Monday, January 29, 2007

The Nature Of Folk Religion

The Nature Of Folk Religion Cover In the modern Western countries, religion is largely an individual matter. People meditate or pray, seek self-improvement, search for personal spiritual enlightenment, or find individual salvation. Religion is only a set of beliefs and practices, which can be chosen by the seeker as easily as we buy a new car - and changed for a new one even more easily.

This is a very new notion, one that has risen in direct proportion to our separation from nature and from our ancestors. To people in traditional cultures, this self-centered Interpretation of religion is strange indeed.

Certainly all spiritual or religious paths have an individual component that is valid and worthy of pursuit. In America and the rest of the West, however, we often focus on the individual to the exclusion of the group aspect. This doesn't mean that we don't yearn after community; many neighborhood churches provide this for their members, and this role as a provider of community has become even more vital as our families disintegrate under the pressures of modern living.

What Westerners do not understand is that folk religions - native religions, indigenous religions, whatever you want to call them - are linked to a particular cultural and biological group...a people. Religion is not something apart from the life of the group; indeed, it is one more manifestation of the group's existence. Religion springs from the very nature of the people and is an expression of the totality of their experience from the beginning of time.

Folk religions are deeply ancestral. Those who have gone before, those forefathers and foremothers of times past, are still connected to the tribe or nation. The bonds of kinship transcend space and time. Indeed, many of us who follow Asatru believe that the ancestors are continually reborn into the family or clan. There is an interweaving of ancestry throughout lifetimes and across generations. We have been here, together in this world, before. Blood is not only thicker than water, it is stronger than death and distance!

From this Perspective, it is unthinkable that religion should be seen as just an accessory, something to be shucked off like a coat or a hat. Rather, religion becomes a manifestation of our very essence, a part of us like our legs or our head. Asatru is not what we believe, it is what we are.

It is only natural that we seek out the Spiritual Path that our ancestors walked. On the most mundane level, we are more like those forebears than we are like anyone else. We carry their essence. One can try to rationalize this by pointing out that so many things about humans are influenced by heredity, and perhaps that is part of it, but ultimately the connection is spiritual. We are linked to those ancestors and to our descendants by special bonds that we do not share with others. When we find the ways of our own people, we discover things we cannot find anywhere else.
It is these two factors - the focus on the group nature of religion as a counterbalance to the individual aspect, and the importance of the ancestors, that set folk religions apart from modern, rootless, artificial constructs.

Asatru is not just a belief or a set of practices, it is an expression of who we are as men and women of European heritage.

Books in PDF format to read:

John Dee - The Practice Of Enochian Evocation
Sir James George Frazer - The Golden Bough A Study Of Magic And Religion
Captain William Morgan - The Mysteries Of Freemasonry
Israel Regardie - The Art Of True Healing
Robert Ellwood - The Encyclopedia Of World Religions

Monday, January 22, 2007

Origin Of The Names Of The Days

Origin Of The Names Of The Days Cover

Book: Origin Of The Names Of The Days by Aengor

Digging into the history of the 7-day week is a very complicated matter. Authorities have very different opinions about the history of the week, and they frequently present their speculations as if they were indisputable facts. The only thing we seem to know for certain about the origin of the 7-day week is that we know nothing for certain.

The common explanation is that the seven-day week was established as imperial calendar in the late Roman empire and furthered by the Christian church for historical reasons. The British Empire used the seven-day week and spread it worldwide. Today the seven-day week is enforced by global business and media schedules, especially television and banking.

The names of the days are in some cases derived from Teutonic deities or, such as in Romance languages, from Roman deities. The early Romans, around the first century, used Saturday as the first day of the week. As the worshipping of the Sun increased, the Sun's day (Sunday) advanced from position of the second day to the first day of the week (and saturday became the seventh day).

Download Aengor's eBook: Origin Of The Names Of The Days

Recommended reading (pdf e-books):

Valentina Izmirlieva - All The Names Of The Lord
Aengor - Origin Of The Names Of The Days

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Heathen Gods And Rites Some Frequently Asked Questions

Heathen Gods And Rites Some Frequently Asked Questions Cover

Book: Heathen Gods And Rites Some Frequently Asked Questions by The Troth

Our gods belong to two "tribes", the Aesir and the Vanir. Our myths speak of a time when the Aesir and Vanir were at war, but made a truce and exchanged members. This myth may be based in part on Historical battles between human tribes who later formed an alliance; at the same time, it reflects the ways in which our gods work Together. Perhaps the best-known of the Aesir is Odin.

