Honoring The Northern Tradition

10/24/08 06:06 pm - [info]valkyrieofodin - Runes From A Vanic Perspective The First AEtt

I am writing an analysis of the runes from a Vanic Perspective for Vanir Book because [info]freysmuppet asked and I was hoping that folks would be interested in how they are coming along... So this is the first AEtt which I have written my opinions about. This is rather long, but not nearly as bad as I had feared. Enjoy! Fehu-Wunjo )

10/16/08 12:23 pm - [info]valkyrieofodin - The Differences Between Vanic & AEsic Godhar

I would like to talk about the differences between the AEsic and the Vanic Gydhia/Godhi. The concepts presented here stem from a conversation I had with a friend some time back in 2007. We were discussing the ways in which Vanic folk and AEsic folk work in this world. We discussed at length what our opinions were, and how we as individuals functioned. We talked about how we had come to our present point in practice and how it reflected as to whether we ran more toward an active Kindred Model or not. At the time I was a member of a different Kindred than I am now, one which is still in existence. This particular Kindred, I would have to say, functions more on an AEsic model than a Vanic model, I on the other hand tend to be more Vanically focused. The fact that there was such a difference in world view caused a rather dramatic split and we parted ways, with me taking a small percentage of the members with me. Over the past year I have been trying to work on a smaller, rather Vanic dominate model for my Kindred with a fair amount of AEsic influence. I think that it has blended well.

The AEsir in general are more formal in the way in which they socialize. Their social structure is somewhat stratified, and while they have a council for making decisions they need a definite, leader to get the ball rolling. Also, they have someone to hold onto the tools for blessing (Thor), and so forth. This is rather efficient and made to keep things from getting out of control, everything in its place and a place for everything so to speak. If you look at the way that Bill Lindsey sets forth the religious structure he believes that the most traditional format in Germanic Worship or Germanic Spirituality, he states that the individual freely related to their ancestors and the landvaettir (or land-wights) but had to have a godhi (he never once mentions a gydhia) to intervene on their behalf with the Gods. In my opinion this is very difficult to prove, and the structure itself is very AEsic as far as the societal implications. Not always a bad thing as far as the societal part, but... I'd like to see all his proof; obviously the sagas don't give a complete picture one way or the other. So most of us are going on UPG in either direction here. What he is displaying, which I agree with however, is that the more AEsically oriented gothar tend to be oriented on conducting ceremonies of varied forms for their communities, whether that is the common blot, or weddings, funerals and other rites of passage... And that they tend to hold on to the tools for major blessing for the Kindred, such as the formal hammer if one is used, the oath ring and so forth. That in this sense their place is very important. And that their duties most likely are formalized in some manner. There would be a distinct beginning and end to them. Many within such a structure are more likely to participate on a peripheral level, and find that they are looking to the AEsic godhar to do a large portion of what it takes to structure things for them. While this can give a lot of experience to someone it can also be wearing upon them over a long term period of time, and they may need to learn swiftly how to incorporate others into the more formalized roles so that they will be supported in their efforts, otherwise they may end up carrying a load they are not prepared for. An AEsic style Kindred has a very good example of structure from the get go, but it is up to the godhar (godhi or gydhia) to set this into motion others are not going to be eager to jump into action as they are going to be looking for guidance to the individual they perceive as having the ability to delegate authority. Many people are in great need of structure and cannot work without it, for them the AEsic style of godhar is the most rewarding because they always know exactly what they are getting at all times, how much they can expect out of them and the amount of effort they will invest of themselves. No more, and no less. But, others do not do well in this setting and feel that it is not dynamic enough for them, in this sense it becomes almost stagnant. There is a need for a more supportive structure, one that is more personalized. It is not for me to say who is right and who is wrong. Only that different people have different needs. If this is not acted upon there will be what I like to call 'ebb and flow’, what that means is that people will simply come and go, with little personal commitment. Without structure it is easy to revert to this state. Most though not all AEsic style Kindreds have some form of oath to the Kindred. Those that do have less likelihood of an 'ebb and flow' effect as when an individual makes an oath to Kindred they are more likely to stick with it.

