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

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  • 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 1 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
      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 2 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
        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 3 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
          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 4 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
            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 5 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
              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 6 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
                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 7 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
                  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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                • collaich1
                  ... From: Doug Freyburger To: Asatru-U Sent: Sunday, 14 January, 2007 2:18:11 AM Subject: [Asatru-U] Re: A
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
                    ----- 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 9 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
                      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 10 of 30 , Jan 13, 2007
                        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 11 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
                          --- 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 12 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
                            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 13 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
                              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 14 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
                                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 15 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
                                  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 16 of 30 , Jan 14, 2007
                                    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 17 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
                                      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 18 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
                                        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 19 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
                                          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 20 of 30 , Jan 15, 2007
                                            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 21 of 30 , Jan 16, 2007
                                              --- 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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