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Wow! Check out the crap sites above. They have nothing to do with heathenry but should be good for a laugh! But, if 'fantasy-religion' is your penchant, "Go for it!"

Note: this garbage wasn't enlisted by me!

New Update!!!      July 12, 2008    New Update!!! 

See the new article below---downloadable PDF file

See "To the 'Ritual Collectors'" below.

The following license applies to all the works on this site: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

New Tool for Baking/ Cooking! Conversion Table for Exchanging between European and American

It was a bummer for me to convert European simple weight measurements to our beloved albeit clumsy American measurements. At 56 this yr., I can certainly understand the need to move over to metric, but I find I cannot do it easily. I doubt in my lifetime that I'll be able to ever 'feel' myself as a metric kind of guy. I'm 5'10" and 182 lbs., live 2 1/2 mi. from town and own 1 2/3 acres and live in a house with 13' ceilings. I drink 2 cps. of coffee in the morning and know that Hollendaise needs 2 T. butter, 2 T. water, 2 egg yolks, and 2 T. lemon juice (salt, cayenne, and white pepper to taste).

At this phase of my life, I'll stick with our own clumsy measurements -- I like my comfort food dished out as . . well . . out-of-date measurements. I like my collection of measuring cps., measuring spoons, handfuls, 3 fingers, pounds and ounces. But sometimes . . . .

I like to whip up recipes ausme alde Lann unn drinn iss en Broblem bekaas die Leit datt messe so fannich, mit Gremms un Kiehlos unn was de Deihenker iss ne Briseh? Ennihau, doh iss en Ding wummer Ressipiess ausme alde Land bis zer Amerigaanische Ressibiess mache kenne! Schbiel dermit, saagich! Unser deitsche Brieder kenne koche!

I'm just trying to make it easier on us to translate the simple weight system to our more familiar volume system. Hope it helps. (It did for me.) Uploaded on 04.03.12.

New Article! --Reconstructionism's Role in Modern Heathenry

Short article that I presented in heathen conferences in Denmark and in Denver. The point was to define reconstructionism, define strengths and weaknesses, and clarify the importance of its role in modern heathenry. It was written in response to the large amount of misinformation and confusion out there particularly by those newly introduced to heathenry. Uploaded on 07.12.08.

Reincarnation Among the Norse: Sifting through the Evidence

Short article regarding the concept of reincarnation. 17 pages. One thing yet to be done is that I didn't define reincarnation as completely as I should have, I suppose. Maybe I'll get to it in a few days. Uploaded on 02.12.06.

Investigating the Afterlife Concepts of the Norse Heathen: A Reconstructionist's Approach: revised

Revised version(0.85) uploaded 12.26.05.

Note: the article has resulted in varied and sometimes rather strong reactions in the heathen community especially regarding the section on 'reincarnation.' A translation error along with a faulty argument was removed and supplementary arguments based on new observations were added. A complete rewrite of the section will be done following my finishing up on my current articla.--b.l.

(version 0.8--10.19.05, 76 pp. Final editing not yet done.)

The article is not quite finished, but I went ahead and uploaded it so that it would be available. I'll probably have version 1.0 in a month or so (but then I've been saying that for months, now). Spelling checked and bibliography added on 10.19.05

The Morality of the Seiðman

Article -- Germanic Spirituality (modified Sept 14, 2003)

Article - Uncovering the Effects of Cultural Background on the Reconstruction of Ancient Worldviews (Uploaded 03.09.04)

The article is as of 03.09.04 essentially finished (version1.0). Another Seiðman freebie. Download away! (Try holding down the Shift button while left clicking or right click on the link and choose "Copy Link As . . ." I checked it using WinBlows98 using Acroread4.0 and it looks fine.

Drinking From the Well of Mímir; An Ásatrú Man's Musings on the Millennium

"I started this book about 10 yrs. ago. I was influenced by Metzner's The Well of Remembrance and Goþrún Dimmblá's Óðsmál not so much for their literary or scientific value but because they expressed in words the innerworkings of the mind. My book is just that: an expression of the inner-workings of the mind of an Ásatrú man of the last 30 yrs."

"I realize that there are many who like to argue fine points of research and historical accuracy. Me? All I've ever cared about is seeing through the same eyes (as much as possible) as did my ancestors one millennium ago. I enjoy the thought that I am somehow participating in my own ancestral lineage rather than being a follower of some misplaced middle-eastern religion or of a fantasy religion created sometime during the middle of this past century."

