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Re: [Asatru-U] A question I need answered.

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  • Lissa
    On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 17:20:30 -0800 (PST), Stephen Glaser wrote ... I guess some folks scare easy, or something. I really don t understand why people would
    Message 1 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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      On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 17:20:30 -0800 (PST), Stephen Glaser wrote
      > --- Lissa <qibhom@...> wrote:

      > > Seriously, protection from what?
      >
      > According to what I've read, and in my own words, it
      > would be from interference in one's rites, from
      > whomever would interfere. At least one of them, I
      > don't remember which, seems to think it would be from
      > the Etins' contrary influence. They don't say they are
      > evil though. My personal experience is we all tend to
      > have friends, foes, and people whom are neutral. So,
      > the necessity of protection, I think, is an individual
      > thing.

      I guess some folks scare easy, or something. I really don't understand why
      people would think that etins, miasmic forces or whatever would care what they
      are doing. Perhaps it is a way to feel important.

      Some folks have told me they need to do certain ritual things to trigger
      getting into the proper headspace for a blot, and I can buy that. When I'm
      feeling particularly distractable, I'll take an ash stave (because that is
      what I have) and whack it on the ground a few times.

      But, that the boogy-etin will get you, I'm sorry, that just sounds like wankery.

      Be well,
      Lissa
    • Doug Freyburger
      ... If you know the folklore then it s time to read the rest of the lore and learn why the term hammer sign exists in the first place. During the time Noway
      Message 2 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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        "Rob" blackflag_rob@... wrote:
        >
        > I had a question that I need answered.I need
        > to know how to make the "Hammer-sign" with my hands?

        If you know the folklore then it's time to read the rest of the lore and learn
        why the term hammer sign exists in the first place.

        During the time Noway was being consolidated under Christian kings and
        converted, one king visited areas where heathen practices were current.
        He made a gesture over his food before eating it and many there
        recognized the gesture as the sign of the cross. One of his smart
        advisers announced that it was actually the sign of the hammer. In other
        words it was PR move to turn off the grumbling.

        So the real question is why would you want to make a hammer sign in
        the first place? It is a cross sign or it is modified from a cross sign so
        it looks like a cross sign. If you're in a family that makes the sign of the
        cross over ther food, I question whether switching to a sign of the
        hammer is the honorable thing to do. Nod your head in respect for
        their devotions. They'll get over it quickly - They understand that they
        are taking a minority stance and that they can't require of it of anyone
        but their own minor children.

        I've never heard of many modern heathen wanting to do it. I have seen
        plenty of modern heathens make all sorts of gestures to express that
        they are sharing the experience of the food with the Aesir, Vanir and
        allied wights. I do it myself with the first sip rather than the first bite.
        Near as I can tell everyone who does it made up their own gesture.

        > And how does a practicing heathen obtain a "Heathen-name"? Is it given
        > to you by an asatru priest? or is it chosen by yourself?

        The more intersting question is why you want a heathen name in the
        first place. Is it because it's cool? Don't bother. Is it because you think
        it's expected? Don't bother and notice the folks on this list who use
        their legal names. Do you intend to adopt it permanently including at
        work and go through the legal process to register it? Then chose it
        yourself and chose very carefully indeed.
      • Stephen Glaser
        Some people do attract negative spirits, others do not. It is not good to suggest to people that they aren t experiencing what is plain before them. Also, it
        Message 3 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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          Some people do attract negative spirits, others do
          not.
          It is not good to suggest to people that they aren't
          experiencing what is plain before them. Also, it is
          not just about us. It is who we are connected to when
          we work with or worship the Gods, and who may oppose
          the Gods.

          --- Lissa <qibhom@...> wrote:

          > On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 17:20:30 -0800 (PST), Stephen
          > Glaser wrote
          > > --- Lissa <qibhom@...> wrote:
          >
          > > > Seriously, protection from what?
          > >
          > > According to what I've read, and in my own words,
          > it
          > > would be from interference in one's rites, from
          > > whomever would interfere. At least one of them, I
          > > don't remember which, seems to think it would be
          > from
          > > the Etins' contrary influence. They don't say they
          > are
          > > evil though. My personal experience is we all tend
          > to
          > > have friends, foes, and people whom are neutral.
          > So,
          > > the necessity of protection, I think, is an
          > individual
          > > thing.
          >
          > I guess some folks scare easy, or something. I
          > really don't understand why
          > people would think that etins, miasmic forces or
          > whatever would care what they
          > are doing. Perhaps it is a way to feel important.
          >
          > Some folks have told me they need to do certain
          > ritual things to trigger
          > getting into the proper headspace for a blot, and I
          > can buy that. When I'm
          > feeling particularly distractable, I'll take an ash
          > stave (because that is
          > what I have) and whack it on the ground a few times.
          >
          >
          > But, that the boogy-etin will get you, I'm sorry,
          > that just sounds like wankery.
          >
          > Be well,
          > Lissa
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >


          liberator_9




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        • Su
          As I ve seen it there are multiple types of situations where modern Asatruars do the sign of the hammer. The kind that is done in 4 (or 6) directions that has
          Message 4 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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            As I've seen it there are multiple types of situations where modern
            Asatruars do the sign of the hammer. The kind that is done in 4 (or
            6) directions that has been discussed here is one kind. I've seen it
            done for protection and I've alternately seen it done simply to
            hallow the ritual space. I've seen the same "hammer rite" done in
            just one direction - usually that of the altar. This is more often
            done to hallow space, but it could be done for protection.
            Protection from what? I would say from various spirits that mean us
            harm - these types of spirits happen in the lore quite often.
            Sometimes they are land-spirits, but more often they are Draugar,
            walking dead who are unhappy for some reason and mean to cause
            trouble amongst the living. I don't believe that being concerned
            about these folks bothering us (whether in ritual or outside of
            ritual) is just a way to feel important. The lore has stories of
            them bothering all sorts of people, important and not (usually not).
            It's just an extra protection that some people like to add to their
            rites.

            Both of these cases - the multi-directions and the one direction are
            done either with a physical hammer or with the hands. The person
            either stands with their hands out to form themselves into a hammer
            (or a T-shape), or they move their hands or the hammer in a way to
            draw out a hammer in the air. I believe that hammer is usually
            upside-down - probably to distinguish it from a cross, but I've seen
            it done both ways.

            The third type of hammer signing I've seen is where someone makes the
            sign of a hammer over an item - the horn full of mead, or some other
            item. This is purely to bless or hallow that item. I've seen this
            done by a person making a fist and drawing a hammer over the
            particular item while asking the item to be blessed or hallowed. I
            may have seen it done using a finger as well - i.e. drawing the
            hammer with a pointer finger pointing at the item, but that always
            seemed a bit more awkward than the fist way. I've also seen people
            sign a volknot and a sun-wheel over items in this way.

            None of these things are referred to in folklore, so they are all
            modern-day inventions. I don't know the full history of each of
            these things, so getting into why they were invented is probably
            something I shouldn't do. I know that the multi-directional hammer
            rite comes from ritual magic (not Wicca, but what Wicca also came
            from). It's possible that the signing over an item does too, but I
            really don't know.

