Recommended Reading

The Secret of the She-Bear: An Unexpected Key to Understand European Mythologies, Traditions and Tales. by Marie D. F. Cachet

This is the English translation of “Le secret de l’Ourse”. (Translated by Marie Cachet and Varg Vikernes and prefaced by Varg Vikernes) *** This book need be on your priority list to buy and read. All else falls in place with the info presented in this book. Perhaps the most important material towards finding ones way back towards ancestral practices of animism.

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of Grimm Brothers: The Complete First Edition by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm

The complete text of all 211 fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. • This book publication is unique which includes exclusive Introduction. • This edition also includes detailed Biography. • This edition has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors. Full of magic and trickery, Grimm’s Fairy Tales have delighted generations with such timeless classics as Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Rapunzel. The Complete Fairy Tales Every fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm are included—that’s over 200 tales. Popular favorites include: • Cinderella • Beauty and the Beast • Little Red-Cap (Little Red Riding Hood) • Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) • Hansel and Grethel • Snow White • Rapunzel • Rumpelstiltskin • and hundreds more! ***After reading Secret of the She-Bear, why not get a book that contains numerous fairy tales to decipher? You can also read to children and pass the wisdom on as it was meant to be.

A Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolf Simek

For two and a half thousand years, from 1500 BC to AD 1000, a culture as significant as the classical civilisation of the Mediterranean world settled an immense area in northern Europe that stretched from Iceland to the Black Sea. But the sources of our knowledge about these societies are relatively few, leaving the gods of the North shrouded in mystery. In compiling this dictionary Rudolf Simek has made the fullest possible use of the information available -Christian accounts, Eddic lays, the Elder Edda, runic inscriptions, Roman authors (especially Tacitus), votive stones, place names and archaeological discoveries. He has adhered throughout to a broad definition of mythology which presents the beliefs of the heathen Germanic tribes in their entirety: not only tales of the gods, but beings from lower levels of belief: elves, dwarfs and giants; the beginning and end of the world; the creation of man, death and the afterlife; cult, burial customs and magic – an entire history of Germanic religion. RUDOLF SIMEK is Professor of Medieval German and Scandinavian literature at the University of Bonn in Germany. *** A very good resource for deciphering.

Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions – by H Davidson

Most people know of Valhalla, the World-Tree and the gods of Norse mythology, or the strange hunts and voyages of the ancient Irish tales. Yet, few people realize the significance of the similarities and contrasts between the religions of the pre-Christian people of north-western Europe. The Celts and Germans and Scandinavians had much in common in their religious practices and beliefs, and this is the first serious attempt that has been made to compare them. There are striking resemblances in their ideas about battle-goddesses and protective spirits, holy places, sacrificial rituals, divination and ideas about the Other World; and Myths and symbols in pagan Europe poses questions like: do such parallels go back to early times or are they owing to late Viking contact? *** Not the greatest of sources but it has some bits and pieces here and that which I feel make it worth having as a look through or reference of sorts.

Our Traditions: – in a pagan, mythological and cultural perspective – by Vegard Solheim

A rooted presentation of our deep traditions, symbolism and culture. A chronological journey through the traditions we today take for granted, without most of us knowing the original roots and content of them. A journey that takes the reader on a Norse renaissance. At least in consciousness, in knowledge and in the great, rich and life-celebrating world view we have inherited from our ancestors.

Chernobog’s Riddles: Slavic Mythology Observed Through the Eyes Of The She – Bear by Stefan Cvetković

The book interprets the Slavic lore and customs in the light of the prehistoric bear cult. *** I found the content of value. Opening my perspective towards commonalities across European peoples from West to East regarding traditional beliefs and practices. Perhaps not as well written as The Secret of the She-Bear due to typos and phrasing by a non-native English speaker but still quite readable.

