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Thread: Your Opinion on "The Asatru Edda" by the Norroena Society?

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    Senior Member Ulfvaldr's Avatar
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    Question Your Opinion on "The Asatru Edda" by the Norroena Society?

    Has any one read the Asatru Edda's, and what do you think of it?

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    I have Snorre's edda and the older edda, most homes here in Norway haveSnorre. I like Håvamål and Voluspå (Voluspå and fagrskinna are most likely written here where I live).
    Some people say that Ragnarok was the doom of the old ways, and that the survivors Liv and Livtrase are really Adam and Eve. But some also think the myth about Balder's death was inspired by Jesus. I dont agree on that though.

    The edda works are very special because at the time they were written there was a transition from spoken history to written down. If edda's and saga's didnt get written down, we might not had information about our history before we got latin writing. In England the monks wrote for themself in a language normal people couldnt understand, these books up here everyone could read. Samuel Laing writes about this in the introduction (from 1884) to Heimskringla. At the time he wrote it historians generally only viewed the vikings as barbarians, but how could barbarians develope such advance litterature and ship building and politics. Im sure someone much more familar with the works will post

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    Senior Member Ulfvaldr's Avatar
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    Sorry, I should have been clearer.
    I'm talking about "The Asatru Edda" by the Norroena Society.
    It says Seidr is evil, and all that practice it are evil, but Freya taught Seidr to Odin, and so on, I just wanted to get other peoples option

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    There was an announcement about the release:
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=119421

    Maybe you can ask some of the people who ordered it and read it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulfvaldr
    Sorry, I should have been clearer.
    I'm talking about "The Asatru Edda" by the Norroena Society.
    I've ordered it and am halfway through.

    What I dont like very much about it is that it contains only summaries, and with that very subjective interpretations of the sagas and other lore. This was not obvious in the announcement. Often these summaries are just a few sentences long and do by no means give an impression of the saga or lore in question.

    The next point of critique is the interpretation itself.
    It is made to be a sort of Asatru bible, and to define what people believe Asatru should be, although the author repeats (annoyingly often, a short saga would have fitted in the space wasted with that) that everyone should make his own mind.

    The problem is that all the interpretation goes from the Voluspå, and this interpretation has become a copy of the christian creation myth. It got twisted very much and contradicts on some points the written word. All other lore gets twisted as well to fit in the quite annoyingly perverted initial (mis)interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulfvaldr
    It says Seidr is evil, and all that practice it are evil, but Freya taught Seidr to Odin, and so on, I just wanted to get other peoples option
    Well, Seiðr became at one point in history a heavily misused skill, and while Seiðr itself can be used (as every magic) for good or for ill, it was mostly used for ill. Seiðr was associated with evil women who roamed the night and when they werent invited they created destruction and took revenge.

    Still, Seiðr itself is a very powerful form of magic with the most potential for unintended damage due to wrong and unskilled usage. It is the form of magic that is able to influence wyrd and the cosmos itself. It is indeed a 'dark' art, the magic done in 'uta seti', in the rituals that take nine nights to be performed. These rituals contain a self-destructing element, during these nights you are not allowed to drink or eat, you just sit outside and sing the seiðr-galders.

    It is strongly recommended to study the runes and their powers intensly, become familiar with their meaning, their connections to the cosmos and to your own soul before you start practicing galdr magic (a lighter form of magic). And when you after years of practice feel the runes constantly flowing around you and understand their pattern, you can think about using them in Seiðr. In case you can justify such a ritual which will not only affect yourself but probably the cosmos itself. So be careful. Although, being careful applies to all forms of magic.

    In this regard the warning of Seiðr is not inappropiate, but again, it is not evil on itself.


    That the author of the Asatru Edda thinks so is most likely due to the all in all very christian coloured interpretation. The bible condemns magic alltogether, whether good or bad or neutral.
    This is not what our lore tells us though, magic was commonplace and in every day's usage, everyone used divination or oracels with the runes, everyone sacrificed also in their houses in private, not only in the Things, and it did not require a priest, who only were required when higher forms of magic were practiced or more complicated rituals needed to be performed. So, condemning magic practices as such isnt given in the lore, and this interpretation must be viewed as wrong.


    I just can say, take this book with some grains of salt, read the old Eddas and the sagas yourself and make from that your own mind.
    Ein Leben ist nichts, deine Sprosse sind alles
    Aller Sturm nimmt nichts, weil dein Wurzelgriff zu stark ist
    und endet meine Frist, weiss ich dass du noch da bist
    Gefürchtet von der Zeit, mein Baum, mein Stamm in Ewigkeit

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