            I hope that helps!
            Ratatask (- oh, and my name was sort of given to me by my family
            and Kin. I suppose it's a "Heathen" name. I just see it as a
            nickname.)
          • Lissa
            On Sat, 13 Jan 2007 09:33:39 -0800 (PST), Stephen Glaser wrote ... Good thing I m so trivial that whatever may be opposing the Aesir and Vanir would never
            Message 5 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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              On Sat, 13 Jan 2007 09:33:39 -0800 (PST), Stephen Glaser wrote
              > Some people do attract negative spirits, others do
              > not.
              > It is not good to suggest to people that they aren't
              > experiencing what is plain before them. Also, it is
              > not just about us. It is who we are connected to when
              > we work with or worship the Gods, and who may oppose
              > the Gods.

              Good thing I'm so trivial that whatever may be opposing the Aesir and Vanir
              would never bother with me.

              Be well,
              Lissa
            • Stephen Glaser
              I thought I read the story, too, or someone s recounting of it. I thought it was the king of the area himself. That it was him who said it was a hammer, and
              Message 6 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                I thought I read the story, too, or someone's
                recounting of it. I thought it was the king of the
                area
                himself. That it was him who said it was a hammer, and
                that he was sincere. Was that not it?
                Liberator

                --- Doug Freyburger <dfreybur@...> wrote:

                > "Rob" blackflag_rob@... wrote:
                > >
                > > I had a question that I need answered.I need
                > > to know how to make the "Hammer-sign" with my
                > hands?
                >
                > If you know the folklore then it's time to read the
                > rest of the lore and learn
                > why the term hammer sign exists in the first place.
                >
                > During the time Noway was being consolidated under
                > Christian kings and
                > converted, one king visited areas where heathen
                > practices were current.
                > He made a gesture over his food before eating it and
                > many there
                > recognized the gesture as the sign of the cross.
                > One of his smart
                > advisers announced that it was actually the sign of
                > the hammer. In other
                > words it was PR move to turn off the grumbling.
                >
                > So the real question is why would you want to make a
                > hammer sign in
                > the first place? It is a cross sign or it is
                > modified from a cross sign so
                > it looks like a cross sign. If you're in a family
                > that makes the sign of the
                > cross over ther food, I question whether switching
                > to a sign of the
                > hammer is the honorable thing to do. Nod your head
                > in respect for
                > their devotions. They'll get over it quickly - They
                > understand that they
                > are taking a minority stance and that they can't
                > require of it of anyone
                > but their own minor children.
                >
                > I've never heard of many modern heathen wanting to
                > do it. I have seen
                > plenty of modern heathens make all sorts of gestures
                > to express that
                > they are sharing the experience of the food with the
                > Aesir, Vanir and
                > allied wights. I do it myself with the first sip
                > rather than the first bite.
                > Near as I can tell everyone who does it made up
                > their own gesture.
                >
                > > And how does a practicing heathen obtain a
                > "Heathen-name"? Is it given
                > > to you by an asatru priest? or is it chosen by
                > yourself?
                >
                > The more intersting question is why you want a
                > heathen name in the
                > first place. Is it because it's cool? Don't
                > bother. Is it because you think
                > it's expected? Don't bother and notice the folks on
                > this list who use
                > their legal names. Do you intend to adopt it
                > permanently including at
                > work and go through the legal process to register
                > it? Then chose it
                > yourself and chose very carefully indeed.
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >


                liberator_9




                ____________________________________________________________________________________
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              • Stephen Glaser
                Like I said, some people get it, others do not. It is Wyrd. Perhaps you have friendly landvaettir where you live. Also, nobody said that, for example, that
                Message 7 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                  Like I said, some people get it, others do not. It is
                  Wyrd. Perhaps you have friendly landvaettir where you
                  live. Also, nobody said that, for example, that
                  Utgard-loki would personally pursue a Thor worshipper.
                  Liberator

                  --- Lissa <qibhom@...> wrote:

                  > On Sat, 13 Jan 2007 09:33:39 -0800 (PST), Stephen
                  > Glaser wrote
                  > > Some people do attract negative spirits, others do
                  > > not.
                  > > It is not good to suggest to people that they
                  > aren't
                  > > experiencing what is plain before them. Also, it
                  > is
                  > > not just about us. It is who we are connected to
                  > when
                  > > we work with or worship the Gods, and who may
                  > oppose
                  > > the Gods.
                  >
                  > Good thing I'm so trivial that whatever may be
                  > opposing the Aesir and Vanir
                  > would never bother with me.
                  >
                  > Be well,
                  > Lissa
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  liberator_9



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                • collaich1
                  To Su, I m replying to you with interest about the use of the hammer. Where might I read or learn about this it fascinates me. collaich1 ... From: Su
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                    To Su,

                    I'm replying to you with interest about the use of the hammer. Where might I read or
                    learn about this it fascinates me.

                    collaich1


                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: Su <ratatask@...>
                    To: Asatru-U@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sunday, 14 January, 2007 4:14:42 AM
                    Subject: [Asatru-U] Re: A question I need answered.

                    As I've seen it there are multiple types of situations where modern
                    Asatruars do the sign of the hammer. The kind that is done in 4 (or
                    6) directions that has been discussed here is one kind. I've seen it
                    done for protection and I've alternately seen it done simply to
                    hallow the ritual space. I've seen the same "hammer rite" done in
                    just one direction - usually that of the altar. This is more often
                    done to hallow space, but it could be done for protection.
                    Protection from what? I would say from various spirits that mean us
                    harm - these types of spirits happen in the lore quite often.
                    Sometimes they are land-spirits, but more often they are Draugar,
                    walking dead who are unhappy for some reason and mean to cause
                    trouble amongst the living. I don't believe that being concerned
                    about these folks bothering us (whether in ritual or outside of
                    ritual) is just a way to feel important. The lore has stories of
                    them bothering all sorts of people, important and not (usually not).
                    It's just an extra protection that some people like to add to their
                    rites.

                    Both of these cases - the multi-directions and the one direction are
                    done either with a physical hammer or with the hands. The person
                    either stands with their hands out to form themselves into a hammer
                    (or a T-shape), or they move their hands or the hammer in a way to
                    draw out a hammer in the air. I believe that hammer is usually
                    upside-down - probably to distinguish it from a cross, but I've seen
                    it done both ways.

                    The third type of hammer signing I've seen is where someone makes the
                    sign of a hammer over an item - the horn full of mead, or some other
                    item. This is purely to bless or hallow that item. I've seen this
                    done by a person making a fist and drawing a hammer over the
                    particular item while asking the item to be blessed or hallowed. I
                    may have seen it done using a finger as well - i.e. drawing the
                    hammer with a pointer finger pointing at the item, but that always
                    seemed a bit more awkward than the fist way. I've also seen people
                    sign a volknot and a sun-wheel over items in this way.

                    None of these things are referred to in folklore, so they are all
                    modern-day inventions. I don't know the full history of each of
                    these things, so getting into why they were invented is probably
                    something I shouldn't do. I know that the multi-directional hammer
                    rite comes from ritual magic (not Wicca, but what Wicca also came
                    from). It's possible that the signing over an item does too, but I
                    really don't know.

