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Thread: Back to My Roots: Where to start?

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    Back to My Roots: Where to start?

    I've finally got to the point in my life that I have a strong urge to embrace the religion of my ancestors. But I am at a loss for how to start. I've begun reading texts like The Havamal and The Poetic Edda but I feel like there is more to it. I feel like I am going alone into what should be an experience for a group of people (Currently serving in the military and deployed in a warzone).

    Can I please get some guidance?
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. -Leo Tolstoy

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    Unfortunately, I think most of the information on how the ancients worshipped was passed on by word of mouth, and what little was written has been destroyed or lost, so I'm not sure an historically accurate reconstruction CAN be made.

    That being said, there are groups that try to make a reconstruction of the old religion. I think the best you can do is peruse the stickies for source material to read (the Eddas and Sagas are a good start), and see what feels right to you, and search out groups that are close to your vision.

    I don't think the old gods are quite as dogmatic on HOW you have to worship as mainstream religions are.

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    Hey,

    One can seek out others if they want to. They are liable to be dissappointed. Folks are just folks you know..?? Mostly out for themselves. And, for many, this is just another outlet for it..!!

    "But, never lose faith in folk looking for family..!!" ( copy-rite 2011 )

    The Havamal is great..it is full of wisdom. My favorite. One can't go wrong with those saying in thier head. The Poetic Edda is great too. I wish I was a poet. That's what the Prose Edda is for though I guess..??

    Maybe you would like..

    The Culture of the Teutons..

    Later,
    -Lyfing

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    I guess I'll have to forge my own path spiritually. I was just hoping to have more to go on though..
    The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. -Leo Tolstoy

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    If you want to learn more about the gods and goddesses, try to avoid Wiccan and New Age misinformation, as well as any Victorian source. A good example would be "Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas". Here, the tales are fun to read, but they are romanticised and innacurate. This applies to most Victorian sources.

    My personal recommendations would be the following:

    "The Norse Myths" by Kevin Crossley Holland

    "Exploring The Northern Tradition: A Guide To The Gods, Lore, Rites And Celebrations From The Norse, German And Anglo-saxon Traditions" by Galina Krasskova and Swain Wodening

    "Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs" by John Lindow

    Have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostsoulwanders View Post
    I guess I'll have to forge my own path spiritually. I was just hoping to have more to go on though..
    Don't feel bad, Lostsoulwanders. I pretty much had to forge my own path due to encountering nothing but false "Pagans" (Wiccans and assorted filth) out here and quite frankly, being a solitary practitioner isn't bad at all. In fact, I find it more pleasing than being around people since it's just you and the gods and goddesses. Sumbels and blots I guess can be pretty difficult when in solitude, but that's perfectly fine since there are ways around group rites and the gods don't care as to how you honour them so much as long as you are within the limits of the law and honour them in a civilized European manner. Last year, I poured a beer stein filled with water into the soil during the lunar eclipse and that felt acceptable to me.

    What about sensing the presence of the gods? How exactly do you know if any gods and/ or goddesses are present in your vicinity?

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    I feel the same way. I have the strongest urge to go back to my roots but I dont know how or where to start.

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    The few pagans I have met in real life tend to be worthless - fat hippie women and the skinny geeks they keep as boyfriends. The pagans I meet online aren't much better.

    I joined 2 Asatru organizations and while I suppose they are good people, they honestly don't do anything for me.

    So I have resigned myself to being solitary. On the bright side, no one can tell me what to do, and I worship however I want. :-)

    As far as learning, it depends on what you want to know. There are a lot of scholarly books out there that will teach you what Ye Olde Heathens did, but they can be dry and boorish. There are other books on magic and such that can be exciting, but they can be more New Age, ahistorical stuff (if that bothers you). Finally, you have to decide if you fall more into the Norse or Anglo-Saxon camps.

    One book I would highly recommend is "Gods and Worshippers in the Viking and Germanic World" by Thor Ewing. The first half is a good look at the history and archaeology of Germanic religion. The second half is a controversial but very interesting look at magical cults that may have existed within Germanic religion.

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    Agree with some of the other posters here, a lot of groups out there are tied with Wiccans or New Agers, unless you are into that, they corrupt the true meanings of our folk. There are also groups out there that are lead like cults and the higher ups are after money and followers to do their biddings. Now on the other hand, there are some decent groups, you just have to find them. If you join a group and feel something is out of place or just plain wrong, leave, don't look back. Don't waste your time with a group that you do not feel 100% comfortable with. Like some have said, I have gone solitary. I hate spending time with people and groups that believe we are at a SCA event and must act like Vikings and party and get wasted. I am not a Viking. I am a Germanic person wanting to be with my Gods. Most of the good 'Heathens' I know are solitary.

    On what to do if you are solitary. Read. Pick up books and read. Read the Sagas, the Havamal, study the runes. Some books are hogwash. Like stated above, if something you read doesn't feel right with you, the book is probably a crock. Stay away from Blums book on the runes. He took the runes and switched them around and did his own thing with them. That's my personal opinion, others say they liked the book. Not to say that you won't find meanings in the runes that others before haven't, you will.

    On performing rituals. You can watch others and do some of what you desire, there is no 100% right way to do it. If it feels right within you, do it. If you start getting bad things happening to you all the time, especially after doing a ritual, then maybe change something. We have had whole group dynamics in a kindred get messed up because of something performed in a ritual.

    Just a starter for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostsoulwanders View Post
    I've finally got to the point in my life that I have a strong urge to embrace the religion of my ancestors. But I am at a loss for how to start. I've begun reading texts like The Havamal and The Poetic Edda but I feel like there is more to it. I feel like I am going alone into what should be an experience for a group of people (Currently serving in the military and deployed in a warzone).

    Can I please get some guidance?
    This is understandable and I think many are in this position. A instinctive desire to return to the cultural-religious roots of one's forbears is natural and constructive, especially if one feels oneself in a cultural and spiritual wasteland. I am an atheist and for myself, I have never found Christianity a sustaining belief.

    In contrast, I do lament the loss of the pagan gods of our Germanic and Norse forbears. I'd rather be a pagan and hail the gods of strength and beauty that were an authentic product of Germanic and Norse culture and religious thought than follow some sterile desert creed formulated by some obscure Galilean Jew and inflicted on the Western world by by his sycophantic followers during the last 500 years of the Western Roman Empire. Well may even this atheist be moved to say:

    Hail Woden [Odin], the All-father, father of the gods, and maker of man!

    The young man who made the above inquiry doesn't need books so much as a living example or examples and a model to follow. This is not some arid intellectual exercise as much as a practical one in his experience of religious practice. He needs to know the why and how of it and he can only get this through his own experience. There must be an organisation or organisations of like-minded people in North America and elsewhere that can provide that.

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