Selected Book Pages Serving as a Poetical Introduction to Old Nordic Folk Religion

Written by Dyami Millarson

Pages 458-472 of volume II of Corpus Poeticum Boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue may serve as a poetical introduction in the English language to Old Nordic folk religion.

I find it particularly useful to look at Germanic religion from a poetical angle, because that is culturally appropriate given that Germanic magico-religious knowledge is traditionally chiefly expressed through divine poetry.

I can only wish for more handbooks of Germanic religion to take such a culturally appropriate approach, which is the most practical. It may seem complicated at first, but understanding the mechanics of Germanic poetry helps one to comprehend the Germanic worldview.

I do think that poetical introduction to Old Nordic folk religion contained in the aforementioned volume can be used as teaching material for aspiring Germanic nature poets as well as for people who have only rudimentary knowledge of Old Nordic polytheism and wish to know more. It is a good starting place for building knowledge.

If the goal is to help people understand the authentic Germanic worldview, it will certainly be essential to teach people Old Norse and to educate people to be skáld poets, because what better way is there to understand the old materials than being able to produce poems in Old Norse whilst following the Eddaic tradition? Is a skáld, who follows the tradition of the heiðnar skáld folk religious poets, not naturally goðmálugr skilled in the lore of the Gods, putting him at an immense advantage compared to those with little to no practical skaldic knowledge?

Active learning is more effective than passive learning. So familiarising oneself with Germanic polytheist poetry by not only passively studying but also actively practising it is undoubtedly a great asset in the journey towards recovering proper understanding of the ancestral worldview, i.e. becoming fornfróðr wise in ancient matters.

The selection of relevant pages, which may be thought of as constituting a poetical introduction to Old Nordic folk religion, are freely available in our public library.

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