Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe

Overview

In his introduction to The Well of Remembrance, author Ralph Metzner provides a telling explanation of the theme of his work:

"This book explores some of the mythic roots of the Western worldview, the worldview of the culture that, for better and worse, has come to dominate most of the rest of the world's peoples. This domination has involved not only economic and political systems but also values, basic attitudes, religious beliefs, language, scientific understanding, and technological applications. Many ...

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The Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe

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Overview

In his introduction to The Well of Remembrance, author Ralph Metzner provides a telling explanation of the theme of his work:

"This book explores some of the mythic roots of the Western worldview, the worldview of the culture that, for better and worse, has come to dominate most of the rest of the world's peoples. This domination has involved not only economic and political systems but also values, basic attitudes, religious beliefs, language, scientific understanding, and technological applications. Many individuals, tribes, and nations are struggling to free themselves from the residues of the ideological oppression practiced by what they see as Eurocentric culture. They seek to define their own ethnic or national identities by referring to ancestral traditions and mythic patterns of knowledge. At this time, it seems appropriate for Europeans and Euro-Americans likewise to probe their own ancestral mythology for insight and self-understanding."

Focusing on the mythology and worldview of the pre-Christian Germanic tribes of Northern Europe, Metzner offers a meaningful exploration of Western ancestry.

The deeply buried shamanic roots of the Western world-view may contain wisdom essential to overcoming world ecological and spiritual crises. This book is about reconnecting with those roots through the rediscovery of the religion that existed in Europe before its suppression by the Roman Empire and Christianity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570626289
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/1994
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and a professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. One of the pioneers in the study of nonordinary states of consciousness, he has written several books, including Maps of Consciousness and Opening to Inner Light.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Prologue: The Nazi Curse on Germanic Mythology 17
Pt. 1 The Indo-European and Nordic-Germanic Peoples
1 Migrations and Invasions of the Indo-Europeans 31
Origins of the Indo-Europeans 31
The Descendants of the Kurgan Invaders in Europe 37
The Indo-European Legacy 43
2 The Religion and Worldview of the Indo-Europeans 46
Animism, Shamanism, and Paganism 48
Changing Conceptions of Death and the Afterlife 51
The Destruction of the Old Religion 55
3 Ancient Germanic Society 61
Patriarchy 63
The Family, the Clan, and the Tribe 65
From Endogamy to Exogamy 68
4 Wodan's Warriors and the Heroic Mystique 73
Berserker Fury and the Rituals of Battle 75
Women in War and the Valkyrie Battle Maidens 79
The Transformed Berserkers 81
5 Sacred Runes and Mythic Poetry 85
Runes and Divination 85
The Edda: Songs and Visions of the Elder Mothers 91
Chronology 98
Pt. 2 Nordic-Germanic Myths and Their Meaning for Our Time
6 Odin and the Aesir Sky Gods 111
Odin the Wandering Truth-Seeker 112
Other Aesir Gods: Tyr, Thor, Balder, and Loki 122
7 The New Berserkers 133
8 Freyja and the Vanir Earth Deities 150
Freyja: Goddess of Earth, Sexuality, and Magic 152
Other Vanir Deities: Njord and Freyr 161
Gullveig and the Origins of War 165
9 Visions of the Fourfold Goddess 173
10 Odin's Self-Sacrifice and the Tree of Worlds 191
Odin's Self-Sacrifice 192
The Tree of Nine Worlds 199
Dwarves, Elves, Giants, and Gods in the Twentieth Century 211
11 The Well of Remembrance and the Knowledge of the Ancestors 215
The Three Norms 215
Mimir's Well and the One-Eyed God 219
The Revenge of the Vanir and Mimir's Head 224
12 Rituals of Reconciliation and the Quest for the Mead of Inspiration 229
The Reconciliation Ritual and Kvasir's Blood 230
Twentieth-Century Rituals of Reconciliation 234
Loss and Recovery of the Mead of Inspiration 238
13 The Twilight of the Sky Gods and New Dawn of the Earth Goddess 244
The Volva's Vision of the Ragnarok 246
Cataclysmic Earth Changes 250
The Loosened Monsters and the Final Battle 255
Defeat and Return of the Pagan Deities 259
Epilogue 267
Appendix: The Mead of Inspiration and Magical Plants of the Ancient Germans 279
Notes 297
Index 325
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