The Heathen Mythbuster

Reading suggestion for new heathens/AsatruSources (including books)

Posted by Kim Pierri Fri, February 15, 2019 07:07:17

I would start by reading the general history of the period by an acclaimed historian, could be Niel Price or Else Roesdahl.

Then I would read a retelling of the myths. It could be Norse Mythology by Niel Gaiman.

After that I would read a book about norse religion. A classic would be Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia by Turville-Petra, but that is hard to get hold on. It could also be something like Scandinavian Mythology by Hilda Ellis Davidson.

Then I would read the sources.

The Elder Edda/The Poetic Edda (two names for the same work) is a collection of poems, most of them date back to heathen time. The Havamal many talk about is part of this collection. Read a modern translation of the complete set of poems. Could be the one by Jackson Crawford or Andy Ochard. Its always good to have several translations at hand to compare, when I doubt. Don’t read the thee 100 year old translations from the net as your first choice or all those “study Havamals” from internet shops.

Be a little more cautious with the younger Edda. It’s the Christian Snorri Sturlassons interpretation of the poems of The Poetic Edda. Its an important source, but has to be used with care. Read also a modern translation. I would suggest the one by Anthony Faulkes. That book can actually be found for free online

Its also good to read The Sagas of the Icelandars, The Heroic Sagas, Saxo and Snorris Heimskringla. As always read the modern translations if possible. The elder translations are usally is a hard to read language and has sometimes been altered to fit the morality of the time of the translation.

Then I would go on to other books, because I now have a good broad understanding of the history and myths. A lot of books about Germanic/norse and the runes religion by modern practiceners have a lot of modern ideas an ideology. That is what is to be expected. If you have a broad understanding before reading those, you can see what is what.

Some of the Elder stuff can be bought fairly cheaply from used bookstores, like Abebooks or the Amazon sellers. It is also a good idea to use inter-library loans if your local library doesn’t have the books.





Looking at a modern symbolMiscellaneous

Posted by Kim Pierri Thu, December 06, 2018 08:54:19

Someone asked about a picture on “The Viking Way” Facebook group. I made this version with definitions you see below this text.

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Vegvísir is a post-medieval Icelandic symbol. It only survive in the Huld Manuscript from 1880. The text going with the symbol in the manuscript is "if this sign is carried, one will never lose one's way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known".

Around the Vegvísir a sentence from Tolkiens poem “All that is gold does not glitter” written in Elder Futhark. The text says: “Not All [those] Who Wander Are Lost”. The text in the brackets are only in the poem, not on the picture.

The ravens seem to be a modern design and the tree design is properly inspired by the trees on “The Gate of Moria” as I see it, but is clearly Ask Yggdrasil with its 3 roots.





Tatoveringer i TacitusWarriors

Posted by Kim Pierri Tue, November 20, 2018 14:25:52

The artcile is i Danish, i will soon make an english translation.

I artiklen “Tattooed Vikings? A look at medieval body art” på medievalists.net skriver Minjie Su “He also describes images of wild boars that the Aestyans or the amber-gatherers ‘wear’ to honour and invoke protection from the Mother of the Gods. ‘This alone serves them for arms, this is the safeguard of all, and by this every worshipper of the Goddess is secured even amidst his foes. Rare amongst them is the use of weapons of iron, but frequent that of clubs.’ The boar tattoo, if Tacitus can be trusted, offers an interesting comparison to the animal design of the Scots.”

Min latinske viden er ikke særlig stor, så derfor er jeg nødt til at kigge på oversættelser af Tacitus. Jeg har et par stykker, så dem har jeg kigget igennem. Det der er interessant er henvisningerne til Aestiskernes Stamme og deres brug af vildsvin som beskyttelse i kamp. Det citerede stykke (fra kapitel 45.2) lyder jo som om der er tale om billeder på kroppen. Når jeg kigger i de oversættelser jeg har, så kan jeg ikke finde belæg for denne tolkning.

I den nyeste danske oversættelse (Taticus: Germania, oversat af Allan A. Lund, Wormianum 2016) står der ”Som symbol på deres tro bærer de alle figurer af vildsvin, og det er typisk for dem at gå med denne talisman i stedet for våben”

I Taticus: Germania og Agricola oversat af H. H. Lefolii udgiver at Bonde og Bonde forlag 1966 står der ”Som et til denne gudetro hørende mærke bærer de genstande, der har skikkelse af Vildsvin”

I Tacitus: Germania 1 oversat af Niels Bruun og Allen Lund (Wormianum 1974) står der ”Som symbol for deres tro bærer de figurer af Vildsvin”.

Jeg kan som sagt ikke latin, men når nu alle de oversættelser omtaler talismænd/genstande/figurer, så er der nok ikke tale om tatoveringer.

