you have already heard my beliefs on this, Blutwölfin, but I like sharing, so I'll tell them again. :D

I believe that the gods our ancestors worshipped exist as physical beings. I expect to meet them someday, and when I do, I expect that we will be able to touch one another (note that I also believe that each of us will regain our physical bodies at some point after death). I believe that the gods were once men and women like us, and that they exercised their Will to such an extent that they became gods. I believe that each of us has the potential to do the same — I believe each of us is a god in embryo, which (if properly nourished) can grow into its full divine potential. I believe that the gods probably look sort of like they are pictured — kind of like a criminal suspect looks sort of like the composite drawings based on eyewitness testimony that the police use to find the suspects. I believe that when each of us sees them, we will feel that they look very familiar to us — as familiar as our own parents or siblings or spouses, and maybe even more so.

I know lots of people think I'm a fool for believing these things, but I really do honestly believe it. I look forward to knowing for certain after I die.

Moody
Wednesday, July 26th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Do you think the Gods are physical beings, apearing like the beings in legend, or are they more spirutual? Do they have a form we can see or sense...do they actually look like what we usually claim they look like or is that a way for our ancestors to put a face on the Gods?

I believe them to be very similar to how my own dead ancestors appear to me.

So they are departed physical beings who now exist on a different plane to my own.

Therefore they live on in my soul-memory, and look over my shoulder like Guardian Angels [and sometimes they even desert me!]

Of course, this means I do idealise them, and I do imagine them having a kind of parallel existence to the living.

So, I believe that the gods, goddesses and wights of the Northern Tradition have this quality, but for all members of the tribe.

It is that quality one-hundredfold.

They are the founding ancestors of the tribe, and therefore have a special kind of fame.

This is why the Aesir & Vanir have supernatural qualities - they are very special ancestors.

firescarredmartyr
Friday, July 28th, 2006, 12:55 AM
Do you think the Gods are physical beings, apearing like the beings in legend, or are they more spirutual? Do they have a form we can see or sense...do they actually look like what we usually claim they look like or is that a way for our ancestors to put a face on the Gods?

There is no right or wrong answer on this, so don't worry. :)

I believe that the gods have form, although probably not ones that we can sense without in normal circumstances. We live in midgard afterall, and the connections between worlds don't give us the greatest reception.

I believe that in ancient times, when men knew how to better see between the worlds that we were capable of sensing the gods. They had form, but this form was nothing which our ancestors could put into context with anything they had ever seen. Thus, I believe that the traditional images of our gods are merely interpretations of gods, based on the archetypal pinnacle of each god's domain.

Moody
Saturday, July 29th, 2006, 01:59 PM
I believe that in ancient times, when men knew how to better see between the worlds that we were capable of sensing the gods.

Was this just due to ancient and now lost, knowledge; or was it due to an additional sense - or just heightened senses which have become blunted?

It is suggested that ancient man saw gods everywhere - also tree spirits, water sprites, lords of the lake and what have you.

To him, this was normal!

So have we lost this 'sixth sense', the god-seeing sense?

And have we replaced it with another sense?

If this is all so, then perhaps our long-term task is to be able to re-sense the gods.

firescarredmartyr
Sunday, July 30th, 2006, 04:34 AM
Was this just due to ancient and now lost, knowledge; or was it due to an additional sense - or just heightened senses which have become blunted?

It is suggested that ancient man saw gods everywhere - also tree spirits, water sprites, lords of the lake and what have you.

To him, this was normal!

So have we lost this 'sixth sense', the god-seeing sense?

And have we replaced it with another sense?

If this is all so, then perhaps our long-term task is to be able to re-sense the gods.

At the least, I believe the decline in our ability to sense the gods is due to the loss of the knowledge how to do so. Your average heathen of the 21st century does not know how, to borrow a term from the OR, to climb Yggdrasil, how to bring themselves to perceive the other worlds, and thus, the gods.

Additionally, I believe that it is our faith in the gods which binds them to our world. What interest would the gods have with midgard if midgard has no interest in them? Before christianity came to Europe, the gods had reason to have interest in the pagan folk who inhabited the land, and thus our heathen ancestors were able to more easily sense and even communicate with the gods. If the gods have a reason to want to make a connection with the people of midgard, then they will facilitate it. These days there is little reason for the gods to attempt to make a connection with us; what have they to gain with so few heathens spread so thinly across the globe?

At one time, man was able to perceive gods and spirits because he believed in them. The fact that we no longer perceive them does not mean that they do not exist, merely that they have better things to do than try and convince a bunch of sceptical people that they are real. I believe that we all have the required senses to perceive the gods; we just don't have the common sense to believe in them.

Oskorei
Sunday, July 30th, 2006, 09:25 AM
I see the gods, and the various fairy folks, both as spiritual beings, as archetypes, and as personified forces of nature and society. Maybe even as historical personages in some cases.

It depends on the context in which a gods name is used, which of the above applies. So yes, Tor is a spiritual being in the classical "exoteric" polytheistic meaning of the word, but Tor is also a state of mind, and Tor is also thunder. In the second meaning, we can strive to become Tor.

Arthur-Robin
Sunday, July 30th, 2006, 11:31 AM
What I see agrees with Oskorei: there are 2 kinds of gods in religious/mythological/occult literature:
(1) (super-)human(-oid)s/angels/aliens/spirits/ancestors/(archetypes), and
(2) principles/forces/energies/powers/(archetypes).

To pantheism (and/or occult if I understand it at all correctly?) God is everything, God/Force is thruout everthing, that we have god/God within, that we are all gods/forces as manifestations/emanations of "the One" God(dess)/Force. So it inclds both 1 and 2.

But I must add that the human gods in myth are not all/always historical, but some are PROPHETIC (still future).

