Looking For Ideas!

I am thinking of branching out into YouTube (again – I attempted it last year, but I only had my smartphone so I was quite limited in terms of what I could do and the video/sound quality. However, I now have a laptop and have ordered a microphone!).

What I require are ideas for topics I could discuss on YouTube, and the types of videos you guys would like to see! I’ll be experimenting with various video editing programs this week, but if you could let me know your suggestions I’ll see what I can do!

Advertisements

European Diversity

Whenever diversity is mentioned, people tend to think that its about pitting one race against another. But what if I told you that even within Europe (an indigenous, mostly white race) there is also diversity?

This is a pretty sensitive and controversial subject, but I felt like it needed to be addressed, so here goes…

Yes, there is diversity within Europe.

Okay, so most of us are white; but this isn’t a question of colour. Depending on which region of Europe you originate from, there are a LOT of subtle differences between us.

For example, the Irish can be pale with ginger hair and freckly skin. Italians can be olive skinned. Those who live on the Iberian peninsula can be darker skinned. Germanic/Northern Europeans can be blonde and fair-skinned.

So you see, diversity doesn’t need to be centred around race. We are all technically the same race here in Europe, yet we are still diverse.

When the governments in Europe discuss diversity, they tend to favour ethnic ‘minorities’ (quite frankly, they really aren’t the minority anymore thanks to mass immigration!)… Yet it is rare to see our native differences recognised or spoken about openly.

I find our own diversity, subtle as it may be, fascinating. Whether it be in our appearance, or in our traditions and cultures, it is not something we should be ashamed of or try to bury in order to appease others – it is something that we should be proud of!

I am in no way, shape or form saying that we are superior to other races or cultures. Instead, I am trying to point out that we are equally within our rights to feel a sense of pride when we think of where we hail from. There is absolutely nothing wrong or ‘racist’ about that.

What If The World Was Ran According To Heathen Values?

I saw a post in a Heathen Facebook group recently, asking for people’s opinions on what the world would be like if it was ran according to heathen values. It provoked some very interesting responses, so I thought I’d write a blog post about it! Feel free to add your own opinions in the comments below!

How would it work?

Well, it really depends on whether we would be operating under ancient Viking Age laws, or those of modern Heathenry. So here’s the low down on what could happen for both of these scenarios:

Viking Law

If we use history as our guide, living under Viking laws, even in modern times, would be extremely brutal. The way in which world leaders meet to discuss important matters wouldn’t actually change much, though – the Vikings founded the world’s first proper government structure (or at least, the type of politics which most closely resembles that which is used in the UK and Europe now). Their meetings were called ‘Althings’, and they were first held at Thingvellir in Iceland. The governments in Europe and, particularly, the UK were originally based on this ancient tradition.

The main difference would be that instead of talking things over in a calm and polite manner, in certain situations, it would not be illegal or unheard of to kill a political opponent. The death penalty would be reintroduced, and even if a criminal hadn’t committed a crime heinous enough to be put to death, they could be forced into exile (which in Viking times was actually considered worse than death). They would also stand to lose their land, wealth, possessions, property and livestock. They would be blacklisted, isolated from the rest of their community, and unable to barter or trade with anyone. This period of banishment could be anywhere from one year to an entire lifetime, and the implications (financially, emotionally and in terms of honour and respect) were not to be taken lightly.

For the reasons above, prison would be a far worse place to be. People in charge would be allowed to use violence to keep prisoners in order, and conditions inside would be truly disgusting. I suppose at least this would be a massive deterrent to potential criminals, unlike today’s fairly soft prison system!

If civilians or government officials needed to settle a dispute, and it could not be solved by negotiation, they could opt to partake in the ancient northern European practise of Holmgang. Holmgangs were duels, which could be fought until first blood, or even until death.

Speaking of duels and death, wars would also be fought a lot differently. Nowadays, the military has the power to completely destroy an enemy with the push of a button; back then, warfare required real skill, talent and luck. The absolute belief in a glorious afterlife awaiting them also helped them to fight valiantly and without fear (along with a dose of magic mushrooms if they happened to be a berserker!). Today, a world leader could destroy an entire continent with minimum effort, putting millions of innocent people at risk… At least back then, wars were fought between opposing armies/leaders, dramatically reducing the number of innocent casualties. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve always considered guns to be cowardly weapons compared to swords and axes (which take more skill to wield). It also ensures a much fairer fight. However, saying that, I’m pretty sure that if the Vikings had access to modern weaponry, they’d definitely have made use of them!

The way in which business is conducted would definitely improve. Money rules the modern world, and I guess a thousand years ago things weren’t much different in this respect. However, the art of bartering would make a comeback, which would certainly help poorer people who may not have much gold and silver to spare.

Trading networks between different countries would improve, again with the aid of bartering (swapping goods for something else, in case you don’t know what that means).

Our diets would be much better, and in general we would be a lot fitter. Traditional farming methods could make a comeback, and if we stopped using pesticides or other chemicals on our crops, both the land and our bodies would be much healthier. Each family would grow their own food, and raise their own livestock for meat. This would reduce food wastage, and improve the quality of what we eat. People would know how to grow, raise, kill, prepare and cook their own food without the modern aids which we tend to rely on nowadays. This would improve our chances of survival if food became scarce due to climate change, natural disasters or a world war.

Young men would be trained in how to fight, and would also learn valuable skills or trades. This would, again, improve our health, finances and the quality of our products.

Women would also know how to defend themselves, children would be raised properly (unlike the millennial snowflakes of today!), and once again they’d learn valuable life skills. Viking attitudes to women were also very progressive considering the time period, and especially compared to the rest of the world at that time.

Heathen Values

So, what if we forgo the ancient customs, and simply abide by modern Heathen values?

Well, in my humble opinion, we would all be a lot better off. Everyone would conduct themselves according to our code of honour, respect, discipline and hospitality (etc.), which would hopefully prevent dishonesty. It would also improve relationships between world leaders, and empower civilians to revolt against the powerful and corrupt if necessary.

Our children would know how to take care of themselves, and people wouldn’t be so offended by mere words. They wouldn’t become indoctrinated by the Abrahamic faiths, and neither would they be completely absorbed by our own beliefs, because we do not rely on our gods for everything. We are freethinking, independent and have the power to alter the courses of our destinies. Our beliefs simply empower us, and the gods are our guides, not our supreme masters.

Most of the outcomes from the scenarios I detailed under Viking Law would also apply, just minus some of the ancient traditions.

Well, that was my point of view… Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, why? Is there anything you think I’ve forgotten to include? Please let me know in the comments!

In conclusion, I think that the world would be a far better place for everyone if we included a happy medium between Viking laws and Heathen values in our everyday life. Obviously we should not stand completely in the way of progress, because not all of the progress we have made has been bad; but I do feel that our planet and our species (as well as every other species of flora and fauna on Midgard) has suffered as a result of us losing touch with our more primitive practises and instincts. In relying on technology so much, we have almost forgotten how to be truly human, and that is extremely dangerous. We are not immortal, and neither is our host. At the end of the day, we are just animals, and despite all we have achieved as a species, we are not as powerful as our egos would like us to think. We should never forget that!

The Aesir-Vanir War

Somebody suggested that I should write this piece, so here goes! Sadly I do not have enough spare time to explore this topic in depth, but I promise to do so as soon as possible as there is so much more I could add!

As you probably already know, the Aesir and Vanir are two different groups of deities within Norse mythology. The Aesir live mostly in Asgard, whereas the Vanir occupy Vanaheim (another of the Nine Worlds).

Before we begin to examine the possible influences for such an event, here’s the main story:

The Vanir goddess Freya was always the foremost practitioner of the art of seidr, a form of magic principally concerned with discerning and altering the course of destiny. Like historical seidr practitioners, she wandered from town to town plying her craft for hire.

Under the name Heiðr (“Bright”), she eventually came to Asgard, the home of the Aesir. The Aesir were quite taken by her powers and zealously sought her services. But soon they realized that their values of honor, kin loyalty, and obedience to the law were being pushed aside by the selfish desires they sought to fulfill with the witch’s magic. Blaming Freya for their own shortcomings, the Aesir called her “Gullveig” (“Gold-greed”) and attempted to murder her. Three times they tried to burn her, and three times she was reborn from the ashes.

Because of this, the Aesir and Vanir came to hate and fear one another, and these hostilities erupted into war. The Aesir fought by the rules of plain combat, with weapons and brute force, while the Vanir used the subtler means of magic. The war went on for some time, with both sides gaining the upper hand by turns.

