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Author Topic: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?  (Read 12507 times)

Gaudior

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Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« on: April 02, 2015, 12:47:57 pm »
How would a modern day practitioner see Ragnarok? Will it be a battle that is between Gods, humans, etc.?

Thanks :)

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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 01:31:17 pm »
Quote from: Gaudior;173706
How would a modern day practitioner see Ragnarok? Will it be a battle that is between Gods, humans, etc.?

Thanks :)

 
Ragnarok is one of those many, many things which Heathens disagree fiercely about. Views can include an idea of Ragnarok as a literal future apocalyptic event, a metaphor for death and decline (and rebirth?), a metaphor for the end of historical Heathenry in the face of the conversion to Christianity, and an outright rejection of the myth as an essentially Christian story - basically the Christian apocalypse with Heathen window dressing.

One of the reasons for the lack of agreement about the meaning of Ragnarok comes from the fact that the story as we understand it was written down by Christians a couple of hundred years after the official conversion to Christianity. In addition to that, there is the likelihood that mythological narratives likely differed both by time period and source culture - in other words there was never likely any single, homogenous, pan-Germanic idea of what exactly Ragnarok was even in the pre-conversion period. Because of the above mentioned issues, an individual's or group's interpretation of Ragnarok tend to reflect their own beliefs and opinions as much as anything else.

That said, many Heathens do view Ragnarok as a representation of the conflict between, let's say, "order" and "chaos" (I tend to think of it as the conflict between forces that are conducive to human survival and prosperity, and those forces which are, um, less so inclined) with Gods and Jotuns cast as the "heroes" and "villains" of the said drama. As I mentioned above, views of whether Ragnarok will be an actual future historical event vary widely.

Personally, I actually find Ragnarok to be quite a hopeful story because of the return of life, humans, and at least some of the Gods in the period of time after Surt burns the world in flame. If I could describe my own interpretation of Ragnarok briefly, I would say that while nothing lasts forever, nothing ends forever either. (I should add that my interpretation of Ragnarok is influenced to some extent by the notions of a cyclical cosmology found in some Hindu traditions)
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 01:59:10 pm »
I wrote a bit about my view of Ragnarok on my blog a few weeks ago, you might find it interesting :)

http://thepagangrove.blogspot.com/2015/02/destruction-and-rebuilding.html?m=1
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 04:31:53 pm »
Quote from: Aiwelin;173725


 
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2015, 08:42:00 pm »
Quote from: Aiwelin;173725
I wrote a bit about my view of Ragnarok on my blog a few weeks ago, you might find it interesting :)

http://thepagangrove.blogspot.com/2015/02/destruction-and-rebuilding.html?m=1
I just read your blog post. :)
Love how you described personal Ragnaroks and recreating ourselves afterwards. I've been having a rough go recently, spiritually-wise. I'm really glad you wrote that. I so needed to read it. Thanks for sharing. :)

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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2015, 10:36:08 pm »
Quote from: journeyintoinsanity;173779
I just read your blog post. :)
Love how you described personal Ragnaroks and recreating ourselves afterwards. I've been having a rough go recently, spiritually-wise. I'm really glad you wrote that. I so needed to read it. Thanks for sharing. :)

 
I'm so glad that it was helpful for you!
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2015, 11:34:07 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;173724
Ragnarok is one of those many, many things which Heathens disagree fiercely about. Views can include an idea of Ragnarok as a literal future apocalyptic event, a metaphor for death and decline (and rebirth?), a metaphor for the end of historical Heathenry in the face of the conversion to Christianity, and an outright rejection of the myth as an essentially Christian story - basically the Christian apocalypse with Heathen window dressing.

One of the reasons for the lack of agreement about the meaning of Ragnarok comes from the fact that the story as we understand it was written down by Christians a couple of hundred years after the official conversion to Christianity. In addition to that, there is the likelihood that mythological narratives likely differed both by time period and source culture - in other words there was never likely any single, homogenous, pan-Germanic idea of what exactly Ragnarok was even in the pre-conversion period. Because of the above mentioned issues, an individual's or group's interpretation of Ragnarok tend to reflect their own beliefs and opinions as much as anything else.

