Free Audio Books Containing Norse Mythology and Sagas
I got this lovely information from a redditor named “dw___pirate.”
A collection of myths for younger readers. These myths are explained in a simple and easy to understand way intended for children, but also good for newbies.
About the deeds of the sons of Volsung. The language of this audio is more formal and may be hard to understand if you are not more well acquainted with the myths, or if you are not focusing.
This saga contains the events that led to Eirik the red being banished to Greenland (which is actually cold and icy, while Iceland is green and less cold). He also discovers a place called “Newfoundland,” which according to geographic details, is the first European discovery of the American mainland some five centuries before Columbus’s journey.
Can Organic Farming Feed The World?
Did you know that Agriculture is a much bigger cause of Green House Gas emissions than transportation or waste? According to a new report from the UN, modern Agriculture accounts for 28% of all Green House Gas emissions (See Figure 3)! This seems like quite a feat for flatulent cows, but it makes sense when you think about it. Agriculture is a system that requires mass deforestation and crowds millions of animals together in cramped quarters who are busy emitting their own gaseous poisons into the atmosphere – if you know what I mean.
In addition to farting cows, there are many more serious dangers to our modern agricultural machine: it poisons the soil, it is feeding us hormones and pesticides, and it has been shown that there is a strong connection between the use of neonicotinoids (a pesticide) and the death of the bees. The European Union has already made a decision to ban this particular pesticide (EPA).
Some people believe that the current, modern agricultural system is necessary for feeding a majority of the people on the planet. Soon we will have 8 billion people. However, a new report was released from the UN that discusses how Organic Agriculture could solve world hunger and climate change at the same time.
Read the UN Report Here (PDF)
Comedian Russell Brand On the Pre-Christian Man
“If like the Celtic people we revered the rivers we would prioritise this sacred knowledge and curtail the attempts of any that sought to pollute the rivers. If like the Nordic people we believed the souls of our ancestors lived in the trees, this connection would make mass deforestation anathema. If like the native people of America we believed God was in the soil what would our intuitive response be to the implementation of fracking?” ~ Russell Brand (Newstatesman)
I’m neither endorsing nor rejecting Russell Brand’s political views. I’m simply sharing a quote from a famous comedian and pop culture icon that discusses the world of the Pre-Christian man.
Sólstafir – Fjara (Official Music Video)
“Sólstafir” is the Icelandic word for “radiating sun beams”
As the fall brings us closer to the dreary and dark time of the year, I begin to bust out my dark emotional music. I’m not exactly sure how to categorize these guys musically – not that everything needs a category. They started out as a viking/black metal band, yet now they have more of a post-metal, rock sound. Their music is dreary and emotional.
Fjara means “Beach,” which explains why this video is on a beach! Wow! Look at my amazing powers of reason.This video itself is very mysterious and leaves more questions than answers. It also gives you a chance to enjoy the beautiful Icelandic landscape.
Reading the lyrics leads me to believe that the song is about dragging around the burden of past memories and broken promises. Perhaps the landscape of the beach is significant, because the beach is where the land comes to an end and new life begins. Finally, when the protagonist of our video gets to the end of the line, a waterfall, she thrusts herself and the boat – or it might be a coffin (as Eaarth Animist astutely pointed out) over the edge, bringing an end to all the past pain and hurt.
This is the furthest I will go.
Never the same again.
The vile path calling me,
the day I ran from life again.
If I win this one time,
it will still be the end of me.
My belief that nothing ends well.
This is the end for me.
Day and night heart was uneased.
Broken will frozen smile.
Riding on, heart pumping tears.
Day and night I walk alone.
Bones rotting in the earth,
like your secrets
that you long kept from me.
But blood weighs more than silence.
Broken words, shards in your mouth,
cut deeper than any wound.
Broken vows will never be the same.
Lies like the viper’s bite.
Read more at http://lyricstranslate.com/en/fjara-beach.html#QBLkbO3fwASbXOzC.99
In a Forest of Gods
The Forest is Everything. Without it, we will have nothing.
For more information, see Living Farms.
History of Britain: Rise and Fall of the Druids
Before the advent of the Romans, Britain was a place with its own sophisticated, spiritual culture.
Once the Romans did arrive, they wrote that the British had no fear of death.
This lack of fear may have had a connection to their ancestral beliefs about life in the after-world.
The after-world was a very big part of life for the ancient British people.
In fact, it was so important, that several tombs dotted the land.
The title of this documentary is a bit misleading, since it isn’t entirely about the druids.
But it did discuss the purpose of Stonehenge and interesting information on British Ancestral Worship.