Added another article called Germanic Spirituality on July 11, 03. Updated the article to version1.0 on 08.03.03. See links below. As 445K *.pdf file, I didn't bother with zipping it. Article is 52 pages of text. You should be able to right click on the link and choose "Save Link as . . ." from the menu OR Hold down the shift button, then left click with the mouse; a box should appear and ask where you want to save the file." (The seiðman doesn't do windows, so . . .)

(Aug. 03, 2003) This is a revised version as of Aug. 2003. I fixed the endnotes changing them over to footnotes, added a bibliography. I was able to cut down on the number of pages (182 pages), but the download size remains the same. The file is either *.pdf or *.pdf.gz. Winzip32 will handle the gzipped file though.

(Jan. 19, 2003) I added the final chapter (another 32 pages). I still need to do some fine-tuning (I know there are a number of typos, the footnotes are still messed up, etc., but the book is basically finished. I am still projecting April for the final version. Note that the sizes of the files have changed somewhat.

The book is free for the downloding. Just hit Shift and left click on the link.

Feel free to comment: I apreciate the good comments and will probably ignore the bad ones. Enjoy!

Here's a revised optimized version, unzipped at 1.47MOptimized Version (should work with IE5.0)

Article in an unzipped *.pdf version (445K) Article -- Germanic Spirituality *.pdf --- works with Acrobat Reader/ or xpdf

Here's the unzipped *pdf version (1.47M) Book.pdf (works with Acroread 4.0 and double-checked on 09.13.03)

Note: I've tried downloading the zipped version both with Winbloze and Unix and it works under everything with good font as of 09.13.03. Two choices here: 1) Download the 1.47 Mg. file (click on the "title/ link" above) 2) Follow the instructions and, in the meanwhile, 3) Get a real operating system!

Note: as of today, the email account for this site rejects all emails with the exception of those on the "approved" list. If you wish to write me, place a private entry into the guestbook and I'll get in touch with you.

If you are writing about linking to this site, feel free to do so. In fact, anything on this site is pretty much fair game including the textual material. If you use the textual material, at least give credit where credit is due. Thanks.

Dispelling the Myths of Amanita Muscaria: August 15, 1998
The Little Red Man and the Blond-Haired Girl

Welcome to The Seiðman Rants. It is truly a rant page which was created in direct opposition to some of the New Age sites drifting about in cyberspace so that many of the essays, rants, and notes here may seem somewhat jaded when it comes to the "fluff and light" thing.

Nov. 4, 2004

For the 'Ritual-Collectors':

(Some have complained that the Seiðman doesn't rant like he used to.  Here's letters sent out in the past 2 days, ca. Nov. 4th, 2004.  I grew up a hunter, and even though I don't go after large game much, fluff-bunnies are still great target practice.)

"The group sets itself apart from all others as the 'the new heathenry.' They are celebrating their Winter-solstice ceremony. The fire is a light-symbol for the sun which will soon bless the earth with longer and longer days and in this time of the Yule-nights, so say the old myths, which wakens the seeds deeply buried in the earth.  At the same time, the flickering fire magically draws the sun ever closer to the world of man.  The group leader offers [sacrifices] some sage, St. John's wort, and bread [to the fire].  The gifts expresses 'thanks' to the spirit of nature to which the group feels closely bound. Like thousands of other new-heathen groups around the world, this group attempts to revive the ancient ritual of the winter-solstice ritual indigenous [to Europe]. (from Haack, ca. 1991)

"(Simek's response.) As this example shows, the most religious of the new-heathens have expressed very little which has anything to do with actual ancient Germanic religion--and this knowledge is more than simple opinion. A blossoming of the Viking Age religion of Thor, Odin and Freyr and with it, a revitalization of Germanic mythology is to be found nowhere among the new-heathens." (Simek _Die Religion und Mythologie der Germanen_, p. 17.)

I think Simek's point is well made although this particular paragraph has raised more than a few eyebrows among members of the Eldaring in Germany.  He further clarifies his stance that so long as the 'new-heathens' continue to treat the mythology of the ancient Germanic peoples as symbols and psychological constructs and that so long as 'new-heathens' insist on interpreting the older lore through the filters of the modern worldview, a revitalization of ancient Germanic heathenry is not possible.

