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Exploring the Northern Tradition Paperback – April 21, 2005

4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Galina Krasskova draws on her own 12 years of experience as a Heathen priest. She is currently Aeweweard in Thaet Angelseaxisce Ealdriht, a member of The Troth, and has also studied interfaith ministry in NYC. Galina cofounded the New York Metro Asatru Society in October of 2000. She is a frequent contributor to such respected Pagan and Heathen magazines as Sagewoman, New Witch, Idunna, The Ealdriht Bóc, and Marklander.
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Product Details

  • Series: Exploring
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Page Books; First Edition edition (April 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564147916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564147912
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of the best heathen books that I have ever read. It provides a good overview of standard heathen practices and lore but also offers what most books on heathenry don't: meditations, suggestions for devotion rituals, and other things drawn from personal experience. I like that. It helps me discover ways of deepening my own practice.

I have to really disagree with what some of the other reviewers have written. There is nothing Wicca-ish or new age about this book. It does go beyond the usual boring, repetitive parameters of the typical asatru book but I think that's a good thing. Ms Kasskova did start out in a pagan organization but notes in the footnotes that it wasn't a Wiccan organization. I don't think that can be held against her though. Most heathens I know started out christian!

I was really surprised and pleased to find so many Goddesses discussed too (She also discusses many, many Gods), especially Eir. It's very hard to find anything on some of these Goddesses. Very little exists in the lore and no one is ever willing to talk about their experiences. This author makes it very clear where she is talking about standard things and lore and where she is drawing from her personal experience. She also doesn't shy away from talking about controversial topics like animal sacrifice. And I for one found the discussion of the different denominations in heathenry very helpful. Ms Krasskova gives a lot of information that the new comer to heathen religion needs to know. And since the book is called "introduction to rites...etc." it's obviously a beginner's book. I don't think it can be faulted for that, as one reviewer below does.

I give this book five stars. i can't think of a better book to give to someone interested in heathen religion. I wish i had this book when i started out. It would have made things a lot easier. I plan on giving it to all my heathen friends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There was a time when all of Northern Europe followed a common faith. The people shared a belief in the same Gods, common ethics and common values. A small portion of these beliefs and values have been passed down to us in the Eddas, Sagas and other history. In modern times there are those who still follow the old ways. All modern Heathens (those who follow the Northern Tradition) share a common theology, a common set of core values and a common documented history going back 1000+ years.

In Exploring The Northern Tradition, Galina Krasskova has captured the essence of this theology, values and history in a book that is both highly informative and at the same time enjoyable to just sit and read.

After a brief look at the history of the Northern Tradition, Galina Krasskova introduces us to what might be considered the three major branches of modern Heathenry: the Tribalist, the Universalist, and the Folkish Heathen. We are then introduced to the Theodish Belief ~ a form of Tribal Heathenry, bound together by a "web-of-oaths". Here we see tribal bonds formed between men of varying social status by means of sacred oaths. It is also pointed out that while all Theods are Tribalists, not all Tribalists hold fast to the Theodish Belief.

Galina Krasskova next introduces us to the Cosmology of the Northern Tradition. From Ginungagap to Yggdrasil; and each of the nine worlds, from Midgard to Asgard, to Helheim. We learn the structure of the Universe as it is understood by those who follow the Northern Tradition.

As we continue Exploring The Northern Tradition, Galina Krasskova introduces us to the Gods and Goddesses of our ancestors, of our blood and of the Northern People. But here we have much more than a list of the Gods.
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Format: Paperback
While I am glad I purchased this book, I think I need to add a note of caution to all the glowing reviews above this one. Gallina has written a very thorough book, with solid descriptions of the different branches of heathenry, but when it comes to describing the Gods and Goddesses I find her a bit fluffy. She is very good at mentioning the lesser known dieties, but this is where the caution comes in: Where we lack lore, she has inserted her own personal experiences, which to me makes this less of an authentic piece of research and more of an unverified personal gnosis.

I wouldn't recommend this as a first book on heathenry, because without a little bit of previous experience it would be difficult to work out the fact from the guesswork. However for somebody who wants a well rounded idea of what's out there, and/or who is able to weed out the good bits, it is a very valuable addition to a home library.
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Format: Kindle Edition
There is so much wrong with this book. I'll make a list:

* The author writes a whole section on 'The Soul Matrix' as though it's an accurate concept that didn't really appear before the birth of Edred Thorsson (*hint*) or is even universally accepted by Heathens. Were the 'Soul Matrix' concept expounded upon as part of a wider overview of what Heathens consider the soul to be (or not), then this would have been acceptable. As it is, it's just the further propagation of one of the biggest misconceptions in Heathenry.

* The section on 'Wyrd' is just a carwreck that will only confuse any newbies. Wyrd and orlog are constantly muddled and while Bauschatz's work 'The Well And The Tree' is cited, it's only to affirm the importance of the tree as a symbol as opposed to giving any real 'meat' to the section.

* The gods are very much misrepresented in terms of importance to modern Heathens and portion of content devoted to them. There are almost 8 pages written on Loki but only 6 written on Odin. While the author does mention that Loki worship isn't widely accepted in the Heathen community (and is indeed a fringe thing for various reasons), there is no further exploration of this. It merely goes into the author's UPG (unverified personal gnosis) and bias when it comes to Loki.

* The ethics are only presented as being based on warrior ethics. Of course, this is to some degree inevitable as the ethics mentioned in the book are based on the nine noble virtues (and these do tend to suffer a bit from 'wannabe viking syndrome'). They really aren't a very accurate representation of the ethics of the Heathen period and rather neglect other aspects of Heathen society in favour of promoting the 'warrior faith' stereotype that's become a burden to modern Heathenry.
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