Sunday, September 30, 2007

Runes Around The North Sea And On The Continent

Runes Around The North Sea And On The Continent Cover

Book: Runes Around The North Sea And On The Continent by Jantina Helena Looijenga

Het onderzoek naar de oudste runeninscripties van het Europese Continent, Engeland en Denemarken voerde onderzoekster van Liverpool aan de Ierse Zee naar Constanza aan de Zwarte Zee; van Zurich naar Bergen; van Parijs naar Stockholm. In dit enorme gebied kende men reeds bij het begin van de vroege middeleeuwen het runenschrift (rond 500 AD). Ergens in dit gebied moet een kern gelegen hebben, waar het begon - vermoedelijk in de eerste eeuw AD. Het localiseren van dat oorsprongsgebied begon me in de loop van het onderzoek te intrigeren.

Het doel was in eerste instantie het inventariseren, het beschrijven en analyseren van runenteksten uit de oudste periode: 150-700 AD. Als onderzoekscorpus waren de runentradities rondom de Noordzee en van het continent uitgekozen. Het uitgangspunt was nadrukkelijk niet Scandinavie, zoals bij runenstudies meestal het geval. Ik meende, dat een verandering van perspectief nieuw licht op oude runologische vraagstukken zou kunnen werpen - en daardoor wellicht bijdragen tot oplossingen. Bovendien wilde ik me niet op een land of traditie vastleggen, maar door middel van het vergelijken van Diverse runentradities proberen meer inzicht te krijgen in doel en wezen van het runenschrift. Waarom ontwikkelde men dit schrift, met welk doel werd het gebruikt, en door wie? Om dit soort vragen te beantwoorden, was het nodig om inzicht te verkrijgen in de cultuur-historische context van de inscriptiedragers. Archeologie en historie bleken onmisbare informatiebronnen; ook de (plaats)naamkunde leverde belangrijke gegevens ten aanzien van het relatief enorme aantal namen in de runencorpora.

Runologie heeft in principe twee poten: paleografie en historische taalkunde. Eerst inspecteert men persoonlijk de objecten en hun inscripties en vervolgens ontcijfert men de runen. Daarna verkrijgt men een of meer lezingen, weergegeven als transliteraties, die dan taalkundig worden geanalyseerd. Deze teksten kunnen niet zonder hun archeologische en historische contexten begrepen worden, vandaar de titel ‘Runes Around the North Sea and on the Continent AD 150-700;

Download Jantina Helena Looijenga's eBook: Runes Around The North Sea And On The Continent

Books in PDF format to read:

Hilda Roderick Ellis - Road To Hel A Study Of The Conception Of The Dead
Wim Van Den Dungen - Enoch And The Day Of The End
Jantina Helena Looijenga - Runes Around The North Sea And On The Continent

Monday, September 10, 2007

What Would My Ancestor Do

What Would My Ancestor Do Cover Christians are always asking themselves, “What would Jesus do?” though there is no real evidence they ever answer the question; perhaps because they don’t want to know. It would likely oppose what they’re so eager to do. How often do I ask myself, in a similar vein, “What would my ancestors do?” It’s a question that is bound to come up among those who adhere more strongly to historical standards in the reconstruction and revival of ancient religions. We tend to be very ancestor oriented and traditional minded, even as those traditions are being reconstructed and reinterpreted in light of the passing of a thousand years or more. Of course, I’m not a Reconstructionist but a revivalist, if I must take a label. Heathen reconstructionists are no more able to reconstruct the past than Christian reconstructionists. The main reason is that it’s gone and past. Many centuries have passed and the world has changed.

