The Germanic Path

Library for Circle of Stones topics
Forum rules
If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
To copy a link just copy the url on the top left of your browser and then put in your post, highlight it and press the url button.
User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

The Germanic Path

Postby Eilthireach » 09 Nov 2004, 09:49

Greetings!

I feel that it is my vocation to preserve or even enlarge the treasure of cultural and spiritual heritage of my country, which is situated in Southern Germany and has 800 years of Celtic and maybe 1600 years of Germanic and German heritage.
After completing the formal studies of the OBOD course I feel that it is now time to look at the other, the Germanic part of my roots.

I would therefore like to make contact with a serious and decidedly pagan Germanic organisation sooner or later, preferrably even one that offers a course comparable to the OBOD course. I have looked at the websites of several of them, among them the Asatru Folk Assembly, The Troth, The Rune Gild and Odinic Rite, which has a sub-organisation in Germany.

Question:

Is there a member of these boards who is also a member of one of these organisations or any other Germanic group willing to tell me something about this group? You are invited to post here or contact me through PM.

I prefer a balance between studies and practical work including inner work, ritual, seasonal rites etc. I am not prejudiced against magic. I'm trying to learn Germanic lore and I'm already engaged in Rune work, I've produced my first own Rune set and am presently undertaking a series of deep meditations on the Runes after a method suggested by Jan Fries in his work "Helrunar".

To my disgust it seems to be necessary to mention that I don't want to get involved with any kind of neo-nazism. I also don't see any benefit coming from a study of the runelore Futhark etc.

I am hoping for many contacts! :)

Eilthireach /|\ .
Last edited by Eilthireach on 26 Nov 2004, 10:56, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
SeaDruid
Posts: 272
Joined: 16 Sep 2004, 04:55
Gender: Male
Location: On the stormy Puget Sound USA
Contact:

Postby SeaDruid » 09 Nov 2004, 15:55

Although I live in the US, my heritage is predominantly German, at least on my father's side (imigrated here about 5 generations ago from somewhere in Germany). So I'll be interested to hear what develops here also.

User avatar
Kernos
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5152
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 16:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lost in the Woods in the Ozarks, USA
Contact:

Postby Kernos » 14 Nov 2004, 17:49

Eithilreach,

I belong to a "Heathen History" Yahoo group which is for reading and discussion books about Germanic - Celto-Germanic etc. There is a lot of good info in this list. My only complain it that it is rather dominated by the group owner:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Heathenhistory/

Another possible site to explore is

http://www.asatru-u.org/

And another Yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-L/

BTW, I am also interested in exploring my Germanic Roots. Please keep us informed of the results of your explorations.

Kernos
/|\
ImageImageImageHelp I'm Falling Thru A Hole in the Flag

"Time is the Image of Eternity."

Time is the Fire in which we burn.

User avatar
SeaDruid
Posts: 272
Joined: 16 Sep 2004, 04:55
Gender: Male
Location: On the stormy Puget Sound USA
Contact:

Postby SeaDruid » 14 Nov 2004, 21:42

I was sent this link to the Northvegr Foundation, which has a lot of information on Heithni. I am still digging into it but it has a lot of good information. http://www.northvegr.org/

User avatar
katsu
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1501
Joined: 11 Jan 2004, 12:01
Gender: Male
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Postby katsu » 14 Nov 2004, 22:34

I agree SeaDruid.
I was given the same link and it is worth it.

For those of you who can read Dutch; try http://www.hetrad.nl .
(most of the people there also speak either English or German btw)
K

Ps. if someone finds more info; please keep me informed as well. My interests also go to my neighbouring countries' background.
Image

User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

Postby Eilthireach » 15 Nov 2004, 14:32

Thank you all!

I will have a close look at all sites recommended. In the meantime, keep those URL's coming. :)

I can contribute two sites:

http://www.thetroth.org

They have a huge resources section dealing extensively with "everything Germanic", especially festivals, rituals, deities etc.
The Troth offers a so called "clergy program" which teaches a most interesting curriculum, but I guess you need to be member of one of their local groups (which are mostly in the US) to take part. Otherwise, no course seems to be offered.
Associated with The Troth is the writer Diana L. Paxton, who has finished the fourth sequel of the Avalon trilogy by Marion Zimmer Bradley and is author of a trilogy of novels on the Nibelungenlied.

http://runegild.org

This is the organisation of Stephen Flowers aka Edred Thorsson who has written several books on the Runes. As the Intro on the website makes clear, they offer a course on the Runes and related topics which lasts at least one year. After that, the student has "by invitation only" access to an inner circle where the deeper work takes place.

