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Author Topic: Norse Paganism Questions  (Read 1743 times)

RusWarrior

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Norse Paganism Questions
« on: October 16, 2012, 10:11:23 pm »
Hello folks, I am RusWarrior and I have a few questions about Norse Paganism. I have been reading about the Norse gods for about two years now, and I feel an increasingly strong personal connections to these gods and their stories. I have been looking into paganism for a few months now and am ready to start making steps towards being a member of this faith. But, I have many questions and would be very appreciative towards anyone who could help answer any of them in any way or point me towards resources that would help me on my path.
1. I have come to understand that many groups of this category practice "folkishness". I am only half Germanic (English and German on my mother's side) and half Slavic(Ukrainian from my father). Does this preclude me from any sort of Norse paganism?
2. What about offerings? When should they be made? How should it be done, and what should they consist of?
3. Is it necessary to be part of a group, or can this religion be practiced on an individual basis?
4. How about Odin? He is the god I feel the closest to and am most impressed by Odin of all the gods. How can I worship/Venerate/follow him? Is that even possible?
Thank you for anything you feel willing and able to provide. If this is in the wrong place just tell me. Thanks.

SatAset

Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 10:51:38 pm »
Quote from: RusWarrior;76888

1. I have come to understand that many groups of this category practice "folkishness". I am only half Germanic (English and German on my mother's side) and half Slavic(Ukrainian from my father). Does this preclude me from any sort of Norse paganism?
2. What about offerings? When should they be made? How should it be done, and what should they consist of?
3. Is it necessary to be part of a group, or can this religion be practiced on an individual basis?
4. How about Odin? He is the god I feel the closest to and am most impressed by Odin of all the gods. How can I worship/Venerate/follow him? Is that even possible?
Thank you for anything you feel willing and able to provide. If this is in the wrong place just tell me. Thanks.

 

1)  No. The Gods call whom They will.  

2)  Offerings can be made anytime you want.  You could do daily ones, monthly ones, yearly ones or a combination of those.  

3)  It can be practiced alone or in a group.  

4)  Yes, you can worship Odin.  Give Him offerings.  See how it goes.  

Two books you may want to look into for more information are:  
Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova
Essential Asatru by Diana Paxson
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

RusWarrior

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 06:48:34 am »
Quote from: SatAset;76892
1)  No. The Gods call whom They will.  

2)  Offerings can be made anytime you want.  You could do daily ones, monthly ones, yearly ones or a combination of those.  

3)  It can be practiced alone or in a group.  

4)  Yes, you can worship Odin.  Give Him offerings.  See how it goes.  

Two books you may want to look into for more information are:  
Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova
Essential Asatru by Diana Paxson

 Danke

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 06:59:56 am »
Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
I have been looking into paganism for a few months now and am ready to start making steps towards being a member of this faith.

 
Paganism is an umbrella term for different practices, faiths, and beliefs.
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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 08:46:35 am »
Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
1. I have come to understand that many groups of this category practice "folkishness". I am only half Germanic (English and German on my mother's side) and half Slavic(Ukrainian from my father). Does this preclude me from any sort of Norse paganism?

It might preclude you from some of the "racialist" heathen groups, but they are many other groups who do not interpret the deities of Northern Europe through their own racist views. I'm not a heathen, but there is very little evidence that ancient heathens (or their deities) were racist. Yes, like most tribal peoples they put members of their tribe first, but that's not what racist heathens are doing.
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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 12:33:02 pm »
Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
1. I have come to understand that many groups of this category practice "folkishness". I am only half Germanic (English and German on my mother's side) and half Slavic(Ukrainian from my father). Does this preclude me from any sort of Norse paganism?
2. What about offerings? When should they be made? How should it be done, and what should they consist of?
3. Is it necessary to be part of a group, or can this religion be practiced on an individual basis?
4. How about Odin? He is the god I feel the closest to and am most impressed by Odin of all the gods. How can I worship/Venerate/follow him? Is that even possible?
Thank you for anything you feel willing and able to provide. If this is in the wrong place just tell me. Thanks.