Haldís
Monday, August 7th, 2006, 04:16 AM
There is no right or wrong answer on this, so don't worry. :)
I think there is a wrong answer. :)

Then spoke Gangleri: "Which are the Aesir that men ought to believe in?" Hárr said: "There are twelve Aesir whose nature is divine." Then spoke Jafnhárr: "No less holy are the Asyniur, nor is their power less."

They could not be divine nor exercise power in the material world if they would not have a physical manifestation. The separation of spirit and body, soul and flesh, is a Jewish idea. There a distant immaterial god, here his material slaves.

To give you an example: Thor was always seen as a physical protector from the uncontrollable powers of nature. The gods are also in our blood. They encompass everything.

Erhard
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 02:29 AM
What always interested me is how do you see your gods? Are they physical beings for you, spiritual manifestations, or archtypes, or symbols for nature's principles? All of the above?

What value do they have in our modern age where science explained all of the phenomenons that in the old times were ascribed to gods (e.g. thunder)?

Personally, I tend towards agnosticism. I believe in science. The assumption that an Odin or a Freya exist, adds no explanation to nature or the universe and how they work.

:hveđrungur:
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 03:03 AM
I don't think you will get the same answer from any two heathens. Many view the Gods and Goddesses in different ways. There isnt much Dogma in heathenry, while there IS tradition I do not view tradition as Dogma. Tradition is the glue that holds a culture together.

My personal view of the gods is that they are living forces within nature and the Germanic peoples who still embrace them and walk the true path.

While Science can show what lighting is and how it is formed, science changes every single day. What might be proved as "Fact" one day may be disproved the next. To me there is no "Right" and "Wrong" when we speak of this, if you choose to believe in Science that is fine, I choose to follow the Traditions of my ancestors and embrace the Gods of my folk.

To me, science is not the answer for everything, if it was we would know what happens after death and the purpose of life would be discovered. What happens to our life forces / souls when we die? Something has to happen, as a famous Scientist stated, "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another."

Sigurd
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 03:10 AM
Well, that is all a matter of interpretation really. I might be wrong, but I should think no Heathen these days thinks that Thor literally drives a chariot of goats across the sky and pounds his hammer to make thunder ... obviously we all love the imagery, but I don't think any sane Heathen would believe just that. They are just representations to help us understand the concept better.

But I don't merely see them as archetypes or role-models either (they are sure that, for a good part of it - but there is another level to it). Effectively, Blot would become pretty much pointless if we ended up worshipping an actual ideal. Why worship something you don't actually believe in? If you're looking for merely a code of honour to live by, fine, but then IMO you aren't really having faith.

For me, it is more like I believe that, yes they exist, but not as beings clad in Viking-style armor; they are part of us through our blood, and are hence characterised in the natural forces within and without us: In a way, if I protect my brother from harm, that's Thor's character coming through. If I deal justly, that's Tyr coming through. If I judge wisely, then that's the character of Odin...hmm, it's kind of hard to explain. For myself, I tend to see them as forces that are within us and our surroundings and we have to use our best judgment to use them wisely. We draw inspiration from that power...hmm...hard to explain.

In the end, it's all a matter of opinion though. There is no "right" or "wrong" way of viewing the gods. I view them this way, someone else may view them in a different way.

Erhard
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 03:37 AM
My personal view of the gods is that they are living forces within nature and the Germanic peoples who still embrace them and walk the true path. I notice you said living forces and not living beings. Do these god forces still influence nature or yourself? In what way?


While Science can show what lighting is and how it is formed, science changes every single day. What might be proved as "Fact" one day may be disproved the next. It does, as our knowledge becomes more complete and as error is replaced by truth. Notwithstanding the fact that much in modern science is still a theory or a hypothesis, I believe observation and reason are the best tools to explain the world around us and to make sense of it. I cannot observe any gods and even if they existed, they do not seem to interact with us. Hence, their existence is irrelevant to me. They don't explain anything that couldn't be explained without them.


To me there is no "Right" and "Wrong" when we speak of this, if you choose to believe in Science that is fine, I choose to follow the Traditions of my ancestors and embrace the Gods of my folk. Traditions are something I well follow (if still useful), as they are a conduct that survived the test of time. Successful behavior in other words. There are beautiful traditions that should be safeguarded and passed on, as long as there is no good argument against them. From this point of view, I agree that our old ways contain things of value. They also contain things that are obsolete and false assumptions that are long disproved, though. I try to separate the one from the other. I think our ancestors can teach us much about values, but their gods do only exist for me in myths and sagas.


To me, science is not the answer for everything, I agree. It teaches us little about morals, for example.


if it was we would know what happens after death and the purpose of life would be discovered. What happens to our life forces / souls when we die? Something has to happen, as a famous Scientist stated, "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another." I don't know. As I said, I tend to agnosticism. I don't really rule out any possibility, but without evidence I'm not willing to faithfully believe in any thesis or dogma either.


Well, that is all a matter of interpretation really. I might be wrong, but I should think no Heathen these days thinks that Thor literally drives a chariot of goats across the sky and pounds his hammer to make thunder ... obviously we all love the imagery, but I don't think any sane Heathen would believe just that. They are just representations to help us understand the concept better. Which concept(s) if I may ask?


But I don't merely see them as archetypes or role-models either. Effectively, Blot would become pretty much pointless if we ended up worshipping an actual ideal. Why worship something you don't actually believe in? If you're looking for merely a code of honour to live by, fine, but then IMO you aren't really having faith. Of course. Belief in gods is always faith. I just wondered how they should be envisioned. Christians, for example, see their god as an immaterial god that turned into flesh. There is also the theory that Odin was actually a real human being that over time got deified. What do you think about this?


