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Ask a Vanatruar!

Discussion in 'Neopagan or Revival Religions' started by Lokabrenna, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Lokabrenna

    Lokabrenna Member

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    I love these "Ask a ______" threads, so I thought I'd start one of my own. I started a similar thread on a Catholic forum with much success. Just a caveat: I can't speak for everyone involved in this movement, but I will try to answer all questions to the best of my abilities.

    Ask your questions about Vanatru/Vanic Paganism here!
     
  2. Klaufi_Wodensson

    Klaufi_Wodensson Vinlandic Warrior

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    Judging from your name, Lokabrenna, do you consider yourself Lokean? If so, I was not aware that Loke was considered Vanic. If not, sorry for my assumption!

    This coming from an Anglo-Saxon Heathen, who doesn't really make distinctions such as Aesir/Vanir. However, I am still wary of Lokeans, however I have met a few who are great company.
     
  3. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

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    What is your favorite season? :)
     
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    What is your opinion on what happens to us after death?
    What is your opinion on the Æsir, and do you worship them at all? :)
     
  5. Sylvan

    Sylvan Unrepentant goofer duster

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    What made you decide to be Vantruar as opposed to some other variety of heathenry?
    Do you feel a particular connection to one of them that drew you in, and if so may I ask which one?
     
  6. Lokabrenna

    Lokabrenna Member

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    I once listened to a podcast where they had a Lokean on as a guest, and she said: "I think I've met one or two Lokeans who I've actually liked!" So you're definitely not alone in being wary of them.

    As for the name, I actually use this name on a few other forums. I don't consider myself Lokean, but I know people who consider themselves Lokean or Rokkrtru. They're an interesting bunch, but I know that it's not for me. I don't rage against Loki, though. If it weren't for Loki, I would never have had the interest in Norse mythology that I did, and I don't think I'd be on the path I am now.



    You're right in that Loki himself isn't considered one of the Vanir, but some see his wife Sigyn as a Vanir, that's all UPG though.


    Summer for the weather, Fall for the foliage! :D

    Well, there are lots of places that one could end up, depending on how they died or whether they were dedicated to a particular god. Some believed they ended up in their grave mounds, or within the landscape (like a mountain), women might go to Freya's hall, slain warriors end up in Valhalla or Freya's hall, most ended up in Hel (which isn't a bad place), since there was such an emphasis on being a successful warrior, from their perspective, of course Valhalla is going to look like the Best. Afterlife. Ever!

    Of course, for all I know, there won't be anything waiting for me after death, I'll just cease to exist. Why worry about it? It's better to live life to the fullest than obsess over What Comes Next IMHO.

    As for the Æsir, I don't hate them or anything, I know of someone who thinks that the Æsir are all cosmic bullies, but I don't think Frey and Freya and the like would choose to hang around with them if they were being mistreated in any way. I think that even among Heathens/Norse Pagans who aren't as "exclusive" as me, there are gods that they just don't relate to, so they don't give them as much attention, that's basically my relationship with the Aesir. It's not that they're bad, they're just not 'mine'. I also think that it's a matter of the particular kinds of Paganism that I encountered before settling into a Germanic-type path (more on that below).

    It was a decision that was partly based on the fact that I just didn't connect with Odin, Tyr, Thor etc. and partly because my first foray into Paganism was Wicca, and then after that, it was Goddess Spirituality. By the time I discovered Asatru, all the "Earth-Based" stuff was still ingrained in my psyche (at the time, I didn't know of other variations of Heathenry). Vanatru fed both those needs for me: a path that was focused on a particular pantheon, but with more of an "Earth-based" focus that I was accustomed to from what I had studied in the past. I should mention that I don't consider myself a reconstructionist (for various reasons), reconstructionist-derived is a better fit for my path.

    As for which one drew me in, when I was a child, I loved reading about Loki's antics, so I often say that Loki got the ball rolling, and then Freya took over from there! When I became interested in Goddess Spirituality, I stayed away from male deities, and Freya will always be my "go-to deity", but I've warmed up to Frey and have stopped seeing Njord as "the Norse Poseidon". I suppose the short answer is that I've always felt the strongest connection to Freya.
     
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  7. Sylvan

    Sylvan Unrepentant goofer duster

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    Thanks for the great answers. Can you tell me more about how your perception of Njord has changed over the years? I am very interested in figures like him, these old sea gods. There is a Yoruba orisha known as Olokun, and while I do not practice Ocha this figure intrigues and inspires me, and for some reason reminds me of Njord. Not that they are the "same beings" mind you, although if you wanted to elaborate on what you think about the relation of gods of various pantheons is to one another, along with possible motivations for specializations in one or the other, I would love to hear your opinions.
     
  8. Lokabrenna

    Lokabrenna Member

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    Well, as I said, at first I thought of Njord as "the Norse Poseidon", but I think when you're a kid, you basically see gods as "god of X" or "goddess of Y" and at the time, I was Catholic, so I didn't accept that any of these gods actually existed.

    It wasn't until I picked up Diana Paxson's "Essential Asatru" that I began to see Njord as his own deity, not simply a "Norse Poseidon" or "Norse Neptune". I think that there are definitely deities who are similar (you'd be surprised how many similarities there are between Freya and Aphrodite, for instance) but different cultures give them "context". An example would be Aphrodite and Venus, who are often seen as being "equivalents", but Venus' roots are as a vegetation deity, and Aphrodite is related to various Near Eastern deities. The Greeks didn't really pay much attention to Ares, but his Roman counterpart Mars was quite significant to the Romans. I also think that different pantheons do interact with each other, but like people, deities have their likes and dislikes. There are people that you "hang" with, and others that you barely tolerate but you're nice to them because you don't want to cause a scene.

    I've found that the majority of people who worship the Norse/Germanic/[insert preferred cultural group here] gods believe that they don't really get along with other pantheons, but I've never experienced this. I kind of wonder if they just demand more "attention" from their followers.

    I read over that article you linked on Olokun, and it's interesting to me that the article notes that Sie can appear as both male and female depending on where Sie's worshiped. There is a theory that Njord and the goddess Nerthus were once a single deity (based on their names) but the two figures diverged at some point in history.

    I have a certain fondness for the traditions of the African Diaspora, particularly Haitian Vodou, but they're all quite fascinating.
     
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