Archaeologists Unearth 5,000 Year Old Remains of a Possibly Transgendered/Gender Queer Cave Person
What do we believe about the Cavemen? They were a primitive and barbaric people who spent their time killing each other and beating women over the head with clubs when they wanted sexy times. However, one reality that Archaeological remains recently unearthed is that a primitive tribe in the Czech Republic may have been pretty tolerant towards their gender queer folk. (I know this article is two years old, but I think it’s still relevant)
We’ve heard it all before. Homosexuality is unnatural! It’s a plague of the modern age! Blah, blah blah. Maybe the real plague of the modern age is how poorly we treat those with nuanced gender and sexual orientations.
In many different tribal cultures around the world, gender deviance was an acceptable part of life. The Europeans who wrote about Native American tribes stated that there were a few men who would dress and act like women, and were treated as perfectly normal people by the tribe. In some cultures around the world, there are more than 2 accepted genders. In parts of Indonesia, there are five accepted genders. I discuss this more in a previous post: more than two genders?
With regards to the skeletal remains mentioned above, they are a male skeleton who was given a woman’s burial rite. The archaeologists do not believe that this was a mistake, since the culture they were studying was very careful and precise with burial rites. Men in this culture were traditionally buried lying on their right side with their heads pointing west, but this man was instead buried on his left side with his head pointing east, which is how women were typically buried. He was also buried with female items, such as an egg shaped pot.
Now, we can’t jump to conclusions here. This evidence doesn’t necessarily prove that this caveman was transexual or gay. However, it does shed light on an ancient culture’s willingness to bend gender norms. Definitely some interesting food for thought.
African Gods and Goddesses Re-envisioned With Photography
I love this project! Oshun and Obba are two of my favorites.
I would love to see this project done with other spiritual paths as well.
Yoruba is a spiritual tradition from West Africa that has spread to many parts of the world.
You can read my post about Yoruba here.
Heathen Census Results So Far
Last week the website Norsemyth.org posted a Heathen Census.
Here are the results so far. You can also see them Here.
Remember, there is a strong survey bias to this survey.
These results tell a story about the people who took the survey, not all Heathens.
It is possible that Norsemyth.org is more popular in the US than other countries.
Also, the results will continue to be updated until the census closes on December 31st.
Humans Bring 6th Major Extinction
In the past there were 5 major extinctions that destroyed most life on the planet. Today, Humans are bringing the 6th major extinction.
The Sacred Masculine
Image Source A Picture of Balder, A Norse God of Light and Beauty
I’d like to bring your attention to a very insightful article I just read on the concept of “The Sacred Masculine.” READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE. There is much in the Pagan community about getting in touch with your Sacred Feminine side. It is definitely important for men AND women to get in touch with their feminine nature. This could involve meditating on the lives of different Goddesses who inspire you. Yet not as often mentioned is the concept of the Sacred Masculine.
The author of the article mentioned above goes over four important male archetypes in myth and spirituality:
- The King, The Warrior, The Magician and The Lover.
Each archetype has a positive and negative aspect. Also, these roles aren’t limited to males.
- “The King archetype is the fully conscious male commanding leadership with respect. He is associated with authority, order, law and direction. He has two shadow ‘wings’ identified as the Tyrant and the Weakling. The immature boy version of the King is the Divine Child that can also be a child-tyrant or a weakling (The Sacred Masculine, Tim Pickles).”
- Do you need to be a king to fully realize this aspect of your life? No. This is an aspect of your life that you come into when you are in any position of power, authority and respect. So if you are an office manager, project leader, parent, or any other position of authority – this could apply to you. Yet the positive or negative aspect of this archetype is dependent on how you choose to use your power. Usually it is best when a person comes into the king role after a series of trials and tribulations that test their valor and wisdom. The most prominent example is the story of Gilgamesh. He was a greedy and selfish king in the beginning. Yet a series of trials and tribulations unleashed by the Gods helped transform him into a more thoughtful and wise king.
- Examples From Legend: Zeus, Odin, Osiris, Gilgamesh, King Arthur
- Modern Legends: Aragorn (Lord of The Rings), Adama (Battlestar Galactica), Ned Stark (Game of Thrones), Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)
- “The Warrior archetype is the holy campaigner or activist. He has courage, persistence and devotion. He has two shadow aspects of the Sadist and the Masochist. His immature boy version is the Hero, that can descend into the bully or the coward (The Sacred Masculine, Tim Pickles).”
- Modern people this archetype could apply to: Members of the military, People fighting for a cause, Firefighters, Police, Security, Martial Artists, people in general who fight some kind of battle – metaphorical or physical. The positive warrior fights for a cause that is much larger than himself. But the negative warrior fights for himself only. Which kind of warrior are you?