The one problem with Edred Thorsson is that he has a Ph.D. and uses to express himself in that manner. One of his books, "Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology", is really a tough cookie to read and barely understandable in some sections. The way he presents his certainly impressive knowledge is always somewhat dry and academic and he is rarely able to create an inspiring and mystic atmosphere. My personal impression. Second, this is a course on the Runes and covers probably not all aspects of Germanic spirituality.

I will post further information as it becomes available.

From the frosty foothills of the Bavarian Alps,

Eilthireach /|\ .

I wish to learn the things that are
and understand their nature
and to know God.
(Corpus Hermeticum I,3)

Image

User avatar
SeaDruid
Posts: 272
Joined: 16 Sep 2004, 04:55
Gender: Male
Location: On the stormy Puget Sound USA
Contact:

Postby SeaDruid » 24 Nov 2004, 22:58

Thanks folks for the interesting links.

I wonder if any of you have any books (in English language) that you might recommend?

Two books on the topic I am currently reading are "Nine Doors of Midgard" by Edred Thorsson and "The Saga of the Volsungs" by Jesse L. Byock (Norse, but related)

User avatar
rowanwyze
OBOD Druid
Posts: 631
Joined: 12 Oct 2003, 00:11
Gender: Female
Location: Western Washington USA
Contact:

Postby rowanwyze » 24 Nov 2004, 23:25

Heilsr!
It is well to see this interest!
Heithinn Folk Rock!
In Frith,
Tyra

Resident Heathen
Our divine nature expands far beyond what shall ever know.

User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

Books on the Germanic tradition

Postby Eilthireach » 25 Nov 2004, 09:06

Hello all!

I can give you a few book recommendations. Stars (*) are indicating how good I find the books.

First of all, everybody interested in the Germanic tradition needs to have a copy of the Poetic Edda. ***** Be careful that you have a full edition, not just a selection of "best" texts. I think this is self-understanding, but I want to make sure. The Poetic Edda is really a good read, the verse structure is not overly irritating.

Rhinegold ****
by Stephen Grundy

This is a modern re-telling of the saga of the Nibelungs. It is oriented towards the original core of this group of myths, the Scandinavian Voelsunga-Saga. This book is an excellent read, a real thriller, although somewhat dark in its mood. Germanic myths are never really funny, aren't they?
From what I hear, Stephen Grundy has become an Asatruar in the meantime and is active in the American Asatru scene under the name Kvedulf Gundarsson.

Northern Mysteries & Magick: Runes, Gods, and Feminine Powers ***
by Freya Aswynn

This book is an excellent introduction into the Runes and the Germanic tradition, from the rather unusual viewpoint of a woman. The language is simple and easy to follow, the book is not overly voluminous. Contains a large section on practical Rune magic.

Freya Aswynn is a woman from Holland who emigrated to Great Britain. There are many links provided in the book to the continental European tradition(s). This way, this book is not so much "Viking" as others. I am sometimes irritated that everybody in the Asatru scene seems to think that Scandinavians were and are the only Germanic people on earth.

Don't be irritated about the "Feminine Powers" in the sub-title. There is a chapter on Germanic Goddesses in the book, but that's almost all that is "feminine" about it, besides that the author is a woman.

I would say that this is a beginner's book on the Runes. The Rune books by Edred Thorsson tend to be more complicated.

Helrunar - A Manual Of Rune Magick *****
by Jan Fries

This is an excellent book, to my opinion the best book that has ever been written on Rune magic. It covers much of the ground around the Runes like Runic meditation, Galdr, talismans, sigil magic etc. etc. If you are looking for extensive descriptions and listing of the meanings of each single Runes, this will be a disappointment. The author rather teaches how to discover the Rune meanings for oneself instead of giving much text here.
It is a really excellent book, but more for the experienced practitioner. You need to have some practice in inner work (like in the OBOD tradition) in order to fully understand this book.

Also by Jan Fries are

Visual Magic: A Manual of Freestyle Shamanism ****

This is not a Germanic book, rather a non-denominational approach to the appliance of visualisation in inner work. I would give a copy of this book to every Bard who has difficulties making his/her LBE!

Seidways: Shaking, Swaying and Serpent Mysteries

This one is dealing with Seidr, the Germanic "shaking trance". I am unable to comment because it's not available in Germany.

Eilthireach.

