From Hallowed To Shallow? The Evolution of Halloween As A Consumer Ritual


The Narcissistic Anthropologist

halloween

It’s scary how our consumer culture latches on to a spooky cultural tradition and manages to find ways to make it economically viable. That being said, I am excited about all the leftover mini-snickers bars I am going to have this year.

I thought it appropriate to try and find some sort of anthropological explanation of the origin of this frightful holiday. And i’ll be darned If I didn’t find an entire dissertation; well, a very thorough and interesting article from 1998 that was published in the Washington Post AND co-authored by one of my favorite practicing consumer anthropologists – Patricia Sunderland.

The link to the article is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/horizon/oct98/hallo101498.htm but the full text is below for your convenience. This is a treat, not a trick. Go grab a pumpkin’ spice latte and hunker down-this is a good one:

Halloween, perhaps our weirdest annual celebration, is even stranger than it…

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Nine Realms Learning Poem


Metal Gaia

From the Highest Peaks of Midgaard Where the Sons of Men Do Hold, To the Killing Chill of Niflheim The Land of Ice and Cold. To the Furnace Blast of Muspelheim Where Flame Leaps Far and Nigh, Nothing Born of Yggdrasil Escapes the Ravens Eye.

Down To the Depths of Svartalfheim Where Stone and Anvil Call, Unto High Liossalfheim Where Dark Ne’er Comes at All. High Up Over Jotunheim Where Giants Hold Their Court, All the Deeds of Every Land The Ravens Sift and Sort.

To the Heights of Vanaheim Where Elder Gods do Roam, Unto the Deepest Reach of Hel Where Spirits Make Their Home. And Last Up Into Asgaards Halls Where They May Find Their Havens, For It Is Known, Though All Men Fall, The Gods Do Keep the Ravens.

(A poem written by ThorinRuriksson of Reddit to help you learn the nine realms. Original Post. ThorinRuriksson…

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Indiculus superstitionum et paganiarum


SjpielseWolf

Because this little Index almost certain has been prepared by Anglo-Saxon missionaries in Utrecht (Netherlands) the listed misuses not specific Frankish but also Saxon and Frisian.

Nodfyr - a concept known in all cultures

Customs that the church qualified as heathen and sinful and had to be contested were:

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Johannesburg Heathen & Germanic Studies


Metal Gaia

Johannesburg Heathen & Germanic Studies

A Facebook Source for Heathenry and Germanic Lore

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The Bryastovetz Horned Helmet


Samhain: An Introduction to its Mythology and Folklore


Heathen Harvest

Yesterday I was in the supermarket shopping for ingredients to make spiced apples. It’s a large hangar in South East London which could happily accommodate several small aircraft – arguably more useful than the hordes of shoppers unthinkingly purchasing useless goods for the weekend. Being late October there’s a respectable Hallowe’en section [the fresh pumpkins get thrown away on 1st November] comprising all kinds of artifacts from ghost to cat trinkets and plastic scythes. As I made my way to the tills to purchase my ingredients I caught sight of an abhorrently corpulent mother buying armfuls of Hallowe’en materials, deadened face, deadened appearance, going through the motions of purchase at the shop’s behest. One of the things she was buying was a witch’s broom – probably for her daughter.

It occurred to me in that moment that there was a strong likelihood she had no idea why the broom was…

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When The Troll Wind Howls


An Ásatrú Blog

In the dead of night lurks an ill breed
A vile thing, gorged on flesh of steed
It unmans many with brave bowels
When the Troll Wind howls

It rises up from the darkest depths
And consumes any it finds beneath its steps
Great terror men know when it growls
When the Troll Wind howls

This beast, terrible and mighty
Stalks the dark places nightly
Its face is scarred and always scowling
When the Troll Wind comes a-howling

Lock your doors and bar your windows
Lest this monster deal your kin their deathblows
Through the darkness it slinks and prowls
On those nights when the Troll wind howls

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Thors Day!


Thick Black Line

By Odin’s Beard! ‘Twas truly a day among the vikings today:Tattooed Thor’s Hammer …

…upon Volstagg the Valiant!!…

…a truly blessed day full of smiles and fun, thanks to the Sheree, Gary & Family Show, thank you all!!

