Is a book such as H. Rider Haggard’s She, which touches upon ancient European Pagan religion, and the mysteries of reincarnation, as in Book Six of the Aeneid , relevant to us as Odinists? Absolutely.
Apparently, we have been accused of “mixing pantheons” by some proponents of Asatru in America, but Odinism is based upon a European religious philosophical view, not a Semitic Judeo- Christian one. We do not queue up for intellectual blinders, support censorship of free speech, or quote verses from a Semitic book at people as a means of establishing authority. Instead, we use our own Gods’ given reason and intellect and all the resources at hand, to get as close to the truth, and what is interesting, as we can.
For this reason, as an Odinist, I have a wider, larger, sort of definition of what an Odinist book is. For example, I would consider the Iliad to be an Odinist book, and for that matter, so would Snorri Sturluson who wrote the Prose Edda. The reason is that he believed, as do many others, that the historical Trojans were a tribe of Scandinavian folk. This, therefore, makes the Iliad our own ancestral epic.
One also might consider the works of writers and poets of our related Nordic tribes to be part of our people’s shared experience, and it is clear, that to some extent, many of our European legends have common sources in distant times past. To ignore books, scrolls, songs and other traditions of Nordics because they happen to be from Finland rather than Sweden, or to not take account of an instance in which Celtic and Germanic traditions meet, would be somewhat intellectually bankrupt, and again, a Christian, not an Odinist outlook.
It does not mean we are not faithful to our Ancestors or Gods when we read great Nordic works such as Beowulf, because these were our ancestors too, or at the very least our cousins, and this is our tradition as well. We need not be afraid to look at the vast expanse of knowledge and the adventures of our tribes in far flung climes of the past or now. To see the big picture will not impair our identity, but enhance our understanding of it. In a very real sense, these great works show us who we are.
For more about the Mímisbrunnr Library Project & Stiklarstaðir Academy, press the Beowulf cover illustration above . Below is a bookshelf with just a very small sampling of Odinist books from Odinia’s new “Goodreads” Odinist Book Shelf. Please feel free to send us suggestions and tell us about your favorite Odinist books and authors. You can also submit a review or article, either scholarly or popular, to our acquisitions editor at FoxFire.
- The Aeneid by Virgil 19 BCE, Translation, John Dryden ^
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