For me, it is more like I believe that, yes they exist, but not as beings clad in Viking-style armor; they are part of us through our blood: In a way, if I protect my brother from harm, that's Thor's character coming through. If I deal justly, that's Odin coming through...hmm, it's kind of hard to explain. For myself, I tend to see them as forces that are within us and our surroundings and we have to use our best judgment to use them wisely. We draw inspiration from that power...hmm...hard to explain. I think I understand you.

:hveđrungur:
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 07:27 AM
My question is, why should the Gods show themselves to you in physical form or any other if you do not believe in or follow them? I believe the Gods are forces in nature that do exist and can have a physical effect in our lives, I have felt them on many different levels as have many who follow the Germanic pagan tradition. My real question is, why should they show themselves or take part in our lives? Unlike the Islamic, Jewish or Christian gods, our gods are not perfect, they have their flaws like any human being. We learn this early on in our mythology, no one is without flaw or strife, no one. If they have their own troubles I don't expect them to help me with my trivial problems.

Has science proved that the gods do not exist? Just as I cannot give you hard physical proof that they do, you cannot give me any that they do not aside from a possible answer that you have never seen or felt them. Following that way of thinking I am sure you have never seen an atom or molecule of energy with your own eyes but since you put your faith in Science you know they exist. It's the same thing, I have felt the Gods through nature as well as I am sure many others have (Siggy?). Blind faith is not something I adhere to, it's a big reason I left the Catholic church.

This is a typical attack, I've seen these before and this is why I don't post much on forums anymore. You come asking us questions wearing a friendly mask then when we give answers you try to debate that we are wrong and you are right since you have Science to "back you up" and all we have are our meaningless "Feelings" and "Experiences". Maybe I'm wrong and I hope I am but in your last post some of your comments were somewhat insulting and I'm getting the feeling that you're just looking to start an argument.

Sigurd
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 07:01 PM
It's the same thing, I have felt the Gods through nature as well as I am sure many others have (Siggy?).

Well, as far as I'm aware we actually had a pretty similar awakening to it in the sense that we were both going through a difficult period of our life and were pondering about things when we ended up with actually feeling them present.

For anyone not acquainted with my story, feel free to read it here (http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=1647&postcount=2). (Be warned, though, it's lengthy ... so if you want to just read the actual one, scroll down a bit. :D)

Dr. Solar Wolff
Wednesday, August 15th, 2007, 06:19 AM
Perhaps I don't fit in here but here are my views. I am not religious. But I do believe in the Black Sun. What I mean is the BS is the most organized entity in the universe. It is more highly organized that the human mind. It is also the most powerful force in the universe. The Black Sun also gives forth life energy, Vril. So, if there is something higher, well, for me, it has to be the BS.

In terms of visualization, look at the BS symbol. Is this not an eye, a single eye? Could not this be the one eye of Odin? Odin exchanged his other eye for knowledge and if you look into the Black Sun, the knowledge is there.

Ćgir
Wednesday, August 15th, 2007, 06:36 AM
That is a very good question. I have often either thought of it as the eye of Odin or (even though the mythology does not necessarily support it) the eye of Yimer. Either way I think you have stumbled onto an aspect of the truth.:D

Sigurd
Thursday, August 16th, 2007, 01:56 PM
Dr. Solar - as regards the Black Sun, and other Swastikas/Sunwheels (Personally I see the BS as a combination of three swastikas at different angles, making it a "12-armed sunwheel"), I have reposted some ideas I had, back on Skadi, then expanded upon on the Odinist Forums, that might be of interest. Mainly to do with the time, direction and numerology of the whole thing. Not sure if it's of interest to you, but you might still like to have a read. (Link (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=646))

Achtland
Saturday, August 18th, 2007, 09:09 AM
What always interested me is how do you see your gods? Are they physical beings for you, spiritual manifestations, or archtypes, or symbols for nature's principles? All of the above?

What value do they have in our modern age where science explained all of the phenomenons that in the old times were ascribed to gods (e.g. thunder)?

Personally, I tend towards agnosticism. I believe in science. The assumption that an Odin or a Freya exist, adds no explanation to nature or the universe and how they work.

Hi, well I wanted to add a couple of things. Like what has already been said, I believe the gods dwell within our blood DNA as they're a part of us. They emerge in our feelings, experiences and dreams sometimes. I'm sure that in times past people were able to see gods, as they visualised other beings such as fairies, monsters, elves, giants and winged dragons. Have you read anything about Primal Therapy? Humans are a living species, not just biological machines, there's more than that inside us which science can't explain at the moment (except that psychology and therapy may touch upon it.)

emperorlives
Friday, August 31st, 2007, 04:07 AM
Being that I am a pretty intelligent person, I am aware that the gods probably are not in the sky, Thor is not smiting Jotuns every time it thunders outside, etc.

However, I wish that they were real, and sometimes I feel like they are.... in an alternate reality.

There is no evidence of such things, however I think realms like Asgard, Vanaheim, etc exist in different realties that only a few fortunate souls can visit. Some of us may be able to see/experience them in our dreams as well, and I think I might have as a child (rare).

And there are always these two black birds everywhere I go..... crazy things, they are....

DanseMacabre
Thursday, September 20th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Being that I am a pretty intelligent person, I am aware that the gods probably are not in the sky, Thor is not smiting Jotuns every time it thunders outside, etc.

However, I wish that they were real, and sometimes I feel like they are.... in an alternate reality.

There is no evidence of such things, however I think realms like Asgard, Vanaheim, etc exist in different realties that only a few fortunate souls can visit. Some of us may be able to see/experience them in our dreams as well, and I think I might have as a child (rare).