- Examples From Legend: Thor, Aries, Achilles, Hercules, Spartacus
- Modern Legends: Aragorn (Lord of The Rings), Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica), Super Heroes, The Hound (Game of Thrones)
- “The Magician archetype is full of consciousness, growth and transformation, often associated with our ‘third eye’ of insight and intuition. His shadow side can be exposed as the Manipulator or the denying Innocent. His immature boy version is the Prococious Child, that can descend into the trickster or the dummy (The Sacred Masculine, Tim Pickles).”
- Modern Application: Scholars, Spiritual Practitioners and Teachers. The positive Magician brings insight and intuition to his pupils. The negative Magician manipulates and cons his pupils for money or other personal gain.
- Examples From Legend: Odin, Thoth, Merlin, Marduk
- Modern Legends: Yoda (Starwars), Dumbledore (Harry Potter), Gandalf (Lord of the Rings), Bran Stark (Game of Thrones)
- “The Lover archetype is sensual and delightful, appreciating goodness, truth and beauty. His shadow sides include the Addicted Lover and the Impotent Lover. His immature boy self is the Oedipal Child, that can descend into mama’s boy or the dreamer (The Sacred Masculine, Tim Pickles).”
- What kind of lover are you? Are you sensual, romantic, compassionate and considerate? These are the positive aspects of the Lover. The negative lover is possessive, obsessive, stalker-like, clingy, adulterous and worst of all – a rapist. In modern literature and movies, the more positive aspects of the strong lover are sometimes mingled with the negative aspects of a possessive stalker type – I hate it when they do that!
- Examples From Legend: Eros, Zeus, Lancelot, Apollo, Adonis
- Modern Legends: Helo (Battle Star Galactica), Jamie Lanister (Game of Thrones) and Aragorn (Lord of The Rings)
In most epic tales, these four character types are all included. The Odyssey, The Illiad, King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and even Battlestar Galactica include these archetypes. The other key part of legends is the transition from boyhood into manhood. This usually takes place via trials by fire and initiatory rites. Most tribal societies have very painful and dangerous rites of passage that a boy is required to endure before he can become a man. One of the more extreme examples is the ritual of making a boy wear a glove filled with live bullet ants for more than 10 minutes (Bullet Ant Ritual). Some modern day religions include this rite, (i.e. bar mitzvah’s), but the closest thing most boys have today is “graduating high school.”
The “Man/boy” difference is often what separates the negative aspects of the 4 male archetypes from the positive ones. A corrupt ruler, an aimless warrior, a manipulative mage and an abusive lover, in many ways, are simply children who never grew up.
In the modern media, the negative aspects of the four male archetypes are often displayed more than the positive. We see too many corrupt rulers with no idea how to lead, wars in which women and children are a more common target than soldiers, false religious demagogues who are trying to manipulate us through fear and money, and some of the most possessive, whiny, wimpy, stalker-like and misogynistic males in our romantic stories.
Some people say that mythology or spirituality is useless. But think about how much better the world would be if people aspired to be like King Arthur, Lancelot, Thor or Odin. Even if no one can be perfect, these are better role models than the gangsters celebrated by contemporary culture. When I say gangster, I’m including the political and financial ones in Wall Street as well.
So take some time to meditate on the Gods or Heroes who inspire you. They could be the ancient figures of legend. Or they could be everyday people in your life. The power of the immortal Gods is within us all.
Does the Male Get Enough Attention in Modern Paganism?
Pagan Gods (Facebook Community)
The Maiden, Mother and Crone: Ancient Goddesses Meet Modern Religion
A MODERN INVENTION
A careful study of ancient mythology will reveal that a singular “mother, maiden and crone” Deity is nowhere to be found in ancient myth. There are triple Goddesses in the Ancient Celtic Mythos – but they do not exist within this archetype. The Celtic Goddess Brigid is a classic example of a triple Goddess. Yet she is one of three sisters, not a maiden, mother or a crone. Each sister is also named Brigid. They have similar but different attributes.
There are also a fair share of triunal deities in Greek Myth, however, these also do not fit exactly into the mother, maiden and crone mold either. Hecate is a prominent example. In Greek artwork she was sometimes paired with the two moon Goddesses Artemis and Selene. Artemis is a virgin and Selene is a mother to some 50 daughters. However, there is no hard evidence that any Greeks saw these triple Goddesses as aspects of one person. They each had their own distinct lives, mythological tales and purposes.
It is important to note that the Mother, Maiden, Crone archetype is a modern invention of the Neo-Pagan or Wiccan movement. It is a concept that was influenced primarily by Robert Graves, a mid-20th century novelist. This was popularized in his novel The White Goddess (written in 1948).
However, the fact that the mother, maiden, crone aspect is new does not mean that it isn’t valuable. It is a useful archetype for a woman venerating the different phases of her life. Perhaps though, instead of lumping all these aspects into one person, it may be useful to think of different Goddesses who existed in each of these different phases. A Goddess is a Goddess – not an “aspect.”
