View Full Version : The Nature of Asatru by Mark Puryear - Introduction

Saturday, January 21st, 2006, 09:27 PM
by Mark Puryear


What is Asatru? It is commonly defined as the indigenous religion of the Northern European peoples, namely the Teutonic branch of the Indo-European family. The word "Asatru" is translated "Faith in the Aesir", the Aesir being the highest clan or tribe of our deities. This faith was once celebrated as the primary religion by people as far east as Russia, as far west as America and as far north as Iceland. Relics of its existence have dated as far back as pre-historic times, making it the heritage of anyone of Nordic descent. It is a religion that reveres nature and ancestry, and values honor and nobility. We worship many gods and goddesses, each a representative of natural forces as well as the ideals we aspire to. All across the world Asatru has re-awakened after centuries of slumber. Its profound philosophy challenges us to live life to its fullest and to continue to better ourselves. This is combined with a straightforward system of ethics and morals, all of which has appealed to people of all walks of life, many of whom seek to reclaim their sacred birthright.

I have been an "Asatruar" (practitioner of Asatru) for almost 20 years now, so I have seen just about all of the biases and misconceptions surrounding it. Although many of these are primarily derived from religious bigotry, much of the prejudice against the faith is due to a lack of understanding the true ideals behind it. A particular picture has been painted for the history of the ancient Teutons, especially after Scandinavians, so we are here to challenge this false imagery. I hope that, in the creation of this book I will be able to clear up many of the problems surrounding what is to us a sacred way of life, while, at the same time, teaching the general philosophic ideology that it is built upon.

I will briefly explain now what will be presented in more detail throughout this book concerning what Asatru is not. It is not "devil worship". We fully understand and accept the concept of good and evil and choose to work for what is good and right. There are no cults of Loki or Aurboda (our male and female representatives of corruption and evil); those who will try to include them into our pantheon have clearly not read our records carefully. We do not partake in human sacrifices and we do not believe in the harming of innocents. Animal sacrifice may be practiced by some groups, which is perfectly acceptable, since it is well understood that sacrifice was merely a means of sanctifying one's good before it was slaughtered. This is similar to the Jewish method of koshering animals. Of course, some religious groups will always see us as "devil worshippers" because we do not worship their god, but we cannot concern ourselves with such religious intolerance.

Asatru is not a religion of violence, strife and war. It is true that there is a warrior aspect to our faith, but certainly, as all people, we prefer peace to war, love over hate and harmony over discord, as did our ancestors. We are simply not hypocrites when it comes to the use of force. Some of the most warlike nations in the world are rules by followers of religions that claim to be peaceful and pacifist. Physical confrontation is sometimes inevitable, but always must be a last resort. What few realize is that the ideals of honorable combat of chivalry, where rules are imposed to maintain our humanity when we are at our least humane, have their foundation in the tenets and social mandates that Asatru is built upon:

Asatru is not a "Viking" religion. Even though the most famous practitioners of the faith were the Vikings, their era represents a short timespan in the long existence of our religion, which has lasted for thousands of years. Because of false representations of the Vikings created by the church, it has been reported by some that Asatruar support rape and pillaging. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is irresponsible of so-called 'educated' people to base their conclusions on what they see on television or in the movies. In many ancient Asatru societies rape was considered as bad or worse than murder and it was often punishable by death. Ancient laws tell us specifically that rape was never considered acceptable by our ancestors, nor was thievery for that matter. We cannot deny that the Vikings attacked and robbed churches in their time. This is historical fact. In their defense the so-called "Viking Age" must be looked at, for the most part, as a sort of war between the natives of Northern Europe and its Christian invaders, since it coincides with the violent introduction of Christianity into this region. Under Roman decrees the church was heavily taxing areas it controlled while non-Christian "heathens" were brutally attacked, tortured and murdered for practicing their ancestral ways. In response, the Vikings raided monasteries and the Christian villages near them, taking back what belonged to the natives there in the first place! Even so, there isn't any reason why Asatruar today would consider pillaging of any sort, just as a Christian today, in most cases, wouldn't stone someone to death for committing adultery.

Asatru is not a "racist" religion. It is an ethnic religion, and there is an emphasis on heritage and ancestry, but this must not be misconstrued as racism. There are some hate groups out there who have perverted the ideals of our faith to meet their political agenda, but few religions are exempt from this. The Ku Klux Klan claims to be based on Christian teachings and Muslims all over the world try to separate themselves from the terrorists that threaten our safety. In considering the folkish values of Asatru the best comparisons would be those of Native Americans, the Hindus and the Oriental Shinto religion. All of these faiths represent an entire culture embodied by the ethnicity and nationality of their adherents. This does not imply any sort of hatred or disrespect towards other peoples or cultures. In fact, I have often found that respect for others and their cultures is much greater when one first learns to love themselves and their own.

Asatru is not an exercise in anachronism. There are some out there who like to play "dress up" when attending ceremonies or festivals, which is fine, as long as it is not seen as the primary purpose in our observances. I believe that our ancestors were very progressive, with a sense of fashion and technology that continued to evolve throughout the ages. They did not wear clothes that befit a bygone era, and there aren't any records describing such a tendency. Of course, pageantry was known, as was mummery, so we wouldn't reject the idea of dressing up, it’s the purpose behind it that is important. We must be progressive and creative, not simply relying on the past for our practices. There is even evidence that the priesthood of ancient times had changing styles in their mode of dress for ceremonial purposes. The point is that our religion is an evolving ideal that advances with the ages and continues to move forward in our modern era. To focus mainly on the past is missing the point, since it is clear that our people have always forged ahead with the latest advancements in our civilizations. Although honoring our past is important, it should not keep us from looking towards the future. Our motto should be: "Hearts in the past, minds on the present, eyes on the future".

Asatru is not dogmatic. Although certain methods of reconstruction are being developed which may help to bring this faith to a state similar to that which it had before its corruption by Christianity, it can never be stated that there is only "one true path to the gods". How people interpret our traditions is up to them. I think that most Asatruar appreciate this independence, this ability to live one's spiritual lives free from the mandates of a dictatorial hierarchy. No one can claim to be an "authority" on our path, since we have the freedom to accept or reject any ideal or tradition, so long as we remain within the boundaries of the overall principles. No two Asatruar will think alike, as it should be. Many of the ideas presented in this book may be subject to scrutiny, for my views may not be the same as others'. But my aim here is solely to help people understand the basic concepts of Asatru, in hopes of re-kindling the ancient fire in the hearts of our folk as we shine new light on this ancestral faith.

Now that we have thoroughly examined what Asatru is not, I'll continue explaining what it is. To me, it is a connection to life, to the living universe, which in itself is a truly empowering concept. Our gods and goddesses are our earliest ancestors, representing a continually evolving network of existence that spans throughout all of nature, with all of us taking part. I am the son of my fathers and the father of my sons, a part of a line, a bloodline that is metaphysically and significant and will continue to be for all time. The deities of our pantheon are an ancient source of inspiration who have always been there driving our people forward. Their stories give us something to aspire to, their wisdom guides us in all that we do. Even if we ignore them they are still there, and their blood still pumps in our veins. Even if we look at foreign cults for spiritual fulfillment, they are still there, watching over us as parents to their children. They give us our honor and our courage, our talents and our strengths, for we will always be one with them, as long as we exist.

There are various interpretations of our myths regarding the existence of our gods and goddesses. Some see them as personifications of natural forces; others view them as paradigms, or models to live our lives by. Still others consider them to be actual beings living on another world or plane of existence. The latter are divided into two categories: the spiritualists and the materialists. The spiritualists maintain that the gods and goddesses are ethereal beings living on another plan or dimension of reality. The materialists claim that these deities, products of evolution, are actual living beings who reside on another world somewhere in our universe. Most people use logic and science to validate their respective beliefs, since many choose to accept a worldview they consider to be based on intelligence and a true desire for understanding. Anyone new to the faith must first seek out and find the interpretation that makes the most sense to them, so they may see the gods and goddesses in a way that inspires them and helps them to find the spiritual path that suits them.

People today grow so sick of "religion", and with good reason. Religion without spirituality quickly stagnates so all that remains is an addiction to the mob. Religious groups try to feed this addiction by building huge places of worship and filling them with thousands of people, most of whom merely pay lip service to the faith out of fear of "eternal damnation". Then you have thousands of sects to choose from and each sect think all the other sects are doomed to this "eternal damnation", so, at the very least, there is constant bickering among them. Who needs that?

The fact is that spiritual decay comes from a lack of a cultural identity for the faith itself. Why is this? Because indigenous religions were formed from the very core of our ancestral soul. They developed as we evolved through countless eons and are ingrained into the very fiber of our being. In ancient times the very word 'religion' did not exist, nor were there any distinctions between different faiths, other than the cultural identity. A person's religion was reflected by their very existence, by the way they looked and where they came from, for religion was culture! The faith was expressed in their laws, in their diet, in their modes of transportation, in all that they did and in every aspect of their lives. Ancient, organic religions encompass every facet of the human experience, and Asatru does this with a bold and direct approach. The god or goddess of love exists because love is a part of the human experience, as is war, agriculture, wealth, etc. Without such strong connection to the lives of our people and our ancestry a religion must have powerful tenets of subjugation to keep its followers humbled and silent.

Christianity was forced upon Northern Europe with centuries of warfare, inquisitions and political manipulations. Even with the immense power to the Roman Empire behind them it still took over 500 years to convert all of the northern nations, and they never realized their goal of wiping out the ancient religions entirely. This book is living proof of that, as is the entire Asatru nation as it stands today. We mustn't hate Christians for this, for most do not even know about it and just want to live their lives as good people under the standards they were raised by. You may read essays and books from the Asatru community and think that many of us are vehemently anti-Christian. For the most part, when we are discussing the past atrocities committed by the church our words are not intended to blanket statements against all Christians, but are instead aimed at helping people to better understand the truth of what happened. In our search for the truth and our desire to uncover it we hope to show our folk, those who will listen, that we can be religious without all of the negative emotions usually associated with this. We will not proselytize, for our aim is to teach, not preach.

Because of the attempt to completely destroy the ancient faiths many of our traditions have been left in shattered pieces collected by monks in the Middle Ages. Their reason for collecting the fragments was partly due to nationalism and partly to a propaganda method used by the church to explain why Europe had been heathen for thousands of years, contradicting the biblical idea that the Christian god had always ruled over our world. The concept of propaganda was that our gods and goddesses were ancient kings and queens who had tricked the ancients into worshipping them, for they were powerful magicians who became demons after their deaths.

We are fortunate that such collections were made at all, for we could have lost all records of our faith forever. However, these records are greatly mutilated and tainted by Christian and Classical influence, so we have much work to do in reconstructing the religion. It is our duty to do this - to rebuild and re-establish the ancient customs in the best way imaginable. In doing so we are effectively re-creating an entire culture from the ground up. Because Asatru is an organic religion, grown from the social strata of Northern Europe, all aspects of the ancient culture must be rebuilt in order to fully embrace the Teutonic religious way of life. The separation of religion from culture has even caused Asatruar today to overlook many facets of our faith. Focusing on rituals and runes shows that the sacred way of life has been contained within temple walls for far too long. Now we must begin to see the sacred in all that we do, for we are a part of the world around us!

Our method of reconstruction must involve every single fundamental of living culture. Such a basis, built upon "The Twelve Fundamentals", will allow us to turn over every stone and find all of the information we need for our revival, our Asatru Renaissance! These fundamentals are Lore/Theology, Pantheon, Nature, Diet, Law, Music, Dance, Combat, Ritual and Prayer, Folk and Ancestry, Arts and Crafts, and Magic. Every ancient civilization has manifested these fundamentals in one way or another. I have found them to be a potent tool in developing a foundation for our research so that we may reach our goal of a renewed faith. In order for us to have a religious revival we must have a cultural revival, for to the practitioner of an indigenous religion, they are one and the same!

I have no doubt that Asatru can bring many answers for our people in their search for spiritual fulfillment. All that can be found elsewhere is no farther than your front door, so to speak. As we build communities and develop projects to serve our folk more people will realize the power of collective consciousness, and will find significance in their individual life. You are significant, you are valid, you are important. No matter what or who you are you belong to a family, a genetic line that is the lifeblood of your folk, celebrated through your cultural heritage. Once you recognize this perhaps you may consider taking your place among those proud men and women who honor their gods and goddesses, their ancestors, and their lands. Thank you.

- Mark Puryear

Source (http://www.norroena.org/NatureAsatru/intro.html)

Saturday, January 21st, 2006, 09:29 PM
The Nature of Asatru
by Mark Puryear

Chapter 1: The Gods and Goddesses

At the core of every faith are the deities that are worshipped or honored. Worship, in our view, denotes a reverence through celebration and respect. We pay tribute to our gods and goddesses as the parents of our folk, choosing to face them with bold and noble spirits. We will not submit ourselves before the divine, nor do we see them as our "masters", for we are kinsmen, related through an ancient bloodline with origins reaching back to the dawn of humanity. Their stories still live with us and speak to us as they did to our ancestors millenia ago. This continued survival is a testament to the strength and power of the folk-will, expressed through the vitality of the ancient customs themselves.

Each deity in our pantheon has a specific duty or attribute within their family or clan. These attributes manifest to us as focal points for specific prayers or lessons we can learn from their lore. In all respects the gods and goddesses represent the higher ideal of mankind, which we must strive for as creatures of evolution. No matter who you are or what your station is in life you can and should always strive to be something better. That is the ultimate purpose of our existence, and the ultimate goal for Asatruar. To evolve mentally, physically and spiritually is the entire foundation of our religious motives. When we read the ancient tales we allow them to inspire us to reach for the divine, bringing us closer to our beloved gods and goddesses in this life and the next.

The following is a list of some of the major deities of our faith. The primary focus here is to explain the philosophical ideology centered around the pantheon, so this list is by no means complete. I will be giving a brief explanation of their nature, followed by the lessons they teach us within the lore associated with themn. Simply serving as an introduction to our concept of divinity, this should begin the quest of familiarizing oneself with all of the gods and goddesses known to us. In your own discoveries you may find new lessons, and new bits of wisdom that will affect you in some way. Read their stories in the Eddas and elsewhere, then see how they speak to you.


The masculine paradigm of the ancient Teutons was unique among the peoples of the time in that it represents a balanced approach to the very image of manliness. Northern Europeans have always stood apart in their definition of masculinity, seeing it as a combination of heroism and benevolence. Machismo was utterly foreign to this ideal, since our ancestors placed a strong emphasis on nobility. The Teutonic hero was as kind as he was brave, a themse seen repeatedly in the muths and folklore. Nevertheless, it was manliness that was admired and always has been admired by our people. Limp-writed, flamboyant displays of femininity have no place in the hearts of our men, nor should women respect those who express them. Understanding, then living up to the ideal of manhood as displayed by our gods and heroes may help our folk in reclaiming their cultural identity. It should also begin a new appreciation for true family values; when men act like men- as providers, protectors and teachers, their roles as fathers should be highly acclaimed. For this model, we look to the gods to guide us on our path.

Odin: Our highest god, known by many different names, if all All-Father: lord over the winds, god of wisdom, of ancient secrets and untold powers. With his brothers, Vili and Vem Odin created our people and our world. The reason he is worshipped as the highest god is because he represents the perfect balance of higher life. He is a warrior, willing to fight for what is right and honorable. He is a king, a noble and valiant leader of gods and men, always placing others' needs before his own. He is a magician, wise and intelligent, always seeking new knowledge and learning new secrets. Finally, he is a lover, kind and benevolent, gentle and caring. From a psychological perspective this is the very ideal of the well-rounded man.

From Odin, we see the life of struggle for improvement directly, as stories of his adventures describe toil and sacrifices made to gain wisdom and experience. he hung on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine nights without food or drink, wounded by his spear. Then he later gave his eye - all so he could continue to better himself for the sake of the worlds and his beloved children. He travels all the realms of existence in search of new ways to evolve, to continue learning the secrets of the universe, so that we may gain from his teachings.

Odin's search for wisdom is not based simply on self-aggrandizement or personal accomplishment. The quest for the higher self is never subject to narcissism, which contradicts the very concept. When Odin journeys through the worlds he does so in the service of his folk: the eternal student is also the great teacher. All that he does he does for us, so that we in turn shall help those around us.

Thor: Odin's son is the mighty champion of the gods, the most powerful warrior in all the worlds, and the protector of Midgard (another name for earth). In his own way, Thor represents an inner balance as well, for he is seen as both the fierce combatant and the loving friend. In one instant his menacing gaze could strike fear into the heart of almost any creature. In the next, his hearty laugh and warm disposition could move even the sternest of souls. His is the most ancient, most profound image of the Nordic warrior, which has lived through the age of Vikings, the era of knights, the time of muskateers, onward to todays soldiers. The Nordic warrior is not known for his savagery, but for his nobility. He will aid the weak, protect the downtrodden, even pay tribute to a fallen foe. It is true that gods of war are worshipped in the Asatru faith, but without them and their creed, combat would have been a much more brutal aspect than it does today.

Thor protects those who cannot protect themselves, always fighting with honor for honor's sake. His powerful hammer has become the emblem of our religion. This mighty weapon he uses, on the one hand, to destroy the forces of chaos, then on the other, to sanctify all sorts of things with power, both within ourselves and within others. We must use our strengths wisely and beneficially, refraining from the destructive paths of tyranny and malevolence. Simply because one has power does not mean they should abuse it.
Of course, the model of Thor is a heroic one, so he inspires us to be courageous as well as bold, and to always be vigilant against the forces of chaos that could do us harm. It is our duty to our people to fight against tyrants, bullies and criminals, a duty that Thor hold in the highest esteem.

Balder: Where Thor stands above all the other gods in strength, Balder does so in kindness. He is the most beloved deity in our pantheon, the god who won the hearts of all creatures with his loving spirit. Although he too is a warrior, he has the most forgiving, most conciliatory disposition than all other beings. He teaches us to always consider physical force as a last resort, to display cooperation and compromise in the face of conflict. I believe that Balder is considered "the most beloved god" because he represents the highest ideals of civilization- compassion and kindness, which in turn should be considered the greatest virtues within our religious philosophy. It is easy for a warrior to forget their humanity in the face of an enemy, easy to give in to anger and rage when frustrated by an opponent. It is the paradigm of Balder that keeps our hearts in check when we might lose control of ourselves.
To make peace, to forgive, to express love to others, these are all ideas associated with Balder. All living things, even those among the forces of chaos, adore him for this. Only Loki and Aurboda were hateful enough to lack sympathy for his death, which Loki ultimately caused. Balder is our god of justice as settler of disputes, promoter of harmony. His son, Forseti, inherited this position from his father after he was slain. The peacemaker is a duty well-loved by all, for everyone prefers peace and harmony over conflict and strife.

Frey: He is the god of fertility and virility. His status among the gods includes all aspects of male sexuality and reproduction. Often depicted naked, with an erect penis, Frey is the incarnation of vigorous sexual strength. As a representative of the creative energies he rules over the harvest, the nature-artists known as Alfar, and the cycles of life. He reminds us that we are still natural beings, as much a part of the world around us as any other creature. It is foolish of us to try to separate ourselves from nature, to think we are somehow above it or to think that is is there for us to exploit in any way we choose. As natural beings we should never be ashamed of our sexuality, for it is as much a part of our existence as breathing.

We should not confuse Frey's role as the god of sexuality and fertility with that of a god of hedonism. There is no Nordic equivalent to Bacchus or Dionysus, no orgiastic cults associated with our ancient faith. Although we do not subscribe to puritanical suppression of natural sexual urges, our people have always recognized a personal responsibility towards honor and dignity in our affairs between men and women. Such responsibilities, which will be discussed in detail later, are a part of Frey's role as well.

Frey's lesson is to embrace our human nature, as well as to accept certain limitations. Semitic religions have taught us to reject the most valuable aspects of life! There is nothing wrong or shameful about sexuality, only in acts that bring harm to you, to others, or to your family and folk. We must cast off the shackles of artificial doctrines that would deny us one of our most basic needs! Without a natural, healthy sexual idealism for the folk perversions arise that leave many trapped in the self-imposed lifestyles of degenerate behaviour. Even among the most liberal of people there is still a need for some shred of respectability, which is innate within us all.

Njord: Father of Frey and Freya, he is the god of wealth, prosperity and commerce. As stated before, Asatru recognizes and celebrates all aspects of the human experience. Because of this there is no disdain towards wealth or the wealthy found in our traditions. In fact, almost every ancient tale from Northern Europe glorifies the noble class in one way or another. Why is this? Because Asatru religion is based on the natural evolutionary competition where all must strive and struggle to be the best they can be. With such a philosophy must be combined the strict mandates of generosity and hospitality that were the hallmarks of Nordic civilization.

Today, a lot of emphasis is placed on equality among all, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in most cases. We simply must not take this too far and forget that we are supposed to work towards excellence, to essentially become better than others. Such a desire to rise above should not be combined with guilt for our achievements, for we earned them and deserve rewards for them!

Often times we can recognize nobility through actions more than wealth, for anyone can be noble. If we toil for our improvement eventually we will succeed, for those who will continue to move forward in spite of difficulty or opposition will always profit from this. So Njord teaches us to work hard, persevere, educate ourselves and tru to be as successful as we can be, so we can become benefactors among our folk. This shouldn't be regarded as some sort of "cult" philosophy, where we would want to siphon money from other Asatruar. It is simply a decree that success, coupled with generosity is honorable, even encouraged within our ancient customs. We do not see money as "the root of all evil", but we do not accept greed in any of its forms. Such a vice is known in our ancient records to incur the wrath of the gods, since those who are miserly care little for the needs of their family and folk.

Hod: He is probably the most misunderstood of all the gods, and is indeed the most unlucky. First of all, the idea that he was ever believed to be blind, a concept developed in the Christian era from a mainstream misconception, is false and should be ignored. The stories tell us that Loki tricked Hod into killing his own brother, Balder, which in turn condemned him to die. Some have taken this slaying, together with Hod's supposed blindness, as a sign that he was some sort of "dark god", worshipped by the sinister among our ancestors. However, such thiunking defies what we know from our sources and undermines the tragedy of this saddest of tales.
From his youth to the moment of his death, Hod had to deal with one misfortunate after another, telling us that even gods can have bad luck. But Hod accepts his faith, even in the end when he had to die at the hand of his other brother, Odin's newborn son, Vali. Thus, Hod's lesson is that no matter who we are we are bound to face adversity at some point in our lifetime. The amount of misfortunes one faces is no measure of a man; it is rather how he faces them that is important. Because of Hod's noble spirit in the face of struggle he shall return with Balder after Ragnarok, the great conflagration, to rebuild the worlds.

Tyr: The best known story relating one of Tyr's adventures is the binding of Fenris wolf, Loki's monstrous son who became so large and savage, he began to threaten the world order. Many interpret this binding as the restraining of chaotic forces by those of order and good. In order for the wolf to be bound, Tyr had to sacrifice his right hand so that the honor of the gods would not be forsaken as they tricked the wolf into letting them fetter him. Therefore, Tyr is viewed as a martyr-god, he who gave up his own hand to protect the worlds. As the god of war such a sacrifice was indeed significant, for lack of a hand is a great loss for one in combat.

From this it is obvious to see that Tyr's lesson is one of bravery and a willingness to do whatever it takes for the safety of one's people. It takes a supreme amount of love and loyalty for one to give up life or limb for those they are devoted to. Anyone who would make the ultimate sacrifice should be honored and revered by their folk as true heroes, given a place among ancestors before them who have done the same. Peace cannot be maintained without war, which is why it is the war god who must bind the wolf. An admiration for heroism is a sign of true appreciation for those who would fight and die for their land and people. Such sacrifices must not just be left up to soldiers either, for any of us can play our part in the welfare of our nations. We simply must be bold enough to do this!

Heimdall: Once, the guardian of the worlds, Heimdall came down to Midgard to bless our gentic lines with his essence and to bring culture to our people. It is believed that all of our earliest industries and technologies came to us from the gods through Heimdall. He taught our ancestors how to pray, how to grow crops, how to make and use fire, how to bake, to craft and forge, spin and weave, read and write, and gave them the knowledge of the runes- ancient secrets and symbols used in various ways.

As the great Teutonic culture-bringer, Heimdall teaches us the sanctity of our heritage. There is nothing more valuable, more sacred than the ancestral ways and genetic inheritance passed down to us through countless ages. Not only do they connect us to who we are, they give us our place in eternity, as the middle point beween that which has been and that which will be. Patriotism doesn't even come close in matters of importance, for borders come and go, while our cultural, ethnic birthright is eternal! How can we take pride in being American or Canadian or German or English, etc. if we cannot first be proud of who we are genetically? Geographic distinctions are man-made and artificial, whereas your bloodline was given to you by nature, and for us Asatruar, by the gods and goddesses of our people! This heritage, above all else, is what makes you special. We should not allow the perversion of this natural tendency towards your folk, which has manifested, for some, as ignorant bigotry, turn us away from a legacy that has existed for centuries, which we should be proud of.