User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

Heathen History, Northvegr

Postby Eilthireach » 25 Nov 2004, 09:30

Hello Kernos, hello all,

I checked the provided links. I like the Heathen History group that Kernos provided. There is really a wealth of material especially on continental (non-Scandinavian) Germanic heritage and history. The owner is American, but carries a typical Bavarian name (Riedlinger). The unusual thing about this group is that they don't seem to discuss things. There is one posting per day where somebody quotes from a book and that seems to be it. Still, I think I'll lurk there in the future.

The Northvegr site is also nice and has some in-depth discussions. What doesn't click so much with me is the Northern European/Scandinavian orientation of this site. Germanic tribes have settled as far south as Northern Italy, this is quite an edge away from Scandinavia. Moreover, Scandinavia has always led and is still leading a life of cultural isolation in Europe. For me as continental European it is hard to identify myself with things Scandinavian.

On the other hand it is clear that Northern and Southern Germanic cultures had a common basis and that while looking at the one traditon we might learn something about the other. Just as we look at the Irish texts in the hope to learn something about the situation in continental Celtic Europe. It has been debated if this approach makes sense, but I know no other.
I think I'll have an eye on this site as well.

Thank you very much so far.

Eilthireach.

User avatar
Kernos
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5152
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 16:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lost in the Woods in the Ozarks, USA
Contact:

Postby Kernos » 25 Nov 2004, 17:44

Have you seen this book?

Hammer of the Gods: Anglo-Saxon Paganism in Modern Times by Swain Wodening

I was going to add a Germanic Smilie, but we don't have any. What Germanic icons would you like to see?

:mracorn:
ImageImageImageHelp I'm Falling Thru A Hole in the Flag

"Time is the Image of Eternity."

Time is the Fire in which we burn.

User avatar
SeaDruid
Posts: 272
Joined: 16 Sep 2004, 04:55
Gender: Male
Location: On the stormy Puget Sound USA
Contact:

Postby SeaDruid » 25 Nov 2004, 23:03

Thank you Eilthireach for some of the book suggestions. I DO have both the poetic and prose Eddas on my shelf lined up to read next. Like you, I am looking for sources that don't seem to mush German history/culture/etc into Scandanavian modes. I think it is because the area of southern Germans converted so early to Christianism that we look so much to Northern areas who converted later so we can get more authoritative study from the north. And we share a common pantheon. I like the Northvegr site for its resources and I don't mind learning about our brothers and sisters to the North. But your points are well taken. Thanks also for your other book suggestions. Thanks also to Kernos for your book suggestion, I'll check it out soon.

-Sigh-

Sometimes I feel like an in-betweener. I want to immerse myself into a tradition that is reflective of my heritage (Germanic as far as I know). Yet I don't wnat to discard so much that i have learned (ceremonial magick, Celtic study, etc). I feel like I'm too newagey for the Heathens and too conservative for the newagers. Maybe I'll just stick with OBOD Druidry for new and just read and worship as I feel.

User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

Postby Eilthireach » 26 Nov 2004, 08:25

Hello Kernos, SeaDruid,

thank you Kernos for the book recommendation. It is indeed wonderful how much the American "scene" contributes to the preservation of the Germanic traditions and a shining example how Old and New World could work together in the safekeeping and development of ancient knowledge.

Well, the most Germanic item I can think of is a Thor's hammer.
I know that the continental Germanic tribes didn't have horns on their helmets, but a smilie with a horned helmet would be very nice. :)
And maybe a drinking horn, which is Celtic and Germanic alike.

SeaDruid,

most of Germany converted to Christianity somewhen between 550 (nobility) and as late as 750 CE. Still, many elements of paganism remained in place. Bishop Burchard of Worms is agitating against pagan customs around 800 CE and the two Merseburg spells, which are the oldest tradited Germanic pagan spells on record are dated as late as somewhere around 950 CE. We can say that between the birth of Christianity and its full acceptance in Germany there still are ca. eight centuries, which is amazing if we consider that Rome is not too far away, maybe two weeks on horseback. But the available resources from pagan times are very scarce and therefore we are looking to the Nordic tradition, much as we look to the insular Celts to learn about the continental Celts.

I think I know how you feel. :)
Do you know where your ancestors came from, in Germany? Much of Germany, with the exemption of the Far North, was settled by Celtic and Germanic tribes alike, so the probability that you have Celtic roots also is not too small.
Second, if you want to go on a journey to your inner self, or to the sphere of the Divine, whatever expression you prefer, I think it is most important to learn the tools first. OBOD Druidry teaches the tools and how to use them, and it teaches them very very well. To which pantheon or tradition you'll apply this acquired knowledge afterwards, is your private matter. After all, Celtic and Germanic traditions have many things in common.

