Murderers Don’t Go to Valhalla

In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at the Tops Market grocery store in Buffalo, New York on May 14, 2022 we have been learning more about the murdering criminal who had perpetrated the attack. He was wearing a sonnenrad (a swastika related symbol), the assault rifle and shotgun were adorned with the Othala rune, and the shotgun also featured a Celtic Cross (which is a variation of our solar cross symbol). He also had references on his assault rifle to five other mass shooters (who I am choosing not to name) behind the following attacks: 2011 Norwegian attacks in Oslo and Utøya, 2011 Tree of life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the 2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the 2019 Chabad Congregation in Poway, and the 2019 Christchurch attack.

He signed off his manifesto with the words “Goodbye, God bless you all and I hope to see you in Valhalla.” Compare it to the manifesto from the shooter behind the 2019 Christchurch attack and there’s lots of similarities (basically plagiarized with slight rewordings) including the sign off “Goodbye, god bless you all and I will see you in Valhalla.”

I’d like to say something for the hate spouting extremists in the back. Murderers don’t go to Valhalla. In fact in our lore we know murderers go somewhere else entirely. In Gylfaginning we are told by Odin (in his guise of Þriði) that those who commit evil go to Nifolhel (Misty Hel). In another section of Gylfaginning, and supported also in Völuspá, we learn that within Nifolhel we have Nástrǫnd (Corpse Shore), and that is where oathbreakers and murderers go in the afterlife. Nástrǫnd is home to the serpent Níðhöggr (Malice Striker) who gnaws for eternity on the corpses of murderers and oathbreakers that have been condemned to the serpent’s hall. We think that Nástrǫnd may correlate to the Old English Wyrmsele, which means serpent hall, it appears in the poem Judith found in the Nowell Codex (which is the manuscript source for Beowulf).

The heathen afterlife is first and foremost Hel. Hel, is more than just a name. Her name literally is not only the realm of the dead, but etymologically is the very earth where the dead are buried and reside, from the great cairns and graveyards. To speak of Hel is to speak of both the Goddess, Her realm, and all those who dwell there. Sooner or later we will traverse those halls, because as the Havamal states, “cattle die and kinsmen die” because the most fundamental truth of life is that sooner or later we die. From the sources we know that there were certain places or deities within the afterlife of Hel that played host to the dead: Odin’s Valhalla, Thor’s Bilskirnir within Valhalla, Freya’s Sessrumnir, the hall of Vingolf (mentioned three times: once connected to Odin, once to the Goddesses, and once just generally as a place for the dead), Gimlé where the just go, and then we know that the Goddesses Ran and Gefjon also play host to specific types of the dead (respectively those who died at sea and maidens).

One of the commonly misrepresented beliefs of our afterlife is that the end goal is for us all to go to Valhalla, it isn’t. Valhalla is specifically intended for a select few, and only for those that Odin thinks has the right skillset to his warrior purposes and thus chooses. Killing in self defense, or killing in the course of war is one thing. Gunning down a bunch of innocent people in a grocery store makes you only one thing: a murderer, a nīðing (nithling) which is one of the worst labels given to a person, as it means the person has no honor and is a villain.

This gunman doesn’t represent my religion nor my beliefs. In fact both he and the Q-Anon Shaman from the January 6, 2021 Insurrection in Washington DC use the singular Christian god in messaging, but combine it with some of our religion’s sacred symbols and places. This is sadly yet another despicable real world example of what should be sacred being profaned for the purposes of hate. Let me be clear, in the Northern Tradition these are the races that exist: the Giants, the Gods, the Dwarves, the Disir, the Alfar, other vaettir of land and sea, and the human race. That’s it. If you look at our creation story we see that as the Gods create the first people, Odin breathed life into them, Vili granted them intelligence, and Ve gave them their senses so they could see and hear. So whether an individual or any other cultural or religious group believes that or not, if someone believes and worships Odin then to my mind you should believe he is the All-Father of humanity, not the Father of only some.

You would think after decades of being a Heathen and seeing white supremacists pervert the sacred, I’d be used to this. But I’m not. I’m furious. Each time we’re here I’m just as outraged as the last time. So I had to do something, in this case I made a meme. Yes, it is but a small act, but maybe if we can educate there’d be fewer people misusing Valhalla. If we can burst the fantasy bubble around Valhalla, maybe we can start to dismantle part of the appeal in how white supremacists who don’t even worship our Gods use it to galvanize others to hate. Share it, spread it. Let’s make this go viral.

Murderers don't go to Valhalla. 
Valhalla is but one place in the heathen afterlife. It is specifically intended for a select few, and only for those that Odin chooses because he thinks they have the right skillset 
to his purposes. In Gylfaginning, Odin tells us that those who commit evil go to Niflhel, 
and we learn that oathbreakers and murderers go to Nastrond, where the serpent 
Nidhogg gnaws on them for eternity, for they are nithlings lacking in honor. 
Murderers Don’t Go To Valhalla

The Witch Hunt – SCOTUS, Justice Alito, Abortion, Sir Matthew Hale and the Connection to the Salem Witch Trials

70% of Americans support the rights of women to have a choice with her doctor regarding her own medical decisions. And yet many have been reeling since the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States that appears to be ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court case that gave women the right to have an abortion.

It’s not just abortion that’s on the hatchet block. Roe v. Wade based it’s argument in part upon a case dealing with birth control as a precedence. If Roe v. Wade is overturned then it also weakens the legal precedence for birth control too. And trust me, I’ve seen some crazies here in Texas who think birth control is worse of a sin than abortion. They think birth control kills more babies than abortion. They’re also coming for IUDs, with HB 813 a recent bill in Louisiana that would not only ban them, but subject women to charges of murder for using them.

