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Huginn’s Heathen Hof

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Category: Ranting Recon

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The Rocky Road to Hel

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In Editorials , Ranting Recon
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On July 17, 2017
Hel is frequently presented as a dreary, gray realm; ruled by an unforgiving goddess of the same name. A cold and thankless land for those who die of old age or illness. There's even a pit where the vilest souls who enter that domain are kept. Firmly undesirable real estate, to say the least! There's just one problem. There is only ONE source for this narrative, and it conflicts with just about every other source we have....
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Many aspects if our tradition end up getting oversimplified into easy to swallow 'Christianized' binaries. This is most evident in the modern concept of Valhalla. I so often see Valhalla, or in Old Norse: Valhöll, described as this kind of glorious "Heathen Heaven”; a golden hall in Asgard where every day is filled with Fighting and Feasting and Fff....'Frolicking'... The idea of Valhöll goes so much deeper than that, and it's such a shame to see this fundamental part of our tradition's worldview so often be either misunderstood or blatantly misrepresented.
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Heathenry has always had a fascination with wolves. From ancient sagas to modern Facebook groups, the image of the wolf is ubiquitous. Among most modern Heathen groups the wolf is often seen as a symbol of strength, willpower, and fierce loyalty. However, while the wolf as a symbol might be a constant in our traditions, its meaning is not. Far from being a positive totem of our community, the wolf was the quintessential 'monster to the ancient Germanic cultures. So in a community that's rather focused on preserving the old Lore, how and why did this shift manage to occur?
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