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Norse Mythology
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from Hávamál (Sayings of the High One)
Curse not thy guest, nor show him thy gate,
Deal well with a man in want.
Strong is the beam that raised must be
To give an entrance to all;
Give it a ring, or grim will be
The wish it would work on thee.

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Yeah but when your brother in law moves to Alaska you can still party right? As long as you were an ok host? 
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from Jacob Grimm's Teutonic Mythology
"An unmistakable relic of the worship paid to the thunder-god is the special observance of Thursday, which was not extinct among the people till quite recent times. It is spoken of in quite early documents of the Middle Ages.

"On Thursday evening one must neither spin nor hew. The Esthonians think Thursday holier than Sunday. What punishment overtook the transgressor, may be gathered from another superstition, which, it is true, substituted the hallowed day of Christ for that of Donar (Thor):

"He that shall work on Trinity Sunday (the next after Pentecost), or shall wear anything sewed or knitted (on that day), shall be stricken by thunder."

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Guillermo the IVth's profile photo
+Gwyen Raamat: Estonian reference.
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Discount registration now open for my new public classes on roots of Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung in mythology, literature & philosophy. We'll discuss excerpts from a wide range of texts including the Icelandic Saga of the Volsungs & the German Nibelungenlied. Follow link above for more details.
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Abridged from The Local Norway
A stone-age rock carving of a figure on skis has been vandalised. A youth used a sharp object to scratch along the lines of the carving, apparently intending to make then clearer for other visitors.

“It’s a tragedy, because it’s one of the most famous Norwegian historical sites,” said Bård Anders Langø, mayor of Alstahaug Municipality. “It is one of the most internationally known symbols of Norway.”

The carving, on the island of Tro off Nordland, northern Norway, is among the earliest evidence of skiing by Stone Age man. Langø said that archeologists believe the damage to the carving was irreversible.

“They are going back in September to do a bigger study, but what they can say now is that it's probably damaged forever, and we may not ever be able to see the pictogram of the skier as it was originally made 5,000 years ago.”

He said the youth, who is a minor, had also damaged other rock carvings at the site. He is not being named in order to protect him from abuse.

"He's a kid, and it was done out of good intentions," he said. "He was trying to make it more visible actually, and I don’t think he understood how serious it was. I think now he understands."

Ven M's profile photoMarva Dasef's profile photo
If destruction or graffiti was intended, then the kid/parents should have to pay some consequence. I think the kid was just trying to be helpful by making the image clearer. The question I have is what measures are taken in the area such as signage or short keep-out walls like they have in art museums.
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"Stop mixing religion & politics!" My new article addresses this common complaint by showing how the two have always been inextricably interlinked in Heathen history, mythology & theology.
Anthony McPherson's profile photoNorse Mythology's profile photoGuillermo the IVth's profile photo
Good points. Neither politics nor religion live in a vacuum, and one will always influence the other in varying degrees.
The texts can probably be read & applied both literally & allegorically, and not to pick apart the intellectual prep vs defense prep examples but one-third of Iceland's population owns guns, which also means both interpretations are safely covered.
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Many acts of violence have recently been in our national conversation: Orlando nightclub shooting, Dallas & Baton Rouge police shootings, Nice & Munich attacks, killings of Alton Sterling & Philando Castile. In my new column, I ask what positive actions can be taken in such a charged climate by those who practice a form of Ásatrú or Heathenry.
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In SOME of those listed, I would protect the victim.... in other ones I would protect the REAL victim from the onslaught afterward.
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Have them in circles
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Norse Mythology

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by Friso Spoelstra
Condensed from The Guardian
Every spring in Barbagia, a remote mountainous part of Italy, they hold the Feste Pagane. It symbolises fertility, mysterious brotherhoods, and the struggle between the people and the spirits who freeze the land in the winter.

The guy in the black mask is called a Merdule. He symbolises the bond between man and nature. Sardinians have always been shepherds so the ritual is also to protect the flock against evil. The Merdule does this quite literally – beating villagers and chasing them away from the “sheep”.

The Merdule hit me on the legs with his whip. It was really painful. Then he did it again. And again. I realised it was going to go on all the day, though it wasn’t just for me of course: all Sardinians were being terrorised. Although the atmosphere was mostly fun, there was a scary, violent undercurrent.

In the German Alps, where devils called Krampus chased people, I saw a man – clearly from out of town – getting really upset and swearing because he’d been hit. A policeman had to calm him down and explain it was just the local custom.

I’ve been chased by devils through the mountains. I’ve run naked through fields in Latvia. I’ve been drenched in all kinds of stuff – sometimes I never found out what it was. The rituals I attend often take place in small villages, on islands, or up in the mountains. Remoteness is perhaps why the customs survive.

The festivals bring communities together, but also give a feeling of local identity, especially as young people move away. On Terschelling, an island in the Netherlands, I met a man who flies from Sydney every year for a festival there.