If I were you, I would focus on the OBOD course now and give my Germanic studies second priority. That is, by the way, exactly what I did. :)

I wish you all the best for your studies,

Eilthireach /|\ .

I wish to learn the things that are
and understand their nature
and to know God.
(Corpus Hermeticum I,3)

Image

Samhain
Posts: 160
Joined: 20 Jun 2004, 23:32
Gender: Male
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Postby Samhain » 26 Nov 2004, 10:10

I would be wary of any material by Steven Flowers. Some of his ideas seem to be based on the writings of Guido von List, who I wouldn't accept as an authority on runes. And I question Mr. Flowers' outlook on issues like race.

User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

Postby Eilthireach » 26 Nov 2004, 10:54

It has been stated more often than once that Stephen Flowers aka Edred Thorsson would take a standpoint that puts him close to racist views in the one or other issue. I have read two of his books on the Runes and encountered nothing like it.

Guido von List with his runelore system has done a complete new interpretation of the original Germanic Runes. I don't like his system and I think that everybody trying to discover the secrets of the Runes should stick to the original Futharks such as the Elder or the Anglo-Saxon Futhark.

I can't judge if Thorsson uses List material because I don't know much about List. But summa summarum I always found Thorsson's books on the Runes to be quite scholarly and serious. My only criticism would be that his writing style is often a bit dry.

Le mèas, with respect,

Eilthireach /|\ .

P.S.: I've given this thread a more general title, since the discussion covers different topics now. Maybe we could keep this thread alive in the Common Quest forum and treat "everything Germanic" here. No, I do not want a Germanic forum. :grin:

Jeb
Posts: 441
Joined: 14 Apr 2004, 15:03
Contact:

Postby Jeb » 26 Nov 2004, 14:32

Howdy All,

This is a cool thread! Spreading out over all kinds of topics. Very interesting to read.

I think you're already aware of this one, Eilthireach, but for an Anglo-Saxon twist on Asatru check out Thaet Angelseaxisce Ealdriht. Or try Anglo-Saxon Heathenism. Both are pretty interesting sites.

I think the Ealdriht is the home of Swain Wodening (one of the heathen "big-dog" writers and author of the book Kernos reccomended above). Check out their bookstore for some more recent titles.

As for Thorsson's work... I've read some of his stuff and would have to agree with Eilthireach that it's pretty decent stuff. What I think some hard-core heathen have a problem with is his blatent incorporation of modern Ceremonial Magick into the rune system. I think most folk here in the Druid's Head (myself included) wouldn't particularly mind that but when you get out into some of the more heathen boards you'll find a fair number of recons who can't abide it. Oh ya, and there's also his affiliation with the Temple of Set that tends to turn people off.

I've never worked with List's runes but there seems to be a bit of a issue around whether his system was "received" from a higher source or just simply "created". It is interesting though to note that his system is based around the structure of a hexagonal crystal. Appearantly you can shine light through a crystal at different angles and project all 18 of his runes. Kinda cool. He also equates the 18 runes to the spells in the Havamal... which is also kinda cool.

But basically, I've come to learn that, you're going to hear good points and bad points about almost everything regarding the runes and rune authors. I just take it all in and do what feels right for me. This is probably why as of yet I'm still a "non-denominational" heathen. :grin:

How about this emoticon, Kernos: Image

A few more (miscelleneous) sites:

Heathens Against Hate

The Viking Trader

The Danish History (Saxo)

Sorry most of the stuff I have is on Northern heathenism.

Frith,

Jeb

User avatar
Lily
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 3372
Joined: 13 Aug 2003, 10:36
Gender: Female
Location: Switzerland
Contact:

Postby Lily » 26 Nov 2004, 16:25

Can anyone describe Asatru ritual to us? How much is ancient, how much is modern?

I have hardly found anything by googling (my interest is passing enough that I won't buy a book)...
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


"You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into"
-Ben Goldacre

User avatar
DaRC
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 4684
Joined: 06 Feb 2003, 17:13
Gender: Male
Location: Sussex
Contact:

Postby DaRC » 26 Nov 2004, 16:29

Whilst I do agree that Stephen Flowers' work is unbiased it is his behaviours outside of his written work that have often been called into question.
Of course not knowing him or his accusers it would be wrong of me to comment.

Much like the Meso vs Reconsctructionist vs Cultural in the Druidic movement the Germanic side has the Norse vs Anglo-Saxon / Teutonic and the Folkish vs non-Folkish debate.

Another area to look at are studies on early Anglo-Saxon poetry, are there many Early Medieval documents from the Merovingian or Carolingian times to look at?