In celebrating our ancient faith we honor Heimdall as the god who taught it to us in the first place. As he established the earliest customs, so must we continue teaching them to our children, encouraging them to teach it to their children, and so on. An understanding of the importance of the cultural identity may bring new life into the hearts of many who feel lost in the cultureless morass of self-centered consumerism.

Ull: Originally, he was one of the Alfar, lesser demigods in close relations to the higher deities. His mother is Sif and his father Egil-Orvandil, both well respected member of the Alfar clans. Through a series of adventures with his half-brother, Svipdag, Ull managed to build an outstanding reputation of heroism, leading to his adoption among the major gods. At one point, during a period when Odin was exiled from Asgard, Ull was elected to act in his stead as the highest god. Fortune continued to smile on his family as Svipdag married Freya, thus becoming a higher god himself, and Sif, after Egil died, married Thor, becoming a goddess.

Ull's life story tells us that nothing is unachievable for those willing to strive and struggle. He inspires us to reach for our dreams, to never settle for second best, and to never lose sight of our goals. Sometimes the road of ambition is a long, difficult path to follow, but in the end its rewards are tremendous. If a young demigod can attain the position of highest of all the gods, certainly we can achieve anything we set our minds to. As with Ull, we only need the support of others, a strong heart, an oppurtunity and we can do anything!


As the gods epitomize the ideals of manly virtue, the goddesses exemplify all that can be expressed through feminine nobility. Beauty, motherhood, sensuality, nurturing, all that women are and can be is represented through the female divine principle. SInce there are no goddesses among the patriarchal, monotheist religions, this principle has been missing from the lives of many. The ancient Northern Europeans maintained a profound respect for goddesses and women that was unparalleled anywhere else. No other cultures in the world put more of an emphasis on honoring women than the Teutons and Celts; a social element well noted by foreign observers. In fact, Europeans are the only ones known to have had established matriarchies, where noble queens ruled. Even today, the only countries that fully embrace the concept of women's rights are either European or are strongly influenced by European values. The goddesses inspire our women to be strong, independent, and noble, without compromising their femininity. They are to be vital members of oru Asatru nation, standing beside our men as equals, valued for their roles among our people.

FRIGGA: The wife of Odin and queen of Asgard, she is identical to Jord or Nerthus, our Mother Earth. This title is connected to both her husband's creation of Midgard and her clan's position in the pantheon, for she is one of the Vanir, the nature deities. She is our All-Mother, Odin's female counterpart representing motherhood, childbirth, and the revered roles of women in the home. She is the incarnation of the female creative force, highly honored by our folk. Where Odin is Father Sky, she is our bounteous earth, bringing forth the rewards of life and plenty for those who will work for them.

Frigga's lesson commands resdect for her powers of creation. With soaring populations and rampant industrialism we have abused our earth for far too long. It is our duty as Asatruar, as people living on this planet, to do our part in protecting our environment. Our faith originates in a strong connection to the land and to the forces of nature. Religion and nature must never be seperated, for we must never believe that we are somehow above natural law. With all of our money, with all of our technology, we are still children of our Mother Earth, whose powers we have only begun to understand. The balance of her ecosystems is fragile and sacred, not to be toyed with by the selfish or greedy. Those who will treat her with respect, who will toil for her gifts, may reap the rewards of her bounty without raping her.

FREYA: She is our goddess of love, fertility, fecundity, and female sexuality- the counterpart to her brother, Frey. Like Frigga, she represents motherhood and childbirth, the woman's powers of creation. The most beautiful of all the goddeses, women pray to her for help in all matters. She is married to Od-Svipdag, and once travelled all the worlds searching for him when he was in exile. Her tears, the tears of a woman's love, became gold, serving as compensation for an insult her husband had made against the gods.

Before the coming of Christianity our women had the freedom to live their lives in any way they chose. Some even became warriors, joining men in battle on land or at sea. Still others became mighty rulers. At the same time, traditional female roles were admired by all, having an equally important status as men's duties. No matter what her class, the housewife, named after Freya (Husfreyja, G. Hausfrau) was highly respected in her home and community. She wore the keys to the house around her waist as a symbol of her authority. From this, a competition of sots would have existed, where women would work to have the most well-kept home in their tribe or clan. There was nothing subservient about the position at all, until foreign belief systems were introduced, diminishing the place of the "lady of the house" considerably.

Freya teaches us to love women, for women to love who they are and for men to love them for it. In order for a man to have respect for a woman, she must first have respect for herself, and vice versa. For feminists to condemn or devalue traditional roles for women is to betray some of the most valued aspects of femininity, essentially giving in to the patriarchal view that these roles are not as important as men's. Women are naturally caretakers and nurturers, so the idea of motherhood should be considered the most significant for women in our society. But this does not mean that we would chain our women to the idea, just as we wouldn't hold our men to any preconceived notion about what should be important to them. There is power in promotion, and it is important for us to promote the idea of family and kinship to all our people.

Remember, the same forces that enslaved women enslaved all of us, men and women, to their crude doctrine. Reactionary disgust towards a foreign paradigm is natural, but should not get in the way of our developing a position, productive outlook towards these traditional roles. New trends must be created and promoted where natural roles are respected and valued by everyone, while at the same time continuing the work for women's freedom and equality. If all aspects of femininity are not given equal value, those women who do not meet current standards, who choose to adopt traditional roles, are not treated with as much respect, essentially, as their more "progressive" constituents. Such a devaluation is part of the reason European populations are steadily declining, leading us towards our extinction.

NANNA: Daughter of the moon-god, Mani, she is Balder's devoted wife. The love she has for her husband is thought to exceed any love ever known. When she saw him being carried to his funeral pyre, after he had been slain, she immediately died from a broken heart. Now, she lives with him in the Underworld, preparing the children of the renewal for their duties after ragnarok. Her eternal love reaches even beyond the boundaries of life and death. It is generally accepted that, from her devotion to her husband, Nanna represents fidelity and loyalty. However, her name means "The Brave", which denotes her feminine strength as well. Her loyalty could never be confused as submission, even though Christian doctrine tried to convince women that this is exactly what this means! We can therefore consider her to be the goddes of equal marriages as well. Modern Europeans are only reclaiming their heritage when re-establishing the idea of equality between husband and wife, where we are partners in our relationship.

Nanna's death not only represents her devotion as a wife, it is also signifies how much Balder deserved such affection. We should strive to love our spouses, or mates with all the passions we can muster, while continuously earning their passionate love. Imagine how strong a love could be for a wife to actually die from seeing her dead husband. If we only earn a fraction of such faithfulness we could build relationships to last a lifetime!

SKADI: If there is any doubt about the existence of the ancient model of the strong Nordic woman, one only needs to read the lore on Skadi. She is the mighty goddess of the hunt, who seems to manifest all of the freedoms women held in ancient Northern Europe. She was allowed to choose her own husband (which was unheard of elsewhere at the time), hunts the wild mountain ranges near Thrymheim, her home, and once even challenged all of the gods and goddesses of Asgard! Early nobles proudly traced their ancestry through her, and it is thought that Scandinavia (Skadinauja) was named after her.

She is the daughter of Volund-Thjazi, and was extremely upset when she learned that the gods had killed him. She adoned herself with arms and armor, walked up to the Bifrost Bridge to Asgard, then demanded compensation for the slaying. In doing so she was following the sacred duties of kinship, which commands that we seek reparation for any harms done to ourselves or our family. Obviously, given her attire, she was well prepared to fight, which surely would have led to her death. But the gods and goddesses chose to make amends by allowing her to choose a husband among them by the sight of his feet, which in effect would give her the rank of an Asynja, or goddess of the Aesir. Also, she was made to laugh by Loki, alleviating her sorrow, and Volund was honored by having his eyes cast up into the heavens by Thor to become stars.

When Skadi made her choice of a husband, thinking that she had spotted the feet of Balder, who she wanted, it was Njord who became her spouse. Even in her marriage to him she exemplifies her independent nature. Her home is in the mountains, which Njord cannot stand to reside in; his home is near the ocean, which she cannot bear. So they live separately, although they are presumably still married.

Loki played a major role int he death of her father, a fact that Skadi never loses sight of. In the end, after Loki is banished from Asgard for his treachery and bound by the entrails of his own evil son, she is the one who places the serpent over his face, which will drip burning venom on his face until Ragnarok, causing him much pain and suffering. In all respects Skadi is the embodiment of the strong, free-willed woman, standing equal to many of the gods in might and bravery.

URD: There is a late tradition where Loki's half-black, half-pale daughter rules the Underworld under the name Hel. The idea is based on a Christian misconception purposely devised to make the Teutonic eschatology and cosmology match that of the Bible. His daughter's real name is Leikin, who only watches over the realm of the damned as Hel's slave. The true Hel is, in fact, our goddess of fate, of that-which-is, the benevolent deity concerned with matters of life and death, Urd. She is the highest of the Norns, powerful maidens directly linked to all sentient beings as their guardians or the creators of their destiny. Her sisters, Verdandi and Skuld, help her weave the web of wyrd, a symbol of synchronicity and the relationship between all life in the universe.

To our ancestors, no power was greater than that of Fate. It is possible that it was personified as a mighty deity (Metod) worshipped by the gods and goddesses, with Urd as his representative. Today there are many, caught up in the ideals of individualism, who do not believe in fate simply because they feel they can control their own destiny. Such a belief is based on a lack of understanding of what fate is. All we can "control" in life is our own choices, how we choose to live and deal with what life has to offer. Everything else is fate. Let's consider an example:

You see a carrot laying on a table, then decide you want to eat the carrot, so you move towards it. Here you are controlling your choice, your decision that you want that carrot. But then, I run up, grab the carrot and take off with it. Of course you could say I'm just being a jerk, but nevertheless, you do not have the carrot, even though it was your decision to get it. This is fate. You cannot control your destiny because you cannot control your environment or those around you. This is why, in Asatru, the concept is represented by a web, with each thread, a thread of fate, signifying the life of an individual. When two threads meet this is the overlapping of two lives: our relationships with oen another. As we live out our existence Urd creates our threads of fate from her sacred well, feeds them to her sister Verdandi who weaves them into web, the lives or fates of others, then Skuld cuts them, deciding our time to die.

Urd's lesson is to accept life on life's terms. We may not be able to control our environment, but we can control how we deal with it. We will make our decisions, trying to make the best of any situation, and hope that Fortune will shine down on our endeavors. No matter what the outcome we must face our ups and downs with dignity. Most problems human beings face are based on our perception of hour things should be, rather than how they are. Developing an acceptance of what happens is a mark of the highly evolved person. This is not to say that we do not try to fix wrongs, or that we live passively, waiting for fate to lead our way, it is simply a decree that things happen for a reason. This is why Urd is not that goddess of that-which-was or the "past" as it is commonly defined, but rther of that-which-is, the way things are and the circumstances that have led up to them. When bad things happen we learn from our mistakes, or demand compensation when we are wronged, or fight against those who oppress us. Fixating on the past changes nothing.

SIF: Although the most noteworthy story about Sif is Loki's cutting of her hair, which led to the great artists' competition, it is not here that we look for the wisdom of her lore. There is a tale where she appears under a different name, Kraka, where she is the step-mother of Svipdag-Erik. Freya was once betrayed by her maidservant, Aurbodam and placed in the hands of the Jotuns, the children of chaos. There she was guarded by a large clan of powerful Jotun warriors under the leadership of Beli, a mighty chieftain. Sif enticed her stepson to recue the goddess, which was indeed a perilous quest. So perilous, in fact, that Svipdag believed his stepmother was trying to lead him to his death. But Sif knew the decrees of the Norns well, and knew that Svipdag would achieve his goals. When Ull, her son, decided to join in the adventure, she asked Svipdag to watch over his brother, which he readily agreed to do. This began what could be called the greatest hero-saga known in the Teutonic lore. Ull gained the greatest of glories, as we have seen, and Svipdag, also known as Od, became Freya's husband and a god himself.

From this story we can see Sif's lesson as one of shrewd, stern wisdom, where one may have to go againstr the wishes of those they love or care for for the greater good. Svipdag believed she had malicious intent in her urges for the adventures he would face because he felt that they were beyond his means. But Sif knew better, and did what she felt was right for her stepson. Sometimes we have to do what's best, even if it isn't necessarily popular. Had she not been bold enough to incite Svipdag, he would have missed out on the highest honors. Those who will stand their ground on such matters, no matter what stands in their way, are the people we want as leaders among our folk.

GROA: Sif is Svipdag's stepmother, Groa is his mother, both wives of Egil-Orvandil. When Svipdag suspected ill-will in Sif's demands that he seek our Freya, he went to his mother's grave to call upon her aid. Before her death she had told her son to visit her cairn if he was ever in need of her help. Rather than supporting Svipdag's suspicions against Sif, she sang songs over him that would strengthen his heart and his abilities, so he would be victorious.

In another story Groa sang songs of healing over Thor to help him remove a piece of Hrugnir's hone that got lodged into his skull when they duelled. During the adventure Thor came across Groa's husband, who had been missing. When he tells Groa of this she is so happy she forgets the chants needed to heal him. So the hone remains in Thor's head to this day.

Groa is the selfless goddess willing to help those in need. Though this couild probably be said of any of the gods or goddesses, it is she who stands out in such matter, it is she who Thor goes to for assistance above all others. She teaches us to always be ready to give aid when it is needed, as well as accept assistance ourselves. Not even the gods are so stubborn or arrogant to think that they can do anything and everything by themselves. Whenever they need help, they are quick to ask for it, and are quick to give it in return. This is the very idea of a tribe, or clan, or family, or community- when one drops the load, the other picks it up. Such a concept was once imperative for the survival of any group of people, for without a communal effort many tasks are simply not possible.

IDUN: She is the goddess of youth, whose golden apples rejuvenate the gods and keep them immortal. The best known tale about her is when she was taken by Volund-Thjazi, then subsequently "rescued" by Loki, who had been involved in her kidnapping in the first place. There is evidence in our records which tells us that Idun was Volund's sister, as well as his lover. Such incestuous relationships are common in the ancient lore, but has always, even by our ancestors, been treated as a unique, and somewhat shocking trait of the divine. Perhaps it was considered necessary to keep the fivine blood within their family, although it has been stated that this is a relic of the earliest symbolism when they were viewed merely as forces of nature.

Some sources tell us that when idun was with Volund she changed her appearance, as well as her disposition. She began to delight in guile, to take on the same characteristics as her vengeful lover, who hated the gods for rejecting his gifts in the artists' competition between Ivaldi's and Mimir's sons (Voldung, Egil, and Slagfin versus Sindri and Brokk). This loving, beautiful goddess became an evil witch, a myrk-rider as they were known. She began to take part in acts meant to destroy the gods' creations, which she had been previously promoted. Namely, this was the first Fimbulwinter, an Ice Age that would annihilate all life. While she is gone from Asgard the destructive powers begin to dominate as the gods and goddesses grow old. Fortunately this Fimbulwinter was reversed before it was too late, but a second, finaly great Ice Age is prophecied to appear right before Ragnarok, which will signal the end of the world.
Several factors came into play which caused the first Fimbulwinter to end: Voldung-Thjazi, who had been conjuring the terrible ice storms, is killed; all of the captive deities of vegetation are returned to their rightful places, and new powers arise to fend off the forces of chaos. But how is Idun allowed to regain her status after she has helped in an attempt to destroy creation? Obviously she has compensated for this in some way, which is her lesson to us. In our lives we will make some bad choices or wrong decisions, some more than others. This is just a simple fact of life. Our gods and goddesses do not expect us to be perfect, nor do they expect us to grovel before them when we make a mistake. When we err we do our best to make up for it, then try not to do it again, simple as that. There is no crime that can not be compensated for, no transgression that can not be repaired. Sometimes one might even be made to placate for a crime with their life. In ancient times, the idea of capital punishment was based on the concept that, by taking one's life, they had suffered for their infraction and could therefore face the possibility of being rewarded with a blessed afterlife. However, even murder could be recompensed by means other than execution. Most likely, it simply depended on the status of the victime and/or the demands of their family.

NAT: (Night) She has been called "The Mother of the Gods", which designates her position in her family rather than any sort of royal title. Her bloodline reaches into all of the divine clans- Aesir, Vanir, Alfar and the Jotuns. With Delling she had the son Dag, a high Alf prince, lord of the day; with Anar-Fjorgynn (Hoenir) she had Frigga, a Vanir-goddess who married Odin and had the Aesir sons Thor, Balder and Hod; with Naglfari-Mani (Lodur) she had Njord, the Vanir-prince who sired Frey, Freya and several other goddesses with his sister, Frigga. Nat herself is a dis (goddess) of the higher Jotun clan (which will be explained below) that was spawned from Ymir's, the chaos being's, armpits. Thus, all of the most ancient tribes have some relation to her.

Above all, Nat is a representative of order as our patroness of night. Our ancestors actually reckoned time by nights, rather than by days, for Night is Day's mother. She teaches us to work for the order, the universal order that flows in its natural progression, opposing the chaos that would bring all things to ruin. In all of existence everything moves through the never-ending cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. All of nature exists in some way or another as an adaptation to this cycle, as a part of the process of evolution. We can further our development by understanding and working for the natural order, constantly toiling in the face of adversity. By living our lives honorably, focusing always on bettering ourselves, we can use these ideals to our advantage, while paying tribute to Mother Night.

All of the gods and goddesses have some sort of benefit to present to us in one way or another. Some of their lessons are easy to find, while others are more obscure. We have a long way to go in piecing together the ancient fragments left to us from our lore. You can be sure, those who have seen some tales they do not recognize, that all of the above information has been well researched and can be verified. I simply want to give these ancient archetypes a proper introduction without going into a loty of detail or repsenting all kinds of complicated research. However, these stories are valid and should be recognized for their worth to our people. Eventually, we will have a new Edda that will have all of our ancient tales given in their proper form (at least as close as we can get to it) so everyone will know and understand the full body of our lore.


Besides personal descriptions of each deity, it is important to describe the purpose behind each of the divine families as they are understood in our religion. Each clan has a part to play in the natural order, and each work more or less harmoniously with the others towards maintaining it. Without one clan the others would be lost, for each meet a particular need within creation. The needs met are related to the dispositions of the deities involved, as we shall see.

AESIR: The Aesir have the role of protecting the worlds, which is why all of them are warriors or gods of war. This is also why they are honored as the highest deities, for they represent the perfect ideal of heroism, which all men have admired since the dawn of time. Many Vanir deities are adopted into the Asa-clan as they began to take one more warlike aspects, though they still maintained their status as vanagods or goddesses. The fact is, we need protectors more than anything. It may not seem like it in our modern world, but without heroes defending our people from threats, both foreign and domestic, our entire idea of civilization would break down. As much as we long for a peaceful world, there will always be crime and war. If we do not have those that are prepared to fight against criminals or foreign enemies we are certainly vulnerable to attack. Soldiers, policemen, even firefighters play the same roles as the Aesir in protecting our folk, and should be honored as such.

VANIR: The second highest group of gods and goddesses are the regulators of the natural order, who see to it that all of the processes of creation are maintained. The cycles of time, rising and setting of the sun and moon, the ebb and flow of the ocean, the growth of crops, all of these occur under the authority of the Vanir. Thus they are our nature-deities, more so than they are gods and goddesses of war. Of course, in the Aesir and Vanir clans these attributes of war-deities and nature-deities are interchangeable, some simply stand our more than others. The Vanir will certainly fight to protect the order if need be, and the Aesir may represent some forces of nature, but in normal circumstances these are the duties they perform.

The Vanir teach us to revere nature in its many forms. Asatruar do not look for "miracles" in burning bushes or divine magic, we see the power of nature for what it is, as the miracle that it is. When we stand in awe of the sunrise, when we are moved by a mountain landscape, when we find joy in the forests or ravines or oceans we are experiencing the religious inspiration of the Vanir

ALFAR: They are the great nature-artists who, under the patronage of Frey as their leader, are in charge of the actual work required to keep the natural order going. They decorate the worlds with vegetation and create wondrous artifacts for the gods and goddesses, to aid them in their duties. The gods may have created Midgard, but it was the Alfar who adorned it with flowers and birds and all sorts of living things. To me, these Teutonic demigods represent the scientific basis of our faith, for they seem to be the earliest conception of men and women of higher learning. Some of their inventions, such as chess games that play by themselves or flying machines are technologies that we take for granted today. All of our stories can be interpreted through science: from the creation of life by fire (energy) and ice (matter), to the evolutionary theories on the possibilities of gods actually existing, to the renewal of life from destruction (Ragnarok).

Some of the Alfar, such as Delling, Dag and Sunna work particularly in the duties of bringing light to the worlds, and as such are called Elves, and Dokkalfar, Dark-Elves, are designated thus because they are picture as living in deep, underground realms where they mind for ores to make their creations with. All of the Alfar teach us the value of hard work, of the importance for us all to fo our part in the duties needed to keep our civilizations moving forward, with respect to our earth and the universe around us.

JOTUNS: There are two divisions of the Jotun clan: one monstrous and evil, the other noble and good. Both were descended from Ymir- the former through Thrudgelmir whon was born of his father's feet, the latter through Mimir and Bestla who were born in his armpits. The idea is that the arms were considered more valuable appendages than the feet.

Many noble characters came from the higher Jotun clan, including Nat, Mimir's daughter, the Norns, Grid, Gunnlod, Aegir, Sigyn, etc. We cannot simply dismiss the Jotuns as entirely evil or chaotic. Their roles always seem to have something to do with the primal age of creation, when all the worlds and all life was coming into being. Indeed, all Jotuns represent, in some way or another, the primordial past.

Tales of giants who lived on the earth before men came to replace them have been told in almost every civilization, almost every religion in the world. Even the Bible has its story of David and Goliath. It is likely that these stories represent the actual invasion of homo sapiens as they overcame their predecessors, earlier forms of humanity such as Neanderthals. I will not consider here exactly who these ancestors were, I will only point out that this is yet another example of when myth and science overlap.

There is a certain degree of personal empowerment that comes with a relationship with divinity, a feeling known by religious people for centuries. No other faith will have a more profound impact on your life or your spirit than the one developed through your own heritage, by your own folk. Asatru is based entirely on the improvement of the self and of the folk. Our gods and goddesses are out there, watching down on us, trying to help us as we take each step towards joining them in our next life. We only need to hear their voices again and to embrace them as our ancestors did so long ago. Once they have become an important part in all of our lives we may begin to work towards reclaiming our sacred birthright, then we will start the path towards our destiny.

Source (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.norr oena.org%2FNatureAsatru%2Fchapter1.html)

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006, 04:55 AM
Friday, March 24th, 2006

It is with extreme enthusiasm that I would like to announce to you that the first original publication of the newly re-established Norroena Society is now available for purchase! "The Nature of Ásatrú" by Mark Puryear is a philosophic look at the ancient, indigenous religion of Northern Europe, focusing on the positive, ethical, standards of the Ásatrú belief system.

This book totals 276 pages with Twelve Chapters which respectfully focus on The Gods & Goddesses, Wyrd, Morality, Pleasure, The Warrior, Marriage and Children, The Land, Folk, and Today's Religion. There are also two Appendixes— The Role of Women in Ásatrú, by Katia Puryear, and an original translation of The Hávamál, by Mark Puryear. Last but certainly not least, a complete A-Z Catalog of Terms, which not only provides the roles & definitions of almost every Ásatrú term and deity, but also their etymology and pronunciation guide. A definite must have for the curious, the newbie, and the experienced Ásatrúar alike!

This book can be purchased a number of ways, whichever is most convenient for you.

On the following link:


At ANY major bookstore worldwide, by requesting ISBN number 0-595-38964-3 be ordered for you (usually requires a wait of 2-3 weeks depending on where you are located).

In the next few weeks, this title will also be loaded into the databases of WWW.AMAZON.COM, WWW.BN.COM (Barnes & Noble), and www.booksamillion.com . When the book shows up will simply depend on the next time that these websites refresh their databases, which they tend to do once to twice per week on average.

Our hope is that you thoroughly enjoy this publication and that our hard work was well worth the effort. Please do not hesitate contacting us if you have any questions at: info@norroena.org .

Hail the Gods and Goddesses!