Artiklen jeg omtaler findes her: http://www.medievalists.net/2018/05/tattooed-vikings-a-look-at-medieval-body-art/?fbclid=IwAR0FfDbOILaPz4SRHj0FGBVQFK7Omb5LL2koDf-iA0lvd5w0zQBfVGIpoFU



Jord/Yard MemeMiscellaneous

Posted by Kim Pierri Fri, August 18, 2017 10:58:00

This meme will appear regularly in different Facebook pages.

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When I read the Meme I feel it makes four statements, and I will look into each:

1. Jord was the first wife of Odin and mother of Thor.

This is true, it can be attested in the lore (look for references in Simek; Dictionary of Northern Mythology: p. 179)

2. She (Jord) was also known as mother Earth

This is a bit harder. I can’t seem to find any reference to anyone in ancient Scandinavia talking about a “Mother Earth”. It’s mainly a modern concept used to associate the same function in different mythologies around the world. It is not clear to Ymir, the giant from which Midgard was made and me the relationship with the goddess Jord.

3. Her name Jord was pronounces Yard

I don’t know which lauguage it is referring to, I don’t know old norse but in modern Scandinavian language Jord are pronounced different from the English Yard.

4. It literally means Earth or Land! And is why we call parsel of land a Yard

Let’s start with the English word Yard. There are two origins of the word yard. The first one are the measurement from the Old English word Gerd, meaning Stick/rod (from the yardstick that was used to measure length). This is not the word referred to in the Meme.

The other meaning of Yard are a "patch of ground around a house" from Old English geard or Old Norse garðr. (source http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=yard&fref=gc)

I have looked at the danish word Jord, and it has its origin in the Old Norse word jörð and the old english word eorþe. From http://ordnet.dk/ddo/ordbog?query=jord

So you see, that the old Norse/Scandinavian word Jord for earth/soil/goddess have different old Norse and old English origins. So there are no common origin between the words

I will add an observation here, that the English word Yard has a connection to the Old Norse word garðr (fence), which are part of Old Norse Miðgarðr (Midgard), which are one of the 9 worlds and the world the humans live in. But saying that because Midgard are the fenced area where the humans lives and a fenced area around you house are the same word is a bit of a stretch. I will also say that we don’t know if the Goddess are Jord are associated with Midgard, or maybe the soil.



The story of: Viking Artefacts Discovered Near Great Lakes, USAMigration

Posted by Kim Pierri Mon, July 17, 2017 10:38:01

World News Daily Report made some time ago another fake news story about Vikings in North America. This time they concocted story about a Viking settlement near the town of Cheboygan, on the coast of Lake Huron. You can se the fake story here:

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This story was published by World News Daily Report, which are a homepage with intentional fake news. They write in their disclaimer: “WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”.

There isnt much information in the fake story. I days that 194 artifacts has been found by an amateur archeologist and that the Department of Archaeology of the University of Michigan are going to take over the site. The other information in the article are some of the artifacts. As in the fake story, they made about the Mississippi Viking Ship, they have borrowed the picture from a real archeological excavation. The artifacts in the article was found in Steinkjer near Trondheim in Norway.

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Source for the picture: https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.dk/2013/07/finds-hint-at-major-viking-trade-centre.html#P8ZCtUeL2Tk3Hd03.97





"I took an arrow in the knee" is not Old Norse slangWarriors

Posted by Kim Pierri Fri, April 21, 2017 10:21:19

Many pages are sharing the following Meme at the moment

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The only thing that’s true in that meme are that it is mind blown.

The idea come from a modern game named Skyrim and was invented to make some guards have a conversation. For more information see this link





Runes in late Bronze AgeTechnology

Posted by Kim Pierri Thu, February 02, 2017 08:40:45

After a debate in the Facebook group “Norse Rune Writing/Translating” I became aware, that some people seems to think that the runes was invented in the Bronze Age. Then asked for sources guy who proposed the very early date could just say “i cant remember which old dusty book i found it in ...i dont have to show you the road though. you need to do more research .”. So I decided to do a bit of research.

What do the archeologist say:

Lisbeth M. Imer, Runologist at The National Museum of Denmark say in her book: Danmarks Runesten - En fortælling” 2016 says that the runes was properly created in the environment of the nobility in the second or third century CE (p. 30).

