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Thread: Heathen/NT Divide

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Heathen/NT Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    There are Jotnar deities in there, so it's definitely a Northern Tradition prayer rather than a Heathen one. If you are looking into the Northern faiths, it will be helpful for you to be aware of the difference... we've got some really great, open minded and accepting Heathens here at PF, but a lot of Heathen groups will tear you to shreds for being Northern Tradition. You don't have to worry about it here, but be prepared for that if you are posting stuff up in Heathen communities.

    The NT folk at Asphodel Press generally mix and match their languages and time periods, so I'll translate the names into Old Norse before I give you pronunciations. I don't do Old English, so I can't help you with those pronunciations. Old Norse is my language of choice lol. But also remember that the deities don't seem to care... we've been mispronouncing their names for hundreds of years. This is not something that you should feel obligated to care about. Lots of people don't, and that's perfectly okay. If you want to just use the common Anglicized US versions then it actually is okay to do that.

    In Old Norse the stress is always in the first syllable, so I wont bother to do the capitalise-to-indicate-stress thing.
    Thanks so much, Raeya. I'm extremely eclectic in what I believe, simply because a fundamental belief of mine is that it is literally impossible for us to know the full truth while limited by our human bodies. Mostly at this point in my life I'm trying to define a practice and develop some self-discipline when it comes to worship, so I'm exploring several things to try and find the specific practices (devotionals, rituals, etc.) that resonate most deeply. I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg with the Northern Traditions, but I'm liking what I see.

    On the note of not needing to know how to pronounce things... I've known several people from foreign countries who don't mind how we garble their names, but I do know whenever I've taken the time to learn, when I've given them that respect, it's deeply appreciated. I don't imagine would be any different with the gods. Not necessary, but respectful and appreciated.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
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    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    Thanks so much, Raeya. I'm extremely eclectic in what I believe, simply because a fundamental belief of mine is that it is literally impossible for us to know the full truth while limited by our human bodies. Mostly at this point in my life I'm trying to define a practice and develop some self-discipline when it comes to worship, so I'm exploring several things to try and find the specific practices (devotionals, rituals, etc.) that resonate most deeply. I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg with the Northern Traditions, but I'm liking what I see.
    I generally identify as NT myself, so it's absolutely a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I just like to warn people new to the path so that they are aware of the possible shit-storm in certain communities.

    On the note of not needing to know how to pronounce things... I've known several people from foreign countries who don't mind how we garble their names, but I do know whenever I've taken the time to learn, when I've given them that respect, it's deeply appreciated. I don't imagine would be any different with the gods. Not necessary, but respectful and appreciated.
    This is exactly how I feel about it myself. The effort I take to research and learn is a sign of my commitment and respect. Not everyone feels the need to do ir, and I don't think they are being disrespectful or anything like that... it's just one of those things that I feel is important for me.

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    Member Rowan Wulfram's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    There are Jotnar deities in there, so it's definitely a Northern Tradition prayer rather than a Heathen one. If you are looking into the Northern faiths, it will be helpful for you to be aware of the difference... we've got some really great, open minded and accepting Heathens here at PF, but a lot of Heathen groups will tear you to shreds for being Northern Tradition. You don't have to worry about it here, but be prepared for that if you are posting stuff up in Heathen communities.
    I have a question about this. I've been doing general Germanic reconstruction for a while (still doing cross-culture studies at the moment. German, Norse, Anglo-Saxon, etc.) but I've only recently decided to also start participating with the modern heathen community within the last few months.

    I must say though, I've never heard of this differentiation in the communities I'm a part of. Are you saying that "Heathen" only refers to the mainland German traditions? I've only heard "heathen" as an all-encompassing term that includes all followers of the Germanic gods, no matter the variations of name or tradition. So a "heathen" can be Asatru, Theodish, Northern Tradition, Anglo-Saxon - whatever. This is the only way that I've heard the word "heathen" used both online and off.

    I'm just curious as to why you use "heathen" as such a specific term? I know, of course, that historically it was used in Germany by the Christians to refer to the "people of the heath", i.e. those that were not yet converted. But as far as I've been able to tell it gained a slightly different definition in modern context. Of course, I also live in the United States and countries tend to have their own vocabularies. Is this differentiation something that is common to Australia? Or has it been used in online communities?

