Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Nordic Pagans In The United States

Nordic Pagans In The United States Cover When Nordic Pagans in the United States speak of their European origins or ancestors, there is a certain ambiguity in terms of what Nordic Paganism is, where it came from, and whom it is for. It is common for Nordic Pagans to describe Asatru or Heathenry in very broad and general terms as being the religious Expression of the cultural heritage of “Northern European” peoples or even, as in the Runestone passage noted earlier, of “European-descended” peoples. Considering the diversity of nations and language groups that have existed in Europe and even Northern Europe from ancient times to the present, the lack of precision about which particular linguistic or cultural group the modern religion is derived from or related to is striking. There seems to be a tendency among many Nordic Pagans to “essentialize” Northern Europe and sometimes Europe in general as the “land of our ancestors,” without actually explaining which ancestors in which land, speaking which language, and so forth. As most Nordic Pagans center their religion on the worship of Odin, Thor, and other gods found in the Old Norse–Icelandic literature, what seems to be occurring is a use of the religious heritage of one particular part of Northern Europe as a convenient, shorthand way of respecting the collective religious heritage of a more diverse set of past peoples and cultures, that of pre-Christian Northern Europe or even Europe in general. The general vagueness of American Nordic Pagan views of the Northern European “homeland” is a poignant Commentary on the distance that divides American Heathens and Asatru followers from the lands of their spiritual ancestors, but it also helps to mediate conflicting definitions of Nordic heritage and divergent loyalties toward different specific regions of Northern Europe.

However, it should be noted that some Nordic Pagans are highly knowledgeable and articulate about the regional varieties of ancient Northern European culture and religion and travel to meet with their Pagan compatriots in Iceland and other nations. Those Heathens and Asatruar who acquire substantial knowledge of the texts, traditions, and languages of the various peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe are greatly respected in their communities, and they often publish articles in Asatru or Heathen magazines as well as compete in lore contests at Things and other important occasions.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath - Notes On Pagan India
Troth Aor - Odinism What Is It The Odinic Rite
Aleister Crowley - The Zodiac And The Tarot
Hargrave Jennings - The Rosicrucians Their Rites And Mysteries

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Underlying Beliefs Of Pagans

Underlying Beliefs Of Pagans Cover I am not presumptuous enough to believe that these should be everyone's beliefs, nor am I egotistical enough to believe that these beliefs are mine alone. However, they are mine. I have formed these beliefs as an individual from the experiences in my life.


Life is fleeting, enjoy it.


Sooner or later I will die. My body will decompose and become part of something else.


I do not believe in an afterlife. I have never lived with this soul before, and I will never live with this soul again. This realization makes every life a bit more precious, and life in general more special. I love this life, it is the only one I have.


You are the final say as to what is right or wrong for yourself. You play a direct role to the situations you find yourself in. Try to be aware of what you are doing, and why you are doing it as often as possible.

The World:

We are part of this Earth, made from the minerals of this Earth, nourished by this Earth, and set into motion with the power provided to us from the Sun.


The culmination of everything is just that... Powerful, moving, and with patterns. We are all in this together. We are individuals, but we come from the same source, and we are set into motion by the same energy. We have nourished, and we will nourish others ourselves. Just as my two hands are separate, and still part of me as a whole, each of us are separate, and part of the world as a whole. Call it what you will. It is this connection, and the realization of this connection with everything, that I call "God". Different aspects of these connections and interactions are given different names, faces and attributes. To contemplate the entirety of everything all at once is too much for my head to handle.

Is there a greater Consciousness that guides us, helps us, etc? It could be... And in fact, we could be a part of it. Just as the individual brain cells in my head are not aware that they make up and influence my consciousness, we each could make up a mind larger than we can imagine, and we might never know it.


It works for some people, and for some people it does not. How does it work? I really don't know. From my experience, belief, trust, purpose, situation, and individuality all have a role to play in the effectiveness of Magick. Sometimes this is because the will of the individual helps a thing to happen (a very powerful tool, and not to be underestimated), and sometimes not. Skills such as Divination may or may not be part of this. These skills may draw on some other form of energy, or perhaps they could be tapping into the greater consciousness suggested above. The bottom line is that this seems to be a problem similar to the origin of the world. I don't think anyone knows, and I can't think of a way to really find out. So, until I'm given reason, I'm not going to worry about it too much. There are so many other Things That I can learn that I can know.


