Firstly, let me say that I am more the editor of Northern Lore than its author. While a portion is my own writing, where practical and prudent, I have re-used material from other experts available in the public domain, or with permission; we’re privileged to live in a time when many authors offer their work freely to be re-used, and when we have access to previously undreamed of digital libraries available in the public domain. The Google Books project has scanned in thousands of books from the libraries of Universities like Harvard, Yale and Oxford, as well as other public libraries. The result is that we have ubiquitous access to a treasure trove of 19’th and early 20’th century literature pertaining to our culture and history. Fortunately for us, this period was rife with books exploring our Northern heritage – it seemed to be a renaissance of all things European.
So what is this book? Why am I sharing this with you? I’m glad you asked!
I’ve spent a good deal of my life researching and reflecting on the knowledge of our ancestors. Inspired initially by the works of authors like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, I began to dig into the real history behind the fabulous tales I read; the library became my second home. The Lord of the Rings for example, has its roots in Teutonic mythology. The Runes Tolkien presented in the first edition of The Hobbit were in fact Anglo-Saxon runes that were in daily use 1500+ years ago as a system of writing and tribal magic.
As the years passed, I was exposed to more knowledge than I could ever imagine existed (thanks to the advent of the Internet), and connected with people across the globe with similar interests. I suddenly found myself learning about herb lore, martial arts, navigation, and other knowledge with ties to our Northern ancestors. What a legacy!
There are excellent books on the history of our ancestors, some on the physical crafts of our folk, and many on the spiritual or esoteric aspects of those traditions – runic divination, galdr (chanting) etc. However, to my knowledge, none have presented a view touching on all those aspects - presenting a sampling of lore from the whole of our ancestral corpus – the mind-body-spirit. Clearly I can’t cover everything in one volume, so what I will do, is introduce you to some very interesting examples, and follow up with additional books devoted to an in depth treatment of many of the topics.
This book will highlight the lore as we understand it, based on archaeological evidence, extant written sources, and present day manifestations of that lore.
Together I hope we can take an incredible journey back in time, and forward, embracing a synthesis of ancestral riches, and modern sensibilities. My hope is that after reading this, you’ll go and dig deeper into your history – read the Eddas, harvest some herbs, practice runic yoga and cook a viking feast!
Live the Lore!
Eoghan Odinsson, June, 2010