Eventually the two tribes of divinities became weary of fighting and decided to call a truce. As was customary among the ancient Norse and other Germanic peoples, the two sides agreed to pay tribute to each other by sending hostages to live among the other tribe. Freya, Freyr, and Njord of the Vanir went to the Aesir, and Hoenir (pronounced roughly “HIGH-neer”) and Mimir went to the Vanir.

Njord and his children seem to have lived more or less in peace in Asgard. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of Hoenir and Mimir in Vanaheim. The Vanir immediately saw that Hoenir was seemingly able to deliver incomparably wise advice on any problem, but they failed to notice that this was only when he had Mimir in his company. Hoenir was actually a rather slow-witted simpleton who was at a loss for words when Mimir wasn’t available to counsel him. After Hoenir responded to the Vanir’s entreaties with the unhelpful “Let others decide” one too many times, the Vanir thought they had been cheated in the hostage exchange. They beheaded Mimir and sent the severed head back to Asgard, where the distraught Odin chanted magic poems over the head and embalmed it in herbs. Thus preserved, Mimir’s head continued to give indispensable advice to Odin in times of need.

The two tribes were still weary of fighting a war that was so evenly-matched, however. Rather than renewing their hostilities over this tragic misunderstanding, each of the Aesir and Vanir came together and spat into a cauldron. From their saliva they created Kvasir, the wisest of all beings, as a way of pledging sustained harmony

(source: norse-mythology.org)

Evidence

This war is attested to in the following historical sources:

The Mead of Poetry

Heimskringla

Poetic Edda

Prose Edda

Possible Influences

According to experts, it is highly possible that this story is a reflection of the fight between native Germanic fertility-based cults and more aggressive invaders. This is presumed because the Aesir are mostly warlike deities, whereas the Vanir are predominantly representative of fertility.

Another interesting thing to note is the strong parallels between this story, and others such as ‘The Rape of the Sabine Women’ (Roman mythology) and the battle between Devas and Asuras (Hindu mythology).cropped-img_20180201_175022_131.jpg

It’s Almost My ‘Blogversary’!

As most of you know, I have been super busy recently, hence the lack of posts (sorry once again!). However, I have now invested in a laptop, so I will be able to post more frequently once we’ve settled into the new flat!

I am still hard at work on Issue 1 of the webzine, as we had a few technical hitches in the beginning; I can only apologise profusely for the delay, and hope that you all can forgive me! I hope to get Issue 1 sent out ASAP, so watch this space for more updates! If you haven’t already done so, please send your email address to Karen.mnhteam@gmail.com so I can add you to our mailing list!

Anyway, I digress… I have just realised that its coming up to one whole year since I first began this blog! This only ever started as a way for me to vent my thoughts and frustrations, yet it seems to have become quite popular! I am really pleased that you guys have been providing such excellent feedback, it means a lot to me!

Without you guys, MNH wouldn’t be what it is today, so thank you!cropped-29496413_2048973715387422_6051430202179846144_n.jpg

Seeking Blogging Advice!

Hi everyone, I have a few questions aimed at the more professional bloggers among you…

As most of you will know, I only started this blog as an outlet for my own thoughts and studies. However, I have gained a loyal and ever-growing following over the last year. I am keen to expand my blog and give it a more professional look, so if anyone could provide me with some advice I’d be very grateful!

1. What are the most cost effective ways of monetising a blog?

2. How do you reach out to a wider audience?

3. Do you have any other tips?

Many thanks!

Should Parents Raise Their Children To Be Heathen?

This is a popular topic in several of the social media groups I’m in, so I thought I’d explain my views on it.

At first glance, my initial answer was ‘no’ – I disagree with indoctrinating children from an early age, warping their young minds until they are unwilling or feel unable to think for themselves. I’ve met far too many people who have left the faiths they were born into, and they are still plagued by confusion and guilt. In some cases, they’ve been disowned by their families, or even risked their own lives, simply because they’ve formed a different opinion!

So, in a way I’d be a hypocrite if I said I believe that parents should raise their kids to be heathen. But, after much consideration, I decided on a happy medium:

1. Teach your kids about their ancestors and their culture/heritage. Its important to know where we come from.

2. Tell your kids the stories from Norse mythology. But rather than teaching them that such stories are true, treat them as if they are simply bedtime stories.

3. Raise your kids to have heathen values – after all, much of our moral code is about honour, respect and common sense. There’s nothing bad about that.

