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Thread: The Value of the Lokasenna (Hollander's Translation)

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    Post Re: The Value of the Lokasenna

    Quote Originally Posted by Sifsvina
    I agree with Leofric about the grains of interesting information. They are at least likely to shed light on how those gods were seen at the time if nothing more.
    It sounds to me like you're saying, Sifsvina, that the poem's primary value is that it tells us bits here and there about how our ancestors viewed the gods. The rest of your response seems to corroborate this, since it sounds to me like you and Bennett are saying the same thing about the value of the Poetic Edda — it's just archaeology and not the best archaeology at that. Does it do anything to tell you how to view/worship the gods? Does it change the way you personally view the gods? Is it of any relevance in your own personal spiritual life?

    I guess what I'm wanting to know is, what is the relevance of the Lokasenna in the spiritual and religious lives of contemporary heathens? It seems from the responses I've gotten so far — or rather from the lack thereof — that the relevance is pretty limited. It also seems that perhaps the contemporary spritual relevance of all the lore is pretty limited in the lives of most heathens today, that its primary importance is historical rather than spiritual and that it's not too good as a source for historical information. This seems to fight against what I had thought to be the case in contemporary Germanic heathenism, and I guess I need to go back to the very beginning in my understanding of the religion.

    Maybe I should rephrase my original question within the context of another. What is the value, if any, of the Poetic Edda in the religious lives of heathens today? (And if you would be so kind, answer personally about yourselves, as Wayfarer has done — you don't need to be the voice of all heathens to be the voice of a heathen.) And within that question comes the other: what is the value of the Lokasenna within the spiritual value of the Poetic Edda?

  2. #12
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    Post Re: The Value of the Lokasenna

    I can say with confidence that the least authentic of the sources, the so-called "Elder Edda", is the most revered by modern heathens. If only I could somehow magically separate its unfortunate mythological half from its much shinier heroic half, and have them distinct as separate compilations.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Sifsvina's Avatar
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    Post Re: The Value of the Lokasenna

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    It sounds to me like you're saying, Sifsvina, that the poem's primary value is that it tells us bits here and there about how our ancestors viewed the gods. The rest of your response seems to corroborate this, since it sounds to me like you and Bennett are saying the same thing about the value of the Poetic Edda — it's just archeology and not the best archeology at that. Does it do anything to tell you how to view/worship the gods? Does it change the way you personally view the gods? Is it of any relevance in your own personal spiritual life?
    Yes, it's just a second hand historical/poetic text but as long as one keeps that in mind it can be quite interesting. The Lokasena itself is not that useful to me but I'm sure it contributed small pieces to my view of the gods but it is hard to interpret it as there is not much way to tell if what Loki says is believed to be true or if he is making things up (even accusing them of things they never do just to piss them off) or twisting situations where they did what they did for higher reasons. And there seem to be alot of reference to lost stories that it is assumed the reader/listener knows. It says more about Loki than anything and Loki does not play much of a part in my practice. It is interesting when taken with the other writing in chronological order, seeing how Loki changes. This could be how he was seen by the people changing (possibly the christian influence) or as the story of how he changed, from one of the boys fooling around to the enemy.

    I guess what I'm wanting to know is, what is the relevance of the Lokasena in the spiritual and religious lives of contemporary heathens? It seems from the responses I've gotten so far — or rather from the lack thereof — that the relevance is pretty limited. It also seems that perhaps the contemporary spiritual relevance of all the lore is pretty limited in the lives of most heathens today, that its primary importance is historical rather than spiritual and that it's not too good as a source for historical information. This seems to fight against what I had thought to be the case in contemporary Germanic heathenism, and I guess I need to go back to the very beginning in my understanding of the religion.
    I think the difference is that we (me and my fiancé and those I have had in depth conversations on the subject with) know the lore is just lore not a sacred text. Even things put down by people we know believe it only gives us insight into what THEY believe/d. While we do try to understand and get back to a more healthy (natural) relationship with nature and others and we find certain clues to that in "the lore" we do not try and just copy the beliefs of our ancestors word for word -we would be sure to get the essence wrong that way. I think the line between historical and spiritual is not so clear, I find great spiritual joy in feeling I am getting a clearer understanding of how my ancestors lived and thought, what their motivations were, so that I may myself learn to live in a more "natural" way. (To live and to worship is all part of the same thing, I do not divide the two) I do not keep separate the info I have gotten from the Elder Edda from the saga's, Tacitus, Saxo, anthropological findings, etc. It all gets mixed together in my mind to make a bigger picture. I do however like the "older" poetry better, they are arranged with those believed to have older sources first in the Elder Edda, I like the mythological stuff more than the heroic stuff as the later style is annoying to me.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Sifsvina's Avatar
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    Post Re: The Value of the Lokasenna

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin
    I can say with confidence that the least authentic of the sources, the so-called "Elder Edda", is the most revered by modern heathens.
    It is also the easiest to find and read. And it's closer to the historical source than alot of the contemporary writings, especially on the net;-) I'd rather read something written by a christian in Iceland hundreds of years ago than some blog where they prattle about the night they had with Odin and what crystals align him with. A few less layer to peel off;-)
    Wake, Jotun, wake! Shake, Jotun, shake! Burn and blow, rain and snow! Wake, Jotun, wake!

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