Katia Puryear

I've allready sent my money order out to buy this. I know the author and his wife, very good folk. The book's introduction and first chapter can be read via the Norroena Society website if anyone is interested the links are posted below:

Intro: http://www.norroena.org/NatureAsatru/intro.html

Chapter One: http://www.norroena.org/NatureAsatru/chapter1.html


Monday, September 18th, 2006, 06:07 PM
I second this recommendation with my full heart. They author and his wife are very good folk, and they have put together a very good work here. It is applicable both for those new to the folkway and those a little more advanced. In its viewpoints and reasoning, the book is very agreeable, and I am proud to have a copy of this book on my shelf. Really, it is well worth spending your dollars/pounds/euros on this one! :thumbup

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 03:37 AM
Any chance of a bibliography being posted???

Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 11:04 PM
This book has recently arrived.

I wonder if anyone can speak about Norroena.



Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006, 04:49 AM
Does anyone actually know where Havamal came from? A rune stone perhaps? If so which one from where??

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006, 08:52 PM
The Havamal is not an homogenous text but consists of some five or six separate stylistic sections and perhaps (probably) put together by an early collector. Much of it is thought to have come from Norway I understand , possibly in the tenth century.The sole source, I believe, is the famous Codex Regius found originally in Iceland and now returned to Iceland again.

Whilst Mark Puryear's book (above) is very interesting and creative, there are aspects of its clarifying which may cause some alarm. The best way to consider this is to read through the final "catalog of terms". Gullweig , for example, is identified as evil and is then considered to become firstly Aurboda and then , when exiled, Angerboda - the mother of Fenrir by Loki! This clarification may not be "universally accepted".

Equally, it is strange to see Frigga appearing as the mother of the Vanir twins Frey & Freyja. Understandable perhaps if Frigga is indeed to be Mother Earth ( Jord), mother of Thor (by Odinn) and also married to the Vanir god Njord , honoured father of Holy Frey and Freyja.

This I see as somewhat demanding mythology. I would be interested in any further observations.


Wednesday, November 29th, 2006, 02:51 AM
It is with extreme enthusiasm that I would like to announce
that the first original publication of the newly re-established
Norroena Society is now available for purchase! "The Nature of
Ásatrú" by Mark Puryear is a philosophic look at the ancient,
indigenous religion of Northern Europe, focusing on the positive,
ethical, standards of the Ásatrú belief system.

This book totals 276 pages with Twelve Chapters which respectfully
focus on The Gods & Goddesses, Wyrd, Morality, Pleasure, The
Warrior, Marriage and Children, The Land, Folk, and Today's
Religion. There are also two Appendixes— The Role of Women in
Ásatrú, by Katia Puryear, and an original translation of The
Hávamál, by Mark Puryear. Last but certainly not least, a complete A-
Z Catalog of Terms, which not only provides the roles & definitions
of almost every Ásatrú term and deity, but also their etymology and
pronunciation guide. A definite must have for the curious, the
newbie, and the experienced Ásatrúar alike!

This book can be purchased through Amazon.com :


Our hope is that you thoroughly enjoy this publication and that our
hard work was well worth the effort. Please do not hesitate
contacting us if you have any questions!

Hail the Gods and Goddesses!

Katia Puryear
The Norroena Society
http://www.norroena.org (http://www.norroena.org/)

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006, 02:56 AM
The rest of the book can be purchased through The Norroena Society or through Amazon.com for anyone interested ;)

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Equally, it is strange to see Frigga appearing as the mother of the Vanir twins Frey & Freyja. Understandable perhaps if Frigga is indeed to be Mother Earth ( Jord), mother of Thor (by Odinn) and also married to the Vanir god Njord , honoured father of Holy Frey and Freyja.

This I see as somewhat demanding mythology. I would be interested in any further observations.


I see it as unlikely. While I do feel that William Reeves' idea that Frigga is Mother Earth there is no evidence that she is mother of Frea (Freyr) and Freo (Freya). I suspect Puryear is basing this on the idea that Frigga = Earth = Nerthus. Nerthus perhaps, being Njord's wife, and therefore mother to the twins would make Frigga their mother. I do not buy this however.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007, 09:39 PM
I see it as unlikely. While I do feel that William Reeves' idea that Frigga is Mother Earth there is no evidence that she is mother of Frea (Freyr) and Freo (Freya). I suspect Puryear is basing this on the idea that Frigga = Earth = Nerthus. Nerthus perhaps, being Njord's wife, and therefore mother to the twins would make Frigga their mother. I do not buy this however.

congratulations in reaching back so far for this old thread. I still can't make a lot of sense of the original claim. I imagine it rests on the possibility that there is only one mother Earth and she comes in many forms. It certainly isn't how the original stories have it! ---but there may perhaps be some cultic reasons for this belief....;)

Saturday, March 13th, 2010, 12:17 PM
I've already got a copy of the book. It's really good. :)

Saturday, November 6th, 2010, 01:55 PM
Just ordered...

Sunday, November 7th, 2010, 11:59 PM
This book got a negative review here on Brian Bate's (http://www.wayofwyrd.com/) website: http://www.wayofwyrd.com/forum_details.php?id=143 calling it a racist book. However, the reviewer appears ot be one that doesn't see an issue with someone from the deepest congo practising Odinism.

http://b.imagehost.org/0273/7gNzuIpOJ5WakoJsopy4LxWFI4VKB8hxoVf0IzE. jpg

Here are the reviews from Amazon:


Now Available for purchase for the first time!

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce to you that the first original publication of the newly re-established Norroena Society is now available for purchase!

"The Nature of Asatru" by Mark Puryear is a philosophic look at the ancient, indigenous religion of Northern Europe, focusing on the positive, ethical, standards of the Asatru belief system.

This book totals 276 pages with Nine Chapters which respectfully focus on the Gods & Goddesses, Wyrd, Morality, Pleasure, the Warrior, Marriage & Children, the Land, Folk & Today's Religion. There are also two Appendixes; the Role of Women in Asatru - by Katia Puryear & an original translation of the Havamal - by Mark Puryear. Last but certainly not least, a complete A-Z Catalog of Terms, which not only provides the roles & definitions of almost every Asatru term & deity, but also their etymology & pronuciation guide. A definite must have for the curious, the newbie & the experienced Asatruar alike!

We have provided a copy of the Introduction of this book on our website for you to be able to read before purchasing.

The regular listed price of this book is $20.95. It can be purchased a number of ways, whichever is most convenient for you.

Click on the button below to purchase it directly from The Norroen

Ásatrú (AH-sa-troo), also called Odinism, is the native religion of the Teutonic peoples as embodied in the fundamentals of their cultural expressions. Much more than just a belief system, it encompasses every aspect of ancient Northern European society. This book is an attempt to explain the basic philosophic and moral ideals of this ancient way of life, while seeking to eliminate many of the misconceptions surrounding it. Demonstrated here is the nature of a faith that has existed for centuries, in spite of numerous campaigns to suppress or destroy it by various powers. Once the reader learns the core values found within this creed, it is easy to recognize how it coincides with our notions of civilization and its evolution. It teaches inner strength and courage, as well as kindness and compassion. In introducing the positive, ethical standards Ásatrú has to offer, the aim here is to rekindle the primal spirit within us all.

Mark Puryear has practiced the Ásatrú religion for over 18 years, during which time he has dedicated himself to the study and promotion of its traditions and tenets. He and his wife, Katia, work together in rebuilding The Norroena Society, originally founded in the late 19th century by Rasmus Anderson.

“The author provides an in-depth introduction for those new to the folkway, yet gives much food for thought to the experienced practitioner. Sure to inspire deeper investigation of the various aspects of Ásatrú. Highly recommended.” - Hengest Thorsson, The Odinic Rite

Kindness in Odinism
By Mark Puryear

We of the Odinist faith strongly adhere to our virtues, we see them as a sacred creed respected by our ancestors, given to us by our gods and goddesses. Though we may differ here and there on exactly what the highest virtues are, which ones we should attend to most, we all seem to have general agreement on the core values of our faith. We all agree that oaths and vows are to be kept at all costs, that courage is preferred to cowardice, that honor is better than disgrace. I wonder then, how it came to be that one of the greatest virtues known to man, kindness, seems to be overlooked in most Odinist circles. That is not to say that Odinists are not kind, or that we look down on kindness, certainly not! What I am talking about is the actual promotion of kindness as a virtue within the community. When people look at our faith they generally see the strong emphasis on the warrior aspect, with the picture of the bold Nordic champion fighting for the cause of what is good and just. It is precisely for the full embodiment of this image that I feel that kindness is a virtue we need to put more focus on. Our ancestors were not the fierce savages some have made them out to be, but rather were part of an ongoing European legacy that developed concepts unknown elsewhere in the world of combat: chivalry, mercy, compassion, etc.

It may be that on a personal level many have turned away from the concepts of kindness because of a disdain for the faux 'compassion" of hypocritical Semitic cults, whose "unconditional love" is anything but. Sometimes the cultures around us can leave a bad taste in one's mouth, and in dealing with such issues it is hard not to have a bias. It might come across as asinine to try to convey a message of peace, when everywhere we see the same message manifested by monotheists with conflict and persecution. I have often found that in celebrating our faith, which is no doubt a cultural one, one has to retrain their mind, in a sense, to accept ideas as they are within the belief system itself, rather than the way we were brought up to perceive them. Kindness in Odinism would certainly be shown in a different way than in other faiths, for our morality is not theirs. We would be kind, but not foolish, compassionate, but not naive.

For the most part, I do believe that much of the reason kindness has been overlooked is due to erroneous interpretations of our lore. Because only certain, heavily Christianized documents are accepted by most as the end-all authorities on he Teutonic stories much of the true philosophy of Odinism isn't known in the mainstream. At the very foundation of this is the highly misunderstood eschatology, where so many have been falsely led to believe that the only way to a joyous afterlife is to die in battle. In order for this to have actually been a part of the Odinic doctrine our ancestors would have had to have been the most warlike, bloodthirsty savages ever known, incapable of recognizing or caring about concepts of peace, which we know they had. All that would matter, for everyone, would be dying in battle, if this is the only way to nirvana, so we would have had an extremely suicidal civilization. Rydberg tells us:

"Doubtless it was for our ancestors a glorious prospect to be permitted to come to Odin after death, and a person who saw inevitable death before his eyes might comfort himself with the thought of soon seeing 'the benches of Balder's father decked for the feast' (Ragnar's Death-Song).. But it is no less certain from all of the evidences we have from the heathen time, that honorable life was preferred to honorable death, although between wars there was a chance of death from sickness. Under these circumstances, the mythical eschatology could not have made death from disease an insurmountable obstacle for warriors and heroes on their way to Valhalla. In the ancient records there is not the faintest allusion to such an idea. It is too absurd to have existed. It would have robbed Valhalla of many of Midgard's most brilliant heroes, and it would have demanded from faithful believers that they should prefer death even with defeat to victory and life, since the latter was coupled with the possibility of death from disease. With such a view no army foes to battle, and no warlike race endowed with normal instincts has even entertained it and given it expression in their doctrine in regard to future life."
Teutonic Mythology, ch.66

Furthermore, it isn't only the warrior who makes it into blessed lands in the afterlife. Our eschatology is not without its Elysian fields, which our ancestors called Mel. Although it is not the scope of this essay to do so, it can be proven that Mel the goddess is not Loki's daughter, but in fact is Urd, our goddess of Fate. Our ancestors believed that our gods go daily to the Thingstead near Urd's fountain (Grimnismal 29,30) to judge the dead and see who will go to Mel or Valhalla and who will go to Nifelhel (see Teut. Myth. chs 69-71) . In order for a religion to have a morality there must be consequences for their transgression, or "sins" (a Germanic word, by the way); in order to face such consequences there must be a judgment. Because our gods make no claim on omnipotence or omniscience they rely upon the institution of law, founded upon the decrees of the Norns and Fate, the Thing. From this the gods determine if a person is worthy for Hel or Valhalla, or damned to Nifelhel.

"The gods judge human error and weakness leniently. According to their own teachings, they too have erred. The thing-goers may expect a favorable sentence if they went through life honestly, honorable, helpfully, and without the fear of death- if they observed reverence for the gods and their temples, for family duties, and for the dead. But lies, if they were intended to harm another, receive a lasting punishment; perjury, clandestine murder, violations of marriage, desecration of temples, grave robbing, treachery, and nithing deeds are punished with unspeakable horrors.
"Our Fathers" Godsaga, ch.38 page 145

We can take "nithing deeds" to mean acts of cruelty of villainy, which is how many dictionaries translate this. It is important to understand this to see that the opposite of cruelty, kindness, was certainly revered by our ancestors. But there is so much more to prove how important this virtue is to our faith. Beyond simply proving that Odinism expands beyond the warrior aspect and that, indeed, the warrior aspect itself is combined with elements of chivalry- mercy, compassion and kindness, there are many sources to look at to prove this point.

For the warrior aspect, the fact that Thor's kind heart is shown to exceed his strength is a testament to the noble doctrine of.Odinist combat (see f.ex. Hymiskvida and Thor's name Midgardsveor "The Friend of Midgard", etc.). However, the greatest piece of evidence to place kindness at the top of the Odinist virtues is the image of the god Balder. He is the "liksamastr", the most influential peacemaker (Prose Edda 90) and his son Forseti" settles all disputes" (Grimnersmal 15) . It is strange to me that Tyr, the god of war, is believed by some to be the god of the Thing. Although all gods are benevolent and kind, there really is not any other god more qualified to be the god of the Thing than Balder, and after him his son Forseti. They are the gods of peace and reconciliation and as such own the Thingstead of Asgard, Glitnir (first this was Balder's home, now it is Forseti's, Balder now resides in Breidablik in the Underworld with Nanna and Hod) . That Balder, the god of peace and reconciliation, the god of kindness and compassion, is the most beloved of all gods (see Gylfaginning) shows that his disposition is the most beloved of all as well.

In Gisla Saga Surssonar the hamingja (draumkona "dream-woman") states: "Be not the first cause of a murder! excite not peaceful men against yourself!-promise me this, though charitable man! Aid the blind, scorn not the lame, and insult not a Tyr robbed of his hand!" The Havamal is rife with such comments; here are a couple: "The halt can ride on horseback, the one-handed drive cattle; the deaf, fight and be useful: to be blind is better than to be burnt: no one gets good from a corpse" (str.69) 'A good man seek thou to gain as thy friend, and learn to make thyself loved' (str.12l).

The gods would favour peace over war, benevolence over malice, and joy over despair. Even in war Odin tells us to be "joyous and liberal" until we meet our death (Hay. 13) and it is made clear throughout the lore that the kind heart is favoured over all and is a sure way to reach the fields of the blessed. Even though we would be warriors, for even Balder will fight when necessary, it is the search for peace and reconciliation that should motivate us, as is told in our most ancient records. Perhaps this may cause some to take another look at this important virtue.

The Role of Tyr
by Mark Puryear

Usually, when I begin writing an essay, I like to get right to it, laying the groundwork for whatever theory or idea I am presenting right away. This time, however, I would like to begin with a vow to everyone that will ever come into contact with any of the works of The Norroena Society. It is our promise to you that we will always work diligently to present the best possible means of rebuilding our ancient faith. We will carefully sift through all of our available resources with a fine-toothed comb and present our findings using the most logical means we can devise. We will try to avoid conjecture or weak arguments as much as possible, and will question every theory, every idea presented in second-hand sources. We may not always be right, and there will always be an opportunity to debate our findings, but we will do our best to give you the highest standard possible in our research. It is our commitment to you to develop a complete and conclusive ideological foundation for the practice of the Asatru/Odinist faith. This commitment is based solely upon a desire to serve our folk in the best way we can. Whatever we offer, in our books, magazines, website, etc. we are going to back up with sound evidence and logical conclusions. At any point in time we will be prepared to answer question or debate any of the material presented. We are not trying to become any sort of "authority" on the Asatru/Odinist religion, but rather to become a service our people can rely on for any of their religious needs. This is our ultimate goal.

I write this because there will be times when we may have to challenge the status quo in our field of research. This might even put us at odds with other Asatru/Odinist groups. Although I certainly hope this does not happen, I can assure you that it will not stop us from doing what we feel is right. The fact is, people tend to cling to traditions they feel are established, especially when they had some part to play in their establishment. There is nothing wrong with this, it's just human nature. However, the revival of our ancient religion is still relatively new, so we have to expect a period of fluctuation, where ideas will come and go, which will require an open mind from everyone involved.

Now to the topic at hand. Recently, we have come upon some evidence that has challenged what seems to be an established "fact" among our scholars. It has been said for years the Ryr, our god of war and of soldiers, is also god of the Thing and justice, as well as the original "sky father" until Odin usurped his position. The only evidence linking Tyr to the role of "sky father" is the conclusion that he is identical to Zeus of the Greeks and Jupiter of the Romans as "Father Dyuas" (Dyuas Pater). In consideration of this idea I refer the reader to the first part of this essay by Viktor Rydberg. I would now like to elaborate on this:

The idea that Tyr was the original sky-father seems to have originated with Jacob Grimm. The flaw in his reasoning is that it is solely based upon etymological conclusions, which do not coincide with any other evidence known to us. Early runic monuments mention the name Odin, which are contemporary with Tacitusí Germania, where he mentioned that ìMercuryî (consistently identified with Odin) was the chief god among the Teutons. There simply isnít any proof that points to a major change of religion in Northern Europe between the time of Indo-European unity (before they branches off to become the Teutons, Greeks, Slavs, Mediterraneans and East Indians) and the coming of Christianity. Without any such evidence we cannot rely on an etymological hypothesis as proof that such a change occurred, especially if we can give a better explanation for the subject of the hypothesis.

It is most likely that Tiwaz, or Tiva was once a name of Odin that was also given to his son., This would not be the only time we have seen such a transference. Fjorgyn is a name of Frigga, which she inherited from her father of the same name (see Lok. 26, Gylf. 10, and Skaldsk. 18). Frigga also has the epithet Hlin, which is given to one of her maidservants. When Heimdall blessed our folk with his presence and took part in the union between the noble couple, he gave Jarl ìhis own nameî (Rigs. 34), thus Jarl became ìRig-Jarlî (str. 44). Freya has the name Gefn, which is identical to Gefjon, who may be one of Freyaís sisters. From this we can see that the idea of deities sharing names, especially among close relations, is not unheard of.

One of the favored ideas related to Tyr as sky-father is the connection between him and the Irminsul, because it looks like his run, Tiwaz. Because the run-poems relate the kenning ìleavings of the wolfî to this rune we know that this designates the son, Tyr, rather than the father, Odin-Tiva. However, arguments have been presented which have made a good case for the Irminsul being a representation of Yggdrasil, with its branches in the sky and its three roots in the Underworld (see James Hjuka-Coulterís Germanic Heathenry). If this is the case then it would explain how Tyr could have come to be associated with this ancient icon. The very word, Yggdrasil, means ìThe Stead of Yggî, Ygg being one of Odinís names. This reminds us of Odinís self-sacrifice when he hung, metaphorically ìridingî the tree for nine nights (*Hav. 140). In effect, Odin has a very strong connection to the symbol of Yggdrasil, and, if Hjuka-Coulterís theory is correct, he would therefore have a connection to the Irminsul. If Tyr was special enough to have inherited onje of the names of his father, it would only seem natural that he could also be represented by the symbol that bears their common name. That is, of course, if the Tyr rune is identical to the Irminsul, which is conjectural.

If you really have any doubt about this, and still think Tyr is the original sky-father and was once the highest god of our pantheon, just consult the lore. Odin is the creator of Midgard and of humans, teacher of runes, the one who grants wishes and gives success in all endeavors. Could there really be a higher duty than these? You canít ìusurpî the role of creator-god, you either created the earth and our folk or you didnít. If we had to accept that Tyr once held all of these positions then Odin, who many have named our faith thereafter, would be a fraud and a liar and Tyr a defeated weakling subservient to the god that stole his position. I doubt anyone would want to place either of these descriptions on our god of nobility and our god of war.

Tyr is the god of war, period. We know this from the Prose Edda, mainly. As Snorri attests (Gylf. 25), the story of his hand lost as a pledge so Fenris could be bound is a testament to his bravery, and that is it. All sorts of guesswork has been used to give him several other duties among the gods based on this story alone, but the passages in Gylfaginning simply relate to us the divine image of what military generals should aspire to: cleverness and bravery.

I began my investigation into Tyrís role among the gods wondering how it was that he became known as the god of the Thing, or of justice. Since it was likely that this was an idea established by members of the Asatru/Odinist community, I began asking questions. In response to this I received a lot of ideas based upon symbolism and conjecture, which I do not believe should be the primary basis for anything.

There is only one piece of hard evidence I have seen that could possibly link Tyr to the Thing. This is an inscription from the 3rd century C.E. on a votive altar set up by Frisian legionares stationed at Housesteads on Hadrianís wall (North England). The inscription mentions a god by the name of ìMars Thingsusî (Deo Marti Thingso). Of course, Mars is typically identified with Tyr, but I believe there is reason to suspect that, in this instance, another deity is intended.

It may be possible that ìMars Thingsusî is a Latin translation of a poetic kenning used by our ancestors to denote the actual god of the Thing. If this was such a translation, then ìMars thingsusî could not have been Tyr, according to the rules of Nordic poetry. In Skaldskaparmalís epilogue Snorri states that when ìwe speak of Odin or Thor or Tyr or one of the Aesir of Alfar, in such a way that with each of those I mention, I add a term for the attribute of another As or make mention of one or other of his deedsÖ Then the latter becomes the one referred to, and not the one that was named; for instance, when we speak of Victory-Tyr or Hanged-Tyr or Cargo-Tyr, these are expressions for OdinÖ similarly if one speaks of Chariot-Tyr (Thor).î So, if I wanted to present such a kenning for Freya I could call her Brisingamen-Sif, or for Bragi I could call him Skald-Thor. In the same sense, if I used the kenning Thing-Tyr or ìThe Tyr of the Thingî, this would represent a deity who is not Tyr.

The fact that this inscription was written by Frisian legionares furthers the possibility of this. There is a deity known among the Frisians who is particularly devoted to law and justice, by the name of Fosite, known among the Scandinavians as Forseti. Alcuinís work ìThe Life of Saint Willibrordî mentions the god Fosite among the Frisians. A legal position known as Foerspreka ìmediatorî seems to have been related to this name. There is no Roman equivalent to such a deity, so it is probable that the Latin writers used a kenning to designate him.

Besides the possibility that the inscription can be refuted, there is evidence from Teutonic sources which contradicts the idea that Tyr was god of the Thing. To fully understand this evidence we must first consider exactly what the institution of the Thing was to our ancestors. Although it became a system of parliamentary government, it actually began as a court, a place where disputes were settled, among other things. The idea was that conflicts were ended and peace was restored it became a system of parliamentary government, it actually began as a court, a place where disputes were settled, among other things. The idea was that conflicts were ended and peace was restored by the Thing, even if a dispute had to end in battle. The holmgang, or ìisland-goingî, was a form of single-combat that may or may not have ended with the death of the defeated. No matter who won, the case was then settled, with the victor having his way in the proceedings. This use of battle to settle some disputes has been used as a justification for Tyr being considered the god of the Thing. But Tyr is the god of war, not of duels. If we were going to label a god as a representative of duels, it would have to be Thor. After all, in the myths Tyr is never known to actively participate in or represent duels, whereas Thor engages in them time and time again, making up the bulk of his adventures. Whenever a foe is to be vanquished by single-combat, it is Thor who the gods call on, never Tyr.

If the Thing is where disputes are settled and peace is restored to the community then Tyr is an unlikely candidate for this. Snorri tells us that ìhe is not considered a promoter of settlements between peopleî, another translation of this same line states that ìhe is not considered a peacemaker among peopleî (Gylfaginning 25). This formally excuses him as representative of justice or of the Thing.

So, if Tyr does not represent the Thing, who does? When considering the idea of justice from a Teutonic perspective the foremost ideal seems to be balance, which must be among the attributes displayed the god who represents this institution. There must be a balance between boldness and compassion, honor and kindness, and nobility and fairness. No other deity better exemplifies this ideal than Balder. It may seem romantic to have the valiant god of war representing the Thing, but consider the possibility of being a defendant in a criminal case brought against you. Would this be a time when you would want to pray to a god of war, or a god of compassion?

That idea that Balder, and after him his son Forseti, are gods of justice and of the Thing is supported directly by the Eddas. In Gylfaginning Balder is called Liknsamastr - ìmost conciliatoryî or ìmost mercifulî. This title has also been translated as ìThe Most Influential Peacemakerî, in stark contrast to Tyr, who is ìnot known as a peacemaker among peopleî. It is possible, therefore, that Balder was considered to be one of the Ljonar- ìPeacemakersî as described in the Prose Edda (for evidence of this, see Viktor Rydberg, Investigations Into Germanic Mythology vol. I ch. 112). The term Ljonar, representing ìthose men whose business it is to settle disputesî (Skaldsk. 65), must have been judges of some sort at the Thing, in the same way we call some judges ìjustice of the peaceî. Balderís son, Forseti, is said in Grimnismal 15 to ìsettle all disputesî, thus he is the representative of the Ljonar, which we must compare to the Foerspreka mentioned above.