I also think that using the approach of experiential anthropology has the potential of offering the best results.  Results from the phase of 'borrowing from Wicca, native Americans, and shamanistic cultures' has yielded a new-heathenry which is not easily distinguishable from the many other New Age alternative religions on the one hand, and has led adherants further and further from what is actually known about the ancient religion/ way of life on the other hand.

Some observations from over the years:

These are just some things I have observed from the late 1960s up to now. I'm certainly not directing any of these observations at any one in particular since they are all from my personal experience, from my life.

There was a period of time, which seems to have extended up to the present, when those adhering to not only heathenry but also to other New Age alternative religions were obsessed with collecting rituals. Now, I'm not speaking in the true anthropological sense, but in the sense of "whoever owns the script for the ritual has also acquired a 'block of greatness'." (Among Wiccans, for a while this was the "I own xxx-xxxx's personal Book of Shadows which was bequeathed to me by his High Priestess after his death"). Collecting rituals was a New Age pastime through the 1970s--thereafter, attention began to focus on 'creating ritual' with proper poetry, songs, movements (including choreography). This was especially noticeable with groups of Anglos attending workshops and attempting to learn and properly produce native American songs, ayahuasca songs, Tuvan throat-singing, songs of Yoruba/ Santeria/ Condomble/ Voudoun all of which (that I've heard, at any rate) sounded as poor and inauthentic as Segovia reproduced on a $10 Sears & Roebuck Roy Rogers guitar played by a well-meaning 8 yr. old the day after his birthday. The bottom line was "whoever ever owned the script. . . ."

Looking through actual historical material, oddly enough, ritual activity (in the sense of 'standardized, ritualized pageantry') appears to have been minimal. Some examples I can think of was the localized, annual moving of the image of Frey in Sweden, the ritual with the Volsi, the Eiriksgata, etc. The descriptions of blots, for example, always seem to be in general, skeletal outline form and did not appear to have any real 'ritual history' (in contrast to Easter Mass, the Lakota Sundance, and the annual blessings which take place
in Hindu, Buddhist and Tibetan temples).

On the other hand, I know we've discussed this briefly about a year ago, I know that any blot, any official meeting, and any meeting between families were punctuated by formalities, particularly the listing of geneological histories and lists of accomplishments, often embedded in formulaic questioning such as can be seen in the Icelandic 'viki-vaki' (a formulaic, highly poetic form of 'roast-and-toast'), the British Houses of Lords and Commons, the American House of Representatives and Senate, and in the formulae of the courts
throughout Europe and the US.

My point is that I see the insistance on 'collecting ritual scripts' as another example of a spiritually-needy Industrial Age people who in imitation of their Christian forebearers see the world as "needing" the pageantry of the Catholic Mass to fill a blank spot in their lives.

After 30 years as a modern heathen, I have come to see that there is a sense of spiritual fulfillment, spiritual satisfaction and a sense of belonging to a community when one is able to adopt a heathen worldview on the one hand and is able to participate in local formalities on the other. Having knowledge of the history of an object or a person places one in a position of certain power which can be expressed by passing on the histories, i.e. rising up to one's responsibility as a family or community elder. The holders of 'ritual scripts' have absolutely no power in this community beyond often being viewed as somewhat mentally unstable or perhaps a bit obsessive-compulsive.

From what little I have been able to glean from the sagaic literature, elders were honored for their wisdom and knowledge of histories so that these could become the basis of good decisions regarding the present and near future and *not* for their huge collections of 'ritual scripts.' From my (aging) perspective, a Jul-blot is good when all sit at the meal with smiles on their faces and demonstrate respect, not necessarily for the person of the elder, but for the respectful wisdom handed over during repast.

Bottomline: I'm inclined these days to believe wit and wisdom well presented is far more spiritual than someone reading from a vast collection of rituals.

Jan, 14, 2003

Ein fröhliches Neujahr an Allen!

