Tag Archives: Kveldulf Gundarsson

Teutonic Religion

Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews Teutonic Religion: Folk Beliefs & Practices of the Northern Tradition by Kveldulf Gundarsson in the Bkwyrm archive.

This book says little about runes as such; it’s mostly rituals, plus some comments on the gods and on the problems that Norse pagans have to deal with in the modern world.

My main problem with this one is Gundarsson’s choice of language: First, he insists on calling the gods by their Old High German names, instead of the familiar Norse ones he used in _Teutonic Magic._ (A typical newcomer to Germanic paganism would not know that “Frija” is actually Frigg, and “the Frowe” mean Freya!) Second, the rituals themselves (and even a few spots in the main text) are full of revived “Germanic English” words that few non-linguists would recognize or use. A priest who had to check a glossary every three minutes would spoil the atmosphere at a large Heathen gathering, to put it mildly. Other than the language problem, though, Gundarsson’s second book is as well-researched and thoughtful as the first. He does his level best to convince people that Asatru is spiritually valid and relevant in the present-day world.

You can find this book at Amazon, Abebooks, and Powell’s

Teutonic Magic

Ingeborg Svea Norden reviews Teutonic Magic: The Magical & Spiritual Practices of the Germanic Peoples by Kveldulf Gundarsson in the Bkwyrm archive.

This man knows his subject better than anyone else I’ve read so far. (He recently completed a graduate degree in Teutonic studies at Cambridge; he has also done plenty of field research in Scandinavia, England, and Germany.) Besides, Gundarsson can write! Other authors have written commentaries and guided meditations on the runes, but his feel three-dimensional; people can tell that he has had some experience with theater and ritual drama. He also makes excellent comments on the gods, on non-runic symbolism in Germanic magic, and on integrating Asatru philosophy with modern life. Only a few mistakes – which Gundarsson discovered AFTER the book was published – keep this book from earning a full four-star rating. His interpretations of two specific runes (Elhaz and Ingwaz) were heavily influenced by his mentor Edred Thorsson’s. So was his interpretation of the Valkyrie as a guardian angel/Higher Self figure, which does not mesh with actual pagan texts. With those reservations in mind, I still recommend Teutonic Magic heartily.

You can find this book at Amazon, Abebooks, and Powell’s