That said, many Heathens do view Ragnarok as a representation of the conflict between, let's say, "order" and "chaos" (I tend to think of it as the conflict between forces that are conducive to human survival and prosperity, and those forces which are, um, less so inclined) with Gods and Jotuns cast as the "heroes" and "villains" of the said drama. As I mentioned above, views of whether Ragnarok will be an actual future historical event vary widely.

Personally, I actually find Ragnarok to be quite a hopeful story because of the return of life, humans, and at least some of the Gods in the period of time after Surt burns the world in flame. If I could describe my own interpretation of Ragnarok briefly, I would say that while nothing lasts forever, nothing ends forever either. (I should add that my interpretation of Ragnarok is influenced to some extent by the notions of a cyclical cosmology found in some Hindu traditions)

 
Among all the other ways in which to view it, I also like the idea that Ragnarok is a day of reckoning. A time when the debt of all past deeds will be paid.

And then also moving forward with a clean slate. That's nice too.
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 02:59:00 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;173940
Among all the other ways in which to view it, I also like the idea that Ragnarok is a day of reckoning. A time when the debt of all past deeds will be paid.

And then also moving forward with a clean slate. That's nice too.

 
Well put. Seeing Ragnarok as a "payment" of past debts is especially interesting given that the Gods, in this viewpoint, also have debts to pay. I think, in a way, these aspects of Ragnarok can make us a bit more sympathetic to the Gods - unlike the ultimate perfection of God as viewed in Abrahamic religions, the Germanic Gods also have debts they need to pay before the slate gets wiped clean.
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 10:08:59 am »
Quote from: Megatherium;173724
That said, many Heathens do view Ragnarok as a representation of the conflict between, let's say, "order" and "chaos" (I tend to think of it as the conflict between forces that are conducive to human survival and prosperity, and those forces which are, um, less so inclined) with Gods and Jotuns cast as the "heroes" and "villains" of the said drama.

 
It recently occurred to me that another facet is that it's not "... and they lived happily ever after". That is, evil and chaos occasionally triumph. But out of that can spring new life, though nothing is the same again. Forest fires happen, and new life emerges; animals go extinct and open the way for new life forms. Maybe Ragnarok is just a metaphor for all those. Personally I think Ragnarok is ongoing, a cycle. Maybe because I believe in the cyclic nature of the universe(s).
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2015, 02:27:57 pm »
Quote from: Thorbjorn;173994
It recently occurred to me that another facet is that it's not "... and they lived happily ever after". That is, evil and chaos occasionally triumph. But out of that can spring new life, though nothing is the same again. Forest fires happen, and new life emerges; animals go extinct and open the way for new life forms. Maybe Ragnarok is just a metaphor for all those. Personally I think Ragnarok is ongoing, a cycle. Maybe because I believe in the cyclic nature of the universe(s).
I definitely agree with this, that's pretty much what I talked about in the blog post.  Life seems to be made entirely of cycles, and it seems reasonable to me that the story of Ragnarok is a recognition of that.
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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2015, 04:18:21 pm »
Quote from: Aiwelin;174001
I definitely agree with this, that's pretty much what I talked about in the blog post.  Life seems to be made entirely of cycles, and it seems reasonable to me that the story of Ragnarok is a recognition of that.

 
I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, but my curiosity is piqued. :)
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Heathen Gods are they already DEAD?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 11:35:31 pm »
Ive even very interested in the Heathen religions, asatru and odinism. However i have a problem with the fact that we already know the end result of Ragnorok. To me personally this means it has already happened. So I need to know from the Heathens here, Do you think the Gods are already dead? If so what is the purpose to worshiping Gods that are deceased and cannot influence your life. Is Ragnorok a prophecy or a fact? Please help me because this small issue is whats keeping me from fully immersing my self into this belief and becoming a Heathen.
thanks
Doc

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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 11:55:48 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;173724
Ragnarok is one of those many, many things which Heathens disagree fiercely about. Views can include an idea of Ragnarok as a literal future apocalyptic event, a metaphor for death and decline (and rebirth?), a metaphor for the end of historical Heathenry in the face of the conversion to Christianity, and an outright rejection of the myth as an essentially Christian story - basically the Christian apocalypse with Heathen window dressing.

