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40180: The Culture of the Teutons: Volumes 1 and 2 Paperback – April 19, 2010
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Gronbech describes the essence of the Old Ways and the Germanic way of being. He gives us a deep and soulful foundation for a personal way of being, not just for those of us who might claim to walk any one of the many modern/reconstructed Heathen paths, but for any person who is interested in the indigenous traditions of our Germanic forebears, regardless of "religious" affiliation. I have already found this book working deeply in how I walk in the world, in a very profound way, much more than any of the modern heathen works I've been able to read. Together with The Well and the Tree by Paul Bauschatz, this book has had the deepest effect on my path of recovering and living the Old Ways of my Ancestors. It's really only until I read The Well and the Tree and now this amazing book, that I've begun to tap into the spiritual force behind the lore, so that on revisiting the Eddas and sagas I have found them to be all the more richly animated with the meaning and depth of character that I have missed on first reading them. With the help of these two books, I have begun to penetrate beyond the surface level of Heathenism (which, until now, I have found is really as far as most of the Heathen religious organizations and authors I have explored seem to go) and am finding myself being nourished by a well that is truly something that comes up out of some ancient and intensely personal source. Suffice to say, this book has helped me not to understand intellectually, but *feel* what is Ancestral about Heathenism, what binds me to my Ancestors and more specifically to our traditions on a profoundly soulful level.
The only thing that was unfortunate about this book (and the reason why I am giving four stars instead of five) had nothing to do with the author, but rather with this published version. There are many, many typos ranging from one paragraph apparently being split into two for no reason, periods and punctuation marks being placed in the middle of sentences where they do not belong, and words that are misspelled (in ways that spellcheck won't catch). Luckily, though the typos are pretty numerous, it does not (in my opinion) effect the essence of the book. It is still beautifully written and invaluable. I just feel that if the book is to be made available again in printed form, that perhaps it is owed to the author (and of course to the Heathen community) to print it without these very numerous errors.
For all that, I am deeply thankful that his book has been made available to me in printed form and at an affordable cost, with both volumes in one!
Now if only The Well and the Tree were available in printed form...