Last night I sat up till nearly 3am reading, reading, reading… About Loki. About runes and about factions in Asatru. Mostly from the Uppsala site, which I wholeheartedly recommend. It was sent to me in a bunch of links by a friend on alt.pagan.
One thing I particularly found interesting that needs mentioning here is the concept of reincarnation. In yesterday’s post I referred to some comments about ancestral reincarnation that I’d read in an essay and a newsletter. Wayland makes the point that reincarnation is rarely if ever considered to be something that happens purely within ancestral lines. In Hinduism and Buddhism it doesn’t even stay within a species. And there’s no evidence that the Norse or Saxons were treating reincarnation anyway. So that’s clarified. That’ll learn me. I Must Do My Own Reading. LOL
Fortunately I’ve met a couple of thinking characters who are recommending history books to me. Well, for a given value of fortunate. Means a lot of reading!
In both the Uppsala site and Assembly of the Elder Troth are mentions of the Nine Noble Virtues. WTF? When did I cross over into Buddhism? ;-)
It seems really interesting to me that groups focus on these kind of purity codes and at the same time worship gods and goddesses given to all kinds of bizzarre behaviour. It’s a bit like the Greco-Roman purity and household codes among people worshiping Zeus. A bit of a paradox.
No doubt it won’t be popular, but I’m wondering how much influence behind the Virtues is drawn from the lingering influence of those Greco-Roman purity codes in puritan religion, particularly after the industrial revolution, that has influenced contemporary globalist and Anglo-Saxon culture. The idea of values or virtues that decide who’s in or out has been an effective tool for religious control of the masses, particularly the conservative middle class, while those at the top reap the most benefit and get away with gods know what. As a person develops into adulthood there ought to be all sorts of developments of personal boundaries and self-control, an ability to make moral decisions, that should cover all of this “how I live and how I interact with my tribe” stuff. But, I guess some people need to think about structure and others would prefer to accept what’s given. Might be a function of different personality types and ways of handling information.
The focus on “industriousness” is of particular interest to me in Australian post-convict culture. After white Australia was settled largely at the expense of abused criminals and poor Irish, “hard work” was about the only vector offered to the children of the convicts to redeem themselves. This is still an influence in our society and again, a tool for control and manipulation that benefits the status quo and global consumerism. Something to think about, anyway.
That the Nine Noble Virtues originate with a group that refer to themselves as Odinist is reason for pause, so far in my experience. I’ll sit with it for a while and see what turns up down the track.
For safety’ sake I’m going to mention that Wodin and Loki are considered to be quite close, often working and travelling together. Heh. What a give away. Anyways, articles about Loki sometimes refer to an idea of him being a bit like the xian Satan. Well, it seems worth mentioning that Elaine Pagels apparently (I haven’t read it first hand) treats the ancient Hebrew origins of Satan as being vastly different from its presentation within christendom. Satan was originally the adversary. Someone who could stop you in your tracks with a question or circumstance that would really get you thinking and affect the way you see yourself.
This is obviously vastly different to the embodiment of evil and sin that has been so successfully used to alienate the shadow self and resulted in projections of percieved evil on to all and sundry. With particular attention to women and minorities.
At one stage I decided that the original Satan was a good or at least potentially helpful character. There was a conversation in which I said I was going to change my name to Satan. A friend replied “That’s a boy’s name.”
All of which is really only what was going through my head as I’m reading more about the Saxon pantheon….
I probably also should mention the cross dressing gods. That really surprised me. It’s one thing to read about Zeus turning into a swan or some such… but a particular god whose priests were expected to be quite effeminate during rituals and worship was not something I’d expected to read in the Heathen sources. Maybe its simply the groups I’ve encountered so far, maybe it’s the influence of social conditioning in global culture, but many of the Asatru seem very male dominant. Cross dressing gods and very strong, independent, particularly sexually independent, goddesses are an encouraging sign.
Now to see if I can find a photo of that one eyed raven who used to hang around here….