This is pretty close to how I view them too. I like to think they are real and watching over their people. I've felt as if they were there with me during a blot before. I've entertained the idea of alternate realities or paralell universes as well. :)

Science is wonderful, it has explained alot about our world and our universe. I think heathenry can coexist with science and even compliment it. Where as science is silent on matters of morality, heathenry provides it's followers with a very clear guide. And unlike the abrahamic religions it doesn't demand literal interperatation of it's myths which conflict with science. The morality of Asatru/Odinism is also a strong morality. It doesn't demand submission. Only that you lead an honorable life IMO. Whether you view the Gods as real or archetypes I think they are still of great value to our people

Sigurd
Thursday, October 11th, 2007, 12:31 AM
This is pretty close to how I view them too. I like to think they are real and watching over their people. I've felt as if they were there with me during a blot before. I've entertained the idea of alternate realities or paralell universes as well. :)

I don't think they watch over us. Our lore tells of our gods being imperfect, having their own faults, their own affairs to deal with. Therefore I don't think that we are their primary concern, and they do not watch over us. Our lives are our own to lead, by the example that they and the heroes of our folk have given us.

As I said, I believe that they are forces in nature (much like landwights, spirits etc. are -- just on a different and higher level), for inspiration as well as that power within us and our blood in that their character can come through in a way in which we act. We can build up a close relationship to them, they can inspire us within and without ... but I do not like to think that they come to help us out - if they have their own matters to deal with, why should they concern themselves with our petty everyday worries? (I think Hvedrungur has already touched upon this).

Our faith teaches us self-reliance. Why should we ask for the gods to watch over us. I don't believe in their intervention ... It is our will, our own strength, our own deeds upon which we are judged. Not some bearded old man on an eight-legged steed getting us out of trouble like a guardian angel ... Odin probably cares little whether I live or die - but I still wish to, so to speak, "make him proud", by acting wisely.

We may thank them if their example has been good, but whilst I think that they can come into a certain situation, I don't feel they do so in an intervening way. It is mainly their power and guidance that we receive.

More so, I feel that one of the larger concepts are Wyrd and Orlog, they are sources of natural law by which we are bound. I put these concepts right up there.

Don't get me wrong - I am probably one of the fewer people that have experienced them and their god force real and tangible, and that experience originally brought me to Heathenry. They sure give us signs that the more perceptive us will notice (the two crows that used to sit on my window latch, occasional shapes of cloudes, etc. etc.) . But I just fail to accept that they do anything for us. I rather believe that we are judged afterwards by our deeds. We are being placed on our own feet, so to speak, that is my firm belief.

Ţórir
Thursday, October 11th, 2007, 09:24 AM
Dr. Solar - as regards the Black Sun, and other Swastikas/Sunwheels (Personally I see the BS as a combination of three swastikas at different angles, making it a "12-armed sunwheel"), I have reposted some ideas I had, back on Skadi, then expanded upon on the Odinist Forums, that might be of interest. Mainly to do with the time, direction and numerology of the whole thing. Not sure if it's of interest to you, but you might still like to have a read. (Link (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=646))

Is the symbol in my signature the Black Sun? It has 12 arms. I got it from the OR website and wanted to use it after reading the article on the fylfot (http://www.odinic-rite.org/fylfot.html), but had no idea it represented something else.

My views on the Gods are that they are symbols for forces in nature and within ourselves. They also represent different states of consciousness and planes of reality, and divine attributes such as justice, mercy, and wisdom. But I don't rule out that they could be real beings that existed a long time ago and later deified and exist spiritually now. But my emphasis would be on the former as symbols, and prayers (invocations) and blot serve to intensify the action of those attributes and forces within ourselves.

Boche
Thursday, October 11th, 2007, 07:49 PM
The germanic Gods are not to be seen as invisible super power such as the "new" gods.
The Germanic gods were nothing but humans which were admired, they were not immortal, but most likely very wise and strong.
They are/were there to be a idol for the germanic people. Concerning Strength, Widsom and Tradition.


That's all people should think of them - not as super-powered, immortal, invisible keepers of the earth.




Gruß,
Boche

Tyrson
Friday, October 12th, 2007, 06:45 PM
When I work with Rún Valdr, a Nordic Energy in some ways comparable to Reiki, I always call upon the Energies of the Nordic Pantheon before a so-called "working", which may be a healing session with a patient, a meditation, a magick session etc. While doing this I take up the position of the Elhaz/Algiz rune.

This means I see the gods as energies: each represents a different energy based upon his/her mythological characteristics. I visualise the gods as runes: Fehu symbolises Freyr, Ansuz symbolises Odin etc. While visualising them I feel their respective energies rippling through me, which makes it possible to kind of co-operate with the gods in working weal. I am not too comfortable with working woe, although that too is possible. Working woe with the help of the gods somehow feels like sacrilege to me.

Thrymheim
Thursday, March 20th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Probably not phrased very well there but what I mean is do you think that your God/s have total power i.e are they the ultimate being/s or just some form of super mortal and therefore fallible like the rest of us?
It seems that the Christian God is meant to be perfect while many older religions allow for mistakes by their gods, which do you think is correct?

Of course this can only apply if you see the gods as people of a sort or anthropomorphize them.

CharlesDexterWard
Thursday, March 20th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Probably not phrased very well there but what I mean is do you think that your God/s have total power i.e are they the ultimate being/s or just some form of super mortal and therefore fallible like the rest of us?
It seems that the Christian God is meant to be perfect while many older religions allow for mistakes by their gods, which do you think is correct?

Christian take is correct. It corresponds to what I experience.

What you call "older religions" are only anthropomorphic mythologies. There is nothing wrong with them because of that, but they are not spiritual in the same sense.

Beornulf
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Christian take is correct. It corresponds to what I experience.

What you call "older religions" are only anthropomorphic mythologies. There is nothing wrong with them because of that, but they are not spiritual in the same sense.

So before the realisation of Yahweh/Jehovah were all men and women sent to hell for their ignorance?

I completely disagree, traditional religions had a lot more focus on the spiritual, metaphysical and mystical properties of religion than what became and was Christianity.