A lot has happened since my last rant:

The western US has suffered a great loss of trees since I last wrote a rant.  A friend of mine, a spákona from Arizona, recently ran a session filled with the fluff bunny crowd.  Arizona was on fire at the time and the pixie-fairies were wondering what they had overlooked to deserve such a fate.  The spákona's response was that Jörd is renewing herself, scraping off some old dead skin (including a few fluff-bunny neighborhoods), but they could not hear.  In response, and rightfully, they brought out their sacred pink-feathered wands and rattles carefully crafted by the hongkongian tribe and began a chant begging Jörd to forget her bath and to pay attention to Her self-appointed guardians of ¨live-free-in-a-fantasy-world.¨  

Jörd, please knock off Thy cleansing thing and give us rain to put out these fires.  Our businesses are failing and our clothes smell of foul smoke.  Our internet service is interupted, and our Beamers are becoming dusty.  Renewal is for the weak, and we know that Thou art strong!  
Please, Jörd, grant us our wishes because we know what is right.  Already one ISP is down and two Wal-Marts have closed their doors.  Our sushi is beginning to absorb the foul stench of Thy cleansing.
Because of Thy cleansing we are unable to fulfill our daily indoctrination by the media.  Papa Doc Bush is concerned because we cannot hear His important messages regarding the selfishness of personal rights and of evils of all that is unAmerican.
Jörd, please knock of Thy cleansing thing . . . .

Wal-mart is now the greatest business force in the free world.  They have been setting cultural trends for the past decade for  just about anyone who previously wore the stupid trappings of their ancestors.  What a pleasure to see Native Americans, hispanics, Amish, and Asians finally dumping their silly traditional dress and finally joining the global brotherhood of people who wear  'American-made' T-shirts and jeans designed and sewn by the same hongkongian tribe  who makes the sacred implements of the crystal-toting,  fairy pixies who pray that Jörd will stop picking lice and leeches.  Wal-mart is there to serve all your shopping needs.  By eliminating costly quality from their merchandise, by removing expensive flavor from food, and by squashing out up to 50% of  wasteful local mom-and-pop businesses, virtually everyone can now join the corps of people feeding Walton's bank in the fair state of Arkansas.  Every small town in the world should have a Wal-Mart.  

Wal-Mart mentality eliminates the need  to think for ourselves.  Microsoft, for example, (the Wal-Mart of the software world) eliminates the need to have to learn about computors.  With Microsoft everyone can pretend that they know something about computors without actually having to learn anything at all!  No thinking involved!  The  World Wide Web is a better place with the advent of Microsoft who has made it much easier  for me to shop by making pop-up advertisements and email spam accessible to every small business.  A revolutionary concept based on the idea that real information generates an unnecessary need to think.  It's so simple that even 15 yr. olds can participate by sending spam to all their friends.  I am especially impressed by the ads which send themselves out to everyone found in the address book, or the ones which open themselves up automatically for my viewing pleasure.  As a  race, humans are evolving to the point where thinking is completely unnecessary except for those unfortunate few, like Papa Doc Bush.

I was pleased pleased when Papa Doc Bush came out with his new infomercial about how ¨We need to participate in our communities.¨  This was an important move on his part because while we are evolving into an unthinking mass of well dressed Wal-Mart clones, participating in community activities such as pretending to teach our children will be necessary so that we can keep up the image of being good citizens.  When I first saw the infomercial, Papa reminded me how important it is to turn on the television for my children so that they can get an education in how to dress and 'think' properly.  If I neglect this important activity, my children might have to think on their own.  They might start to believe in silly things like personal rights to privacy and free-speech (which we have already sacrificed for their sake).  Turn on your TVs, Ásatrú folk, educate your children properly!   Be sure to celebrate their successes in education by treating them to McDonald's or buying them a new outfit at Wal-Mart!  Or, perhaps, a new war-on-drugs/America-is-great/ kill-the Arab game for  Windows.

 Thank You, Papa Bush!  In  my striving to evolve, sometimes I forget to do something like participate in my own Life---the one which Thou hast bestowed upon me!  We believe in Thee!

Finally, the USA is upgrading it's Constitution by eliminating the superfluous right to privacy and the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.  We are only 20 yrs. behind the original prediction for the upgrade in 1984 (originally proposed by a Mr. O. Welles)  but better late than never, I always say.  Private email had gotten way out of hand; thank the gods and the FBI for Carnivoire and all the new regulations/ pay-offs for ISPs logging private citizens' activities.  Fortunately, the entire Wal-Mart clad clan can get in on the fun with TAPS, a revamping of an old nazi standard called ¨spy on your neighbor.¨   (I haven't had so much much fun since Sen. J. McCarthy's cool TV show was cancelled back in the 1950s.)  

