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Author Topic: Is this a good book for beginners?  (Read 2098 times)

Doc

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Is this a good book for beginners?
« on: May 22, 2016, 01:42:41 am »
Essential Asatru: walking the path of Norse paganism by Diana L. Paxson

Also do you have any other suggestions?





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bobthesane

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 01:52:44 am »
Quote from: Doc;191630
Essential Asatru: walking the path of Norse paganism by Diana L. Paxson

Also do you have any other suggestions?





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You will get lots of different opinions on this.

Mine? Avoid. I do not like PAxson at all. She does an awful job of separating her UPG from actual researched lore. To the point that I think she thinks that her UPG *is* established lore.

She mixes her heathenry and her Wicca to the point that the two are inextricable. And, really, when you get down to it, if you are trying to build yourself a heathen worldview you should go to scholarly sources and not someone's opinions on those sources.

See the suggested reading list at realheathenry.com or maritimeheathen.org for good books to read. Maritime Heathen has legal free copies of all of them for download.

Doc

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2016, 02:03:06 am »
Quote from: bobthesane;191632
You will get lots of different opinions on this.

Mine? Avoid. I do not like PAxson at all. She does an awful job of separating her UPG from actual researched lore. To the point that I think she thinks that her UPG *is* established lore.

She mixes her heathenry and her Wicca to the point that the two are inextricable. And, really, when you get down to it, if you are trying to build yourself a heathen worldview you should go to scholarly sources and not someone's opinions on those sources.

See the suggested reading list at realheathenry.com or maritimeheathen.org for good books to read. Maritime Heathen has legal free copies of all of them for download.

 
Will these sources have a general introductory type book. One that covers a bit of lore, Edda, blot, sumbel, runes, other rituals, kinda like a general understanding that I can use as a foundational piece. Or am I going to have to read a book on each subject as an introduction then expanded from there.
I'm not trying to be lazy and not read. I know there is a lot of reading and research in this religion, I just want to get the gist before I jump in with both feet. As you and many others here said, I need to slow down a bit.
Doc

bobthesane

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 02:09:46 am »
Quote from: Doc;191633
Will these sources have a general introductory type book. One that covers a bit of lore, Edda, blot, sumbel, runes, other rituals, kinda like a general understanding that I can use as a foundational piece. Or am I going to have to read a book on each subject as an introduction then expanded from there.
I'm not trying to be lazy and not read. I know there is a lot of reading and research in this religion, I just want to get the gist before I jump in with both feet. As you and many others here said, I need to slow down a bit.
Doc

Well, there isn't any easy way to do it, really. There is no reliable 'intro' book. Because all the 'intro' books suck :). Your best bet is to do honest to gods research, read for yourself, trust your own intelligence and form your own opinions. Be wary of those who think they can spoon feed you what it's about, because it has been my experience that this never ends well.

Froði Ingsson

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 03:50:14 am »
Quote from: bobthesane;191632

See the suggested reading list at realheathenry.com or maritimeheathen.org for good books to read.

 
Thanks for the links.

Dam

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 07:42:11 am »
Quote from: Doc;191630
Essential Asatru: walking the path of Norse paganism by Diana L. Paxson

Also do you have any other suggestions?




 
If you're going to read books like this for a general introduction I advise treating it like a wikipedia article. Be cautious of everything and check the sources. Then on top of that be sure to make your own mind up. Afterall these types of books are a modern day person's interpretation of information they gathered from widely available resources. I'm not saying that all books like this are bad, just know that people's own bias and opinions can twist original resources to provide what they believe.

Doc

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 12:31:46 am »
Quote from: Dam;191648
If you're going to read books like this for a general introduction I advise treating it like a wikipedia article. Be cautious of everything and check the sources. Then on top of that be sure to make your own mind up. Afterall these types of books are a modern day person's interpretation of information they gathered from widely available resources. I'm not saying that all books like this are bad, just know that people's own bias and opinions can twist original resources to provide what they believe.

 

How is this book? I've herd good reviews but idk how to tell if they are heathens or not



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Jack

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 12:42:30 am »
Quote from: Doc;191783

How is this book? I've herd good reviews but idk how to tell if they are heathens or not

 
I haven't read it myself, but I enjoyed her Freyja book and she's always seemed like a solid resource to me.

I'm going to make a suggestion in your other thread momentarily that will include this book.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly." -Madeleine L'Engle

Jack

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2016, 01:06:03 am »
Quote from: Jack;191785
I haven't read it myself, but I enjoyed her Freyja book and she's always seemed like a solid resource to me.

I'm going to make a suggestion in your other thread momentarily that will include this book.

 
Actually, no, I think I'll do it here. Okay, here is my suggestion regarding books for beginners.

There are half a dozen or so books on heathenry or Asatru for people who are completely new to the faiths. Some are more controversial than others. The Paxson book you started with is easy to get ahold of and very readable. The Lafayllve is most likely another good starting point, based on what I know of the author. Erin Lale has a short book called Asatru for Beginners. Gundarsson did an intro course for The Troth, a well-known organization.

Three out of the four of these are available in ebook, if that' easier for you, and the latter two are only a few dollars apiece. Somebody else will probably come by and suggest another one or two to fill out a list of a half-dozen. I'm leaving McNallen and Krasskova's 101 books off intentionally; they're both a little too radioactive for a new guy, IMO.

Rather than telling you what's right or wrong with all of them, my advice is to read all four. Two of them are pretty short. Take notes, if you're a note-taking kind of guy, and see what appeals to you and what doesn't, what's common to multiple books, and notice how different authors present different topics.

In my opinion, this will do two things. One, it'll give you a broad introduction to heathenry. Two, if you haven't done this kind of research before, it'll get you comfortable with the practice of reading critically and evaluating your sources, which is an invaluable skill when you get into the more advanced stuff.

You can also read the Eddas, but if you find the formal translations a bit dull, there's always Myths Retold. His Norse Crisis Flowchart is an invaluable tool for understanding cause and effect in the myths.

I'm only kidding a little bit.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
"The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly." -Madeleine L'Engle

bobthesane

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 06:35:31 am »
Quote from: Doc;191783

How is this book? I've herd good reviews but idk how to tell if they are heathens or not



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This is the one 'intro' book I consider worth anything.
 

Dam

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 08:06:00 am »
Quote from: Doc;191783
How is this book?
No idea, personally. I have heard good things about it but have never read it myself.

Quote from: Doc;191783
I've herd good reviews but idk how to tell if they are heathens or not
'A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru'. Sounds pretty heathen to me ;)

Doc

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Re: Is this a good book for beginners?
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 01:44:41 pm »
Quote from: Dam;191790


 'A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru'. Sounds pretty heathen to me ;)

 
The book is obviously heathen lol I was talking about the reviews. I don't know if they are just people who are reviewing the book or reviewing the material.

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