Book Review: Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova

A good, solid, human and engaging introductory text to a religion, particularly a minority religion, is worth its weight in gold. Crafting an introduction to a religious practice, mythos, cosmology and values is a bit like walking a tightrope: too far to one side creates a text that is inaccessibly esoteric and too far to the other side leaves you with a “dummies guide” that even the most ignorant novice will scoff. In Exploring the Northern Tradition Krasskova has created a beautifully balanced … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs: Q and A – Ritual Quarters?

Star Foster asked: The Asatruar rituals I have seen call on the four dwarves holding up Ymir’s sky-skull. It’s an awful lot like calling the corners in Wicca. Is there any controversy over the similarity? To answer this question, I’m going to back out a bit to the bigger picture to hopefully explain the connection from what we know of the ancient past, to certain aspects of the evolution of the modern religion and how it is practiced today. When someone goes searching through the vast amounts of … [Read more...]

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Terms of Service- A Little Polemic About Being a Godslave

I am a godatheow -  a godslave. Many of the spiritworkers and shamans that I know are also godslaves, in other words, outright owned by their Deities. It rather goes with the territory and I have found it to be one of the dominant paradigms of service in contemporary Heathenry and Paganism (though not the only paradigm. I suspect there are as many types of service as there are people serving). Lately, I’ve been asked over and over exactly what I mean when I say I am god-owned. To me and others in … [Read more...]

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Wyrd Designs: Finding Asgard

Sometimes understanding the cosmological map of the Northern Tradition can be most problematic. Unlike Christians, our origin story isn’t neatly laid out in chronological seeming order in a book (like Genesis). To find our origin story and learn of the nine worlds we have to read, compare and contrast the information from multiple references: Völuspá, Grímnismál, Vafþrúðnismál, Alvissmal, etc.Combine this confusion with the fact that because Christians took up the name for our underworld of 'He … [Read more...]

Stinginess is not one of the Nine Noble Virtues

I firmly believe you cannot give too much to the Gods or ancestors, that it is, quite frankly impossible for a human to offer too much in devotion to either the Gods or the dead. They made us. They offer continual blessings and protection. We carry that connection with us always. It is nourished through the sacred reciprocity of sacrifice and offering. But for the Gods and our ancestors, as I have said many times before, we would not be. How could we ever give too much in return? This is … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs: The Havamal ~ Offerings to the Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors and Vaettir

For most followers of the Northern Tradition upon learning about this path they read the myths about the Gods, and many tend to also study the Havamal. The Havamal is one of many sagas found in the Poetic Edda, and many of the stanzas are known as being a depository of advice as it applies to wanderers and guests when they travel abroad; it talks about what is proper behavior beyond one’s own homestead, and cautions the traveler to be wary so that he might eventually return to home having s … [Read more...]

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Wyrd Designs – Musings on Memorial Day

For those of us who are so lucky, we have a lovely three-day weekend before us. Memorial Day is far more than an occasion to exercise your checkbook (or should I say debit card swipe) in pursuit of retail bargains. Rather it is a holiday rooted in American history that has shifted overtime in the American consciousness, and yet it is also a holiday that many in the Northern Tradition have taken to claim as their own.Memorial Day is a U.S. national holiday. The official birthplace of Memorial … [Read more...]