                    I hope that helps!
                    Ratatask (- oh, and my name was sort of given to me by my family
                    and Kin. I suppose it's a "Heathen" name. I just see it as a
                    nickname.)




                    Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • collaich1
                    Bright Greetings, I agree with your comments, Good on you collaich1 ... From: Stephen Glaser To: Asatru-U@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                      Bright Greetings,

                      I agree with your comments, Good on you


                      collaich1


                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: Stephen Glaser <liberator_9@...>
                      To: Asatru-U@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, 14 January, 2007 2:33:39 AM
                      Subject: Re: [Asatru-U] A question I need answered.

                      Some people do attract negative spirits, others do
                      not.
                      It is not good to suggest to people that they aren't
                      experiencing what is plain before them. Also, it is
                      not just about us. It is who we are connected to when
                      we work with or worship the Gods, and who may oppose
                      the Gods.

                      --- Lissa <qibhom@wideopenwest .com> wrote:

                      > On Fri, 12 Jan 2007 17:20:30 -0800 (PST), Stephen
                      > Glaser wrote
                      > > --- Lissa <qibhom@wideopenwest .com> wrote:
                      >
                      > > > Seriously, protection from what?
                      > >
                      > > According to what I've read, and in my own words,
                      > it
                      > > would be from interference in one's rites, from
                      > > whomever would interfere. At least one of them, I
                      > > don't remember which, seems to think it would be
                      > from
                      > > the Etins' contrary influence. They don't say they
                      > are
                      > > evil though. My personal experience is we all tend
                      > to
                      > > have friends, foes, and people whom are neutral.
                      > So,
                      > > the necessity of protection, I think, is an
                      > individual
                      > > thing.
                      >
                      > I guess some folks scare easy, or something. I
                      > really don't understand why
                      > people would think that etins, miasmic forces or
                      > whatever would care what they
                      > are doing. Perhaps it is a way to feel important.
                      >
                      > Some folks have told me they need to do certain
                      > ritual things to trigger
                      > getting into the proper headspace for a blot, and I
                      > can buy that. When I'm
                      > feeling particularly distractable, I'll take an ash
                      > stave (because that is
                      > what I have) and whack it on the ground a few times.
                      >
                      >
                      > But, that the boogy-etin will get you, I'm sorry,
                      > that just sounds like wankery.
                      >
                      > Be well,
                      > Lissa
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >

                      liberator_9

                      ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
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                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • collaich1
                      ... From: Doug Freyburger To: Asatru-U Sent: Sunday, 14 January, 2007 2:18:11 AM Subject: [Asatru-U] Re: A
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Doug Freyburger <dfreybur@...>
                        To: Asatru-U <asatru-u@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Sunday, 14 January, 2007 2:18:11 AM
                        Subject: [Asatru-U] Re: A question I need answered.

                        "Rob" blackflag_rob@ yahoo.com wrote:
                        >
                        > I had a question that I need answered.I need
                        > to know how to make the "Hammer-sign" with my hands?

                        If you know the folklore then it's time to read the rest of the lore and learn
                        why the term hammer sign exists in the first place.

                        During the time Noway was being consolidated under Christian kings and
                        converted, one king visited areas where heathen practices were current.
                        He made a gesture over his food before eating it and many there
                        recognized the gesture as the sign of the cross. One of his smart
                        advisers announced that it was actually the sign of the hammer. In other
                        words it was PR move to turn off the grumbling.

                        So the real question is why would you want to make a hammer sign in
                        the first place? It is a cross sign or it is modified from a cross sign so
                        it looks like a cross sign. If you're in a family that makes the sign of the
                        cross over ther food, I question whether switching to a sign of the
                        hammer is the honorable thing to do. Nod your head in respect for
                        their devotions. They'll get over it quickly - They understand that they
                        are taking a minority stance and that they can't require of it of anyone
                        but their own minor children.

                        I've never heard of many modern heathen wanting to do it. I have seen
                        plenty of modern heathens make all sorts of gestures to express that
                        they are sharing the experience of the food with the Aesir, Vanir and
                        allied wights. I do it myself with the first sip rather than the first bite.
                        Near as I can tell everyone who does it made up their own gesture.

                        > And how does a practicing heathen obtain a "Heathen-name" ? Is it given
                        > to you by an asatru priest? or is it chosen by yourself?

                        The more intersting question is why you want a heathen name in the
                        first place. Is it because it's cool? Don't bother. Is it because you think
                        it's expected? Don't bother and notice the folks on this list who use
                        their legal names. Do you intend to adopt it permanently including at
                        work and go through the legal process to register it? Then chose it
                        yourself and chose very carefully indeed.



                        Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Karl Donaldsson
                        ... However you like. I ve seen it sdone a number of ways, and I really don t ever use it myself. ... Well, I use a pen-name on line. Those who know me know
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                          Rob spake:
                          > Hello,
                          > My name is Robert,I am new to the practice of asatru. But I am
                          > not new to the folk-lore. I had a question that I need answered.I need
                          > to know how to make the "Hammer-sign" with my hands?

                          However you like. I've seen it sdone a number of ways, and I really don't
                          ever use it myself.

                          > And how does a practicing heathen obtain a "Heathen-name"? Is it given
                          > to you by an asatru priest? or is it chosen by yourself?

                          Well, I use a pen-name on line. Those who know me know my name, but I am
                          still generally addressed as Karl at moots. I just use the pen-name to
                          stump the crazies.


                          Frith upon your house
                          Karl Donaldsson
                          <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                          hfg@... http://hfg.ravenbanner.com
                          Check out the Happy Fat Guy Pottery Studio!
                          <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                          Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                          Zionsville, Indiana USA
                          http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                          _______________________________________________
                          "Would you know more, or what?"
                          Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                        • Lissa
                          ... And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that between the concrete heads and the woo. As a concrete head, I don t understand random Bad
                          Message 12 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
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                            on 01/13/2007 05:43 PM Stephen Glaser said the following:

                            > Like I said, some people get it, others do not. It is
                            > Wyrd. Perhaps you have friendly landvaettir where you
                            > live. Also, nobody said that, for example, that
                            > Utgard-loki would personally pursue a Thor worshipper.

                            And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that between
                            the concrete heads and the woo.

                            As a concrete head, I don't understand random Bad Things, and if you
                            have undead wandering where you live, well, the lore suggests hel shoes.
                            I've yet to hear of an outbreak of draugr from a credible news source
                            (say the CBC or the New York Times). So, since I've never run into such
                            things, I have a difficult time believing they are real.

                            (Landvaettir aren't in the category of vague, claimed bogiewights. And,
                            yes, I've dealt with unfriendly landvaettir.)

                            The woo claim that the concrete heads are unevolved, not paying
                            attention, stupid or something.

                            Since I haven't been possessed by zombies, had my soul eaten by Evil
                            Baddies (and, evil is really a most unheathen concept) or otherwise had
                            supernatural bad stuff happen to me and the woo haven't been carted off
                            by the gentlemen and ladies with the white jackets, I guess the jury is
                            still out.

