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Author Topic: Asatru and Heathen Sources to Avoid  (Read 19469 times)
Hyacinth Belle
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« Topic Start: April 07, 2010, 08:01:58 pm »

As an adjunct to our Recommended Sources thread, we thought it would be a good idea to have a thread on sources to avoid when it comes to Asatru and Heathenry. Unfortunately, they seem somewhat prevalent! Especially for newbies, it can be hard to navigate.

So share your worst, and make sure to explain WHY you do not think it is a good source.
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bobthesane
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« Reply #1: April 08, 2010, 01:12:32 pm »

Ralph Blum's book on runes should be used as toilet paper. He makes stuff up out of thin air.

DJ Conway's book should be used as kindling. It has NO resemblance to actual heathenry, and in fact she states crap in it that directly contradicts what primary source materials like the Eddas tell us.

Krasskova also appears to like to make crap up that directly contradicts what our ancestors believed and practiced. As an example, she wants to be all buddy buddy with the Jotun, the giants who wish to destroy the world and everyone in it. No thanks.

Ed Fitch... Burn it. Use the fire you started with Conway's book above to get it going.

Freya Aswynn is... well, how to put this delicately... a little on the nutty side. Some of her UPG is so far out there that it wouldn't recognize an Icelandic Saga if it bit her on the face. And the problem with THAT, is that she doesn't differentiate in her writings between what is her own UPG and what could be considered lore-based information. Frankly, based on much of her later writings, I am of the opinion that in her mind, there is no difference between her UPG and a primary source.

Honestly, a good rule of thumb is this: If it was published by Llewellyn, it most likely is NOT good material for Asatru. Sad, but true. Not saying that all of what they publish is bad, just the stuff specific to germanic heathenry has thus far been complete crap. Either made up from nothing, contradicts what we consider primary and secondary sources, or does a bad job of delineating what is the author's opinion versus what is based on actual scholarly sources.

There are some authors that one should take with a grain of salt. Edred Thorsson (aka Stephen Flowers) comes immediately to mind. While his earlier material is fantastic (particularly the stuff he published while working on his PhD in Germanic Studies), his later stuff is waaaaaaaaay out there. Of course, he hasn't called himself an actual Asatruar in years and has worked to distance himself from the rest of us (to his credit). He at least will tell you flat out that he is making stuff up, based on certain sources, and that these things are his opinion (I am specifically referring to his books on rune magic, Rune Might and 9 Doors of Midgard).

There's a reason we call him Spooky Eddie Smiley

Stephen McNallen unfortunately makes this part of the list. While he is directly responsible for much of the Asatru resurgence in the US, much of his later work has been a little out there as well. So, again, his earlier writings are good (if heavily influenced by Wicca), but his later stuff gets a mite strange. My main problem with him is he toes the line between being somewhat hard core Folkish, and outright racist. Sometimes he inches across that line only to realize what he has done and quickly retreat when people call him on it. Again, read everything with a large grain of salt ready.

Kveldulf Gundarsson has some good stuff, and some bad stuff. And it's all interspersed together. Mostly, if you are of a more Universalist mindset, his stuff should be right up your alley. Me, I'm more middle of the road, neither full-on Uni nor Folkish, so while I find lots of his info to be okay, the politics that creeps in occasionally bugs me. That's why he's on this part of the list. I would rather keep my faith politics-free.

If anyone wants any clarification on something, or wants my opinion on an author, feel free to PM me Smiley
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« Reply #2: April 08, 2010, 02:46:40 pm »

Krasskova also appears to like to make crap up that directly contradicts what our ancestors believed and practiced. As an example, she wants to be all buddy buddy with the Jotun, the giants who wish to destroy the world and everyone in it. No thanks.

I read one of her books. She writes not so good poetry, and her suggested rituals were really bizarre. She had some kind of chakra meditation associated with Sif and her "ritual meditation" for Freya was absurd.

Quote
Stephen McNallen unfortunately makes this part of the list. While he is directly responsible for much of the Asatru resurgence in the US, much of his later work has been a little out there as well. So, again, his earlier writings are good (if heavily influenced by Wicca), but his later stuff gets a mite strange. My main problem with him is he toes the line between being somewhat hard core Folkish, and outright racist. Sometimes he inches across that line only to realize what he has done and quickly retreat when people call him on it. Again, read everything with a large grain of salt ready.

McNallen puts me off, even just watching his videos. He has a self-righteous air that I don't particularly care for, and I'm not comfortable with his more..."crusade-ish" ideas. (And he, too, writes bad poetry.)
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« Reply #3: April 08, 2010, 07:04:57 pm »

I read one of her books. She writes not so good poetry, and her suggested rituals were really bizarre. She had some kind of chakra meditation associated with Sif and her "ritual meditation" for Freya was absurd.

McNallen puts me off, even just watching his videos. He has a self-righteous air that I don't particularly care for, and I'm not comfortable with his more..."crusade-ish" ideas. (And he, too, writes bad poetry.)

Did you hear about that time he gave a sermon in an actual church, with pews and everything? He called upon us to go out and... mine asteroids. Yes, he declared that the FUTURE of heathenry is in asteroid mining.