THE MOTHER, MAIDEN AND CRONE ARCHETYPE
The phases basically speak for themselves: there is youth, adulthood and old age. In a culture that celebrates youth and pressures women to look young forever, learning to celebrate other phases of your life is important. Think of the fact that the Cosmetic Industry is worth billions, it makes major bucks off of women’s insecurities. So let us examine the three phases of the Mother, Maiden, Crone archetype below:
She is a young and virginal girl who has not yet awakened. She is often associated with innocence and beauty. She is probably the archetype most celebrated by our current society.
- Concepts: Associated with new beginnings, youthful ideas and enthusiasm
- Moon: Waxing
- Season: Springtime and Ostara
- Symbols: Flowers, the colors pink, white or green
- Maiden Goddesses: Persephone, Artemis, Hestia, Rhiannon
The mother Goddess is associated with creation, birth, marriage, sexuality, nurturing, care-giving and protection.
The Mother doesn’t get enough credit in this day and age. “Powerful” and “Assertive” are positive traits ascribed to females. But people often dismiss “nurturing” and “care-giving” as weaker qualities. It is not so. It takes a lot of strength to be compassionate and nurturing in the face of overwhelming stress and frustration. Isis was certainly a powerful and yet nurturing Goddess. She literally went to the ends of the Earth to help put her husband Osiris back together, so that’s pretty nurturing. Yet is she powerful? Hell yes. Her name literally means “throne,” the symbol of the pharoah’s power.
- Concepts: Associated with harvest, achievement and fulfillment.
- Moon: Full moon.
- Season: Summer, sometimes spring and fall.
- Animals: Cat, Dove, Dolphin
- Color: Red
- Mother Goddesses: Isis, Demeter, Gaia, Pachamama
The Crone represents the inevitability that all things must come to an end. She is associated with death and what happens after death. However, death isn’t a bad thing, it is a necessary phase in creation. In Traditional Cultures, the “Crone” aspect of womanhood received much respect. For example, in India and China, women who traditionally lived to old age received more status and respect in the family than younger women. The ancient reverence for older women is connected to the fact that living to old age was rare, and thus those who were capable of this feat were wise and had sagely advice.
Today, women often feel embarrassed by their age. I have some female friends at 27 who feel “old.” Really?! I think some chicks have been reading too much Twilight (I apologize for the reference). Sorry, you can’t be a teenage vampire forever, grow up! Celebrate your age. Celebrate the fact that you are ripened with experience and life knowledge that the young wipper-snappers lack. You are like a fine wine, getting more refined with age.
- Concepts: Death, Completion, Endings
- Moon: Waning
- Season: Winter
- Symbols: Owl, Wolf, Raven
- Color: Black, Dark Blue, Dark Purple
- Goddesses: Hecate, Grandmother Spiderwoman, Elli, Cailleach Bear
Here’s a good example of the Mother, Maiden and Crone in modern music.
Mother, Maiden, Crone: Ancient Goddesses For A Modern Religion (A Presentation)
Mother, Maiden Crone (About.com)
Why Take a Census? Much of the information we have on the existence of Heathens, how many there are world wide, and where they are located is limited. Most religious surveys commit the fallacy of lumping Heathens in with other Neo-Pagan groups or an “unspecified” category. Many Heathen survey takers even get lumped in with Wicca, which is a completely different practice. Therefore, for the sake of having accurate information that is specific to Heathens, this survey would be very helpful for the Heathen community. Taking this survey will probably only take a small amount of time of your time, but have positive results for your community at large.
Who counts as Heathen? The site issuing the survey decided to go with the term “Heathen” since it is the most general of the Germanic/Norse religions. A term like Odinist or Asatru is much more specific. But who counts as a Heathen? According the survey site:
- Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, Ásatrú, Asatro, Firne Sitte, Forn Sed, Forn Siðr, Germanic Heathenry, Germanic Neopaganism, Germanic Paganism, Heathenism, Heathenry, Norse Paganism, Norse Religion, Northern Tradition, Odinism, Old Way, Theodism, Urglaawe, Vanatru
How does this census work?
- “The census has been designed to be (1) anonymous and (2) easy. Simply scroll to the bottom of this post, select your home country from the pull-down menu and click the “submit” button. That’s all there is to it.”
So please, take the survey and spread the news.
World Wide Magical Operation to Fight Fracking
On Saturday, September 28th, “The Warrior’s Call” took place.
It was a world wide pagan anti-fracking ritual.
300 bodies were present at the ritual and 1500 people around the world were there in mind and spirit.
The ritual was mainly facilitated by members of OBOD.
The intention of the ritual was to cast a sphere of protection over the Earth to protect it from fracking.