Continue reading “The Witch Hunt – SCOTUS, Justice Alito, Abortion, Sir Matthew Hale and the Connection to the Salem Witch Trials”

May 5th – Murdered And Missing Indigenous Women And Girls

While many associate May the 5th with the celebratory Cinco de Mayo, there are others who instead observe the day in solemnity for the international pandemic of murdered and missing women and girls from across numerous indigenous populations, First Nations peoples, Metis, and Inuit most especially in the United States and Canada. The date was intentionally chosen in honor of the birthday of Hanna Harris, a Northern Cheyenne woman who went missing and was found murdered days later in July 2013.

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Interview with Ukrainian Freyja’s Woman Tove Freyjadottir, Part II

Tove, a devotee to Freya, and a Soviet era born Ukrainian, provides a deep dive into the history of her native country.

Gangleri's Grove

As promised, here is part 2 of a much longer interview that I conducted recently with Ukrainian Freyja’s woman Tove Freyjadottir. You may find Part I here if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Now, let’s jump right into part two. My questions are in bold and then Tove’s response unbolded. If there is bolded text in her response, it is her own emphasis.

Artist Raja Nanadepu

GK:What is at stake for Ukraine here? What factors do you think contributed to the current war? How did we get here? I ask this, because many of my readers, especially in the USA, may not be aware of the history and politics that led up to this current point. It’s a long, long story.

Tove: What is at stake? Well, if Ukraine succeeds and wins this war, repelling Russia to its natural internationally established borders, it will spell the…

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Pope Apologizes for Native Schools

I had heard of the residential/mission schools (example: Carlisle Indian School), where Indigenous children were removed from their families & communities and sent to boarding schools to strip them of their language and culture. I never knew that the Church had done something similar to the children of conquered Saxon Heathens in the 9th Century.

Gangleri's Grove

Part of me sarcastically wants to say “a day late and a dollar short” but acknowledging that these schools were places of torture, abuse, and genocide, and taking public responsibility for that, tendering the apology is a good thing, potentially a healing thing. I probably shouldn’t be so sarcastic. Here’s the link.

Now, let’s see him apologize for the destruction, erasure, and genocide his Church caused to Pagans and Polytheists and their families, cultures, and communities across Europe from oh, I don’t know, the fifth through the fourteenth centuries? I’m not holding my breath. You see, we aren’t visible enough, there aren’t enough of us yet. The Church can still think it won. 

I bring this up not to equate pain with pain or genocide with genocide but to point out that historically, Christian imperium did not start in the 15thcentury with Columbus. They practiced for a…

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Cultic Worship to Loki

Did you know we have possible evidence of cultic worship to Loki from antiquity?

Al-Tartuschi (also known as Ibrahim ibn Yaqub) hailed from the Cordoba Caliphate (specifically the Al-Andalus area from the Iberian peninsula), and wrote of his travels abroad in Europe in 961 – 962 CE.  He records seeing worship connected to the Sirius star in Hedeby, Denmark. The population size is estimated to have been around 1500-2000 people. Hedeby of the time was a commercial center populated by a range of groups: Danes, Frisians, Franks, Germans, Swedes, and Slavs. So that suggests to me the possibility for a much wider dispersion of the practice outside of Hedeby.

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Exploring Our Gods & Goddesses: Sinthgunt [Revised & Expanded]

Our only (specific) surviving reference to the Goddess Sinthgunt comes from the Old High German Second Merseburg Incantation (also known as the “Horse Cure Charm”), which dates to around the 9th or 10th Century. The Merseburg charms are the only examples of pre-Christian Germanic belief recorded in the Germanic language.

sinthgunt_small
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Interview with Ukrainian Freya’s woman Tove Freyjudottir — Part 1

Freya devotee and Northern Tradition polytheist Tove, was born into Soviet Ukraine. She fled with her immediate family to the United States. Today she still has family in Ukraine. This is the first of a series of interviews, from someone with a unique perspective and insight into current events. In this one she talks about what it was like for her and her family to live under Soviet control.

Gangleri's Grove

This is the first part of a multi-part interview with Gyðja-in-training Tove Freyjudottir. Over the next few weeks, she will be sharing her thoughts and experiences watching her home city of Kharkiv, where she still has immediate family, being bombed.

This interview will be broken up into several parts, since it turned out to be quite long. I plan on posting a new installment every week or so until the interview is complete. For those who may have questions for Tove, or want to reach out she kindly gave me permission to share her email: elise33 at gmail.com. You may also follow her website here.

Firstly, I’d like to thank you, Tove for taking the time to answer my questions, especially at such a difficult time. I want to start by giving a little of your background for my readers. Tove is a long-time Heathen devoted to Freyja, and…

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When Slavic Folk Custom, the Goddess Morana, and Current Events Collide

Morana is a Slavic Goddess. found within the region of cultural impact from the Slavic pagans. Their territory was found in areas roughly found between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas. But the old folk traditions and stories have seemed to survive the best in the territories once belonging to the Eastern areas of Europe, such as: Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, etc.

Map of Europe showing the Slavic Territory in the 7th – 9th Centuries
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Helm of Awe Observed In BBC News Story

BBC News recently posted a story: Ukraine war: Belarusian dissidents fight against Russia in Ukraine. It spotlights Pavel Kulazhanka, who is a Belarusian dissident living in exile in New York. Now with other Belarusian dissidents, he is leaving to join the defense of Ukraine against the invading Russian forces.

screenshot from BBC news story, Camera Work by Francesco Tosto

I noticed he’s wearing a Ægishjálmr, (Helm of Awe / Helm of Terror) patch.

Continue reading “Helm of Awe Observed In BBC News Story”