The more vanically oriented gothar, on the other hand would in my opinion seem to recall more the village cunning man or woman... They would be on a par with the Village Shaman in the role that they play. They would not only be there for particular events in an individual's life, but would in fact be there throughout. And would be able to be turned to in times of need no matter what. They tend to be someone who works with the Gods directly and who tends to encourage this in those within their Kindred, helping them to build personal relationships. The Vanic Godhar, has(in my opinion) a tendency to help people work through their issues on a personal level, many times being there with them during perception altering experiences, whether during meditation or in other circumstances. They tend to work with runes or in some other capacity to give guidance (though not to solve the problems themselves, but to simply give direction) and help the individual in times of distress. This does not mean they take away personal responsibility from the individual but that they may help the individual set their foot on the path when they feel they cannot do so otherwise. The Vanic Godhar tends to be more a part of the community on a gut level. And in my experience has often the small things that may or may not make the difference at key points. I make sacred objects out of sculptey and often have them to give to the members of my Kindred, this can (and often does)include Thor's Hammers as well as other things such as sun wheels and even swastikas if necessary. I also give away a relatively large number of sage smudge sticks (usually when someone is moving). I have done a fair number of things dealing with moving energy for folks that has helped speed healing along, and I have helped at least one person to move things out of the realm of her wyrd that did not belong there. The thing that I have noticed (not just with myself mind you) is that the Vanic Godhar does not usually ask for 'trade' for their services from their Kindred. The Vanes are deities of prosperity and the more that they give then will the community thrive, the more they become empowered. This does not mean that the community will not respond with gratitude and in fact give back to the godhar; simply that asking for repayment is not the highest of priorities for the Vanic Godhar. Much of what they glean back directly is in personal growth and in understanding of the dynamics of those they care for. That the Kindred thrive is essential to them and their sense of accomplishment translates into the rest of their life. If the Kindred begins to wane then this will also translate into the rest of their life. Those individuals in the Kindred will give back to the Godhar; however, I am not trying to say that they will not. That of course is part of being a community. And as this exchange continues over time you will find a kind of symbiosis which allows for extensive frith-weaving all about.

Both the AEsic and the Vanic gothar are very instrumental in setting up study groups to help those members of their Kindred(s)to become self-empowered, to learn and to find that they can become more than they were when they entered the Kindred. By doing this they make their Kindred(s) stronger and closer knit communities. The big difference(s) come in how these things manifest. From what I have seen those groups led in a more AEsic manner tend to be worksheet oriented, and in some ways overwhelmed by so much information that beginners feel a bit as though the work is beyond them. The study groups of those who are more Vanic oriented tend to concentrate on those individuals gathering together and presenting the information, interpreting it and absorbing it on a basic level so that they may push each other forward in an organic manner. Were the two to come together and work together we would find a more powerful alliance in my opinion. To me this is why Kindred should entertain those who are concentrated in both Vanic and AEsic directions.

These are my observations as to how things have manifested for me. I am a blend between the AEsic and the Vanic with the majority of my leanings toward the Vanic. I do hold the Oath Ring for my Kindred. Oath taking in our Kindred is a very serious act and is very rare. I host most events at this stage in the game, with other members picking up the slack as they can. This is because most of our members are students and they live in apartments or dorms, which does not facilitate the room necessary for blot and other events. When things get tough for folks we all come together in support of one another. I make the bread for all of the events, and I hallow the libation for the blots… But other than that? I’m pretty much Vanic in my practice and I think my Kindred is glad of it. I take phone calls at three in the morning. I do house-blessings and if someone needs energy work or anything within my capability I am there for them. I maintain several working altars which are available for the use of the members of my Kindred should they need such. This is particularly valuable to those who live in dorms or with non-heathen friendly roommates and cannot practice as freely or often as they would like. Of course my Kindred is there for me too. And it has thrived since we began working along these lines. Before we began working in this vein we were working on a completely AEsic model with the Elder of our former Kindred doing all the godhi work and it was totally 'ebb and flow' ...To me it felt unsatisfactory. I'm glad that things are as they are though it has been somewhat bumpy along the way. Especially in establishing a new Kindred. I think that the Vanic mode is more holistic overall and I'm going to keep working away at it. The past year has been a proving ground for me, that by implementing Vanic principal mixed with AEsic concepts folks will hold together and become stronger. I think that it has proven out. We have grown together, become stronger and expressed our wants, our needs, our joys and our sorrows. Though it has not always been easy we are becoming. To me this is what it means to be a Vanic Gydhia.