I note that the federal government is now protecting us from ayahuasca, a particularly nasty vision enhancing plant from South  America which can lead one to personal insight.  Now that we are getting rid of the whole stupid right to privacy, and thinking, in general,  the last thing  we need is someone mucking the whole thing up with 'personal insight.'   The federal agent, Mike McCracken (DEA) was acting appropriately when he said ¨I know they're legal (the plants), but I don't care.  I think ayahuasca should be illegal and I seized the plants.  It will cost 50 grand for a lawyer to fight the seizure  and that's more than anyone will make selling them.  So either way I win.¨  It is comforting to know that our federal government is willing to bypass the normal route for generating a new law, therefore bypassing the need for the rest of us to engage in wearisome thinking,  and can and will create a new one on the spur of the moment, when necessary, to better protect us from ourselves.  Like peyote this nasty visionary plant not only leads to personal insight (especially after a long period of fasting and strict dietary restrictions) but the insight is preceded by diarrhea and severe vomiting---it could easily have become the next recreational drug!

Guidelines for living in the New America

1)  Drop in, Turn On and Tune In--Get those TVs on!  Corporate America in conjunction with the federal government is working tirelessly to assure that its citizens has direct and immediate access to the most important information regarding how unAmerican foreigners tend to act, what new upgrades to the antiquated US Constitution are in the works, and what the newest styles are on Wal-Marts racks.

2)  Trust corporate America.  It and the federal government have only the interest of their supporters in mind.   Neither of them will steer you wrong.  Money is no object.  Like China,  maintaining the health and placation/ platitude of the American serf is of primary concern in policy-making.

3)  Try to emulate Papa Doc Bush in attitude and dress---even the nuances in his quaint use of the American language.  Remember thinking is for a class lower than us like dirty doctors of philosophy and historians.  Papa Doc is the only Doc for us!

4)  Support corporate America:  Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Time-Warner, Microsoft--they are the true representatives of the American ideal.

5)  Participate in your communities by supporting real education/ indoctination of your children (see #1 above); support your local TAPS and Search-and-Seizure chapters; above all, give generously to the IRS (the Federal Reserve is still one cut above Wal-Mart as a fine,  privately owned, international business).

6)  Display national pride by dressing in the finest uniforms that our Wal-Marts have to offer.

7)  Support the New America by starting up your ¨Hearings of the Committee of UnAmerican Activities¨ in your community---remember ¨All foreigners are unAmerican!¨

8)  Vote, vote, vote!  The USA still has the finest single party system in the entire world.  Don't worry about voting  on laws and bills, though.  Those will be handled by those who make them up and do not necessarily need our interference.

9)  If you are Ásatrú, tell the spákona off. . . .she's probably taking should-be-illegal drugs like ayahuasca or Amanita muscaria anyways.

This next piece is a freebie.  Feel free to copy it, steal it, adhere to it, whatever.  This seiðman is personally tired of all the organizations, the petty bickering, and the constant flaming that one gets to see between members of the Ásatrú community.  The upshot is the same as what my dad always said, "If you really wanna see how important you are, just go to someone else's house and try ordering HIS dog around."

The Ásatrú Folk Manifesto
can be found at this link. I did it up as a *.pdf.

There has been an interesting reaction to the Manifesto; folks still seem to want reincarnation, magic circles, the 8-fold wiccan year. The Seiðman doesn't really care. It's just not Ásatrú, that's all. It's nordic wicca.

Wicca is interesting in that it is a philosophy that can be overlaid with a 'culture' to produce a tradition. If that is what one wants, fine. Just not Ásatrú, that's all.

The Ásatrú Folk want cleaned up Ásatrú in their households. Get it together, folks. Leave the Dungeons and Dragons fantasy Volkswagen behind!

Here we are once again at Yule Tide!

This is by far one of the most confusing times of year for those of us who are Ásatrú especially if we have come to this northern religion by other routes such as New Age, Wicca or Christianity! We are inundated by "Put the Christ back in Christmas!" on every street corner while the New Age booksection at every 3rd grocery store is having a hay-day with the solstice. What a confusing thing­and to put the icing on the cake many of us poor Ásatrú folk are lead away from the meaning of Yule by well-meaning Ása-newbies.

Seiðfolk find this time of year particularly exciting because the month of Yule was obviously designed around our particular talents: it is the feast of the dead and ghosts are everywhere!

