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Viking mythology and all that goes with it

Discussion in 'Amon Amarth' started by Celtik Militia, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    No, nothing fussy about your objection. One should ALWAYS consider the source. I should have told you I had already checked the text, too. Mea culpa.
     
  2. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    That's definitely an occupational hazard in this kind of research. Even the best of sources have their biases. And there's the chance of being labeled by association by the uneducated sorts, which really tends to annoy me, especially given my family history. But, well, shit happens and as Ron "Tater Salad" white would say, "You can't fix stupid!"
     
  3. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    OK, so this is O/T as hell, but it's just too cool... This archaeologist I keep in touch with, pointed out in his blogg that one of the most ancient honorary titles of the Pope is Pontifex Maximus, literally "Greatest Bridge-maker". Explains Wikipedia:

    "The Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the Ancient Roman College of Pontiffs. This was the most important position in the Ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians, until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. It was last held by the Christian Roman Emperor Gratian until the title passed over to the Bishop of Rome.

    Today, 'Pontifex Maximus' is one of the titles of the Bishop of Rome as Pope of the Catholic Church.

    [...]

    The term pontifex literally means 'bridge-builder' (pons + facere); maximus literally means 'the greatest', i.e. the highest. This was perhaps originally meant in a literal sense: the position of bridge-builder was indeed an important one in Rome, where the major bridges were over the Tiber, the holy river (and a deity, at the same time); only prestigious authorities, with sacral functions, could be allowed to 'disturb' it with mechanical additions. However, it was always understood in its symbolic sense as well: the pontifices were the ones who smoothened the bridge between gods and men [...]"

    Funky, huh?
     
  4. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    Neat. I sense the raw materials for several rants here, but as I'm at work and supposed to be doing the whole "6 weeks worth of training in 1 day" thing.... it'll have to wait. ;)
    Let's just say, many are the parallels one could draw. :)
     
  5. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Yeah, that's what I though, too. There are so many rants in there I don't even know where to start, sort of...
    Kind of a bit off topic in terms of Norse heathenism, but still. There is something in that story that makes me go "hmmmm".
     
  6. Krigloch the Furious

    Krigloch the Furious Pants full of poo

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  7. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Kewl! Thanks Krigly! That's check out-worthy.
     
  8. drxfaust

    drxfaust Member

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    theres so many post didn't want read all of them so forgive me if this has been posted. If anyone wants to read the Edda, a copy of it is available for free with explanations. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/index.htm

    Also, does anyone here practice Asataru?
     
  9. Grundig Avkom

    Grundig Avkom Son of the Aesir

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    eh.... i dont practice Asatru my friend.... i live it..... do you??? and if so how long have you been? :headbang:
     
  10. drxfaust

    drxfaust Member

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    I do but haven't for long. Still many things for me to learn.
     
  11. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    I do, but I don't call it asatru half the time, becasue I "practise" (as Grunding pointed out - for lack of a better word!) the Scandinavian variety. It is generally refered to as Forn Sed back home (Sweden), as a difference to asatru, which is called asatro. As far as North America is concerned, that's sort of splitting hair, so never mind (especially since I don't know where you're from). Let's just put it this way: I practise the old religion that the Romans used to call heathenism, and that my own people used to call Old Tradition. So do Sleipnir and Runesinger and quite a few others on this forum. Welcome!
     
  12. drxfaust

    drxfaust Member

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    Yea. Me and my friend call ourselves heathens at times. I'm sure it's all pretty much the same just with minor differences because of the region your from but it is generally the same thing I suppose. I guess I practice the old traditions of my ancestors.
     
  13. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    OK, just because, well, I'm Bates and have a compulsion about knowing everything, what is the difference between Forn Sed and Asatru(o) in Sweden?
     
