Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monstrosity in Old English and Old Icelandic Literature

Courtesy of

"Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to examine Old English and Old Icelandic literary examples of monstrosity from a modern theoretical perspective. I examine the processes of monstrous change by which humans can become identified as monsters, focusing on the role played by social and religious pressures."

The full doctoral dissertation by Alistair McLennan to the University of Glasgow may be found here.

Anglo-Saxon Recipes

Crustade of Chicken and Pigeon, Lamb and Apricot Stew, Curd Cheese Pastries,  and other recipes for traditional meals for the Anglo-Saxon feast table. Good source of traditional ideas for Saxon and other Germanic Reconstructionists. The full PDF article may be found here.

Staffordshire Hoard goes on display in Washington DC

"A museum in the United States has begun exhibiting the UK's largest find of Anglo-Saxon treasure. ...The exhibition is at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC. ... The hoard of more than 3,500 gold and silver artefacts was found by a metal detector enthusiast in a farmer's field in Staffordshire in July 2009." Full article at BBC News.

Metal detector fan Darren Webster finds Viking hoard

"A metal detector enthusiast has found a major hoard of Viking silver in a field on the Cumbria-Lancashire border. It is hoped the silver will eventually be displayed at a museum in Cumbria." Full article at BBC News.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"From the Aesir and Vanir" - the pre-Christian religion in Iceland and their attempt at resuscitation.

Article on the modern practice of Asatru in Iceland, in German, at

It's a new Viking invasion of Britain – but this time it's cultural

"After the discovery of a Viking burial site in Scotland, Norse history and myths are the focus of a TV saga, epic novels and a major British Museum exhibition." Full article by Vanessa Thorpe at The Guardian.

'Once Upon a Time' and 'Grimm' bring fairy-tale characters to prime time

"There are enough stories and characters in the German folk tales compiled by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 19th Century to fill at least 10 seasons of a TV series." And remember, many of these German folk tales had their earliest origins in the pre-Christian Germanic myths. Full article on the new television series may be found at the Times-Picayune.

Can We Debunk the Myth of the Horned Helmeted Viking with the Discovery in Scotland?

"The fact that the burial site is undisturbed let`s us know this is just as it occurred one gloomy day more than 1,000 years ago. We have an actual Viking axe now, a sword, a spear, and a bronze ring pin. But where is his horned helmet and skull drinking vessel?"

Well written editorial which unfortunately refutes one myth while invoking a far worse one, namely that of the Nazis's glorification and nostalgia for the Northern Traditions. While Himmler's interests in magic and the occult did include the runes, Hitler is on record as having contempt for both Himmler's interests and the ancient ways of  Northern Europe, preferring to use the Roman Empire as a model for his Third Reich while claiming the ancient German and Nordic peoples "lived in mud huts." (Diana Paxson speaks more in depth about this specious relation between Nazism and the Northern Path in her "Essential Asatru.")  Still the editorial is well written and makes a step in the right direction of refuting stereotypes and myths about our ancestors, and may be found in full at the Student Operated Press.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interview with The Avengers’ Tom Hiddleston: “You Were Made To Be Ruled”

Hiddleston promises there will be changes to the Loki that we have come to know from this past summer’s Thor. “He is definitively more menacing.' ...Studying up on both Marvel and Norse mythology, Hiddleston was able to craft the God of Mischief into a hybrid creation of his own. Full article and video at Poptimal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Viking Treasure

"A boat burial on the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, in Scotland, reveals just how noble the Vikings were." Full commentary, plus image of a Viking sword, at the Daily Telegraph.

The Origins of Divinity: ‘American Gods’

Image courtesy Wikimedia
"Gaiman novel looks critically at the fall of old legends and their modern replacements. ... Mr. Wednesday is even revealed to be Odin, a Norse god brought to America in the minds of the Viking explorers of the past." Read the full article at the Dakota Student Online.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Staffordshire Gold Hoard

"One day, or perhaps one night, in the late seventh century an unknown party traveled along an old Roman road that cut across an uninhabited heath fringed by forest in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. Possibly they were soldiers, ..." Read the full article at National Geographic.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Vikings

Well, some of us knew them. National Geographic video from Bing.