As the god who ìsettles all disputesî, Forseti owns the hall where the Thing is held in Asgard, known as Glitnir. It has been supposed that this was originally Balderís home, given to Forseti as an inheritance, and that Balderís hall, Breidablik is in the Underworld, where he teaches Lif and Lifthrasir for the upcoming reneal (see Rydberg, UGM II ch. 42 and pages 187 [#57] and 211 [#153] of part 2, Reavesí translation). Here is what is said in The Prose Edda:

ìForseti is the name of the son of Balder and Nanna Nepsdottir. He has a hall in heaven called Glitnir, and whoever comes to him with difficult legal disputes, they all leave with their differences settled. It is the best place of judgement among gods and men. Thus it says here (Grimnismal 15): There is a hall called Glitnir, it is held up by golden pillars and likewise roofed with silver. There Forseti dwells most days and settles all disputes.î

Here we have direct evidence from the Eddas that Balder and Forseti are gods of the Thing and of justice. Tyr is specifically stated to not be involved in matters concerning settlements, whereas Forseti ìsettles all suitsî; that is, all suits, including those that must be resolved through combat. This evidence is clear and direct, without any sort of conjecture or imagination needed to see it.

The Nyall Philosophy
By Mark Puryear

Section 1 - Astrobiology
Section 2 - Metabiology
Section 3 - The Dream Theory
Section 4 - The Purpose of the Nyall Philosophy

Developed by ‘The Brilliant Scientist’, Dr. Helgi Pjeturss & documented by Nyall Expert Thorsteinn Gudjonsson.


As with all philosophies dealing with the principles of universal order we should begin our exploration of Helgi Pjeturss' Nyall Phiolosophy (which indeed has been advancing through the works of scholars in this field) with the beginning of life itself. The theory states that upon the virgin earth, or any "virgin earth", there existed all sorts of DNAs- RNAs- and Proteins which were forming from single cells into polycellulars, thus creating life. Environmental conditions would determine exactly how these cells would react in each circumstance, and would determine exactly how the life form would evolve in its particular area. This explains the concept of regional adaptation in evolutionary theory. It is not that the animals themselves, once fully formed, adapted to their surroundings, the idea is that in order for the life creating cells to evolve to animals which could survive the hardships of earth within a particular climate they had to form, in many different ways, into many different animals with their many different means of survival.

Animals and plants are connected to the greater universe along with what we would call "higher life" (divinity), but surely there are limitations in regards to their reproducing capabilities. When we look for evidence of the above we find that when crocodiles lay their eggs in the sand, the temperature of each egg can determine the sex of each embryo. This is a small glimpse of climactic adaptation.

The next step for life on the earthly scene would be the coming of man, the rising of intelligent life from the earth itself. In the earliest days the earth was basically a world of chaos. It was saturated in the energies of the Helstefna- the line of destruction. Consider the dinosaurs- never believe that it was mainly a meteorite in the carribean that put an end to all of them; their decline had begun long before that event (although this would certainly have been their final ruin). The dinosaurs were an illustration of the Helstefna principle: to eat or be eaten, kill or be killed. With the early humans already on their evolutionary path, formed by earthly elements, there needed to be a giant leap instigated by those already advanced so far that it would be incomprehensible even to us today. Enter the gods, who are biochemical beings, like us (only much further along on the evolutionary path), living in far-advanced worlds.

The ancient stories tell us that the gods came to our world and created the first humans from trees. But did this actually happen or could they have sent us the necessary energies for this evolutionary leap from afar? The answer is both really. The continuous course of biological evolution fits well to our ideas on memory collection (see below), the theory of the energization of chemical processes for becoming biological, etc. The Nyall Philosophy is earth-based, although it stretches itself to heaven- into the infinite stellar universe. The gods tried to energize the earth in many stages, and were present in that sense; how far and how often they have materialized here in the course of evolution and in the course of history is a matter of question- but such visits would not contradict some of our most basic principles.

So let us look now, reviewing some of the above, at what actually took place and continues to take place: once our earth was the home of single compounds, water, minerals, gasses and carbon compounds that developed into more and more complex groupings. Indeed, at this stage there was little obvious telephathy on the scene, which was the entire earth, lit up and warmed by the warm sun. Still more carbon compounds developed and up came the amino acids. There were, however, plenty of reasons in favor of the view that chemical processes could never carry this much further. The top had been reached, the available means exhausted. There was a dead end ahead.

But suddenly a new movement spread around on the surface of our earth and there were DNAs, RNAs and Proteins everywhere, interacting and creating each other incessantly and starting entirely new kinds of processes on a higher plane- which by now has continued all this time since then, probably 4000 million years. The seven miles step from amino acids up to the ultra-large molecules had been taken, and all of a sudden LIFE had entered the scene and, indeed, came to remain on this planet, at least to the present time. But how did it enter? How could the small units unite into these gigantic ever-changing assemblies, which are reciprocally needed for the creation of each of them, namely the large molecules?

In each race of mankind there exists a group of deities who are their divine racial counterpart. Each one ofg these races has what Doctor Pjeturss called "Verundur", the 'Highest Being'; we could probably say that the Verundur of the Teutons is Odin, or perhaps the unknown deity from Voluspa. This being emanates powerful energies throughout the universe. With the many races having a Verundur there are many such emanations out there! From this source, from the energetic origins of the cosmos there are constantly going out waves or rays of such energies persuading the chaotic substance to strive up the road of order and perfection. This implies that: the large molecules are created on a virgin earth out of the amino acids at hand, and suddenly there is a copy of the model in the same place, while the model-molecules are in the bodies of the other gods, who are in the intermediary stage between Verundur and the lower nature. You see that we are never "outside of the physical world" in our considerations of matters that so long have been, regrettably, the delicacy of "other worlders" (ethereal, interdimensional, etc.). In the ancient texts there is mention of Litr Goda - the image of the gods- which is in correlation to this theory. However, we must note that Astrobiological knowledge must be built up independently of religions, but the religious ideas can be reviewed from the astrobiological viewpoint, and understood to have more real contents than the skeptics ever anticipated.

We must conclude that our basic biochemical units are constantly in direct energy exchange with similar units in these far-advanced mankinds (godkinds). More than that: because of the mutual relations of these basic large molecules, they could never have originated without effects from their more energy-laden counterparts in other solar systems. This process if completely natural and "this worldly" and shows our connection to the gods and the universe around us.

The evolutionary principle here, concerning humans, gods and the Verundur is that evolution itself is a never-ending process that is as eternal as the universe itself. Everything is always growing, always expanding, and this has always been so. It is pompous for us humans to consider ourselves to be the pinnacle of biological and even psychological advancement on an evolutionary path we have only been part of for a few hundred thousand years! The older the race, the higher they will be in their advancement, and will continue to be so as long as there is room to grow!

Heraclitus wrote: "Life is a spark from the substance of the stars". In the above context this easily becomes understood and consequent. Pythagoras wrote: "The souls of animals come from the stars." Helgi Pjeturss wrote: "A tiny bit of the lifeless substance (on a virgin earth) is being transformed by the radiation from afar, into a life substance and an astounding road of evolution is being entered upon." And later, in describing the combinations always leading to a more perfect stage than the previous, he wrote: "Then the atoms get, because of the emanations from the origins, interconnected in more and more complicated compounds, until the compounds are raised up to the level called life."

The life or the soul of an individual is thought of as an arrangement of constantly moving particles and the radiation (bio-radiation) is the act of arranging the particles. Thorsteinn Jonsson-Ulfsstodum said: "I think of the life of every individual as a light being lit from a kind of long range light emissions station, which had, by its emissions, built up the lamp that is the receiver." The DNA-RNA-Protein complex is no mere structure, and rather it is in an ever-changing flux of combinations and energy transfers, that can never be repeated exactly, for the molecules are not static. For 4000 millions years ago or so, these differences did little harm. As soon as you are prepared to "repeat the experiment", an evolution has gone its way-life and the universe have learnt new things.

Be assured that cells existed before polycellulars, for some say that life is the evolution of the biosphere around the biosphere in general, but that is equal to saying that the nature of the cell is its participation in the life of the human body. Since cells existed before polycellulars, this is not a viable answer, although considering the biosphere as a life unit is really interesting indeed. The, once we consider thatr the same processes as have been stated above take place on millions of plants similar to ours, we note just how "alive" the universe is. The divine societies, made up of physical, biochemical beings, have life processes, chemical as they are, which display vital processes undreamtof in our realm. These processes create their lower evolved replica in the chemical matter of earth and similar worlds.

Thus the genetics of gods follow the same pattern as those of the human races, and the DNA-RNA-Protein is just the same (the earthly process being a slower replica of the divine). But the physiological coordination is much more perfect in the gods, and therefore their life is so happy. The gods live their happy life, and it was just as some surplus or leavings of their bioenergy that were materialized in the outskirts, in the life of protozoa and other primitive life. The Law of Determinants states that around certain humans there arise kinds of biofields, stronger than the ordinary ones: these are persons who are lucky to be effective in their conduct of life; those are not always the best ones; some thrive quite well "in the dirt of the earth" without goodness. The new 'structures' were subject to miscegenation. The model beings, gods, did their best to repair their genes- but there were others (Helstefna beings) who wanted ugliness and badness rather than beauty or luck. The biofields of gods are always elevated to much higher points, thus both inside their body and better harmonized, yet more independent than we are. Every godkind has its special characteristics, physical as well as mental; and accordingly the human races, being copies of these models,display corresponding characteristics, on their lower stage. This explains why all races of the earth see their divine counterparts as reflections of themselves, or more accurately, vice versa. The more humans are aware of their relations to the gods the better.

The next question may be: but what of the evolutionary processes that continued after the initial formation (through evolutionary and divine energies) in what we know to be homo sapiens man? We have seen that the energy exchange between divinity and humanity continues on a constant basis, and it strengthens once we become aware of it and welcome it. The reason we have not seen much divine activity in this world for some time is because of the prohibitive attitude of so many earthly minds. Think of how you are treated when you enter the door of an unfriendly person. What if that person were to believe that you were non-existant (non-organic)? That attitude, dominant as it has been, among influential people, created a negative biofield (the vital field of energy which flows throughout the universe and helps to organize matter through regenerative processes), and that is what the gods have had to struggle with. Returning to the original question - once the processes from monocells to polycellulars had taken place to form life, different processes of human evolution took place to continue the natural pace each race has in its own capacity. Even today we see signs of evolution when some humans are born without tonsils or appendixes. But real evolution comes from the accomplishments of each race. Some of the reason for each individual racial advancements has to do, not only with the divine energies within each race, but also in the climate they evolved in. The Nordic race evolved in a cold climate where our far-sighted gods and goddesses placed us so we could constantly have to use the gifts they gave us in order to survive. Most of it has to with the powers of the gods who made us, which is why the evolutionary competition in our world corresponds to the divine competition. To do the best is to say our gods are the best!

It is probably that proto-Nordic man may not have looked quite like we do today, but it is doubtful that we would not recognize him/her as one of our ancestors in contrast with the ancestor of another race. Each race is, in effect, a specie which evolved in its own homeland and which could, in theory, given enough time to gestate, through the process of divergent evolution, become so far separated biologically from other races that interracial, or we should say interspecial fertility would become impossible. The reason interspecial fertility is possible today is because, even through when different godkinds, who most likely cannot mix sexually (in the stories when Jotuns and gods mate there is little genetic difference, like that between Celts, Nordics and Baltics. It is between those of the Nordic divine counterparts and those of other races who cannot and will not mix), sent their energies to form different races, the earthly matters were still the same.

The theories of Charles Darwin, though ingenious and deserving of praise for founding many evolutionary concepts, has become outdated, for it has not been able to answer certain questions which have arisen since his publishing of On the Origin of the Species. It describes evolution from a middle point, where life has already come into existence and then begins to form different species. Some of his ideas may have been based on a monotheist upbringing, since his first ambition was to become a minister. I say this because his theories and researched have led many to look for a single origin point for life, for man in particular, like the Adam and Eve of the Bible. The truth is that a single origin (from fish or whatever) is impossible. It's as if saying that the same process from which a child grows into a man is the very one which gave him life, and genetic characteristics without ever putting into place the period of time put into the womb. It is studying the chicken without every looking at the egg. First of all, how could we believe that one specie of animal could ever evolve into another specie, or one genera into another for that matter? Certainly, all life forms through their birth processes and climate adaptations will evolve into different forms of their own specie and genera, but nature will rarely see exact replicas formed through living intelligence that is. Nature is simple too chaotic and moving for that or any concept of linear evolution. This may be possible for some of the lower life forms (plankton, clams, snails, etc) as they are all very similar. However, the more complex the life form the less chance there is for another form to "meet" somewhere on the evolutionary line.

Only speculative evidence exists to support the theory that all races evolved from one and spread out over the earth. If we are to believe the dominant evolutionary model of Darwin we would have to conclude that any sort of racial or special extinction were to occur this would be inconsequential, since it could later evolve again if given the opportunity to undergo the supposed original process which created the race in the first place, which we know is an impossibility.

Earlier I mentioned the prohibitive attitude of humans towards the gods, thinking them not real, or at the very least not organic (i.e. ethereal in some sense). How such a belief, that the gods are not biochemical beings, originated was from the way in which they visit us. J.G. Bell at CERN developed his famous equations in 1962 that refer to the ability of any part of the universe to be at another place in the same moment of time. Thorstein Gudjonsson coined the term "instantaneous interstellar transfer of energies" (i.i.t.e a rewording of Helgi Pjeturss' Bioinduction theory) which shoes how certain energies can travel across the universe a million times the speed of light. One of the primary concepts of Nyall theory is that a 'velocity' - a connection - surpassing the speed of light by the multi trillion fold, is an innate quality of our universe. Such phenomena explain dreams (as will be shown below), deity visitations and other such visions - like U.F.O.'s, Bigfoot, aliens, etc. Many of these "sightings" are actually lucid dreams (indeed, most are recorded at night), visions, or perhaps may even be materializations; but in any case the same transfer of energy has occurred, only in varying degrees. When a materialization has occurred it is generally quite intentional, as it takes some effort for one to project an image of himself across the cosmos. The idea is that all things have bioradiation - a physical energy, even the lowest of creatures (we know it exists because it can be photographed with Kirlian photography). This bioradiation is the energy which is transferred (part of it anyway) during bioinduction- the ability of an organism to induce its processes in other organisms.

All of the universe is connected by a vital field or biofield (like the morphogenetic fields postulated by Rupert Sheldrake). It is this biofield which connects the universe and allows the bioinduction process to take place, thus bioinduction is what takes place in i.i.t.e. When an entity wishes to project itself to our world it does so through bioinduction and this what we are seeing, in our weaker biofield (like the magnetic fields, some plants have stronger biofields, others, like ours, are weaker - see below), is an energy materialization of the real being living on another planet. To some, seeing such a thing may become mixed with the realm of "spirituality" and "mysticism", many have confused the method of occultists with their subjects of study, which are, indeed, real and worth full attention. All phenomena which have, to date, been labeled "supernatural", "other dimensional", "ethereal", etc. can be explained through Nyall philosophy in natural, scientific terms, never leaving the pattern of this (the only) universe.

Let's give an example of such religious explanations- in most, if not all religions of the world people describe the images of their deities and the afterlife with bright light (near death experiences also claim such things). The Christian faith (following an earlier Roman paradigm) shows saints, angels and their god with halos and bright light surrounding them. Most of the Odinic deities have names which correspond to light:
Balder: "The Bright"
Falr- "The White Browed"
Herebeald- "The Bright Warrior"
Mardoll- "The One Diffusing a Glimmering in the Sea"
Ullr: "The Glorious"
Jolnir- "The Bright One"
Lodur: "The Fire-Producer"
Glenr- "The Shining One"
Lysir- "The Bright One"
Gullintani- "The One With Golden Teeth"
Ostara-Eostre- "Goddess of the Dawn"
Bleik: "The Shining Maid"
Bjort: "The Bright Maiden"
Svipdag: "He Whose Countenance Shines Like the Day"
Svedal: "The Shining Swine"
Silfverdal- "The One Who Shines Like Silver"
Ljomanda Handleggurkona- "The Maiden With Shining Limbs"
Sunna/Sol: "Sun Goddess"
Sygrutha- "The Bright Maiden Who Grants Victory"
Delling: "Day Spring (Dawn)"
Dagr: "Day"

The reason such descriptions and names are given is because the bioradiations of higher evolved beings are much brighter than ours and so their energy can actually be seen in the form of bright light. Regenerated life (our ancestors in the next life) also has this bright radiation.

Of course, we cannot overlook those times in ancient lore when deities were said top have actually visited our world. All religions mention some form of divine visitation, and such does not contradict the Nyall model. Odin, Hoenir, Lodur, Freyja, Frigga and most notably Heimdall have all visited earth as we know from our lore. It is doubtful that they walked as flesh in Midgard, and turning religion into history (euhemerism) is a foolish and fruitless effort. Religion, just like science, is an attempt to explain universal realities. Religious theories should be no less logical than the scientific. Perhaps the only way a deity could travel on the earth as flesh would be through what I call telepathic auto suggestion (t.a.s.), which is commonly referred to as "possession" but is entirely different.
Before I go into the next aspect of Nyall there is one more aspect of Astrobiology to discuss- that being the evolutionary lines of planets. Most people agree that it is very unlikely that we are alone in the universe, Nyallsinnar ("Believers in the Nyall Philosophy") actually believe that the universe is quite full of intelligent life (and that the universe itself is alive!). Millions upon millions of planets exist with life forms similar to our own. In fact, with the life processes mentioned above it is quite possible that we are in some way related to those on the other planets. The Odinic lore mentions several worlds- Gladheimr, Jormungrundr, Mannheimr, etc. so we can see that there are many godworlds as well, though we Nordics primarily connect to Gladheimr and Jormungrundr because the deities that gave us life originate from them. There are three "lines" or "paths" of evolution that worlds can be on: The aforementioned Helstefna - the lowest, where life is at its most chaotic and dysfunctional, being only a mere caricature of life. Primigene- "First Birth" plants where human life is born (but will move on to regenerate on other worlds after death). This line is constantly struggling between the lower and higher lines. The Lifstefna line is the line of the gods, of the higher life, of ancestors worthy of its glory. It is the path of immense effort and greater reward.

The divine endeavor, on the cosmic scale, is to cure Midgard (Which from our lore is "The Middle Realm", corresponding to "Primigene"; Utgard corresponds to Helstefna, and Asgard to Lifstefna. In Nyall reckoning Nifelheimr, Jotunheimr, Alfheimr, Mannheimr, Gladheimr, etc. are names of particular plants on these evolutionary lines, even if the ancient cosmology does not necessarily reflect this.) worlds completely from Helstefna infestation, so that even here, all life can be beautifully wise, victorious, and will enter the Asgard level. We have to strive for the Lifstefna, to reach for ubermensch, so that we may move on to Lifstefna worlds after we die, and so that one day our descendants will be able to live on a Lifstefna earth. Our primary task is to work for the gods and goddesses to improve access for them to our planet, which means a greater glory for them in the intergalactic community of gods. If our gods win over this planet, for the Lifstefna, from the Helstefna, means that millions of mankinds will appreciate it: "They did it, the Nordic gods!" they will say. Such is the competition between godkinds. In human life, more than previously, the real excesses of Helstefna have come to light, and continue to increase. 'Homo homini lupus'- man is like a wolf to his fellow man. Unfortunately, it goes even further beyond that. Human misfortune shows that, if it was bad in the beginning, it got worse and worse, until it is now approaching crisis levels- which may end with a total collapse. Such an end has come over a great number of primigene mankinds in the universe, as they had ignored the truth and were totally extinguished as their suns exploded (present astronomical theories on the nature of supernovas are incomplete). In the present situation, the course of earthly events is being watched closely, both from the glorious Lifstefna realms and Helstefna horror nests. In some cases- we still don't know how frequent- primigene mankinds, longtime Helstefna dependent, find, in spite of all, their way out of the darkness and enter the grand union. On the other hand our earth is on the brink of collapse now. We are being led towards a new World War. People and nations are being brought, successively, into 'compulsive' situations, where they are 'compelled' to increase hostilities and astrocities. The way out of this is through recogniztion and responsibility: recognition of our cosmic contacts (through dreams, see below) and the responsibility to be prepared to argue one's understanding. It has been prophesied that in the last instance the Lifstefna will win.

There are "afterlife" planets for humans as well, which are to be classified as Lifstefna vs. Helstefna planets. Lifstefna is the true, beautiful, always improving evolution of life; Helstefna the contrast to everything that is good and helpful. The primigene planets, many of them severely affected with the Helstefna, are to be divided into two categories: those which collapse and those which enter the Lifstefna line for continuous progress. You can easily realize that our planet is seriously affected with Helstefna. Every new war means an 'invitation' to Helstefna effects. On the other hand, planets that take up contact with other solar systems, survive; those which persist in Helstefna collapse. The Lifstefna is the path of higher men, regenerated higher life and deities of all kinds. Remember that Lifstefna, though a powerful line, does not hold a monopoly on power or strength; the Helstefna and primigene lines can be quite powerful as well. I say this because it is important for people to understand that Lifstefna is more than just strength. I personally have known people who believed they were working on a "higher path" because they worked hard, studied hard, kept themselves in good health, etc. but were hateful and bitter. The higher man/woman is detached to Helstefna influences, like the eagle who chases away the snake in her nest- not out of hate, but out of love for her children. He/She is compassionate rather than hateful, proactive rather than reactive, kind and noble, but hard when necessary.

Life will evolve; in a person's life their will determines whether they will move down the Helstefna of Lifstefna. Study the life of Loki to understand this better. When a person makes the turn-around from Helstefna to Lifstefna it not only affects them, but also their future generations of offspring. Their children will elevate more and more towards the Asgard level as the generations pass, and their course will be easier with each generation, for they will have had a heart start.

To understand more clearly the concepts of the three lines of evolution let us look at the origins of the cosmic order- the story of Ginungagap, which is quite possible from a scientific perspective. Once the universe (or part of it) was an infinite mass of chaos (Helstefna) which knew nothing of order until eventually, through a great amount of effort, a "hole" broke through the chaos and thus the Lifstefna was born. Evolution began. It was crude at first, but evolved more and more and expanded further and further out, as it continues to do today. Within it, the Ginungagap, there is a constant struggle between the evolving Lifstefna and the preceding Helstefna forces for the dominance of planets, just as there is between Ginungagap and the Utgard chaos for the dominance of the universe. Ginungagap will continue to expand, and the Lifstefna forces, when destroyed can evolve into higher forms, possibly eventually reaching the Lifstefna, for nature always seeks perfection. This is not always the case. This intergalactic struggle takes place within individual humans, within Midgard communities, nations, continents, planets, solar systems, galaxies, clusters, and so on.


Just as Astrobiology explains the processes of life and anthropology, Metabiology explains the processes of death and eschatology. To begin we must look at the most basic principle of this theory- that individuals are made up of two different types of memory collection - the personal memory collection or "oeviminni" and the genetic or racial memory collection or "settminni". Genetic memory can be further divided into two classes- family memory and racial memory, but it isn't absolutely necessary to do this for your race is, genetically speaking, an extended part of your family. "Past life experiences" are best explained as manifestations of the genetic memory, since they are 'flahes' of memories handed down to us by our ancestors. When these flashes arise in our mind, one feels as though they are experiencing a past life. Your whole life consists of memory-collection; every momnent is preserved and at the end of our first life, the 'collection', which is our own bioradiation, requires a new organism to control (the individual biofield continues to be, because it is part of the whole, of the general vital field of the cosmos). Let's look at exactly how this happens - once the body has died the memory-collection/personal biofield, which is always in a living state that will not decompose like the body (it is called "soul" by the Eastern cults, but Asatruar call it litr goda, önd, hamr, hugr, minne, etc.) moves on to a more advances vital field. Earth has its vital field as well for it is a factor throughout all of the universe, but is it not as strong (though is significantly stronger than the lifeless worlds) as it is on more advanced planets (compare, but do not confuse with electromagnetic fields which are stronger and weaker on different planets- take our moon for example, a lifeless ball orbiting our world which exists solely to serve the purposes of our earth. Our planet is obviously much more advanced than it. Its vital and magnetic fields are virtually non-existent. All energies related, but still, do not confusde the two). We see the vital field at work around us in many ways- when cuts heal into scar tissue, when animals can re-grow limbs, when scientists can grow body parts out of human DNA or even clone species, etc. We can even see how the memory-collection is effected by our earth's vital field. When people see 'ghosts', as they call them (Aftergöngur- "Backwards Walkers" in Icelandic, the deceased are called Framlidinn- "Forward Movers" because they have moved on to the next world), they are actually witnessing the materialization of a memory-collection in the earthly vital field. Just as with the mistake made upon seeing deities materialize or ancestors greeting them during near death experiences, people have taken these entities to be 'ethereal' or 'supernatural'. Nothing is supernatural, i.e. above nature for nature is all, our human minds need only to find a natural, logical explanation for the unseen realities of the universe. As we are doing now. Usually these 'ghosts' have, by force of their own will, caused themselves to stay here out of fear or a connection to something, the latter explaining the belief that most of the dead attend their own funerals. Some of these 'ghosts' are good, others are not, depending on how they were in their first life.