Cheers, Dave.
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
http://gewessiman.blogspot.co.uk Image

User avatar
Kernos
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5152
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 16:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lost in the Woods in the Ozarks, USA
Contact:

Postby Kernos » 26 Nov 2004, 17:08

"received" from a higher source or just simply "created".
In this forum, we would probably assume "created" - but does it matter. I have not researched this myself, but would be very skeptical of "authentic ancient rituals".
are there many Early Medieval documents from the Merovingian or Carolingian times to look at?
I am very interested in this too.

Eilthireach,

Have you considered writing a distance learning course for Germanic Paganism?

I'd consider moving to Bavaria to help :) And Lily's a stone throw away by american standards.

:mracorn:
ImageImageImageHelp I'm Falling Thru A Hole in the Flag

"Time is the Image of Eternity."

Time is the Fire in which we burn.

User avatar
Eilthireach
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1913
Joined: 12 Feb 2003, 13:58
Gender: Male
Location: Bavaria
Contact:

Postby Eilthireach » 29 Nov 2004, 12:04

Hello all!

I have heard of Anglo-Saxon Heathenism and especially the Ealdriht, but lost them out of the eyes again. I see that they both have a wealth of information on their websites.
I also see that the Ealdriht dissolved itself just very recently, that's a pity, but obviously parts of it will carry on under other names, so hopefully their knowledge won't be lost.
Thank you Jeb for the interesting websites that you have contributed. We will turn this thread into a Germanic knowledge storehouse!

Concerning the incorporation of ceremonial magic into the Rune system by Edred Thorsson, this could well be. One of his most recent publication under the name of Stephen Flowers is "Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris". I have ordered, but not yet read this book. It seems to be an account of classical Hellenic/Egyptian hermetic magic complete with scriptures, philosophy, deities, alphabets etc. The book seems to propose to hold rituals in that tradition complete with invocations in classic Greek language etc. One must be involved quite deeply in something in order to be able to write such a book.

I never heard about the "Temple of Set". Information on the internet says that this is a successor organisation to the "Church of Satan", although the TS seems to propagate more what is called "Setianism", but anyway. I'm also aware now that Thorsson has written a book titled "Lords of the Left Hand Path". Okay, I can see now why people would be cautious about Thorsson. He seems to have turned away from the Germanic path.
But basically, I've come to learn that, you're going to hear good points and bad points about almost everything regarding the runes and rune authors. I just take it all in and do what feels right for me.
There is wisdom in your words, Jeb. This is probably what all (esoteric) studies sum up to.


Lily,

Asatru rituals are not very different from ours in the OBOD. Just the culturally colored layer on the outside differs, they have different festival names and of course another pantheon, but the basic ritual structure is the same and from what I hear many Germanic groups celebrate the same eightfold yearly cycle.
As far as ancient and modern are concerned,it is about the same as well. Asatruars are slightly better off than "Celts", though, as some rituals (blots) are described in medieval Nordic literature, so that at least some impression of what such a ritual could have been does exist. We also know that Germanic tribes made excessive use of the stave rhyme in ritual language.

You'll find an excessive description of Asatru ritual under "Living True" in chapters #35-54 on the resources page of The Troth.

http://www.thetroth.org/resources/ourtroth/


Dave,

Merovingian (482-751 CE) literature is almost non-existant, since tradition of knowledge at that time still functioned orally.

After the Merovingians came the Carolingians. Charlemagne was crowned around 800 CE. Under his reign, science and art made progress and important scholars of that age were residing at his court, among them the Anglo-Saxon Alkuin as director of the court school. The literary language was Latin. Some important works of this time are

- 700 St. Gallen Manuscript (a collection of legal terms)
- 790 Wessobrunn Prayer (a prayer in early Bavarian language, possibly the fragment of a poem on the creation of the world)
- 802 Lex Salica (a collection of laws)
- 802 Frankonian Baptism Vow
- 810 Saxon Confession
- 810 Murbach Hymns (a collection of church hymns)
Then there is the Muspilli, the Heliand and other better known works.

As we can see, the material is only preserved in fragments and is not of much use if we want to reconstruct life, worldview and religion of continental Germanic peoples. Most of it is for church use, as the only people who were able to read and write at that time were clerics and people at the royal court.

Kernos,

we could set up a Germanic tribe in your woodlands, do some sword-fighting training and then make a Celts vs. Teutonic reenactment once a year. :germ:

Or better, the united Celtic and Teutonic tribes against the Romans! Do we have volunteers for playing the Romans??
:-)

Have a good start into the new week,

Eilthireach.


Return to “Circle of Stones Classics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest