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Voluspa: Seidhr as Wyrd Consciousness Paperback – January 25, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (January 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419618415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419618413
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,017,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Coyote on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work suffers from one over-riding flaw: a mis-understanding of the All-father and a resultant mis-understanding of the Voluspa. For those who don't already know, the Voluspa is a work of prophecy recording a question and answer session between Odin and a dead volva (witch-seer-prophetess...kinda) that he summons to ask about the Wyrd (fate...kinda)of the Gods. Seidr is a northern "shaman-like" process of investigating the nine worlds and, obviously, their Wyrd. can see why I had to purchase this book based on the title alone. Seidr IS Wyrd-conciousness...the direct experience of the inner workings of the worlds. And the Voluspa is THE most important piece of Seidr we have as it concerns the ending of the worlds.

But early on I realised that Ms. Desmond was not going to discuss the Voluspa as it stands but through her own particular lenses of Theosophy and more obvious eastern philosophical influences. Everyone has such lenses and I wouldn't desire to deny Ms. Desmond hers, but I, personally, am Odin's man and looking at the Northern Gods through the lenses of Pure-Land Buddhism and eclectic paganism does me almost no good and furthermore, in this case, led to her errors of understanding.

She begins by defining seidr as a form of magic identified with Odin. Actually, what Odin knows of seidr he learned from the goddess Freya. While Odin is definitely a great traveler between the worlds, for this task, even he consults an expert.

There is also a recurring suggestion that Odin distrusts women and finds their uncontrolled sexuality "distasteful". Anyone familiar with Odin's travels would recall that most of them involve some sexual exploit also. Odin seems to be a great lover of women and appreciative of their sexuality. It is Ms.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Watson VINE VOICE on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Voluspa: Seidth as Wyrd Consciousness, is one of the most frustrating books that I may have ever read. Granted, I'm not a scholar on her level, but the book is written only for people who are.

Desmond shows in this book that she has an amazing grasp on the scholarship of the lore, and a great deal of insight into the shamanic practice of Seidth. After reading this book, however I'm just not sure what I learned about it.

I consider myself to be pretty decent with language and vocabulary skills, but this book leaves me at a loss. The vocabulary is thick and off-putting, as Desmond prefers to use the most esoteric terminology possible in any situation. She introduces terminology without bothering to define it. As a heathen myself, I've read a decent number of books which use terms like wyrd, orlog, maegen and the like, but I've sure never heard of tivar before. If you decide to take on this book, make sure you bring a dictionary.

There is so much information and knowledge, but it feels like it's coming completely from left field. She makes broad generalizations based on specifics, but lists no particular rationale for why she feels that way. For instance, why does she choose to refer to Ymir as Aurgelmir, and what basis does she have for changing his name? Why does she assume that there must be 12 Hlidskalf-like ledges around the 9 worlds based on the fact that she knows of two?

She cites sources in a way that doesn't explain why she is using them, so the basis for the information is lost. For instance, on page 21 she states, after introducing Ymir "Connectedly, this relates to the Indo-European model of sound as the first of all things created, in conjunction with Fire and Ice (1)." OK, fair enough. That's a citation that I can understand.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I heard such good things about this book and was very eager to read it. However, my excitement evaporated with every turn of the page. While the author seems to have a thorough knowledge of the lore involved, and an above-average grasp of the academic perspective, it did little to outweigh the ongoing conjecture. The book is rather one-sided in presentation of the mysterious topic of seid and much of it is just opinion without any real supporting basis.

I can appreciate the author's attempt to illuminate, but for individuals who are looking to immerse themselves in seid as it is shown in the sagas and Edda, this book misses the mark. The author would be better to omit the `seid' from the title and text and simply present it as a treatise on her own speculative soothsaying practices based loosely on the Völuspá.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Hill on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is in my stack of books on their way to the used bookstore. I found it a very difficult and confusing read. The author will take a verse from the Voluspa, and then go off on these tangets about her own personal interpretation of what they mean, mixed with some scholarly interpretations of the poem with footnotes (which for some reason end up right smack in the middle of the page most of the time). I found it very hard to follow. I have no problem with mysticism OR scholarship, but this book needs some serious editing to make it more readable. It seems more like notes or brainstorming on Voluspa rather than a finished book made to communicate her ideas to others.

I was hoping a book like this would shed some light on some of the deeper meanings to be found in the Lore, but I found that Desmond's ramblings muddied things up even further instead. Maybe the people who gave it positive reviews somehow "got it" and I didn't, but think twice before buying this book, because if you're unlucky like me you might end up with a headache instead of enhanced spiritual knowledge.
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