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Thread: Getting Started as a Heathen

  1. #11
    Head Above Water habbalah's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorbjorn View Post
    I don't mind at all, nothing secretive about a shrine. Mine happens to be in a corner of the dining room. This picture is a bit outdated, I've since changed it a bit. I move things around, add a few things. Heathen altars tend to become a bit busy over time. But they need not be, I happen to be plagued with OCPD (obsessive compulsive personality order) and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). An altar really can be nothing more than a picture of a deity, a candle, and a bowl and drinking cup for a toast. It's whatever one's means allow. The only things I bought were the statue, horn, seax and hammer. I printed the pictures myself from the internet and framed them. I found the other stuff around.

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    Your altar is very nice!
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  2. #12
    Copper Member Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    Quote Originally Posted by habbalah View Post
    Your altar is very nice!
    Thank you.
    śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ


  3. #13
    Member Niall_Leppu's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    That altar is pretty rad! And what a wicked seax you have

  4. #14
    Copper Member Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    Thanks. The seax is about 17" long.
    śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
    śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ


  5. #15
    Member Cynica the Ageless's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    Thank you all for the very insightful input!

    Next question. Would you guys say that knowledge of the creation myths in the Norse Polytheistic Tradition is necessary for practice? And what's your opinion on Norse Magic? I've been reading that although seidr was practiced back then by shamans and the like, it was somewhat frowned upon and viewed as unmanly.

  6. #16
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynica the Ageless View Post
    Thank you all for the very insightful input!

    Next question. Would you guys say that knowledge of the creation myths in the Norse Polytheistic Tradition is necessary for practice? And what's your opinion on Norse Magic? I've been reading that although seidr was practiced back then by shamans and the like, it was somewhat frowned upon and viewed as unmanly.
    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but IIRC there was a taboo against men using Seidr but Odin was also known to use it. Granted Odin did all sorts of things that he got away with by virtue of being Odin and trying to follow his methods too closely might end badly but you'd have a rather pointed precedent if you chose to take the taboo and pick up Seidr.
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  7. #17
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Started as a Heathen

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynica the Ageless View Post
    Thank you all for the very insightful input!

    Next question. Would you guys say that knowledge of the creation myths in the Norse Polytheistic Tradition is necessary for practice? And what's your opinion on Norse Magic? I've been reading that although seidr was practiced back then by shamans and the like, it was somewhat frowned upon and viewed as unmanly.
    Be careful using the term 'shaman' when discussing historical Norse and Germanic practices... it's not technically correct and is one of those terms that could get you into an argument. Technically, seidhr was practiced by seidhkonur and volvur (no accent marks, 'cos I'm lazy), and while you can loosely consider it a form of shamanic practice, there are a LOT of Heathens who would pounce on you about that. Especially when you consider that many recons get their hackles up by anything that smacks of Northern Tradition folk and their shamanic practices (though there's a very good reason we call it Northern Tradition Shamanism and not seidhr).

    As to the questions...

    Knowledge of the creation myths is not necessary for practice, but practicing without it is kind of... incomplete. I'm generally an advocate of learning as much about a tradition before claiming to practice it, and if you claim the term 'Heathen' or 'Asatruar' but don't have the basic knowledge of the mythos you'll find that people wont take you very seriously. Plus the gods, wights and ancestors may not take you very seriously either. You don't HAVE to know it to practice, but knowing it goes a long way to displaying your dedication and seriousness in the path. And not knowing it will stop you from forming a deeper understanding of the gods, wights and ancestors, which I think is important for a deeper exploration of the path.

    'Norse magick' is a modern term that honestly is a bit of a misnomer. It would be more accurate to talk about galdr and seidhr, both of which are complex subjects (and not the only two forms of 'magick' performed by our ancestors). Traditionally seidhr was considers the domain of women, and men who performed it were considered unmanly... but times have changed and there are now quite a few seidhmadhr (male practitioners of seidhr) who are well accepted by many Heathens and NT folk. It's not like there were never any male seidhr workers in Viking Age Scandinavia... so there's precedent for it. But it wasn't a highly regarded occupation for a man to have. Also, I agree with what Masked One said...

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but IIRC there was a taboo against men using Seidr but Odin was also known to use it. Granted Odin did all sorts of things that he got away with by virtue of being Odin and trying to follow his methods too closely might end badly but you'd have a rather pointed precedent if you chose to take the taboo and pick up Seidr.
    You're correct, though it's one of the things that Loki threw in Othinn's face during the infamous dinner party he wasn't invited to. Though that was a pot-kettle-black situation, given Loki's propensity for gender bending... the difference being that Loki is very upfront about HIS unmanly behaviour.

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