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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2009
So I bought this book never having read anything about Heathenry before (aside from various things online) thus I was a utter novice and had no idea what was deemed good information or not. This book seemed well received so I bought it on faith (not always a particularly sensible decision when it comes to pagan-type books)! I certainly chose a good book because Krasskova does an great job of outlining modern Heathenry in a concise manner, one that's easy to read and conversationalist.

Unlike other reconstructionist religions Heathenry deals with a broad range of countries not just Greece like Hellenic Polytheism for example. Rather, Heathenry covers the Norse tribes, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon etc. each with their own names for the gods and their own cultural idiosyncrasies -- thus the subject matter can seem rather intimidatingly broad to newbies like myself so a book like this is essential and very helpful!

The contents is as follows: The Evolution of Modern Heathenry, Cosmology, Gods and Goddesses, Wyrd, The Soul Matrix, Heathen Ethics and Values, Basic Blot, Symbel, Personal Devotions, and Holy Tides.

'Exploring the Northern Tradition: A Guide to the Gods, Lore, Rites, and Celebrations from the Norse, German, and Anglo-Saxon Traditions' does exactly what it says on the tin. Krasskova has a deep passion for her subject matter and that is quite easily sensed. I particularly adored her descriptions of the various gods and goddesses -- she provided the reader with her own prayer for each one as well as a description of how they can guide you in life. The list is very long and she talks about some very obscure gods like Nerthus, Eir and Sif. Those of us who are English will be pleased that Krasskova is a Anglo-Saxon recon because she gives us the Anglo-Saxon names for the gods where appropriate (Woden, Frige, Thunor, Tiw, Ing etc).

She also rather helpfully suggests meditations and activities for the various deities. In that respect this book can help other recons possibly expand their own practice by seeing how others do things, but also by giving some great ideas on devotional activities. I particularly liked the idea of devotional baths which is something else I'll be stealing and adapting. All the rituals and various rites are easily explained as well as the metaphysical and spiritual meaning behind them too. The fascinating concept of wyrd (loosely meaning 'fate') is also well expounded; although I was already familiar with the belief the explanation presented here is quite explanatory. The festivals are dealt with quickly and there's some very interesting information about the soul in Heathen theology, the all important discussion of Yggdrasil and Heathen ethics.

All in all, a very helpful handbook! Recommended.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
This is an amazing book, very spiritual. written by a modern heathen (someone who believes in the old anglo-saxon/viking gods) a great guide to the gods and a great chapter on the soul (much better that the christian idea of a soul). This talks about sacrifices/holidays/modern worship/ethics and much much more. I dont believe in the gods but i still loved this book as it is what you make of it (e.g. for me worshipping the war gods, i am really bringing out the warrior within, my inner courage). This book helped me understand that I am a proud Anglo-saxon heathen (not a neo pagan). Go and read it, you will learn something. Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2008
After reading so many rubbish books which claimed to be about Heathenism, but turned out more like neo-paganism, this was a refreshing book to read. It starts off as an introduction about being a Heathan, then examines the Gods/Goddeses, Cosmology, Soul etc.. It is all very easy to read, and nothing fluffy at all in the pages.

A must read.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2006
As a Universalist and Modernist Heathen, i loved this book. Fair enough the die-hard reconstructionist brigade won't like it, but then their worldview is so dreary that the resultant depression means they can't appreciate a good read when they encounter one! This is one of the better books on Heathenism/Asatru available today, written by someone of genuine intelligence and spiritual integrity. If you want heathen history, then read a book about that. If you want Heathen Religion and Spirituality as experienced by a practitioner in the here and now, then this book is a good place to start.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2006
I realise that I didn't read the description properly before ordering this volume. I'm embarking (as a pure dilettant) on a course of reading to a/ Rediscover the magic of the Grimm's German Legends that I read enthralled very young, in a 19thC English edition (long gone, and I can't find an affordable translation). The Northern Gods offer a taste of Proust's madeleines for me! b/ Acquire a simple reference basis to tie together the various cultural manifestations of these legends, from Wagner's Ring to Tolkien (I'm a fan of both).

As a reference guide, one could do far worse for one's money, the Gods and events are succinctly but well described; a useful starting point indeed before going on to the more substantial works available.

I didn't however count on the promotion of Heathenry that the book offers (mentioned in the Amazon description). Neither insiduous nor obsessive, however, and indeed presented in a quite interesting and intelligent manner (although my religious attachment is firmly elsewhere).

So, no regrets, this is a book I will read and return to.

Technically, full marks to the publisher, a well-made volume for its category.
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on 22 July 2015
Interesting and quite rationally written view of modern reconstructed Germanic paganism as written by a pagan. Yes, it is definitely modern reconstructionism: but you'd not really notice the difference, as the nature of Germanic paganism necessitates a conservative approach - Krasskova doesn't make anything up, beyond a little poetic licence with some of the more obscure Gods.
A little cringeworthy at times, but mostly very informative; worth picking up if you want to expand your knowledge about this new ancient religion.
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on 10 March 2015
A must for all who are norse heathens or who are just interrested in a great interdoktion to our ancestors true beliefs before the Abrahamic religions poisond and weakend the world. It goes thrue the cosmos, the gods and goddesses including the lesser known ones that are usually left out in other books on the subject and much more that will give you an insight into reconnecting with what was taken from us a long time ago and we only now are beginning to piece back together again.
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on 19 December 2014
I have read many books on this subject but this one stands out. The author seems to write with a true passion for the subject and a desire to help others wishing to follow this path.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2010
You can tell this book was written with much passion from its author Galina Krasskova, or at least thats the vibe I got from reading this book. Exploring the Northern Tradition is a delightful book to read, and it is a great introduction for the beginner of this fast growing ancient religion to the Heathen world [and serious Heathens as well I must add!]
This book does not get bogged down on any one specific subject or expresses to you that you should do this or you should do that! instead this book gracefully guides you through its chapters from cosmology to the Gods and Goddesses, Wyrd, Blot, plus principles and practices and much more.
I personally liked the authors various prayers and meditations she has provided for the homage of the Gods and Goddess.
Once again this book is a perfect introduction for any person that is Heathen Curious, a scholar of Heathenry or already a Heathen follower....MAY THE GODS BE WITH YOU!!!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2010
I found this book to be very accessible. I enjoyed reading the history and stories of the Northern Gods - I remembered them from my childhood and was delighted to meet up with them again. These are lost to the vast majority of us yet they speak to our mores and culture more than the Greek Gods for example. If you have heard of and want to learn about our Northern Gods, our religious history this book is an excellent way to start. It certainly resonated with me and I recommend it to anyone wondering about our non Christian past and what was lost when Christianity drove out the old Gods.
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