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    I believe she's referring to kindred and that sort of thing. Many in the heathen community look down on those who practice a variety of traditions. They seem big on labels.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Wulfram View Post
    Are you saying that "Heathen" only refers to the mainland German traditions?
    No, but I am saying that Heathen and Northern Tradition are two different things. Generally, most Heathen groups are reconstructionist and dislike the Northern Tradition folk. There are small pockets of Heathens who are not reconstructionst, but we're talking the big groups here. It's a disputed topic... whether or not Heathenry is JUST recons or whether in includes non-recons. But if you poke around on enough Heathen forums and websites you'll start to see that a large proportion of prominent US based groups consider Heathenry to specifically be reconstructionists. European groups are different, and the term 'heathen' there is much more of an umbrella term. Australia doesn't really have an opinion as a country, but then we tend to be fairly laid back about stuff like that.

    Either way, even a lot of non-recon Heathens get all weird about NT folk. Hence my warning to Shahaku. I've seen people new to the Northern Paths be ripped into for innocently mentioning NT stuff or Jotnar deities. NT folk aren't welcome at many Heathen forums and groups.

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    Member Rowan Wulfram's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    Thanks for your reply, I don't know very much about Northern Tradition and I guess I just didn't realize they were that different. Good to know! I did read some of "Exploring the Northern Tradition" when I first started studying paganism, is that what it was describing?

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Wulfram View Post
    Thanks for your reply, I don't know very much about Northern Tradition and I guess I just didn't realize they were that different. Good to know! I did read some of "Exploring the Northern Tradition" when I first started studying paganism, is that what it was describing?
    It's one of those things that comes down to petty politics, to be perfectly honest.

    Northern Tradition is the label that we use for non-recon, modernist forms of the Northern faiths which are generally much more accepting of UPG and which are incredibly inclusive when it comes to things like working with the Jotnar. Modern recon Heathens squabble over which Jotnar are acceptable and which aren't (generally Skadhi and Tyr are acceptable while Gerdh is tolerated, Loki is a nest of vipers and the thought of worshiping Fenrir or Surt is enough to trigger a conniption fit), while NT people accept and often actively seek the Jotnar deities. Working closely with the Alfar and Dvergr is not quite as controversial, but is common in NT circles.

    NT folk are also more likely to claim the term 'pagan', to work closely with nature (ironic, considering that a relationship with the local landvaettir was historically important yet is often left out of modern Heathen practices), to lean towards shamanism beyond what is commonly accepted as seidhr, and to be accepting of UPG. There are also a number of prominent NT people who claim to be reconstructing pre-Viking Age practices vs the Viking Age focus of many Heathen groups.

    In general, NT folk are far less concerned about the distinction as Heathen folk are. Which is why such discrimination tends to come as a surprise to a lot of us. If you're just starting in the online Heathen communities, then it's worth being aware of that. I don't mean to turn people away from Heathen groups... just to ensure that new people understand that there is a great deal of controversy about the issue and that it may lead to arguments or discrimination.

    As for "Exploring the Northern Tradition"... it's a very good book and I like it. Krasskova claims the term 'Heathen', while Kaldera is quite clear that he is NT and does not write about Heathenry. They are both controversial authors in Heathen circles for slightly different reasons... in some places just mentioning their names is enough to cause a shitfight, let alone agreeing with them. But yes, that particular book is a pretty good overview. And as you can see there is nothing spectacularly earth shattering about being Northern Tradition versus Heathen. Some of us claim both terms. Some of us claim only one. Some of us decide they'd rather avoid the conflict altogether and use labels like 'Norse Pagan' or 'Northern Polytheist' or something neutral like that.

    At the end of the day it's just labels. And squabbling over them is petty and ridiculous. But modern Heathenry cares more about labels than the average spiritual path does. Personally my only hardline about labels is that you shouldn't claim a label that don't belong to you. I personally define 'Heathen' as recon or at least modernist-recon groups, which is why I don't use that label.

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    Re: Pronunciation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    It's one of those things that comes down to petty politics, to be perfectly honest.

    Northern Tradition is the label that we use for non-recon, modernist forms of the Northern faiths which are generally much more accepting of UPG and which are incredibly inclusive when it comes to things like working with the Jotnar. Modern recon Heathens squabble over which Jotnar are acceptable and which aren't (generally Skadhi and Tyr are acceptable while Gerdh is tolerated, Loki is a nest of vipers and the thought of worshiping Fenrir or Surt is enough to trigger a conniption fit)

    To insinuate heathens do not have UPG is disingenuous, we DO have it it's just we do not go plastering it all over every message board and facebook group we can find seeking validation but instead talk about it with people we either trust or may have had similar experiences.