Some people need it, some people don't. I'm not a regular practitioner of Rituals, mostly because I don't feel a need for them. This could change over time.


Making others happy is a very good way to make oneself happy. If you're ever feeling down, do yourself a favor and do something nice for someone else.


Try to meet a new person with an open heart and an open mind. Each individual is unique, and it is unfair to stereotype them. This is extremely difficult, however, since the mind is designed to organize and categorize as best it can to make use of lessons learned. If someone wrongs you, forgive, but do not forget.


Some animals mate for life, some don't. I feel that sex should be something between two individuals who care deeply for each other (Not necessarily married, mind you), and who trust each other immensely. The rational part of my mind believes this largely because of the life-changing circumstances that sex can have and all of the potential disasters that can occur from a sexual relationship. The emotional part of my mind believes this, because that's how I feel before, during, and after sex. But this is just me.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Anonymous - The Trinity Is It Christian Or Pagan
Robert Leo Odom - Sunday Sacredness In Roman Paganism
Lau Soon Wah - The Powerful And Deadly Spells Of The Javanese
Mindy Macleod - Bandrunir In Icelandic Sagas
Devi Spring - The Emerging Indo Pagans

Monday, August 15, 2005

To Ride A Silver Broomstick New Generation Witchcraft

To Ride A Silver Broomstick New Generation Witchcraft Cover

Book: To Ride A Silver Broomstick New Generation Witchcraft by Silver Ravenwolf

Selling more than 300,000 copies, this popular guide to the Craft has been helping a new generation of Witches-those practicing or wishing to practice the Craft on their own-for over a decade. Filled with Silver RavenWolf's warmth, humor, and personal anecdotes, To Ride a Silver Broomstick introduces the science and religion of the craft.

Having seen a recent survey on the Witches Voice web site, I can say with certainty that the great majority of practicing witches in the U.S. today are NOT in Covens, but solitary practitioners who have no teachers, and no guidance as they begin. This sort of "this-is-such-a-schmucky-book-because-it's-not-written-by-Raymond-Buckland-and-doesn't-revolve-around-a-coven" talk should really be left to the more mainstream religions. In the Craft, all paths are paths to the Goddess. It's also not realistic; most of us can't find people willing to teach us, and may not feel comfortable even if we could. Buckland's books are great, but they don't speak to Witches who are outside the coven group. (I also didn't know there were such things as "real" rituals...are my rituals less real because they're written by me and not by Buckland or Gerald Garner? That sounds remarkably Medieval Roman Catholic Church-like to me....) For those of us who are not lucky enough or choose not to be in a Coven, this book is a strong foundation, provided it's used correctly. If you simply read through it quickly, it will be informative, but it won't function as a basic course in Witchcraft. If you choose this as your main text (and there are other books that will be equally good depending on who you are), then you should really follow it closely to get the full effects: buy your notebook, take your time, do your exercises, and most importantly...READ the supplementary texts suggested at the end of most chapters. Read them between your chapters in "Broomstick". They will give you more insight and enhance your study, and will also give you ideas of the directions you want to take as you grow. If you do this, you will find yourself better prepared to tackle the mountain of information available on the Craft. I know I sure did.

Silver RavenWolf is one of the most widely recognized names in circles of witchcraft, and with good reason; she has written some of the best guides to contemporary Witchcraft available. To Ride a Silver Broomstick is a handbook aimed at the beginner, and doesn't get bogged down in history, dogma, or gender roles. It is a workbook for the individual, whether one is a solitary practitioner or part of a coven, that covers the basics of the craft--from useful vocabulary to setting up an altar--and briefly delves into more advanced concepts such as astral projection and telepathy. To Ride a Silver Broomstick may not be the most comprehensive single volume on the subject of witchcraft, but RavenWolf focuses on the aspects most important to a beginner, and keeps her introduction to the craft approachable and easy to follow. --Brian Patterson

Find Silver Ravenwolf's book in
To Ride A Silver Broomstick New Generation Witchcraft

Suggested ebooks:

Caitlin Kittredge - Nocturne City Book 4 Witch Craft
Michael Harrison - The Roots Of Witchcraft
Howard Williams - The Superstitions Of Witchcraft