Runes & Seidr - first edition March
Freyja Runes and Seidr
The Goddess Freyja
he Northern Tradition has been, and indeed remains still very much the
poor relation of many forms of paganism currently being revived in
Britain, especially when we consider the hold that everything “Celtic”
has upon the pagan imagination. To write about an even less
well-known subject within what is termed the Northern Tradition due to
a serious lack of any substantiated Oral Tradition may therefore give
rise to some controversy as to who is right about what? There exist
unfortunately in Britain today a massive boundary between the real,
serious magical groups whose restriction of membership of their order
is limited to the more promising and talented individuals. This
the rest of fragmented British “pagandom” with the same
boring undemanding public events run by “ego trippers” who encourage
those taking part in these events to imagine that they are actually
"involved" in "real magic" without the risk of being frightened by
actual contact with the Gods.
Another of the problems is that many of those
seriously working with the runes have researched their material
thoroughly and know it well.
Original Edition of Freyja, Runes and Seidr
As a result of this is it really that surprising on
having reached a higher level of understanding about the runes and of
their reputed magical applications, these individuals are seldom
willing to communicate it to the lay person at grass roots level. Yet
another problem surrounding runic scholars is that they feel that they
can only communicate or converse with other rune academics of equally
high standing, perhaps believing that those not on an equal footing to
themselves are not worth talking to anyway. What you have in
essence is that at one end of the scale runic
inner lore seems to remain within the jealously guarded framework of
self-styled nutty occultist, neo Nazi Armanen Orders or “Black Lodge
style” secret societies, most of which have some self-proclaimed rune
experts within their ranks who see them selves as the sole guardians
of their faith. What is worrying is that they actually believe in
their own self-importance.
In his book
entitled, The True Believer, subtitled Thoughts on the Nature of
Mass Movements Eric Hoffer (
"Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself,
freedom is an irksome burden...We join a mass movement to escape from
individual responsibility, or, in the words of an ardent young Nazi,
'to be free from freedom.' It was not sheer hypocrisy when the
rank-and-file Nazis declared themselves not guilty of all the
enormities they had committed. They considered themselves cheated and
maligned when made to shoulder responsibility for obeying orders. Had
they not joined the Nazi movement in order to be free from
The True Believer is still among us.
Read Hoffer's book and decide for yourself who he --or she-- is
Looking at the other end of the scale, many of the remaining
elements of Odinic reconstruction groups have tied themselves down
with inflexible dogma and sectarianism, content to score points
against other perceived rival Northern Tradition groups.
Focus seems to
have shifted to the messenger rather than to the value of the message?
We have also to consider the strong personalities,
which the Northern Tradition seems to have attracted with the obvious
Ego led ”My gang is better than your gang” consequences as a result.
The fact remains that an excess of male “born-again” warrior
stereotypes tend to dominate the religion and has hampered the
revivalism of Odinism in Britain.
Drunkenness, grown up males waving swords, spears and
mead filled horns in Pub Moots screaming, “Odin!” or “Thor!” can put
out the wrong idea to an ever growing Politically Correct general
public awareness view about Odinism as a valid religion and is a poor
representation of the vast scope of the Northern Tradition in all it’s
vast varied forms. This further reinforces the image
problem, which the Northern Tradition and Teutonism in
general suffers in the eyes of the public Worldwide, that is to say
their Nazi associations. Unless this imbalance of machismo is
redressed within British Odinism, I fear that the feminine aspect of
goddess energy cannot manifest and take the religion forward with
certainty. It must be said however; although minor by comparison to
male interest that there has been an upsurge of female interest within
the Northern Tradition, which I fervently hope, will continue.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Odinism has faired
better courtesy of a few inspired North American “Germanics” in the
form of Asatru.
In 1972, after a long campaign by poet and modern day
Gothi Svenbjorn Beinteinsson, Iceland once again has recognised Nordic
paganism as a legitimate and legal religion, now called Asatru or
Odinism. (Asatru translates to Faith in the Aesir and Vanir).
Beinteinsson, the son
of the farmer Beinteinn Einarsson from Litlabotni-on-Hvaljardsbeach
and Helga Pétursdóttir from Drághals in Svindal, was born on Apr. 4,
1924. He died on the 24th of Dec., 1993, from heart
failure. In 1972 he founded the Ásatrúarfélag, the Icelandic heathen
organization, of which he was the chief góđi until his death.
performed by Sveinbjörn Beinsteinsson in old Icelandic.
Hlióđs biđ ek allar
helgar kindir (For silence I pray
all sacred children)
meiri ok minni, mögo Heimdallar
(great and small,
sons of Heimdall)
Although debate exists on the actual usage of the
modern terminology of Asatru, the followers of Asatru consider it a real religion in every sense of the word.
It is an "officially" recognized religion in The United States,
Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany,
England, Ireland, Austria, and Australia. It is not connected to, or
derived from, any other religion. By whatever name seems
appropriate, this faith of our forefather's is for anyone who wants to
live with honour and worship the Eddic Gods. Anyone who wants to
become a heathen or Asatru can, regardless of gender, race, colour, ethnicity,
national origin, or any other divisive criteria.
I no longer hold with the modern claim that Asatru is
derived from Norse origins from the Danish word Asetro. It was first seen in 1885 in an article in the periodical "Fjallkonan".