                            Be well,
                            Lissa

                            --

                            All authentic spiritual traditions teach the importance of making sure
                            that we are not fooled, a matter that is not as easy as we might think.

                            Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, _What's Right With Islam_
                          • Su
                            ... Where might I read or learn about this it fascinates me. ... Most of what I ve learned about this topic really comes from attending various events
                            Message 13 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
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                              --- In Asatru-U@yahoogroups.com, collaich1 <collaich1@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > To Su,
                              >
                              > I'm replying to you with interest about the use of the hammer.
                              Where might I read or learn about this it fascinates me.
                              >
                              > collaich1

                              Most of what I've learned about this topic really comes from
                              attending various events (particularly Asatru festivals) and
                              observing what various people do. There is some references to hammer
                              rites in the book Our Troth by Kveldulf Gundarsson (part I is
                              currently available on Amazon.com), and apparently more references to
                              it (or other references) in Edred Thorsson's FUTHARK. In fact, I
                              just looked at Our Troth says "The Hammer Rite was first worked out
                              by Edred Thorsson (in FUTHARK). There are a few different versions of
                              it floating around, including those in A Book of Troth and Kveldulf
                              Gundarsson's Teutonic Religion, but the basic goal - to ward and
                              hallow a stead - and the basic method - signing the Hammer to the
                              four or eight directions, above and below - is the same."

                              So those are definitely some books to check out. As far as signing a
                              hammer with your hand over something to be blessed, I've only seen
                              that referenced in Our Troth and I didn't really understand it until
                              I saw it done at Trothmoot one year. I'm certain there are other
                              references to it elsewhere and it may be discussed some in the same
                              books mentioned above, but I don't recall if it was discussed there.

                              I hope that helps.
                              You're welcome to email me offlist as well if you want to discuss
                              this more outside of this forum.

                              Ratatask
                            • Ratatask Thora
                              ... the concrete heads and the woo. Hmm... so does this make me a woo because I believe in the possibility of ghosts? I m kind of excited about this
                              Message 14 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
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                                Lissa wrote:

                                >And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that between
                                the concrete heads and the woo.

                                Hmm... so does this make me a "woo" because I believe in the possibility of ghosts? I'm kind of excited about this transition since I've always been one of the most concrete-headed people around. I believe this very concrete and analytical mindset aided me in becoming a Physicist. But I also think that if I dismiss the possibility of the existence of slightly more extraordinarly things outright, I would not be a very good scientist.


                                > As a concrete head, I don't understand random Bad Things, and if you have undead wandering where you live, well, the lore suggests hel shoes.

                                Hel shoes? That sounds interesting. Could you tell me where in the lore this is referred to please? This is an area that I've done a lot of research in and I'm kicking myself for not having come across this term. :-\ The only thing I've found of as a definite way to defeat Draugrs is burning the body.

                                > I've yet to hear of an outbreak of draugr from a credible news source (say the CBC or the New York Times). So, since I've never run into such things, I have a difficult time believing they are real.

                                And I've yet to hear of an outbreak of landwights or of Gods wandering around talking with people from a credible news source, yet I believe they are real. I'm sorry but I'm not sure what your point is here. Are you saying that since you've never had personal experience with Draugrs *and* since you have no personal experience with them either, you don't believe in them? I would personally just consider you lucky to not have had any run-ins with unfriendly ghost-y types. Stories of them from the lore and from current day folklore seem to indicate that these entities are not entirely common-place, so there are many people who have not experienced them. But those who have - concrete, rational people, don't question them at all anymore.

                                > The woo claim that the concrete heads are unevolved, not paying attention, stupid or something.

                                Maybe I haven't met these "woo" people, although I've met plenty of people who have had personal experiences with ghosts, gods, and other spirits. But these "woo" people you are describing sound like unenlightened jerks who don't realize that don't understand that different people have different experiences. But then so to these "concrete heads" of which your mentioning.




                                Su "Ratatask" Þóra
                                Gythja of Eplagarðr Kindred (www.eplagarthrkindred.org)
                                MD/VA/WV Steward, The Troth (www.thetroth.org)

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Karl Donaldsson
                                ... As I sxpressed my opinion before: from http://hfg.ravenbanner.com/faults.pdf : The second major dividing line is the existence and use of magic. Even the
                                Message 15 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
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                                  Lissa spake:
                                  >
                                  > on 01/13/2007 05:43 PM Stephen Glaser said the following:
                                  >
                                  >> Like I said, some people get it, others do not. It is
                                  >> Wyrd. Perhaps you have friendly landvaettir where you
                                  >> live. Also, nobody said that, for example, that
                                  >> Utgard-loki would personally pursue a Thor worshipper.
                                  >
                                  > And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that between
                                  > the concrete heads and the woo.

                                  As I sxpressed my opinion before:

                                  from http://hfg.ravenbanner.com/faults.pdf :

                                  "The second major dividing line is the existence and use of magic. Even
                                  the simplest ritual, such as a hammer sign, all the way to performing
                                  seiðr, involves the belief in some grade at some level of magic. Why cast
                                  runes? Why hammer-sign over your beer? Why do anything that can't be
                                  proven to exist or act scientifically? Because one believes at some level
                                  in the existence or functioning of the paranormal. Even the belief in the
                                  gods shows a belief in their actions, which surely include magic. So, the
                                  factions here seem to be the Agnostics and the Practitioners. The
                                  Agnostics tend to believe that the gods are aspects of human consciousness
                                  or experiences, and that magic is an outward expression of the
                                  subconscious desires rather than mystical forces. To the Agnostic, things
                                  like seiðr may seem like either charlatanry or just experiencing a waking
                                  dream. The Practitioner on the other hand, tends to believe the gods
                                  exist, in one form or another, in some physical sense, and there are
                                  wights and other beings as well as magical forces to be used. Of course,
                                  there are many shades in between, but these are the main areas and don't
                                  spark nearly as much debate as the racial issues, but the debates do go on
                                  for a while. I personally am a Practitioner, believing that the gods,
                                  wights, and magic do exist -- just because there's some things I can't do
                                  or perceive doesn't mean they don't work. And since I've had some pretty
                                  bizarre stuff happen to me personally, I tend to believe it was
                                  paranormal, if not, magic. Again, there's grades on either side, one
                                  person is not just one thing or another."

                                  Lissa points out correctly that this is not a one-or-the-other kind of
                                  thing, but a thing with many grades.

                                  Frith upon your house
                                  Karl Donaldsson
                                  <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                  hfg@... http://hfg.ravenbanner.com
                                  Check out the Happy Fat Guy Pottery Studio!
                                  <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                  Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                                  Zionsville, Indiana USA
                                  http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                                  _______________________________________________
                                  "Would you know more, or what?"
                                  Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                                • Ratatask Thora
                                  I must have misunderstood what Lissa was saying about the concrete heads vs. the woos . It sounded to me as though she was saying that the belief in the
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
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                                    I must have misunderstood what Lissa was saying about the "concrete heads" vs. the "woos". It sounded to me as though she was saying that the belief in the existence of certain spiritual creatures (like draugr) make someone a "woo" and belief that these things do not exist makes someone a "concrete head". The debate between the belief in the existence and use of "magic" is an entirely different issue than the one I though we were discussing. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. Thank you for clarifying Karl.