The idea of the solstice doesn't occur in any of our Lore (unless one wishes to consider Llewellyn Books­dial 1-800-THE-MOON ­the current holder of northern Germanic wisdom). Sure, one can bring up the old thing about New Grange or some of the other sun-circles, but always keep in mind that we didn't build them, the pre-Celtics (whoever they were) did.

We have customs, but they don't usually involve outdoor night activities because that time was reserved for the dead. The eve of modern Christmas is still considered to be the "most dangerous night of the year" for many Germanic people and culturally related groups. It is generally considered unhealthy to travel alone on the Yule nights because, again, the nights belong to the dead. Turning one's coat wrong side out, traveling in groups, or wearing some other form of protection is apropos. Bonfires should be reserved until the conclusion of the Yule season. Better it is to have the fires in the houses (in fireplaces) preferably with friends and family gathered. Feasts are very good for accomplishing this.

Remembering the dead by leaving offerings is appropriate especially if the offerings are left during the shrunken day-light hours. Seiðmen (and seiðwomen) are aware of the need to include the dead into our daily lives for it is through the dead that we have received and will continue to receive our luck.

Another custom which we have lost is the procession of the Yule Mothers which is a form of "trick-or-treating." The procession varied somewhat from place to place but usually involved a group of youths or young women dressed up and disguised with masks. Blessings were trades for offerings made by the local farmers in the form of drink and food. Caroling, masking, trick-or-treating, and visits from St. Nick und der Krampus or Sinter Klaas en Svarte Piet are all variations on the same theme.

Yule could be considered a "fire-festival" as some have speculated, I suppose. The real reason for the fire, though, was that it was a gathering point for the family or community and it is fire that protects our community from the evils that the forgotten dead can lay upon us such as plagues of pneumonias, flus, viral infections and other plagues/ epidemics which are not easily forgotten: Black Plague, blights on crops, droughts, floods, perhaps even Mad-Cow Disease. In some places bonfires were lit with oakum to drive away the malicious ghosts that would do harm. In other places, wood is soaked with tar for the same purpose.

Yule is a season during which we as community-members must figure out some way of bringing honor to the dead and leave them offerings in remembrance: the luck of our communities depend on it. It is a holiday of lights and fires in the night, of families gathered together remembering the old times of Yule times past and the looking forward to the next Season.

Oh, it's OK to toss the solstice thing in there, too. A quaint coincidence, I suppose, that it occurs at the same time but fairly meaningless when one considers that there are 4 more months of hard snows and in some places the winter is just beginning to build up a head of steam. I prefer to think of it as the most special nights of the year when the dead annually return to their homes for their gifts of remembrance. That's about the only thing that Christians finally got right:

"Oh, Holy Night!"

Seiðfolk are, in one sense, what the noaide is to the Sami or what the szaman is to the Tungus, but, in another sense, they are their own. Seiðfolk have their own cosmology and customs for navigating the realms of their ecstasy.
I am a seiðman.
We, the seiðfolk, belong to the culture of the northern Germanic peoples. Our role is different than the noaide's, the szaman's, and the New Age shamanic practitioner's. We follow the code of ethics suggested by the Hávamál which does not necessarily match neatly with the 20th century neo-shaman's sense of rightness. Our heritage is of the northern Germanic peoples.
If you do "totem-animals" or visualize fylgja as a Heathen guardian angel, if you believe that your chosen patron God or Goddess is going to carry you "home" after you kick off just because you've been a good little Heathen, or if you're fond of Norse astrology, Norse Wicca, or Norse tarot, this may not really be your chosen site. We seiðfolk do what we do because we have no choice! It is what we have been dealt by the Nornir. We don't "seethe" because it might be "fun," we "seethe" because we must!

What Makes a Seiðman "Seethe" Anyway?