Of particular note is how the goal of the priests and followers became focused on the church and its power rather than their god itself and a higher power. I think this especially came to light as Christianity started to play a more inclusive role in the politics of Europe.

To a degree I think Christianity introduce secularization to Europe rather than save it from it due to it's interest in power and control rather than actual belief. They also disused the ceremonial and mystical aspects fairly shortly, only being a few examples in Catholicism that I can think of today.

CharlesDexterWard
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Beornulf, some of your criticism of Christianity, especially for its politisation, is warranted. But to the extent that there was a system of thought in Norse mythology, it was usually cosmological, and while Christianity does not lack a cosmological outlook, it also has an elaborate anthropological outlook that the older mythologies lacked. This anthropological outlook of Christianity has drawn a lot from ancient Greek philosophy, which is preserved and continued in Christian tradition. One excellent Germanic thinker and teacher on the subject of spiritual anthropology was Meister Eckehart (c. 1260–c. 1328).

Moody
Saturday, March 29th, 2008, 09:33 AM
do you think that your God/s have total power i.e are they the ultimate being/s or just some form of super mortal and therefore fallible like the rest of us?



Gods need to be immortal, in my view, to qualify as being gods.

If Nietzsche is right, and gods can die [and how many gods have passed into obscurity before records began?], then this calls into question the authenticity of gods themselves.

How can a god be absolute if he is not immortal?

And this also suggests that he would need to be eternal too.

Thrymheim
Saturday, March 29th, 2008, 02:43 PM
If Nietzsche is right, and gods can die [and how many gods have passed into obscurity before records began?], then this calls into question the authenticity of gods themselves.

How can a god be absolute if he is not immortal?

And this also suggests that he would need to be eternal too.



If you take this point about a God not being able to die then The Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Norse gods are all false gods as they can and do die, either that or one tries to start picking which gods are real gods and which just heroes. Or do you mean death by natural causes rather than being killed? In fact I think that only leaves us with the desert God left as far as I can see (Although I'm not to hot on Hinduism etc so not sure there)

Beornulf
Saturday, March 29th, 2008, 08:43 PM
CharlesDexterWard: I'd still be interested to know what you thought happened to early European Pagans who were not aware of Christianity and obviously lived in sin?

Moody
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, 04:27 PM
If you take this point about a God not being able to die then The Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Norse gods are all false gods as they can and do die, either that or one tries to start picking which gods are real gods and which just heroes. Or do you mean death by natural causes rather than being killed? In fact I think that only leaves us with the desert God left as far as I can see (Although I'm not to hot on Hinduism etc so not sure there)


Heroes are of the blood - they are both mortal and vulnerable - and so lack absolute characteristics.
But this is not to say that they are worth less than immortal and invulnerable gods.
The of deeds Heroes live on after their deaths and provide an example for their kin to emulate in the future.

They live on the memory of their folk.

And so is the memory itself 'absolute'?

This brings us to Nietzsche's death of God. It is not when a god is forgotten that he dies - it is when he is no longer believed in.

Once belief is dead, the god dies too.

But a dead god's memory can be revived.

This is probably the source of the myth of resurrection and rebirth [a god comes 'down to Earth' as a hero - i.e. becomes mortal and vulnerable - he is killed and then is reborn as an invulnerable immortal god].

But if memory is not absolute, then can a forgotten god ever revive?

Just as the koan asks whether a falling tree can be heard if there is no one there to hear it fall in the forest, can a god exist if no one remembers him?

Do gods depend then on the biology of their Folk, or does the latter depend on the existence of its gods?

Eccardus Teutonicus
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, 05:56 PM
Heroes are of the blood - they are both mortal and vulnerable - and so lack absolute characteristics.
But this is not to say that they are worth less than immortal and invulnerable gods.
The of deeds Heroes live on after their deaths and provide an example for their kin to emulate in the future.

They live on the memory of their folk.

And so is the memory itself 'absolute'?

There is a reason for the myth of the Golden Apples which feed the life of the Gods. The Gods are dependant on human beings and the Folk for their power but not in anyway their life. The Gods represent something greater- they are Archetypes of greater concepts, Forms in the Platonic sense. In this way they are born of the absolute, which is Nature, and therefore shared in that absoluteness, because the powers and the concepts which they represent will always exist. The Gods can therefore lay dormant, and they can be forgotten, and lose their power to influence or inspire human beings, and in this way can lay "dead", but for the gods of the Germanic peoples, they ultimately will always be reborn because all things are reborn, something which I think you have aptly described already.


This brings us to Nietzsche's death of God. It is not when a god is forgotten that he dies - it is when he is no longer believed in.

Nietzsche's death of God is an expression of the failure of the Christian God to stir and influence society as a whole towards right action and life; Nietzsche therefore appeals to provide a new God, the Übermensch, to the people. Nietzsche must be understood as an ethicist; it is the only thing which unites his philosophy perfectly.


Just as the koan asks whether a falling tree can be heard if there is no one there to hear it fall in the forest, can a god exist if no one remembers him?

Herein resides the problem, however the phrasing is incorrect; no tree which falls in the forest can be heard without there being those who can hear it, however the physical act of falling which causes the release of sound-waves which hold within them the potentiality of being heard is indeed absolute. Likewise, the potentiality of revival of a forgotten god, the potentiality of experience of the concept for which any given god is an Archetype, is as fully absolute as the physics of a tree falling in the forest. (Which by the way is an excellent analogy.)



One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a coloured canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.