    In regards to Skadhi, she was accepted through marriage into their ranks and from that point on she is no longer considered an outsider. You must also remember that this was also taken in repayment for the death of her father, which shows that she was considered to have some value.


    As far as Gerd is concerned, she was taken through force by Frey and because of that her ranking among the gods is debatable, as is the fact whether or not she held any worth within their ranks other than being the possession of Frey. She is nothing more than a thrall/concubine and while she is part of Frey's household and no longer strictly an outsider, her value lies only in that


    What possible reason would anyone have in entering into the reciprocal gifting relationship with Fenrir? The same can be said for Loki considering what the evidence taught as opposed to tells.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    NT folk are also more likely to claim the term 'pagan', to work closely with nature (ironic, considering that a relationship with the local landvaettir was historically important yet is often left out of modern Heathen practices)

    Not sure how you came to this conclusion, maybe in Australia it is like that but certainly not here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    In general, NT folk are far less concerned about the distinction as Heathen folk are. Which is why such discrimination tends to come as a surprise to a lot of us. If you're just starting in the online Heathen communities, then it's worth being aware of that. I don't mean to turn people away from Heathen groups... just to ensure that new people understand that there is a great deal of controversy about the issue and that it may lead to arguments or discrimination.

    Just look below at who the NT "leaders" are and their reputations.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    As for "Exploring the Northern Tradition"... it's a very good book and I like it. Krasskova claims the term 'Heathen', while Kaldera is quite clear that he is NT and does not write about Heathenry. They are both controversial authors in Heathen circles for slightly different reasons... in some places just mentioning their names is enough to cause a shitfight, let alone agreeing with them. But yes, that particular book is a pretty good overview. And as you can see there is nothing spectacularly earth shattering about being Northern Tradition versus Heathen. Some of us claim both terms. Some of us claim only one. Some of us decide they'd rather avoid the conflict altogether and use labels like 'Norse Pagan' or 'Northern Polytheist' or something neutral like that.

    Galina is a nutter plain and simple and has a very bad reputation not just in "heathen circles" but in her actual regional area where we are WELL aware of her doings. As far as Kaldera is concerned, you say that "Krasskova claims the term 'Heathen', while Kaldera is quite clear that he is NT and does not write about Heathenry." but I can tell you at PAGAN gatherings...they dare not show to heathen ones...that he or his ilk show up to they PRESENT THEMSELVES as "being heathens" until of course they are called out on it and quickly change their tune.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    At the end of the day it's just labels. And squabbling over them is petty and ridiculous. But modern Heathenry cares more about labels than the average spiritual path does. Personally my only hardline about labels is that you shouldn't claim a label that don't belong to you. I personally define 'Heathen' as recon or at least modernist-recon groups, which is why I don't use that label.
    Labels serve a purpose.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Wulfram View Post

    I'm just curious as to why you use "heathen" as such a specific term? I know, of course, that historically it was used in Germany by the Christians to refer to the "people of the heath", i.e. those that were not yet converted. But as far as I've been able to tell it gained a slightly different definition in modern context. Of course, I also live in the United States and countries tend to have their own vocabularies. Is this differentiation something that is common to Australia? Or has it been used in online communities?

    A more in depth analysis of the term.


    http://odroerirjournal.com/?wpfb_dl=2

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post

    To insinuate heathens do not have UPG is disingenuous, we DO have it it's just we do not go plastering it all over every message board and facebook group we can find seeking validation but instead talk about it with people we either trust or may have had similar experiences.

    In regards to Skadhi, she was accepted through marriage into their ranks and from that point on she is no longer considered an outsider. You must also remember that this was also taken in repayment for the death of her father, which shows that she was considered to have some value.

    As far as Gerd is concerned, she was taken through force by Frey and because of that her ranking among the gods is debatable, as is the fact whether or not she held any worth within their ranks other than being the possession of Frey. She is nothing more than a thrall/concubine and while she is part of Frey's household and no longer strictly an outsider, her value lies only in that

    What possible reason would anyone have in entering into the reciprocal gifting relationship with Fenrir? The same can be said for Loki considering what the evidence taught as opposed to tells.

    Not sure how you came to this conclusion, maybe in Australia it is like that but certainly not here.

    Just look below at who the NT "leaders" are and their reputations.

    Galina is a nutter plain and simple and has a very bad reputation not just in "heathen circles" but in her actual regional area where we are WELL aware of her doings. As far as Kaldera is concerned, you say that "Krasskova claims the term 'Heathen', while Kaldera is quite clear that he is NT and does not write about Heathenry." but I can tell you at PAGAN gatherings...they dare not show to heathen ones...that he or his ilk show up to they PRESENT THEMSELVES as "being heathens" until of course they are called out on it and quickly change their tune.