    Moderns have interesting conceptions of what constitutes a seiðman or seiðkona.  Some think that anyone who dreams is seething; some think that since they've been to a weekend workshop, or have read a book on shamanism, they are seething.  There is always the ubiquitous seer of the "cute" elves or the jötnar at the local blót.  Just what is it that constitutes a seiðman and differentiates him or her from the rest of the folk?
    Now understand, I am much biased here.  I remain a practical seiðman and dislike silliness and pretense.  I am coming fast into ½ century on this Midgard and a full ¼ century as Ásatrú (beginning several years before there was such an official term).  I've seen Wicca grow out of cocoon in the 1960's.  I've watched folks go through Castaneda, LSD, Native American Church, phony white Native American, Tibetan, Hare Krishna, UFO, and Angel phases, and, indeed, I've done a share of it myself.  I am well aware of what new fads are out there.  I know, for example, how many people join up with "the local Kindred" and know exactly "why."  There is a place for everybody in our Northern Way of Life and that includes the Ring of Trothers and the Ásatrú Folk Assembly (respectively, the left and right wings of our way of life).  We are even able to handle those who profess atheism to a good degree (mainly because we don't have so much a religion but a way of life and a fellowship).  But just who is a seiðman?  And why?
    Part of the fascinating thing about adopting the Northern Way of Life is that for each kind of person there is a specific way to relate to the rest of the world---each has a specific role. The seiðmen, however, are those who have squandered their personal luck to a great degree but who are now supported by the ghosts who surround them--sort of like the living dead on welfare. We are of that group who have exhausted our possibilities as human beings and now live with one foot in either world-the World of the Living and the World of the Dead.  Many of us lived our lives in fear.  Too scared to live and too scared to 'off' ourselves.  The spirits (as opposed to Gods) came to us to cut a deal: we do pretty much what they tell us and they allow us to continue half-living on Midgard.  Schizophrenics, bag-ladies, and autistic people are also offered pretty much the same deal with the exception that we are able to interact freely in both worlds while they have a difficult time with Midgard.  People think that we have power or wisdom or secret knowledge.  We don't.  We are like custodians in a library; we know where to look for answers but only after we have been given directions on where to find them.  We get to participate but have lost all chance at becoming the leader.     Somewhere along the line, we seiðfolk have all screwed up our lives to the point where we can no longer function under our own power.  We function only as a part of a team made up of people and ghosts.  This is why we don't really "lead" the seiðr session because we can't. 
We are just the earthly representative of a team of players.  This is the very thing which differentiates us from the wannabes

  • A wannabe voluntarily does a "guided visualization,"  I get yanked out of space and time by a gang of ghosts who are not always pleasant.
  • A wannabe can pay for a weekend workshop to learn how to "journey," I get "taken" (whether I feel like it or not).
  • A wannabe can "journey" for a specific reason, I only know where I'm going after I'm informed by the rest of the team.
But seiðr does sound like a "cool" thing to do; I'm not surprised it's a fad.
    Oðin is a great mentor for us.  He hanged himself dead, and then was given a gift by the spirits to take back.  Think about it, O ye Wannabes!  Oðin offed himself, committed suicide, not to get the runes, you silly geese, to die!  He gave it ALL up!  This is not what a wannabe does.  A wannabe only takes himself out of commission only until he snags up a piece of information and then runs in with it, waving, "See? I can do seiðr, too!"  No, my friend, the seiðman is a dead man who walks on Midgard among men, the one who gave it ALL up.  (In my own personal case, it was squandered rather than given, however.)  That is the reason we are called "disgusting" or "perverted."  Some of us even had to sacrifice dignity to do what we do.  This is our luck.
    How do we know that our luck is as a Seiðman?  The question never comes up.  We have no other luck.  There are great people who follow the Nordische Überlieferung: there are scientists, artists, teachers, entertainers, poets, thinkers, and doers.  They have things that they can offer their community.  We do not.  We have exhausted our futures.  We are the seiðfolk.


If you are interested in Ásatrú as a religion, here are some sites which are good and have a large number of links to other sites:
(For the most part these sites are fairly "no fluff" sites.)

  • The Irminsul Page This has some info about seiðr (and also my wedding announcement).
  • Virtually Virtual Iceland Well, Old Norsenet can no longer be found. Here's a pleasant site though. Just kind of scoot around in it and enjoy!
  • James Arthur has certainly done some interesting research. I've been following his site for a couple of years now. This guy knows the Red Man, I suppose, as well as I do. If you like the site, read the book--definitely worth owning!
  • Tired of reading 'crap' about Ásatrú? This is a great book, especially after the 3rd time through!
  • The Ásatrúlore BulletinBoard

    Good heathenry, good conversation instead of the tired, old BS common to email-lists. Good chance to try real heathenry!

  • Folk Tradition from the Orkneys. Ásatrú, though not the "official state religion," is still a viable philosophy of life in the Orkneys. A wonderful site but it requires Java to navigate. Hang out here a while!
Here's a seiðr site:

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