Jørgen Jensen, archeologist at The national Musem of Denmark wrote in his work: “Danmarls Oldtid -Ældre Jernalder“ 2003 write that the oldest inscriptions we know, are from the late second century, but that runes may be a bit elder, because Tacitus in about 100 CE that the Germanic people use marks cut in twigs to take omens from. (The original text can also be seen here: http://denstoredanske.dk/Danmarks_Oldtid/%c3%86ldre_Jernalder/Et_nyt_aristokrati_200-400_e.Kr/Den_f%c3%b8rste_skrift )

Professor Lotte Hedager from Oslo University wrote in Politikens Danmarkshistorie, bind 2 Danernes land (1988) that the runes must have been invented around the time of Christ, but that the first inscriptions are from the first century and that the use of runes became more common around year 200. (p 310) (The original text can also be seen here: http://denstoredanske.dk/Danmarkshistorien/Danernes_land/%C3%86ldre_germansk_jernalder-Folkevandringstiden/Gyldne_tider/Futharken_-_det_%C3%A6ldste_runealfabet )

So it’s quite clear that the runes was created in the start of the Common Era sometime between year 1 and 200. Why would someone then think that the runes went back to the Bronze Age (1700-500 BC), which are 500 years before the earliest date of the runes?

I tried to google “Bronze Age Runes” and found a couple of pages.

The first one I found was Oswald The Runemakers page (http://www.runemaker.com/history.shtml ). He says: “Rune-like symbols appear as cave markings as early as the late Bronze Age (circa 1300 BC), and they are mentioned in the Bible, but their use in ritual and as an Oracle for consultation must certainly pre-date their use as a system of writing.”. The page seem to be a shop, where “Oswald” are seeling runeset for divination.

The second I found was History of The Runes from a Wicca group http://www.wolfmoongrove.com/Rune%20Info%20Pages/rune_history.htm

They wrote: “Before the Germanic peoples of ancient Western Europe possessed a true alphabet, they used pictorial symbols to carve into stones their ideas and thoughts. Pre-runic symbols, or hällristningar, have been found in various Bronze Age rock carvings, primarily in Sweden. Some of these symbols are readily identifiable in the later alphabets, while others represent ideas and concepts that were incorporated into the names of the runes (sun, horse, etc.) The earliest known examples of these pictorial writings date from about 1300 BCE and may have been linked to Sun and Fertility cults … These pictoglyphs later evolved into the more abstract glyphs composed of lines resembling no particular objects. That there was great power endowed to those who were adept at the use of these glyphs is indicated by the name given to the glyphs themselves. These glyphs were called Runes, from the Gothic Runa, meaning “a secret thing, a mystery.”

This last article has references, but they are to two articles from 1898 and 1928. As you have seen in the references, I have made to moderns scholars, not what scholars think today.

Both pages are from people using runes for magic/divination and not as part of a historical research. When you read the homepages it also become clear that it’s not the rune-letters they are referring to. They interpret the figures on the Bronze Age carvings as having the same symbolic meaning as they think the runic letters have. This symbolic meaning are interpreted from the medieval rune poems written down very late (about 1500 years after the end of the Bronze Age).

It is fine in you religious practices to use pictures from Bronze Age Rock Carvings to represent the symbols you get from the Rune Poems, but there are no evidence for runes being from the Bronze Age.



Midgard Serpent at the Mid-Ocean ridgeMiscellaneous

Posted by Kim Pierri Tue, December 06, 2016 10:12:58

I have many times seen this manipolated picture on Facebook:
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Often followed by this text:

The myths are an storehouse of infinite knowledge. They speak of the Midgard Serpent lying at the bottom of the see. He encircles the globe and when he moved great earth trembles cause terrible convulsions. Most believe this is just a tale, but the ancient knew of his existence at the bottom of the oceans. Now, with modern technology, we can see for ourselves that the Myths were true--he does exist. But how did primitive Norsemen know of this great belt of fissions at the bottom of the oceans? Perhaps they were not primitive as most people think they were? Did they have knowledge passed down to them from thousands of years earlier, in a time when their ancestors had built an advance civilization, more advance than ours' today? But when it collapsed, their knowledge were encoded in Myths passed down from generation to generation? Take a look at the maps once more and think about it. - unknown author


My comment:

It is funny and might be an interpretation of the myth into modern cosmology we can use today, but the thing about “advance civilization, more advance than ours' today” are at best silly and a little insulting to our ancestors, who did amazing things with the technology available to them. Notice that the map is manipulated. The lines they have highlighted are boundaries between tectonic plates, but they have just selected those that fit with what they want you to see. Humans are experts to notice patterns and if you condition people to see a pattern they will do so.Blog image

Most of the boundaries they have chosen are the mid-ocean ridge, but not all. The ridges at the west coast of Greenland are very small and not active anymore and in the pacific there are only ridges in short areas along the Californian coast and none along the Aleutian Islands. On the map above the mid-ocean ridge are colored red. I have modified the original map to show this. Notice how the serpent has disappeared.
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They have chosen to include the destructive line along the Californian coast and the destructive boundary along The Aleutian Islands. If they decided to include island arcs and destructive plate boundaries, then there are plenty of more places that need to be included in the picture. They are included as lines with lumps on in the picture. If you include all of them, then there are no serpent either. Se the map below.
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