 
1. Nope the gods call who they call. If you feel pulled there go for it.

2. You can start a small altar on a little table or even a rock pile outside (I think they are called harrow?).  I do a glass of beer to my ancestors and milk and honey to the house and land wights every Saturday. You can do what you feel and as you learn more you can decide to do blots or more regular offerings.

3. Nope I am a solitary practitioner.

4. Start reading the basics: Eddas and look for books on Odin. Galina Krasskova was mentioned in another post I would look at her too. She has a blog.

Don't feel like you are on a time frame. Give yourself time to adjust and learn. Welcome to your new path!!

Vitkyng

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 07:15:16 pm »
Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
...1. I have come to understand that many groups of this category practice "folkishness". I am only half Germanic (English and German on my mother's side) and half Slavic(Ukrainian from my father). Does this preclude me from any sort of Norse paganism?


As spmeone else mentioned already, the only groups that would exclude you would not be healthy to be part of anyway.

Quote
2. What about offerings? When should they be made? How should it be done, and what should they consist of?


The sky is the limit. I would say just do what feels right. If you do find a group or particular tradition that calls to you, then follow their lead of course, but until and if that happens the gods will be please with anything sincere.

Quote
3. Is it necessary to be part of a group, or can this religion be practiced on an individual basis?


Plenty of us are solitary. There are many different styles of Norse paganism as well. I myself am not Asatru, nor do I label myself as many do as Heathen. I am Wiccan, my personal practices focus on the Norse pantheon, so I suppose Norse Wiccan fits. Do what works for you.

Quote
4. How about Odin? He is the god I feel the closest to and am most impressed by Odin of all the gods. How can I worship/Venerate/follow him? Is that even possible?


It is definately possible, in fact there are paths that just venerate Odin to the exclusion of the other deities. Though i don't know how he'd view such.
I saw Diana Paxson and Galina Kraskova mentioned, but another older reference that is more Odin specific is Rites of odin by Ed Fitch.

SunflowerP

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 08:17:58 pm »
Quote from: Vitkyng;77375
... but another older reference that is more Odin specific is Rites of odin by Ed Fitch.

 
Unfortunately, Rites of Odin draws far more on romanticized misconceptions about Norse religioculture than on verifiable historical material.  It may well be useful to those who specifically and definitely want a Wiccish structure, and are more concerned that the Norse aspects be congruent with that structure than that they be historically accurate, but considerably less useful to others.

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Vitkyng

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 08:40:04 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;77391
Unfortunately, Rites of Odin draws far more on romanticized misconceptions about Norse religioculture than on verifiable historical material.  It may well be useful to those who specifically and definitely want a Wiccish structure, and are more concerned that the Norse aspects be congruent with that structure than that they be historically accurate, but considerably less useful to others.

Sunflower

 
Very true. But to be fair the question was about Norse paganism, not specifically Heathen practice. So it might be a path he pursues.

I myself follow a path along those lines, fitting the Norse gods into my Wiccan practice.

Grimnir

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 09:04:17 pm »
Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
Hello folks, I am RusWarrior

1. I have come to understand that many groups of this category practice "folkishness". I am only half Germanic (English and German on my mother's side) and half Slavic(Ukrainian from my father). Does this preclude me from any sort of Norse paganism?

Don't believe the hype. As others have said, those groups do not represent Heathenry, either ancient or modern. The Gods call who they will. Besides, Eastern Europe was predominantly Heathen prior to the coming on the White Christ :)

Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
2. What about offerings? When should they be made? How should it be done, and what should they consist of?

Depends on you and your relationship with the Gods. A drop of beer/wine/mead/whatever you drink is a good start.

Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
3. Is it necessary to be part of a group, or can this religion be practiced on an individual basis?

Nah, I've been in groups and solo and solo is usually easier - everybody has different ideas as to how to honour the Gods. It's about your connection to them.