  14. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Bates, do you always have to ask difficult questions?? (That was rhetorical - I already know the answer.) That's just one of those Pandora's box-type question. It's also one that many heathens will not touch, because it often ends in nasty, bitter infighting.
    The differences may seem very subtle, especially from an outsider's point of view or from the point of view of one who has not seen both varieties in action (i.e. most North American asatruar). I can assure you, that the end result of those subtelties are not so subtle.
    The way I like to think of things is this: Asatru is a recreationist faith. Old Tradition is following an unbroken tradition. That about explains everything that comes after.
    Some of the subtle differences are:
    1. In North America, most asatruar follow the Gods and Goddesses, but forget about the landwights, spirits, alfar and jotuns etc. In Scandinavia, the focus lies equally on all those groups.
    2. If you were to draw an axis and put the beginning of it at Old Tradition, and Wicca at the other end, those of us raised in Scandinavia generally place North American asatru somewhere in the middle of the axis. That is becasue N/A asatru focuses more on magical aspects, and it often mixes in new rituals and practises (by virtue of being recreationist, see below). Where Old Traditionalists see runes primarily as an alphabet with magical uses, asatruar often see runes as magical symbols that can also be used as an alphabet, for example.
    3. Many of my asatru friends feel that it is an incomplete faith, because we cannot recreate all steps of it. Therefore they must create some new rituals etc or borrow from other religions, such as wicca, to fill in the gaps. Old Traditionalists like myself do not feel it is an incomplete faith, as it has functioned just fine w/o new rituals etc all these years. Because it is a faith that has been carried on through oral tradition, there is not much written about the old traditions in the first place, and what is written, has not been translated to English. The end result is often, that traditions that people in North America think do not exists, actually do exist in the old countries, but hidden from Anglophones and so on, so they substitute with other rituals and traditions. Those of us who were raised in the faith try to point out that those things do exists, but sometimes people just connect better with those new rituals and traditions. Neither can then be said to be "incorrect", just different from oneanother. We're still striving for the same end result.

    Basically, Bates, it is like the Christian church having different denominations, the Moslems having Sunnis, Shiite and so on, the Bhuddists having Mahayana and Hinayana etc., etc. It is all one and the same faith, but slightly different. The basic idea of both is to respect others, and that includes respect for both types of heathenism. The difficult part comes in when someone says they are Odinist, because to many, Odinism is a separate religion, while to many others (and certainly to outsiders) Odinism is a branch of asatru.

    Hope that sheds some light. Obviously there's more to it than that, but just to name a few differences.
     
  15. drxfaust

    drxfaust Member

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    Hmmmm... so there is nothing on Forn Sed in English? If there is PM me it or whatever. It sounds more of what I am, because some of the things I picked up in this English Asatru book has a lot of Wicca things in it which I ignore. I never knew there were others that are "practicing" the traditions as close as our ancestors did more then NA Asatru. I did think this book I had was a bit odd with some of the things they say...
     
  16. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Hmmm, I don't know if any of them have "mirror sites" in English...they might. I'll have to ask around a bit. I think the Danes might.
    Part of the problem is that the debate often gets so heated that people shy away from having it, especially the Scandinavian groups, since they are faced with the language barrier. This makes that side under-represented in this part of the world and certainly in this language.
    There are certain tricks of the trade, though, such as avoiding certain authors and such. The best way, though, is to read what you can and disregard the stuff that doesn't feel right to you, and to, instead of starting out with a new work by a now living author, starting out with Snorri Sturlason or something like that. Then you get the feel for what it was, and then you can decide what you want it to be now.
     
  17. drxfaust

    drxfaust Member

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    Well if you know of a good site, send it and let me know the language.Even though online translators are terrible, I can use one and read it and figure out what is being said. I have a thing for knowledge so knowing as much as I can is what I'm looking for.
     
  18. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    Ahh... I see, that makes sense. And of course, like every other thing I want to read about, it's in Scandahoovian. On a semi-related note, I did some reading on Theodism lately (since I'm as much Anglo-Saxon as anything else)... we'll just say, hierarchies are not something Bates is all that fond of, at least not formal ones. I'm still pretty firmly in the "tradition good, religion bad" camp :p
     
  19. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Bates: Yeah, well, there are lots of things I could say about Theodism, but I am not going to, because I am trying to be respectful, and I've been taught that if you've nothing good to say, it's better not to say anything at all. You pretty much know how I work by now, so you can probably figure out my feelings on the subject from that, right? What I wiould say, though, to you personally, is that it is not a religion you want if you want to honour Anglo-Saxons. Try Normans. They used Anglo-Saxons to wipe their asses in England, so that may be why you're not finding peace with it...

    drxfaust: Swedish OT group that I like very much with at least some English on their page: http://www.asatrosamfundet.se/
    Here's another Sweish group, but I've never been member here, so I can't vouch for the content. In English, though: http://www.fornsed.se/
    I really like Gimle, but it's all in Swedish. I'll post the link, in case anyone understands Swedish anyhow: http://www.drengskap.com/gimle/
    I've also posted a few links in the "Need some help" thread.
     
  20. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    I like the landscape in the picture on the Forn Sed Network site. Ah hell, there goes the wanderlust again! ...especially if it's not as hot as here. I really need to move back north. I am most certainly not built to live in these temperatures. :|
    I forgot what my actual point was, got off track bitching :p
     

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