The next recorded instance was in "Heioinn siour a Islandi" by Olafur
1945)." The title means "Heathen traditions in Iceland." Members of
Asatru refer to themselves as Heathens, not pagans.
There are some claims that 'Asatru' has its origins in the
late 19th/early 20th century C.E. This primarily derives from the
assertion that the Nazi-affiliated "Thule Society" incorporated, or at
least was similar to, more recent 'Asatru' ideals and beliefs. This is
unproven, and the evidence is against such an association since the
term itself is of much more recent provenance, and the Thule Society
does not even vaguely resemble any modern northern European
reconstructions faith system in any way, ideologically or otherwise.
Other than that dubious idea, people sometimes attempt to use shoddy
points of 'evidence' directly derived from nationalist propaganda
common in the 19th century within northern Europe; again, this is not
a real connection nor a viable lineage with modern 'Asatru',
Others whom I personally know prefer the term
Heithni which comes from the Old Norse word heiđni. This is a word
that was used in Elder times to describe the pre-Christian religion of
the Northern European peoples. The word Heithinn comes from the Old
Norse word heiđinn which we use as an adjective to describe Heithni
ideals (ex. Heithinn ethics - those ethics which conform to Heithni),
or as a noun to describe those who live by the ethics and world-view
of Heithni (ex. He is Heithinn, those people are Heithinn.
With reference to a general idea of what northern Folk
believed in; one has to be careful here, though, because there does
not seem to have been much of a conscious collective 'ideology' or
terminology for Heathenism within Elder
Northern Europe until Christianity arrived, Which
necessitated having the two faiths be defined so as to have
demarcation lines of ideology and beliefs between the two for the
purpose of common understanding and knowledge. So... in essence
opinions suggests that the term 'Heiđni' (heithni in English
orthography) is more historically accurate in referring to any sort of
and/or reconstruction of the various beliefs in Elder
Europe before the Christian invasion.
Being of European ancestry is not necessarily a requirement. In the
Northern faith, celebrating holidays or rather Holy days and cycles of
the year, naming, profession, coming-of-age, marriage, and death
ceremonies is practiced within the religion of Asatru.
Death is not viewed as an end to all existence. Their
view is focused on nature itself, which shows us the continuing cycle
of composition, decomposition, and re-composition (Birth, Death,
and Rebirth). We see that the life we lead should be held with
dignity, respect, and energy.
Freyja is often
mistaken as a goddess of love, this is certainly inaccurate. She is
actually a goddess of sex and wanton as well as a battle goddess. Loki
accuses her in the poem Loksenna of sleeping with all the gods.
Valhalla, the "Hall of the chosen slain Warriors" is
not the only place of the afterlife contrary to popular Viking
stories. There are many other halls of the Gods and Goddesses where
one may dwell after death such as Sessrumnir means “Many Seated”, the
Goddess Freyja’s Hall. But there is also Hel, the home of the goddess
Hella who is one of the children of Loki the mischief god.
Aegir’s (Lord of the Seas) banquet, Loki is depicted here driven out
by Thor for his insults. Painting by Constantin Hansen Royal Museum
of Fine Arts Copenhagen
Baldur lies Dead
Grammaticus tells the interesting story of how Odin in disgrace is
forced to leave his position as a `God', to be replaced by another man
who assumes the identity of Odin, only to later, having `payed his
due', return and reclaim his position as Odin. Saxo CE.1150–c.1220,was
the first important Danish historian. He was in the service of
archbishop of Lund, at whose suggestion Saxo wrote the Gesta
Danorum (or Historia Danica). The first nine books,
translated (1893, repr. 1967) Danish History, are mostly
composed of oral tradition and legends concerning the early Danes,
including the story of Hamlet. The remaining seven books, dealing more
with contemporary events, are an extremely valuable source for Danish
history. The cognomen grammaticus [learned] was probably
bestowed on Saxo after his death.
This is part of
the story of Odin's son Balder, in a quarrel with the Swedish
chieftain Höder (Hod) over the woman Nanna, which ends first with
Balder's death and later the revenge of Balder by Odin's newborn son
Bue. It is when Odin seduces the Russian princess to conceive Bue that
he disgraces himself, and so badly that `the Gods seated in Byzans'
demand Odin's abdication in order to preserve the proper respect
amongst the people for the gods. (Odin goes to a lot of trouble and in
fact rapes the daughter of the Russian king when she refuses his
proposals, which results in Bue.)
The man is
banished and forced into exile, whilst another man, Oller, takes his
place, as well as the name - Odin. Later, the judgement is revoked and
the original Odin is reinstated and Oller seeks refugee in Sweden but
is killed by the Danes. The Gesta Danorum is divided into sixteen
books, of which the first nine contain mainly mythological and
legendary material, which is presented in uncritical fashion. The last
seven, however, relating the events nearer Saxo's time, are
historical, and are believed to have been written first. For these he
relied on oral communication, especially on Absalon's own reports
which, so Saxo tells us, he accepted like a Divine revelation. For the
first nine books dealing with Northern antiquity the sources are old
Danish poems, Runic inscriptions, and Norwegian-Icelandic sagas. These
books possess a special interest for us on account of the ancient
legendary material preserved therein, much of which has come down to
us in no other form.
The Danish History,
Books I-IX by Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")fl. Late 12th -
Early 13th Century A.D.
Music:- Parchebel's Canon.
Artist: Angels of Venice
Freyja Runes Seidr
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