                                    Ratatask

                                    Karl Donaldsson <hfg@...> wrote:

                                    Lissa spake:
                                    >
                                    > on 01/13/2007 05:43 PM Stephen Glaser said the following:
                                    >
                                    >> Like I said, some people get it, others do not. It is
                                    >> Wyrd. Perhaps you have friendly landvaettir where you
                                    >> live. Also, nobody said that, for example, that
                                    >> Utgard-loki would personally pursue a Thor worshipper.
                                    >
                                    > And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that between
                                    > the concrete heads and the woo.

                                    As I sxpressed my opinion before:

                                    from http://hfg.ravenbanner.com/faults.pdf :

                                    "The second major dividing line is the existence and use of magic. Even
                                    the simplest ritual, such as a hammer sign, all the way to performing
                                    seiðr, involves the belief in some grade at some level of magic. Why cast
                                    runes? Why hammer-sign over your beer? Why do anything that can't be
                                    proven to exist or act scientifically? Because one believes at some level
                                    in the existence or functioning of the paranormal. Even the belief in the
                                    gods shows a belief in their actions, which surely include magic. So, the
                                    factions here seem to be the Agnostics and the Practitioners. The
                                    Agnostics tend to believe that the gods are aspects of human consciousness
                                    or experiences, and that magic is an outward expression of the
                                    subconscious desires rather than mystical forces. To the Agnostic, things
                                    like seiðr may seem like either charlatanry or just experiencing a waking
                                    dream. The Practitioner on the other hand, tends to believe the gods
                                    exist, in one form or another, in some physical sense, and there are
                                    wights and other beings as well as magical forces to be used. Of course,
                                    there are many shades in between, but these are the main areas and don't
                                    spark nearly as much debate as the racial issues, but the debates do go on
                                    for a while. I personally am a Practitioner, believing that the gods,
                                    wights, and magic do exist -- just because there's some things I can't do
                                    or perceive doesn't mean they don't work. And since I've had some pretty
                                    bizarre stuff happen to me personally, I tend to believe it was
                                    paranormal, if not, magic. Again, there's grades on either side, one
                                    person is not just one thing or another."

                                    Lissa points out correctly that this is not a one-or-the-other kind of
                                    thing, but a thing with many grades.

                                    Frith upon your house
                                    Karl Donaldsson
                                    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                    hfg@... http://hfg.ravenbanner.com
                                    Check out the Happy Fat Guy Pottery Studio!
                                    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                    Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                                    Zionsville, Indiana USA
                                    http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                    To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                                    _______________________________________________
                                    "Would you know more, or what?"
                                    Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org






                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Karl Donaldsson
                                    ... I m reminded of What The Do We Know? (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399877/) which is an intersting foray into the extraordinary. I also
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
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                                      Ratatask Thora spake:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Lissa wrote:
                                      >
                                      > >And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that
                                      > between
                                      > the concrete heads and the woo.
                                      >
                                      > Hmm... so does this make me a "woo" because I believe in the possibility
                                      > of ghosts? I'm kind of excited about this transition since I've always
                                      > been one of the most concrete-headed people around. I believe this very
                                      > concrete and analytical mindset aided me in becoming a Physicist. But I
                                      > also think that if I dismiss the possibility of the existence of
                                      > slightly more extraordinarly things outright, I would not be a very good
                                      > scientist.

                                      I'm reminded of "What The <Bleep> Do We Know?"
                                      (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399877/) which is an intersting foray into
                                      the extraordinary. I also recommend reading _Illusions_ from Richard
                                      Bach.

                                      I think by Lissa's standards, I'm batty as a Guatemalan cave. But hey,
                                      I'm comfortable with that.


                                      Frith upon your house
                                      Karl Donaldsson
                                      <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                      hfg@... http://hfg.ravenbanner.com
                                      Check out the Happy Fat Guy Pottery Studio!
                                      <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                      Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                                      Zionsville, Indiana USA
                                      http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                      To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                                      _______________________________________________
                                      "Would you know more, or what?"
                                      Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                                    • Lissa
                                      ... I am so happy to tell you, then, about a way you can earn some money; http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72482-0.html?tw=wn_index_5 I don t rule out
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
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                                        on 01/14/2007 04:49 PM Ratatask Thora said the following:

                                        > Lissa wrote:
                                        > >And, here is another one of the fractures within heathenry. that between
                                        > the concrete heads and the woo.
                                        >
                                        > Hmm... so does this make me a "woo" because I believe in the possibility
                                        > of ghosts? I'm kind of excited about this transition since I've always
                                        > been one of the most concrete-headed people around. I believe this very
                                        > concrete and analytical mindset aided me in becoming a Physicist. But I
                                        > also think that if I dismiss the possibility of the existence of
                                        > slightly more extraordinarly things outright, I would not be a very good
                                        > scientist.

                                        I am so happy to tell you, then, about a way you can earn some money;

                                        http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72482-0.html?tw=wn_index_5

                                        I don't rule out nasty spirit critters from the dungeon dimensions.
                                        Absence is not proof of non-existence, of course. I've just never come
                                        across non-corporeal nasties.

                                        The point, however, was not what you or I believe. The point was that
                                        this is another thing that heathens disagree on. There are others, of
                                        course.

                                        > > As a concrete head, I don't understand random Bad Things, and if you
                                        > have undead wandering where you live, well, the lore suggests hel shoes.
                                        >
                                        > Hel shoes? That sounds interesting. Could you tell me where in the lore
                                        > this is referred to please? This is an area that I've done a lot of
                                        > research in and I'm kicking myself for not having come across this term.
                                        > :-\ The only thing I've found of as a definite way to defeat Draugrs is
                                        > burning the body.

                                        Helskor are in Gisla Saga XIV. However, not being an expert on any of
                                        this, I misremembered. I thought I'd read about special shoes with holes
                                        in the soles to keep the dead from walking again in Jon Hnefill
                                        Adhalsteinsson's _A Piece of Horse Liver: myth, ritual and folklore in
                                        Old Icelandic sources, but I was wrong. If I can track down the
                                        reference, I'll post it. I sincerely hope it wasn't Ryndberg, who pops
                                        up in the damnedest places.

                                        > > I've yet to hear of an outbreak of draugr from a credible news source
                                        > (say the CBC or the New York Times). So, since I've never run into such
                                        > things, I have a difficult time believing they are real.
                                        >
                                        > And I've yet to hear of an outbreak of landwights or of Gods wandering
                                        > around talking with people from a credible news source, yet I believe
                                        > they are real.

                                        Is the BBC credible enough?

                                        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1847442.stm

                                        http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/godonbrain.shtml

                                        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5296728.stm

                                        > I'm sorry but I'm not sure what your point is here. Are
                                        > you saying that since you've never had personal experience with Draugrs
                                        > *and* since you have no personal experience with them either, you don't
                                        > believe in them?

                                        I don't have any personal experience with walking dead. I don't know
                                        anyone personally whom I consider to be credible who has. Therefore, I
                                        don't believe they exist. However, belief is an incredibly weak thing,
                                        and should be tested frequently. Belief =/ truth.