Written by, Ayla Wolffe©2008

7/13/08 10:31 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - The Relationship Between Freyr & Freyja

this is an article about how I see Freyr and Freyja relating to one another... It was for the book Gifts of the Golden God which is about to be released next month. I hope you will enjoy reading the article as well as the book, which was the baby of scinnlaeca. )

7/13/08 10:21 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Idunna

I wrote this article for a book on the Vanir, simply named Vanir Book. It will come out probably some time in the next year to two years. It speaks of why Idunna is classified as a Vanic Deity to me.I think that those in this community would benefit from it so I am posting it here. )

7/13/08 10:04 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - The Roles Of The Goddesses

This is actually an article that appeared in Fire&Ice not too long ago, I thought it would be valuable to those within this community now and also at a later date as to the roles the Goddesses play as well as to give description of them in some length. Part of what we are here to do is establish relationship(s)with deity and sharing how we do it can be important. I hope that folks enjoy this and take something from it.
A relatively indepth look at how I see many of the Goddesses, most likely more will be forthcoming at a later date. )

7/12/08 12:39 pm - [info]scinnlaeca

I posted this to the Dark_Heathens community on LJ as well as my own personal LiveJournal; because I feel this is an important point to make I am also going to post it over here. It's important that people on both sides of the Rokkr-worship issue, both for and against, read this. So, even if it's annoyingly repetitive, that's why.

This is inspired by another post I saw in another community, and is a bit of a rant about the general state of the way our brand of Northern trad is perceived. You have been forewarned.

wtf, mate )

5/30/08 08:51 pm - [info]valkyrieofodin - Oathing To Deities

because I thought others might enjoy it. )

5/22/08 11:09 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Loki And The Jotuns

Loki and the Jotuns
are coming to your town,
marching through the streets,
greeting everyone they chance to meet.
Shaking every cymbal,
tapping every tambourine
laughing in the sunshine
as they sing a sweet refrain...

Loki and the Jotuns
are coming to your town
discordia never felt so good,
Hel never scorned you
with such wide open arms,
Midgard does the Jotunheim rock
and Surt puts on a pyrotechnic show--

Loki and the Jotuns
are coming to your town
leaping over barriers of hate,
sliding through cracks in your consciousness,
Hammer and tongs sound like a gong,
and cowbells ring in the distance.

Loki and the Jotuns
are coming to your town
people dance to beat,
oh yes, everyone they meet,
gets up to tap their feet.
I can hear the bleat of a goat
lonely of Loki, looking for a ball,
wanting one more dance
just one more chance--
He's Loki's eternal fan--

Loki and the Jotuns
are hanging up their hats,
they've played their last song
wondering where it all went wrong;
They're ready to sit back and talk
of the glory days
when it was all just a 'purple haze'--
Let's hear it for Loki and the Jotuns.

Written by, Ayla Wolffe©2008

I wrote this poem as a kind of in joke because a member of my Kindred conceived of Loki and the Jotuns as a band as it were... And we thought it was a funny thing. We didn't know what kind of band they would be per se... So we had different images running through our heads. This was one of them. I figured it would be fun to post. I don't think they would truly ever hang it up but I thought after the Goat, Loki might be persuaded not to be so 'accessible' as it were... And it's a fun way to end the poem. Truly. It's a comedic piece after all... Hope no one who reads this at a later date takes this as an insult to Loki I'm sure he won't.

