Of Ghosts and Godpoles
Hardcover, 246 Pages
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Of Ghosts and Godpoles is a collection of Théodish essays which cover various topics pertaining to the reconstruction of the Saxon Heathen religion. Beginning with a history of the continental Old Saxons, the book goes on to employ comparative mythology to explore the cult of Sahsnót/Seaxnéat before utilizing archeology to glean insight into the Irminsul and its popular representation in contemporary Heathenry. Thereafter, Of Ghosts and Godpoles reexamines the life of Hengest, his portrayal in literature, and his actions within the cultural context of the Migration Era warband. A textual analysis of Beowulf follows, drawing heavily upon linguistic anthropology to consider the significance that ghosts play in the Old English tale. Lastly, the book concludes with an overview of how environmental change set the Teutonic migrations into motion and the impact said migrations had upon the Heathen religion.
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Dec 7, 2017Of Ghosts and Godpoles is a wondrous book. Many of the topics discussed in these essays, I encountered before in some manner. Yet, I found myself constantly pleased with Linleah's insights as we searched in barrows for dragons and endured the harsh reality of the Migration era. Linleah's scholarly precision and passion for the subject is abundantly clear. However, the author's tone is amicable, poetic, and concise. We might as well be at the pub together after a hard day's work. Despite this friendly presentation, those who seek knowledge can find much more if they study the copious footnotes, extensive bibliography, and erudite appendices. One could read for the next decade off the suggestions that Linleah provides in his notes. To put it simply, this book takes you out to the "deep water" without you really being aware of it. The questions posed by this author in the various essays bring many profound questions to the table of Heathenry. For example, after reading the... More > essay, "Betwixt Blood Bespattered Benches", I found myself thinking about Heathen Thew in a whole new light. Thew is far more complex than my previous understanding tempered by modern sensibilities had allowed me to consider. I had similar experiences with the other essays. You will have much to ponder as you go about your day. And for me, that is always the sign of a successful book. It makes a strong impact on you and leaves you wanting more.< Less
Oct 5, 2015This is a must read for anyone interested in Heathenry/Asatru (whatever you wanna call it). an amazing collection of essays covering a wide variety of topics, each one is well written and well researched. As I said a MUST READ.
Jul 15, 2015This really is an impressive book. I have been privileged to be part of the editing process and have read it cover to cover three times now. Even after all that it is a book that I will continue to refer back to for years to come. One thing that really struck me was that each chapter was new material for me. I consider myself fairly well-read, so this was a pleasant surprise. Of Ghosts and Godpoles is a collection of essays on Old Saxon and Anglo-Saxon topics. Follows is a bit about each chapter. "Layers in the Well" gives a history of the Saxons from their semi-legendary origins to their final absorption into the Frankish Empire written from a Heathen perspective. "Searching for Sahsnôt" seeks to identify this fairly obscure god-name. I say "name" because it turns out that He is not obscure at all. Provided is compelling evidence that Sahsnôt (Seaxnéat) is none other than Ingui-Fréa. "Poles, Pillars, and Trees" is by... More > far my favorite chapter. The bulk of this chapter examines the modern imagery of the Irminsûl, the oddly winged tree/post sacralized by a great many modern Heathens. Needless to say I will never be able to look at the Irminsûl the same again. "Betwixt Blood Bespattered Benches" examines the life, and alleged infamy, of Hengest. This was completely new information for me. I knew nothing of Hengest and Horsa beyond their being responsible for bringing Heathenry to England. The chapter looks at two incidents of hall-slaughter, apparently terrible breaches of frið, from the perspective of Germanic thew. Looking at these events from within a Germanic worldview rather than without certainly sheds new light on one of our oldest cultural ancestors. "Dragons among the Dead" introduces another topic that was entirely new to me. The chapter examines the dragon in lore as representative of the disturbed dead or gást. Particularly interesting is a re-examination of Beowulf's final battle in light of the dragon-gást connection. "Lore and Landscape" looks at the environmental causes of the Germanic migrations. I knew much of this was behind the "Viking" age (i.e, Malthusian catastrophe avoidance), but I really hadn't given much thought to previous migrations. This book will certainly make a worthy addition to your library. I know I am glad that I can finally add it to mine.< Less
Jul 14, 2015Nov 17, 2014 This book is a remarkable and exquisitely unique journey into the Saxon or Anglo-Saxon realms of our ancestors. And although the predominate focus is on the Saxons and Anglo-Saxons in most chapters, some of the issues covered, like the chapter “Poles, Pillars, and Trees,” deal with topics that are painted across the whole canvas of Heathenry. The book has been painstakingly researched -- containing over 400 endnotes, many containing further illuminating commentary – to support the insightful conclusions/theories in the book, which have powerfully influenced and changed my perspective on certain topics forever. My favorite chapter is “Betwixt Blood Bespatter Benches.” I knew nothing really of Hengest before this, and I feel fortunate that this positive portrayal is my first introduction to him. Like the chapter title, the alliteration in the work drives the reader forward in a poetic, almost musical, journey through the life of our ancestor and the impact of wyrd upon him.... More > “Poles, Pillars, and Trees” has had a tremendous impact upon my beliefs. In fact, it along with Eliade’s “The Sacred and the Profane” have probably been the most influential works I have read since becoming a Heathen! I will never look at the Irminsûl the same again. “Searching for Sahsnót” is a thoughtful and perceptive look at who this illusive god was for our Saxon forbearers, and in this chapter Ingui-Fréa takes his rightful place of prominence among them. This chapter reminds me how much has been obscured and lost to time, but how keen scholarship can reopen that door. “Layers in the Well” is a remarkable journey through Saxon history while “Lore and Landscape” delves into how climate change in Northern Europe was the catalyst for change among the Northern people. “Dragons among the Dead” is another chapter that changed my perspective. The dragon in Beowulf is revealed to be a gást. It portrays a picture of how our ancestors possibly viewed the dragon and answers my question of why it was an important concept to them. I am immensely impressed by the author’s development as a writer between his early and later works. While his insightful perspective has remained constant, his control of the language and his voice and wit have increasing grown to near Shakespearean quality over time. I am so excited that this work is finally in print! I can almost see our ancestors raising a horn in honor of the occasion!< Less
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- Þórbeorht Línléah (Standard Copyright License)
- Heathengyld Books
- May 25, 2015
- Hardcover (casewrap)
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.91 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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