Battle of Hastings

Today, 14 October, marks the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, between Normand under Duke William of Normandy, afterwards known as William the Conqueror and King William I of England, and Anglo-Saxons under King Harold II Godwinson. Though both had been Christian for many years by this time, the Bayeaux Tapestry which recorded the events of the battle show William's forces carrying the raven banner of Odin before them, as their Viking ancestors had done.

New Public Hof in Minnesota

"Volkshof Kindred, a Heathen 501c3 organization located in the Twin Cities, recently purchased a building to be used as a Hof. ... The Kindred says the Hof will provide space for their board meetings, rituals, symbels and other religious and social activities.  It is also available to other heathen groups to rent for workshops or retreats."  Read the full story at the Pagan Newswire Collective.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Historian revives Scandinavian past through mythology

"These are the cultural stories that really shaped Scandinavia,” says Jill Johnson of the Nordic Arts Alliance, which is bringing in the speaker ... Johnson says that while (Ingibjörg) Gisladottir is billed as a storyteller who shares myths, the stories aren’t necessarily pure fiction and she tells them in some historical context." Read the full story at InForum.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Embracing Polytheism

"The monotheistic position is too often assumed to be the default standard against which all other traditions must be judged. Why must this be so?"
Thanks to Eric for posting this to Facebook. As he points out, though this article is about Hindu polytheism, its thesis is applicable to Heathenry as well as other polytheist paths. Full article is at the Daily Pioneer.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Photos: Life among the Sámi

Story on Erika Larsen's four year project recording the life of the Sámi people. The article may be read at Phaidon.  Thanks to The Browser for locating this item.

Not all prison worship requests accepted in Ohio

The article is actually about a warden refusing two inmates's request to wear sackcloth, but also covers provisions made for members of other religions, including Asatru. Read the article at

“Odd and the Frost Giants” By Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's book featuring Thor and the Frost Giants is among those recommended in this list of "Cool Books for Colder Days." See the full list at the Adrian, Michigan Daily Telegram.

Anglo-Saxon brooch goes on display

"An Anglo-Saxon brooch discovered in West Hanney is to go on show for the first time since it was unearthed two years ago." Read more at the Oxford Mail.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

'Percy Jackson' author planning book on Norse gods

""There are so many fantastic stories and I want to bring Thor and Odin and the other gods into the modern world, just like I did with the Greeks and Percy Jackson," (Rick) Riordan said. "I'll give the books an urban setting and have young people interacting with the Norse gods." Read the full story at the Utica Monitor.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Leading Chinese Animation Studio Crimson Forest to Bring Legendary Finnish Mythology to Life

A full-length animated feature, "The Sampo," based on the Finnish Kalevala legend, is set to be produced by China's leading animation studios:

"The story of Kalevala is one of Finland's most important tales, and has also served as an influence for J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion works. In the manner of all epic stories, the tale pulls at heartstrings and emotion as the hero battles his foes, himself, his people, and the one he loves. The story is an adventure and fantasy tale, evolving around the life of a young blacksmith who cheats death to find he has special powers. The amulet he forges, "The Sampo," brings with it not only fame and power, but also intertwines him in an epic battle of kings and kingdoms."

Read the full story at Business Insider.

New Historical Exhibitions in Iceland and Germany

"On occasion of the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair, October 12-16, and Iceland being the fair’s guest of honor, the National Museum of Iceland opened an exhibition about the making of manuscripts and archeological discoveries from the Icelandic settlement era in the Archeological Museum in Frankfurt on Friday." Full story at Iceland Review Online.

Iceland's First-Ever Animated Feature Gears Up for Theatrical Run

The Nordic country's most expensive film, "Legends of Valhalla: Thor," could be the first part of an adventure comedy franchise. Read the full story at The Hollywood Insider.

“Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold From England’s Dark Ages” at the National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C.

Staffordshire Hoard, the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure trove known to date, goes on display until March 2012. Read the full story at the Business Insider.