So therefore it is when the potentiality of an Archetype ceases to be, likewise shall the Archetype. However, the Archetype, I firmly believe, can be restored when once again one is born who has the capacity to grasp the Archetype. The Divine is, therefore absolute, capable of eternal revival, however a given god taken as an individual is not absolute but rather dependant on the Folk for identity. The Christian God, the slave-driver God, is an eternal and absolute Archetype, just as the wisdom God and war God are ultimately eternal and absolute Archetypes, but it is their incarnation which is not absolute (since indeed incarnation by definition is not absolute). I therefore submit that even by your argument, Gods remain in their nature absolute but at the same time not in anyway universal, since the spiritual encounter with an archetype is wholly dependant on the Folk from which one springs. A Germanic is not able to behold Mars in his glory, he can only truly grasp Óđinn or Ţórr. Likewise a Greek would never understand Freyja in the way they could experience Athena.


Do gods depend then on the biology of their Folk, or does the latter depend on the existence of its gods?

I would argue, based on all of the above, that both are true on some level, for the gods in being absolute are also multi-faceted. They are, in short, Total.

odinsson
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008, 04:05 AM
when you mention Bragi as a deified human i believe that this journey of personal evolution can lead you to be as one of the gods also but i see this as all a mystery of the universe and i won't understand it until i experience death

DominionsWolf
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010, 09:02 PM
A question for you Heathens and Asatruars:

What exactly is the nature of the gods, that is to say, are they real beings? Are they reflections of the psyche (Jungs Archetypes)? Something else?

Also, what exactly do you believe happens after death?

Myself, I think that Science has shown us that Materialist Science can explain the things we once called mysteries. When we die, our being physically dissolves, and we go into nonbeing (Mu - nothingness). However, I accept the gods as Archetypes of ourselves, but I am not a pagan.

These questions have always confused me. Thanks for answering.

rainman
Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 05:22 PM
There are different types of gods. The true nature of the gods are hidden from most people. The seven Roman state gods are represenatations of astrological energy of the seven visible planets and how they affect the human psyche. Gods also are symbolic representations and idealizations of a particular culture.

Change is constant. you are not the same person you were yesterday or ten years ago. Death is simply continuing that cycle of change. No magick soul comes out of you. You die and are reborn constantly. your thoughts change, your physical self etc. You live on through your actions which ripple out into eternity, through your blood, through your memory, through your ideas, and also your physical and energy self dissolves and is recycled. The electric that powers your body will power another. The elements in yoru body will turn into plants and animals and such. There is also the concept of eternal return...

Ocko
Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 06:12 PM
It is tricky to explain because our minds are trained to 'reality' as we know it. Gods belong to a reality which is not easily fathomed by an untrained mind. They are not part of your intellect and therefore don't fit into your intellect.

To my understanding God or Gods belong to the inner world. For me, the Gods are higher parts of ourselves. If you invoke them, your consiousness state changes.

In the Philokalia, the book of the christian Desert Fathers it is written:

'In proportion as the visitation of grace grew in strength and duration, so did the feeling of gratitude to God increase in my soul'

That is the Gods have an effect on you. So more you get into that state of consciousness (the desert fathers called it 'grace') so clearer becomes the picture. Whether Gods are 'consciousness' themselves or they only effect it is not clear to me.

Gods have their own language which is symbolic in nature, far away from intellectual words, concepts, ratio etc. The pictures they give come in omens, unusual events, dreams etc. To learn about Gods one has to learn this language.

Our far ancestors used outsittings, phrophesies, rituals, runestaffs etc to get closer to the Gods and find out what they want. It is a practice which has to be done to know more about Gods.

Gods also appear to be on the outside but that might simply be that our picture of 'reality' isn't correct. Philosophy and Espistemology tell us that we can't know for sure what 'reality' is really like. we simply make a concept of it in our head and create a picture. It works thats why we believe it is true to real reality. So when Gods appear to be on the outside it might be so or not. We can't really decide that unless we have a full disclosure of reality.

Or as Seargent Schulz said: 'I know nothing'

rainman
Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 10:00 PM
That's basically a realm we touch upon in religion: the mysterious. Our understanding of reality is limited. There are things outside of logic, observation, measure and study. This is the "spiritual". One must first admit that he/she is not omnipotent and not capable of understanding and classifying all things into neat order. Ordered reality stands along side the mysterious nature of life and existance and in this balance is found a harmonious relationship that we seek to cultivate with the cosmos.

That is we don't reject logic. We don't reject science, we simply are able to reach out into a dark mysterious realm that is outside of our ability to rationalize. I have had so many strange experiences that make absolutely no sense. Yet they happened. None of us percieves the world as it actually is thus there are always inconsistencies in our perceptions that we represent through symbols and ritual and such.

Lyfing
Sunday, February 28th, 2010, 11:32 PM
Hi,

I lean mostly towards an archetypal interpretation of divinity. I think they live in us as do our ancestors.

It goes beyond what we have figured into what we do though..??

Mike Smith puts the whole stance pretty well in his Ways of the Asatru (http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:7JaV-XVaI_4J:www.heathengods.com/library/mike_smith/WayoftheAsatru.pdf+mike+smith+ways+of+th e+asatru+filetype:pdf&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a)..


Chapter 2:
The Nature of Divinity and Deity in Ásatrú

Polytheism: n. the doctrine of, or belief in, many gods or more gods than one.

Ásatrú is a polytheist religion which anthropomorphizes its deities. What this means, is that we believe in multiple, individual gods and goddesses that appear or have the attributes of human beings. One of the largest and most important concepts of religion is the nature of divinity and deity. Within the Ásatrú religion, there is a wide road of generally accepted ideas and philosophies of the nature of divinity and deity. Within the context of this chapter, I will discuss five major viewpoints.

The first idea of the divine and deity is the belief that the gods and goddesses are actual, living beings. These beings were created by the unfolding universe. In this thought they too grow, mature, gain wisdom, and die as does everything else in the universe. They are divine in the aspect of them having a
longer life span, more power, greater intellect, and that they are our creators and ancestors. Our gods are
only immortal in relation to our own life span. They are not omniscient, or all knowing. In this, our gods
can understand us better in that they too must struggle to enforce their wills and desires within their own
existences. In that, the differences between a god and a mortal is merely by degree. A god's fundamental
nature is similar to mankind’s. The extreme position in this idea could encompass taking the lore as pure,
actual fact. This is the thought of the strictest polytheists.