    Labels serve a purpose.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A more in depth analysis of the term.

    http://odroerirjournal.com/?wpfb_dl=2
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  10. #10
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Pronunciation

    Firstly, Heka's right... you are actually not helping the image of recon Heathens here, GaryG. Secondly, let me address your addressing of my points, because it seems to me that you've jumped a few guns and not really paid attention to what I actually said.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    To insinuate heathens do not have UPG is disingenuous, we DO have it it's just we do not go plastering it all over every message board and facebook group we can find seeking validation but instead talk about it with people we either trust or may have had similar experiences.
    I didn't say that Heathens don't have UPG. I said that NT is generally much more accepting of UPG. Do you see the difference there?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    In regards to Skadhi, she was accepted through marriage into their ranks and from that point on she is no longer considered an outsider. You must also remember that this was also taken in repayment for the death of her father, which shows that she was considered to have some value.
    Yes, I know why Skadhi is accepted. I've read the Lore. I've also read the anthropology texts supporting Skadhi's worship in Viking Age Scandinavia. And I'm not really sure what your point here is, because we seem to agree on this particular issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    As far as Gerd is concerned, she was taken through force by Frey and because of that her ranking among the gods is debatable, as is the fact whether or not she held any worth within their ranks other than being the possession of Frey. She is nothing more than a thrall/concubine and while she is part of Frey's household and no longer strictly an outsider, her value lies only in that.
    Uh huh. Are you supporting or denying my claim that Heathens squabble over whether deities like Gerdhr are acceptable or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    What possible reason would anyone have in entering into the reciprocal gifting relationship with Fenrir? The same can be said for Loki considering what the evidence taught as opposed to tells.
    Me personally, none. But that doesn't mean that it's not valid for someone else to feel the need to do so.

    Regarding Loki. Really? Loki helped the Aesir far more than he harmed them. He got them out of every pickle that he put them in, and that they put themselves into. He handed them almost every single one of their most precious treasures. He is Odhinn's blood brother and traveled extensively with both Odhinn and with Thor. If you've read the Lore you know this. So exactly what is this 'evidence' supposed to have taught us?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    Not sure how you came to this conclusion, maybe in Australia it is like that but certainly not here.
    I came to that conclusion after observing online Heathen websites and communities for eight years and reading a large number of books by Heathen authors. And if you'll notice, I did say 'is often left out', not 'is always left out' or even 'is left out'.

    Can I presume from your comment that you are an animist yourself? Do you work with your local landvaettir on a regular basis? I would be interested in further details if you'd like to educate me further on the workings of you and your kindred.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    Just look below at who the NT "leaders" are and their reputations.
    I'm aware of their reputations. Hence why I commented on their reputations and like to warn people about the exact reaction that you are now displaying. Thank you for validating my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    Galina is a nutter plain and simple and has a very bad reputation not just in "heathen circles" but in her actual regional area where we are WELL aware of her doings. As far as Kaldera is concerned, you say that "Krasskova claims the term 'Heathen', while Kaldera is quite clear that he is NT and does not write about Heathenry." but I can tell you at PAGAN gatherings...they dare not show to heathen ones...that he or his ilk show up to they PRESENT THEMSELVES as "being heathens" until of course they are called out on it and quickly change their tune.
    Having never been to a pagan gathering in the US I can't comment one way or another on this. But have you ever read either of their books? Every single book of Kaldera's, as well as his websites, have obvious disclaimers saying that he is not Heathen. And if they'd called their shared books 'Exlporing Heathenry' and 'Heathenry for the Solitary Practitioner' I'd have a different opinion of the books. But they don't.

    As for Krasskova, personally I have an issue with her claiming the term Heathen, which I believe I have already mentioned here at PF at least once. I define Heathen as recon, and she's not recon. I also don't particularly like her as an author, and there are things within both her and Kaldera's books that I don't agree with. But there are also things written by authors such as Thorsson, Aswyn, Plowright, Gerrard, Fries and even Gundarsson that I don't agree with. Not to mention our good friend Snorri. But I try not to throw babies out with bathwater.

    Either way, personal attacks against authors is not an effective way give feedback or to educate other people about said authors. Attack the work, not the author.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryG View Post
    Labels serve a purpose.
    Yes they do. Hence why I use labels, and why I have a hardline in my opinion on labels. Did I criticise Heathenry over caring about labels? No. I said that squabbling over them is petty.

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