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Voluspa: Seidhr as Wyrd Consciousness Paperback – January 25, 2006
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the book definitely not scholarly, the grammar was horrible and totally drowned any sense of direction of the work. Read morePublished on March 6, 2008 by Sweet Swede
This book has opened up a whole new understanding, a whole new world to me personally!
I truly believe, had I not taken the time to read the lore, I would not have had... Read more
I was disappointed by this book. I wish Yngona had just stuck to translating the Voluspa rather than injecting her bizarre interpretations into it. Read morePublished on December 10, 2007 by Thorstein Olafson
It has been a while since I read this book, and this is the second time I'm reading it, and I have to agree with what the other reviewer said about the editing, it's worthless. Read morePublished on November 5, 2007 by W. J. M. Cuijpers
I loved this book,before I started I thought it might be just another stupid book on esoteric heathendom, how wrong. This is a little gem that I will read many times. Read morePublished on July 25, 2007 by J. Wishart
This book is one of a new wave of Northern Esoteric works now becoming available that have gone beyond the quaint 19th Century romanticism, Third Reich occultism, New-Age fantasy,... Read morePublished on April 25, 2007 by S. Plowright
This is a must have book for anyone studying Nordic shamanistic practices. Desmond is not only an astute scholar; she understands the practice from an experiential point of view. Read morePublished on May 31, 2006 by Misha Nogha