Thus we see that everything you do in your first life influences your conditions in the next. Those whose conduct, habits and endeavor are similar in the first life, will come together in an afterlife society and will then be known as regenerate life. Those whose disposition has been to plague and torment others, have integrated such conduct into their minds so thoroughly thaty they cannot get away from it, except by suffering no less, probably worse than their previous prey. The "punishment" comes from the having been loaded with memories of harmful actions in primigene life; "reward" from having laid the foundations for an ever progressing life. True ethics is to be based on an inquiry into afterlife conditions. The concept of similar bioradiations being pulled to one another, both in this life (consider the "birds of a feather" idea) and the next, is called Biodynamic Attraction.

After death the memory-collection travels through the cosmos by the bioinduction process to a "like minded" planet by way of biodynamic attraction, which is when the bioinduction process attracts others to the energy transfer and can thus direct the transfer itself to a society of people with similar mentalities and genetics. Once the collection enters the atmosphere of the advanced world it begins to organize cells in the same manner as was shown before (in the initial creation of life) in order to create an exact replica of the person who died. Only this time, because of the knowledge acquired through the primigene life and death processes and the advanced conditions of the cells and environment on the next world, the person will regenerate into a higher evolved being and will continue to do so for as long as evolution will carry them. Thus we are immortal, we only come to recognize this immortality after we have died, when we realize that death is only a step which must be taken in order to reach the next stage of evolution. Just as there are millions of primigene planets, there are even more regenerate ("second birth") worlds which continue to accomodate the genetic lines of the former.

In any case we build, in the afterlife, upon the same genetic outfit we had for our primary life. But while we in the primigene life built exclusively on what our fore-fathers and mothers had acquired in a long period of evolution, the regenerative life rests of memories and habits from the first life as well as the evolutionary heritage. Life span memories (the aeviminni) are added to our racial memory (aettminni)- that is the essence of biology. In the second life, we remain the same persons as we were, but, on the good line, the possibilities for developing one's abilities are infinite. I guess, and would prefer, that people of approximately the same racial origin would form their special advancing societies; but never forget: the main characteristic of the advancing universe is harmony and communication in a sound and healthy manner.

So, what about other forms of life (lower animals and plants)? Well, the eggs from a single female cod are counted in tens of millions, and even though the universe is large- infinite indeed!- all space and all matter would soon be filled up by young cods, if there were no limitations. Now, we know that all life has its difficulties to struggle with, animals, plants and humans. I have no doubt that animals and polants have survival possibilities in them, but how the restrictions act, I cannot say so far (possibly by survival of the fittest?). It is known here on earth that when 'the quotas' are filled, for certain species, the trend to multiply becomes reduced. It is quite natural that we begin acquiring information about our own co-humans (onj other worlds), then later we extend the systematic quest to our animal friends.

Now you can see the importance of the struggle along the Lifstefna line as opposed to the lazy and disfunctional way of the Helstefna. Your objective is clear, to fill your mind with as many positive and purposeful memories you can so that you will live ijn an afterlife society of like-minded people who are as asdvanced as you are. This in itself is a wisdom taught by many religions, and reflects how people should live. If you live honorable and by ethical standards your destination to the higher worlds will be paved out for you. If mankind continues on current trends, and does not take a drastic step from the Helstefna to the Lifstefna, this planet is doomed.

Most of what is explained in Metabiology comes through collections of data on experiences with ghosts, out of body experiences, near death experiences (N.D.E.s) and known scientific data. For instance, a recurring theme in N.D.E.s is the seeing of a "bright light" and often times beings of light. The light may sometimes be the sunshine of the new surroundings, but when it is a singular light of limited extension it is a bioradiative light, which is intended for the person. The beings of light have bright bioradiations, just as all deities have, which is why we see tem with such illuminated forms. Like a radio receiver we "tune in" to these beings and connect to them and are thus energized. We can also be energized by people on our world. Whenever we are positively supported and understood our biofield is energized because those people are emanating their bioinductive energies in our direction. In the same sense negative energies can repel us and/or drain us, unless one is on a strong Helstefna path of existence. They can feed upon such negativity like a vampire of a draugr.

The mere understanding of the Nyall philosophy gives us an edge in the afterlife because when we get to where we are going and regenerate we will know what is happening and where we will go. Thus when you know of life after death you are better off. When you think of the universe- instead of a stupid explosion out there (big bang)- your mind is both calmed and raised. Your deceased relatives get better access to you, if you realize that our Asatru forefathers kept the dead in honor and allowed communication from them to come through. I am reminded of a tradition in our lore which states that when we go before the gods in judgement at the Helthing after death we stand mute unless we know MálrÚnar (speech runes) and our hamingja represents us. The hamingja knows about life after death. It is up to us to be aware of the true phenomena of the afterlife so we will overcome all fear and stand before the gods with true wisdom and understanding. Just as when we dream, in oprder to become lucid we must become aware that we are dreaming, what is taking place around us, then we are in control. From the above stated we learn two things about our dealings with the deceased:

That we should see funerals as joyous events because we know that our friends haver moved into higher existences. Few will mourn the wicked on the Helstefna line anyway, and rightly so, but their case is sad indeed for they will move towards realms of horrible situations- where nightmares come from (literally, see below).
That communication with the dead, and an open, positive attitude toward such things is important for life here and the worlds we communicate with. The more we communicate with them, the more channels open up between the worlds, as is the case with gods. The reason we do not see much psychic (biodynamic) activity on this world is because of the coming of monotheism and its subsequent domination on the world scene, which closed off such communication.

Lets look a bit into the question of psychic abilities. Whenever we use psychic powers to see probabilities we are engaging in a bioinductive process to seek information, like searching on an interplanetary internet. The "Web of Wyrd" is quite scientific at its corte, if you look past the poetic imagery, and it can be applied here. Searching for answers to questions in the infinite universal oracle about yet-to-be situations requires finding someone, through telepathic bioinduction, who has been through something similar and knows the end result if certain actions are taken. The same process is used when we communicate with the gods and goddesses and regenerated life forms (the dead). Biodynamic attraction leads us to our destinations, where we need to go to find what we are looking for. Divinity knows best, which is why we generally look to gods and goddesses for answers, but the regenerate life-forms and sometimes even other primigene beings can and will answer as well. Scientists have proven that telepathy exists through a rigorous study of those known to have a higher than average (for we are all telepathic beings) ability. Here are the results of one such study from Stephen LaBerge shown in his book Lucid Dreaming :

"...(one) phenomenon whose existence is widely attested to is the mysterious mode of information transfer called extrasensory perception (ESP). A wealth of antecdotal evidence supports the idea that ESP occurs, working across both space and time. If it is indeed possible to perceive, in some fashion, events that are happening at a distance, or even those that have not yet happened, space and time must be other than what they seem, and the same goes for subjective and objective realities!"

And another study from Dr. Montague Ullman and Dr. Stanley Krippner, also mentioned in lucid Dreaming, focused on dream telepathy, which, as we shall see, is extremely important to the Nyall philosophy. In their experiments they had one person sleeping in one room and another person in a different room who was known as a powerful telepathic (indeed, we realize that some of us have to consult through divinational mediums and rituals to do what others do naturally), sending the sleeping person images they (the telepathic) focused on when the former reached the R.E.M. stage of sleep (when dreams are believed to occur). When the person awoke they discussed their dream and compared it with the image. When the study concluded it was noted that the accuracy of the recollections was too high to be mere chance. From this we can see the bioinduction process at work, taking place in a close range.

The Dream Theory

From out of the Nyall concepts discussed already there arises its most profound theoretical ideal; the cornerstone of which is the distinction between memory (Minne, cp. Odin’s raven Munnin) and perception (thought- Hugr, cp. Odin’s raven Huginn). There is a difference between reality and thought. All of our perceptions are simply the recognition that new memories have originated through an interplay with the events. They always arise by reactions to stimuli and are never a part of an ‘imaginary’ process. As we have stated, bioinduction is telepathy and when we dream we are taking place in the bioinduction process with a being somewhere else. That person can be anywhere in the universe, even, in some special cases (such as the one shown above), here on earth. Our dream experiences are the real experiences of the person we exchange energies with (it is interesting to note the word ‘exchange’ because the phrase “vixla litum” [exchanging of the litr, the inner essence of the gods placed within humans] was considered a shamanistic practice among our ancestors). Such ‘faring forth’ is in actuality lucid dreaming. The concept of ‘exchange’ implies interaction with two people, as is shown here). Thus the person who is actually experiencing these events is ‘giving’ us our experience and is therefore called a dreamgiver. When a dreamer does not understand what the dreamgiver is doing this can cause erroneous interpretation (memory substitution). This is why so many see the “symbols” of their own life when they record a dream. People tend to cover the real life instances of the dreamgiver with images from their own life when they record the dream. Once you dispose of this type of dream consideration the dreams themselves become clearer to you and the loss of anxiety over figuring out dream symbology with confusing psychoanalytical terms can strengthen your biofield.

It is important to understand the nature of dreams because that in itself strengthens your dream energy. Strong dream energy will allow you to have lucid dreams, positive dreams, and will allow you to easily remember them. Sleep, the immediate corollary of dreams, is a state of receiving an energy vital to man, in which dream energy is included as a factor. Other factors which build up dream energy are: a positive attitude, a healthy diet with plenty of dark green vegetables and water, fresh air, listening to classical music (which stimulates the mind) and an unstressful environment. Meditation will definitely help as well, for it allows one to gain the focus needed to perform the procedures required for obtaining lucid dreams, which builds up dream energy.

Stephen LaBerge concluded in his expose on Lucid Dreaming that the idea of the dream world being real is a good possibility, though he does not quite go as far as we do:

“If early humans believed they had discovered in the dream a second “real world” what might they have meant? Did they merely mean that the dream world had a subjectively verifiable existence? That dreams were only real while they lasted? Or that dreams existed actually and objectively in some subtle plane(t) of existence every bit as real as the physical world?”

“Is there any evidence suggesting that dreams can be objectively real? Several enigmatic phenomena seem to raise the possibility that, in some circumstances, the dream world may be at least partially objective. One of these enigmas is the uncanny experience in which a person feels he or she has somehow temporarily left his or her body (or the feeling of falling one gets when drifting between consciousness and sleep, which is catching the bioinduction process while it is happening –ed.). Survey data indicate that a number of people have had such out-of-body experiences (O.B.E.s) at least once in their lives. Very frequently, those who have this experience becomes unshakably convinced that they, or at least some part of themselves, are capable of an existence independent of their bodies.”

On the latter note we have to say rightly so because the process which deals with energy exchanges that cause dreams are the same that deal with life force (bioradiation and memory-collection) moving forward after death, that is, the bioinduction process. In fact, we can attribute any exchange of bio-energies across space with this concept. When we strengthen our own personal biofields the bioinduction process builds up and a clearer channel of communication can take place between you and your dreamier.

Lucid dreaming is induced once you become aware that you are dreaming while you are asleep – in the dream process. This means that you have become aware of the dream-dreamier relationship, as does the dreamier. You feel like you are in total control of yourself, but only because the dreamier’s telepathic energies have united more closely with yours through your awareness. Once you have experienced this, if you have not, you will realize just how powerful awareness is, for the dream will then seem more real than reality itself. Sometimes you may even wake up and wonder if you are still dreaming, and indeed there will be times when you actually will be.

There are guidelines one can use to help them achieve the lucid dream state. Follow them carefully and with a strong intent. They come from LaBerge’s book Lucid Dreaming:

Each night tell yourself a considerable amount of times that you are dreaming so as to get it into your memory before sleep.
Each night tell yourself that you want to remember your dream when you wake up.
When you wake up your first thought should be, ‘what was I dreaming?’ Then recall your dream and write it down in a dream log. If you can’t remember the dream, think of what you are feeling at the present moment. This should help you remember.
During the day continuously tell yourself that your waking life effects your dreaming life (for the memory-collection is always conscious).
Before going to sleep you must invoke your mental energies to allow yourself to fully understand the dream state. We must intend on becoming lucid in order to actually do so. Remember – “I am”.
Always ask yourself- “Am I dreaming or not?” at least 5-10 times at bedtime and while falling asleep is also favorable.
As soon as you have fallen asleep it is possible to float freely, as a point of awareness, in a space which seems to be identical with the place in which you went to sleep.
a. Allow yourself to passively enter the dream scenery. Forcing will cause the dream to fade.
b. While going to sleep, imagine that your body is somewhere else, doing something other than lying in bed, though do not forget that you are entering the dream state.
c. Concentrate on the idea, while you are falling asleep, that you will no longer perceive your body.
Another method is to count to yourself (“One, I am dreaming; two, I am dreaming; three, I am dreaming…”) while drifting off to sleep. The result is that at say “forty-eight, I am dreaming” you actually will be.
You can also simply tell yourself before going to sleep “tonight, I will have a lucid dream.” But you must truly intend to have one.
You can make a recording set to go off at a certain time that will tell you in your own voice that you’re dreaming. There are devices that aid in this, such as one that flashes red lights as soon as the eyes go into R.E.M. stage.
M.I.L.D. (Method of Inducing Lucid Dreams):
During the early morning, when you have awakened spontaneously from a dream, go over the dream several times until you have memorized it.
Then while lying in bed and returning to sleep, say to yourself, “Next time I am dreaming, I want to remember to recognize I am dreaming.”
Visualize yourself as being back in the dream just rehearsed, only this time, see yourself realizing that you are in fact, dreaming.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your intention is truly fixed or you fall asleep.
You can make a recording set to go off at a certain time that will tell you in your own voice that you’re dreaming. There are devices that aid in this, such as one that flashes red lights as soon as the eyes go into R.E.M. stage.

Lucid dreams can definitely make a positive impact in your life and put you on a new course of thinking. You may want to watch out for some tricks the mind may play on you, such as false awakenings, which can be stopped by causing yourself to spin around in your dream. That’s right, when you are lucid you seemingly have control of your dreams, for your awareness of the dream state raises your dream energy to such a level that both you and the dreamgiver are aware of what is going on and both minds become one.

There is an instance, thought it is very rare, when the dreamgiver can be controlled by the dreamer, or vice-versa. This is caused by what I call Telepathic Auto Suggestion (T.A.S.). It is the act of using the bioinduction process to “hypnotize” the receiver of the energies ina sort of way. When shamans or mediums allow “spirits” to “enter” them and speak through them this is actually what is happening. The medium has become the dreamgiver on a lucid level and has allowed the dreamer (or one who has sent their bioradiation in one way or another) to “take over” through T.A.S. This type of situation can be dangerous, especially if there is a Helstefna being who may wish to use T.A.S. by force, which we would call “possession”, but usually this only happens to very vulnerable people with extremely weak energy who cannot fend off such attacks.

Dream telepathy extends throughout the universe, through all three planetary lines- Helstefna, Primigene, and Liftefna. When nightmares occur they are almost always from a Helstefna world, except for those cases when one is reaching out for help from a bad situation on a primigene world or something similar to that. Most ordinary dreams come from primigene worlds where things can be pleasant, boring, dangerous, or even sometimes scary- like our world. Most pleasant dreams, where all is beautiful and alluring, occur on Lifstefna worlds where gods and regenerates live. Use nightmares to build yourself up, trying to figure out what is causing your mind to connect to such a horrible place until the nightmares stop. A comparison of dreams from various observers might lead to a kind of “cartography” of several planets, which might further facilitate communication, for more and more people.

Here are four major forms of observing dreams:
Try to learn, from the context, if the dreamgiver is on a primigene planet or a regenerate (“afterlife”) planet.
Observe if you find valid reasons for some mind contents proper to you, the dreamer, entering the dreamgiver’s mind during the dream. This is a ver delicate kind of observation, for you are he and he is you. If this is the case, you may even try to help the dreamgiver, if he is in a troublesome situation.
Astronomical dreams, from people either having good or just elementary knowledge about the stellar system, could help us in localizing in space in the planets we communicate with most frequently, at least if there are some nearby solar systems involved.
In your waking hours, maybe you are sometimes a dreamgiver yourself. This would be difficult to discover, but is nevertheless worth remembering this possibility.

For many years scientists, historians and philosophers have believed that the origins of metaphysics rests in the world(s) of dreams. Even though they were intending them to be something imaginary their overall conclusion was exactly right. The lore of our gods and goddesses comes from a saga that represents events that actually occurred in the divine realm, but is retold here using ancient forms of interpretation and poetic imagery. The skalds were certainly inspired by dreams, visions, materializations, and even possibly actual visitations by deities such as Rig-Heimdall. When you believe that such things are possible your mind becomes susceptible to the other bioradiations and you will experience such phenomena. When people believe that they will see a U.F.O. they give themselves the mental state that does not oppose other life in the universe and so unconsciously they support an advancing field, thereby boosting the biodynamic process.

The Purpose of the Nyall Philosophy

Next to understanding and teaching the above shown dream theory we Nyallsinnar hope to get our mankind to enter a direct, “psych” (bioradiative) relationship with:
Dwellers on regenerate planets of the right tendency, who know our mental state and submit theirs to ours.
Dwellers on primigene (first-birth) planets, where evolution proceeded along similar lines as here, while some of them recently found a more fortunate line, others not so far.
Far-advanced or godlike dwellers on Lifstefna planets, capable of biodynamic intervention. The Northern gods of old are represented in this.

A station for interstellar communication is required for making the above effective. When contact has been established, star-dwellers may succeed in making their presence felt, which means that possibilities for applying biodynamic methods will be realized, and that is more urgently needed now than ever before in human history.

Peace Power is a prime characteristic of stations for interstellar communication. This power, establishing itself as charity in everyone, invites visits from more advanced humanities in the cosmos and heralds a new age in the history of mankind.

With these means, subject to the Law of Determinants, every kind of unrest or violence, anywhere, could be brought to rest. So long as all races of the world respect each other and maintain this respect through cultural acceptance, and at the same time a desire for cultural and racial preservation for all, so that each may evolve on their own line. The receiving station will even act as a kind of antenna for Lifstefna influence to the vital field of our planet.

For Nordics, we can strengthen our relationship with our gods and goddeses by: 1- Spreading the knowledge about the real nature of sleep and dreams; 2- by realization of the physical nature of the afterlife; 3- Taking up conscious communication with the departed in this sense. But be cautious. All kinds of traps exist, in a mad world like ours. Yet without courage of some kind nothing can be accomplished.

Here are some things that can be done to help out our people and eventually all of mankind:
Our theoretical approach is quite safe. If you feel strong enough, after making yourself acquainted with it represent it in your area, you should (as with all of our ideals), try to teach but not preach.
The prospect of physical life after death tells us to extend survival here as long as possible. The new body is a continuation of this one, and we should not ‘jump off’ the planet, since we are the ‘crew of the vessel’ that must sail its course.
The purpose of life is to extend, by the energies lent to us, the Asgard realm- the realm of harmony and sympathy- as far out into the Midgards as possible. When we have entered the Asgard realm, that is, when our bodies have regenerated on afterlife (regenerate) planets, we discover that we are no longer in the position to build up the divine realm out here. We then have to seek others- preferably younger ones, to continue our task, and they are not always easily found.

What is most needed for making this planet accessible to Odin-kin is that we understand the necessity of a physical afterlife: life in other solar systems. The gods despise bleak spirit life, they will have it tangible. Let’s look to Viktor Rydberg in his Researches in Teutonic Mythology (tr. Rasmus Anderson):

“The account now given of the myths concerning the lower world shows that the hierologists and skalds of our heathendom had developed the doctrine in a perspicuous manner even down to the minutest details. The lower world and its kingdom of death were the chief subjects with which their fancy was occupied. The many sagas and traditions which flowed from heathen sources and which described Svipdag’s, Hadding’s, Gorm’s, Thorkil’s and other journeys down there are proof of this, and the complete agreement of statements from totally different sources in regard to the topography of the lower world and the life there below shows that ideas were reduced to a systemized and perspicuous whole. Svipdag’s and Hadding’s journeys in the lower world have been incorporated as episodes in the great epic concerning the Teutonic patriarchs, the chief outlines of which I have presented in the preceding pages. This is done in the same manner as the visits of Ulysses and Aeneas in the lower world have become a part of the great Greek and Roman epic poems.

“Under such circumstances it may seem surprising that Icelandic records from the Middle Ages concerning the heathen belief in regard to the abodes after death should give us statements which seem utterly irreconcilable with one another. For there are many proofs that the dead were believed to live in hills and rocks, or in grave mounds where their bodies were buried. How can this be reconciled with the doctrine that the dead descended to the lower world, and were there judged either to receive abodes in Asgard or in the realms of bliss in Hades, or in the world of torture?

“The question has been answered too hastily to the effect that the statements cannot be harmonized, and that consequently the heathen-Teutonic views in regard to the day of judgement were in this most important part of the religious doctrine unsupported.

“The reason for the obscurity is not, however, in the matter itself, which has never been thoroughly studied, but in the false premises from which the conclusions have been drawn. Mythologists have simply assumed that the popular view of the Christian church in regard to terrestrial man, conceiving him to consist of two factors, the imperishable body and the imperishable soul, was the necessary condition for every belief in a life hereafter, and that the heathen Teutons accordingly also cherished this idea.

“But this duality did not enter into the belief of our heathen fathers. Nor is it of such a kind that a man, having conceived a life hereafter, in this connection necessarily must conceive the soul as the simple, indissoluble spiritual factor of human nature. The divisions into two parts, lif ok sála , líkamr ok sàla, body and soul, came with Christianity, and there is every reason for assuming, so far as the Scandinavian peoples are concerned, that the very word soul, sàla, is, like the idea it represents, an imported word. In Old Norse literature the word occurs for the first time in Olaf Trygveson’s contemporary Halfred, after he has been converted to Christianity. Still the word is of Teutonic root. Ulfilas translates the New Testament psyche with saiwala, but this he does with his mind on the Platonic New Testament view of man as consisting of three factors:

Spirit (pneuma)
Soul (psyche)
Body (soma)

Spirit (pneuma) Ulfilas translates with ahma.

“Another assumption, likewise incorrect in estimating the anthropological-eschatological belief of the Teutons, is that they are supposed to have distinguished between matter and mind, which is a result reached by the philosophers of the Occident in their abstract studies. It is, on the contrary, certain that such a distinction never entered the system of heathen Teutonic views. In it all things were material, an efni of course or fine grain, tangible or intangible, visible or invisible. The imperishable factors of man were, like the perishable, material, and a force could not be conceived which was not bound to matter, or expressed itself in matter, or was matter.

“The heathen Teutonic conception of human nature, and of the factors composing it, is most like the Aryan-Asiatic as we find the latter preserved in the traditions of Buddhism, which assume more than three factors in a human being, and deny the existence of a soul, if this is to mean that all that is not corporal in man consists of a single simple, and therefore indissoluble element, the soul.”

There are two alternatives: Odinism could proceed towards a tragic end, which means the devastation of the planet from hate (ending with a nuclear planet-wide cataclysm). The other is awakening to Balder and Nanna, the divine discoverers of the nature of dreams. This means that Asatru practitioners should learn to understand interstellar communications and so become channels for divine energy and wisdom, from Asgard.

Other planets are experiencing movements like ours and these movements are gaining more strength as well as prudence. Through dreams these evolutionary channels, in different solar systems could be informed of each other and integrated to each other. This would be extremely important for the Asgard-universe, billions of solar systems where they aim at developing Midgard life in more accordance with the Asgard model. This model always stood behind and supported our life, but incompletely, as long as man did not know.