The Seed of Yggdrasill: Deciphering the Hidden Messages in Old Norse Myths by Maria Kvilhaug

Why was the manuscript hidden throughout four centuries, and what were the real messages behind Old Norse poetry? Are the Norse myths truly just funny stories about gods, trolls and giants, or do they hide some deeper insights? By translating the names, and opening up the myths as metaphor, Kvilhaug reveals how ritual and spiritual mysteries were at the heart and core of Old Norse Paganism. *** A massive tome that is full of shamanic perspectives on Norse mythology. Some of the authors views can be a bit new age. There is an element the keen eye will pick up on within the writing. A different way to view the symbolism with “shamanic eyes.”

Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Mircea Eliade

First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian émigré–scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia–where Shamanism was first observed–to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman–at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice. *** I dare say that this is THE number one resource on shamanism as practiced in the east. It took me a couple of years of reverse engineering to sort out what was taken from European shamanic practices, twisted and made into Siberian shamanism. This book was a vital piece in my studies.

The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner

This classic on shamanism pioneered the modern shamanic renaissance. It is a resource and reference on shamanism. Now, with a new introduction and a guide to current resources, anthropologist Michael Harner provides the definitive handbook on practical shamanism – what it is, where it came from, how you can participate. *** A very watered down version of shamanic practices. Like going to ice cream shop and tasting a new flavor on that little wooden stick they give. That is not an altogether bad thing though. As it is a safe way for people to get to know shamanism. Though it is absent of European ancestral traditional practices such as seidr, druidry, et al…

The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe by Marija Gimbutas

***This book is amazing for the amount of material presented of European culture. Unfortunately, the authors work was high-jacked by extreme feminists and new agers. This gave her work a bit of a bad name but it is still a very valuable reference in my opinion. The work is a rich visual aid in European symbolism and an aid, to some extent, in helping interpret that symbolism.

Black Elk: The Sacred Ways of a Lakota by Wallace Black Elk (Author), William S. Lyon (Author)

***This book was very helpful to me in the recovery of ancient European practices. It helped me greatly, being guided by the ancestral spirits, to fill in some of the missing pieces. Wallace Black Elk has a deep understanding of what it means to be “down to Earth.” He is deeply animistic in his lifestyle. If you come to read this work with an open mind, as you should, rather than seeking to imitate what is written then you will come away all the wiser. The information about “sweats” and how the spirits work is very important.

The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary by Angeles Arrien (Author)

“A leading expert on native spirituality and shamanism reveals the four archetypal principles of the Native American medicine wheel and how they can lead us to a higher spirituality and a better world.” ***I found the material helpful but with hints of the New Age stuff. If you can put that stuff aside then it is worth a read. Helps to learn more about yourself within the worlds.

Shamanism by Piers Vitebsky

The book discusses visions, initiation rites, shamanic chants, shamanism and mental health, the shamanic use of plants, and the political and social background to the shaman’s work. Also covered are the links between the shaman’s sense of unity in nature and the recent growth of ecological consciousness in Western societies.

* Includes more than 250 color illustrations that present a unique pictorial record of shamanism in practice and as represented in art and artifacts

* Includes a detailed region-by-region survey of shamanism with full-color maps

* Explores both spiritual and psychological aspects of the subject, as well as the relevance of shamanism to contemporary Western culture

***Its a good over view of shamanism in many cultures. Pictures are nice as well. A couple of pieces of choice information within the pages. I enjoyed a quick reading with some insightful info discovered.

The Rulings of the Night: An Ethnography of Nepalese Shaman Oral Texts Hardcover – by Gregory G. Maskarinec

“The Rulings of the Night offers something new to the anthropology of language and ritual. Built on impeccably careful fieldwork, and beautiful at times in its transparency, the book gets back to the words themselves in crafting an understanding of the deadly important play between shamanic prayers and social reality in the Nepal Himalayas.” *** An interesting read but very, very dry. I sped read through this one but did gather some further understanding of word working in a shamanic context. Though some of the “superstitions” are prevalent in Nepalese oral texts it can be overlooked. Helpful material but not high on the list.