                                        Are you suggesting that I take your word for it?

                                        > I would personally just consider you lucky to not have
                                        > had any run-ins with unfriendly ghost-y types. Stories of them from the
                                        > lore and from current day folklore seem to indicate that these entities
                                        > are not entirely common-place, so there are many people who have not
                                        > experienced them. But those who have - concrete, rational people, don't
                                        > question them at all anymore.

                                        Fine. You believe in them. I don't. Which just proves the point I was
                                        originally making, which is that there is no One True Way to be heathen,
                                        and that belief in magical critters is one of the things there is less
                                        consensus rather than more on.

                                        > > The woo claim that the concrete heads are unevolved, not paying
                                        > attention, stupid or something.
                                        >
                                        > Maybe I haven't met these "woo" people, although I've met plenty of
                                        > people who have had personal experiences with ghosts, gods, and other
                                        > spirits. But these "woo" people you are describing sound like
                                        > unenlightened jerks who don't realize that don't understand that
                                        > different people have different experiences. But then so to these
                                        > "concrete heads" of which your mentioning.

                                        I'm not woo. So, if the folks who are wish to change the definition,
                                        great. I couldn't describe being male with any degree of accuracy, either.

                                        Note that I did specifically exclude the vaettir (which includes the
                                        gods, of course) from this. While it is perfectly proper and historical
                                        to be atheist or agnostic and heathen, if one draws the line that
                                        strictly, then we are all flakes, along with most of the people who've
                                        lived.

                                        Which is possible. I never exclude the possibility that I'm delusional
                                        or crazy. My life just goes a bit more smoothly if I act as if the gods
                                        and vaettir are real. But, I don't *know* they are.

                                        Be well,
                                        Lissa
                                        --

                                        Egalatarianism is *not* based on mutual love and even less on passivity.
                                        It's an actively maintained condition that recognizes the universal
                                        human desire to control and dominate.

                                        Frans de Waal, _Our Inner Ape_
                                      • Lissa
                                        ... As you should be. What you believe or do is your business, unless you start declaring that your way is the only way to be heathen. And you are too smart to
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                          on 01/14/2007 09:42 PM Karl Donaldsson said the following:

                                          > I think by Lissa's standards, I'm batty as a Guatemalan cave. But hey,
                                          > I'm comfortable with that.

                                          As you should be. What you believe or do is your business, unless you
                                          start declaring that your way is the only way to be heathen. And you are
                                          too smart to do that, Karl.

                                          Be well,
                                          Lissa
                                          --

                                          I don't care what you believe-as long as the difference between our
                                          beliefs and mine don't get me kicked out of the party.

                                          Rabbi David Hartman
                                        • Karl Donaldsson
                                          ... Well, I think she might also be refgerring to certain supernatural beings, I imagine, as well. I can t speak for her, so I hope she ll reply. The idea of
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                            Ratatask Thora spake:
                                            > I must have misunderstood what Lissa was saying about the "concrete heads"
                                            > vs. the "woos". It sounded to me as though she was saying that the belief
                                            > in the existence of certain spiritual creatures (like draugr) make someone
                                            > a "woo" and belief that these things do not exist makes someone a
                                            > "concrete head". The debate between the belief in the existence and use
                                            > of "magic" is an entirely different issue than the one I though we were
                                            > discussing. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. Thank you for clarifying
                                            > Karl.

                                            Well, I think she might also be refgerring to certain supernatural beings,
                                            I imagine, as well. I can't speak for her, so I hope she'll reply.

                                            The idea of the existence of magic and the supernatural may go
                                            hand-in-hand, but not always.

                                            Frith upon your house
                                            Karl Donaldsson
                                            <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                            hfg@... http://hfg.ravenbanner.com
                                            Check out the Happy Fat Guy Pottery Studio!
                                            <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                                            Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                                            Zionsville, Indiana USA
                                            http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                            To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                                            _______________________________________________
                                            "Would you know more, or what?"
                                            Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                                          • Ratatask Thora
                                            Lissa wrote: ... this, I misremembered. I thought I d read about special shoes with holes in the soles to keep the dead from walking
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                              Lissa <qibhom@...> wrote:

                                              on 01/14/2007 04:49 PM Ratatask Thora said the following:

                                              >> Hel shoes? That sounds interesting. Could you tell me where in the lore this is referred to please?

                                              > Helskor are in Gisla Saga XIV. However, not being an expert on any of
                                              this, I misremembered. I thought I'd read about special shoes with holes
                                              in the soles to keep the dead from walking again in Jon Hnefill
                                              Adhalsteinsson's _A Piece of Horse Liver: myth, ritual and folklore in
                                              Old Icelandic sources, but I was wrong. If I can track down the
                                              reference, I'll post it. I sincerely hope it wasn't Ryndberg, who pops
                                              up in the damnedest places.

                                              Thank you. I'll try looking up some of this too. And I'm anxious to read any other references you find.


                                              > The point, however, was not what you or I believe. The point was that this is another thing that heathens disagree on. There are others, of course.

                                              I get that. My point (though admitedly not well stated) is that I find these terms, as with other labeling of types of Heathens (such as "universalists"), somewhat insulting. Particularly in this context. I don't believe that I'm a "woo" because I believe in the possibility of certain spirits without concrete proof. Personally I think that looking for concrete proof to guide our faith is a mistake. There will always be scientific "evidence" that can be used to show existence and that can be used to show non-existence of the "supernatural". But again, I'm getting off the point. My real point is that I find the term "woo" to be derogatory and insulting, whether applied to myself or to others who believe in the existence of various spirits. It seems slightly more applicable to people who believe in the existence and practice of "magic" such as Galdor and Seithr (though I'm guessing it's insulting to them as well), but I don't really see how it can be used to
                                              describe Asatruars who believe in the possibility of our ability to interact with the Ancestors (both friendly and unfriendly).

                                              >> And I've yet to hear of an outbreak of landwights or of Gods wandering around talking with people from a credible news source, yet I believe they are real.

                                              > Is the BBC credible enough?...

                                              I'm at work so I don't have time to read these right now, but I certainly will. Are our gods specifically mentioned in these articles? From a brief scan, it looked specific to the Christian "God"-figure and thus doesn't provide any credible evidence about the existence of the gods we believe in. My skim of the articles also looks like there's as much skepticism here as there is belief. It doesn't really seem like any sort of evidence to me. Also, isn't it likely that if we did a similar search that we could find articles one people's beliefs in ghosts or other extraordinary occurences? Not exactly the same as the walking dead, but the walking dead were often not seen by anyone in the lore (unless they entered the dead's grave), but the evidence of their existence was often there.

                                              And I'm kind of getting off track again here. My point is that I don't believe that it's a good idea to attempt to use any type of scientific method to support or deny faith. The Catholic Church tried to do it many times and it never went well for them.

                                              And again maybe I'm missing your point.

                                              > I don't have any personal experience with walking dead. I don't know
                                              anyone personally whom I consider to be credible who has. Therefore, I
                                              don't believe they exist. However, belief is an incredibly weak thing,
                                              and should be tested frequently. Belief =/ truth.