The composition [of the photo] was intentional: masked men in the foreground, church in the background. The contrast between pagan and Christian, past and present, all comes together in this shot.

Having spent the day chasing villagers and performing small plays, the flock and the shepherd got tired and headed home. You have no idea who is behind the masks, so it’s a shock when they introduce themselves. I was invited back to the house of one masked men and ate homemade cheese and wine with his family. I had been beaten up – but by some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

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+Staci Schmeltz: Reminds me of your Lammas Night interlude, but with some flogging.
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from Hávamál (Sayings of the High One)
Nine mighty songs I got from the son
Of Bolthorn, Bestla's father;
And a drink I got of the goodly mead
Poured out from Othrörir.

Then began I to thrive, and wisdom to get,
I grew and well I was;
Each word led me on to another word,
Each deed to another deed.

Runes shalt thou find, and fateful signs,
That the king of singers colored,
And the mighty gods have made;
Full strong the signs, full mighty the signs
That the ruler of gods doth write.

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Our friend Heather Greene at The Wild Hunt has written a wonderful article on the roots of the Olympics in pagan ritual. She does a great job tracing the influence of religion through the history of the event.

Read her piece at

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Simple lines and color, but a lot of depth and meaning. Sorry, couldn't resist getting pithy.
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Germanic folklore from Lang's Brown Fairy Book
Over all the vast under-world the mountain gnome Rübezahl was lord; and busy enough the care of his dominions kept him. There were the endless treasure chambers to be gone through, and the hosts of gnomes to be kept to their tasks. Some built strong barriers to hold back the fiery vapours to change dull stones to precious metal, or were hard at work filling every cranny of the rocks with diamonds and rubies; for Rübezahl loved all pretty things.

Sometimes the fancy would take him to leave those gloomy regions, and come out upon the green earth for a while, and bask in the sunshine and hear the birds sing. And as gnomes live many hundreds of years he saw strange things. For, the first time he came up, the great hills were covered with thick forests, in which wild animals roamed, and Rübezahl watched the fierce fights between bear and bison, or chased the grey wolves, or amused himself by rolling great rocks down into the desolate valleys, to hear the thunder of their fall echoing among the hills.

But the next time he ventured above ground, what was his surprise to find everything changed! The dark woods were hewn down, and in their place appeared blossoming orchards surrounding cosy-looking thatched cottages; for every chimney the blue smoke curled peacefully into the air, sheep and oxen fed in the flowery meadows, while from the shade of the hedges came the music of the shepherd's pipe. The strangeness and pleasantness of the sight so delighted the gnome that he never thought of resenting the intrusion of these unexpected guests, who, without saying 'by your leave' or 'with your leave,' had made themselves so very much at home upon is hills; nor did he wish to interfere with their doings, but left them in quiet possession of their homes, as a good householder leaves in peace the swallows who have built their nests under his eaves.

He was indeed greatly minded to make friends with this being called 'man,' so, taking the form of an old field labourer, he entered the service of a farmer. Under his care all the crops flourished exceedingly, but the master proved to be wasteful and ungrateful, and Rubezahl soon left him, and went to be shepherd to his next neighbour. He tended the flock so diligently, and knew so well where to lead the sheep to the sweetest pastures, and where among the hills to look for any who strayed away, that they too prospered under his care, and not one was lost or torn by wolves; but this new master was a hard man, and begrudged him his well-earned wages.

So he ran away and went to serve the judge. Here he upheld the law with might and main, and was a terror to thieves and evildoers; but the judge was a bad man, who took bribes, and despised the law. Rubezahl would not be the tool of an unjust man, and so he told his master, who thereupon ordered him to be thrown in prison. Of course that did not trouble the gnome at all, he simply got out through the keyhole, and went away down to his underground palace, very much disappointed by his first experience of mankind.

But, as time went on, he forgot the disagreeable things that had happened to him, and thought he would take another look at the upper world...

Illustration: 1916 postcard
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from Hávamál (Sayings of the High One)
A man shall not boast of his keenness of mind,
But keep it close in his breast.
To the silent and wise does ill come seldom
When he goes as guest to a house,
For a faster friend one never finds
Than wisdom tried and true.

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Allfather was with me today. An auspicious selection. My many thanks.
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The Norse Mythology Google+ Page
Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried is a writer on mythology and religion. A Norse mythologist and musician in Chicago, he teaches courses on mythology, religion, J.R.R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner for Newberry Library's Seminar Program. He taught Norse mythology at Loyola University Chicago and Norse religion at Carthage College, where he was founder and faculty advisor of the Tolkien Society.

Karl is President of Interfaith Dialogue at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as Contact Person for the Ásatrú Student Network.

Karl's website, The Norse Mythology Blog, was named the world's Best Religion Weblog in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It is the first religion blog to enter the Weblog Awards Hall of Fame. In addition to original articles and interviews on myth and religion, the site features projects such as the Worldwide Heathen Census 2013, a first attempt to estimate current numbers of adherents of the modern iteration of Norse religion.

