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ISSUE 6

Articles Available Online:

  • Creative Destruction: The Hammer of Healing ~ EditorialNot long ago I was directed to a story in Gylfaginning where Thor, while staying at a farmer’s house, kills his goats to make a meal of them for himself, his companions, and the family who dwell there. In the morning he waves his hammer over the goats’ skin and bones to bring them back to life. What a strange vision! I ask him to try this on me sometimes when I am feeling out of alignment. His hammer, like a giant magnet, seems to pull me into balance again. I can literally feel my muscles relaxing, my vertebrae shifting, life-force freely coursing from sacrum to skull.
  • Musing on VolundThe figure of Volund has held fascination for me since I myself nearly lost the use of my legs at a young age. The accident itself was a powerful transformational experience, and as a result I have been given an artistic vision best conceived as a lifelong endeavor. To say nothing of myopic and impatient instructors in art school, following this vision has put me at odds with the very structure of modern society, as any contemporary self-employed artisan can understand. Yet this struggle is one of the central endeavors that I perceive for Heathenry if it is to have any meaningful impact on putting Midgard to rights – what we do to survive daily must be both meaningful and honorable if we are to escape the banality of the dominant consumerist culture. For me this has meant exploring and truly living as a metalsmith.
  • Scandinavian MemoirsAfter only four days in Iceland, four days out of the five weeks that I will spend in Scandinavia, I can already tell you that I have seen too much. Rob, my traveling mate, and I have just returned from a three day road trip around Iceland’s Highway 1, affectionately nicknamed the “ring road” by locals and tourists alike, which lines the circumference of the country. In these three days I have seen things most will only read of. I have walked the grounds of Reykholt and dipped my hand into the pool used by Snorri Sturluson; I have stood at the edge of Goðafoss and peered into the waterfall of the gods; I have wandered the paths of Dimmuborgir and stood inside the church of stone, or perhaps even looked into the entrance to Hel; I have seen Bergþórshvoll, the site of Njal’s burning; and I have climbed upon the law rock at Þingvellir and looked over its fields.
  • Old Swabian Spring Dishes and Customs ~ Seasonal RecipesI would like to share some traditional Swabian recipes associated with the seasonal period from Landsegen (“Land-Blessing” or “Charming of the Plow”) to Ostara, together with some of their associated customs. Seasonally, the time between these two tides is marked at the beginning by the soil being ready for sowing and at the end by the start of crop growth. After Ostara, Walpurgis marks the point when grain begins to sprout from the new crops, and summer is the time of grain growth and maturation. While the outward festivities of Fasching, i.e. the revelries more commonly known as Shrovetide or Carneval, are the better-known public face of the season leading up to Ostara, it is also privately and inwardly a time of meditative self-examination, moderation, and purification. Some mistakenly believe that this is a Christian custom associated with Lent. It is not, for it was part of the agricultural rhythm of life in Swabia long before there were Christians. Why is this the case?

Articles Only in the Printed Publication:

  • What I Have Learned from ChildrenTales of intergenerational learning by five people: Joelle, Michael, Juleigh, Dawn, and Nils.
  • Taking the Waters at Kilburn WellThough today it is hard to believe as you walk down Kilburn High Road—in the suburb of London where I have spent most of my life—back in the 18th century taking the local medicinal waters was a highly popular pastime and attracted many people to the neighbourhood.

    Article by Michael Berman.

  • Kitchen Medicine and Magic ~ Audhumla IIComparing conventional, organic, and raw milk is no simple task. They are affected not only by the treatment of the cows that produce them, and by what is done to them after they leave the dairy; the cow’s diet also contributes to the milk’s flavor and health giving properties. Today almost all animals are fed a diet of grains, especially corn, which is not their natural diet, and can even make them ill, hence the requirement for antibiotics merely to keep them alive. Some dairies and many organic producers take great pride in their product and go above and beyond the standards imposed on them. Often this includes providing a more natural grass-fed diet. This results in an even more nutritious product.

    Article by Teresa Luedke.

  • Making a Nine Herbs GardenThe “wise lord” in this passage is clearly a better match for Woden than for Christ (the accounts of whose crucifixion in Anglo-Saxon sources often sound a great deal more like Woden’s ordeal on the Tree), and the seven worlds refer to the fact that in Anglo-Saxon lore seven worlds are named instead of nine (the elemental worlds of fire and ice being omitted). In any case, though, the meaning of the charm is clear: the magician seeks to align himself with Woden’s considerable powers of herbal healing.

    Article by L. Beth Lynch.

  • The Cinder-Lad“But now—I need to know the runes that are hidden. The runes of power.”
    “Do you!” Gruna smiled slowly. “Which ones?”
    “Which ones?” This was a question Ragnar hadn’t anticipated. “All of them!”
    “All of them!” The Runemistress snorted a laugh.
    “Boy, Odin himself hung on the great World-Tree nine days and nights to learn all the runes. And he’s a god.”

    Story by Eric Tanafon.

  • The Language of Myth: Origo Germanica Part III: MythologyHowever, no matter how much we learn or come to know, we don’t live in the same world that Tacitus described, we are not the audience the Eddas were composed for, and we will never have first-hand knowledge of the beliefs and practices of our ancestors. Still, for the past 150,000 years humans have had the same basic needs, desires, and fears. Until we evolve into something else, that fact is not likely to change. The myths of our ancestors, whether 600 or 6,000 years old, should still bear relevance today.

    Article by Antonius Block.

  • Masculinity and Heathen MythologyWhat does Odin win from courting vulnerability? Knowledge of the mysteries of the universe; wisdom; wit; spontaneity; lateral-mindedness; freedom to express himself without the distortion of an uncritically socially mandated identity. Odin was held in suspicion by Norse warriors for his involvement in ergi – ‘shameful’ acts, perhaps cross-dressing for the purposes of shamanic ritual. These macho men were threatened by his ability to be ‘feminine,’ that is, passive, receptive, and emotional. Yet still they worshipped him, for (in my opinion) his ability to open into vulnerability is what makes him god of berserkergang.

    Article by H. A. Laguz.

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