Quote from: RusWarrior;76888
4. How about Odin? He is the god I feel the closest to and am most impressed by Odin of all the gods. How can I worship/Venerate/follow him? Is that even possible

I'm oathed to Odin and on the rare occasions it's needed, His priest. I am not a warrior, more a rune worker. If he calls, you'll know :) trust me on that! As for special devotions to him, well his day is Wednesday (Odinsday), he enjoys a drop of the good stuff - though not too much, as he mentions in the Hávamál!

Best advice, read the Sagas, the Eddas and the modern books on Heathenry and make up your own mind. Pete Jennings is a great author for modern heathenry, and understanding the old ways, and a great bloke too (I met him at Heathenfest in the UK a few years back).
Kind Regards, Raven
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel! - Fate goes ever as she shall!

Faemon

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 12:10:03 am »
Quote from: Grimnir;77398
he enjoys a drop of the good stuff - though not too much, as he mentions in the Hávamál!

Best advice, read the Sagas, the Eddas

One question that I think would also help Rus--


What would you (any of you) consider the best translation of the Eddas?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 12:10:32 am by Faemon »
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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 12:49:09 am »
Quote from: triple_entendre;77425
One question that I think would also help Rus--


What would you (any of you) consider the best translation of the Eddas?


I've heard Anthony Faulkes' Edda is one of the best because it includes a section on skaldic poetry that most editions leave out. I have Brodeur's translation of the Prose Edda and Carolyne Larrington's translation of the Poetic Edda. I don't claim that they're "the best" (although I like Larrington's translation because it's in plain English with extensive endnotes) but they're the ones I picked up because they're cheap.

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 01:12:05 am »
Quote from: triple_entendre;77425
One question that I think would also help Rus--


What would you (any of you) consider the best translation of the Eddas?

 
Which is longer, 12" or 1ft? Really, it comes down to personal style. I'd suggest looking for a few in the library and seeing which reads the best for him. My main copy is the Larrington translation. For me, I'd say the sagas were of more help to me in understanding the people and the faith than the eddas, simply because they told the stories of real people. Egil Skallagrimsson, Burnt Njal and Grettir, they bring the old ways to life for me :)
Kind Regards, Raven
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel! - Fate goes ever as she shall!

Faemon

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 05:30:40 am »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;77439
I've heard Anthony Faulkes' Edda is one of the best because it includes a section on skaldic poetry that most editions leave out. I have Brodeur's translation of the Prose Edda and Carolyne Larrington's translation of the Poetic Edda. I don't claim that they're "the best" (although I like Larrington's translation because it's in plain English with extensive endnotes) but they're the ones I picked up because they're cheap.

 
Quote from: Grimnir;77444
My main copy is the Larrington translation.


Ooh! Duly noted. Many thanks.

Quote
For me, I'd say the sagas were of more help to me in understanding the people and the faith than the eddas, simply because they told the stories of real people. Egil Skallagrimsson, Burnt Njal and Grettir, they bring the old ways to life for me :)

Is there a source for that, you would highly recommend as well?

Quote
Which is longer, 12" or 1ft? Really, it comes down to personal style.

Ah, it's just there's another thread here I lost the link to that discussed a translation kerfuffle in the Lokasenna which had Odin and Loki calling each other "cock-cravers" when the actual word would have been better translated as "womanly"-- that's more like the difference between the length of 1ft and the length of one foot (the kind that's generally attached to a person.)

I'm sure there can be some awful translations out there!
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Grimnir

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Re: Norse Paganism Questions
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 06:17:55 am »
Quote from: triple_entendre;77475
better translated as "womanly"

 
Ah, the old debate about what 'ergi' means. Some more right-wing heathens still use it as an excuse for their homophobia.

Ah, my Sagas. Well, mine were mostly given to me some years back by a friend and are old-style cloth-bound hardbacks from the publisher 'Everyman', the rest are Penguin paperbacks. Couldn't really tell you who by though :)

Grettir the Strong is one of my favourites - if you want to know how luck was thought of in Heathen times, read this. Not because Grettir had good luck, just the opposite, he was considered one of the least favoured in luck.
Kind Regards, Raven
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel! - Fate goes ever as she shall!

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