                                              > Are you suggesting that I take your word for it?

                                              Actually, I have only said that I believe in the possibility of their existence. Not in the fact of. And no, I'm not suggesting you take my word for it. I'm more attempting (possibly rather clumsily) to suggest that in terms of teaching people about our religion (per the goal of this list), dismissing some things that are so much a part of our beliefs (or at least a part of our Ancestor's beliefs) outright (and insulting those who believe in them by calling them "woo") and accepting other things is not a good way to present our concepts to newbies. I'm not going to say that anyone should believe in anything, it's just difficult when presenting concepts to newbies to completely dismiss a concept that is so widespread in the lore and in the beliefs of so many Asatruars.

                                              On the other hand, I am fine with you completely dismissing Volkism, or even with the Volkish completely dismissing "Universalists". That's a schism that seems to have very little to do with the lore or the direct beliefs in our religion and seems to have come from more modern concerns.

                                              > the point I was originally making... which is that there is no One True Way to be heathen, and that belief in magical critters is one of the things there is less consensus rather than more on.

                                              I guess this is where I have a problem with what you're saying. The Gods are magical beings. The Landwights are magical beings. The Ancestors are (possibly to a lesser degree) magical beings. I agree that there is no one way to be Heathen, but belief in the Gods, the Ancestors and the Landwights seem to me to be rather important to being Heathen.

                                              Of course this is something you addressed here:
                                              > Note that I did specifically exclude the vaettir (which includes the gods, of course) from this. While it is perfectly proper and historical to be atheist or agnostic and heathen, if one draws the line that strictly, then we are all flakes, along with most of the people who've lived.

                                              > Which is possible. I never exclude the possibility that I'm delusional or crazy. My life just goes a bit more smoothly if I act as if the gods and vaettir are real. But, I don't *know* they are.

                                              Just as I don't *know* the ancestors (both well-meaning and not) are real. But it seems to be that ancestor worship is a very important part of Asatru and should not be dismissed as "woo".

                                              I also never dismiss the possiblility that I am delusional or crazy and I certainly do not believe that anyone *must* believe the way I do, whether Heathen or not. The points I'm trying to make are that (1) the term "woo" is insulting and seems misleading in this particular context; and (2) the belief in the Ancestors, as well as the belief in land-wights, friendly and unfriendly (and in the ability to interact with them on some level) seems to me to be very important to being Asatru. To be honest, I didn't know that any Asatruars disagreed with that point. I realize there are many arguments about "what is Asatru" (magic vs. non-magic, heritage vs. non-heritage). I just didn't realize that this was an area that people didn't agree on.

                                              I apologize for being antagonistic and unclear. I was thrown by the discussion and I believe I have not done a very good job at expressing my views. Hopefully I've done better this time.

                                              Be well,
                                              Ratatask


                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • Lissa
                                              ... Then, please, come up with another term. Woo was the least insulting term I could think of. The concept is far more important than the specific term, and
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
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                                                on 01/15/2007 12:42 PM Ratatask Thora said the following:
                                                > Lissa <qibhom@... <mailto:qibhom%40wideopenwest.com>> wrote:

                                                > > The point, however, was not what you or I believe. The point was that
                                                > this is another thing that heathens disagree on. There are others, of
                                                > course.
                                                >
                                                > I get that. My point (though admitedly not well stated) is that I find
                                                > these terms, as with other labeling of types of Heathens (such as
                                                > "universalists"), somewhat insulting.

                                                Then, please, come up with another term. Woo was the least insulting
                                                term I could think of. The concept is far more important than the
                                                specific term, and I'm aware of my biases in this matter.

                                                > Particularly in this context. I
                                                > don't believe that I'm a "woo" because I believe in the possibility of
                                                > certain spirits without concrete proof. Personally I think that looking
                                                > for concrete proof to guide our faith is a mistake. There will always be
                                                > scientific "evidence" that can be used to show existence and that can be
                                                > used to show non-existence of the "supernatural".

                                                Actually, I don't think the scientific method is probably the best way
                                                to judge nutsiness in spiritual and/or religious matters. We need a
                                                different toolset. Unfortunately, we haven't developed one yet. We
                                                haven't even managed to steal good tools from other religions.

                                                My background, as an adult, is in Conservative Judaism, so I tend
                                                towards the "read, nitpick and argue" school of religion. You _learn_
                                                Torah, not just read it. It is an active engagement with the primary
                                                source material, the commentaries, the commentaries on the commentaries
                                                and your study partner. Even the Hasidim, who argue for the importance
                                                of emotion in religion, still learn Torah.

                                                I'd like to see something like that in heathenism, where we engage with
                                                the religion, rather than sitting at the feet of clergy, long term
                                                heathens or some other chosen person, and absorbing. That kind of
                                                passive learning just strikes me as unheathen, as well as unhealthy.

                                                Manny's UPG scale is a great start. But, it is only one preliminary
                                                tool. Talking with our friends, inside and outside of heathenry, is
                                                another, but holds the danger of selecting only people who agree with us.

                                                Which is one of the reasons I'll argue positions I actually don't hold.

                                                > But again, I'm getting
                                                > off the point. My real point is that I find the term "woo" to be
                                                > derogatory and insulting, whether applied to myself or to others who
                                                > believe in the existence of various spirits. It seems slightly more
                                                > applicable to people who believe in the existence and practice of
                                                > "magic" such as Galdor and Seithr (though I'm guessing it's insulting to
                                                > them as well), but I don't really see how it can be used to
                                                > describe Asatruars who believe in the possibility of our ability to
                                                > interact with the Ancestors (both friendly and unfriendly).

                                                Whoah! The ancestors are a completely different thing. Belief in spirits
                                                is not the same thing as belief in magic, although they often go
                                                together. Ancestor worship is entirely a different thing, although it
                                                can go along with one or both of the other things.

                                                > >> And I've yet to hear of an outbreak of landwights or of Gods
                                                > wandering around talking with people from a credible news source, yet I
                                                > believe they are real.
                                                >
                                                > > Is the BBC credible enough?...
                                                >
                                                > I'm at work so I don't have time to read these right now, but I
                                                > certainly will. Are our gods specifically mentioned in these articles?

                                                Not in that group, since I did just a quick search. However, I've seen
                                                several BBC articles over the years on Icelandic belief in elves. IIRC,
                                                the only time they've covered Asatruar was a few years back when some of
                                                the nuttier Volkish were up in arms about Kensington Man, and how he had
                                                to be a Viking, or some silly thing like that. Which, of course, had
                                                nothing to do with our gods.

                                                > From a brief scan, it looked specific to the Christian "God"-figure and
                                                > thus doesn't provide any credible evidence about the existence of the
                                                > gods we believe in.

                                                Buddhism, too, in that group.

                                                I took gods as a more general term, there. Being a pantheist, if you
                                                have credible evidence of one deity, it increases the possibility of the
                                                existence of other deities.

                                                > My skim of the articles also looks like there's as
                                                > much skepticism here as there is belief.

                                                Yep. The two go together. Belief is inherently unproven, so if you don't
                                                have some skepticism to go with belief, you are choosing to live in your
                                                own version of reality, which may or may not be connected to the larger
                                                consensus reality (which may or may not be real, for some value of "real").