In closing I would like to say that in our modern world there are several models used to explicate the mysterious concepts of faith, most especially pagan faith. These religious viewpoints or interpretations range from nature symbology to spiritualism to Jungian archetypes. Nyall, to me, seems to be the most valid method of exploring the sacred ancient traditions because it not only uses scientific theory the elucidate religious beliefs, it also uses the religion itself to explain phenomena within our universe usually left unexplained or passed off as “imaginary”. It is this idea in itself that formed the original purpose for religion, since to the ancients religion and science were one. In fact, it can be said without hesitation that religion, in the pagan sense of the term, was the first science, the first system of theory used to enlighten our people about the world(s) around them. As astrology developed into astronomy, herbalism into medicine, philosophy into psychology, etc. the world of science parted company with its heathen origins. This separation was due to the introduction of Dark Age religions that disdained education and enlightenment, be it not of their nonsensical “message”. With Nyall we truly return to the ancient ways, using our beloved lore to make sense of many of the wonders of the universe, spanning our search for understanding and awareness from the microcosm to the macrocosm – to the far reaches of the living cosmos.

Aegir & Ran - Defining the Face of Chaos
By Mark Puryear

We as a religious community have been working diligently in reconstituting and re-establishing the sacred traditions that define who we are, define what path we ourselves are personally on. Here and there we may differ, but collectively we represent a new manifestation of our cultural folk-soul, one that continues to evolve as we gain greater understandings of our faith through the records passed down to us.

It is the understanding of this religion that guides us on our way, which is why it is vital for us to have as clear a picture of the ancient customs as we can find, or develop. For our own spiritual well-being we must be able to recognize the dark and unseemly forces described in out lore, and differentiate them from what is good, benevolent and kind. We must be able to see our gods in a positive light, by also knowing those beings who would oppose them, defy them, or try to destroy them.

The stories handed down to us are symbolic narratives that resonate with us as part of our heritage. These symbols, though to us representing the legacy of actual beings, speak to us through our very souls. Because of this, we need proper and thorough research into our sources that can help us sort out these types of things. And we are in the process of doing this. As an example of such investigations I would like to present to you a recent discovery I made concerning ~Aegir and Ran.

Previously, this couple has been represented as divine, as a god and goddess of the sea. Ran herself is mentioned in a Christian-era tradition as being a sort of caretaker for drowned sailors in the afterlife, which paints her as a benign deity, while Aegir is seen to hold his feast for the gods in the poem Lokasenna. If we closely examine our sources we may see an entirely different picture unfold.

First, let us look at Aegir. The evidence left to us about him in several sources has been scrutinized in the past, but only to serve preconceived notions about his identity as a sea-god. Scholars would like to see him as a sort of Teutonic version of the Greek Oceanus, a titan who rules over the outer sea encircling the earth. Aegir is no doubt a giant, and his tumultuous behavior in the ocean is seen as simply a representation of natural phenomena, which doesn't seem to put him at odds with the divine order. Certainly other giants, such as Mimir and Urllr. are viewed as benevolent, so this does not disqualify Aegir from the pantheon.

Our ancestors viewed every single element in nature as having a dual function, one serving the gods and the forces of order, the other serving the forces of chaos, namely the "evil" giants. The sea was no different. On the one side it is the pathway to commerce, fishing, sunken treasures, etc., and in this capacity is represented by Njordr, who is also god of prosperity (Gylf 23). As we see lightning patroned by Thor for the order and Hrungnir for chaos, fire is represented by Heimdall for the order and Loki for chaos, so too must there be a chaotic and therefore not divine representative of the sea. As father of the nine waves, Aegir sees to the fearful aspects of the ocean, to those elements of sea-faring that take the lives of sailors whirlpools, tidal waves, rough waters, you name it.

But how can such a justification be drawn? We will now look at our sources to see, point by point, Aegir's true place in our lore.

In the opening prose of Lokasenna we are told that "Aegir [is] also known as Gymir". This has presented a problem for some researchers who would maintain that Aegir is a benevolent god. Gymir is clearly defined as an enemy of the gods and a proponent of the forces of chaos. In the poem Skirnismal he is described as a vicious monster who would violently oppose the marriage of his daughter, Gerd, to Freyr (str. 24). To make up for this discrepancy, these two names have been made out to designate two different beings, although Aegir and Gymir are clearly one and the same. In Lokasenna, Loki tells Freyr: "With gold did you buy the daughter of Gymir", whereas we have already seen that the author of this poem identifies Gymir with Aegir.

In Skaldskaparm�i 66 and 80 there are three terms used to represent the sea: Aegir (ocean), Gymir (engulfer) and Hl�r (roarer). Consequently, in Skaldsk. 29 Snorri states: "it is implied that they are all the same, Aegir and Hl�r and Gymir". Aegir's home is Hlesey (Skaldsk. 1), a place we find elsewhere to have giants and giantesses that oppose the gods. In the poem Harbaroslj�d, strophe 37-39, Thor and Thajalfi are said to have faced off with "Berserkers' brides on Hlesey". His home is said to be filled with gold, as stated in Lokasenna: "shining gold was used there [at Aegir's] instead of firelight, and the beer served itself to the guests". The same is said in Skaidsk. 1 of two swords in Aegir's hail. With this we can compare Skirnism�l 22, where Ger�r tells Skirnir: "I have no lack of gold in Gymir's courts, for I share my father's wealth".

Remember that, in Hymiskvida, Aegir is not portrayed as a willing participant in the feast he is to give for the gods. It seems as though he is commanded by Thor to hold the feast in order to create a peace alliance between them, which may keep his chaotic forces at bay. Indeed, Hymiskv. 2-3 states: "Ygg's son [Thor] looked threateningly into his [Aegir's] eyes: 'You shall often hold a feast for the gods'. The unwelcome-worded As [Thor] caused trouble for the giant: he quickly thought of vengeance on the gods." Hardly the kind of sentiment you would expect from one of the "gentle powers" (Vafthr. 17).

So we can easily see that Aegir is not a god, but rather a cruel giant who rejects union with the Vanir, and desires vengeance on the gods for making him brew a mead feast for them each year. We can further recognize his malevolent nature through the identity of his wife, Ran. It can easily be demonstrated that she is not the kind, compassionate caretaker of the drowned, as later Christian sources made her out to be. Again, we examine her position in the myths point by point.

The following statements are made about Ran, depicting her as the giantess who causes drownings and shipwrecks:

"But sea-crest Sleipnir [ship], spray-driven, tears his breast, covered with red-paint, out of white Ran's mouth." (Skaldsk. 29)

"You were, hag, before the prince's ships, and lay before them in the fjord's mouth, you would have given the chieftain's warriors to Ran, if a bar had not stopped you." (Helgakvi�a Hundingsbana I str. 30) ... The royal ship was wrested from the hand of Ran at Gnipalund." (Helgakvida Hundingsbana I str. 30)

In Gylfaginning ch. 37 it is stated that "Gymir was the name of a man whose wife, Aurboda, came from the family of mountain giants." Volusp� hin Skamma (str. 2) says the same thing: "Frey's wife was Gerd, the daughter of Gyrnir, sprung from giants, Aurboda bore her." Since we have proven that Gymir is identical to Aegir, it follows that Ran would be identical to Aurboda. Because it is beyond the scope of this investigation to show all of the evidence for this, I would refer the reader to Viktor Rydberg's Investigations into Germanic Mythology, Vol I, Cli 35, which demonstrates Auboda's identity with Gullveigr, Heidr, Angrboda and Hyrrokin.

The name Ran means "robber" or "plunderer", which should be compared with Gullveig, which means "thirsty for gold".

Rydberg notes (Investigations, Vol I, Cli 104) that Gullveig, mother of Habi, is identical to Grendel's mother in Beowulf Grendel's mother is a "she-wolf of the deep" and a mermaid (merewif) (see Beowulf 1260-1, 1507, 1519). Gymir's wife is also a mermaid, hence Skaldsk. 25:

"Gymir's Ur-cold spae-wife often brings the twisted-rope-bear [ship] into Aegir's jaws where the wave breaks". (Here the meaning of "Ur-cold" or "Ursvol" is "primeval cold", relating to the same kind of cold from which Ymir developed; see Gylf. Cli. 5 where Ymir is formed from frozen poison drops melted from the heat of southerly regions.)

It is interesting to note the relationship between Ran and Loki, as with Aurboda and Loki. In Voluspa hin Skamma it says that "Loki bore the wolf with Angrboda". This should be compared to Volusp� 41: "To the East in the Ironwood lives the ancient giantess, and there fosters the brood of Fenris". In Gylfaginning 50 Loki creates the first net of its kind, while in Skaldskaparmal 33 Ran is said to have a net "in which she caught everyone that went to sea". In the opening prose to Reginsm�l Loki is said to borrow Ran's net in order to capture the dwarf Andvari in the shape of a pike.

We see that Gullveig-Aurboda is the Teutonic female symbol of chaos, who brought the black art, Seidr (see Voluspa 22) to Midgardr. Her system of sorcery is supposed to be the antithesis of the holy runes brought by Heimdallr to our Folk. In correspondence to this Hattatal 17 states that "Ran is immorality".

In Volusp� 25 it is asked "Who had filled all the air with evil, or given Odr's maid [Freyja] to the giant race?" This is answered by strophe 21, which describes Gullveig's punishment for her crimes. In consideration of this we must recognize that Gullveig was once in Asgard and allowed to exist among Freyja's household, just as Loki was permitted in Valhalla. This statement is corroborated by Fj�lsvinnsm�l 39 where Aurboda is mentioned in the entourage of Menglad-Freyja (see Rydberg's Investigations, Vol 1, Cli. 97). This explains why, in Skaldskaparm�l 80, Ran is listed among the Asynjur, although Aegir is never mentioned among the gods.

These proofs point to the conclusion that Aegir and Ran should not be recognized among the pantheon of beneficent gods and goddesses. Aegir is forced to hold his feast for them, and resents them for this, while Ran-�Gullveig betrays Freyja and hands her over to the forces of chaos.

If we are to find sanctity and legitimacy in our lore, we must be able to identify those characters our ancestors viewed as harmful and destructive. Our people are practical, as well as creative, and would not make holy the roaring (Hl�r) ocean (Aegir) that engulfs (Gymir) ships or robs (Ran) men of life and property.

Harbardsljod and Lokasenna
by Mark Puryear

The purpose of this essay is to clearly define the relationship between the two Eddaic poems Harbardsljod and Lokasenna, while at the same time attempting to clear up some misconceptions surrounding them. It shall be demonstrated that, for the most part, the reason they have been misinterpreted for so long is due to the false identification of Odin to Harbard in Harbardsljod. Once the evidence is shown that leads to the conclusion that Harbard is Loki in disguise and using one of Odin�s names it shall be easier for people to see the link between the two lays. As we notice the points where they meet Harbard�s identity should become apparent, and may even lead some to wonder why Odin was ever placed in the position of a hateful, spiteful mocker of the gods and goddesses.

It has been surmised that Harbardsljod was developed from or inspired by Lokasenna, given their probable dates of origin and the similarities of their contents. It may even be possible that the poems were composed by the same person or by two individuals within the same skaldic circle. We know that both poems were composed in Norway in the 10th century; i.e. during the final years of heathendom in that region. Once we examine closely the episodes that these two poems present we can see that it is very likely that they both describe the same mythic event.

To begin investigating their content we must first eliminate the greatest obstacle between the two poems, that which led to their separation and misinterpretation: the true identity of Harbard. That this poem, Hardbardsljod, represents some sort of vulgar domestic dispute between father and son, a �symbolic� conflict between the noble and peasant classes is spurious. Even Bellows argues against the authenticity of this (The Poetic Edda: The Mythological Poems, pgs. 121-2). The only evidence to support this idea is Grimnismal 49 where Harbard is listed as one of Odin�s names and Harbardsljod 24, which states, in third person no doubt: �Odin has all the jarls that in conflict fall, but Thor the race of thralls.� Nowhere else is such a claim made, that Thor and Odin split the einherjar between them by class, nor does this imply any sort of conflict between the two.

It is true that Harbard is one of Odin�s names, but there is no reason why we could not assume that Loki once used this name as well. In fact, the very first strophe of Harbardsljod lets us see that Harbard�s designation is in itself a falsehood. The name is a kenning for an old man, yet Thor sees him as a �knave of knaves�, a �youth of youths� (sveinn sveina) and later calls him a �tot�, a �trifling boy� (k�gursveinn, str. 14, see UGM II pt. 2 pg. 111). So it is definite that the name Harbard �Hoar-Beard�, though perfectly describing Odin, here falsely represents the person who claims it.

It is without a doubt that Odin�s association with Harbard in Harbardsljod had its foundation in Christian scholarship. It is easy for the Christian writer, who thinks of Odin as a demon without morals or familial devotion, to see the Asagod spewing the venomous bile at Thor that we see in the poem and then have his own son, likewise a demon in their eyes, return hateful remarks back at him. Rydberg notes in UGM II part 2 pg. 129 ��in a number of Icelandic tales, their Christian authors have given Odin the character he was thought to have as a demonic being.� Modern scholars often see Odin here as the cunning trickster and Thor as the stupid oaf, which also betrays their Christian bias. With all of this in mind, these authors have no problem seeing Odin as the one who turned princes against each other �But never reconciled them� (Harbardsljod 24). One must never confuse a god of war with a demon of discord and strife.

None of the incidences mentioned in Harbardsljod can in any way be linked to any known adventure of Odin�s. However, Rydberg has proven that all of them either relate Loki�s adventures as known in other sources or allude to his nature. Since my goal here is to demonstrate the connection between Harbardsljod and Lokasenna, and Rydberg has already done an excellent job of interpreting the former in UGM II part 2 pgs. 103-130, I will only briefly outline the proofs that Loki is in fact Harbard of Harbardsljod:

-Strophe 8 is a sexual metaphor. Hildof (Maid-wolf) designates the phallus while Radsey sound) the sound of �rad�, a sexual union) is a euphemism for a vagina. Thus Harbard is saying that his penis (Hildolf), whose �home� is a vagina (Radsey sound) told him to make the boat (an obvious jest). This may have some connection to Thor�s journey to Geirrod where giantesses, urinating in the river Vimur (the Elivagar) caused it to swell. Rydberg states that �one event refers to the other�, i.e. that the body of water that obstructs Thor�s path in Harbardsljod is the same as that which caused him trouble before (UGM II part 2. Pg. 111). Loki�s position to make such a vulgar statement, that of the representative of unbridled lust, is well attested to.

-Strophe 16, Fj�lvar is one of the frost-giants who led the attack on Midgard during the first Fimbulwinter (see The Prose Edda, Tr�llkonur Nafnapular and UGM II part 2 pgs. 111-112). This shows that Harbard is an ally of the powers of frost and an enemy of the gods. �All-green� is an epithet of Midgard. When Loki-Harbard then claims, in str. 18, to have had sex with seven sisters who �seek to wind ropes of sand� during this war this refers to Hymir�s daughters, mentioned in Lokasenna str. 34, who, just as Gjalp, Greip, Stikla and Rusila are �personifications of the wild, overflowing rivers that surge through dales, digging riverbeds in their depths and leaving long, continuous sandbanks, �ropes of sand�, along their paths to the sea� (UGM II part 2 pg. 112). These maidens represent the dangers of overflowing rivers and flash floods.

-In strophe 20 Harbard is the lover of myrd-riders, the Teutonic equivalent of evil witches akin to Gullveig-Heid in most cases. However, the rest of the strophe leads us to hypothesize that there may be something more to these myrk-riders. In UGM I no. 116 Rydberg identifies Hlebard with Thjazi-V�lund (Thjazi and V�lund�s identity is proven in no. 115) and states that the �stealing of his wits� refers to the event when �Thjazi, who, seeing his beloved (Idun) carried away by Loki and his plan about to be frustrated (this would be his revenge against the gods in the form of the first Fimbulwinter, see below), recklessly rushed into his certain ruin.� The �wand� he gave to Loki was the mistleteinn, the arrow made of mistletoe that Loki gave to H�dr to shoot at Balder, which caused the latter�s death.

William Reaves has postulated that these myrk-riders may be identical to the swan-maids of Volundarkvida. Rydberg shows that Hervor is identical to Idun, Olrun is identical to Sif, and Hladgun is the same as Auda. These three maidens are the lovers of the Ivaldi sons V�lund, Egil and Slagfinn. Hrafnagaldr Odins 8 states that Idun �changed disposition, delighted in guile, shifted her shape.� Thus these women, who have left the divine clans to be with their scorned lovers in the Myrkwood (V�lundarkvida 4), may both literally and figuratively be called myrk-riders. If we then compare their longing to leave the Myrkwoo9d with other instances in the lore where such longing occurs and witchcraft, Seidr, is suspected (such as against Frey in Skirnismal) then it may be possible that Loki had something to do with their longing, which led to their leaving their �husbands�, the Ivaldi sons. This may also relate to Loki�s words in Harbardsljod 48 and Lokasenna 54 about his relations with Sif.

Strophe 24 refers to Loki as Lokerus, Sifka-Bekki and Blind B�lvise in Saxo�s Historia Danica and Beowulf. Here he has turned Gudhorm and Hadding against one another, a conflict which leads to many deaths, and never brought about reconciliation. This is the same disposition that Loki held when he was amongst the gods.
Strophes 30-32 refer to Loki�s exploits with Idun, when he was sent off to find her. It was then that he held the linen-white maid after turning her into a nut and flying off in falcon form. He needs Thor�s help because Thjazi-V�lund was chasing him in eagle-guise towards Asgard. This help Thor gladly gave for the security of Idun and the Asa-citadel.
Strophes 40-42 refer to Loki�s part in Thor�s campaign against Geirrod where he had led Thor astray with his lies, telling him that �green paths lead towards Geirrod�s home� (Thorsdrapa 1). Thor�s statement about Harbard offering the war party �hard terms� refers to this.

Now that proofs of Harbard�s true identity have been given we shall examine the actual relationship between Harbardsljod and Lokasenna. To begin with, let�s look at what Rydberg has to say about this:

In plan and construction, (Harbardsljod) closely resembles Lokasenna. The main figure in both is Loki. Lokasenna places him in the midst of a gathering of gods and goddesses and thus he gets the opportunities to give his desire for abuse a multi-faceted workout. But the multitude of figures there prevents a more thorough characterization of them. The whole legacy of objectionable incidents, which the ethically perfected mythology inherited from a time when the gods were more forces of nature than personalities, is exposed, made worse, garnished with lies by an enemy of the gods and cast in their face. Harbardsljod with just its two figures has an incomparably better opportunity to characterize them and do so in a lively manner. UGM II part 2, pg. 129.

In investigating the connection between these two poems it is important to consider their placement within the Teutonic epic as proven by Rydberg. Such placement is not difficult when we look at passages that describe events that have already taken place. For instance, we know that the episode described in Lokasenna would be placed towards the end, because Loki describes so many things that have already happened, such as the slaying of Balder (str. 28), the slaying of Thjazi-V�lund (str. 50-51), Thor�s adventures at Fjalar�s (str. 60) and his battle against Hrugnir (str. 61). Furthermore, as we learn from the concluding prose, this is the last time Loki interacts with the gods and goddesses before they capture him and bind him until Ragnarok (see UGM II part 2 pg. 208 #146 & FG pg. 136-7). Upon close inspection of Harbardsljod we also find that this episode would have to have taken place near the end of the epic. If Rydberg is correct in assuming that strophe 24 of Harbardsljod refers to Loki�s role as Sifka and Blind among the Teutons, when he turned Gudhorm-J�rmunrek and Hadding-Thjodrek against one another �but never reconciled them�, then it is from this that we get our key to Harbardsljod�s placement. This episode is one of the last known the �r alda, the age of mythological events, but takes place right before the events described in Lokasenna (see UGM II part 2 pg. 204-205 #s 130 & 132; and FG pages 123-129). Thus, if Loki is describing this event in Harbardsljod, then his meeting with Thor on the Radsey Sound must have taken place after Sifka-Blind-Loki�s treachery against Halfdan�s sons, Gudhorm and Hadding. Consequently, this would place Harbardsljod in exactly the same time frame as Lokasenna.

From this we can conclude that Harbardsljod and Lokasenna are two parts of the same mythic event. By connecting the two it is easy to see how they can fit together. Rydberg has noticed that �Hardbard�s task, as the song expressly points out, is to delay the world-protecting god on his way home�� However, it is not his journey home that Loki inhibits, it is his journey to Aegir�s annual mead feast, an event special enough to have such a poem (or two poems) written about it. Thus, in Harbardsljod Loki is purposefully delaying Thor, while in Lokasenna Thor is late for the gathering, With this delay Loki has enough time to abuse the gods and goddesses and even to kill one of Aegir�s servants before Thor arrives. The Asagod has had to find his way across the sound to the meadhall. It is possible that Thor expected to find a ferryman on the sound, perhaps one of Aegir�s servants, and that Loki presumably killed the servant to take his boat when Thor shows up.

It is also probable that Loki remains there for the purpose of deterring Thor from going to the feast at all. He originally tries to dismay the Asagod by telling him that his mother is dead (Harbardsljod 4), which, we can surmise, was meant to make Thor change his course and head straight for Asgard. It is well known that Thor is an excellent wader whose size increases with the depths of the waters (Thorsdrapa, Skaldskaparmal) so Loki could not have initially believed that he would keep the Asagod from crossing the sound, simply by refusing to ferry him. Then he discovers that Thor needs the boat to get him across, that he cannot wade due to the augur (eyes, which he makes into stars? Str. 13) he carries, so refusing to ferry him then becomes sufficient to hinder him. This would explain why he later tells Thor that his mother in alive (str. 56).

If augur really are �eyes�, as William Reaves suggests (cp. ON augua), then we might consider them to be evidence of Thor�s mighty deeds, to be presented to the gods at the mead feast. Such a presentation was sacred to the Teutons as they passed around the Bargarhorn while boasting of their adventures. This would really be the only reason why he would be holding them, since we see in Skaldskaparmal and Harbardsljod 19 that these are to be thrown into the sky to make stars.

Besides the placement of the two episodes within the epic, we should also consider the location they take place in. Rydberg states (in UGM I no. 93) that �Aegir�s Hall is far out in the depths of the sea. The Ocean known by the Teutons was the North Sea. The author (of Lokasenna) has manifestly conceived Aegir�s hall as situated in the same direction from Asgard as Vanaheim, and not far from the native home of the Vanir�. From this standpoint we should compare the opening prose of both Harbardsljod and Lokasenna, Harbardsljod states that, �Thor, journeying from the east, came to a strait or sound�, while Lokasenna informs us that �Thor was not there (at Aegir�s feast), because he was in the east.

It should be noted that Aegir�s home was thought to have been located on the island of Hlesey or Laes� (Skaldskaparmal), which is situated in the Kattegat strait between Jutland, Denmark and Southwestern Sweden. So we can see that in both poems Thor is returning from a journey �in the east�, i.e. Jotunheim, and that his path brings him to a strait or a sound.

On pg. 111 of UGM II part 2 Rydberg states that the body of water that restricts Thor�s path in Harbardsljod is the same as that which stopped him before on his way to Geirrod�s. Thus, the R�dseyjarsund of Harbardsljod 8 is identical to Vimur of Skaldskaparmal, where giantesses urinate to make the torrents swell. Elsewhere it is known that Vimur is one of the names of the Elivagar (FG pg. 204), which is caused to rise when �Gjalp, Geirrod�s daughter stood astride the river (Skaldskaparmal. Note that Elivagar, though often called a river, is actually a sea or ocean so its connection to a strait or sound would not be contradictory. It is very likely that Aegir�s home, Hl�sey or Hles Isle, was also originally thought to be located on the Elivagarm the Underworld sea that actually is situated near Vanaheim (see above and UGM I no. 93). The later placement of his home on Laes� probably came from the euhemerist movement, where ancient gods became ancient kings and mythic realms became actual geographic locations. That Aegir�s hall is probably located in the western domains of or near Vanaheim comes from Lokasenna 34 where Loki states that Njord was �sent eastward from here, as a hostage to the gods.

Considering all that has been stated here, we should now take a step-by-step look at the strophes that correspond to one another in each of these poems:

In Thorsdrapa Thor is called �Odin�s grief-thief�, i.e. his joy (str. 15, Odins alfi sodnum). This stands in stark contrast with strophes in Harbardsljod, where �Harbard� (Loki) lies to him (str. 4), insults his manner of dress (str. 6), implies that he is a horse-thief (str. 8), and calls him a coward (str. 26). The entire concept and tone of these strophes mimics exactly the abuses of Lokasenna from Loki to the gods and goddesses, further contradicting Odin�s association with Harbard of Harbardsljod.

