- 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: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Voluspa: Seidhr as Wyrd Consciousness Paperback – January 25, 2006
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Based on her academic study of Old Norse and the historical sources, Yngona has translated the Voluspa with care, accuracy, and insight. She has then applied her extensive practical experience of shamanism to gain deeper insights into this "Prophesy of the Seeress".
Unlike many esoteric works, she does not make unsubstantiated claims about the historical record, but takes a good look at the facts and offers her interpretations honestly. Of course the process requires a reasonable amount of speculation, but she never seems to be pushing a political or philosophical agenda, as is so common in Northern Esoteric books of the 1980s & 90s.
For anyone interested in a Northern esoteric path, this book is essential reading.
The Rune Primer
& True Helm
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. Desmond's Theosophy that demonizes sex, not Odin. (Which is why she states on pg 64 that "The most dedicated of seidhus will refrain from regular sexual relations, knowing that the body's sap, once depleted, takes time to replenish itself.")
On pages 30-31, she advocates the use of "hemp" as an anodyne...seriously? "Hemp?" Her source for that little piece of Nordic Wisdom is "Siva, the Hindu Supreme Being."
My final complaint is Ms. Desmond's perpetual insistence that she is right and other ideas are simply not worth considering. OVER AND OVER she uses the word exclusively...and uses it strangely...uttering such phrases as "...Seidus, exclusively, like shamans must be left bare and exposed, as a corpse..." pg. 11; "...exclusively, the Ensi did not want to mix their force with Jotunic form..." pg. 43; "...exclusively, Gullveig-Heid, 'golden brilliance' is Earth Mother..." pg. 61. And other places I don't want to look up, right now. And...by the way...The Ensi (most of us call them the Ase) mixed their force with the Jotuns all the time. Thor's mother is a Jotun and the mother of his sons is a Jotun. And I'm convinced that Heid is Freya...not Earth Mother.
I'll hope that the use of "alter" instead of "altar" is an editor's mistake.
Lastly...Ms. Desmond may be well respected in her circles, but she is not "Vinland's Volva". Exclusively, this work should be avoided by students of the Voluspa.
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I truly believe, had I not taken the time to read the lore, I would not have had...Read more