The Northern Way
June 10, 2003 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Northvegr: The Northern Way is a site devoted to the practice, promotion and development of the Northern spiritual faith, which we call Hindrvitni or the Northern Way, aka the Norse ancestral faith, though the authors are careful to distinguish this from neopaganism, particularly Odinism and Asatru. Once you're on board, be sure to Buy Heathen!. [more inside]
posted by dhartung (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They probably shouldn't be confused with unsavory movements which drew influence from their mythology, though a quick glance could make that an easy mistake.

Even if the religious angle isn't of interest, they have a wealth of material on Scandinavian-Germanic languages, arts, history, and more, including translations of the Edda, Anglo-Saxon sagas, and Victorian/Edwardian-era histories and translations free of copyright. (This alone could keep the average Tolkien fan busy for weeks.)

I found this site because of its detailing of the history of Ortnit (or Hartnet), one of the Hartungen or Hartung brothers, mythical Prince of Novgorod and tragic hero of the invasion of the Wilsenlanders or Swedes.
posted by dhartung at 6:01 PM on June 10, 2003

Great post, dhartung. Thanks!
posted by homunculus at 6:22 PM on June 10, 2003

I was all set to make fun of these people until I saw that they'd put up an online version of Zoega's Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, which I've been wanting for years. All hail the Northvegr! And dhartung too!
posted by languagehat at 7:12 PM on June 10, 2003

Wow...(scratches grizzled beard, picks burnt flesh from teeth)...

"The sagas included in this set are: Eirik the Red's Saga...The Saga of Hallfred the Troublesome Poet...The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue...The Tale of Sarcastic Halli, Stuf's Tale, The Tale of Thorarin Short-Cloak...The Tale of Thorstein the Curious, The Tale of Thorstein Shiver, The Tale of Thorvard Crow's-Beak...The Saga of Hord and the People of Holm, Bard's Saga, Killer-Glum's Saga, The Tale of Ogmund Bash, The Tale of Thorvald Tasaldi ...The Tale of Thorarin the Overbearing...The Tale of the Cairn-Dweller...The Saga of Finnbogi the Mighty, The Saga of the People of Floi...The Saga of Ref the Sly, The Saga of Gunnar, the Fool of Keldugnup...The Saga of the Slayings on the Heath..." Not cheery sagas, these, but no doubt very educational.

This was one of the ur-lexicons which J.R. Tolken (a philologist who taught at Oxford) drew on as he built his "Middle-Earth".

The deep Norse cultural/religious traditions have been much abused of late, but I love them still. Thanks, Dhartung.
posted by troutfishing at 8:43 PM on June 10, 2003

Paging widdershins, your post has arrived.
posted by jonson at 9:21 PM on June 10, 2003

They've got my personal favorite Egil's Saga, which is quite possibly the greatest work of fiction ever to be written.
posted by euphorb at 10:43 PM on June 10, 2003

Great - thanks.
posted by plep at 10:48 PM on June 10, 2003

This is great, but:
If Hindrvitni is careful to distinguish themselves from Odinism/Asatru, how come they mention Odin on their front page?

Just asking, really.
posted by spazzm at 8:10 AM on June 11, 2003

Oh, allright, not the frontpage, but this page which is linked directly from the front page.
posted by spazzm at 8:13 AM on June 11, 2003

I know the littlest bit about all this cause I am a poser and like to wear a tiny Thor's Hammer necklace.

I have a friend who is involved with an Asatru group. I pointed her towards this conversation, and she wrote the following back to me.
Just in case anyone cares, the reason Norhtvegr doesn't want to be
called Asatru or Odinism are as follows:

1. They are their own thing. Do Christians want to be called Jewish?
Well, they both worship Yahweh, so what's the big deal? In fact,
why have different denominations of Christians? Hare Krishnas aren't
Hindu either, although both might worship Krishna.

2. Odinism isn't really the commonly accepted term for Germanic
Heathenism. Odin is one deity, Heathenism is NOT monotheistic,
you can be a heathen and not worship Odin. You might worship a
different Storm and War god called Wotan (Germanic form) or Wod
(Anglo-Saxon form) or Woden (Old Saxon form) or you might not like
storms and war, or you might want to worship your ancestors
or something. That's allowed. Although not all Odinists are racists,
it's the common term used by racist pagans who are typically pretty
clueless about the actual religion. In fact, many of us don't even call
it a religion, but a folkway.

Asatru = True to the Aesir = Scandinavian or "Nordic" indigenous religion.
Although this one gets the most attention, there are plenty of people who
don't follow the Scandinavian form. Others are Germanic heathenism,
Anglo-Saxon heathenism, Gothic Heathenism, Icelandic heathenism, etc.
each of which have various denominations within the larger umbrella.
Contrary to popular assumption, "Nordic" is not the larger umbrella term,
it's just what people think of because of the Sagas & Eddas. (much of
which is of course more accurately called Icelandic). Not that anyone
likely cares.
She is a regional Steward of her group and is open to helping people find "information about heathenism
to find good information, so I am always here to answer any
questions, from anyone, at any time, in any way I can."

If anyone wants further discussion with her, I can give you her e-mail address.
posted by thirteen at 11:00 AM on June 11, 2003

Got the page, jonson (next time, use the giant clock signal) - thx!

Great site, dhartung. What I find so ironic is that the great Nordic traditions are all but ignored in Norden (where in most cases the state religion is Lutheran Protestantism) and instead are being kept alive, and adapted, by scifi/fantasy fans elsewhere in the world. Now, if only they would stop misspelling Loke's name...
posted by widdershins at 12:14 PM on June 11, 2003

widdershins, eh, I'm born in a family that doesn't baptise their children, doesn't kneel to the Gods [something I've understood those whacked out "Odinists" do, how wrong!], spells Loke correctly and is not ashamed to believe in the things most have forgotten. I guess you have to be born up north to not get suckered into that Lutheran thing... ;)

Though it is rather strange how ignored our old myths are in the schools, it is important to know our cultural heritage. Danes are overall, much more knowledgable on the subject of asatro than Swedes.
posted by dabitch at 12:57 PM on June 11, 2003

dabitch - so does your family actually practice the beliefs in asatro, or is that they don't practice the Lutheran thing and like the old stories? I've never met anyone who thought of Valhalla and Odin et al as anything more than myth and tradition - would be very interested to hear from someone who believed in them.
posted by widdershins at 1:29 PM on June 11, 2003

Don't forget the pixies.
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on June 11, 2003

it's a long story widdershins, but email me and I'll bore you with it! my mail is on my upage.
posted by dabitch at 4:27 PM on June 11, 2003

Now, if only they would stop misspelling Loke's name...

What's this about? Are you talking about Loki? Loki is the Old Icelandic/Norse form; the modern Scandinavian languages have Loke. Neither one is "right," but the first is certainly older. Is "Jupiter" a misnomer because the Italians call him "Giove"?
posted by languagehat at 5:41 PM on June 11, 2003

I think you are kinda asking "Does Loke in it's old icelandic/norse form end with | or _i¯ ?" which is the closest I get to carving runes with ascii. ;) Please point me to a carving where it ends with |, haven't seen one, might have missed something.
posted by dabitch at 3:42 AM on June 12, 2003

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