5/21/08 09:10 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Thinking On Spiritual Forces

The previous article I posted spawned this train of thought... I hope it makes sense to others as much as to me. I probably could have gone on about the varied Jotunar and what each one means to me. The reason I picked Jarnsaxa right now is that Mother's Day is fast approaching and I am a non-custodial mother, my kids celebrate Mother's Day with someone else, give her presents and treat her 10 times better than me. I get a card and 'something' each year if I am remembered. I see my kids at her leisure. And I have to deal with it. But so goes life. That's the background, just so you understand where I was coming from. I could have picked anyone. But she's on my mind at this time. So yeah. please realize I transcribed this from elsewhere and it was written a while back. I apologize for that but I'm not going to change the wording...

another article on the various beings we honor, and what it means. I guess I'm being introspective lately? Hope I'm not being a bore. )

5/21/08 09:06 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - The Beings I Honor & Why

First off, I want to talk about my philosophy where it comes to those beings that I honor and how that reflects my spirituality. )

5/21/08 08:58 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Articles And Such

At the moment you may see a bunch of articles getting posted here that are also on dark_heathens on livejournal. But I figured since I wrote them and I am founding this community I have the right to post my own work here. So, as a way of showing folks what this community is about to a greater or lesser extent, I am posting my work. Hopefully it will get the ball rolling. Let the social interaction begin. I hope this does not take up too much of your friends page.

5/21/08 08:52 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Blotting Jotunar

I do a monthly blot to the Jotunar. Yes, I know, it seems rather uneven that they get only once a month, but I only have one Saturday a month open. Other than that K-9 has something going every Saturday of the month. Yeah. Plus there is that financial dealie deal. *sighs* So, as you can well imagine, I do what I can. I love giving them their due frankly. I guess it's rather, special to me because it's only once a month, it doesn't lose it's color as it were. Usually it has a certain air of spontaneity to it. I do not do a hammer rite or anything of the like, that would be rather hypocritical, at least in my eyes. I light all the candles on my altar and an incense. Then I pour the cider and begin to chant names of the Jotunar. Here is where it really gets spontaneous. I simply allow whoever wants to be spoken of to come out. I don't have a set list of names, and it flows oh how it flows. Some get spoken of one time who do not get spoken of the next and so forth. And it simply feels like there is a connection being made, almost electric. I enjoy the sense of comfort and familiarity that takes over, and when I feel as though everyone is present who I wish to be present, or more likely who wishes to be present, then I stop. I then begin to say whatever it is that is on my mind. I speak from the heart and enjoy a connection of another sort. Drinking deeply, sharing with them the cold, cold cider. I follow what is the typical format of a K-9 blot, and eventually when all that I need to say has been spoken I 'plight my troth' in them. I take the remaining cider(as full a horn as possible depending on how much is left in the jug)to the Oak Tree and I recite, "from the Jotuns to the Earth to Us, from Us to the earth to the Jotuns, a gift for a gift. Hail the Jotuns. This rite is ended." And for me that makes it final. Simple, joyfilled, elegant with a current always underlying it that flows between us. I hope my experience is something that will make your world happier. Anyone who is local, is welcome to come and blot them with me btw.

5/21/08 08:48 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Trance, Chanting, Travel To Other Realms

lots of information on my experiences in trance work, talking about tools, chanting and journey work, it meanders a little bit, I went with flow from my mind to the keyboard, I hope people find it useful. )

5/20/08 02:36 pm - [info]valkyrieofodin - Lokahal

Many of the links are defunct but those that are not are worth looking at. Keep clicking. Seriously.

5/20/08 02:22 pm - [info]valkyrieofodin - Ten Ways You Can Tell an Old-time Heathen copyright 1999 by Doug Freyburger

4/10/08 02:01 pm - [info]valkyrieofodin - Sing It Lady!

Mist is the gythia of Kenaz Kindred in Ontario,

This article is from her blogspot
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4/9/08 09:40 am - [info]valkyrieofodin - Welcome One And All

To Northern_Trad. I hope everyone here will enjoy themselves and feel that they have a place to talk about their experiences with worship and how their practice(s) (may) have evolved over time. My name is Ayla Wolffe and I've been practicing a Northern Path now for fifteen and a half years. So it's been an interesting ride. You bet. Once we all start to get to know one another(if that occurs)I shall tell you a bit about it.

In Troth,
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