One of the reasons for the lack of agreement about the meaning of Ragnarok comes from the fact that the story as we understand it was written down by Christians a couple of hundred years after the official conversion to Christianity. In addition to that, there is the likelihood that mythological narratives likely differed both by time period and source culture - in other words there was never likely any single, homogenous, pan-Germanic
idea of what exactly Ragnarok was even in the pre-conversion period. Because of the above mentioned issues, an individual's or group's interpretation of Ragnarok tend to reflect their own beliefs and opinions as much as anything else.

That said, many Heathens do view Ragnarok as a representation of the conflict between, let's say, "order" and "chaos" (I tend to think of it as the conflict between forces that are conducive to human survival and prosperity, and those forces which are, um, less so inclined) with Gods and Jotuns cast as the "heroes" and "villains" of the said drama. As I mentioned above, views of whether Ragnarok will be an actual future historical event vary widely.

Personally, I actually find Ragnarok to be quite a hopeful story because of the return of life, humans, and at least some of the Gods in the period of time after Surt burns the world in flame. If I could describe my own interpretation of Ragnarok briefly, I would say that while nothing lasts forever, nothing ends forever either. (I should add that my interpretation of Ragnarok is influenced to some extent by the notions of a cyclical cosmology found in some Hindu traditions)

 
Is ragnarok a prophecy or is it a religious fact? Because the Gods Die, and my question is if the Gods die then who are we worshiping if they are dead? And this question is the only thing that is keeping me from converting and becoming a heathen.

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Re: Can someone explain Ragnarok to me?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 12:42:51 am »
Quote from: Doc;191235
Is ragnarok a prophecy or is it a religious fact? Because the Gods Die, and my question is if the Gods die then who are we worshiping if they are dead? And this question is the only thing that is keeping me from converting and becoming a heathen.

 
I'm still fairly new to this myself but it's my understanding that Ragnarok hasn't happened yet. Also, even after Ragnarok some of the Aesir and Vanir survive. Ragnarok as far as I have read, seems to be more the initiation of a period of decline or contraction of the influence and power of the Aesir and Vanir gods and the increase in same for the Rokkr (AKA Jotun) as Creation is dragged back into Ginnunnigap. After they've had their heyday the cycle completes and the Aesir and Vanir take over again as Creation is reborn.

This is an oversimplification and has some definite christian undertones; think judgement day, which leads me to wonder if the whole thing wasn't an invention of the Roman Catholic church or stolen outright by them along with Helheim and added to their own mythos.

Also, the idea of a personal or cyclical Ragnarok within the human soul and in Nature actually works within the idea of Ragnarok. It's like a little Russian Nesting Doll which actually helps to bolster the idea for me as much of Heathen lore I've read works on multiple levels with equal fidelity to the original concept.
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Re: Heathen Gods are they already DEAD?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 02:21:40 am »
Quote from: Doc;191233
Ive even very interested in the Heathen religions, asatru and odinism. However i have a problem with the fact that we already know the end result of Ragnorok. To me personally this means it has already happened. So I need to know from the Heathens here, Do you think the Gods are already dead? If so what is the purpose to worshiping Gods that are deceased and cannot influence your life. Is Ragnorok a prophecy or a fact? Please help me because this small issue is whats keeping me from fully immersing my self into this belief and becoming a Heathen.
thanks
Doc


im also debating Heathenry and Wicca. I am spiritually frustrated and desperate for some help. I been reading info i find online but nothing discusses this topic please help!!

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