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Exploring the Northern Tradition Paperback – April 21, 2005


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Exploring the Northern Tradition + Essential Asatru: Walking the Path of Norse Paganism + The Prose Edda: Norse Mythology (Penguin Classics)
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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: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

This text will most likely come to be known, as the seminal work of it's kind.
K. C. Hulsman
This author makes it very clear where she is talking about standard things and lore and where she is drawing from her personal experience.
Eir's Own
To satisfy curiosity, or to embark on lifelong study, this would be a great book to begin with.
W. Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Michael Chesbro on February 1, 2006
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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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Eir's Own on August 2, 2006
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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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Bennett on November 2, 2008
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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Laure B. Lynch on June 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the book I wish had been available when I was first starting out in Heathenry; it's one of the few resources in print that presents Heathenry as a living faith, with all the essential details a newcomer needs to begin practicing it and interacting successfully with other Heathens.

For too long now, the usual process of absorption into the religion for those of us who get roped in by the Gods has been clumsy, awkward and embarassing. Full of enthusiasm and unable to get decent books on what it means to be Heathen, newbies have tended to jump online and join mailing lists, where they're subjected to an often merciless introductory "hazing" process until they either toughen up and learn to find their own way, or give up and run for the hills. This book hijacks that process by explaining not only the religion itself but the common attitudes and prejudices of its followers in a clear, readable fashion that anyone new to the faith can use as a reliable road map. The reader is introduced to Heathen cosmology and given a tour of the nine worlds as well as the even more confusing varieties of Heathenry, with details about both their roots in the past and current practice. Concepts such as wryd, the Heathen soul matrix, and ethics and values are made easy to grasp. There is a very nice introduction to the holy tides, as well as a thorough explanation of blot and sumbel (the two main Heathen ritual formats) that clarifies the difference between them and gives a blueprint to follow for creating your own.

The highlights of this book for me, however, are the long section introducing the Gods and Goddesses in a vibrant, involving way(and even providing meditations for getting to know many of Them better) and the chapter on personal devotions, an area often neglected in many people's practice of Heathenry. These two chapters alone make this book a must-read for the experienced Heathen as well as the newbie.
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