Oooookay there Steve.
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« Reply #4: April 08, 2010, 10:29:40 pm »

Did you hear about that time he gave a sermon in an actual church, with pews and everything? He called upon us to go out and... mine asteroids. Yes, he declared that the FUTURE of heathenry is in asteroid mining.

Right.
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« Reply #5: April 09, 2010, 12:06:32 am »

Did you hear about that time he gave a sermon in an actual church, with pews and everything? He called upon us to go out and... mine asteroids. Yes, he declared that the FUTURE of heathenry is in asteroid mining.

Oooookay there Steve.

Well, I've gotta give it to him, Asatru Mining Incorporated does have a nice ring to it.
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« Reply #6: April 09, 2010, 04:30:37 am »


Kveldulf Gundarsson has some good stuff, and some bad stuff. And it's all interspersed together. Mostly, if you are of a more Universalist mindset, his stuff should be right up your alley. Me, I'm more middle of the road, neither full-on Uni nor Folkish, so while I find lots of his info to be okay, the politics that creeps in occasionally bugs me. That's why he's on this part of the list. I would rather keep my faith politics-free.


I quite like Gundarsson on the whole and haven't noticed a great deal of politics. But then I think most people, including myself, tend to notice politics they disagree with. Stuff you agree with is just right isn't it?  Tongue So maybe his politics is similar to mine and therefore I don't notice it.

I think on the whole anyone writing for the modern Heathen audience needs to be read with salt at hand, even if they're a good author.
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« Reply #7: April 09, 2010, 07:39:45 am »

I think on the whole anyone writing for the modern Heathen audience needs to be read with salt at hand, even if they're a good author.

Oh totally! ALWAYS do your own research, as much as you can! Don't just take someone else's opinion, get educated and form your own is the best way to go about it. Find yourself multiple translations of what we have from antiquity, and read read read Smiley
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« Reply #8: April 09, 2010, 10:14:34 am »

Ralph Blum's book on runes should be used as toilet paper. He makes stuff up out of thin air.

Krasskova also appears to like to make crap up that directly contradicts what our ancestors believed and practiced. As an example, she wants to be all buddy buddy with the Jotun, the giants who wish to destroy the world and everyone in it. No thanks.

Ed Fitch... Burn it. Use the fire you started with Conway's book above to get it going.


The above three got me into trouble with my better half (dog house for a whole week).  Her heart was in the right place, but really she should have asked before buying me a stinking heap of cow-pie.  After she let me burn them I got to order a couple with one from Kveldulf Gundarsson and the other one was by Swain Wodening.  The jury is still in deliberation on Gundarsson and whether I find the material of interest.  It may end in a simple some of its crap and some of it is alright, but not a waste.  Swain's will have to wait 10 weeks until I am out of school on break again.
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« Reply #9: April 10, 2010, 04:25:41 am »

The above three got me into trouble with my better half (dog house for a whole week).  Her heart was in the right place, but really she should have asked before buying me a stinking heap of cow-pie.  After she let me burn them I got to order a couple with one from Kveldulf Gundarsson and the other one was by Swain Wodening.  The jury is still in deliberation on Gundarsson and whether I find the material of interest.  It may end in a simple some of its crap and some of it is alright, but not a waste.  Swain's will have to wait 10 weeks until I am out of school on break again.
I have Swain's 'Hammer of the Gods' but have yet to read it, along with the hundreds of other books I buy but haven't got round to reading yet!
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"I have in this War a burning private grudge - which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler... Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light." J.R.R. Tolkein

My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink
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« Reply #10: April 10, 2010, 05:52:00 am »

I have Swain's 'Hammer of the Gods' but have yet to read it, along with the hundreds of other books I buy but haven't got round to reading yet!

For the Gods' sake read it Smiley I love feedback on my books!
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« Reply #11: April 10, 2010, 12:35:13 pm »

For the Gods' sake read it Smiley I love feedback on my books!

*laugh* Hey Swain, I forgot you were lurking around these parts. Was great having you on Raven Radio the other week, we need to do that again sometime soon!
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« Reply #12: April 11, 2010, 04:06:06 pm »

For the Gods' sake read it Smiley I love feedback on my books!
Will do Smiley

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"I have in this War a burning private grudge - which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler... Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light." J.R.R. Tolkein

My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink
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« Reply #13: April 14, 2010, 05:56:56 pm »

*laugh* Hey Swain, I forgot you were lurking around these parts. Was great having you on Raven Radio the other week, we need to do that again sometime soon!

Well, lets see Bob, my next Sunday off is May 2nd. I really had a good time doing the show, though it is hard to get a word in edgewise with you guys.
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« Reply #14: April 15, 2010, 02:17:34 pm »

Well, lets see Bob, my next Sunday off is May 2nd. I really had a good time doing the show, though it is hard to get a word in edgewise with you guys.

Oh! I'm sorry, we don't intend to be rude, we just get going on a conversation and run with it. Cut in! We don't mind, we do it to each other all the time Smiley
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