Heathen Paths: Viking and Anglo Saxon Pagan Beliefs by Pete Jennings
This book is being written from a different perspective to other books published on aspects of what is known variously as Asatru, The Northern Tradition and Odinism to present a handbook of accumulated data so that people can read and interpret it for themselves, aided by sometimes conflicting or complementary opinions clearly labelled as such. This enables the modern reader to develop and adapt their own theories and practices, rather than have them laid out by someone else. Trying to glean odd kernels of Heathen truth from academic writers who have not much interest in Heathenry, from a scattering of books and journals that do not invite easy access is not for the faint hearted. Although the author frequently uses academic methods and arguments, he is an individual trying to make sense of a spiritual path that he was drawn to a couple of decades ago. The process has not been easy. Few books have been written about historic Heathen belief systems and even fewer have presented fresh material bar some notable and honourable exceptions. Even the terminology has had to evolve, and the term Heathen itself has only become the preferred description by many adherents more recently. The interpretation of archaic writings is a skilled one, and I do not unfortunately claim to be an Old Norse or Old English scholar. Inevitably, one then relies upon the often contradictory translations of others. Wherever possible I have tried to compare more than one source of translation, and have given a flavour of a few relevant words in this book whilst not having any expectation that the reader knows any more than my own limited knowledge of these stirring languages. Trying to subjectively observe a movement from within, whilst being a part of it oneself is a delicate path to tread, but in this book Pete does an admirable job, separating them from the historical data being presented. This work attempts to show that there were several different sub-paths within the one particular group of religious beliefs labelled as Heathen, and that they are still all separately available today.
270 pages, 2007, paper
270 pages, 2007, paper