To this we should compare Thor�s words to Harbard, where he calls him a weakling (str. 13), womanly (strophes 27 and 51), a liar and a fool (str. 49). He also threatens to kill him! (Strophes 27 and 47). Such a threat, given Thor�s past encounters, should not be taken lightly. That scholars would consider the benevolent protector of Midgard to be capable of parricide (and strophes 31-35 show us that Thor does know who Harbard is, see below) further demonstrates the Christian influence on their investigations into the ancient Teutonic lore, since from the Christian perspective both Odin and Thor would be seen as demons. Again, in Lokasenna Thor calls Loki �womanish� or �unmanly� in a refrain (strophes 57, 59, 61 and 63), while in the same refrain he threatens to take his life with Mj�lnir.

Both poems depict Loki as the representative of unbridled lust, where he boasts of his sexual exploits with Hymir�s daughters (Harbardsljod 16 and 18, cp. Lokasenna 34), the myrk-riders (Harb. 20), Idun (Harb. 30, see above, and Loka. 17), Tyr�s wife (Loka. 40), Skadi (Loka. 51-52) and Sif (Harb. 48 and Loka. 54).
Harbardsljod 14 and 15 and Lokasenna 61 refer to Thor�s battle with Hrugnir. In Lokasenna Thor may be reminding Loki of his words spoken on the sound in Harbardsljod.
Strophe 26 of Harbardsljod describes the exact same event with the same insult Loki uses against Thor in Lokasenna 60. In fact, the line �ok �� �� �orr vera� (�and hardly thought you were Thor�) is repeated in both strophes.

These associating strophes would allow Thor to confirm the fact that it was Loki on the sound before, disguised ad using the name Harbard, when he confronts him in Aegir�s hall. Whether this was considered by the author or authors of Harbardsljod first or Lokasenna first we cannot know. This would simply be a confirmation made by the author(s) of the poems, since it is already made clear in strophes 31-35 if Harbardsljod that Thor knows exactly who Harbard was, when they reminisce over the event that led to the death of Volund-Thjazi.

Thjazi�s death is referred to in both poems, when Loki brags about his sexual relations with Idun. We have already determined that strophe 30 of Harbardsljod describes Loki�s returning of Idun to Asgard (compare str. 31 �Full fair was thy woman finding� with what is said in Skaldskaparmal - �saekja etir Idunni i Jotunheima�, �seek after Idun in Jotunheim�). Hrafnagaldr 19 tells us that Thjazi is a son of Alvaldi. Ivaldi and Alvaldi are identical (see UGM I no. 123). Thus Thjazi-V�lund is a brother of Idun. So when Loki claims, in Lokesenna 17, that Idun laid her arms �about thy brother�s slayer� this refers to the same mythic event where Harbard claims to have �held� (in this case literally, though Loki uses it in a sexual context) the linen-white maid. This mythic event is, of course, Loki�s self-serving adventure into Thrymheim to bring Idun back to her rightful place among the gods and goddesses.
Harbardsljod 42 can be interpreted in the following manner: Loki means to recompense his offense to Thor with arrows, or with an attack (UGM II, part 2 pg. 117-119). Rydberg here relates the �hands-ring� which arbitrators (jafnendr) give as the horn-bow, which forms a circular shape when drawn. The statement is a reference to Njord-Fridlevus� attempt to marry Skadi and propitiate the offended V�lund for the competition between his artwork and that of Sindri, which he lost (see Saxo book 6 and FG pg. 57-60). Njord�s messengers were killed and later he and his arbitrator (jafnendr or lj�na) H�dr-Bjorno were attacked by the Ivaldi sons. This competition between the artists left the Ivaldi sons to turn against the gods and seek refuge in the Myrkwood (Wolfdales).

In both Harbardsljod 42 and Lokasenna 12 the phrase Baeta baugi �pay a fine with rings� occurs. In Lokasenna it is Bragi claiming that he will �Baeta baugi� for any offense he has brought against Loki, and that he will give him a horse and a sword if he will curb his vile tongue. His �horse� is the set of stones Loki will lay upon until Ragnar�k, bound by the entrails of one of his own sons, with a sword sticking in his back (UGM I no. 78 and FG pg. 137). Here the phrase refers to the same mythic idea as Harbardsljod 42, that Bragi will recompense Loki�s actions with violence.

Both poems end with a curse. In Harbardsljod 58 and 60 Loki-Harbard predicts that the sun shall vanish, which we should compare to V�lusp� 57, and states that Thor should go where all the powers of evil will have him. In Lokasenna (str. 65) he predicts that Aegir�s home shall burn to the ground, which may be another reference to V�lusp� 57.
These proofs demonstrate that without doubt, there is a clear connection between Lokasenna and Harbardsljod. This connection has simply been overshadowed by the misconceptions surrounding the identity of Harbard in Harbardsljod. Once this misunderstanding is eliminated the relationship between these two poems becomes so apparent that it can lead one to wonder how such a relationship has gone unnoticed for so long.

Hugrunar - Introduction
by Mark Puryear


The following text, originally published under the title "The Meditative Paradigms of Seidr", has been passed around for several years amongst people within the Odinist community. It is claimed to have been an oral tradition, transcribed for the first time in the 1970's, that was originally discovered in post-war Germany. We do know that during the Third Reich the Germans searched diligently for traces of Germanic culture and that even before this, at the time of the German Youth movement, societies arose that were devoted to the ancient ways. It may have been that from this time in the late 19th to early 20th century for the Seidr Paradigms either came to light or were developed.

I would like to say that I personally have a hard time accepting so-called "oral traditions" that seem to miraculously pop up out of nowhere to fill the void in any religious system. It is far too easy to these "traditions" to be inventions by those who would seek to validate their writings with claims of ancient origins, while avoiding any sort of test of authentication. One could then "record" anything, claim it to be an 'oral tradition' to give it validity as an ancient tewxt, then possibly present false ideas and concepts which may further corrput a religious system people have been trying for years to piece together.

With these "Seidr Paradigms" I don't even see why this is necessary. After all, just in reading them anyone can see their charm, whether this is an ancient tradition or a modern invention. In ancient times Odinism was a living, evolving religion to which the early Skalds continuously contributed sacred writings to The great Teutonic Epic itself was developed over a course of centuries, with new lore and new wisdom added with each generation. The inspiration that led to these sacred writings was believed to come straight from the divine, in the same manner as the Bible, the Eddas and just about every other sacred text written.

In modern times our view of what is holy has shifted, for just about every faith on earth. To the ancients language was a new and magical experience, tauight by the gods themselves and shared with us. This didn't give them a direct link to the gods that we will never be able to experience, they simply embraced the inspiration they were given as divine and used it to record what to them was sacred. The only rule to this would be to pay close attention to, and not contradict, that which has been recorded in the past. We must not take our inspirations for granted or only look to the past to hear the voices of the gods and goddesses.

So, it is not important if these "paradigms" are ancient or not. It's about time that modern Odinists make a contributioin to our hierology and I can't think of any better than the text presented here, which has been modified from its original form. The problem with the original is that the information contained within these "Medititative Paradigms of Seidr" is not in any way related to what Seidr actually is. It has been proven that the Seidr was originally the black art, what Rydberg calls "The Runes of Heid", Heid being identical to Gullveig-Angerboda, the feminine counterpart to Loki. The principle idea is that there were two types of runes, of esoteric wisdom or knowledge: The Galdr, the sacred runes taught to our people by Heimdallr; and The Seidr, the evil runes taught by Gullveig.

Many modern practitioners of Odnism, as well as scholars of Nordic Mythology, have confused "Seidr" with a form of Odinic shamanism, even though there is no evidence for this, nor is there any evidence that Galdr could not encompass what we would consider shamanic practices. Wouldn't Odin's hanging on Yggdrasil for the sacred runes (Galdr) be considered an act of shamanism as we know it? Thus there seems to be a mistake, based on false premises, in the recording of these "Paradigms of Seidr".

The word rune means "secret" and implies special information related to, as we know from the Eddas, a wide variety of subjects. Hugrunar or Thought-Runes, as described by Dr. Viktor Rydberg ("Investigations into Germanic Mythology Vol. I, ch. 26) are those that are particularly related to obtaining wisdom and knowledge. It is for this reason that we have taken the liberty of exchanging the erroneous title of the original for what we have here, as well as correcting certain passages in the text.

Even if one were to hang on to the incorrect idea that Seidr is a sacred part of the Odinist tradition, these paradigms, by their very nature, would still be "Thought-Runes". When considering the fact that some of the passages refer to considering the fact that some of the passages refer to this tradition as being passed down through a sort of underground network (see especially numbers 49 and 56 -- see below), it would seem that they would probably better relate to the labvels of "runes" (secrets) than the more popular alphabet usually associated with this word!

To retain the purpose of the original it should be noted that one is to read or listen to each paradigm or "rune" nine times while in a meditative state.

Hugrunar: "Thought Runes"
By Mark Puryear

§1 - I am the union of fire and ice, where their streams meet. I am energy and have no state. Nothing I grasp, and what have, do not hold. I am only I who know and all that I am is that knowing. I am for I know myself to be apart from what I am not.

Selves change: world is eternal. Self reappears, goes about in new forms: self is eternal. World about changes- worlds come and go. I release it and selves change beyond the selves they are. Ginungagap is eternal, void between fire and ice. It cares not for me nor not-for-me. The Void I have formed; the Void forms me-the Gods both were before and follow too. Conscious became the Void, became first thought and gave first word and It was Odin.

§2 - Energy goes on, takes new forms. It merges with, emerges from, the play of selves, best tribal minds, the oldest souls. With each living and each dying, They self-merited through successive higher lives, progression to Godhood. Huginn (pure thought) creates itself best formed mind of tribe, and this goes on, becomes immortal. Ginungagap is hereby thought in minds of Gods and men, and formed thereof and from its self, ancient milk of that first auroch (giant European cattle). Lived much and many(a long cycle of birth, death, and rebirth) becomes that Force compassion, troth in the ways of men. Looked with care upon itself became Ginungagap and it spake, Frigga.

§3 - Faced stone and storm, the dying and birthing of worlds 'ere ours was thought to be. Faced with no concern for hurt nor loss, went on, as conscious, went on in all of storms of worlds. Pure courage was born to the Void. Pure ardent valour came to the worlds-before-world and spake the holy spark in darkness, Thor.

Frigga nurtures young shoots of life. Freyja is pure beauty and Balder is pure light. All Their own right self-won, self-determined. Each spake us in the travail of birth. In each cloth tied to bough, in each ale cast from horn,(a cloth is tied to the bough of a tree near a sacred well or spring for healing and the ale or mead may be poured from a horn for sacrifice)I give to Them, and They to me, in turn.

§4 - Green Man Frey came not one great harvestman, nor came He one great swain o'plenty. Long ago, Who forestayed Earth's embrace(an immortal), wrote Himself large in the home of Gods. No, ever He grows anew in each fair free-holder, every ardent swain, and bringer of harvest. His is all that lived thus and ever shall. Should none harvest, still He is. Should none love, yet He is. Thought itself too hard a darkness, burst to flame, bright lit, fair and beauteous, Balder it spake. In the High Sun, when the wheel on ground (the children of the kindred scribe the Sun-Wheel in the earth at Solstice and place the four grains of the North therein, wheat, rye, barley, and buckwheat) is cut becomes anew, for timeless the Gods and true.

§5 - Godanum give back to me the cycle, time from time. They redeem to me what is forfeited in change from one threadbare cloak (incarnation) to the next. All forgotten here, the Go�anum beyond change anchor our timeless core. Who opens may See from life to life. Who opens must sit out his thoughts. Who opens, her shall the Gods speak of time and cause, of life to life renewed. Who sits in the halls of men? The changeless ones. Who sits, renews. Who watches, renews. Who cleansed of his own voice hears Theirs, renews. And Ask and Embla Odin and Frigga formed, and from the Void gave Huginn and Muginn, gave Leitr too. And the Void moved in smaller ripples and it spake Wunsch. (gave thought and memory, and, connecting man to the realm of the Gods, man's wishing, Wunsch, very obscure deity, Wish) Open is the way to See the Void, open to who reflects it as Ran's daughters' Knakve's dance. (meditation is a reflection of the magical void and who would do it reflects the energy of the Gods as do waves the moonlight, a lovely poetic image)

§6 - An illness came and took the frail. Lady of small green things helped some, the vitki (priest-magician) others. The lady who spun and wove, she never faltered, though it struck about her house. At her stoop she lay unrobed in Summer sweat. In the cold day, brisk drove the herd with only a shawl about. In Ostara's cold water (not the day, but the month named for the Goddess) was she seen by the men o'weirs (fish-traps in a river, hence- fishermen.)

They came to ask this weft-woman, why never afflicts you? And she told the five purities. I sweat Balder's gaze but may no return it-this be first. I lay in Sunna's smile and ask She probe my innards with light, the dark moon chase, this the second. (sunning, she avoids looking at it and uses visualization of the golden light's entering the internal organs, an extant practice.) I sit the cold fast water 'til it is faster than my thought and rumbles out cares for three. Drink I only from skins I fill at the high stony brooks and eat not the day, this every month for four. I sit and do not ponder, do not do. Once it be wind in rushes-they sweep me clean. Again a brook rushed past and next 'twas leaves before a storm. Last dusk it was a thousand calling frogs. Into the shadow I gaze, where none will look, or to tan grasses, wind-rustled, they sweep me clear. Or in the babble of brook the play of Sunna's greeting washes eyes as stone-speech cleanse the ear, and this be five. (then, as now, life could be stressful-she knew how to contructively ease the stress)

§7 - Opening is active, for the mind I must put aside is active. I take the active urge to be passive, to allow in the Knowing of the Powers. Comes only in the active self, then puts itself aside. The Opening I either do by act of will, or quite undo by unthinking for the mind I know stands aside the Path of Power. By such paradoxes do I advance, for life is known by precept, but lived by riddle, and so must be thought.

Three states has the life of man, youth, prime, and old- three streams his time, for water comes down divided. One branch 'neath the high Sun dry fish, cut peat, and herd to market drive. One branch the tales 'round fire, the time of Thing, the boy give knife and rope (fighting and fastening-practical defense and knotwork), the girl give loom and ladle, to both to sit, to pray, to grind soot and stir (make ink for runes?). The third lie still in stream, its course of dreams, of quiet, of fire or moon gazing. (Three "courses" of time, then are the work, the family- feeding, teaching, doing together, and resting and meditating or contemplating. These may hardly seem congruous to us now, but the old pictures on drinking horns, the walls of passage graves, etc., confirm this. Also consider the division into three parts, of activities, like the clerk, warrior, and cultivator in Peter Breugel's 17th Cent. C.E. painting 'Land of Cockayne.')

§8 - Paths of Power yield to the man who stares beyond his own reflected gaze. The inner reckoning, leap beyond the known-reflected sur-face, beckons. The paths open not by act, but by decision. Who has decided he cannot live but in Power, that is so. Feasts and droughts arise for who holds abundance. Who holds someone sorrows at her loss. Who holds what should shall ever regret what is. Much a man can hold, but this I know, none may hold the Runes. Who holds not, nor expects, he lives in Power. Who holds not, nor clutches, nor seizes, is much given, but little estate will build. Who holds little can be little riven by grief. Who holds not, but accepts and looks forward with good anticipa-tion gathers pleasantry and is beyond sorrow.

§9 - Never is there time, 'ere the field be tilled. Never is there time, 'ere the nets need tying (mending), that I can sit and learn. Never is there time to bend the limb to keep the age-dragged gait away (to do the postures?). Act beyond, beyond fatigue. Act beyond, beyond what is not to be worked with, beyond comfort, and beyond known headlands (the borders of knowledge). Who sails beyond creates new charts. (Who acts beyond creates a new reality.) If the new land comes not here, still is a man richer to have sailed for it. In his next voyage shall She (Urdr) send him to a better journey.

Never is there time to strive, yet time must find. Never the man is so busy that he may not stop and look about. Even busy, two in the wharves, one sees the sky, one not. Always one may be aware. I can re-frain from too much trencher (feeding) and too many cups. I can curb the tongue from boast or threat. I can be still and learn, or sit in horgr. Even with poor food, even with an humble cottage, much can understand. Even a town sweeper (perhaps someone who cleaned streets as does a school janitor clean halls?) can be of Power, and all hear his thought and see his glow (aura?).

§10 - Faith is participation. Faith constructs and creates experience. Like from the mold cheese is taken, thoughts our experience create, but is also influential. Who can hold the image of the higher world will reach it. He whose logic deconstructs experience lives only in his head. Sweet the sleep of the one who tires in striving to know. Sweet is the touch of woman's roundness to man and sweet the hard shoulder of man to woman, but the touch is a moment- no place of full happiness is in this wald (literally, 'wood'- plane of existence?).

§11 - Know the Spirit mound (like 'faerie hills'?) is there, is here, and I access it. Do not contruct, nor imagine. Stand anew at each threshhold, not knowing but at ease with what is not known. Walk briskly in, knowing nothing still, and know the impress of eternity on mind. Calm the heart, calm and deep, the mind which opens to all forms of power. Bliss is in moments, the calm of morning 'ere the house (family) awakens, waving grain, awaiting the Sun's taking off the dew before the scythe, moments are bliss, or it is not at all.

He came to the horgr after far trekking to the fiery realm, trading amber. Whereof to consecrate this place, he wot? For I have seen of ewe and fat shoat the folk of robes (ancestors to Semites) kill and the knotched stone soak. Here they make holy and should we. The gy�ja gave that to kill and not eat would Vi�ar or Ullr offend. "Consecrate," she said, "this circle, the warrior with his sword motion (sciamachy), the craftsman with her banner, and the brewer with 'is mead. All with their gifts of mind, this Thor loves best, as keeps the hill." (obviously a play on Thor and tor, or stone circle on a hill)"Consecrate thus with your essence given the Gods."

§12 - Faith is participation. It is choosing not to choose and turning to decide that all is undecided and awaits, eternal journey. It is influential: know that I can journey and all realms of experience are open to my tread. Share with another and they travel also. Believe that what I behold is "just imagination" or "just expectation" (suggestion) and I am moored tight to my own shore. Can or can't, real or imagined: either way I'm "right." The can and real are richer and connect me to a deeper journey. Bliss is in moments but the moments are far longer than they seem. Each is endless if one but let it be so.

§13 - Once smithied, the sword is ever near my grasp. Will becomes reflexive once built. Thor's forge smithies greater evolution. It constructs a higher world by effort's hammer. Then Odin, laughing, releases it all, and I ascend the glass mountain to the Gods.

§14 - We are reborn; Self is eternal, ever new in new surrounds.
It is reborn: World is eternal
Itself remade by our returning selves.
Truths are created: laws are eternal.
Self is eternal: worlds are eternal:
All are in flux to higher matters bound:
All need my mind's flight to higher cycles bound.

§15 - Scarcity, hardship, direst necessity; these were the woodsman's companions. Once his axe struck hoard beneath an ancient oak, as had set there in ancient time. Into a hall, to hold a hall, he took companions. Hungry he acted, though the table high with breads and shields of meat. Why, wot they, of him, pushed away from table? Act ever scarce, he said, pare wanting to the musts and always I'll have enough. Embracing want would never want again.

§16 - Freedom is a puff of wind. He is not free, the stag who with hoof scrapes beneath the snow for greens. He is not free though I saw him for a moment at the cliff, as if he o'erlooks the valley as lord. It is a moment. It is releasing, and not doing.. From Impeccable it arises. Who does well worries less than who does poorly his craft. Who does to perfection may then release them, all outcomes great and small. Only the impeccable can release. Only from the perfect arrow's flight, can the archer 'ere it land, turn his head.

§17 - Seeking the Golden Age within, all who do must seek it in their intention. Then it may come to be. Why a dark age is thus is that most less willing and less able to see. Cleanse sight and hold clear the vision- pure earth, land loved by each, no serfs, all waters clean of hides (tannery wastes in water?) and wanting little, each is content. Of kings and councils, few, and these nearby.

§18 - Cultivate stillness in reflection. In the business and busyness of life it is not idle, must be sought. Cultivate stillness in all passions, as the Watcher, never judging or reacting. Clear like Moon, like lake and still, Heimdall watches over all. Observe detached yet act. For greater truths are in commoner places found. At the wharves and in the commons are greater matters chosen. Wholeness, I know, is facing squarely my situation. Plan that direction to the Higher goals, what for the Earth and for your Folk be good. Further the way (evolution) where you can. Wholeness is forged from deciding and acting.

§19 - Wholeness is creative and by intention lives, birthed in the freedom to act, to choose. The Gods leave me free that I may be co-creator. Freedom is momentary. It arises in the impeccable act and in releasing that act from care. Send out my choice, create, detach it from my self. Self goes on: world is eternal.

§20 - Worlds change: self is eternal, reborn into different matrices that we call 'worlds.' Vision is eternal, beyond Time, smallest cell of Ginungagap, seeking the Golden Age and my own Godlihood, holding the sight. Releasing into being what worlds we have. The seer by knowing knows. The diviner by stave and stone. The man of Power holds his vision tightly at the highest reach of self. Released into being his flight is the flight of all whom he touches.

§21 - Though cozy abed with belov�d, each sleeps ever alone. Each is born alone and dies thus, though a foeman with reciprocal strike die too. In all only the Gods accompany us througout, ever Task-Giver (Mannsfylgja, of the Fates), ever the Bearer of Constitutions (Kynnsfylgja), and ever the tendencies of Breed (Oaettarsfylgja). Always the Fates and the Gods engage each life. The wise keep with Them, in turn, while the fool may fear or trivialize, and is ever alone.

§22 - When choice presents, be kind. Less thought takes the kind man than one of guile, a freer mind and lighter step has he. Easier for self it is to release the higher act. Be noble, good, kind, where the helping furthers the Higher Life.

Be passionate but fair, forceful and swift to scour out sickness. No kindness to the world-destroying worm, no kindness show to the Sun darkening wolf. Act as the talons of the Gods in nature, vermin destroy lest they gnaw the slender thread of food. (food chain? or would this have meant a rope pulling or binding a wagon of grain?)

§23 - What the world manifests is what Ginungagap thought. Its Hugr (will of the soul) is awakening. The worlds yawn at the cusp of every Age (obscure passage). Hugr calls to higher thought, greater knowing. In the scheme of things be kind when you can. When you cannot, be hard and in either case, be noble.

§24 - The Galdr is no destination. It is a trackless journey. It is the eyes of the mind, travelled in the attention. It is decision. It is deciding what to envision, for what envisions, in some wise comes to be. It is a trackless expanse for the steppe-wanderer, happy for the quest. Whether another arrive or not we cannot know, but journey in joy and without expectation.

§25 - Self and worlds change: Gods are eternal. Tribe is the medium of transformation. Go to the crossroads and uplift them. In retreats only the self is rested. Through several selves, through the tribe, uplift to detach, struggle to attain the Higher, release all gains and gain detachment.

Selves are reborn: worlds are eternal. Selves thought beyond the cycle of cause are to Godhood born. In passionate involvement cleanse, protect, elevate the tribe. By example of we, the flax-people, will other tribe progress. Self changes; Gods are eternal- heighten the Self to seek the realm of Gods.

§26 - Act passionately with clear vision where you see your way and step lightly where the path ascends in scree (loose rock). Live fully here, yet live apart. Sustain, acheive, and yet release. Hold tight the moment and shape it intensely, yet give to quiet reflection and release, for matters only the shape of acts, the shape of intentions and the thoughts of souls (hamar). Be these High, They know it, to mirror thoughts of the Gods. Polish slate (presumably the flat stone was polished to make mirrors?) to clear act and choose for clear and higher selves to come and may His thought (Odin- Father of thought) enter every moment. Act for my future selves- be better, higher born: for worlds change; self is eternal.

§27 - World that is known builds from thought. As seer, it is unlearned, forgotten. As sword wielder, I cut it free. Cleansed of talk, I confront the world. My talk deconstructed, I float without anchor in the eternal. Much is beyond thought. The Sei�r has no end, for the Go�anum are without end and advance also. Cultivate awareness: reach for Godhood. There is no truth, but there are truths. What is real we create as do those unseen.

§28 - Without ideas is drawn by the Fates and inner sight to experience. The gunnar [warrior] invents in every instant, unencumbered by thought. Without knowing, everything shines new, every moment. Without knowing, all is lived, not thought into being. Without knowing, all is fresh, and the day's path to stream yet is filled with surprise, with wonder. Patience to the hunter his pursuit, quiet treading. The fisher-folk of silent waves and Sun on water see. The gunnar, he by careful movement given, invents each moment, invents his life anew.

§29 - Impeccable and earnest, warriors come to battle for meaning. Some men of arms but most were in any work but war. Found only battle, urgency, fear, pain, squalor. Found small friend-circles to bind same-chosen hardships and there found meaning.

