What follows is a comprehensive reading list for the individual, family, or group seriously seeking extensive knowledge of the ancient Ancestral Religions of Ásatrú and Odinism.
This list is by no means complete (and we will add to it from time to time), but if you can obtain, read, and comprehend the following publications, you will have a solid foundation for understanding our Ancestral waysnot only from a historical perspective, but also within the context of the modern-day revival and return to the ways of our ancient pre-Christian Ancestors, and all that this return implies.
Enjoythere be wisdom below!
Introduction / General Knowledge:
Ásatrú - the Hidden Fortress - An Introduction to European Ancestral Religion. From the back cover: "It's been almost a thousand years since such knowledge has been publicly known. And now, the ancient, almost forgotten, Ancestral religion of Ásatrú/Odinism has been revived to become one of the fastest growing phenomenons of our time..." Written by an active member of our ancient religion, it is filled with valuable information. Many have heaped praise upon this publication: "...worth every penny I spent on it." "I just felt things clicking in place..." "I would reccomend this book to anyone new to our folkway..." Highly recommended! By Edred Wodanson. Published by Wodanesdag Press (available in our Catalog).
HÁVAMÁL, Sayings of the High One - Considered by many to be the most important manuscript in all of Northern European Ancestral Religion, it is actually in the form of a very long poem (over 5,000 words). Originally transmitted orally from generation to generation, it was written down around 1,000 years ago. The Wodanesdag Press version contains not only the Lee M. Hollander translation, but the compete work in the Old Norse Language (the original language of the manuscript), and also provides a Modern-English translation. Special expanded version only from Wodanesdag Press (available in our Catalog).
The Poetic Edda - what the Vedas are to India - the Eddas are to the Teutonic/Germanic race. A treasure trove of mythical & spiritual verse. Possibly, the most important work of Northern Mythology. Several excellent translations are currently available, but we recommend you start with the Lee M. Hollander version from University of Texas Press.
The Agricola and The Germania - The first hand account of a Roman historian's encounter with the Germanic peoples of Europe, written around the year 98 AD - enlightening! By Tacitus
The Odin Brotherhood - A fascinating and inspirational account of a dialog between the author and members of an ancient Odinic Society based in Scotland. Highly recommended! By Dr. Mark Mirabello
Gods and Myths of Northern Europe - provides a solid foundation for understanding the ancient myths & sagas. By H.R. Ellis Davidson
The lost beliefs of Northern Europe - Explains in great detail the origins and development of Northern European pre-Christian religion and Folk Culture. By H. R. Ellis Davidson
FUTHARK By Edred Thorsson. This is an excellent place to start with the runes. A wealth of information and research. Deals mostly with rune magic and history.
At the Well of Wyrd By Edred Thorsson. An excellent companion to FUTHARK. Mr. Thorsson has done it again. Deals mostly with the runes being used for divination (not as good as FUTHARK - but worth the read).
RUNELORE By Edred Thorsson. Again we have here another excellent work by Mr. Thorsson. Deals with the esoteric side of the runes and with their history. If you liked FUTHARK, you won't be disappointed.
NOTICE: some have disagreed with our selection of Rune books aboveconcerned over Edred Thorsson's involvement in various organizations and movements. While it is true that Mr. Thorsson may have strayed wide from the path, his earlier work (listed above) is rare amongst the writers of Rune books, and based on actual investigation, rather than mere speculation. As with anyone claiming authority, one should approach with a critical eye.
Dictionary of Northern Mythology - Essential for anyone seriously reconnecting with their pre-Christian, Northern European roots. Overflowing with priceless information. Out of print for a time, it has now returned and well worth the cost. Highly recommended! By Rudolf Simek
The Culture of the Teutons, in three volumes. Hard to find, and expensive when you do. But definitely worth the outlay and effort. Thought provoking and informative. Originally published in Danish between 1909-12. The English translation from 1931 is a good read. By Vilhelm Grönbech
The Saga of the Volsungs - The Epic German Saga of the Dragon Slayer. Tells of love, vengeance, runic knowledge, war, and the mythical deeds of the dragon slayer - Sigurd the Volsung. Highly recommended. Translated by Jesse L. Byock, published by University of California Press
Vinland Saga - A record of the discovery and colonization of both Greenland and Vinland (North America). The most studied of all the Sagas. Translated by Hermann Palsson
The Saga of the Jomsvikings - the doings of the Jomsvikings: a warrior clan that feared no man and dared all! A great and rousing read! Highly recommended. Published by University of Texas Press.
A list of recommended sagas and tales:
History of the Kings of Norway
Seven Viking Romances
(most of these titles are available from Penguin Classics)
NOTE: It's important to mention the fact that all the Sagas and Eddas listed above have passed through many hands - Christian hands to be exact. And therefore we must recognize the Christian-sounding statements for what they truly are: sour grapes. Not only did the original compliers of the various Sagas lend their religious bias to the recording of these ancient oral traditions in and around the twelfth century CE, but even some of the modern-day translators have done the very same thing. For this reason we can never take these stories, no matter how tempted we are, at face value. There must always remain a degree of doubt in the mind. Preferable to trust your own tried gut instincts, then to follow blindly the words of a stranger folk. Unconditional acceptance is not part of Ásatrú / Odinism. "Better burden bearest thou nowise than shrewd head on thy shoulders . . ."
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