He is the god of many things: inspiration, ecstasy, poetry, healing, the runes, and death. Frigga, whom we see as Odin’s wife, protects homes and families. Thor is the storm-god who defends the world of humans. The lightning is his weapon, the Hammer; the rain that he brings makes the fields fruitful. Tyr is the upholder of right order and justice, both among humans and in the universe. Heimdall is the watchman of the gods, and also the progenitor and teacher of the human race.

The Vanir are sometimes called "fertility gods", but they are far more than that; they are the gods of all the things in this world that we are meant to enjoy, whether good harvests, sexual love, or riches. Frey is invoked for peace and plenty; he and Odin were also the founders and protectors of many dynasties of Heathen kings. His sister Freya rules over magic, sexuality, and riches, but is also a battle goddess—she takes half of those slain in battle to be with her. Their father Njordh watches over the sea, ships, sailors, and trade.

The Jotnar or "giants" are a third group of Powerful beings. Many of our myths tell of fights between the gods and the giants. However, the Jotnar are not "evil" as the word is usually understood. On one level, some of the Jotnar represent the impersonal forces of nature: not malicious, but sometimes destructive, and not especially heedful of human concerns. Yet others of them are depicted as wise and helpful. In fact, some giants have been adopted among the gods, and nearly all our gods have giants in their ancestry.

Download The Troth's eBook: Heathen Gods And Rites Some Frequently Asked Questions

Books in PDF format to read:

The Troth - Heathens And Heathen Faith Some Frequently Asked Questions
The Troth - Heathen Ethics And Values Some Frequently Asked Questions
The Troth - Heathen Gods And Rites Some Frequently Asked Questions

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Cosmology Of The Rigveda

The Cosmology Of The Rigveda Cover

Book: The Cosmology Of The Rigveda by Horace Wallis

THE object of this essay is not so much to present a complete picture of the Cosmology of the Eigveda, as to supply the material from which such a picture may be drawn. The writer has endeavoured to leave no strictly cosmological passage without a reference, and to add references to illustrative passages where they appeared to indicate the direction in which an explanation may be sought. In order to avoid any encumbrance of the notes by superfluous matter, references which are easily accessible in other books, such as Grassmann s Lexicon, are omitted, and those references which are intended to substantiate statements which are not likely to be the subject of doubt, are reduced to the smallest number possible. The isolation of the Eigveda is justified on linguistic grounds.

On the other hand, the argument which is drawn from the Atharvaveda in the Introduction is based on the fact, attested by the internal character of that collection and by tradition, that the Atharvaveda lies apart from the stream of Brahmanic development : on the testimony of residents in India to the Superstitious character of modern Hindoos : and on the striking similarity of the charms of the Atharvaveda to those of European nations. If, as eems most probable, the cosmological passages and hymns of the Eigveda are to be classified with the latest compositions in the collection, the conceptions with which the essay deals must be regarded as belonging to the latest period represented in the Eigveda, when the earlier hymns were still on the lips of priests whose language did not differ materially in construction from that contained in the hymns which they recited.

The writer desires here to express his sincere gratitude to those teachers who have assisted him in his general Sanskrit studies, Professors E. B. Cowell, R. v. Roth, G. Biihlcr, F. Kielhorn, and K. Geldner, some of whom have also kindly suggested corrections in this essay while it was Passing Through the press. Above all, his thanks are due to that Trust which, in the first place, rendered it possible for him to devote himself to the study, and now has undertaken the publication of this book.

Download Horace Wallis's eBook: The Cosmology Of The Rigveda

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Margaret Alice Murray - The God Of The Witches
Eliphas Levi - The Key Of The Mysteries
Aleister Crowley - The Book Of The Law
Alice Hoffman - The Book Of The Sagas
Horace Wallis - The Cosmology Of The Rigveda