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Friday — Freya’s day


awoodcarversdaughter

Middle English fridai
Old English frigedæg “Freya’s day”
composed of Frige (genetive singular of Freo) + dæg “day” (most likely)
or composed of Frig “Frigg” + dæg “day” (least likely)
Germanic frije-dagaz “Freya’s (or Frigg’s) day”
Latin dies Veneris “Venus’s day”
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites “day of Aphrodite”

Freo is identical with freo, meaning free. It is from the Germanic frijaz meaning “beloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, free”.

Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in Germany with Frigg.

Frigg (Frigga) is the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is identified with Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin. She is one of the…

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Tuesday — Tiu’s day


awoodcarversdaughter

Middle English tiwesday or tewesday
Old English tiwesdæg “Tiw’s (Tiu’s) day”
Latin dies Martis “day of Mars”
Ancient Greek hemera Areos “day of Ares”

Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr.

Mars is the Roman god of war.

Ares is the Greek god of war.

Planet for today : Mars

Colour for today: Red

Number for today: 9

Incense for today : Tobacco & Pine

Mineral for today : Iron, Ruby & Haematite

Herb for today : Coriander, Garlic & Pepper

Tree for today : Holly

Spellweave for today : To improve Strength, Power and Authority and to Banish Conflicts

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Reconstruction, not Anachronism


An Ásatrú Blog

A very good friend of mine is a Celtic Reconstructionist, focusing on Irish tradition and folklore. We recently had a long discussion about why he refuses to join any organizations around the Atlanta area. His objections boil down to the consistent mandate for “ritual garb” like long robes and how he simply finds these things to be impediments to his experiencing his faith on a deeper emotional level. Additionally, the style of dress isn’t historically accurate. Instead, it’s very Victorian in the depiction of “druids” and bears no semblance of reality to what the people actually wore. In short, his is a modern faith rooted in the past but it is not an anachronistic faith that is trying to look the part as someone else envisions it. We both concur on the idea that our ancestors didn’t play dress up and put on clothing that predated their time, only that…

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The Stonehenge Gleam


The Heritage Journal

The recent laser scan of Stonehenge is said to reveal that the monument was architecturally rigged to show off the solstices : (1.) the sides of the stones that flanked the solstice axis were most carefully worked to form very straight and narrow rectangular slots and (2.) many north west facing surfaces  were given special attention by being scrubbed free “of their brown and grey surface crust, leaving a bright, grey-white surface that would gleam in the midwinter sun

But how much would those surfaces “gleam”? The smoother the better but in only two places is there evidence of the surfaces actually being polished (and it is suggested that might have happened later). However, it is tempting to wonder if other surfaces were polished but weathering has removed the evidence. We’ll probably never know but we polished a bit of sarsen (with very little effort) and it certainly…

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Good and Evil Continued


heathen Theory

Though a bit tedious, I thought it was important that I talk a little bit about what I meant in the previous article by good and evil.  To begin we should define the terms themselves.  For the purposes of this article good should be defined as that which is morally just, while evil is that which is morally unacceptable.  However these definitions by themselves are not enough.  Morality is a natoriously ambiguous term.  Morality varies not just from culture to culture, but also individual to individual.  The fact of the matter is that morality is, to some extent subjective.  I’ll cite the classic example of the man who steals bread in order to feed his children.  Now is this man morally unjust and therefore evil because he stole?  Or were his reasons mortally acceptable, making him by extension good?  Well the answer to that depends largely on who you are…

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10 Creatures in Scandinavian Folklore


Thyra10

FFFbone posted a link to this amazing list of 10 creatures in Scandinavian Folklore at the Random-Fandom . These are all creatures that are ingrained in our culture – especially the Norwegian culture which seems to have taken these creatures much more to heart than, for instance, the modern Danish culture. If my son spends too much time in the bathroom (it happens 😉 ), I ask him if “do-draugen” has taken him. “Do” is the Norwegian word for toilet ( “loo” is a better translation if one is splitting hairs).

10 Creatuers in Scandinavian Folklore by Rebecca Winther-Sørensen

Read the list here
The Scandinavian Folklore consists of a huge variety of creatures, good or evil, which have frightened people for centuries. They were often meant to scare children, but even today they are essential and important to the modern northern society. In the 1890s, something changed in the way…

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