The second concept of divinity and deity which I will discuss is the idea of the gods being a
manifestation of forces of nature. In this concept, the gods and goddesses of our folk are seen as being the
personified greatness of the natural world. The myths and lore are symbolic teachings in which the forces
of nature are personified into entities in order to help with understanding.

Although more pantheistic in nature, this is where the religious or philosophical belief adheres to
the thought that it is the universe itself and all of the creation within it which are divine. In this strict case,
divinity itself is not conscious, but a type of power which permeates, and is central, in all things. Often,
the concept of pantheism is confused with polytheism, even amongst many learned persons. For the sake
of this work, I am keeping in strict with definitions. In the light of accepting this concept, the myths and
lore would be thought of as being highly symbolic.

The archetype is the third concept in which we will discuss. It is based strongly on the works of
Professor Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist who wrote many essays and works in the 1900's. In his
works, an archetype was like a psychological "well" of conscious and unconscious memory in which new
life, enthusiasm, and energy for the soul and willpower of the individual, group, or peoples could be found.
In his famous essay, "Wotan" he writes;

"...We must go back to the age of myths, which did not explain everything in terms of man in his
limited capacities, but sought the deeper cause in the psyche and its autonomous powers. Man's earliest
intuitions personified these powers as gods and described them in the myths with great care and
circumstantially according to their various characters. This could be done the more readily on account of
the firmly established primordial types or images which are innate in the unconsciousness of many races,
and exercise a direct influence upon them. Because the behavior of a race takes on its specific character
from its underlying images, we can speak of an archetype, Wotan, as an autonomous psychic factor.
Wotan produces effects in the collective life of a people and thereby reveals his own nature. For Wotan
has a peculiar biology of his own, quite apart from the nature of man."
One should note that Jung’s use of the word, “race” was quite different than the modern usage.
When Jung was writing, “race” denoted what we would consider being a specific ethnicity (i.e. the Irish
race, the Roman race, or the race of the Franks).

There is a fourth concept of the nature of divinity and deity within Ásatrú in which I will explain
as being the patterns of the evolution and deification of the self. In this concept it is the self which is
divine, and the gods and goddesses are an internal function of every human being. In this concept and
viewpoint, the gods and goddesses are a part of the self and are also patterns for which one is to emulate in
order to gain in the evolution of the self.

The gods and goddesses in this thought exist as models for determining what is ideal and what is
inferior in the human condition and psyche. In the gods, we are to see ourselves in both strengths and
weaknesses. This is because the gods are, literally ourselves, in this philosophic concept. Myths and lore
are believed to be codes for learning about ourselves and how to improve the self, in this concept of
divinity and deity. In these thoughts, the gods, goddess, and other beings illustrate the conscious,
subconscious, and unconscious forces of the self.

The fifth, and final, concept of divinity and deity in which I will discuss is the intricate
combinations of the already explained concepts. In this thought pattern, the idea is that the nature of
divinity and deity is not to be defined so strictly. It adheres to the philosophy that the nature of the divine
is multi-natured to begin with. Within this concept, the idea that a deity could encompass existing as an
actual conscious being, a manifestation of nature, an archetype, and as also a piece of every individual
worshipper is acceptable in a vast array of degrees.

The myths and lore are accepted as spiritual truths in which some are to be taken literally, some
symbolically, and some as teachings for the evolution and discovery of the self. Deities are not only
internal, but also external. They are not only subjective, but also objective. The one thought process
which must be foremost in accepting this philosophy of the nature of divinity and deity is, to accept the
overriding idea that there is no such thing as contradiction.

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:7JaV-XVaI_4J:www.heathengods.com/library/mike_smith/WayoftheAsatru.pdf+mike+smith+ways+of+th e+asatru+filetype:pdf&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Later,
-Lyfing

xamarth
Monday, April 19th, 2010, 11:36 PM
Hi,

I don't believe that they literally exist, like if in the night I hear thunder I don't believe Thor is literally riding across the sky. But I do think that their existence, in some form, is likely and not impossible so I have an Agnostic slant to the whole thing.

With that said, I have a somewhat limited knowledge of Norse paganism. I'm still learning so forgive any errors I make in ignorance - I think that, for example, sacrifices or stating oaths at Blot to gods is acceptable and admirable. These gods of ours, be they totally real or be they fictional (I don't know) feature characteristics I see as highly admirable. Tyr sacrificing his hand for a greater good is an admirable deed. The multiple aspects of Odin I like - he is not a one-sided being and can be violent and brutal as a god of battle and war but also poetry. So to make an oath, or appeal to emulate such features in yourself is good.

In short... I think that the gods can be linked to things we find in ourselves and they are personifications of them except in a much stronger form (i.e. what we are not but could be perhaps).

Hope I made sense.

Grimsteinr
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, 03:32 PM
Lyfing posted:
"The fifth, and final, concept of divinity and deity in which I will discuss is the intricate
combinations of the already explained concepts. In this thought pattern, the idea is that the nature of
divinity and deity is not to be defined so strictly. It adheres to the philosophy that the nature of the divine
is multi-natured to begin with. Within this concept, the idea that a deity could encompass existing as an
actual conscious being, a manifestation of nature, an archetype, and as also a piece of every individual
worshipper is acceptable in a vast array of degrees.

The myths and lore are accepted as spiritual truths in which some are to be taken literally, some
symbolically, and some as teachings for the evolution and discovery of the self. Deities are not only
internal, but also external. They are not only subjective, but also objective. The one thought process
which must be foremost in accepting this philosophy of the nature of divinity and deity is, to accept the
overriding idea that there is no such thing as contradiction.