Karl is a featured columnist for The Wild Hunt, the primary international source for news and commentary relating to minority religions. Mollie Hemingway, Senior Editor at The Federalist, has called The Wild Hunt "a must-read for those interested in news and events dealing with the modern Pagan and Heathen communities – and religion coverage in general."

Karl's writing on mythology and religion has been broadcast on the BBC as part of a series featuring "leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond." His work has been published in Herdfeuer (Germany), Iceland Magazine, Interfaith Ramadan (Italy), MythNow (Joseph Campbell Foundation), On Religion (UK), Religion and Ethics (Australia), and Reykjavík Grapevine (Iceland).

Karl wrote all definitions relating to Ásatrú (Norse religion) in the Religion Newswriters Association's Religion Stylebook, and he was a co-author of the Heathen Resource Guide for Chaplains written by the Open Halls Project Workgroup for the U.S. Department of Defense. He edited The Illustrated Hávamál, which will be published in September.

"One Crime over the Line: Śiśupāla in the Mahābhārata," Karl's article examining events at the royal consecration of Yudhiṣṭhira in light of other happenings in the Mahābhārata, later Indian texts, historical practice and religious concepts, will be published in volume 65 of the Journal of the Oriental Institute, the peer-reviewed academic publication of MSU of Baroda (India), the institution that issued critical editions of Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇa and the Viṣṇu Purāṇa.

Karl has been interviewed on myth and religion by the BBC, Daily BeastHistory Channel, OnFaithPublic Radio International's The World, Strings Magazine, Chicago Public Radio's Morning Edition, Raven Radio, Viking Magazine and Wired Magazine. He has been a featured lecturer on literary and musical interpretations of Norse mythology at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wagner Society of America and Wheaton College.

A member of the American Academy of Religion, Religion Newswriters Association, Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, and Viking Society for Northern Research (UK), Karl is also the Official Norse Mythologist of the Stephanie Miller Show.

Karl holds degrees in literature and music from University of California at San Diego, University of Wisconsin at Madison and University of Texas at Austin. He studied literature and art history at Loyola University Chicago Rome Center in Italy and has taken Icelandic language courses through University of Iceland's distance learning program. He recently received an academic scholarship from University of Chicago Divinity School and is now working on an MA in Religion.


Chicago Public Radio: "[Karl's] one of the country’s most respected researchers and lecturers on Norse mythology."
Chicago Humanities Festival: "Seigfried is a prolific chronicler of the world of Norse mythology."
Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth): "[Karl's] probably a better Guardian of Asgard than I am."
Jóhanna G. Harðardóttir (Ásatrúarfélagið): "Hér er rétti maðurinn á ferð til að kenna Norræna goðafræði í US."
Weaving Wyrd: "His questions are thought-provoking, and his scholarly bona fides are pretty impressive."
Syracuse University iSchool: "This is an entertaining and enlightening blog to follow for anyone interested in Norse mythology."
Bob Freeman: "For anyone with an interest in Norse culture, myth, and magic, there is no better place to visit on the web."
Carthage News: "His would be considered a David-and-Goliath story, except Carthage professor Karl Seigfried topped the writers who discuss those kinds of biblical figures."
The Wild Hunt: "If you aren’t already reading Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried's amazing The Norse Mythology Blog, then you've been remiss. The blog is one of the most content-rich affairs for lovers of Norse mythology I’ve ever seen."
Tales of a GM: "This is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the history and culture of Northern Europe. The Norse Mythology Blog is such a brilliant combination of modern issues and ancient sources. If you have any interest in Norse culture or mythology, then you must visit Dr Seigfried’s site."
Vancouver Sun: "The best blog on faith and spirituality may be one about a so-called ‘dead’ religion, Norse mythology. The Norse Mythology Blog reflects deep knowledge of this ancient religion, along with an affable spirit. [Karl] knows everything one would ever want to know about Thor, Odin, Frey, Loki, Frigg, Freya and countless more Norse gods, goddesses and mythological hangers-on."
City Magazine (Serbia): "Ako vas je ikada makar malo zainteresovala istorija i kultura severne Evrope, a naročito njena istorija, ovde ćete naći mnogo više interesantnog štiva nego što biste se ikada nadali. Posebno je interesantno da uspeva da poveže savremene momente sa prastarim izvorima."



On Religion (UK)
: Most Popular Article of 2015
"Northern Zombies & Heathen Worldviews"


Weblog Awards (International): Best Religion Weblog
First religion blog to enter Weblog Awards Hall of Fame


Weblog Awards (International)
: Best Religion Weblog

Bob Freeman: Best Esoteric Website

The Wild Hunt: Top Ten Pagan Stories of 2013
"Ásatrú Added to Religion Stylebook"


Weblog Awards (International): Best Religion Weblog




QUESTIONS? Contact Karl through the Contact page at The Norse Mythology Blog.