4. Encourage your kids to explore other faiths if they wish, so that they can form their own opinions and ultimately make up their own minds. They’ll thank you for it, believe me!

5. If, in the end, your child does not become heathen, don’t berate them for it. Obviously, to some parents, this may come as a disappointment – but at least you will have the satisfaction that you did all you could to mould your child into an open minded, respectful, confident person. That’s what matters, regardless of religion!

One of the best things my parents ever did for me was teach me about multiple beliefs, and allow me to make up my own mind; so that’s what I intend to do for my own children in the future.

I see so many pagans boasting about how their children are joining in with rituals, and that their kids believe in pagan lore… But is that really any different from a Christian raising their child according to Christian values? These same pagans call this brainwashing, in some cases even child abuse – but if they are doing the exact same thing to their own kids (just in the name of different deities), how are they any different?

People always assume that religions should be segregated. But why? In today’s multicultural society, our children are going to be mixing with people from all sorts of different religious backgrounds! The more kids we can teach to be intelligent and open minded, the better their futures will be! Instead of just saying ‘I hate you because you’re [insert religion here]’, they will be able to participate in debates and draw logical conclusions. They’ll be able to use their broad understandings of various different beliefs to engage in these often difficult conversations.

To be heathen is to be freethinking and independent… So don’t raise your children to rely on our beliefs!

For the Metalheads out there…

Some of you may know that I write reviews (when I have time) for my page, which is currently titled MetalQueen Reviews.

Well, I randomly discovered that there is another page out there with the same name, in fact I think the other one may be older than mine! I honestly didn’t know until today.

I’m considering changing my page name to something more unique. Any suggestions? Feel free to comment!

Origins of the Runes

Practically everyone (including many non Heathens) knows what runes are. But where did they come from?

Well, precisely when and where they originated from is sadly lost to history, but runeologists (people who study runes) have managed to agree on an initial outline of how they came to be:

1. The runes are believed to have derived from the Old Italic alphabet used by the Mediterranean peoples of the 1st century CE.

2. Gradually, as people began to migrate across Europe, this ancient form of literacy arrived among the Germanic tribes. At this point, the Old Italic language mixed with the sacred Germanic symbols (such as those preserved in northern European petroglyphs).

3. Over time, the two entwined scripts became the runic language we know and recognise today.

The earliest unambiguous runic inscriptions were found on the Vimose comb (found in Vimose, Denmark) and the Øvre Stabu spearhead (from southern Norway). Both items date back to approximately 160 CE.

The earliest known carving of the Futhark, in order and in its entirety, was found on the Kylver Stone (Gotland, Sweden). The stone dates back to around 400 CE.

In northern Europe, the runes are mostly associated with the god Odin. Experts believe that this is because of the high possibility that the Old Italic language was first encountered by Germanic warbands firsthand during campaigns against their southerly neighbours.

Odin was already well established as the chief god in many Germanic tribal pantheons by this time, and was also considered as the patron of war. Therefore, the runes – a possible product of war – would have fitted in nicely with Odin’s warrior image.

According to Indo-European scholar Georges Dumézil:

“If Odin was first and always the highest magician, we realise that the runes, however recent they may be, would have fallen under his sway. New and particularly effective implements for magic works, they would become by definition and without contest a part of his domain. Odin could have been the patron, the par excellence of this redoubtable power of secrecy and secret knowledge, before the name of that knowledge became the technical name of signs both phonetic and magic which come from the Alps or elsewhere, but did not lose its former, larger sense.”

Dumézil’s observations could attest to how the runes became such an important part of Germanic mythology; after all, the tribes in that region wouldn’t have wanted the true, rather more mundane story to go down in history!

So, it makes perfect sense that they would instead claim that the runes were ancient, steeped in magic, and discovered by Odin himself (as described in the Hávamál).

Norse mythology is also why the runes are associated with magic.

The Hávamál states that the Well of Urd (which contains all the wisdom and knowledge of the past) was the original dwelling place of the runes – which explains why they are most commonly used to help foresee the future and why they are consulted when making important decisions.

Webzine Update!

Hi all, just a quick update regarding Issue 1 of the webzine…

I’m currently in the process of preparing to move into my new house, so I’m super busy at the moment. I don’t have a PC at home, so I’m having to go to the library as and when I can to work on the webzine.

I’m aiming to get back in the library this week to put the finishing touches on it, but there MIGHT be a small delay in publishing.

I will update you when I can!

Thanks for your patience.