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

by Linzie, Bil

Short description

This paper reviews the modern heathen movement's commonly accepted beliefs regarding the heathen concept of Afterlife and compares them to what is known about the ancient Germanic sense of Afterlife. The discussion is a continuation of this author's proposal that the stan- dards of research among modern heathens be at least consistant with standards currently acceptable to researchers in other fields of study. As with previous papers by this author, this document has been subjected to peer review, and has been adjusted to reject their comments. The intent is not to undermine the progress at reconstructionism re- ported by various groups of modern heathens but to enhance it since we have attempted to not only draw directly from heathen sources via the most current research, but have also suggested methods and techniques with which one should be able to shift one's frame of reference from that of the commonly accepted modern era to that which would have been com- pletely acceptable to most of the various Germanic peoples living during the Viking Era. 1 The Current State of the Germanic Afterlife 6 1.1 Dying into the Halls of One's Patron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.2 Reincarnation and the Modern heathen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2 Historical Views 14 2.1 Dificulties Researching the Past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 2.2 The Heathen view of 'Soul' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 2.3 The Heathen Concept of 'Patron-Gods' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 2.4 The Heathen Concept Death into the Gravemound . . . . . . . . 25 2.5 Other Heathen Afterlife Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 2.6 The Heathen View of Reincarnation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 2.7 Summary of the Germanic Afterlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 3 The Gravemound and the Modern Heathen 44 3.1 The Worldview Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 3.2 Christianity's Early Role, Christianity's Gift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 3.3 Where the Modern Kicks In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 4 Experimental Reconstruction 55 4.1 Matrices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 4.2 A Reconstructionist's Personal Experiments: Question Everything. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Language

English

Keywords

Rune magic, Mythology, Paganism

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