That’s just my opinion and you’re welcome to challenge it. I know there are some pretty strict reconstructionists out there. But look at the context of the past for starters. The climate has changed – twice in some cases, perhaps more if you go back far enough. We’ve had a Little Ice Age and a global warming periods and now an upward trend in temperatures that make a solid case for anthropogenic global warming. In that respect alone the world is different. Some ways of living will be more or less difficult as a result. Whales are on the decline and protected and my Norse ancestors loved to hunt whale. The world has also gotten smaller. Communications and technology have changed everything. The three-tiered universe has been discounted. There may still be people who believe the gods are up and the dead below and we humans are in the middle. I suppose a case can be made in a metaphysical sense that there are other ways to look at this point, or maybe multi-dimensional physics could take care of it. We mostly live in larger communities. We’re not isolated by geography and climate. There is no place we can’t go, no influence we can entirely avoid. Things just aren’t the same.

We can’t even raid monasteries anymore. But then, on the flip side, those Christian reconstructionists, though they might want to, can’t burn us at the stake or pour molten metal down our throats to make us convert either, so there are some trade-offs I can live with. But my point in all this is to say that I can say, “What would my ancestors do?” in a given situation except that the situation in question would probably never have arisen in my ancestor’s world and he would be ill-equipped to deal with it now, were he here. We have no idea how our ancestors would have coped with some of the changes of the past ten to twenty centuries. We can try to imagine but there is simply no telling, not with any degree of certainty.

That’s not to say we should just throw up our hands and surrender to a world culture. We have our gods and we have our beliefs and we treasure the wisdom passed down to us by our ancestors. Across the centuries, they have something to tell us, some important things. Sometimes you have to ignore the little ancestor on your shoulder. Sometimes you would do well to listen. But that is largely why I am a revivalist. Our customs and traditions are important, but they must make sense in the context of the 21st Century, not the first or the seventh or the ninth. Even the Amish, isolated as they make themselves, have to abide by the law, and those who oppose being bound by the Ten Commandments or Sharia Law would do well to avoid proposing the enforcement of old Pagan law codes. So ask yourself what your ancestor would do, but keep in mind when he answers that this is the 21st century America (or wherever) and not 9th century Norway, and if somebody tries to tell you what Jesus would do, remind them that this is 21st century America and not first century Judaea, the Romans are not our overlords and that neither of you are Second Temple Jews.

Books in PDF format to read:

Reformed Druids - Anthology 08 A General History
Ross Arthur - English Old Norse Dictionary
Aleister Crowley - The World Of Tarot
Stephen Mcnallen - What Is Asatru
Thomas Voxfire - What Was Aleister Crowley

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Beowulf An Anglo Saxon Epic Poem

Beowulf An Anglo Saxon Epic Poem Cover

Book: Beowulf An Anglo Saxon Epic Poem by Lesslie Hall

The world that Beowulf depicts and the heroic code of honor that defines much of the story is a relic of pre–Anglo-Saxon culture. The story is set in Scandinavia, before the migration. Though it is a traditional story—part of a Germanic oral tradition—the poem as we have it is thought to be the work of a single poet. It was composed in England (not in Scandinavia) and is historical in its perspective, recording the values and culture of a bygone era. Many of those values, including the heroic code, were still operative to some degree in when the poem was written. These values had evolved to some extent in the intervening centuries and were continuing to change. In the Scandinavian world of the story, tiny tribes of people rally around strong kings, who protect their people from danger—especially from confrontations with other tribes. The warrior culture that results from this early feudal arrangement is extremely important, both to the story and to our Understanding of Saxon civilization. Strong kings demand bravery and loyalty from their warriors, whom they repay with treasures won in war. Mead-halls such as Heorot in Beowulf were places where warriors would gather in the presence of their lord to drink, boast, tell stories, and receive gifts. Although these mead-halls offered sanctuary, the early Middle Ages were a dangerous time, and the paranoid sense of foreboding and doom that runs throughout Beowulf evidences the constant fear of invasion that plagued Scandinavian society.

Download Lesslie Hall's eBook: Beowulf An Anglo Saxon Epic Poem

Books in PDF format to read:

Swain Wodening - Anglo Saxon Witchcraft
Daniel Haigh - The Anglo Saxon Sagas
John Yarker - The Anglo Saxon Chronicle
Lesslie Hall - Beowulf An Anglo Saxon Epic Poem