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:...ient=firefox-a

Later,
-Lyfing

Hailsan All,
Your 5th POU, Point of Understanding appeals best to me.......
But to me, the Gods and Goddesses are as Real as you and I. Anyone who has ever had a UPG, Unsubstantiated Person Gnosis has very little doubt of Their Reality. They know the Gods are as Real as the World we walk around in.

There is another Element that many Asartruar include in their Beliefs concerning the Gods. THat is the possibiulity that They may be Our Ancient Ancestors, Deified and Elevated by the centuries of Homage and Worship, to a very strong Thought Forms, and pools of intense Human thought and Energy that over time have gained an Identity, Actuality and Reality of Their Own.

As Ancient Ancestors, They are of "Our Blood and Our Bone". That could perhaps be an explanation for the Ancestral Link we have with Them, that other folk do not have. I think the article on Meta-genetics is a good explanation.
That Thought is used and amplified in the Rituals of The Odinic Rite. It's not exactly an Asatru group, but very nearly the same thing. Many Asatru follow that reasoning.
It works for me.

Bernhard
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010, 05:35 PM
There is another Element that many Asartruar include in their Beliefs concerning the Gods. THat is the possibiulity that They may be Our Ancient Ancestors, Deified and Elevated by the centuries of Homage and Worship, to a very strong Thought Forms, and pools of intense Human thought and Energy that over time have gained an Identity, Actuality and Reality of Their Own.


This made me think of this immediately: http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php?p=1002766&postcount=1

Drottin
Sunday, April 25th, 2010, 12:11 AM
I hope my views are not hurting anyone, but I really do not care:)

In my opinion we are not talking about gods in a Christian context. There is more talk about good and bad role models. Odin does a lot of mistakes and is not perfect. Tor is not perfect. Freya is not perfect. Loki's a bad figure, but he also makes good works. Human behavior, in other words ...

In the so-called world religions the gods are perfect. They never do wrong, they decide everything, control everything, see everything and so on. Inhumane conduct in other words. Bullsh.. in my words.

To me, faith is not based on a powerful god who sits on the toilet somewhere up in the clouds ..

The Norse "gods" are role models or the opposite. I learn from their mistakes and success. And I use their advice, and experiences in my life. Here on earth it is we who govern, man, we believe. It is also an illusion. We control nothing. There is only one force on earth and it is the earth, nature. We can put a filter on the exhaust pot. Next day a volcano breaks out, and the filter is like everything (allmost) we make, wasted.

To believe in supernatural beings who fly around the clouds, supernatural gods, is a filter people want to see through. But no matter how much we brush and rub on the filter, it is full of dirt and grime.

Finally, the filter get so exhausted that you can no longer see through the crap... We make then a new filter, better than the previous one, but whatever filter we make it is worn out at last. Judaism was one filter (based on other beliefs), so they created a new filter, Christianity. So they created a new filter, Islam ..

Seeing the world through a filter gives a wrong picture of the world.

The Norse faith is not such a filter, as the world's religions. Norse belief is something like we humans see the world. There is no perfect god who sit and shit up in a cloud. There will always be adultery. We will always make mistakes. We try to avoid making mistakes and we can learn a lot from the Norse "gods" You can unfortunately not learn from someone who never makes mistakes... You can not kill someone and get away with it by the forgiveness of something that does not exist. We, or at least I do not have to look at the world through a filter made in the Middle East.

The rules and advice from the Norse "gods" consists not of 10 inhumane and idiotic commandments:

You shall have no other gods before me (you is not so how can you say something like that?)
You shall not misuse the name of God (what the hell do you mean?)
You should keep the Sabbath day holy (it is good to work)
You shall honor your father and your mother (yes, if they deserve it)
You shall not murder (I will of course kill if necessary)
You shall not commit adultery (I will not live with a bitch)
You shall not steal (unless I have to steal)
You shall not speak false about your next (if he does it so I do it)
You shall not covet your neighbor's property (it is allowed to dream)
You shall not covet your neighbor's spouse, etc. (if she is beautiful so I can not leave:))

What is more important for me are the law. In the Norse world people owned the law. It was read for everyone at each meeting so that we could follow if anyone tried to change it. Did someone change the law so they were killed, even the king had to follow the law and could not change it. A good security system to pervent criminals and losers to take power.

We can have as many gods we want. But it helps little when we fail to maintain even our own laws. The law is controlled by the state, lawyers and jurists. Out of control. The consequences are easy to see. Another issue is liability. Today, you are responsible for your actions. Before the family was also partly responsible for your actions. Big difference. Before we had to actually take care of each other so that together we tried to keep track of our society.

I can discuss this forever, but I will finish off. These are some of my own views, I do not require you to believe in them ...:)

ulfrik
Saturday, November 20th, 2010, 10:21 AM
i believe there could be a allfather/god and that the gods are manifestations and personifications of things like war ,nature and creation.

Orme
Friday, November 26th, 2010, 04:35 AM
I really only consider Odin.

He is a friend, a guide, and a mentor.

Jonathan Eells
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011, 08:01 PM
This is an un-altered photo that I took from my driveway on the day I hoisted my personal "Raven Banner of Asgard", which I had ordered made for a boat. North Sails also makes flags and burgees and such. So I had them make me this flag, and I put it on my house. A few minutes later I was taking some pictures of it against the blue sky with the rainbow and THIS picture happened.

I see a one-eyed Smiley Face behind a Rainbow Bridge, smiling above my Raven Banner. I had taken several pictures of the flag, and this face coalesced in the photos as I was taking them. At the time my young son yelled "The Gods approve of our sledding!" because we were sledding at the moment.

I will not be convinced that it is a random cloud formation.

http://www.oakgroveacademy.org/OdinsMug.JPG