Still, the father threshed, the mother baked. Still the younger carved the wooden bowl and spoon. Filthy and hurt, his pike he hung by fire, hollow his cheeks. What meant, what known, the same, the threshing, the pot for water to stream, what meant was how he came again, and that was all. The same place began anew, rich in remembered valour, with the scythe he wend.

§30 - Eight steps to be go�ard, yes, but few the journey make. For all there is the eight steps advancing in your state. First, have long sight over many lifetimes, be still and listen, ask Her and listen what is not from past fulfilled.Second, live with passionate attainment, for outside reflects within and matters well-resolved do bring to peace. Third, do fully the mind apply, yet with full detachment, for never man knows all the winds and currents. Fourth, cultivate noble character, helpful, kind when can be. Fifth, with compassionate bearing, help all ascend (evolve) upward by example, goad, or teaching. Sixth make full intention through higher plans and seek their completion. Seventh cultivate stillness apart and in the core of the business of living. Eighth, create openness to Powers, openness to forces unseen, full know what moves beneath the flux of worlds.

§31 - At a crossroads camped many diverse men at the Summer-high Sun. Go�i cooked for the lot of them, cleared the vessels and sat. At field's edge apart from camp, he hew the willow branch of creek near road. Stange shapes upon it cut and the ploughman said had a glow. "Only cuckoo's day's Sun," said a merchant. "With his thoughts, made it thus," offered a maid, and she was right also.

Next morn's light, he stood at hill's edge. Like tree with ancient braches, blown by storm or bent by frost, then still and stared. Glanced over, far to see and said the smoke-meat (smoke-house operator?), "He watches over the shrubs, how silly!" Heard this the houseman's daughter, "No, da, the small ones (nis, earth spirits) sport where he does look-canst not see'em?" And both were right.

At the next road to Uppsala (the only firm location that we are given), a miller saw him and remembered as he and son the full sacks wend to market. Another campment, he sat at water's edge, high Sun to's back, and clear the sky. "Feel it tremble," spoke the miller, and fell silent. "But distant cloud-fire," said the son, and both were right. At fire that eve, all knew the go�i but none knew his years. The eldest of the market road knew him when a youth-he hoary then, nor whence he came. None could guess- he would not tell, as he to temple wended.

§32 - Great compassion is a transformation. Freyja's tears and Tyr's gripped fist changed ages in greater and smaller lives. Compassion is power. Great is Heimdall's axe, red-flashing. In superb compassion Thor His great sword wields. Not from anger, nor from hate does the hawk overfly the field to search for vermin.

Great compassion like Higher Love is for the evolved only. Higher life is hardness, the hardness of sea-winters and fields, the forests and squares. In its busyness, its reaching for the World, the Higher man overreaches. Who stomachs not the struggle withdraws, deludes from his own I-ness, which thinks itself beyond the world and draws apart. The higher man in struggle is at peace, treats with compassion where is meet and with the talon when is needed.

§33 - Completeness is the shrouds well tied, the chamber well swept and ordered, and the child full-taught. Wholeness is the spine relaxed, the life well-thought (planned?), with winter's stores dried and hung.(rafters)

Fulfillment is the son grown to father, the daughter to mother, and the ship coursing home. Final is the purpled haze of Shedding-time, beech leaf fallen and the warrior's self-known last moment. Completion is the knock [end of arrow that mates with string] released from its grip, the message sealed and sent, the fork behind on the path taken. Hold not to the doing, nor the making. Create and release, work, plan, prepare, for there is wholeness, but after that, allow, and never expect.

§34 - Grounding is the well-fleshed horse a'pastured, the grave barrow with blue glow. and the stones stood 'neath at four points (not literally, but the 'points' of the year-solstices and equinoxes). Weary but full comes the fisherman home from his trawl and bowman the day's hunt. Complete and whole comes the warrior without wound from axefield, or the wife, taut-bellied to labors.

§35 - Fulfilled the pilot who senses the rocks near placid coast or the wayfarer who the highwayman intuits to change his course. Fulfilled the gleaner who knows dry day to harvest. Fulfilled and complete who knows a fellow's needs and fills them- when each for each does, friend, it is called. Complete is the one with much given to high and noble act, yet needs but little, her shall the Gods fulfill.

§36 - Beneath waves, within wind, all is motion. Fastness is what I think to see it still and understand. The Go�anum change, like moon upon waves, we reflect Them. Within Flux, Ginungagap called out for order, and it spake Knakve. When its awareness shined upon the sky-sent sons of Heimdall (men), when oaks and ashes speech and mind were given, called they out for order and spake it, Tyr. Beneath, had always been an order, though none divined it, at the heart of storm and birthing of worlds, always the first, Ginungagap.

§37 - Before the fish are laid to dry is the thought. Before the thatch is laid over is the thought. Silent she weaves between cottages, selling loaves, the Deep-Minded. Between the busyness of life is contemplation. No unnecessary actions, no frivolous occupations, no idle chatter, pleasant but aloof from gossip, erect and alert she goes- who knows her age? The superior woman. Between cottages, between chores, her inner world, the silent salt marsh at road's edge, silent passes. Between the business is thought. Before the fire, while others stare like beast, is her contemplation. After linen and wool are on grasses dried in sun (laundry at creeeks?) before the brook is contemplation. In the hofr early and at the stones (presumably standing stones or horgr), with time picked from between the businesses of life is her meditation. She is not a healer. She is not a seer, but those who seek advice, find that she tells well the knots of a man's decision.

§38 - None should too much hoard: great ownings of some beget great misery by most, and none should have too little. All from the market road, the tavern hour should have, and plenty. From windows should women lean and talk together, and men at shores 'ere the nets be gathered. By the huntsman's fire is the talk that long endures in ear.

A new road the royal council declared, new markets would bring and great goods from the coast, would all grow in weal. Rather came more beggar and landless merchant, crawled o'er the work-camp. And came more brigands to work the road and the toll-takers too. All ended we had less than more. Weal is but for few together banded, the same as chat by nets or huntings plan. Few to share is weal, for much is not needed, nor the knobby knees of soulless men (serfs with clear orthopaedic symptoms- during the Dark Ages, landless men were said to be without souls- a practice even in 19th Cent. C.E. Russia- see �56). Weal is that done well by few, with few to share and weal is time and talk before late windows and early cups.(late light on long afternoons and libations before supper?)

§39 - Another's land wist not, said she from the peaceful land. All councils, unpaid, sit to serve, time given after duties, need no taxes save to build when all have need. They built the quay and some brought bread. Others their carts with sand, some of stone, and some brought rope, did the Fries. These and their labors given built quay, roads, and temples. No tax needed they, nor slaves, nor wars. Great owning creates great dearth and high-paid councils (rulers) brings the death of arm�d peasants' sons (conscriptees).

In the peaceful land, all owned roundel (an ancient unit of land), though all owned different, and none owned another, but only worked with. The folda-woman (priestess-councillor), she wove wool and raised her lamp to Frya. The augerman (priest at a sacred drilling ceremony, or diviner- 'auger' is ambiguous) with leaves and roots the foaming crock tends. In the peaceful land, each her advantage is yet another's too.(if this literally refers to Frisia, parts of it accord with the period described in other accounts and other parts do not)

§40 - Happy he dug (grave) barrow as the face flushed pale and blood left more.(aneurysm?) He was not sad, went to the hill that his mound be seen. "These clothes," he said,"to the wooden maid I give," (offers his body to the Maid of the woods, possibly Ska�i, or offers his possessions to the hofr, known by its wooden statue of a goddess)and waited in the happy hours, though leaves took care (fell?), for the death ship's tide. Feared not the wayfarer of skins and oar (a skin boat, possibly Frey's bee ship) the sky stroke (of an oar in the air-river) or the roiling, coiled Beast. (should the final journey take him past Jormungand, the ocean serpent, to O�ainsaker, or through the sky-way to Valhalla or Folksvangr- a difficult passage at best) Happy he goes to storm and wise, the waves, Her (Ran's) daughters' dance- puts out all thought, great ocean mind, was called, eyes gray and deep who said before the hill he hard climbed (ascended the hill where he built the barrow to look out to await death), "This voyage but begets another." [Beautifully shows the Aryan attitude toward death of an old mariner and his assumptions about it, which are a bit at variance with Eddaic fragments.]

§41 - In the Eastern wood, he tracked, was ill and wasted. Sky overshadowed his plan of march (ability to reckon position from sun or stars) and thorns had torn the flesh. On the dry (stream) bed he climbed ice-free, (must have been at Spring thaw)a narrow passage, then disputed by bear. Bloodied he smelt, weak he seemed. No way to flee, he threw his life away. His staff he seized and made pure act beyond fear, beyond hunger, the huntsman knew fear. He went on and beyond fear lay panic. He moved through panic, came detachment. Released pain, fatigue and detachment, came he to resolution. Drove the wind-broke oak rod deep to innards, not waiting, without the moment's thought. In pure act of resolution he threw his life away and thereby won it.

§42 - From groans of maid and swain do the shudders of the low (birthing)chair come. There is deference to maidly brightness, yet wraps the shuttered (neighbor's talk through windows?) gossip about the shuffle footed crone. Strength of bow and staff is first con-scripted, first the stout son, foeman's iron will feel. Fine curves of prow with cargoes, worms, and scratched at rocks are ruined, so the maid her form brings child, the form to fade. Elder the warrior oozing- scarred and gap-toothed the soothing ale, gone the splendid youth the battle quickly ruint. Only the wit sharpens long past the eyes are dull. Only the hammered hide (vellum, parchment?)rings strong long past the stout arm lifts the smithy's sledge. Mind and soul alone will time alloy. (alloy, instead of 'allay', ties in metaphorically to the warrior-weapon-smith, often the same people)

§43 - Potter at her fire stared but briefly. White-hot the ox (ox-hide bellows) it blew. Away she looked and the black fire saw. Mariner reckoned his way by star and moon, looked long upon Her and the dark ring saw. Took in the darkness, silent after watch, and sweated out the power. (redirected the negative, or dark energy of celestial bodies)Crewmen cried, "moonstruck" or "fool" as warm coasts plied and slapped their arms (mosquitoes?). He was unbit whom the dark power oozed out, a yew its resin. Alone in the stone-hut the herder saw not His (Balder's) fair face these many weeks, far beneath the Maidens' Shields (Northern Lights). He turned from fire and warmed the back. He opened to the Great Eye (Odin's) and the Black Sun rose. (Some sort of spiritual discipline for harnessing the seemingly dark side of cosmic energies. Since there is a sta�ha meditation for "opening the Eye of Odin", presumably, this is what the herder did, raising his s�su in order to experience cosmic vision, even in constant near-darkness. That the passage describes a herder in Winter at a place for Summer pasturage is curious; perhaps he went up country in late winter to repair stone fences or the cottage itself? Surely the herd was not proximate.)

§44 - On the voyage bread soured in the spots of rage. (is this a bread mold or ergot fungus, which would have been on the wheat, not the bread?) In the voyage peas and barley emptied. The One ate of the dew, as others famished, and sat eyes upward, then closed. Rubbed his belly those long days as others perished. (A method and pattern for rubbing the belly to send energy from the hands to it is in one of the Kl�ma age regression practices. Presumably this was done to more quickly liberate bodily fat reserved into food.) Breathed deeply the fogs with ale and water gone, as others from fog huddled. In the cove he walked the surf while others lay and groaned, did Aegir's man.

§45 - Frey's Man at Harvest went out with girl-child gathering barley. Bronze-armed and strong, he had scythed: they gathered and tied the sheaves. In a shade of stack he paused to tell her of Gods, of kings, of ships, memories from him flowed whilst she lay her head on his hard shoulder in the late-noon (afternoon) heat.

Freyja's dame stoked the hearth, bread-baking, while the stout son split wood. A highwayman came as-beggar, came to rob. With outstretched bowl (for alms), he reached the gate over (split door)to seize the antlered grip (knives, combat or kitchen had a handle of wood, bone, or antler). She without stop split his skull with ladle e'en as he sleized it.

Happy the maid of valour and the swain of peace. Their young shall prosper and their mated powers increase. Happy the fox who climbs the berry bush when hare is scarce. Well is the wheelwright who hunts the winter marsh. Well is the potter who loaves bakes beside his wares. Pleasing to the Gods is the father who shines on his young like the Sun, with play and speech oft given. Pleasing to Goddesses the mother who takes her lass to haft and steel, to cooperage and thatch. For the Wise One says, "folk are everywhere by halves." (another recording of the observation in Havam�l) And the half lost, must the other one soon learn.

§46 - Twelve years at rope, sail and helm, the weathered face made good the mariner's craft, and knew the secret rutter of far routes.(in days before modern navigation, pilots kept detailed notes on water appearance, seaweed, land features, and star position-'rutter'- these recordings were priceless)Came another to toil at sea, who saw himself at once a leader of crews, but had not the hard gales and lonely stars for companions.

So came to Thing one who had talked his dream, knew much 'ere he learned the Gods. The hoary gy�ja, her knowing came of long hearing and longer recitation (referring clearly to a primarily oral transmission), all the ways of Gods and men, for knowledge asks a barter, but the self-important would ever lead the Thing though little knowing. Seven years before the wind a captain makes. Eight steps makes the go�i. First; hear of the Old Ones, know what has gone before. Second; Seek solitude in quiet, green places, or in fells and crags to prove the runes (meditate on the runes?). Third; Journey foodless, sleepless, past the world of men and behold Powers and spirits teach you. Fourth; Return to loom, plough, or flock, doing busy in the ways of men, and seek quiet moment for the voice of Gods. Fifth; Act as seer, warrior, caster of the stones of Fates, as healer or as scribe. Sixth; Reach and bring another to the Thing, go�ard to train. Seventh; To the world of men apply the Thing-spoken wisdom. Eighth; Learn and live the herder's stone hut and the crossroads of men, at once in both and speak the Thing. Seven years the lad to master of the ship and eight who would be master of Godly whale-path (kenning for the paths of Power), the harbors of mind.

§47 - One walks bent with age soon enough. Bent and broke with care, the warrior is his Folk. The lonely border watch (guards), the snows 'ere short poppies and lupines break the steppe. Bowed with concern the leader, priest, and seer. The knight straightens in the act, like a well-strung bow, he launches cares. Bent ill is the man who shoots not forth his acts. Like a marmot, the face of the man, who, after many years but uses his paws to gather and his teeth to gnaw, full cheeked and beady-eyed the man who lives as squirrel. The knight is neither bent nor rat-faced- is fully formed, be he priest, merchant or seer- for any can be knightly.(physionomy as reflection of character- a New Age modern idea also)

Bent with heavy limbs the oak. Bent with nuts full the oak. Shading, tall standing, robe of Sif, the oak. Knowing has its costs-full hang the fruits- low hangs the bough. Who does the work of the Gods in Middle Earth, let ever her head not bow and her back not sag. Lift straight as Sif's shoot and give shelter. For light of step is the rat and light on wind is the noxious weed. One is food for fox or cat and the other trampled by the goat in shade of noble oak.

§48 - Some at Thing were amber-men and apart they drew. Flocks were fatted and bartered; sons brought to flail and spear (agriculture or soldiery): apart they did not age. Like the crag-tree, there from the grand-father's grand-father's tales, they stayed. (very obscure- does amber mean in appearance, tawny skinned, or their trade? perhaps an aura?)

Yet all behind, the island fell to sea: dark ones walked and drove their skin ships (wagons- the Scythians appears likely here) and never they cared for it all.(the glowing men, or what in the East would be called siddhas didn't care that their Folk were overrun is the gist of this passage) They had no gold, but each gloried in his own glow and in mountain fastness. Their plant withered but the flower in cool, high place endured, seeing only its own beauty, changeless before time.

One ages prior had from the crag descended, Rigr, sired sons of the North. "This mortal vessel I am not," he declared," and I will return whenever the times have need. Not the self-relfected flower, I go the seed and glow and fruit, life after life. To my shining-Ship bear me, when this time is done."(Was this berendr simply taking on Heimdall's name as a pseudonym? Or is this another, and not neces-sarily contradictory, relating of the information in Rigsthula and related lineage accounts?)

Some transformed, he said, through time, some in the lust of combat, then released; some transform by kindred minds blended to Powers, and, "I transform through you. Though I die many times to be with you. Some for Power, some for perfection, some for their amber sheen (perhaps they cultivated an amber light, visible to others, hence the halo seen around pictures of saints in pre-xian Buddhist, Greek, and Roman art), but I transform that you transform, as darts against the gathering gloom. Once I was bended at care," said Rigr, "then let it go in my best bow's release. In my quietest stealth and bravest position, took the field of valour. While others held (over them) the shield, I held also the sword." (A man of Power or Rigr-Scaef, incarnate as a man of Power, speaks of the selfishness of the holy man who withdraws and contrasts asceticism with the active life of "transformation" [usually in this narrative transliterated to "evolution", here in the original useage- the use of this more familiar term being our only transliteration for clarity] and how his task is to evolve through the gift of Higher knowledge to others, not in splendid isolation, a profound statement of the spiritual life.)

§49 - At market came the Man of Power, only a glimpse, to stare, then he fades from sight. Simple lives the vitki and none may know where. His sons upon the hawk's path flown, he tends far borders, rushes, fens. He quickly speaks out his staves,(does divination with rune staves) for who have not will envy. Who envy will wound with the tongue or harm with the spear. He finds those who will counsel, does the Man of Power: none find him, nor is he known to others but as a herder of swine (how he appears to the uninitiated, and a real vocation). As the woolen men were about with men-of-arms he reached into his cart, "Mats of rushes! Well-woven mats of rushes!" (This portrait of the holy life is sadly toward the time of hiding. The appearance of Papal troops or armed local traitors with the monks is not surprising.)

§50 - Others huddled at the storm. She went about in simple thread, hands raised to Erde or Tyr (in ceorth or tyrrune- obviously the commentator could not tell which from the side or from distance), stood still, tall, proud, palms opened. Others took to shade but in the heat of day she tread slowly. Others made busy in the night, but he gazed to the dark heart at the arch of trees (arched over a path or stream). Others huddled warm, when barefoot in the snow she trekked. Freedom in cold, freedom in hard, freedom is in simple hardships found.

§51 - The youth thought him mad. He gazed into shadows in the noon slumber of high summer. In the snow he sat or stood until it melted about. At the marsh he sat, rubbed the juice of roots about to keep the biters away, yet stayed and sat. Now and then one sees him. A boy asked of him, why gaze or sit? The hermit answered, "Much do we do between birth and death and most of it no matter. In all that Grimnir (the Masked One- Odin) does, He becomes aware. When He hung upon the tree, He became aware. When He bade Mimir speak, He was aware. Much passes between birth and death. What means any of it, I am not aware?"

But how, asks the youth, is to gaze to be aware? "In each place and force a spirit dwells before me, after me, and always. They show me the world before me and after me. They have shown me our world at the time of hidings, when the people of stones and the people of oaks, when the folk of staves and ravens, are banished, (Druids, Odinists) and they show me we shall return again, in the night after the next Sigurd." Now and again, Folk see him at marsh or skerry stone and none think him mad.

§52 - Even among good folk come disputes. Before the Thing may be brought, but first in the common-house before elders. Ere wind bend the trees and rains the field's fair face's smoothness line, much is endured and much more learned. Go thence to elders. If between kin, the common ancestor has gone before, ask always that same from the Living Acre (O�ainsaker) be present; failing this, seek next who dwells behind. If between kins, let each an elder attend and together seek Tyr's council. Should not resolve, the elders locked, priest, priestess, seer ask to guide their way and make new choice beyond each position. Fails this, then matters wend before the Thing, where Tyr and Odin, Saga, and the Fates sit as matters come to elders of many a kin as sit in council wise.

§53 - She went to well early to draw for potation of wormwood, for his head was still in his cups, the light of day did wound (appears to have been a hangover). She earlier chopped wood; for he could not. He tended not the ox and it feasted bloat weed (must be some sort of noxious weed that makes ruminants bloat). No ox to cart, no cart to haul, no eggs to market, though the children took from nest.

In the talk of markets, another ask, how could she suffer thus? The frau quoth, "You must endure. You must be a warrior in life." The gy�ja, near trading her beads, replied it was false to be a warrior in life 'less first a warrior you be in choice. "The warrior's choice first make," saith she,"the good steel to arms, the high ground to hold, the early march on slumbered foe. To fight well who chose poor position is fool more than fighter. Well picks the spearman his ground and the bowman his hillock. Then fight well who must. The stubborn wight an ill-chosen stand may make. For warriors be ignorant or old, but rarely both."

§54 - Dark was the storm in the East. Dark were the riders, short with horse-tail hair (black and thick). Where they took land (settled) are folk as burnt. From the horseman keep your daughters, and from the horseman's sons. From the skin house (yurt, or travelling wagon house, probably Huns) princess, keep your sons, for they go not to streams (to bathe) and drink sour milk (koumiss, fermented mare's milk).

Where now they trade and farm, are heads like hares (round- a real anomaly at the time), short, swart like elves-beware. Look only to the light of us, the fair-browed, whose brows do not meet. Look only to the tall of us, strong going and high-minded. Look only to the fair-minded and clever, good at trading stave (making rune staves to record purchase, prices, descr. for market) and equal of temper. Look for the quiet and earnest or the well-spoke and sincere. Here seek they maid and swain. Though some be comely too, the dark with dark belong_as geese by feathers nest else all is confused.

Once we were all of flax and heather (hair and eye color?)-that was in grandmother's days. Then came from the East in father's time, making the half-dark. Now dark with flax and either with half-dark 'til neither wood duck nor goose remain. (presumably a darker wild duck as contrast to geese)

§55 - Two brothers there were as courted two sisters, both toothsome swains. The Binder held all that he had be it fit or not, but Free-Fisted held only were it weal. Binder courted the lass whose bright smile and full form promised strong youths, but her water was foul, for too oft sailed and loved not but her slated face. (slate=mirror, hence, narcissm) When tired or fled she, with magic, he by her hair bound her, or stick (rune stick) made to keep her. From Goddess his wish, and bound her fast.

Free-fisted found her sister much the same, and set her free. He slept alone, while Binder made a goodly home for stout children. Often they fought and never was it kempt and never peaceful. Soon they slept apart did Binder and Foul. Free-fisted (probably meaning that his hand was open, as he gripped nothing) went long years alone. When he met Fine Spirit, he did not seize her. Though they drew water at the same stream, each smiled, but carried skins apart. They met again and grew to court, to happy home and happy stout child. They prosper at the Mother's hearth, the house in peace. (Frigga's hearth)

§56 - The hooded robed came and we hid in forests to Thing. Dark soldiers they brought from the South so we spoke in barns and hid the two horses (maybe referring to the two-horse symbol of Hengist and Horsa) amid rushes. From him they stole land, for he would (pay) no tax. From him they fined goats, for he would not tithe. Land gone, he settled the vik (creek) between the holder's grants (appears theocracy had resettled small free-holders into laborer's compounds, as serfs, and given their lands to large, powerful landlords for whom they would henceforth labor- the beginning of feudal nobility).

They would not suffer him to hunt, so weirs and traps he set. Since spring thaws o'er the low hearth flowed, he with sons built on poles, thatched high. (made a stilt house on land no one wanted) The rich taxed his foot upon their trail, so he make float to town. Then skins and fish he brought to market could not sell, be they not blest by the hooded ones, (an xian form of koshering was required in Dark Age marketplaces in some areas) thus he bartered for grain and cloth. Offered they to "save" him, would say at barter; he wot not and to the Gods was ever true. What they took never he stopped, but made anew. What they dammed he flowed around like waters of first budding.

The runes go far now from the land of men, for the new priests are barons and the new kings heavily tax and many in chains. Those who pray not with them and wot not 1 of 4 their sheep and bushels must with Ullh the wild hunt join and pick Frigga's down (in the sense, not of Odin's Wild Hunt at Samhain, but hunting wild meat and foraging).

Darkness comes, the carts of cut stone hauled by tax-slaves for the hooded ones to build.(to build churches or cathedrals) Runes you shall speak man to man and woman to woman, shall whisper true to grandson brave. Turn to the heath and know it, for beyond this time, Sigurd shall rebirth to us, yet many his dragons and fierce then, say the gy�ja. Slay he or be slain, the sons of his warriors shall set to the shaven wood (the shaved wood, used for paper in the North was called b�k, whence the word 'book') again our way. Until then speak it to moon, to heath, to hidden men in places remote. Speak to star and perfect every word where naught hear but whose mind blend with mind. In this time shall speak it oft an truly that in far time it be little change before it come to birch again. (usually the birch was the wood shaved for writing sheets)

Edited Text - From passage 8: In the original: "...none may hold the Seidr". From passage 24: In the original "The Seidr is no destination." From passage 56: In the original: "Seidr goes for now from the land of men..." From passage 56: In the original "Seidr you shall speak man to man..."