Sunday, October 28, 2007

Learning The Lore

I've spent a lot of time over the past 6 months or so reading the Lore that Heathenry bases it's beliefs. There are so many ideas and opinions on the translations and the interpretation of what has been written that I'm having a hard time sorting through everything. Unfortunately, there is not much out there that helps a person that is new to the information.

It's hard learning about a religion on your own. With no one to guide you, you have to figure things out on your own. Questions that come up are:

  • Where does one start?
  • What information should be learned first?
  • Which authors are good ones?
  • And in the case of Heathenry - what translation(s) of the do you use?
One of Ravencast's episodes, Asatru 101 - Lore, gave me a great idea: Start with one of the sagas, Eddas, etc and look up several different versions/translations of it. Learn the different versions and compare and contrast them. Form an understanding (and know your reasons behind that opinion) about that particular set of a saga or Edda that you have started to research.

With this in mind, it becomes more about thoroughly thinking about the meaning behind the passages rather than just reading and familiarizing yourself with the information. It's about forming your own opinion on their meaning rather then having that interpretation force fed to you. And it's about being able to defend your opinion using the sources as inspiration.

While I have a long way to go before I would feel comfortable with debating my ideas about the Lore with anybody, I think that that this approach laid out by Sandi and Dave at Ravencast is something that I will adopt for my own studies.

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