The Way of Fire and Ice: The Living Tradition of Norse Paganism

Ryan Smith. Llewellyn, $18.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7387-6004-9
Smith, an organizer of the paganist organization Heathens United Against Racism, explains Norse mythology, symbols, and rituals, as well as how to practice Norse paganism, in his diligent, friendly debut. He first covers the concept of “Cycles of Reality,” Norse beliefs about spirits, and major Norse deities before moving on to explanations of Norse runes. In the book’s latter half, Smith turns to those who wish to “cultivate [Norse] spirituality into something you feel in every waking moment.” Smith explains how to develop an “ecstatic practice” (primarily visualization and meditation techniques) by creating a sacred space, and learning Norse poetry and incantations. In addition to personal development, Smith addresses how to find similarly minded people and outlines how to run rituals and meetings for Norse gatherings. He warns against “neo-Volkisch” paganism that exalts the “pure” bloodlines of white Nordics (and has a relationship to Nazism). Smith concludes with a long recommended reading section for information about Norse paganism, antifascism, and community organization. Smith’s sensible guide will enchant any reader interested in Norse mythology and paganism. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/02/2019
Release date: 10/01/2019
Genre: Religion
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