                                                > It doesn't really seem like any
                                                > sort of evidence to me.

                                                What would?

                                                > Also, isn't it likely that if we did a similar
                                                > search that we could find articles one people's beliefs in ghosts or
                                                > other extraordinary occurences? Not exactly the same as the walking
                                                > dead, but the walking dead were often not seen by anyone in the lore
                                                > (unless they entered the dead's grave), but the evidence of their
                                                > existence was often there.

                                                There are two issues at play here. One is finding news articles on
                                                ghosts, which, of course, we can do. Which isn't the point. You
                                                challenged me to find credible news sources on gods, which I did (which
                                                you may dispute).

                                                The second is how we interpret the lore. If there are draugr in the
                                                sagas, does that mean we, now, have to belief in draugr? I would hold
                                                that we should look at the cultural context, look carefully (in the
                                                original Old Norse, when possible) at the primary sources, then decide
                                                if what we've learned is applicable to current life.

                                                In the lore, we learn that there were times and places to sacrifice
                                                people by drowning them in bogs, sometimes while stabbing them. While
                                                I'm sure that every one of us could come up with a list of people we'd
                                                like to stuff in bogs, I haven't heard of any heathen seriously
                                                suggesting we need to bring this practise back.

                                                We are reconstructionists, not SCA members (yes, some are both, I know).
                                                And SCA really isn't that accurate, either.

                                                > And I'm kind of getting off track again here. My point is that I don't
                                                > believe that it's a good idea to attempt to use any type of scientific
                                                > method to support or deny faith. The Catholic Church tried to do it many
                                                > times and it never went well for them.

                                                Then, what would you use? We must be very careful not to create the kind
                                                of closed cycle that leads to cultish insanity.

                                                > > I don't have any personal experience with walking dead. I don't know
                                                > anyone personally whom I consider to be credible who has. Therefore, I
                                                > don't believe they exist. However, belief is an incredibly weak thing,
                                                > and should be tested frequently. Belief =/ truth.
                                                >
                                                > > Are you suggesting that I take your word for it?
                                                >
                                                > Actually, I have only said that I believe in the possibility of their
                                                > existence. Not in the fact of.

                                                Ah, I missed that. I thought you were arguing not only for the existence
                                                of draugr, but had stated you had a lot of them where you were. My
                                                apologies.

                                                > And no, I'm not suggesting you take my
                                                > word for it. I'm more attempting (possibly rather clumsily) to suggest
                                                > that in terms of teaching people about our religion (per the goal of
                                                > this list), dismissing some things that are so much a part of our
                                                > beliefs (or at least a part of our Ancestor's beliefs) outright (and
                                                > insulting those who believe in them by calling them "woo") and accepting
                                                > other things is not a good way to present our concepts to newbies. I'm
                                                > not going to say that anyone should believe in anything, it's just
                                                > difficult when presenting concepts to newbies to completely dismiss a
                                                > concept that is so widespread in the lore and in the beliefs of so many
                                                > Asatruars.

                                                One of the reasons I go rampaging around this list is so that newbies
                                                find out that we don't believe the same things, and that there is a lot
                                                of variability in how one can be heathen. As heathens, what we do is far
                                                more important than what we believe or profess. Unfortunately, coming as
                                                most of us do from a very Christian culture where belief is more
                                                important than anything else, we tend to get hung up on silly fights
                                                about what people should believe.

                                                I don't believe this is healthy or useful <g>.

                                                > On the other hand, I am fine with you completely dismissing Volkism, or
                                                > even with the Volkish completely dismissing "Universalists". That's a
                                                > schism that seems to have very little to do with the lore or the direct
                                                > beliefs in our religion and seems to have come from more modern concerns.

                                                It is more complex than that, but you are right that it is more modern
                                                than lore-based.

                                                But, you loose me on beliefs. I'm far more concerned with action.

                                                > > the point I was originally making... which is that there is no One
                                                > True Way to be heathen, and that belief in magical critters is one of
                                                > the things there is less consensus rather than more on.
                                                >
                                                > I guess this is where I have a problem with what you're saying. The Gods
                                                > are magical beings. The Landwights are magical beings. The Ancestors are
                                                > (possibly to a lesser degree) magical beings. I agree that there is no
                                                > one way to be Heathen, but belief in the Gods, the Ancestors and the
                                                > Landwights seem to me to be rather important to being Heathen.

                                                I completely disagree with you here. The Gods are Other. Their context
                                                is so different than ours that anything we would think of as "magic"
                                                couldn't apply to them. I don't see the vaettir as magical at all,
                                                either hus or land. I have nothing to do with my ancestors, and they
                                                don't seem to wish to have anything to do with me. I mean, why would I
                                                want to contact a bunch of drunks, spies, traitors, pirates and thieves?
                                                Being dead doesn't make them wise. Nor does it erase their negative
                                                personality traits.

                                                I've already given my definition of belief, so suffice to say that I
                                                don't care what people believe, I care what they do. I've yet to read of
                                                the Norns deciding to mess with someone because they believe the wrong
                                                thing. Wyrd is not about lining up all the proper concepts in the proper
                                                order.

                                                > I apologize for being antagonistic and unclear. I was thrown by the
                                                > discussion and I believe I have not done a very good job at expressing
                                                > my views. Hopefully I've done better this time.

                                                I caught you off-guard, and I'm not nice. I can see where that would
                                                lead one to a certain amount of shocked fuzziness.

                                                There are heathens out there weirder than me. At some point, we'll have
                                                to come to a consensus on what a heathen is, although I'd prefer to put
                                                it in terms of what a heathen does, but I think it is too soon for that.
                                                But, for now, anyone who blots the gods and/or vaettir and who calls
                                                themselves heathen is, as far as I'm concerned, heathen. That doesn't
                                                mean I'll blot with them, though.

                                                Be well,
                                                Lissa
                                                --

                                                Reciprocal gift-giving is the most effective means of
                                                preventing aggression between nations, tribes or
                                                individuals. In the British pub, it is essential.

                                                Passport to the Pub, Social Issues Research Centre
                                                http://www.sirc.org/publik/pub.html
                                              • Stephen Glaser
                                                ... wrote: I have found that there is always someone who tries to influence people to do rituals without the protections or wardings someone finds useful. I no
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Jan 16, 2007
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                                                  --- Ratatask Thora <ratatask@...>
                                                  wrote:

                                                  I have found that there is always someone who tries to
                                                  influence people to do rituals without the protections
                                                  or wardings someone finds useful. I no longer take
                                                  heed of such people. What I have noticed is that when
                                                  someone experiences a spiritual effect or being is
                                                  that it isn't being transmitted from the part of the
                                                  brain that makes logical word choices, or uses the
                                                  scientific method. Yet, some would have us explain our
                                                  experiences from this logical area of the brain, even
                                                  though we have such experiences from a totally
                                                  different part. It is almost like trying to describe
                                                  what someone else saw, even if we weren't there to see
                                                  what he/she saw, in my opinion. For me, this just
                                                  doesn't work, although some can do this.

                                                  liberator_9



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